Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Crawford, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!
    If you need to discuss those type of issues, I have designated an Official Discussion Thread which can be found at this link.
  2. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

    Jun 3, 1999
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    Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    Directed by Peter Jackson
    Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Screenplay by Peter Jackson, Frances Walsh and Philiipa Boyens
    Length: 178 minutes
    Theatrical Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
    Rating: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] out of [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Who would have thought that in the span of just over a month, we would have two terrific films involving Wizardry based on hugely popular novels? To think at one point the genre never interested me, all of a sudden we are introduced to "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," a film (and a book) that made me feel like a kid again with it's irresistable story of boy wizard Harry and his first year at Hogwarts. And now, 2001's Epic is upon us with Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring," a truly wonderful and audacious film, that, I think, is the makings of a classic. Though, keeping in mind, we're dealing with some pretty terrific source material here. Although unread by me, J.R.R. Tolkien's book is cherished and devoured by millions, and the film adaption should be judged on its own merits and not in relation to the novel. (Though many will just not listen to me on this point)
    The film begins on the origin of a mysterious ring, which then moves along many years later to the current ring holder, a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm). Bilbo, after a long 111 years of life, wants to move on to a permanent vacation, and therefore trusts the ring with his nephew Frodo (Elijah Wood). What is this ring? It isn't just a ring that belongs on your finger, rather it is a ring of true evil and horror, and it is certainly wanted by the evil power that is the Dark Lords.
    Frodo certainly must do something about this. With the help of a wizard named Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Aragon (Viggo Mortensen), an exiled king who swears to protect Frodo, and a group of Frodo's fellow Hobbits, they journey to the Crack of Doom to destroy the evil ring. This leads them all the way through middle earth, snowy peaks and forests, with danger and discoveries all along the way.
    It's a gamble of a story, and no doubt many purists will try to piece apart the book from the film adaption. It's fair enough to compare the mediums to an extent, but they are just that: different mediums of entertainment. What works on the page may not always work on the screen, but Jackson (who also co-wrote the screenplay) succeeds in this rousing film journey, so I say just sit back and enjoy the ride.
    The production and visual appeal of "The Fellowship of the Ring" is a real strong point. The film is open and wide, every frame filled with a purpose. Even if you're a viewer hooked only on visuals -- there is an amazing depth of imagery to look at here. From the depths of inner earth to the alternate reality of the hobbit villages (a particular standout is a fireworks sequence), there's one incredible visual discovery after another.
    And yet, somehow, Jackson maintains a strong level of humanity. There's a strong and welcome bond to Frodo and Samwise. There's Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), an exiled king, who is sworn to help Frodo, yet must come to terms with his feelings for Arwen (Liv Tyler, whose confirmation of a small role will certainly put to rest all of the online bickering about her character's adaption). Overall, we care for these people and feel for them, and Jackson does not wear out any of it.
    If you've read the books or not, "The Fellowship Of The Ring" is a complete cinematic experience, full of life, great writing and interesting characters. Do I have all the answers to Tolkien's story? Of course not. One of these days I will certainly sit down and be sucked into his writing, but for filmgoers, there's nary an Epic Film this year that's better than what you have here.
    --Seen at: Star Cinema, Sidney BC. Advance screening.
  3. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 1, 2001
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    short and sweet..and i dont have the 1 sheet like Jay [​IMG]
    4 1/2 out of 5
    i do want to stress that it might go up on wednesday when i see it for a second time. i think tonight i was in full geek mode and lacked concentration [​IMG]. or just wanted an excuse to see it again
    PS..the goldmember trailer is genious
  4. TerryRL

    TerryRL Producer

    Sep 12, 2001
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    Amazing! Simply amazing. Easily the best "event" film I've seen in years. Hats off to Peter Jackson and co. for pulling off the monumental task of turning a classic book into a classic film. I've already got tickets to see it two more times this week (Wednesday and Friday). I can't wait to get my hands on this DVD.
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  5. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

    Jul 4, 1997
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    I was shocked, absolutely shocked, and how good this movie turned out to be. Well depicted, well acted, with an incredible attention to detail. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring delivered in such a way that it reminded me of what good films truly are.

