Tag Archives: Lord of the Rings

THE DOLLARS TRILOGY

340326Need a rich exploitation of cinematic brilliance among Western films? The only piece of advice I will forward you is to watch Sergio Leone‘s Dollars Trilogy (DT) which will easily erase your memories of John Wayne films. These films are A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and all these films were produced in consecutive years without any gap.

Why DT? Because these three films were trend-setters and Western films had a new dimension from the age of 60s. All three films were the landmark of ‘BAD-ASS’ fashion of Western genre. Legendary actor Clint Eastwood played the leading role of a fearless bounty hunter ‘The Man With No Name‘ and brought a new style of heroism among the leading actors of future generations.

Eastwood’s character had an all-round attraction; his gestures of inclining his hat, smoking cigarette, walking, shooting and dialogues delivering were super excellent. I can now easily figure out from where Amitabh Bachchan got influence for his famous ‘Angry Young Man’ persona in 70s. Another prominent feature of his character was that he had no name which is unusual. He had been given nicknames Joe, Manco and Blondie in respective films but the viewers were not entertained with his real name. His cowboy stature had a different persona than what the viewers had experienced in past Western films. I like the character’s costume especially green poncho.

Director Leone re-introduced the art of film-making ‘Spaghetti Western‘ (SW) from this franchise. The general explanation to the term is that such Western films were produced by the European production companies or in collaboration between European companies. In case of this franchise, producers from Italy, Germany, Spain and US were involved as per Wiki source. So in short, this trilogy has the honor to become the most influential Spaghetti Western film which laid its foundation here. Over 600 SW films were produced till the 80s.

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The beauty of all the three films not only lies in Leone-Eastwood combo but also the storytelling. The flow of the story grows on your nerves and it fires you at the most critical point. Few of the scenes demand your full attention especially the last scene of trilogy, that epic Mexican Standoff scene won’t allow you to move your eyes here and there. Dialogues are brilliant and it is a sin to miss Eastwood’s dialogues who rarely talks in all the three films.

Amazingly, Eastwood had no acting recognition nor had ever played a leading role in his career before this franchise. For the first part, he was paid $15k which later increased to $50k for the sequel. For the last part, he received percentage-based salary. Same case with the financial budget which was only $200k in first part, $600k in sequel and $1.2m in the last part.

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Another impressive aspect in directing this film is its depiction of violence. Gunshots are loud, noisy and on your ears. But by violence I mean Leone’s theory of presenting a Western film which differs with the Western films of the past. If the viewers carefully notice, the ideology of heroism in Western culture was changed here. The trilogy was more of amigos whose nature was more of anti-hero. In final part, all three major characters were antagonist to each other. These three films changed the thinking towards the Western by focusing more on capitalism and greed which weren’t their critical subjects in past Western films.

It will be incomplete to give my review of this trilogy without its scores. One of the most versatile composers of the 20th century, Ennio Morricone, raised the curtains of his illustrious career from this franchise. With very impressive scores in the first two parts to his credit, his iconic coyote-howling opening theme for the final part is easily considered one of the greatest instrumental film scores of all time. The world-famous theme is still alive and often listened in many different mediums and sources. Hard to believe Morricone didn’t win Academy for this score which seemed to be a unanimous decision. He had to wait 50 more years to win his first and most possibly last Oscar for the Best Score in the last Academy Awards function for The Hateful Eight.

Personally, my favorite film among the three is the second one which introduced a brilliant villain El Indio. Also among the trilogies I have watched so far, the DT is only second to ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Trilogy to be considered among the greatest. The DT is one of the greatest achievements in global cinematic village. The trio of Morricone’s score, Leone’s direction and Eastwood’s character will remain one of the most iconic moments of the 20th century cinema.

Overall Ratings: 9.2/10

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Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

So it seems to be that Peter Jackson is never going to disappoint me when it comes to transform J.R.R.Tolkien’s book into a movie. He is a directional phenomena.

After an excellent trilogy of The Lord of the Rings over Frodo’s quest of Ringing, now it’s about a Hobbitual experience about Frodo’s uncle Bilbo which stages 60 years earlier of LOTR advents.

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Bilbo is about to celebrate a ‘nelson’ and makes up his mind to pen his own adventure for Frodo. He begins to ink with a place called ‘Lonely Mountain’, where Dwarf King Thror clements a welfare state. This is the golden period in Lonely Mountain, when it’s people are gay and wealthy, where no darkness empark until the arrival of Smaug, the dragon. Smaug occupies and forces the dwarves to settle out of Lonely Mountain. King Thror’s grandson Thorin watches the army of Elves standing nearby but not coming to rescue them which makes him hideous of Elves.

Enters the writer, half a century years old uncle Bilbo, living in Shire. He meets the wizard, Gandalf the Grey but is unpleasant to see him. Gandalf hosts a dinner party at his home to Thorin and his dwarves to his surprise and without his permission. Gandalf reveals the mystery of all this on Bilbo is to recruit him as ‘burgler’ in Thorin’s army of dwarves to fight and enter the Lonely Mountain. First, he refuses but later on accepts the offer. This is Bilbo marching towards unexpected journey where many adventures welcome him like their horses captured by the Trolls, fight of Misty Mountains, and battle against the Goblins and the Azog. 

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Famous filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was roped in as the movie’s director but later on Peter Jackson replaced him. The principal photography (shooting) of this first installment of The Hobbit began from March 2011 and ended in July 2012 with a filming period of 266 days. The whole movie is picturised in New Zealand.

Howard Shore, who produced one of the most excellent music scores of the last decade in LOTR Trilogy, returns as the leading musician for The Hobbit Trilogy. Few actors reprise their LOTR roles, most significantly 91-year-old Christopher Lee as Saruman The White.

The first installment has grossed $1 billion. The movie was nominated in 3 Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards each. The Middle-Earth story will proceed on December 2013. 

Rating: 7/10