movie film review | chris tookey

Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

2001 - New Line Productions, Inc. - all rights reserved
  Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Review
Tookey's Rating
10 /10
Average Rating
8.58 /10
Frodo Baggins: Elijah Wood , Gandalf: Ian McKellen , Aragorn: Viggo Mortensen
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Directed by: Peter Jackson
Written by: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson , based on the book by J.R. R. Tolkien

Released: 2001
Origin: New Zealand / US
Colour: C
Length: 178

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"Endless close-ups of Wood’s icy eyes and repeated zooms on the golden ring fail to draw us in to what’s supposed to be a riveting quest."
"It goes on forever."
(Richard Roeper, EBERT & ROEPER)
“Sure, the film’s technical aspects are vastly elaborate, the characters well cast, and the special effects amazing. So, what else do you expect from a big budget extravaganza like this? How about a story that does not find itself distracted with every step? Or characters that are not puppets of the plot? Is it really too much to ask for a movie to obey the guidelines it sets for itself... LOTR bored me to death. The best way to tell if a book adaptation really works it to ask if the movie makes you want to read the material it is based on. Before watching LOTR, I was inspired by the great hype, and considered read Tolkien’s towering novels. After watching this movie, I would not read any of the author’s books if they were the last novels on the face of the planet. I fear the next two productions in this dreadful series. We can only hope they’re not three hours long!”
(Blake French, NUTZWORLD)
“Elephantine... Personally, I'm heading back to the Harry Potter movie, which has fantasy and effects plus wittier charm, and some lives scaled to a human dimension.”
“The pacing of the picture bogs the entire thing down. The actors look deep into each other's eyes time and time again, usually in slow motion, seemingly grinding the film to a halt, as it stretches itself out past the three hour mark... The movie goes in circles and never seems to come to an end.”
“Has been billed as an effects extravaganza, but overall, these are a considerable letdown after such a massive buildup. While the hobbitization effect - which takes normal-sized actors and digitally shrinks them down to appropriate size - is alarming at first, eventually you get used to it (though Astin's ringlets and chubby cheeks are just plain creepy). Hobbits aside, it's the glaringly obvious digital/miniature/matte painted backdrops that start to wear you down. Our adventurers set out across countless picturesque vistas - but when these are left untweaked, they look strikingly like boring old New Zealand (where the film was shot). To offset this, Jackson inserts outrageous monuments into the background to build a fantasy world. When he adds simple ruins or rocky outcroppings, it works fine, but when it's an entire phony city, it just isn't believable, and that pulls you out of the story. If I see another movie (Star Wars: Episode I and Gladiator also abused this to an extreme) where a few digital birds go flying across the digital sunset over the digital buildings again, I'll puke. While the film is studded with action, the fights are not particularly well-choreographed, either. You don't get a good sense of scale of the big battles, and the in-close fighting is edited too frantically to follow well... The magic effects are alternately stellar and disappointing. While Gandalf's showdown with the demon Balrog is arguably the film's high point, his skirmish with rival Saruman (Christopher Lee, bearing a staff with what I swear is a golf ball on top) is pretty lame - two old geezers just pointing their staffs at one another, which sends the other one flying against the wall, over and over again. It's hard to believe the sequences are from the same movie.”
(Christopher Null,
"Utterly, utterly, uninvolving… The endless talk is high-flown, to say the least, many a line (‘Long have I desired to look upon the kings of old’) feels as if it had begun life after years in an illuminated manuscript, and should have stayed put. Still, the film offers a lot to those who have already the Hobbit. To others who haven't, it offers too little. Its strength, and its weakness, too, is excessive reverence for the book's talismanic status. Myself, I'd simply have settled for enchantment."
(Alexander Walker, Evening Standard)
“[In Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures] the fantasy world was significantly a symptom of regressive, emotionally dysfunctional teenagers. Whether or not that’s a fair description of The Lord of The Rings’ target fanbase, I can hardly say, but we are certainly expected to buy into this fantasy without qualificationn. And it is sometimes a pretty serious - not to say humourless - world... Signing up to the movie’s whole hobbity-elvish universe requires a leap of faith, a leap very similar to the ones that the characters are always doing across bridges and crumbling, vertiginous precipices. It’s a leap I didn’t much feel like making - and, with two more movie episodes like this on the way, the credibility gap looks wider than ever.” (Peter Bradshaw, Guardian)

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