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Plot: An ancient Ring thought lost for centuries has been found, and through a strange twist in fate has been given to a small Hobbit named Frodo. When Gandalf discovers the Ring is in fact the One Ring of the Dark Lord Sauron, Frodo must make an epic quest to the Cracks of Doom in order to destroy it! However he does not go alone. He is joined by Gandalf, Legolas the elf, Gimli the Dwarf, Aragorn, Boromir and his three Hobbit friends Merry, Pippin and Samwise. Through mountains, snow, darkness, forests, rivers and plains, facing evil and danger at every corner the Fellowship of the Ring must go. Their quest to destroy the One Ring is the only hope for the end of the Dark Lords reign! Runtime: 178 mins Release Date: 14 Mar 2001
One of the greatest films of all time. (by dgallegos)
Star Wars has been dethroned. Although George Lucas' movies are good in their own right except for the juvenile elements he puts in to sell toys to finance the franchise , his scripts which borrow heavily from J.R.R.Tolkien, mythology & religion can't compare with the brilliance of the literary trilogy `The Lord of the Rings'. Granted, Lucas took on a herculean task in writing & directing his story himself, but Tolkien's words, along with Peter Jackson's faithful adaptation & inspired vision, have created something no one man could equal. Of course, it helps <more>
that Jackson insisted on at least a 2 picture deal, & New Line Cinema was brave enough to foot the bill up front for 3 movies. They spent $180 million to film all 3 simultaneously. With the New Zealand exchange rate, that equals $360 million $90 million ea. , but since they used many of the same sets, and FX development costs were spread throughout, we're seeing $120-$150 million on the screen. This will ensure consistency in plot, casting, tone, etc.In 3 hours, Jackson has crammed everything essential from the first novel & then some into the film, rewriting some scenes & dialogue with lesser characters for the leads, leaving out only what there wasn't enough time for. Basically, you have two 90 min. movies running back to back. There are no slow spots, just one climax after another. From the opening 10 min. backstory where the Dark Lord Sauron is shown on the battlefield wiping out men & elves 10 at a time with each swing of his mace, I was blown away. The romance between Aragorn, king in exile, and Arwen, daughter of the elf-lord, is played up for the "Titanic" quotient, but it's well done. The story, sets, costumes & FX are so rich, you'll have to see the film several times to absorb everything. The unspoiled New Zealand locales are spectacular, providing a variety of environments to represent the different settings on the characters' journey. The location sets are imaginative, detailed & weathered, adding to their believability, while the studio sets match them in meticulousness. The costumes are at once familiar & strange, drawing on both the medievil & the fantastic, but more important, they're also functional & practical. The music by Howard Shore is appropriately sweeping, Celtic & folky in keeping with the novel, although it lacks the memorable themes of John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith, but neither would commit a year or more to a 3 picture project. The FX are as they should be, unobtrusive & unnoticed most of the time, there only to support the story not draw attention away from it as in most Hollywood movies which try to coverup illogical plots & bad acting. I'm particularly gratified by the casting of Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn which was a last minute stroke of luck when the actor first chosen for the part backed out due to differences with the director. I've always thought Mortenson had an intensity & striking but not pretty-boy looks that could portray a flawed, dangerous hero instead of the villains Hollywood always picked him for.A stellar cast giving some of their best performances, visuals that deliver beyond what I imagined, a perfect mix of humor, passion & tragedy, and a feeling of grandeur, scope & impending doom. Perhaps as an ensemble piece with so many characters & the inability to concentrate on any one, it can't be measured against some of the classic character study films, but even the casual moviegoer can grasp the ideas & not get lost As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the greatest films of all time.
