Ok, I just finished watching the third part. I read the book before-hand, so of course I'm a little disappointed.
The first two movies followed the book closely for the most part, with exceptions because of length/incongruency. This movie was 3hr and 30min. around. But damn, some of the best parts of the story were left out and/or changed. For no reason too. Would have taken only a few min of dialog to explain some things.
It doesn't keep the tension up as much as the books do. And why does Frodo do nothing except get stabbed in all the movies? WTF? His character is uber-weak in the movies. But OMFG. Some of the passages in the book made the hair on my neck jump out, and I was hoping for that in the movie, but they were omitted for some reason.
-When gandalf is in minas tirith, they hardly show his doubt, which made the book more exciting.
-Denethor is hardly a character. They don't even show him using one of the palantir, but they show peregrin(or was it merry?) looking into saruman's palantir and overcome with fear.
-After the siege of gondor, everyone just assumes Aragorn is king, which is hard to explain right now, but that's not how it was in the book. He doesn't even have to heal peregrin(merry?), eowen, or faramir, which was a little bummer. Of course main characters survive... but faramir wasn't even shown as a big character in the movies, his death could've been possible.
-Lord of the nazgul(I forget his name); his entrance sucks. He was the first to pass through the walls of minas tirith (whose walls had never been broken, or allowed enemies within, which wasn't displayed) and had a short speech with gandalf. A rooster crows at the end of their speech and halts the fighting temporarily because of sunlight, but it was a horn in the movie, and it didn't stop the fighting, it only meant rohan had come. This of course didn't happen, which was disappointing. The enemey's greatest weapon hardly has a part.
-The reason for marching all men to the black gates was not explained, except for as a distraction. Which is true, but they don't explain that the sauron would have to believe that they had the ring, and keep the lidless eye focused on them. All in all, the ring's power wasn't emphasized as much in the books. The eye never spots frodo for this reason.
-Samwise just walks right in to cirith ungol (or, what was that tower that wasn't explained to be the second tower in the second movie?). In the book he is halted by guardians.
Also, going back to the first movie, I think it ruined all of them when they first explained the ring's power. The best part about reading the first book was the beginning mystery about it.
Gollum was the best character in the movie. His portrayal stays truest to the book.
Flame, flame, flame....
Read the book, or for those of you who have read the book, watch the movie. Tell me what you think. Of course I know making it a movie was hard, but, the book came out in the 1950's (right?), so why not take the time to write a better screenplay. I mean, it's not like the harry potter craze, that they have to make the movies while the books are still hot.