I was lucky enough to see the movie early because a friend of mine runs a theater. Feel free to read, I will not include spoilers. Just an overview of the elements in the film.
The lord of the rings...The story that didn't work for me as a book certainly worked for me as a film. I must say, the quality of the movie came as quite a surprise, actually far exceeding my expectations. And I reccomend that you bring a drool cup into the theater. The movie is simply gorgeous. The sets are some of the best I've ever seen, looking incredibly authentic and more often than not, flat-out beautiful. The choreography was just amazing, much better than I'd even hoped (this aspect of the movie really surprised me. I had already known the sets would be amazing just from watching the previews). The cg work throughout the film is top-notch. All of the effects were filled with wonderful textures and fantastic animations. This movie really raises the bar for visuals. As for the acting, this area also surprised me. In my opinion, the actors played their roles spot on. Even elijah woods, whom I had my doubts about, gave a stellar performance. In the acting department, I couldn't have asked for more. I'd also like to give kudos to the soundtrack, which really complemented the movie and certainly contributed to the overall atmosphere. My only complaint with the film is that sometimes the film felt a little rushed at times. I don't fault the director, the movie is close to three hours long as it is, but at times the transitions from event to event seemed a little too fast paced. Times like these are very infrequent, only catching my attention here and there, and this is a VERY minor gripe when piled under all of the films pros.
All in all, I loved it. From the fantastic intro on through the rest of the film, I was shaking my head at the amazing visuals and genuinely interested the entire time. I'm not a fan of the books, tolkien's writing style and pacing don't appeal to me, but I feel it's safe to say that fans of the book should have very little to complain about. And this movie could certainly pave the way for fantasy films to follow, because with it's high production values and the overall feeling of excitement and wonder that it projects, this should be a film that most anyone would enjoy, fantasy fan or not. So if your a fantasy fan, you owe it to yourself to see this one as soon as possible. The lord of the rings is a fantasy film done right.
Feel free to add your own review once you've seen it. I'm curious to here from the people who love the books, and whether or not it lived up to your expectations.
December 19th, 2001, 12:08 AM
I saw it last night in a midnight screening:
First of all, I loved it, it wasn't perfact but close. Unlike others I never was a purist, I knew things had to be changed, and for me at least they stayed true to the spirit: That WAS Middleearth on screen.
Perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT THING was that when the film ended I thought that can't have been 3 hours, 90 minutes at most, gimme more!
I had a few (very minor) complains I woul like to discuss though.
I had some doubts about the cast before I saw the film, mainly the American actors among the fellowship. Nothing against Americans but I didn't want to hear an accent like Costner's in "Prince of thieves". Well I didn't, they ranged from adequate (Wood as Frodo) over suprisingly good (Mortensen as Aragorn) to bloody brilliant (Astin as Sam).
I knew Mc'Kellan and Lee would be good as Gandalf and Saruman and they managed to surpass my (very high) expectations.
Sean Bean woudn't have been my choice as Boromir, but I always liked him as a actor and he gave a very good performance to prove me right.
The actors of Pippin, Merry and Legolas, all newcomers all ranged from very good, to "where the hell did the find a real hobbit/elf."
John Rhys Davis as Gimli was unrecognicable and manged to use his few lines to make a real impression.
Oh and Ian Holm as Bilbo deserves an oscar for supporting actor!
The sets, landscapes and visually were perfect: The shire was the shire, same for Moria, Imladris/Rivendell was real imnpressive without falling into kitch.
Only Lothlorien was a dissapointment, more about this later.
The changes: Though I like Bombadil in the books, I didn't miss him in the film.
Bree was darker than in the books, but it worked for me. And the first glimpse of Aragorn was exactly how I had imagined it, thanks Peter Jackson.
The duell of Saruman and Gandalf, worked very well for me, it showed, Saruman's power, Gandalf's escape was nicely done.
The flight to the ford I had my first minor problems with: I never complained that they had merged Glorfindel with Arven, and that Arven saves Frodo, but the flight to the ford itself felt wrong to me, the race was too simple, if you understand what I mean.
The flood though was absolutely brilliant, not overdone just perfect.
The council was somewhat cheesy at times but overall done fairly well. The reflection of the arument on the ring was an especially nice touch. Aragorn's scene with Boromir was a highlight, but I thought it mistake they didn't reforge Narsil in the movie.
The scene when Bilbo was trying to get the ring back was another major highlight, as was the earlier scen between Bilbo and Gandalf in the shire, when Bilbo left the ring, my respect, Ian Holm!!!
Moria was a breathtaking series of highlights, only the swaying of that pillar before the bridge was overdone in my opinion.
The Balrog, made me almost swoon in exitment.
Lothlorien was the biggest dissapointment in the movie, though big only in contrast.
It was the only time I felt the movie was real kitch. Kate Blanchett played Gladriel well, but for once the script left her.
What was really missing in Lorien though in my opinion, were three to five minutes more spent on Gimli and Sam. The impression Galadriel mekes on the two, is totally missng *sigh*, my biggest complain on the film.