Never before in my life were my cheeks more aching... (by Nachtritter)
...but oh was I thankful for it!!! All through the movie I kept on having this big large smile sculpted into my face. For the record, I'm 25 years old, and I've read "The Lord of the Rings" in three times for the first time when I was six or seven years old. Ever since then, I read it at least once or twice a year - therefore you can count me as a fan, for I follow the same cult fan procedure with "The Hobbit" and "The Silmarillion" as well. Now onto the movie... Gosh, I saw it more than one time, and I keep wanting more of it. It just never gets boring! <more>
I really enjoyed the little stuff that is found throughout the movie for fans of the books the map on Bilbo's table in his house comes to mind, it is exactly as the one in "The Hobbit" book that I own , and I also incredibly enjoyed the intro sequence with the re-telling of the battle against Sauron from the Silmarillion, never has an ultimate evil being been so well depicted on the screen. It truly is Sauron. Those who argue the movie cuts too many parts or that it changes the story too much are totally wrong. This movie could not have shown the whole first time in its entirety - keep in mind that the audiobook version of 'Fellowship of the Ring' lasts well over ten hours, making a movie this long would, well, make it way too long and besides, how would you financially sustain such a project? I've read a reviewer saying he'd make all three books with the time allowed for the first movie alone. I think it would be a very fast-forwarding experience of a movie with 'Alvin and the Chimpmunks' kind of voices, incredibly stupid to say the least.Ok, so there are changes in the movie - well, this is Jackson's vision of it. All of us have our own visions of the books, which may or may not be compatible with that of Jackson's, but I can safely assume that nobody can say they have a hundred percent the same vision of the story as Tolkien; that's the thing with books: each reader has a different vision of it. As for me, I was blown away. Never before have I felt so much at home in a movie, it is as if I had taken a walk in the town where I grew up, the Shire, Rivendell, Moria, Lorien, everything felt so much like home, I was moved. I cannot tell of another movie that had me shed tears just by seeing a landscape on screen.As for the changes, well, I found good reasons behind all of them, and let me tell you right away, I was happy that Arwen saved Frodo, yes, maybe coming from a fan it will look like absolute heresy, but I enjoyed the scene a lot. I did not enjoy it because it was supposedly politically-correct to do so, or that I find Liv Tyler to be absolutely attractive; it was just because I felt like even though it was a big change from the book, it was a very good one indeed, it makes you discover the power, determination, and courage of elves and the fact that even elven women, although great in their beauty and seemingly fragile in appearance do not have anything to envy to their male counterparts. And beside, as Arwen is to become a Queen later on, it was pretty good to see her have a great first appearance.The actors were great, they were a lot into their characters, and for the first time, I saw elves as they were, quick, agile, terrifyingly effective in battle - just look at how Legolas dealed with the hordes of enemies without a single hint of fear in his eyes - these are elves as they should be. Gimli was great too, I know people seem to think many characters were not developed enough, but by the actions you can learn a lot. With Gimli a lot can be learned about the dwarves, their pride, deep sense of honor and family, their mistrust of elves, their love for strong beer and a good fight against anything bigger, and their sheer hatred for orcs and the likes. Aragorn was totally the ranger character, the ending scene as he walked toward the horde of Uruk-Hai warriors was great, his attitude, his clothes, everything about him just cried "ranger". Boromir was very well depicted, desperate to save the people of Gondor, by any mean necessary, robbed of all hope, yet in the end he redeems himself by showing his true valour, deep down, he's willing to die to defeat evil, and when he recognizes his king in Aragorn, on his last breath, I felt like watching a hero die, it was moving. The hobbits were all great, Frodo is deeply sad and fatalist, and Sam is just the 'best friend' everyone would like to have, just as it should be. Finally, we have Gandalf, quite frankly, he looks mighty, Ian IS Gandalf. The faceoff against the Balrog in the Moria is a memorable sequence, and just shows how strong he really is, to be able to vanquish such a foe. I can't wait for his return.Quite frankly, I can't wait for the two other movies... In the meantime, I'll watch this one over and over again. This movie has everything that a good movie needs to have, and more. Plus, it just might bring more people to actually read books that have more pages than the average little 25Â¢ novel that has no value in it, which is great. Parents, maybe some scenes will frighten your kids, but this movie has almost NO blood even though it has a good share of battle and the foes are undeniably evil, plus it has good values in it - friendship, courage, responsiblity, sacrifice for a good cause, and the belief that anyone can help to change things. This is worthy of Tolkien, this is a movie that will go down in history as being one of the best ever, for sure.
