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Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring (Widescreen)
Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring (Full Screen)
Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring (Soundtrack - Limited Edition)
Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring (Soundtrack)
Lord of the Rings - Animated DVD (1978)
Lord of the Rings - Hobbit/Lord of the Rings Book Set
National Geographic Beyond the Movie - The Lord of the Rings (2002)
J.R.R. Tolkien Giftset (The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings/The Return of the King) (Animated DVD set)
J.R.R. Tolkien: Master of the Rings - The Definitive Guide To The World Of The Rings

Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring Review

Directed By:Peter Jackson
Starring: Elijah Wood, Bill Boyd, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean and Cate Blanchett.

Nominated for 13 Academy Awards. Check out our Academy Award 2002 Nomination Page here! Also, news on the trailer for the followup up film The Two Towers. Apparently a trailer for The Two Towers will be added to exhibitions of Fellowship Of The Ring starting in mid-March. The three-and-a-half minute trailer will unspool between the film's final scene, and the rolling of the credits.

They have really geared the hype machine up on this one. Posters are everywhere, advertising on the radio and television every other second it seems. However, they have not given anything away, they haven't even come close to showing you the Middle Earth Peter Jackson has brought to the screen and for all the hype the movie does not disappoint. Finally an 'event movie' that follows through in every way.

For those who grew up on The Hobbit, Lords of the Ring or even playing Dungeons and Dragons we have all been waiting for this movie for way too long. I racked my brain after the movie trying to recall the last time I read The Lord of the Rings. I remember now. Eighth grade. I wrote a spin-off short story for an English Class involving Frodo and Sam on a new adventure and was accused of plagiarism and given a failing mark, my first ever in an English class. If I only knew then what I know now about using established characters and creating a whole new series of books like Star Trek and Star Wars line have done I might have been able to argue my failing mark and my stupid nameless English teacher could kiss my bitterness there.

For those of you have never read any of the books is this film still approachable? I'd say so, but unless you want to see an epic like this I might be inclined to say stay away. Director Peter Jackson gives an abbreviated version of the events in The Hobbit to quickly bring you up to speed and then plunge you quickly into Middle Earth lore. We are introduced to a young hobbit named Frodo, who has inherited a magic ring from his elderly cousin Bilbo. The one ring that can rule all the dark forces of the world. The Dark Lord Sauron has returned to reclaim the ring so he can enslave the people of Middle Earth. Frodo, in his adventures, becomes a part of The Fellowship of the Ring: recruiting a wizard, an elf, a dwarf, a ranger and several other hobbits on a quest. The mission is simply sneak into Mordor and destroy the ring by casting it into the volcanic fires in the Crack of Doom. A simple task except that every dark force in Middle Earth seems to be looking for them.

Peter Jackson, a brilliant and underrated director (The Frighteners, Heavenly Creatures, Dead Alive and so many more), is finally getting the credit he is due and all he had to do was stick his neck out on the line alongside New Line's budget and shoot all of the books in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (often considered unfilmable) in a year and a half. No sweat. Jackson has gone further than Tolkien ever did in one way...he made the film more accessible than the books. Tolkien did have a penchant for overwriting some scenarios.

However, Jackson does make the same mistake in modern story-telling that so many others make...he reiterates the same point time and time again to the detriment of the pacing. The ring must be destroyed, it is all case you didn't get that the first six times we will now have another scene illustrating this point. A nit-picking point if ever there was one, but still a valid one that may become more apparent on frequent re-watchings of this film.

The casting never draws a gasp of disbelief from the audience as every role seems perfectly thought out. Elijah Wood, though young for the role, does bring an innocence that may not have been there with someone in their 30's. Sean Astin, putting on weight for the role comes off as a sturdy stand by in the role of Samwise and Billy Boyd as Pippin, although unknown is great. As for some of the other roles...Ian McKellen is Gandalf. End of story.

One of the surprises is seeing John Rhys Davies (Sallah from Raiders of the Lost Ark), digitally shrunk and playing Gimli the dwarf. He just nails the character and gives some of the scenes have some light moments. Orlando Bloom stands out with his look as the Elvish archer Legolas but little more...perhaps more down the road in the next film. Sean Bean as Boromir, as is the case with Sean Bean, great acting without ever drawing attention purely to himself. Perhaps this is why the man is not a bigger star, he is in the scene with others, not making the scenes about himself. Viggo Mortensen as the mysterious Strider/Aragorn also stands out when necessary and his distrust of Boromir makes for some interesting scenes.

Though this film does suffer from the odd staggering of scenes that simply relate events, a lot of fans will forgive this as one must think of the whole as opposed to the one picture. A lot of story has to be thrown to the audience off the top with endless history to back it up, all to set up the next two films.

Yes, yes, yes, I hear you saying...that is a lot of text about plot and characters but what about the action? Again, Jackson has outdone Tolkien in my eyes. While the battles were in the book it seems as if they were sometimes the area Tolkien least liked spending his time. Here, from the moment our adventurers reach the dwarf mine, for about 25 minutes, comes a heart stopping series of battles and chases that make one realize why this series is going to be such a hit. Jackson really breathed life into the visuals and there is so much going on that it can easily be watched again and new things will undoubtedly be caught with your wandering eyes.

This is one of those rare movies, that at three hours, I would have cheerfully stayed for another three to watch the followup, The Two Towers. It was sad that the film ends when it does, but at least, this time out, I know that next December a sequel is slated and primed for release and none of this 'Lucas says it may or may not be within the next three years' crap we get slapped with on the Star Wars series.

Copyright© Written by: Rob Paul

DVD Information:

Special Features:
Two-disc set
Theatrical (PG-13) version of the film
Exclusive 10-minute behind-the-scenes preview of The Two Towers
Three in-depth documentaries that reveal the secrets behind the production of this epic adventure, including:
"Welcome to Middle-earth" (in-store special as shown by Houghton Mifflin)
"The Quest for the Ring" (as debuted on the FBC Network)
"A Passage to Middle-earth" (as premiered on the SCI-FI Channel)
15 featurettes originally created for, which explore the locales and cultures of Middle-earth and include interviews with cast members Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, and others
Enya "May It Be" music video
An inside look at the Special Extended DVD Edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Preview of Electronic Arts' video game, The Two Towers
DVD-ROM features: Exclusive online content
Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats

The DVD Review:
No DVD review yet: Bookmark us and check back regularly as we will update this page as new information comes available.

Well, we have heard some rumblings and it was along the lines of what I have suspected. A late fall release for Lord of the Rings is probably inevitable. It makes sense...after all, what with two more flicks slated for each Christmas, wouldn't you build hype by releasing the previous movie a few weeks before it?

Sure you would. Anyway, some things to expect on the disc apparently. A half hour of footage originally excised from the flick put back in. Not a director's cut, just a longer cut. The director's cut is the one you saw in theatres according to Peter Jackson. Within the additional half-hour of material are more scenes with Aragorn and Boromir and a scene involving Galadriel handing out gifts to each member of the fellowship.

Keep checking back here, as we get more news we'll let you know!

Evil Ash

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