    I have to say, it has been since Pulp Fiction, and before that Empire Strikes Back, that I walked out of a film and didn't say "that was a good movie" but said "that was an experience"

    Don't get me wrong, I love art films, and some of my favorite films stick to me in ways that LOTR cannot. But Lord of the Rings harkens back to some of the best of epics - films like Ben Hur, etc.

    I've spent the last few years going to films and generally saying 'much better then I thought it would be' and 'it's a popcorn film, what can you expect.' And that doesn't mean that I didn't like those films.. I'm one of those people who truly enjoyed The Phantom Menace for what it was and look forward to the sequel.

    But LOTR is a different kind of film; it isn't a 'popcorn' film in that sense; it stretches back and grabs some of what is the best of film a grand epic that seems as though it isn't some overwrought attempt to hit certain "key demographics". It's not "test marketed" to appeal to "repeat business segments". What it is is great film.

    I originally picked LOTR to finish third in my box office expectations; I will probably revise that a little, though I think the length of the film, as well as it's nature will prevent it from being a titanic-type event.

    But LOTR is definitely a film that deserves to be seen on the big screen.

    **** out of ****
  6. Michael Dueppen

    Michael Dueppen Stunt Coordinator

    Sep 19, 2000
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    I have read the books once somewhere around the age of 10 or so. Now I'm 25 so that was some time ago and I don't remember most of the details. But I had many images from the way I imagined scenes from the book burned into my mind.
    Last week I saw Harry Potter and I had incredibly high expectations which the movie fell short of meeting (I enjoyed the film quite a bit, though. It was just missing some scenes that I feel should not have been omitted).
    Anyway, I had even higher expectations for Felloship Of The Ring. And these expectations were not only met but exceeded. The imagery is unbelievable. The effects are great and they are really used to tell the story. You could tell when you saw effects shots but it was never even close to bad.
    I felt that especially the main actors were absolutely great and I could not have imagined someone else doing better. The images from the film surprisingly often come close to what I imagined scenes to look like all those years.
    In a few hours time I'll see the film again two times in a row.
    To me together with Memento and Fight Club this is the best movie of the last couple of years.
    I have not felt like this since I saw A New Hope for the first time.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    One Ring To Rule Them All...
  7. Dominik Droscher

    Dominik Droscher Supporting Actor

    Sep 11, 2000
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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The only thing I could now wish for is an extended version with even more of the images and characters Peter Jackson brought to live. I hope the DVD can satisfy this desire.
    Of course he was not able to put every detail out of the books into the movie but he succeeded in bringing Middle Earth to live. As Ian McKellan said in one of his interviews: "I believe.". It's 5.15 am at the moment and I am still fully awake and thinking about the event I just witnessed.
  8. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

    Sep 14, 1998
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    Steven Simon
    The first word that comes to my mind after viewing this 3 hour Masterpiece is Magical!!!
    From start to finish, Peter Jackson engulfs you in a world of pure Fantasy.... This movie has the most spectacular landscapes that I have ever seen on film. From start to finish, your jaw is constantly hitting the floor.
    Folks, this movie has it all!!! This movie starts out in the Shire, the homeland of the Hobbits. This land is filled with Lush Green Vegitation that could virtually be smelled through the screen. From there the young Hobbits starts there quest on a long arguous journey, and eventually meet up with there Fellowship......
    Specials effects in this movie are done brilliantly.
    They fit seamlessly into the story, and never once become distracting......
    IMHO this will give Mr. Lucas a run for his money...
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] out of [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  9. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

    Sep 15, 1999
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    My Review: FANTASTIC!