There's a very obvious problem when transferring any book to the big screen, namely that some of us may already have seen it. It's not that the story holds no surprises save for the occasional controversies that surround the fate of characters like Hannibal Lecter , it's just that many of us have already read the book, and thus we've already directed our own version of the story. We've already seen it in our mind's eye. And this is the problem that plagues The Fellowship of The Ring. You'll see a lot of reviews here proclaiming it as nothing short of the second <more>
coming of cinema, and a few that dare to knock its serious shortcomings. Let me clear this up right now. The first issue that many may raise is that this is not a faithful adaptation of the book. Quite right, while taking pains to ensure that they stayed faithful to the novel, Jackson et al have not simply been able to lift their screenplay directly from its pages without a few necessary changes. There is a great deal of mindfulness in the film about the portion of the audience and it will be large who are unfamiliar with the novels.Accordingly a great deal more emphasis has been placed upon pacing and storytelling more appropriate to a classic film narrative. Hence we need to see Gandalf's protracted bid to escape the clutches of Isenguard interspersed with the Hobbit's journey to Rivendell. It simply isn't appropriate to expect an audience to bear with the Hobbits' journey, no matter how good the actors are or how enthralling the story is, for upwards of an hour without constant reminders of the films other protagonists OR the threat of the evil they face. Having Gandalf just turn up at Rivendell and tell his story via CGI-filled flashbacks simply wouldn't have had the necessary effect. Secondly, the omission and reworking of characters. Yes, it was sad that Bakshi felt his animation didn't need Tom Bombadill, and given that he features strongly in Tolkien's other works this has to be frowned upon by the die-hard fanatics, but introducing diverting, but ultimately pointless episodes into the list of the challenges the Hobbits face is hardly going to keep you riveted to your seat is it? I mean, a man who stops the Hobbits being eaten, very slowly, by a tree with his power of song is just quite frankly ludicrous in this day and age. The film is already stretching the audience's suspension of disbelief as far as it can go. Hence the chaff of Bombadill is cut. He isn't relevant to the rest of the story so he can be done without. It's sad for Tolkien fans for him not to be there but there's only so much celluloid available, even with a film this long. And yes, Arwen Undomiel never saved Frodo from the Dark Riders, but please, remember your girlfriend needs to have something to sink her teeth into as well, not just midgets and men with beards looking mean or scared as they fight monsters. So, for gender representation and a bid to prevent half the potential market please remember that like all film, this is a product to be packaged and sold her character gets a drastic overhaul. Go sister! There are numerous other issues relevant to the faithfulness of the adaptation from novel to screenplay but please, let's be content with what we've got here. It's a hard task to do all this well and Jackson, along with the rest of the boys and girls at Wingnut and WETA, should be commended for what they have achieved. That said there are some definite flaws in the film, even those that can't be overlooked by justifying the needs to relate to the popcorn and nachos audience. Firstly, we've got the Fellowship itself. Now, Merry and Pippin, while not really being established as Frodo's friends and thus not having the same kind of bond with him as they do in the novel are moderately well integrated. However, at the arrival of Boromir, Gimili and Legolas we just get left in the dark. None of these three characters, all representing important races, cultures and locations of the world of Middle Earth are given no more than token arrival-shots to introduce them, and little or no back-story as to how they came to be where they are or why they feel compelled to join Frodo's quest. Offering their various weapons is noble, and it sounds fantastic in the trailer, but when we finally get down to it we just don't know who they are or what they're about. Accordingly we don't ever really have time to care about any of these three, save for Legolas whose fighting proficiency alone makes him stand out. Sadly, Sean Bean is allowed little more than to switch from foreboding bad guy to friendly companion and back again thus betraying his characters ultimate fate from the first time he opens his mouth and John Rhys Davis is left with little more to do than scowl and look short. It doesn't help that both these characters seem to get a pretty raw deal for screen time, especially Gimli, who is barely in the film at all. We won't even begin to go into the seemingly superficial relationship we see between Sam and Frodo. All of this is indeed a shame. The film's greatest strength after its story are its strong characters. However, whereas in the book they have the space to develop and flesh themselves out here they have little more to do than look in awe at Gandalf, perhaps not with a humble air so much as a wonder that he's being allowed to soak up all the screen time. And yes, what you've heard is true; the fight sequences are shockingly bad. Well, perhaps that IS an overstatement. The fight sequences aren't exactly bad, they're riddled with good ideas and