as considered by a war-film, adventure-film, costume-drama junkie

Promises Kept
Not the good ones, I'm afraid. (Major spoilers for ROTK-M)

Dromonds. Not Junks.
How small details, messed up, can have much broader significance.
(Spoilers for ROTK-M)

The Downfallen
A storyboard sequence, doodled up and digitized, showing how a certain major
missing SEQUENCE from ROTKM could have been handled without too much
difficulty as far as getting in things like the desperate state of intelligent defenders,
the massiveness of an Atlantean fortified city, the idea that the Witch-King of
Angmar should inspire the same sort of dread that an undead Macbeth who's also
the real Vlad Dracul, working for the Devil as field commander, with access to
unlimited troops to use for ballista-fodder and materiel support, would inspire - and
also, along the way, the Houses of Healing, Noble!Denethor, and a siege-engine that
an ancient conquerer wouldn't have been ashamed of.

Missing Scenes
from ROTK-M; sketched up in a couple hours for the heck of it, with no real attempts
at accuracy, just impressions for how they could be blocked. (There's also a major
continuity error in the second, due to framing the storyboard from artists' POV first,
which would have to be corrected in filming/production; I'll leave it to Age of Sail
enthusiasts to catch it.)
Archivist's Note: Not archived. Page contained two lost images, and nothing else.

"What news from the North, Riders of Rohan?"
Freehand storyboard sketch: If I were doing this for real, I'd use reference photos
and do an elevation plan to block everything out, get the foreshortening/perspective
accurate to the map, etc; (frex I don't know if from where the trails crossed, you
could see the Gap as I've drawn it, or more or less of it or the Forest.) But this gives
a feel for how I'd shoot/frame/costume the scene.

Enjoy Your Nice Oatmeal, Kids, And Stop Whining
"Just accept it for what it is" — I do, and here's the scorecard. Doesn't include
plotholes — I do have other things to do, after all — and doesn't include
"Movie Mistakes" style nitpics, which don't usually register with me: just the
big obvious stuff like characterization and visuals.

"Helm's Deep"
Another rough take of a scene, done straight from the book, roughed out
as a telescript. Even with minimal cuts and very long directorial descriptions,
it's shorter than the corresponding sequence from the movie transcript...
and there's nothing to make military history buffs tear their hair, either.

Irrelevant and Anticlimactic?
The "Scouring" Considered, for Readers and Others

Broken Promises
The (many) disappointments of TTT-M, examined briefly (sort of).
Footnote and sarcasm warnings.

The Battle That Ate The Film
Helm's Deep vs all other aspects of the plot in TTT-M, with some hard
numbers (and graphs.)

The stupidity of the re-forging of Anduril scene from the ROTK trailer.
(What makes it worse is that they got the mechanics of forging blades
right earlier, in Isengard, which scene is used as the backdrop for the
menu lead-in on the Theatrical Edition DVD. Apparently they forgot in
the past year...)

An Alternative Outline
Not a full script, just a quick breakdown of how the scenes in a 3-hour film
version of TTT could go - and still be faithful to the books. After all, if the
makers of El Cid could fit in an impressive battle, a tournament, another battle,
and a war/siege/sortie into three hours - and also fit in two romances, several
court intrigues, treason and redemption and character development - surely
something of the kind could have been managed with the adaptation of this
epic story. Here's a rough sketch of how it might happen.

No Rohan in New Zealand?
It's now being said  by many posters (coming I believe straight from the EE
DVD propaganda) that the scenes from 'The Riders of Rohan" were moved to
a piece of volcanic terrain more resembling Iceland than the rolling hills and
wetlands of East Emnet  in the book, because there are no plains in NZ for
them to film on. Well, there may not be much that's flattish as compared to the
highlands and mountains - but a quick google will find plenty of images of terrain
that looks suspiciously like the "green sea" of the fine horse country of the Mark.
For anyone else who winced every time horses were shown running through those
awful tufa slopes - here are links to a few examples.

"The King of the Golden Hall"
A rough take, with as-yet minimal cuts, on how this sequence could have been
scripted otherwise. More trimming is required; yet even as it stands, read and
paced out, it only takes twice the length of the same sequence in TTT-M, some
of which minutes could be removed from uncanon Osgiliath, and others from
uncanon Rivendell, and still more from the Helm's Deep sequence - that one
chapter doesn't really need to take up 1/4 of all the movie screentime, does it?
(Surely something could be left for the EE-DVD, right, for the fanboys who just
want to see hack-em-up action and don't care about coherent plots or characterization....)

A Canon Scene of Low Comedy for TTT
Exactly what it says.

—Still think TTT-the- Movie is better than Lawrence of Arabia, El Cid, The Longest Day, The Bridge At Remagen, Grand Illusion, The Great Escape, Aleksandr Nevsky and The Seven Samurai put together, or that Peter Jackson is a superior director to David Lean, Michael Korda, Jean Renoir, Terrence Malick, and Akira Kurosawa on their best days? Tell me why, then, if you want, with specific examples, but don't waste my time asserting that LOTR and LOTR-M can't be compared 'cause they're different media — or I'll regale you with the specifics of at least three different film versions of Jane Eyre and which ones failed and how, when all were "accurate" adaptations, and sundry other movie treatments that were in some ways superior to the books they were based on until you'll wish you never heard the word "adaptation"...