Well, hello there to you all. If you’re reading this, then you want to know what I, That Guy, think about Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring. Or maybe you’re scrolling past to read what the others wrote. I maybe, you’re reading this on our Facebook page, and the only way to read any more would be to click on that handy little link around about here…
As the title suggests, this is my opinions on the first LOTR movie. This isn’t the only review. Go to our homepage and there should be two more reviews about this film lying around. Check them out too. Why not, right?
So, what is the film about? Well, there’s a magic ring, which a group of nine beings must set out to destroy. This is part one of their 3 part quest to destroy the ring in the big volcano where it was first forged.
Probably the shortest, most accurate plot summary for any LOTR movie you’ve ever seen, right? Let’s see if the others can do better, eh?
So, what do I think?
Well… where do we start? Plot, as I usually do.
It’s a fairly good plot, as films go. You have your merry start, your sudden change, a few shock moments, one of two expositions and BAM! The shit hits the fan with the arrival of black riders who are after that ring. One minute they’re in a field, then off a cliff, then with carrots and then it gets worrying. They run, you get the thrill of their chase, and then it all looks good when they meet Strider, and even after Frodo gets stabbed by the magic knife, you know he’s fine ‘case he wakes up in Rivendell which is the safest place for miles.
But no. He’s a fucking moron and agrees to go and destroy it, which, admittedly, is the plot of the book and pretty much the point, but him doing it, when he can’t even get from safe place A, through safe places B, C and D, to safe place E, without nearly dying, is a BAD idea.
And the film goes on as such – they find a place they think is alright, something goes down and it isn’t so alright. Moria, Lothlorien and the Falls of Rauros. Turns out no-where is safe, and they’re lucky to have all survived… Or have they? Or rather, did they? I don’t want to tell you too much, because, you know, it might ruin the film, but Boromir dies, Frodo and Sam run away to Mordor alone, Merry and Pippin get kidnapped by Orcs and the rest try to save the latter two Hobbits.
Ha. End ruined.
What do I think though? Well, it has its ups and down and you get a few shocks and a few scares, so all things considered, it has what it needs. There’s a steady amount of relaxed time to action filled times, and the fact that Moria is a half hour thing, 15 minutes of which are emotion fueled combat scenes, really gets you thinking that this might be a darn good film.
It is a bit long though. We needed every minute of it, in retrospect, but I’m sure we could have cut down an awful lot of the Lothlorien bits and some of the Shire bits to make it, say a 2 hours film, maybe 2 1/2 hours, instead of the 3 that it is. I don’t mind so much, but on the re-watch, it can be quite annoying…
Shut up Boromir…
So what about the cast and their portrayal of the characters?
And Bilbo (Ian Holm) at the back, but he’s a minor character at most…
Well, since they are the eponymous characters, I’ll focus on them mostly for this section.
I found the characters likeable, or otherwise, as they should be. Boromir, you root for, but hope gets stabbed in places you shouldn’t consider the existence of, whilst the Hobbits are supported throughout, for their “bravery” and companionship. There’s definitely a sense of homo-eroticism between Frodo and Sam, as well as Merry and Pippin, and, in later films, Legolas and Gimli, but more on that later.
Gandalf was portrayed brilliantly by Ian McKellen, as are all the characters I’ve seen him play, whilst Gimli was, although a stubborn character, one that I found engaging and likeable. They all fit their descriptions and purposes brilliantly, and are played in just the right way ALL the time. Aragorn has the air of a king about him, as does Boromir, even if the latter is a bad king. Legolas feels like an immortal being who would rather not trouble himself with the problems of the rest of the world, whilst Gimli is a fierce bugger.
Elrond, played by Hugo Weaving, and Samuran, played by Christopher Lee, are great characters, who both have the air of power behind them, but their own personalities on top. Elrond has the power of knowledge, which he uses to help fuel his benevolence (we learn that he was originally a warrior in the prologue), whilst Saruman has the power of magic behind him, which helps corrupt him to join the bad guy, Sauron. Plus, he was played by Christopher Lee, so of course he was gonna be a bad guy really…
That’s pretty much everyone worth mentioning. My favourite character? Gimli. Favourite actor? Ian McKellen. They both just make me smile.
The effects, remembering that this was released just before Christmas in 2001, are pretty neat. The use of models, the detail in the clothing and weaponry, the computer effects and the sound effects all fit the purposes. They used foley a few times, and having seen a behind the scenes thing, I was pretty impressed by the sounds they made, and how they made them. The fire-works scenes, plus the Balrog scene, really made me excited with how special effects go, even today. Gandalf, a man with a big stick and a light on the end, against a monster made of fire and shadow, fighting in a place you KNOW doesn’t really exist.
That’s gotta be good.
The places all look pretty neat, filmed in New Zealand – it was a good choice, I think, mostly due to the range of areas they needed, and could choose from. You need it, New Zealand’s got it. If I ever get the money, I’ll visit some of the places, particularly Hobbiton.
And the music?
Well, the music is very good. Original scores are kind of something I like to collect where possible, as are soundtracks. I collected all the music from the Fellowship film, and my favourite pieces are from the Shire scenes, the more carefree scenes, because they’re more relaxed and happier. Although, to be fair, the battle sounds are great – the music leading up to, during and following, really help to set the mood and get you ready for what’s about to happen. That’s what music is for though, isn’t it? It does its job well though, that’s without a doubt.
What else can I talk about? The characters were good, the acting was great, the filming good, camera work splendid, the plot spectacular, the length a bit too much, the effects superb and the sounds fantastic.
That sum it up? Yes it does.
Shut up Boromir! Just can’t get the support of fictional characters these days…
I really don’t know what else to write about, so here it comes. My score. Brace yourselves. Taking into account the length, the greatness of the scenes, and every other thing I’ve said so far…