clever moves, but the camerawork and editing is so erratic that you'll have a hard time picking out anything to inspire awe or respect. The problem here is that the benchmarks for on screen fighting have all been established nowadays by The Matrix, Crouching Tiger and The Phantom Menace, and all of these films use lengthy shots to allow us to soak up the fight imaginative fight choreography, rather than have us crane our necks and dart about the screen with our eyeballs trying to glimpse it like a rare bird or nipple-flash at a premiere. Now, these, yet again, are only a few of the problems. There's the geography of Middle Earth, some ropey special effects moments and the clumsy ending to deal with. But you can read the books and see the film for yourself; I've already typed enough about all that here. BUT, now that I've just spent the main chunk of this review telling you about the shortcomings of The Fellowship of the Rings as both a movie and an adaptation let me tell you, it is good, exceptionally good. There is no denying that the storyline itself, acting, effects, props, sets and so on and so forth are all spot on. Visually the film is a triumph and WETA has now, without question placed itself ahead of Industrial Light and Magic in terms of industry leading special effects. There are bags of style to proceedings, with some sequences displaying the sheer amount of vision of the whole team to bring somewhat vague sections of the novel to life.All parts are played to perfection by the cast, and the casting is literally some of the best and most appropriate seen in years, none of this who-hot-and-who's-not Jerry Bruckheimer trash, it's a case of the best possible person for the part at every stage of the film. We'll give particular credit to Sir Ian Mckellan, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm and Elijah Wood again here. No doubt they've had scores of favourable and loving reviews already but these performances truly are worth mentioning just once again. The film is a masterpiece from start to finish. Yes, it does take perseverance, no it's not entirely faithful to Tolkien's work and there are some serious flaws, but in a year that has been so barren of even five decent mainstream movies I think it's safe to say that no matter when this film had been released it would have outshone its competitors.
The reason why this first part of Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' is superior to his latter two parts is because of restraint. Jackson was restrained from over doing it with the CGI and "epic" battle sequences, which in my opinion does not make a story epic. Part of the reason was simply because Tolkien did not have very many battles in the first part of his book, which thankfully forced Jackson to focus on creating a believable world rather than a believable hack-n-slash action movie.I don't find much entertainment in watching people mutilate each other, but I love it <more>
when a movie engages me in a world, and 'The Fellowship of the Ring' does just that. Certainly the most breathtaking scenes in the movie are the moments of patient observation, when the camera pans around and captures the beautiful settings of Middle Earth. I must give Jackson credit. He did hire some very extraordinary artists that have envisioned one of the grandest interpretations of Tolkien's world.There are about five particular moments that stick out in my mind and gave me that tingle of goosebumps down my spine when I saw them for the first time. The first is the introduction to Hobbiton. After the somewhat awkward prologue, I was beginning to have my doubts to whether the movie would live up to the book. But the movie surprised me. Hobbiton is perfect. The houses have flower patches and old fences, the roads look worn and made through decades of travel, and the Old Mill spins with the laziness of a quiet town. Every color is vibrant and every moment looks as through it was taken out of a picture book. Although I still don't agree with the particular look of the Hobbits, I believe everything else in Hobbiton is worthy of Tolkien's words.The second moment comes after Frodo's awakening in Rivendell, and the third, during the exploration of the Halls of Moria. In both moments, the camera pans away from the characters and outward into a static shot of their surroundings. The moments make us feel like we're turning our heads and gazing at the world around us just as the characters do. The golden waterfalls of the elven city mark an interesting contrast with the dark halls of the dwarfish mines, but each are inspiring in their own ways and add to feeling of being engaged in a living world.My other favorite moments come during the exploration of Lothlorien and the passage down the Anduin. And while I won't go into detail about the scenes, since they really should be experienced without any prior expectations, they are monuments in imaginative cinema. 'The Fellowship of the Ring' is one of those rare movies that I always wish I could reexperience for the first time. Unfortunately, Jackson turned away from exploring Middle Earth in his next two movies, and instead, turned to fighting and warfare. He seems to take a lot of pride in the love story and battle sequences he created in 'The Two Towers' and 'The Return of the King,' but it is was in his first movie when he really got it right. In 'The Fellowship of the Ring,' it's okay if the characters are uninteresting and have silly dialogue. Middle Earth is the star, and the characters are the ones seeing it for the first time.
