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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (DVD)

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      28.11.2012 19:53
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      Not perfect by any means, but this is one of the best films of all time.

      "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" is a 2001 film that was adapted from the novel written by J.R.R. Tolkien, with the screenplay coming via way of Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens. The film was directed by Peter Jackson, who has taken the helm on such films as "King Kong" (2005), "Bad Taste" (1987) and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (2012). Warning: Spoilers will likely be given during this review. The film was an epic 2hr 58mins in length and starred Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, who has been in such films as "The Faculty" (1998), "Green Street Hooligans" (2005) and "Deep Impact" (1998), Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, who has enjoyed roles in "X-Men" (2000), "The Da Vinci Code" (2006) and "Apt Pupil" (1998) amongst others, and Sean Bean as Boromir, who had previously acted in films like "Essex Boys" (2000), "GoldenEye" (1995) and "Patriot Games" (1992). Big names also appearing were Christopher Lee, Sean Astin and Cate Blanchett. The plot for the film reads as follows: An innocent hobbit of The Shire journeys with eight companions to the fires of Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring and the dark lord Sauron forever. It was 1954 when George Allen & Unwin first published John Ronald Reuel Tolkien's novel, "The Fellowship of the Ring", and it took a further 47 years for a live action version to hit the big screen. Peter Jackson's version was first worked on in 1997 when he began work on the storyboard and filming eventually began on 11th October, 1999. The film won four Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup and Best Original Score, but as often with the Oscars the best films, actors and directors miss out. Is it any good? Let's find out! The characters of the film are a diverse bunch. I'm not going to go into detail for all of them, as you probably all know there were two more in the series so I'll focus on some now and the majority in the next two film reviews. The main hero is Frodo Baggins. Frodo is a hobbit who, at first, doesn't look like he's a warrior, but along the way and throughout the film he shows that he can fight a bit. He's kind of a reluctant hero in that he's happy to stay at home but went on an epic adventure for the greater good. Elijah Wood is the perfect Frodo. It's said that Jake Gyllenhaal and Dominic Monaghan both auditioned for the part, but Wood plays the part as Tolkien might have wished. Samwise Gamgee seems to be a weasily character, but likes to think he can protect his best friend, Frodo, whenever a tricky situation arises. However, we see him cowering most of the time during the film's action scenes. He's a fiercely loyal friend of Frodo's who starts out immature but is left with no choice but to grow up along the way because of the importance of the quest. Sean Astin put on some weight to play the part and though he plays it quite well, his character is lacking something. It's said that Graham Norton auditioned for the part, but I agree with casting Astin as he's a little bit younger. Boromir, played by Sean Bean, is a prince of the Stewards of Gondor and a warrior with a passion for battle. I enjoyed Bean's portrayal of Boromir and couldn't really see anyone else playing the part, though it's said that Bruce Willis was interested and Liam Neeson turned it down. I don't think Willis would have made a good Boromir, but Neeson is a different story as he's an actor I've found fits into the role he takes on with ease. Having said that, Sean Bean made the part his own and though he often strayed into his thick Yorkshire accent he still nails the acting. It's strange that his accent does slip as in the 1995 film "GoldenEye", it's near perfect Queen's English. The film starts with an epic battle between the armies of Sauron (played by Sala Baker) and the Elves and Men. It's very heavily relying on CGI which I'm not a huge fan of by any means but you do get some good close-up live action shots. What is quickly clear about the film is the stunning scenery and cinematography. It was all filmed in New Zealand, and it makes me want to visit the country every time I see the film. I'm not sure if I'll ever get there but I can only hope. There is a great scene with Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins where they're smoking Halflings' Leaf through pipes that I enjoyed a lot. It was almost like the calm before the storm and the two have clearly been friends for a long time. The bond between the duo is made more clear when Bilbo blows a smoke ring and Gandalf, using magic, blows a ship which sails through it. I thought that was a wonderful scene and if it had been a film with just those two swapping stories I'd have been happy. I love how they got the size proportions right, and as Gandalf is so much taller than the hobbits and the use of forced perspective is a brilliant way of making this happen on the big screen. The sets, too, are elaborate. I especially like the hobbit houses with their quirky round doors and windows. They're just the right size for their inhabitants, but too small for Gandalf who has to bend down in order to walk around. The visualisation of the wooden beams and doorways is stunning and makes you want to live in one of their houses. It is also good to see two acting legends and Knights of the British Empire like Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Sir Christopher Lee (Saruman) come together and there is some wonderful dialogue between the two just before their first fight scene. Their second fight scene on top of the castle shows the power of lighting as when it's something attached to evil it's dark and moody. Interestingly, Christopher Lee auditioned for the part of Gandalf but he was thought to be too old for the part. Detail is the order of the day throughout the film and the makeup on the orcs is stunning, as is a scene where water across a wide stream turns into horses galloping. The walk through the mine is also visually appealing and I especially liked the wide pan and zoom out from its opening scene with little things popping out here and there that you'd not normally expect to see but when you do see them you're thinking that it was a nice touch to put them in there. The wide shots are amazing and the colours are vibrant and warm, almost too unnatural but the type of scenery you'd want if you were out walking in the fresh air. The score for the film compliments each scene magnificently, although sometimes it's a little too demanding. I would have preferred it if they'd have toned it down a little in dialogue scenes. More special scenes include one where the majority of the Fellowship are arguing in the background while Frodo stares fixatedly at the ring. He can see everyone remonstrating with each other in the ring which then turns to fire. I think that's a defining moment in the film's plot and one of the most poignant. Of course, there had to be good action scenes, and there is a battle against the orcs in the mines which is visually stunning and the giant cave troll was a work of art. The last fight scene was set in a forest and was packed full of great action and well-choreographed moves that got you on the edge of your seat. To have a good film you have to have good lines and some that stood out in particular include one where the group is drinking in a tavern and Pippin asks Merry what he's got. He says "This, my friend, is a pint" and Pippin replies "It comes in pints?" There is a part that carries weight as far as the friendship between Frodo and Samwise goes, which has Sam utter the line: "I made a promise, Mr. Frodo. A promise. "Don't you leave him Samwise Gamgee." And I don't mean to. I don't mean to." This is where, I think, Sam grew up a little and realised his importance in the quest. But the best line comes very early on in the film when Gandalf arrives in Middle Earth and Frodo says "You're late". Gandalf brushes him off and replies "A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to." I like the delivery on that and Frodo looks puzzled for a moment. In summary, while I enjoyed the first installment of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy very much, I still felt it was lacking in something. There could have been more scenes with Gandalf or there could have been an extra scene where Gimli and Legolas are on their way to join the Fellowship. I'm not the director, though, and I wouldn't want to take on such a mammoth task as this. To understand one you have to watch all three just like any trilogy. In this case, you will first meet the characters and get to know some of them but you won't understand it all until the very end of "The Return of the King", which I think is the better of the three. "The Fellowship of the Ring" was something very special and maybe it deserved more credit than it got. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone but I would also urge caution and say that you should get "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King" as well. My rating: 9/10