    Can people state in their reviews if they have read the books or not. Thanks!
  10. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

    Feb 7, 2000
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    San Antonio
    Real Name:
    Henry Carmona
    Oh My God!!!
    I just got home from watching LOTR and I have never been moved by a movie as much as LOTR moved me.
    I just cant begin to tell you how amazed i was, and still am [​IMG]
    I can honestly say that this is the best movie i have ever seen and can tell you that i dont remember feeling this way when i saw Star Wars.
    Easily, the best part for me was
    ...when Gandalf went up against the Balron(sp?), and when he fell [​IMG]
    I was so sad and a little kid next to me was just balling, i couldnt help it either.
    Well, i will watch this again and again and again.
    I cant wait till next year!
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  11. Jin E

    Jin E Second Unit

    Nov 19, 2000
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    Since it's 3:20am and I have to be up at 6:00 to get to work... I'll make this short.
    To give you an idea where my tastes lie, I though Gladiator was Mediocer. I love Staw Sars trilogy and hated TPM. I would rather stick flaming hot pokers in my eyes instead of watching Titanic. My all time favorite movie is Big Lebowski (it ties the movies together).
    Anyhoo... I though this was a good movie. Is it the absolutly be-all end-all of movies? No. It is VERy well done. This is probably the first CGI movie I have watched where every 5 minutes I don't think to myself "Damned CGI".
    Pacing was good (though not perfect) and bit here and there seems to be just thrown in (Arwen + Aragorn scene, some of the dialogue, etc).
    The Balrog was UNBELIEVABLE! This is by far the best CGI character I have ever seen. The brief glimpes of Golum look very convincing.
    The two performances that I was dissapointed with were Kate Blanchet (I love her though!) and Elrond's Character. It might just be my perception of elves... but it almost seems like they were trying too hard to be elvish. I'm sure other's opinions will vary.
    All in all it was a well worth my $7. I would wholeheartedly recommend anyone to see this movie. You can really see the director's love of the material showing though. Go see this movie!
    (edit) excuse my poor spelling... but I'm tired damnit! [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  12. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

    Jun 18, 2001
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    I have not read the books since I was 8 years old, almost 25 years ago.

    I was exhausted from not sleeping well the night before.

    I was unable to eat dinner since I was terribly busy tying loose ends in order to catch this fim.

    I've not been in a theater in over two years.

    I watched this film, the first public showing, at 12:01 a.m.

    Nothing mattered any more. This is the film of my generation. I believe this may become the film of everyone's generation.

    In my 32 years, I have never seen a movie twice at the theater. And there have been many movies I loved.

    I will see this movie at a theater, again.

    I cannot give this movie any stars, thumbs, points, etc. A movie of this caliber defies ratings.

    As a child, do you remember waiting up all night in anticiaption of something you imagined would be so great? Tonight, I cannot fall asleep since I've just experienced something so great.

    I hope this movie grips everyone as it did me. I think it will.
  13. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

    Dec 4, 1999
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    I'll be the fly in the ointment here
    First off, there was ZERO blasphemy, which has me smiling big time. I loved it, it wasn't perfect but it was damn, damn fine. The Balrog, all I can say is holy f***ing s**t!!!!!!!!!!!! PERFECT! Casting/design etc was perfect but now it's time for.....
    1- Time compression. It just nagged at me throughout the film. No, I don't think I could have done better in the time allotted, but it annoyed me. The restructuring of the beginning especially.
    2- Merry&Pippen, yes I realize that given the time their roles needed to be truncated. But they ended up as little more than comic relief. Hopefully that will change in pt 2.
    3- Bilbo's farewell speech. He's supposed to be jovial, not brooding
    4- "Ring Monster" Bilbo growling at Frodo, Galadriel turning into dark goddess, even Gandalf's was just totally overblown.
    5-The opening background. I thought it could have been done better using paintings, like the ones around the Sword That Was Broken. Then again, I seem to be one of the few that likes that opening to Dune. They also screwed up, Ilsidur was killed because he was hiding and the ring slipped off his finger, not just because he was jumped
    6-The early introduction of Gollum in Moria, unnecessary, he does look cool though [​IMG]
    7- Unnecessary additions: The octopus, Merry&Pippen stealing the Dragon Firework, etc etc. Time could have been used to less truncate other scenes.
    8- Galadriel. Totally wrong characterization, and Lothlorien was so truncated it almost felt like it should be cut.
    9- Aragorn's reluctance to accept his role. In the book he's the exact opposite, he plans to leave the Fellowship and go on to Gondor to reclaim his throne when they reach that point, none of the "trouble accepting" crap
    I'm sure I'll come up with more, but it's late [​IMG]
  14. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

