The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Movie Reviews | Dec 19th, 2001

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Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Sean Bean, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler
Written By: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Directed By: Peter Jackson
Right off the bat, GO SEE THIS! It doesn’t matter if you never read the books. Go see this movie whenever you can.

I believe LOTR: Fellowship Of the Ring is now my favorite movie of all time. Star Wars WAS my favorite but any of those movies, yes even Empire, doesn’t compare to this. And this is only the first movie too! I first read the books after the super teaser trailer came out on the web, and I read it twice since then. I remember seeing both the cartoon version of LOTR and the Hobbit, and they didn’t do it for me. The cartoon version of LOTR was a bomb and they didn’t get to make the other part of the movie. Plus the animation was absolutely terrible.

I’m not that big of a geek that wears cloaks to a theater, or can speak Elvish or something. But man I’ve been getting excited for this for awhile now. I wanted all my friends and family to enjoy the experience with me, so I had about 10 people go with me to see this 10am showing. I get to my theater, in the mall, and there was a HUGE line. Which I didn’t expect, since it being in the middle of the week, work day, school day and didn’t think there was many Tolkien fans in my area. It was crazy.

I even saw some guy wearing a cloak/cape like Frodo Baggins. This definitely had a star wars feel to it as everyone ran into the movie theater when it opened up. It was like a stampede to get seats. So my friends and family had to split up since most seats were taken already. Thankfully didn’t see a million commercials and just a few short trailers. And then the movie began and my eyes lit up with delight and excitement. Now for some people who never read the book, this is the official production notes (thanks about the film:

The future of civilization rests in the fate of the One Ring, which has been lost for centuries. Powerful forces are unrelenting in their search for it. But fate has placed it in the hands of a young Hobbit named Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), who inherits the Ring and steps into legend. A daunting task lies ahead for Frodo when he becomes the Ringbearer – to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom where it was forged. But he can’t do it alone. A Fellowship bands together to lend Frodo the wisdom of Gandalf (Ian McKellen); the loyalty of his friends Sam (Sean Astin), Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd); the courage of Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Boromir (Sean Bean); the skill of Legolas (Orlando Bloom); and the strength of Gimli (John Rhys-Davies). They are aided in their quest by Arwen (Liv Tyler), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving), whose knowledge of the One Ring brings to light the true danger and importance of their journey.

With that being said, I’ll talk about the movie itself. It’s 3 hours folks, so bring a pillow and blanket, take off your shoes, stay’s worth it. But not once, did I think, when is this going to end already. It was fast paced and it was different from the book in a few scenes and they cut out a lot of things as well. Those things that they cut or changed was, I think, for the better. It moved the story along instead of dragging it out. For instance, they cut the character called Tom Bombadil who is annoying in the books and just sings all the time. I hated reading those parts in the books. They also changed a scene that involved a elf named Glorfindel, and used Arwen, played by Liv Tyler instead.

There was an uproar on the Internet because of this but I don’t see what all the fuss is all about. She was still good in the film, the 5 minutes that she’s in it. Every actor and actresses did a great job and I think they should get some Oscar nominations. Elijah wood is a great Frodo Baggins, and he pulls off that British accent quite well. I was kind of nervous when I first heard him in the trailers but he did an excellent job. Ian Mckellen IS Gandalf. He was so terrific as the wizard, he was dead on. Give this man the Oscar right now! Viggo Mortensen IS Aragorn. Everybody is dead on and this is how I envisioned them to be. Viggo wasn’t the first choice to be the ranger, but came on the picture later than everyone else. He’s great at acting, swordfighting and even my mom is in love with him now. haha. Sean Astin did a great job as Sam. I don’t think there was enough of him.

Also there wasn’t a lot of screentime of Legolas or Gimli. There was stuff of them, just not enough I think. Christopher Lee was fantastic as the evil Saruman. There was a cool fight scene between the wizards Gandalf and Saruman, which was only told at the Council of Elrond in the book. I thought that guys who play Pippin and Merry were awesome as well. They were the comic relief of the film. Ian Holm as the lovely hobbit Bilbo Baggins was dead on as well. But what I loved the most were the Black Riders. WOW, they were scary! I have a bunch of toys of them. I love the loud screeching noise that they make.

Though, The person to make this all happen was Peter Jackson. I think of this man as a god now. Can he direct or what! The camera shots were amazing. The aerial views felt like a roller coaster. You’ll know what I mean when you see it. If he doesn’t get an Oscar for directing, than Hollywood is bullshit. Even though it already is. This movie didn’t feel like your ordinary Hollywood film. The CGI was tremendous, and it certainly equals or is better than the work of ILM. I can’t believe how they pulled off using normal size actors as hobbits, which are about 3 foot 6 inches. I believe they used a variety of camera tricks, and computer work to shrink them down. They used midgets for some scenes, when they weren’t looking at the camera or it was an aerial shot. They also sat on their knees sometimes, or had someone stay close to the camera and give it a false perspective. It was simply amazing. The cave troll, Balrog, the vast number of armies in the prologue looked incredible. The ugly looking orcs and urak hai weren’t CGI, up close at least, and they were frightening!

I’m glad Peter Jackson didn’t make these movies for kids like some other directors. *cough George Lucas cough*. So did this movie live up to the hype? You better believe it! Everyone in the theater was really into this film from what I can tell. They laughed, cried, jumped in their seats, and I was one of them. It was a perfect movie going experience. If you were smart, you’d see this movie NOW NOW NOW!!!!

Favorite Scenes: I had several…The Black Riders chase near the Ford, Mines of Moria and the battle at the end.
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 200 minutes
Overall Rating:


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