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      11.07.2012 17:31
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      awesome

      The lord of the rings is the first movie in a series of movies based on the Lord of the ring series of books by Toliken. Normally when a film is made about a book, it doesn't meet the same standards of the book (see harry potter, darren shan, and so on). But this film, and infact the whole series of films is an exception. The books i always found very hard to get into, as they seemed to take forever for the story to actually get anywhere. But this film is a lot more approachable, and is actually watchable, whereas the books were way too tricky to read, SPOILER ALERT, the story starts off with frodo baggins, a young hobbit from the shire going to celebrate his uncles birthday (bilbo baggins from the hobbit books, they are also making a film about this now). Anyway, during the celebrations, bilbo dissappears using the ring, and suddenly frodo's world starts to fall around him. Gandalf (an old friend who is also a wizard), informs him about the ring being the power source almost of a great evil warrior who seeks to take over the whole of middle earth (basically the world). Frodo must venture to the elven land of rivendale to give the ring to a group of heroes who will attempt to destroy the ring in minas tireth (no idea how to spell it sorry), in morodor, the base camp of the evil army. Anyway, along the way they are attacked by the ring wraiths, saurons personal hit men. But he is saved by a rouge named aragorn, with a mysterious past. Once in rivendale, there is a dissagreement about who should take the ring, a human, elf, dwarf? Eventually Frodo decides he must take the ring, and the fellowship is formed, of Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir (a human), Legolas (elf), and Gimli (Dwarf), as well as frodo's hobbit friends samwise, pippin and merry. The film carries on with them venturing through the mines of moria, and then being attacked by the Uraki Hai, a sort of elite hit squad of orcs. I won't reveal all the details :). Anyway, the film is very well done, and is on a truly epic proportions. This film is about 3 hours long, which is a good thing because they really make you feel like you are actually there, and the time just wizzes by. I have watched this film at least 7 times probably more, so by my calculations i must have spent over a whole day of my life just watching this film, and it was time well spent! I would say you won't be able to go without watching the film at least twice, it really is that good. If you have not watched this, you really have to watch it now, its one of the most unmissable films of all time.

