Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson
Today I drove down to Seattle to see Lord of the Rings, I had intended to drive down for the midnight show but sadly I remain sub-ubergeek due to various parental concerns. radlab0, Pseudo_Intellectual, FlamingWeasel and I assembled at the Cinerama in downtown Seattle. They had seen it the night before *grumble*. Anyway, what follows is my review of the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
: Attack of the Clones
Let me begin by saying that if you have read the books, it is likely that you will enjoy the movie. However, if you have not read the books, it is likely that you will enjoy the movie to a greater extent. This sort of thing happens in the mind of the average pedantic geek type person, we know it won't measure up to the book but we compare it as such anyway. This is not a good thing for seldom is a movie better than a book. Before I go any further, let me state that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, it is one of the better movies I've seen recently, if you have a choice to see this movie, see it. Now on with the criticism.
We must give everyone involved in this movie their due credit (except Liv Tyler), the direction and adaptation were wholly stunning, Peter Jackson should be knighted, he has done an excellent job and gone further than I would have expected towards my expectations for the film. He and his crew managed to fit a great deal into the comparatively short 3 hours (even the BBC radio production took four and a half). Consequently, however, the speed at which they were forced to move the plot managed to squelch a great deal of due awe on my part. The locations were portrayed beautifully, extremely detailed and, in many cases, quite similar to my preconceived ideas pertaining to them. The problem was, however, that the plot had to keep moving. Where the book spends no less than a chapter on Lothlorien, we were in and out within 15 minutes. Lothlorien is one of my personal favorite locations in Middle-earth, where it might have been explored with greater time, we saw only glimpses and scarcely any of its inhabitants.
I will not fiddle with nit-picking issues of Balrog wings (the Balrog was very cool, though again, not quite enough time) nor Tom Bombadil (he was, as in all LotR incarnations thus far, left out for the sake of time; I turn rather to the issue of characters and the changes made thereto. The acting was superb (except for Liv Tyler), even Elijah Wood (much to my surprise); the characters themselves, however, were written differently, some to what I would say a drastic extent. Many of the character changes are negligible; however, one I find most unfortunate, is that of Galadriel(played by Cate Blanchett. She has been tainted and given the greed of men. This is the main point with which I take issue. She should be fair beyond fair, inside and out. They, however, saw fit to change her and it may yet come to some use. Speaking of which is Gollum, who was portrayed extremely well, very creepy, you'll just have to see 8)
I would like to conclude with everything I enjoy. The visuals were spectacular, very well done though I am beginning to dislike the CG that is killing my capacity for awe. One visual a particularly enjoyed was the effect the scene took when the ring was used, almost exactly as I had imagined it and it must be seen to be understood. As I have said, it was quite well acted. Some characters of personal note are Gandalf(my favorite in the books) was portrayed very very well by Ian McKellen, he could conceivably be a wizard in real life; and Legolas (my favorite in the movie) played by Orlando Bloom; the only way to phrase his character is "Kickin' ass and takin' names".
In conclusion, I would like to again emphasize: "See this movie". See it in a nice theatre with THX (see the new THX logo), listen to the witty ones make comments on the previews, and sit back and try to forget the nagging voice in the back of your mind which says that Hugo Weaving (Elrond/Agent Smith) is really still in disguise from his last movie and is planning to again attempt to vanquish "The One". In fact, I would recommend drowning out the bits of you that compare it with the book by watching the trailer over and over again, pretending it's the movie, then compare the movie to the trailer, much better. Anyway, there it is. Go see Lord of the Rings.
Original Story by J.R.R. Tolkien
, Director/Writer/Producer: Peter Jackson