The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

"One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its black gates are guarded by more than just orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly."   - Boromir

release year: 2001
genre: fantasy
viewing setting: home Bluray 5/5-11/18 and 4/24/15 and 12/28/13 and DVD, 11/26/09 and 8/10/02 and theater, 12/28/01

synopsis: Good guys must take a powerful magic ring to a remote and dangerous land and destroy it, or else evil will rule the world.

impressions:  Well, this was it...perhaps the biggest adaptation of any book, perhaps the most eagerly-anticipated movie of 2001. Yes, even by me. I purposely didn't read any reviews of this because I didn't want anything to be spoiled, and I tried to avoid both the hype and the opening-day crowds. I'll keep this short and sweet. Yes, it is a faithful adaptation of the book(s.) Yes, it really is accessible to people who've never picked up any of the books. Yes, it had long slow parts as well as intense fantasy action scenes. The only people who could possibly be disappointed by this movie are the ones who wanted it to fail in the first place. High points: good acting by a huge cast, good mass battles, good small battles, flashy special effects, a marvelous touch of fantasy and magic, an epic storyline.

things to watch for: Balrog! Also the battle in the dwarf-king's tomb in Moria, shortly before the Balrog chase.

overheard: (comments from my former wife, who never really watched these and takes a more practical point of view) "They need horses. That would make their quest a lot easier."

acting: I do not know where to begin. Dozens did good or great jobs here. The ones who stood out to me were Viggo Mortensen as the ranger Aragorn, Ian McKellen as Gandalf the wizard, Elijah Wood as Frodo the hobbit, and for some reason, Dominic Monaghan as Merry, another hobbit with wild comedic behavior. As I said, though, there were easily another dozen memorable performances in this movie - the preceding were just the ones I remembered the most. Outstanding job casting this one.

official site:

final word: A must-see, and a repeat-see for fans of fantasy, and a frequent-see for fans of Tolkien.

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