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      01.06.2011 17:26
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      An amazing fantasy film that will not fail to entertain you.

      Peter Jackson had doubters before the film was made on how he was going to pull the film off and be successful. However, all the doubters are now proved wrong. This film combines great acting, great scenes and an amazing adapted story. This film includes most areas of the book but also adds in some more features that the film could not work without. "Middle Earth" makes you feel as if it is a real place. It goes from a nice peaceful place called the Shire to going on an adventure into enemy and hostile territories and meeting some of the strangest fantasy creatures. There are elves, dwarfs and "hobbits" which are small people with hairy feet. Two hobbits, Sam and Frodo who are joined by Merry and Pippin (also hobbits), must embark on a quest to destroy a ring that has the power to control and destroy middle earth. They must cast it into mount doom however, it's a long way away and there are hundreds of different foes and allies they encounter along the way. The actors act well and play a major part in the movie. As frodo and sam embark, they meet a wizard, a knight, dwarf and elf and more who help them on the way. They have to go through mines full of orcs and take on water monsters. They have to climb mountains, tread through forests and more. Great action and a great story but a long film, nearly 3 hours. It isn't a boring film though so the 3 hours passes quick. Some places in the film they go to are warm and comforting where as others are dark and dangerous. So many different places, creatures and people they meet on the way. It's a great film and as the rating says, for over 12's. The effects are great and the animated monsters are very realistic such as the fire monster. The goblins look realistic and the orcs are scary. The film is fantastic and makes the world come to life.

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      21.09.2010 09:57
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      See Review

      After watching the King Kong film the other day I thought I would start watching Lord of the Rings (same director, Peter Jackson) again, so last night I watched the first in the series Fellowship of the Ring. This first part is telling you about how the ring was made and how Bilbo Baggins came to have it, then it goes on to tell how he left it for Frodo and how with the help of his friends Frodo starts on his journey to destroy the ring. The story is told really well, I love the way it has just the right amount of humour in it but still has many dark and quite disturbing scenes as well. The scenery is beautiful when they are out in the open and I also like the way they have made the scenes with the more intricate details like the elf village and inside the dwarf mines. Another thing that was clever was how they managed to get the hobbits looking small up to the other beings in the film, especially the bit at the beginning with Gandalph in Bilbo's home. The creatures are really well made, like the orcs, you can definitely imagine them as being real beings from what you see on the screen. The costumes are all brilliant too, beautiful clothing for the elves and all the details they have put it. The music for the film is by Howard Shore and he has captured the magic of the film in the music exactly with some dramatic orchestral music for the fights and action scenes and more lilting, drifting music for scenes like in in the woods and with the elves. There is a star cast of actors who appear in the film. Elijah Wood plays Frodo Baggins, the hobbit with the task of destroying the ring, Sean Astin plays his trusty friend Samwise Gamgee. I love the male bonding between these two characters, their friendship is something to be jealous of as it really comes across as being something you can not break apart. Ian Holm plays Bilbo Baggins and I thought he was so right for this role. Gandalf the Grey was played by Ian McKellen and who else could have played this part? He played him exactly as I imagined him to be when reading the book years ago. Dominic Monaghan plays Merry Brandybuck and Billy Boyd plays Pippin Took, the other two hobbits who decide to go on the journey with their friends Frodo and Sam. They both play their parts well and come across as mischievous imps that try hard not to get them selves into trouble. The lovely Orlando Bloom plays Legolas the elf and the even lovelier Viggo Mortensen plays the man Aragorn. They both join up with Frodo to help keep him safe on his journey along with the drawf Gimli played by John Rhys-Davies and Boromir played by Sean Bean. I must say I thought Sean Bean played this part a lot better than in the last film I saw of his (The Dark). And Gimli the drawf was just adorable. Andy Serkis played Gollum, and I thought he was brilliant at doing this kind of thing. He also played the ape in King Kong. Other notable actors in the film are Cate Blanchett who plays Galadriel, Christoper Lee who plays Saruman, Liv Tyler who plays Arwen and Hugo weaving who plays Elrond. If you still have never seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy (my other half has never seen them, keeps saying he wants to but never gets round to it lol) I would highly recommend the films to you, The will appeal to all age groups. This film is rated a PG in the UK, it has quite a lot of fighting in it but there are many light hearted bits added in to take off the edge a bit, and some of the characters, especially Gimli are really funny.

