Movie Review | ‘The Return of the King’: Triumph Tinged With Regret in Middle Earth – Elvis Mitchell weighs in with hugs all around; the New York Film Critics’ Circle drops some science for the Academy to follow up on, and in general, advance word is good.

Alex Ross looks at Tolkien’s debt to Wagner in the New Yorker, whilst the magazine defers a review proper in this ish.

Not to worry, though: a few trolls are unafraid to loft their black banners in resistance to the praise. The San Diego Union Tribune’s David Elliott says, “The saga sags,” and goes on to mock an online fan. Clearly, he’s pledged to the Dark Lord.

Christopher Tolkien recently denied that he’d gone over to the dark himself, saying, “The suggestions that have been made that I ‘disapprove’ of the films, vent to the extent of thinking ill of those with whom I may differ, are wholly without foundation.”

Director Jackson, for his part, recently expressed interest in shooting the trilogy’s prequel, The Hobbit.

As someone who wrote with joy at great length about both previous movies and the books, I appreciated this sensitive, if brief, analysis of the books by John Garth in the Scotsman.

Tomorrow, the day the film is released, is also the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, and will see a reenactment attempt at 10:35am EST, 7:35am here. I’ll be out of bed looking for coverage.