My 13 year old daughter talked me into seeing the 12:15 am showing of The Return of the King last night. I thought I was buying for her friend too and had an extra ticket so I brought my mom. I believe I had just about the youngest and just about the oldest people in the packed room with me. Yes, my daughter is too young to stay out until 4:00am on a school night. Yes, I'm an irresponsible parent. Yes, she will look back on last night (this morning) happily for years to come.....happiness wins!
The movie was awesome as expected. Two things that bothered me...about a 20 minute (or did it just seem like 20 minutes) goodbye scene at the end with almost no dialog, very lengthy closeups at teary eyed faces, and no action. If you are waiting to hit the restroom until the end of the movie go ahead and beat the rush.
The other thing...and I suppose I might be ruining the end so if you haven't seen it and haven't read the book (are you kidding me!), skip the rest of this paragraph...but when Gollum falls into the lava at the end he floats in the 1000 degree river for a second before he realizes, "oh, the lower 90% of my body just vaporized." I usually react to the lower 90% of my body vaporizing in well under a second. Does that Gollum have slow reactions or what? Okay...one more thing...when the ork army is launching their catapults at the city, each gigantic, flaming boulder takes out roughly 2% of the city. 50 boulders and you get total destruction. Hmmm the city just never gets totally destroyed.
But don't get me wrong about little details. It was awesome. The feeling in my gut when the Riders of Rohan charged into the massive Ork army was worth the price of the ticket alone.