Movie Review: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

[ LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING POSTER ]J.R.R Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings became a film in 2001 with a great cast that includes Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen and many more. I still remember first watching this film and thinking that this had the potential to become something big and director Peter Jackson did not disappoint.

It’s a film that starts off slow and at times drags a little too much but it is a common occurrence with an opening film of a series. It’s a film that relies on its characters and while the actors didn’t get into the characters as much as I would have liked, they still dug below the surface and showed us the roots of some of the characters. It’s more than adequate or average, but not quite reaching the pinnacle that I felt it was capable of reaching, but once again, it’s a starter film and starter films do usually struggle with this, so it’s not the end of the world to me, but it is something to note.

The sets and scenery to this film are so iconic and well-detailed, vibrant and life-like. It’s executed so well that it feels like you’re there. If the film was made to be a New Zealand tourist attraction video, it did a fantastic job. Some great visual effects won the film Oscars for Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects. The costumes are killer, really aiding what the scenery and sets are trying to accomplish.

Speaking of killing, this movie does a wicked job with its fight scenes. Great camera work and angles so we can follow the action and we’re not struggling to do so.

What I like about this picture is that it feels real. At times, fantasy/science fiction film’s dialogue can come across as largely corny and elementary, something that never happens in this film. It’s intense and suspenseful when the film is in the “zone”. Sadly that’s not all the time but it is for much of the movie.

At times, this film feels too long. Some things probably could have been eliminated but at the end you never feel like you wasted your time. It only gets you excited to see the next one.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Real SteelMiracleScroogeThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Green Mile)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (ElfThe Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugPoseidonIron ManLone Survivor)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The Usual Suspects21 Jump StreetEscape PlanCaptain America: The First AvengerDawn of the Dead)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss GoodnightDisaster Movie)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Along Came PollyAliensAlien ResurrectionFull Metal JacketThor)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot GamesThe Great GatsbyPitch BlackAlienSerendipity)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and PrejudiceRedemption)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All FearsThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight CowboyDark FuryAlien 3)

My score for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: 88.

The Fellowship of the Ring is by no means the best series starting film, but it’s up there. There was room for improvement but it was definitely an attention-grabber, one that entertained, gave us an adrenaline rush, and a fair share of philosophical/emotional aspects intertwined.

Also, remember in the film it’s Bilbo’s 111th birthday. This is my 111th post. Just thought that was ironic.

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

  1. Susu says:

    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 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.

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