The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

I really liked seeing Tolkein's book "come to life," to be cliché, in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. I don't agree with some of the changes they made in the plot, but they did a great job visually. It does seem a bit dated, but so do the books.

I've wanted to see LotR since it came out, but I wanted to read the books first, and I didn't do that until a couple years ago, and by then I didn't have time to watch old movies anymore. I tried to read The Hobbit, and either it was the most boring book I've ever read, or it was one of maybe two books that was so terrible I didn't finish it; I can't remember which. Either way, I won't be seeing that series (and it's not supposed to be good, anyway).

I feel like an unusual amount of memes came out of this series, like "one does not simply walk into Mordor." And that wasn't even a big line in the movie. Why did it become so popular?

This movie has a weird look to it, like it was shot on old-school film, and it has a weird old-school fantasy vibe to it in general. But so did the books -- they were written in 1937-49, after all -- so maybe they were going for authenticity. The opening part in Hobbiton reminded me of Willow.

Speaking of which, some of those Hobbits have bizarrely huge eyes, and some of them don't, which makes you wonder if the big ones are natural. Their hair certainly wasn't natural. Those terrible wigs are distracting. Aside from that, though, it was great seeing how they portrayed everything. I loved that Gandalf kept bumping into things in Bilbo's house. I was wondering how they were going to do the Balrog when I read about it, and it was pretty cool.

I didn't really like the way that they changed some things around from the book. I don't think Saruman was supposed to cause the storm on the mountain. It makes it seem more like Frodo made the "right" decision by choosing to go through Moria, since Saruman was trying to influence Gandalf to stay on the mountain. I can't remember if it was a surprise that everyone in Moria was dead, but I feel like it wasn't. And I really didn't like that Arwen came on so strong with Aragorn. That wasn't supposed to happen until the end. I guess they felt like they needed something more romantic going on in the first movie, but I don't agree.

Apparently a lot of people wondered why Elron didn't just toss Isildur into the cracks of Mount Doom (which I also wondered when I saw it), and the answer is, because it didn't go down like that in the books, and somebody just wanted to visually establish Mount Doom so we would have a better idea of where Frodo was going. It adds an unnecessary plot hole, though.

I did like hearing all the direct quotes from the book, and the names and everything sound good. It's weird that Pippin is the only one with an accent. Maybe he was from far away or something. Orlando Bloom makes a good Elf. He doesn't seem to have done much work beyond LotR and Pirates. I like that Frodo's realistic about it not being likely that he's going to survive the quest.

The leaf pins on their Elvish cloaks really stuck out like a sore thumb, but maybe they did that because they're important later. They could've made the cloaks look a little more magical, though. They're so drab. The fight scenes were cool. I like how the Hobbits always throw themselves into it even though they're useless. They really captured the menace of the Ringwraiths. I loved the imagery of the silhouettes of them and their horses, which they showed a few times.

Peter Jackson's camera moves are questionable in some places. You shouldn't keep noticing dramatic zooming. Maybe the DP did it. Everybody's eyes looked pretty weird. I don't know if the enhanced them digitally or just shone a lot of light in them all the time, but it was distracting and unnecessary. It's mostly a good representation of the book, though, and I'm interested to see the next one.

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