    Dec 28, 1998
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    Just got back from the midnight showing...
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] out of [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The sheer size and scope of the film was simply breathtaking. Peter Jackson and his cast and crew have created a wonderfully realized world that offers up one stunning vista after another. I consider the film a staggering accomplishment for its ability to bring to life Tolkien's novel in a way that feels so 'right'. While there may be no touchstone other than the novels themselves, I was struck by how many things in the novel were as I had visualized them myself. ( I believe that the filmmakers employed some of the illustrators from various editions of LOTR, and if in fact that is the case; it was money well spent. )
    I enjoyed all of the performances but the real standouts for me were Elijah Wood and Ian McKellan. I've enjoyed all of McKellan's performances but in this film he simply WAS Gandalf. Just a great performance from a great actor. I'm unsure who the contenders for the award may be, but my pick for the Supporting Actor Oscar has to be McKellan. ( Lee was quite good as Saruman but his lack of screen time puts him at a disadvantage when compared to McKellan, IMHO. )
    Elijah Wood's Frodo is the emotional centerpiece of the film, and Wood did not disappoint me. His performance was probably the most crucial one in the film, in terms of 'selling' the film and he was up to the task. Near the conclusion of the film, you begin to see the transformation of his character as his resolve strengthens. I look forward to Wood's performances in the upcoming films.
    The effects work was seamless ( or at least near seamless ). There were simply too many great sequences for me to name in this post; so I'll name a few that made an impression upon me...
    - Saruman's tower and the pits beneath the tower.
    - The makeup and prosthetics for the orcs, goblins, and the cave troll.
    - The Shire.
    - The Mines of Moria ( especially the bridge sequence ). Loved the Balrog.
    - Finally, the Ford at Bruinen. According to the credits, Digital Domain was responsible for the wave sequence. Perhaps my favorite FX shot in the film. I really admired the elegance of this sequence.
    Just a terrific film. I'll be seeing this again later this week. ( BTW, I have read and am a fan of the novels. Jackson did a great job on the first novel. )
    - Walter.
  15. Paul W

    Paul W Second Unit

    Dec 17, 1999
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    Well, the movie wasn’t all that much to look at . . . .

    WHO AM I KIDDING? It was three hours of bliss.

    The look and feel were just perfect. I felt like I was in Middle-Earth. Those who say Ian WAS Gandalf were right. He is what actors should be: the personification of depth and range of character and emotion. Perfect. The elves were splendidly done in ethereal light. Arwen was actually very good. Galadriel was good for the limited screen time.

    Unlike a lot of people, I thought the CGI was very well done (much better than HP, by the way – watch your back, ILM indeed). I didn’t hear the repeated instances of “And then . . . and then . . . and then” that some folks complained about. I wonder if they were trimmed.

    The music was fitting most of the time, but awkward in a few places (like some parts in Moria). I didn’t get the sense that the themes were too repetitive. I did not find the recorder passages very annoying like some. I guess Titanic has ruined this instrument for all of us henceforth.

    The Balrog was f********** awesome. I liked the ambiguous treatment of the wings and the face was just adorable. The sword and whip were just out of this world.

    Gollum’s eyes were a joy to watch. I actually look forward to seeing him in TT and ROTK (unlike a certain other CGI character – you know to whom I refer!)

    The changes to the story did seem a bit disconcerting at times. RTFs are either going to love it or hate it.

    Some niggling complaints:

    The sound mix seemed off. Portions of dialog were hard to understand. Other portions were overshadowed by music.

    PJs use of tinting and coloring were almost perfect at setting the various moods EXCEPT for one part near the end where the color shift was too abrupt where it should not have been. This was disorienting and I think it could have been done a little bit better.

    Elrond said “. . . from whence . . .” Bad slip on the dialog, guys!

    Speaking of Elrond, I think this is the one unfortunate casting choice. He sounded too much like Agent Smith. During the council, I was suddenly taken back to the interrogation of Neo. Ooops, wrong film guys (something you never want to happen!)

