Editors note: This review was written at the end of the school year by Chris DeBlois who, at the time, was an 8th grader at Tripp Middle School. He is now a freshman at Leavitt Area High School.

Darker, darker it gets as you walk further and further into the theater with only a faint wisp of light coming from the projector’s room. Red LED lights decorate the floor making a light just bright enough for you to find your seat. You walk along the path and sit down in a seat. Seconds after you sit down in a seat, you see the previews come on and the LED lights and wall lights both go off. Minute after minute passes by as you wait for the movie to start, yet all you see are non-audio projector slides and you get bored and decide to doze off. “Hey! Get up! The show is about to start!” your friend whispers as he nudges you awake. When you finally open your eyes you see the Lord of the Rings logo flash across the screen and you are immediately awake and your eyes are glued to the visual treat before you. As you watch the movie, you see a HUGE Balrog stomping around the big screen, a creature so hideous and frightening that would make J.K. Rowling’s “Fluffy” or the “Basilisk” hide in a comer somewhere and whimper. The ogre in Harry Potter: The Sorcerer’s Stone is just a toned down version of the big ore in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings so that kids 10 and younger don’t bury their teary-eyed faces in their parents shirts. This is the sort of high quality action that goes on in the Lord of the Rings. If you’re looking for a high quality action movie this year, and you’re not some snively whiny brat who gets afraid of the sound of water droplets, (drip, drip) go see Lord of the Rings.

LOTR (Lord of’the Rings) is better than HP (Harry Potter) because J.R.R. Tolkien spent over 17 years making his first three books and The Hobbit. If you compare that to J.K. Rowling’s first four books took only three years. Plus to add to that, J.R.R. Tolkien’s books have been famous ever since the early 1900’5! HP can’t beat that! And to add to all that, all three LOTR has been made into movies! HP might not even make a third movie!

Another reason is, unlike Harry Potter; the movies that were made for the books are VERY close to the story line. I had read all three books before and after the movie and both of the first two movies (The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers) have only a few alterations to cut the time. That’s how good the movies are. Unlike Harry Potter, (which cut off at least 10 to15 minutes of the first movie in the beginning, and because of that the whole movie was messed up. On top of that, the producers changed the order of what happened when Harry fought Tom Riddle [Lord Voldemort] in the second movie), the Lord of the Rings movies were so close to the book I almost got knocked out of my seat by the accuracy of that alone. All the Harry Potter movies have are a little wand waving. LOTR has HUGE epic battles that (no matter what movie you fancy) WILL leave you stunned.

A third reason is, this saga has just about every kind of genre going on in these movies. Examples of these are Romance, (Between Aragorn and Arwen) Revenge, (Between Boromir’s brother and the Ores) Mystery, (This also goes for suspense; you are always kept on the edge of your seat with your eyes glued to the screen.) Suspense, Action, (The camera is always panning giving you a lush view of a very beautiful New Zealand, and whenever they stop doing something, they don’t wait around and chat like Harry Potter, they’re always off doing something else.) Hack-n-Slash, (This is actually a video game genre but it applies to these movies; whenever the real action comes in, there will always be a healthy helpin’ of good old steel against flesh, bone crushing, blood spewing action to fulfill anyone’s blood lust (of course these movies never get gory, you’ll still see a head chopped off here and there.) and other genres. These kind of movies are the ones teenagers and older kids are just dying to see.

Now don’t get me wrong. Harry Potter IS pretty good. It has a fairly interesting story line, one that will get all but the most stubborn readers hooked, an easy to understand plot, and lovable, unique characters. The way the movie progresses is much like the book, but since it is a movie, some parts were of course cut to save time (which infuriated some Harry Potter fanboys that they missed the beginning of The Sorcerer’s Stone.) With that aside. Harry Potter is just cool. What kid hasn’t thought of or pretended to be a wizard who saved King Arthur or something of the sort? But don’t think I’m backing down now. Oh no, I just got started.

What Harry Potter gains in an easy plot, it loses in quality. What the most important factor mat differs Harry Potter from Lord of the Rings is its brilliant and not too complex story line. I once found myself starting to doze off around Harry Potter’s encounter with the Erised mirror in the first movie (which in case you don’t know is the half-way point of the movie.) Harry Potter is just plain uninteresting to older kids. If you are 12 or older 1 would not recommend Harry Potter unless you are already engrossed in the series.

So to end this off, action, adventure, mystery, romance, and suspense are all the making of a good movie and of a book, and Harry Potter just doesn’t make the cut. Action, it doesn’t have much of. Adventure, this movie is choc-full of it. Mystery, not much since just about every kid has read every book of Harry Potter at least a few times. (I myself read Harry Potter books one through four, about 10 times each.)

Romance, ECHH! Romance?! In a Harry Potter film?! Who in their right mind would want to see two 12-year-old kids act passionate then start making out on the big screen?!! That’s just wrong. Suspense, not really since like I said before, there is not much that most people don’t know about the movies or books. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is by far, the most, amazing, enveloping, and remarkably fantastic movies and books ever released to the countries of this world. I have seen many movies in my short amount of life, new and old, popular and unpopular, and Lord of the Rings is the best, EVER. The books have also hooked me and many others, as you should be after I am done this article. If you can only read or watch just one thing this year. make the Lord of the Rings your choice! You will not be disappointed!


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