Based on the book by Tolkien, this modern classic is about Frodo Baggins, who is forced to walk all the way to Mordor, and destroy the famous ring of power so that the evil Sauron will not be able to return to power. On the way he is assisted by the Fellowship, which includes three more hobbits, a wizard, an elf, a dwarf and two warriors. But sadly the path is more dangerous than being a science teacher in a redneck state.
Wow, to remember the days when I was in the 11th grade and Fellowship film first came out. I was a big fan of the books since I was a kid so I was very excited to see it, not to mention it was being directed by Peter Jackson, one of my favorite directors thanks to sick classics like Bad Taste, Meet The Feebles and Dead Alive (goriest movie ever). So I could only get my sister to come see it with me, since nobody wanted to see a three-hour movie about elves and magic. I thought the movie was going to bomb. Boy was I wrong. Now, I know I’m going to get a lot of heat for this, but hey it’s my blog and I can voice my opinion: I only liked Lord Of The Rings. That’s right. I didn’t love it or worship it or think it was the best thing since vagina, I thought it was good. I liked it. And that’s it. I’ll mention the stuff I don’t like first.
Let’s start with Fellowship. First, I’ve never been a fan of Elijah Wood and wasn’t very excited about having him play Frodo Baggins. When I saw the film, I couldn’t see a character, I could only see the effeminate Elijan Wood making faces. I also didn’t like that every conversation between him and Sam Astin seemed to be about ‘it’s so hard to leave home and be in this shithole”. It would only get worse in the sequels. Hell I didn’t like most of the cast. The ones I did like were Christopher Lee and Ian McKellen in the roles of the wizard Saruman and Gandalf. They’re two of my favorite actors, and Christopher Lee in particular was a treat since I’m a diehard fan of his Hammer work. I also liked Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, who was really badass and good looking and had me wishing the whole movie had been about him. Sadly every other character seemed to be boring. Legolas only looked pretty and shot arrows, Gimli only complained, and worst of all was Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, in a role that never, not in the three movies, added anything to the storyline worth mentioning. And don’t think I’m being harsh just on the book, I feel the same way about her in the books. Why was she even here?
So what did I like? Well other than the three actors mentioned a lot, I actually enjoyed watching the story unfold since I was so familiar with it. I’m glad they took some stuff out of it, like the condensing of the Farmer Maggot scene, Old Man Willow, and the beloved Tom Bombadil who I never cared for myself. The action sequences are very well done, being both fantastic and realistic, and the prosthetic makeup effects looked incredible, probably the best since their heyday in the Eighties. Now, I’m not a fan of CGI in any way, but I sure as hell didn’t mind it in this film. Hell I thought for the most part it looked great. It made the landscapes look incredible and real, which mixed with the real New Zealand very well. The monsters looked good as well, except for the cave troll who looked more like a video game graphic.
The Two Towers came out the same year and my feelings were the same as this one, only I liked it even less. It seemed longer and more artificial. In the first one I felt the landscapes looked very real, but here it all looks like CGI, especially when the two hobbits are on top of Treebeard, the old, talking tree. The new characters that the movie introduced weren’t very interesting, and the final sequence, The Battle Of Helm’s Deep, seemed to go on and on and on.
I did however, love Gollum. Not only did he look as real as he possibly could (for a CGI character) but he was a very well-rounded character with a lot of interesting features. His performance by Andy Serkis was incredible, and I felt deserved an Academy Award nomination. My favorite scenes in the film involved him, but I groaned every time we cut back to the others. It just wasn’t very good.
One year later again, and out came Return of the King. I thought this movie was going to be as bad as Two Towers, but I was mistaken. I actually enjoyed Return of the King more than the other two films. It had a lot more darker elements and characters: Gollum, the Witch-King, the city of Minas Morgul, Shelob the Giant Spider, etc. Sadly a lot of what I hated came back. I’m gonna take advantage of this and give my rant about Arwen: ever since her character first appeared, I wanted her dead. And yes I’m going to jump on the bandwagon: What was with all the endings? I mean come on, I know that’s how the book goes, but just because it works on a book it doesn’t mean it works in a movie! The film should have ended when Aragorn gets crowned and takes his responsibilities as King. But then again, what do I know. As I said, I don’t hate these movies, I genuinely like them and find them very entertaining, but that’s it. I saw them again for this review for the first time since I got them on DVD in 2004 and I feel the same way about them now as I did then. These are not the greatest films ever made, but they’re still pretty good.