    There were only two visible decapitations. I am, to say the least, disappointed.

    One more unfortunate thing (for me only). I am so familiar with the book, that the emotion of the film seemed a bit removed and isolated. I didn’t feel sad when Gandalf was lost. I didn’t feel scared when the Balrog showed his face. I really hope the film makes a better connection with the general audience.

  16. Dana Fillhart

    Dana Fillhart Supporting Actor

    Feb 8, 1999
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    This is it!
    My one hope, when I walked into the theatre, was: Could this film be the defining Fantasy-genre Film? After so, so many years of films that either missed the bar or mocked it, after so many agonizing tries and turns...it's finally here.
    I went to see, on the spur of the moment, actually, a midnight showing of the movie. Surprisingly, my friend and I were able to get tickets at a very popular locale in Clifton as late as 7:30pm; when we arrived for the 12:01am showing, the waiting lines were long, but, divided into two theatres, they actually did not pack all the seats. My friend and I were fairly fortunate -- we got center seats, near enough to the front to be immune from most distractions.
    Anywhere in that theatre, though, would've been enough to be absorbed -- no...transported...into the film -- the land of Middle Earth, as envisioned by Peter Jackson.
    Oh, where to begin? So much -- so very much to let out, but I just don't have nearly the nouns and adjectives to due it justice!
    Let me then dispense with the nitpicks; they were, mostly, minor.
    In comparison to the book, I would have preferred the book's way given explicit screen coverage, on how Legolas and Gimli became friends in Lothlorien; in fact, too much of the book's Lothlorien -- its significance to one of the main themes (the twilight time of the Elves) -- was lost. I also wished the film's dialogue would have matched more accurately to the book with respect to Gimli's relationship to the Mines of Moria; too much was skipped or changed, and it didn't flow as well as I felt it did in the book. As to the film itself, there were -- similar to Harry Potter but far less severe or obtrusive -- some aggravating edits: The one that stands out in my mind was Galadriel's initial mind-speech to Frodo -- due to an abrupt scene change, something she was saying was lost (it could've been a bad splicing of the reel locally; I'll know after I see it again later today at a different theatre) -- and too many scenes were spliced short of what they should have been (probably to cut the running time down) which diminished the sense of natural grandeur or which caused a dialogue point stick less effectively...but they were mostly few and far between, not enough to drag the film down. As for CGI, the only complaint here I have would be Galadriel's "test" -- while the physical change wasn't too bad, the voice change jarred me out of the scene too much (too reminiscent of bad horror flicks).

    And now the good...so MUCH good!
    I shed a lot of tears at so many scenes (placed in spoiler tags): Arwen's intro and her Elvish speech, and her incredible water-spirit summoning; Gandalf's confrontation with the Balrog (and the immediate consequence thereafter), and how the hobbits dealt with it emotionally; the introduction of Galadriel (whom I thought was absolutely enchanting), the (too-brief!) scenes of the tree-villages, Boromir's redemptive act
    ...yes, I actually had tears at all of these, and some others I can't recall!
    Say what you want about Orlando Bloom, but oh man can he shoot that bow!! One of my favorite scenes was the last attack (against the uruk-hai) -- he was flinging them so fast it was like he was shooting a gun...one-thwack!-two-thwack!-three-thwack! WOW! Gimli's prowess with the axe was amazing! And Aragorn and Boromir, very true to their warriors' abilities -- when Aragorn sliced off the head of the uruk-hai that downed Boromir
    , the audience -- with its only vocal outburst of the night -- raised its arms in unison with a loud, raucus cheer!
    Most impressive, though, for me, was Elijah Wood's Frodo, and how he metamorphosized from happy-go-lucky hobbit into deeply-mistrustful, ever-doubtful Ring Bearer; every scene he had with the ring was acted so damned perfectly, and oh GOD! those glimpses into the spiritual side and how it twisted into Frodo's soul were captured perfectly in the visual and audio presentation. Perfectly!
    There is too much material to gush over; I will just try to contain it to the feelings and observations I gave above.
    Yes, this film is what true fantasy is meant to be. For being the first to show it to me, thank you, Peter Jackson...a million times over, thank you! The races and their subtle and obvious relationships between each other, the incredible landscapes, the awesome and fearsome creatures, the expression of each character's skills and innate talents...all of it was done near-flawlessly, and synthesized together to make the best film of 2001, and -- most importantly to me -- the first and best Fantasy film ever made!
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - 95%, #1 of 2001

