Movies: Seven Holiday Treats

Well, some are precious gifts; some are lumps of coal. A couple are epic in scope; others are microscopic. A few have their eyes on the Oscar prize; the rest will be happy to entertain you and siphon

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING Directed by Peter Jackson Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen

Well, it's back. The film event of the millennium--three superb films re-creating J.R.R. Tolkien's epic series of novels--reaches its climax with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. For the third December in a row, the year is capped with a robust cinematic retelling of the war of Middle-earth, as the hobbit Frodo (Wood) and his fellowship of humans, elves, dwarfs and the wizard Gandalf (McKellen) surge into battle against the dark power of Mordor's Lord Sauron.

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