If you want to know how to do the impossible, watch Peter Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring. When I was growing up, I thought no one could translate such a sweeping book onto the screen successfully, and yet the man who brought us Bad Taste has done it. Just so you know in advance, the film takes plenty of liberties with the story; no Old Forest, Bombadil, Barrow Wights or Glorfindel. No Wargs in the wilderness - and you have to wait until the third film to see Narsil re-forged. In fact if the film has a serious fault it is that so much of the story is cut, it could leave the audience <more>
breathlessly hurtled from one action sequence to another - dazed, and maybe if you haven't read the book even a bit confused. But what the film does so successfully is recreated the atmosphere of the story - rather impressive considering the film is shorn of much of the textual richness found in the book. As someone who has read LoTR more times than a man of sound judgement ever should, I found myself more engrossed in the story than I had been for years. The film gets its atmosphere from the scenery, the camera-work and some beautifully adept computer enhancement. In many cases the characterisation was also richer than the original - both Aragorn and Arwen are significantly more "human" than in the novel, as is Gandalf. Tolkien's heroes are often to perfect to be truly interesting - after all, in Mallory, it is no co-incidence that Galahad finds the Grail, but two thirds of the book is about Tristan and Lancelot. In Jackson's LoTR we see the human frailties of the characters; Aragorn's self doubt, Gandalf's fear, Elrond's unconcern basically, "you deal with it Gandalf, I'm off on holiday with all the other elves" . This is not to say the film is without its flaws. Whoever decided that elves needed...tooo...speak ....sooo.....slowly clearly needs shooting - as does the guy who thought that a WWF-style wrestling match between Gandalf and Saruman was a good idea. Indeed there are a number of moments when a lighter directorial touch would have been better. Galadriel's demon-witch impression, for example, or Gandalf's power-vocalisation at the Bridge of Khazad-Dum. Merry and Pippin have a rather disconcerting resemblance to Ant and Dec all three films show an astonishing heightism, more of which later . Nevertheless, this film is an enormously impressive attempt do something I though next to impossible. At over three hours it was a long, but thoroughly enjoyable, action/fantasy film; it makes Star Wars looks like the kind of tenth-rate kiddie movie it is. And the best thing is, the special addition is even better. So not perfect, but 8/10 anyway
The Gold Standard For A Tonally Faithful Adaptation Of A Beloved Literary Work (by gogoschka-1)
As a true film nerd and genre geek I naturally knew who Peter Jackson was when the news broke he would adapt one of the most beloved fantasy books of all time. I remember how excited I was; somehow, despite the different nature of his often gory - and with the exception of HEAVENLY CREATURES - very funny previous cinematic outings, me and my circle of nerdy film fans never doubted that he would try everything to do the revered fantasy epic justice. It seemed only natural to us that he would bring the same talent, passion and attention to detail to Tolkien's world that he had demonstrated <more>
already in his meticulously crafted low budget genre films.And boy did he deliver. It's hard to understate the impact the first part of the LOTR trilogy had; it instantly became the gold standard for a tonally faithful adaptation of a beloved literary work an almost impossible feat considering how violently protective we nerdy fans are of our prrrrecioussss favorite works ;- . Along with succeeding at making the millions of fans of the book happy, it managed to elevate the fantasy genre into the ranks of the so called "respected" films and kick off a whole wave of big budget genre fare as well as New Zealand tourism ;- The film is magnificently shot, beautifully scored, perfectly cast and manages an adherence to the source material that's almost uncanny. The grounded, "realistic" approach and insane attention to almost every little detail of Tolkien's worldbuilding result in a cinematic experience that is nearly unmatched in its immersive quality; the film comes as close to an actual trip to Middle Earth as any film fan and fan of the book could ever have hoped for. An outstanding achievement.P.S. for new IMDb users : In case you don't know whether to trust this review or not, because you have no idea what my tastes in film are, just click on my username - gogoschka-1 - and you'll see a list what my 50 favorite movies are.
