Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Review by Ees
Director: Peter Jackson
Rating: TIE Fighter
I did not like this movie. Wait, wait, before you yell at me, let me explain why.
Tolkien wrote a good story. His only problem was that he made it too long. The meandering style of his writing transferred to the screen, and so we see a lot of walking, running, and waiting scenes with very little dialogue. After the third scene with a computer-generated Gandalf-and-company hoofing it through a dark corridor, I was thinking "okay, we get the idea, they're being chased, let's move along now."
When someone releases a movie, regardless of what is meant to come before or after, that person has an obligation to the audience ... an obligation to make the movie a complete story in and of itself, able to stand alone without aid of prequel or sequel. The producers of LOTR did not do this. After three hours of watching the fellowship run, walk, and sit, we find that their journey is nowhere near finished, and that we will have to wait until the next installment to see what happens. In short, this movie is one giant teaser.
Those two qualities served to ruin the movie for me and the group I saw it with. As if those two weren't bad enough, though, there are more aspects of this film I couldn't quite swallow. First, the movie is rated PG-13. I would not want any 13-year-old friends of mine to see Gollum's torture, or Gollum himself for that matter. Second, the use of trick photography to make the hobbits and dwarves appear smaller than everyone else sounded like a good idea, but wasn't really done consistently enough to be believed. Third, don't put a brown-haired actor in a messy blonde toupée and expect it to look realistic (Sam). Fourth, the scene where the elf female gives up her immortality for a mere human seemed tacked in at the last minute so the producers could claim there was a love story in with all the running. And last, when a handfull of creatures, some of them with no fighting skills whatsoever, go up against hundreds of born warriors, they don't win.
Now then, this doesn't mean the movie was all bad. In fact, aside from the aforementioned elements, the movie was phenomenal. The cast was well-chosen, the acting was flawless, the costumes (aside from Gandalf's hat) were perfect for the style of the film, and the sets (especially Bilbo's house) were spectacular.
I wouldn't have thought a movie with so much going for it could turn out to be so disappointing, but it did. I suggest waiting until the sequel comes out on video, and then renting the two together.