The finale though really picks up, the scenes of Boromir and Frodo and Boromir's last stand are very well done, and Legolas archery is breathtaking, but again I had a few minor nit to pick: That Aragorn comes in time to slay the Ork who slays Boromir, I would have preffered it, if Boromir had done it, and Aragon had only found a dying Boromir on a heap of dead Orcs.
All in all though I'm in awe, fortunatly I won a free ticket for 6 months recently, so I will be able to see the movie another 10 - 15 times without straining my budget!
[This message has been edited by Barbarossa (edited December 19, 2001).]
December 19th, 2001, 06:56 AM
Thanks Alucard and Barbarossa for the great reviews.. I agree with most of the things you said, so I won't go on about it. No spoilers here either... of course you all have read the books, so there shouldn't be any major surprises!
I saw the midnight show last night, and I WILL be seeing it again. I was trying to not get too excited about it, because I didn't want to be let down. Thanks to Peter Jackson, the incredible casting, acting and sets I was amazed. I really feel this is the best fantasy movie I have ever seen. I was laughing at all the parts I'd laughed at in the books, and crying at all the same parts too. It made me realize why I love LOTR and fantasy in general.. just plain amazing (I'm still getting goosebumps!)
I thought Liv Tyler as Arwen was great. I was on the edge of my seat during that chase scene.. it was so intense! It was, IMHO, an acceptable use of creative license. The black riders freaked me out as much as they did in the books, and that is no small task.
Go see this movie.. go see it several times! I really think that even the most fanatic LOTR fan will enjoy it.
December 19th, 2001, 10:00 AM
Some diehard Tolkien fanatics are raving about Peter Jackson's use of poetic license in the matter of Arwen, the daughter of Elrond, for being turned into a warrior woman to please afficionados of Lucy Lawless type drama. My answer to that is simply that performed art has to be interpreted to be viable. One conducts Stravinsky, but it will never be the same as if Igor was doing it himself. Considering the immensity of LOTR and the tremendous effort made by Jackson to keep it so authentic, he deserves praise, especially when you take into consideration how lame the other attempts were.
December 19th, 2001, 10:32 AM
The movie was wonderful. I don't need to say anymore.
I'll be having those black riders nightmares again, sigh.
December 19th, 2001, 10:52 AM
Saw the film tonight in London.
Great acting, spectacular scenery and effects, some superb action sequences and wonderful emtional scenes but...
...Rivendell and Lothlorien. Too long, too dull and why did the elves all have to speak so slowly and portentiously? They appeared pompous, not majestic and for me, these pieces stopped the film dead in its tracks. Better editing here and the film would have been among the very best.
However, the Mines of Moris was worth the whole film. Absolutely fantastic.
December 19th, 2001, 11:26 AM
Still stunned by the film... http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
I'm very happy!
It's not a perfect film nor an adaptation, but it is a damn fine movie and a grand adventure. Beautiful, breathtakingly so and extremely well acted.
Arwen was well played and fitted into the role. I have no objections really, other than the fact that now we didn't see Frodo's bravey when facing the unsurmountable odds. His dedication.
But I'm not really complaining. I just can't. http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif It is by far the most glorious genre fantasy ever made (as there really were any competitors...). It respests the original text, I think that even my swiss-cheese head recognised 90 % of the lines. It takes liberties and shortens scenes, but to fit all of FotR into three hours in such way is a masterful performance.
Bravo Peter Jackson! Bravo!
December 19th, 2001, 12:53 PM
Man oh man......what to say that hasn't already been said....
Yes, not perfect, but still one of my favorite movies of all times.
I came out of this movie with everything I hoped for and more. Just can't get over it!!!!
I myself feel no ill will against any of the changes made. Yes, it was poetic justice, and it was handled very very well.
Gah.....I can't go on here with out breaking into spoilers http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif Too Excited!!! I do believe I'll be going to see it again this weekend for an early christmas present! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
December 19th, 2001, 01:20 PM
I have to give LOTR a 9 out of 10 for a great movie (though I'm hoping I'll be able to give 10's for the next two).
The actors fit well, and acting was very good.
The thing that really stands out though are the action scenes (of course!). They were very, very well done if somewhat exagerrated from the books.
The orcs have to be the ugliest things I've ever seen, so they were great.
The opening scene was a stunner to say the least, I almost thought that they were going to make that scene the best then have the other fighting scenes degrade from it. WRONG!!.
Fav. Scene- The whole battle in the Mines of Moria
Fav. Creature- Balrog, what can I say?
Fav. Visual Effect- Galadriel as Queen of Evil.
Most Annoying Thing- Screech of the 9 (my ears!)
Dumbest Add-On- The whole Saruman vs. Gandalf fight
Fav. Add-On- Saruman's building of great smithies and warrens.
December 19th, 2001, 03:28 PM
The battle between Saruman and Gandalf filled in a lot of missing information.
The battle explains how a being such as Gandalf could be overpowered and 'set upon the pinnacle of Orthanc'.
It wasn't my favorite scene but probably my least favorite.
THe wife was pissed when she didn't see good old Tom Bombadil