Very high production values, very long, perfect for "Ring" fans. (by TxMike)
I went to school in the 1950s and 1960s. I never read "The Hobbit" nor any of the "Ring" trilogies. So I only had a vague idea what Tolkien and his writings were all about, although I already knew there were "Ring" fanatics of all ages out there. I got a "free" DVD as a result of the Blockbuster campaign where you buy a 10-week rental card for $25 and get a DVD in return at no extra cost. A deal I couldn't refuse!Well, last night I watched the film, along with good friends Frank and Judy who happen to be "Ringheads." The filming was <more>
absolutely gorgeous. The DVD transfer is about the best I have seen so far, and the Dolby 5.1 sound is very dynamic and beautiful. In short about all one could ask for in a DVD. Plus, there is a second disk which has over two hours of "extras", several "making of" plus a 10-minute preview of the second installment due out later this year. While the movie itself is very interesting, especially the first one-third which sets the stage for the journey that "the fellowship of the ring" will undertake, to ultimately return the "one ring" to the volcano, NEVER did I feel that this was a "great" film. As the story unfolds there are increasingly brutal battles to be fought, one after another, with little story between each battle. While that may make for really good reading, where you can create exactly the images you want in your own mind, as a film it gets to be a bit much. I actually became bored, with yet another battle and narrow escape. Like adding too much spice to a good meal.As a film of a historic work of fiction, and especially this DVD release, it is almost perfect. However, as a fictional work the story is a bit of a let-down, in my opinion. It is best appreciated by all the "Ringheads" out there who have bonded over the years with the ring trilogy and Tolkien. For my own enjoyment there are more interesting fictional works. Maybe I'll have a different opinion in two years, after I've seen all three of the installments.
"With the help of a courageous fellowship of friends and allies, Frodo embarks on a perilous mission to destroy the legendary 'One Ring'. Hunting Frodo are servants of the Dark Lord Sauron, the Ring's evil creator. If Sauron reclaims the Ring, Middle-earth is doomed," according to the DVD sleeve description, "Winner of four 'Academy Awards', this epic tale of good versus evil, friendship and sacrifice will transport you to a world beyond imagination." Reading the original J.R.R. Tolkien novels was an intellectual rite of passage; whilst young, you read <more>
and enjoyed "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy willingly - prepping with "The Hobbit", of course. "It's a job that's never started that takes the longest to finish," someone said. Writer/director Peter Jackson's "The Fellowship of the Ring" is the first of an extremely well-produced trilogy. Understandably, it's made into a special effects extravaganza, without taking many breaths for thoughtfulness."The Bridge of Khazad-DÃ»m" #30 on your DVD menu sequence is a highlight; it climaxes with the wizard Gandalf Ian McKellen and the demonic Balrog CGI falling into an abyss, from which return seemed impossible This was one of my most memorable "Lord of the Rings" reading experiences - a future without Gandalf was unimaginable. Mr. Jackson and company recreate some emotional scenes extraordinarily well. At one time, it seemed impossible to think that such literature could be brought to cinematic form.******** The Fellowship of the Ring 12/10/01 Peter Jackson ~ Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom
Unlike most people, i wasn't trying to be first in the queue to see this film, I have never read the books and wasn't taken in by the hype. When i finally saw this film, i was impressed with the visuals, but found the story disjointed clearly 3 hours isn't long enough to build the characters and portray the story in the way the books do For fans of the books, i appreciate that you've all been waiting a long time for this trilogy, and i can see, without reading the books that they have done a good job at bringing the books to life. My criticism is this, for people who <more>
don't know the characters and the story, the film misses out too much content that i'm sure must be in the books.That aside i watched it again and have to admit that it grew on me, i got into the characters a little more and found an enjoyable movie with some masterful visual effects.8/10