    "The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend." --Robert Jordan Dana Fillhart
  17. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

    Jan 17, 2001
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    John Steffens
    Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
    Having never read any of the book or knowing anything of the story line. I was impressed by the movie. Peter Jackson's dark and creepy dircetion and visualistic style seemed to be pulled off very nice.
    The movie was full of imagery and imagination. Everything from the make-up to the sets were all eye-candy.
    I really thought Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett gave great performances for their short time on screen.
    The movie had a nice touch of humor and scares to make this a very pleasent movie experience.
    Other things including musical score,creature effects and production design all add the greatness to the film.
  18. Joe_C

    Joe_C Supporting Actor

    Sep 29, 2000
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    I got back from the 12:01am showing about an hour and a half ago, and I was going to hold off on a review until tomorrow...but I just can't help myself. My experience was ever so slightly marred by the fact that the reel actually burned up (or something like that) with about 15 minutes remaining. And this at the fabled Chinese Theater in Hollywood! I thought the crowd I was with was going to tear the place down; they/we were rabid! And apparently, all the regular employees had gone home and left a pair of blind monkeys working the projector, because it took nearly a half hour before we got to witness the final few scenes.
    Nevertheless, the movie was absolutely incredible. The visuals were so gorgeous and were a near perfect representation of how I had pictured the various scenes in my head. The acting was impeccable, and the writing...well, we all know about the writing [​IMG]
    One more thing I have to say is that the Balrog was easily one of the most impressive creations I have ever seen. Definitely see it in a theater with a good sound system. You will be blown away!
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] out of [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  19. Kami

