I've been trying really hard not to get my hopes up too much for 6:30 p.m. tonight, when we go see Return of the King (what else?). As I've said elsewhere, I hated the movie Two Towers. And I hear that Denethor doesn't come off well, and there's no Saruman or Houses of Healing, and there are apparently six different endings (okay, for me that's a feature not a bug, but it will annoy Chad), and while I love the following paragraph from Stephen Hunter's review in the Washington Post, it does suggest that the Corsairs has been taken out:
And the battle turns, so it works out, on something that every Great War vet must have thought about at moments of crisis on the battlefield. Suppose, he must have thought, all the men who died here, suppose suddenly now, in the day when Heaven was falling, the hour when Earth's foundations fled, suppose we were helped by our own dead, who would rise and carry the day. Men who've seen a lot of death would necessarily think that; and so it is that Aragorn arrives with the Army of the Dead, and turns the tide against the dark hordes from Mordor.
But I'm still really excited by the commercials and trailers and all the good reviews. And this is bad, because I know there will be things that I don't like and I don't want my inflated expectations to overreact to them.
So here's the scary way of managing expectations that I saw elsewhere (in a locked post or I'd link; if the suggester wishes to take credit here, please do):
Pretend that Peter Jackson died (or quit, or what-have-you) just after finishing the second movie, and George Lucas has taken over.