There once was a man named J.R.R. Tolkien,
Who fought the Germans in trenches; smokin’!
Surviving the Somme, his innocence gone,
He lived to write like Walt Whitman.
His Nordic-like The Hobbit in ’37,
Met praise like he had died and gone to heaven,
An adventure with warg, wizard, eagle, and Smaug,
I myself read the book when I was eleven.
Then came a sequel that took him a while,
A three-part book that gave the world a smile,
From The Fellowship of the Ring to The Return of the King,
His imagination ran rather wild.
The book ain’t exactly slim pickings,
Most popular novel ever, second only to Dickens,
An iliad and odyssey, definitive high fantasy,
And those who don’t read it are chickens.
Animated films were made long ago,
Worthy efforts that miserably failed, though.
Cluttered but boring, with clichés outpouring,
Mostly they suck because they lack flow.
“Unfilmable it must be”, to ourselves we lied,
Like Lolita, Sandman, and Hitchhiker’s Guide,
Middle Earth is too big; it’s just too dense to dig,
So live action iterations were simply not tried.
But Hollywood changed around ’99
By an insurgency of geek, no longer maligned,
Spidey went Raimi who eschewed samey
And Tolkien film rights went to New Line.
First it was thought that two films was sufficient,
And Director Peter Jackson, was undoubtedly proficient,
Merging worlds of Men in a sweep or to cut out Helm’s Deep?
No. Three films would be far more efficient.
So Jackson set about the impossible task,
Finally fulfilling his dreams of lore to bask,
Used his native home for his cameras to roam,
New Zealand’s permission, he need not ask.
Three sprawling films produced all at once,
To bring Middle Earth to life in a crunch,
With a beautiful score by Howard Shore,
The result was a box office bunce.
Grossing two billion dollars worldwide,
And forcing the Oscars to let go of their pride,
The flicks were a hit with the folks and the crits,
Cementing the turn of the genre-film tide.
Sir Jackson is a master, devoted to his craft.
Working tirelessly and all on his own behalf.
His cinematic affection and judicious direction
Fused and chiseled perfection from chaff.
Narrative moves through growth and contraction,
Characters compel and inspire by their actions.
Emotions will spike when Sauron strikes,
But how ‘bout that elf/dwarf interaction?
Noteworthy itself is the character, Gollum,
Andy Serkis is where his voice came from.
An amalgam of tragedy, loss, & savagery,
Corruption, materialism…all this he is the sum.
That’s the beauty of The Lord of the Rings,
A grand adventure about so many things,
Laughter and pain, triumph and vain,
It is now, and forever on the wings.
But flawless it is not; and to dislike it is no crime;
Not all will see it as thoroughly sublime.
But it I will call, the trilogy to rule them all,
And the greatest film of all time.