    Kami Screenwriter

    Jan 2, 2001
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    Warning: Some spoilers are below, especially for those who haven't read the books.
    On my way to the theater I was nervous. Nervous that it would never live up to the absolutely ridiculous expectations I have developed for it. I was shocked...totally shocked at how great this movie was. It was so good and perfect that it was like I was in a dream...I thought "am i really watching this??"
    It was that perfect...I thought I was in Middle-earth. The characters were absolutely oustanding...they did an amazing job here. The acting is phenonemal...for those who have doubts about Elijiah Wood, put them to rest...because HE IS Frodo Baggins. Viggo Mortensen IS Aragorn, Sean Astin *IS* Samwise, and most importantly of all...Ian McKellen *IS* Gandalf. These characters stood out more for me than any others, they were just so well depicted and beautifully acted.
    Another fantastic performance was Sean Bean as Boromir. One of the last scenes of the movie (people who have read the book will know what I'm talking about) is absolutely heart-breaking. There is REAL emotion in this movie. You feel their pain when Gandalf plummets into the shadows...the emotion is just so good. John Rhys-Davies as Gimli and Orlando Bloom as Legolas both played their roles amazingly, especially Rhys-Davies as Gimli. If you know what a dwarf is like (and how stubborn they are) you will have a few good chuckles in this film. Legolas is an amazing warrior...a true God with the bow. Orcs in his path fall like dominos...it was done really well! He is lightning quick, just like he's described in the books.
    Merry and Pippin bring some needed comic relief in the film, but it is NEVER overdone...it is thrown in at the perfect moments. The crowd in my theater loved them. I thought I would be annoyed by this, but it was well done...I'm looking forward to seeing how they develop in the following movies. Bilbo was great....this is some of the best acting I've seen Ian Holm do. What else can I say about the characters? Hmmm... Oh yeah, every Tolkien's fans dread... Arwen replacing Glorfindel! Liv Tyler really surprised me...after seeing this I can't think of anyone who would've done the role better. It must be the lighting or the makeup, but she is SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL in this movie...and is something that you would picture when Tolkien would describe how beautiful Elves are.
    The one character I didn't like was Galadriel. I guess it’s mainly because I did not picture her like this. She is very surreal and strange in the movie, almost too strange. I always pictured her as more friendly and approachable...not menacing. This is really my only gripe with the characters...thankfully she got hardly any screen time, as did Liv Tyler (Arwen is not a warrior princess folks). another character i wasn't too pleased with was Hugo Weaving as Elrond. It's not that I was just seeing Agent Smith, but he didn't seem quite right.
    OK...enough about the characters!
    THE LANDSCAPES! My God. You will never see such a mind-bogglingly beautiful film in your life...I guarantee it. Your jaw will hit the floor when you see some of these shots…the view of Isengard and Mordor is frightening…just terrible. Hundreds of thousands of goblins and orcs harvesting an army for Saruman, all working at once. It’s something I never thought I would see. Then there are many beautiful shots such as when Gandalf is riding Shadowfax to see Saruman. These are some images I’ll never shake from my head.
    THE SPECIAL EFFECTS! Well, a new standard has just been set. ILM better get on their asses and start putting some effort into their work, because this stuff makes it look like crap in comparison. I’ll give a few examples here:
    In the 10 minute prologue at the beginning where they describe the history of the ring, a great battle takes place. Men and Elves against the army of Sauron. It’s so fucking incredible…my lack of vocabulary here really shows (sorry) but I don’t know how else to explain it. Thousands and thousands of orcs, men, and elves battling…and then Sauron himself comes onto the battlefield. I am not going to spoil this, for it is one of the coolest scenes I’ve ever seen on screen. [​IMG] And what about The Balrog? WOW. That’s all I am going to say! This might go down as one of the most evil looking villains in movie history. Take your image of Satan and multiply it by a thousand times. Moria is massive - how did they achieve such scale?! Again, your jaw will be on the floor.
    The action in this movie was one of the biggest highlights (obviously). A scene that stand out is the Flight to the Ford…it’s intense. It’s longer and more drawn out than it is in the books though, which works to its advantage. The Ringwraiths are terrifying in this movie…you can really tell they were trying to emphasize this and they succeeded. All of the battle scenes between the Fellowship and the Orcs were great…but you can see the signs of editing to keep it to a PG13 level (there are some decapitations though). The battle in the Mines of Moria was probably the action highlight of the film. The Cave Troll was great…very organic looking, totally seamless with the environment.
    You do see glimpses of Gollum and he does look very good. As for a full CGI character, puts Jar Jar to absolute shame, that’s for sure!
    What about being true to the books? Well, for the most part yes the movie is. However it’s compressed and it shows in some parts. They stay a good while in Hobbiton (it’s so well done that you don’t want to leave!) but the trip from The Shire to Bree is REALLY cut down. We don’t get to meet Farmer Maggot (but we do hear him yelling at the Hobbits to leave his land!), and of course Bombadil and the Barrow Downs are gone. The trip from Bree to Rivendell is also pretty short. After Rivendell the story is much better paced though, and they hardly take any liberties at all, except for the stay at Lothlorien which is really short in the movie. The main thing is…LOTR is still there. The essence of it is there and if you don’t dwell on the small changes you will definitely enjoy it.
