|The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (DVD, 2002, 2-Disc Set, Widescreen Version) (DVD, 2002)|
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this is were it begins.. The Lord of the Rings, the book of the 20th Century is about to become the motion picture event of the 21st Century – A groundbreaking epic of good versus evil, extraordinary heroes, wondrous creatures and dark armies of terror. Generations of more than 50 million people around the globe, in 25 different languages have grown up with this epic history. The legend has inspired an entire genre of movies, fiction, and has influenced some of the greatest artists of our time. It has made dreamers out of children and adults, and has recently been named the number one most popular book of the century. But it has never been told in its entirety on the screen.
Using the power of contemporary cinema technology, New Line Cinema is proud to transform J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings into a history-making motion picture event. Beginning in the year 2001, New Line will present a grand trilogy of live-action feature films -- The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King -- that will take audiences inside Tolkien’s living, breathing mythology, the world that is Middle-earth. The Lord of the Rings will collectively re-tell the story of Frodo Baggins, who battles against the Dark Lord, Sauron to save Middle-earth from the grip of evil. In the films, Frodo and The Fellowship embarks on a desperate journey to rid the earth of the source of Sauron’s greatest strength, the One Ring, a ring of such power that it cannot be destroyed. His extraordinary adventures across the treacherous landscape of Middle-earth reveal how the power of friendship and courage can hold the forces of darkness at bay.
By shooting all three films consecutively during one massive production and post-production schedule, New Line Cinema is making history. Never before has such a monumental undertaking been contemplated or executed. The commitment of time, resources and manpower are unheard of as all three films and more than 1,000 effects shots are being produced concurrently with the same director and core cast. Helmer Peter Jackson, whose visionary style of filmmaking and emotional acuity won accolades for his Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners, brings his deep love for the source material to the project.
The film features a strong international cast that includes (in alphabetical order) Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Brad Dourif, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, John Rhys-Davis, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, and Elijah Wood. But the real star of the film is the story itself - a classic hero’s quest in which the smallest of beings changes the course of the future with the vastness of his courage. -- © 2001 New Line Cinema
Most of the movies that were adapted from novels nowadays do not really stay faithful to the book itself. Some even alter entire stories completely. It is not surprising when fans are utterly disappointed and walk out of theaters angry. And that’s the trend. No matter how big the budget is or how “cool” the digital effects are, it actually all boils down to the story. And that’s it.
However, once in a while, a great film based on a book comes out. This century, that film is J.R.R Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, the story that arguably started the fantasy myth of heroes, elves and other races. Directed by Peter Jackson, the film, hands down, has been very faithful to what LotR fans has come to love and cherish for several decades. Yet, on another perspective, people who know nothing about the book will be able to understand and appreciate the movie version. And when they read the books, like what most people do after watching film adaptations, they wouldn't be confused on the events that unfold. Instead, they would say, “Ah, I saw this part….”
On to the film proper, LotR started with Fellowship of the Ring; followed by The Two Towers and was ended by The Return of the King. The first movie, Fellowship of the Ring, introduces us to the characters and the story as a whole. The second one, The Two Towers, builds up tension of the story and gives the audience a clue on what can be expected on the next movie.
The last one, Return of the King, hits the climax of the story and gives audiences a breather during the ending. All throughout these three films, the cinematic's, digital effects and sounds are superb. Peter Jackson and the team did an excellent job of setting the right ambiance and mood. The characters each have their own shining moment in which the actors portrayed them excellently. Believe me, this is one movie you don't want to miss.
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.
This film is the beginning of an epic saga involving Hobbits, Wizards, Dwarves, Elves, and the race of men. Whether you are a fantasy lover or not there is something for everyone in each of these films. Continuing the story of the ring that is first introduced in the book The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein, this film brings to life every character in this gripping tale. Though it is only the first of three, it is an experience you will not want to miss! You do not have to read the books first to be able to understand the tale, though at times you will wonder what something may mean just before it explains itself. This film could be watch again and again and new things be found in each viewing. As the ending draws to a close you are reminded that it is the first of a trilogy. You will find yourself anxious to continue in the tale of The Lord of the Rings.
An impressive effort is seen in Peter Jackson's first of three films dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Great acting as well as gripping special effects, not to mention the attention to visual detail, down to the smallest things, might lead you to believe that I would give this a perfect rating. I give it a good rating because of a couple of things. Though, I am probably too picky, sometimes. First off, I am a huge fan of the books, therefore, I may have been expecting a bit too much when I walked into the theater. Many things have changed from Tolkien's original to what is seen in the film. Certain characters are given lines that others had in the books and even some changing of a characters mission (as seen in Arwen's character at the river), but all that aside, it is much better constructed fundamentally than almost anything else of the same genre. I give it an A for effort, but not an A+. Still, pick it up, as the next two films got the 5/5 I was hoping I would give them. Thanks for reading, feedback would be appreciated. signed:CLW P.S. Read the books first!