OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (ORIGINAL VERSION)
Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Sean Austin, Viggo Mortenson, Liv Tyler, Cate
Blanchett and Christopher Lee
Director: Peter Jackson
Running Time: 179 mins
Certificate: PG (Battle violence & fantasy Horror may be unsuitable
for under 8's)
buy on DVD 6th August
Long ago in the
realm of Middle Earth, Rings were forged and given to the dominate races,
the Elves, the Dwarfs and the Humans. Unbeknownst to them the Dark Lord
Sauron also forged a ring, a ring that had the combined power of the rest
of the rings and also pure evil. War raged between the forces of good and
evil and as good triumphed the ring was lost. Over the centuries the ring
was forgotten, until it found it way into the hands of a young Hobbit, Frodo
Baggins (Wood). When his friend, the wizard Gandalf (McKellen) realises
what he has, an epic quest begins to finally destroy the ring and stop the
rise of Sauron and his forces.
The first part of
a trilogy to be released over the next three Christmas's this is an epic
film like nothing you have ever seen on the big screen. At last, this is
an event movie that actually lives up to the hype and the excitement. We
have been disappointed so many times before, The Lost World: Jurassic Park,
Pearl Harbor, Batman, Tomb Raider, The Perfect Storm, Mission Impossible
and the big one Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace to name but a few,
all made large amounts of money but they were never the films we hoped they
would be. This movie changes all that.
At this point,
I'd like to say that I've not read any of the books and according to a friend
who has, there are a few things that are different. The character Tom Bombadil
is totally missing, Arwen is introduced early and certain parts of beginning
are not as detailed as those written.
Even with all the
changes, Director Peter Jackson has created something that no one else in
the history of motion pictures has ever done, a great fantasy movie. There
have been a few half decent attempts such as Legend and The Never Ending
Story but they are not even in the same league. Here we have all the stalwarts
of the fantasy genre in all their glory. The Elves, Orcs, Wizards, Dwarfs,
Hobbits and Kings are beautifully realised. Which brings me onto the special
WETA, a New Zealand
based SFX Company, started by Jackson, take on Industrial Light and Magic
and show them that there is a new kid in town. The world of Middle Earth
is bought to life with such detail and grandeur that you could almost believe
that this world is real. Combining astounding computer graphics, amazingly
realistic makeup designs, extraordinary sets and the beauty and varied landscape
of New Zealand, WETA has set new standard for visual effects. The way camera
flies through the many different settings of the story is totally awe-inspiring.
As we know however,
great special effects do not make a movie, you need a great story to compliment
them and this movie has it is spades. Coming from a classic novel, voted
one of the best of the 20th century, the source material was already there
but it had to be translated well. Peter Jackson and his team has done so
with a passion that is seldom met but with a great script you need actors
that can bring the characters to life and this cast do not let you down.
The enthusiasm is there for everyone to see. It could have been so easy
for the movie to come across as cheesy if the actors had not taken it seriously,
but all of the cast bring a dignity each of the characters they portray.
Special mentions have to be made for Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn and Sir
Ian McKellen as Gandalf, but this is Elijah Wood's movie. He brings a sense
of wonderment and fear to Frodo that really gives the character that extra
sense of believability.
In most of the reviews
I have read, critics and movie fans alike have been comparing it to Harry
Potter and Star Wars. This really isn't fair as they are completely different
experiences. Star Wars is science fiction with a fantasy element and Harry
Potter is reality-based fantasy (as it is set on Earth with modern day humans),
The Lord of the Rings is everything you ever wanted from the fantasy genre.
The only problem
I had with the film was its certificate. The power of money has decided
that was given a PG when it really should have been a 12. The battle scenes
are very graphic, intense and scary and the subject matter is for a more
mature audience. Temptation and pure evil are shown to such a degree that
it scared me so how it would effect an eight year old I don't know?
In the end this
is a must see movie that leaves you wanting the year to pass that much quicker
so you can see the next part of this epic fantasy adventure.
"Welcome to Middle-Earth,"
"The Quest for the Ring," and "A Passage to Middle-Earth" - There's also
15 featurettes originally created for the website, Enya's "May it Be" music
video, trailers, TV spots & DVD Rom Content - The most exciting extra will
be an exclusive 10-minute behind-the-scenes preview of "The Two Towers",
a preview of the LOTR:TTT video game, and a preview of the second special
FOTR DVD edition.
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