    One of the most amazing parts was the emotion in this film. Scenes that stand out are the death of Boromir and when Sam follows Frodo to leave for Mordor at the end. I cried and I’m not afraid to admit it. When Gandalf falls and they reach the other end of Moria is another tear jerker…*sniff*. Anyway, you can sense true friendship here…especially between Sam and Frodo. So much is told just by the looks on the faces of the characters…ahhhhhhhh, it was just so well done. This movie has depth and feeling to it. Yes, it is filled with amazing action, mind blowing special effects, and some of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, but what really wins me over is this stuff. The emotion is genuine and adds so much to the movie. Without this, the movie would be lifeless. I can’t emphasize this enough!
    And a quick word about the soundtrack…STUNNING!
    OK…I’ve been rambling…I will sum it up now:
    It was definitely worth all the waiting and anticipation for me. Never once have I seen a COMPLETELY FULL theater that quiet and that attentive. With 3 hours of movie, you’d think people would be getting up constantly for food and bathroom breaks…I saw only 2 people get out of their seats. Not a peep was heard throughout the film…it was like it captivated everyone. It captivated me that’s for sure…I still don’t believe that I just saw what I did.
    Like I said above, my main beefs with the movie was Galadriel and the whole Lothlorien part of the film, as well as how quickly they moved through the story before Rivendell (and also changing minor things, like how Merry joins them and how they get their swords). I’m not going to mention the other changes that we’ve all known about for a while…and while I would’ve liked to see it the original way, they did a great job adapting the new changes into the story, it’s pretty seamless.
    Overall though, I am still amazed at how well done this was. Some parts were different than I pictured but it was such a beautiful film overall. You may not be into the whole fantasy thing, but at least see the movie for its sheer beauty. I wish I could tell you more, but I don’t want to spoil anything else. All I can say is that some of it will stay in my head for a long time. I am biased and my “review” (if you want to call it that) definitely sounds a little fanboyish, but I am being honest here with everything I say. When you see this movie, you will be transported to Middle-earth, and you won’t budge an inch for every glorious second of it. There was a roaring applause in the theater after it finished, and Peter Jackson…if by some twisted piece of fate you read this, I am forever your servant!
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (out of 5)
  20. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Aug 6, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    Hey everyone,
    I'm not even bleary-eyed...hey, I got 3.5 hours of sleep. All I can think about is this movie. I'll have to edit this later, because there is a lot to say, but I need to read the other members reviews.
    The Background: I read the Hobbit in 3rd grade. Given the LOTR as a gift. Couldn't get through Tom Bombadil. Tried two more times unsuccessfully in my college years and early twenties. Finally (and determined [​IMG] ), I read the trilogy about 2 months ago for the first time.
    The Short and Sweet: Quite simply, cinema was created for this movie. There's powerful vision and unbelievable talent and love marshalled to bring this to the screen, and this was one of the very best moviegoing experiences of my life. It was mentally, emotionally, visually, and aurally the finest motion picture I have seen in years.
    More to come. I don't liked "rating" a movie (although I do it all the time [​IMG] ), so I will simply say that The Two Towers is far and away my most eagerly awaited movie, followed shortly by Return of the King.
    Peter Jackson and his dedicated team (who will certainly be recognized in MANY ways) are to be thanked and praised for their love and respect of the incredible story they were entrusted with. And many thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien, who inspired it.
    And of course, the "more to come" [​IMG]
    I'll start with the things that weren't to my preference.
    - Lothlorien: while I preferred how Cate performed (it was how "I" saw Galadriel), Lothlorien could have expanded a bit.
    - The wizard fight: less interesting than I thought it would (or could) be.
    - Elrond was not BAD, but Hugo W. periodically overdid it, although the "flashback" scenes were quite good.
    That's all I can remember. That might be it.
    Favorite bits[​IMG]
    - I enjoyed the opening narrative. It was somewhat flashy, but it led to...
    - The very real sense of menace and evil that exudes from Sauron and his minions...Frodo's time wearing the ring was INCREDIBLE, some of my favorite sequences, the Eye was everything you could fear.
    - The actors were TREMENDOUS.
    - CGI characters fully realized, special distinction to the Cave Troll for his mannerisms and character...he is a real achievement. The Balrog was a triumph of design, melding darkness and fire perfectly.
    - Comic moments were perfect; timing, placement, mood.
    - The effects completely served the story.
    - The last one I'll include was the gamut of emotions I felt during this film, particularly when they walked out of Moria. Joy and heartbreak, actual fear and delight, and overall wonder and the power of storytelling.
    I won't go into Box Office or awards (though I want to [​IMG] ). I expect FOTR to receive it's due. I have no fear for the remaing two films. New Line would not risk the critical raves they are getting, regardless of financial prospects. This DVD will probably make back the money required for all three films combined. The passion and vision remain in place to complete the story. This movie is a monument to storytelling and imagination. I admit to being biased, and loving it completely. My next viewing is this weekend, and it will be hard to wait [​IMG]
    Take care,

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