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        16.09.2010 14:15
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        A true classic that everyone should see

        This is a fantastic films which, although aimed at the younger viewers perhaps, will thrill viewers of any age. It is part of a trilogy of films adapted from the books of J.R. Tolkien. The story involves a magical ring which brings out evil powers in it's wearer. Originally intended for wear by an evil member of a fellowship, upon his defeat the ring went undiscovered and unworn for years before finding it's way into the hands of Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), a hobbit. He then discovers from Gandalf the Great (Sir Ian McKellan) that the powers the ring holds are evil and that the evil spirit of the original owner of the ring is hunting for it. Frodo must go into hiding and stop the evil spirit from killing him and reclaiming the ring. As he escapes, Frodo is joined by 3 of his friends from his hometown, The Shire, who accompany him along the way. As the story goes on, Frodo then is set the challenge of destroying the ring by throwing it into the fires of the mount where it was forged. He is joined by members of different groups including Strider, Legolas (an elf) and a dwarf who help him along the way using their exceptional fighting talents and knowledge. The set in this film is outstanding and the special effects are first class. As it was filmed in New Zealand I believe, the scenery is very realistic looking for the fantasy type film it is. I also think the cast was very well chosen too. Elijah Wood makes a very believable hobbit and has great screen presence while his hobbit friends (Billy Boyd and Dominic Moinahan) provide a lot of humour in their clumsiness and stupidness. Viggo Mortenson is great as Strider as is Orlando Bloom as Legolas. Very believable and identifiable. Overall this is an outstanding film and is really enjoyable. It is quite long at nearly 4 hrs but it doesn't feel this long at all and it's so fast paced that you don't get bored halfway through it.

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          30.03.2010 10:40
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          Lord of the ring - Fellowship of the ring

          This film, the first of three films, also the first of three books written by J.R.R Tolkein is the story of a hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) This film starts with life in the shire, It's the 111th birthday of Bilbo Baggins (Sir Ian Holm) and everyone in the shire has been invited to his party. Here we also meet the other hobbits Samwise Gangee (Sean Astin), Pippin (Billy boyd) and Merry (Dominic Monaghan) who have a part in the rest of the film. Bilbo has decided that he wants to travel, and without telling anyone he has decided to leave after his birthday party. To do this he uses a magic ring that he has found that makes himself invisible during his speech and then wonders home to get his things. Gandalf the grey (Sir Ian McKellen) notices that this may not be normal magic and it might be quite bad magic so waits in his house until he returns to speak to him. As Bilbo has decided to leave everything behind to Frodo Gandalf gets him to leave the ring behind as well as it seems to have poisoned Bilbo. After researching about this ring he finds that it is one that legends have talked about a ring that belonged to the dark lord Sauron, its full of evil magic and Gandalf tells Frodo that he must leave the shire that they have to destroy the ring. On the journey he is joined by Sam, pippin and Merry and they start their journey. Once they get to Rivendale, it is decided that the ring must be taken to Mout Doom where it was created as it is the only place where it can be destroyed. Frodo decides that this is his mission and that he must go. He gains some more people who want to help him and they become the fellowship of the ring. Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Grimli (John Rhys-Davies). Aragon (Viggo Mortenson),Boromir (Sean Bean),Gandalf the grey and the other three hobbits, they are the fellowship of the ring. I love these films they are the ultimate magical stories with wizards and elves. One of the most amazing things about this film is the scenery. With the film being made in new Zealand it has the most amazing backdrops. The music for this film was composed by Howard Shore, I personally think that this is one of the best soundtracks that he has ever written. I have played the music from this film and the range of emotions that it can produce and the difference from soft and pretty to loud and terrifying is amazing. I really like the fact that this film shows the whole life in the shire and life before the ring. The other films are more about the mission that Frodo has to endure, but with this film at the beginning it has a rather large chunk of normal life which I really enjoyed it is a large difference to the rest of the film. There is just something about Elijah Wood in every film that he does and it's in his eyes, he has large blue eyes that just draw you in, he can show emotion through these eyes as well, not just through his body movements like may actors and that's what I like about him. I really think that having him in this lead role really gave him a huge start in the mainstream film production and he really does a good job in these films.

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          12.03.2010 21:42
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          Loved every second of this fantastic film

          Here is one film that lived up to its hype, and by the time I saw it after it had arrived at the video stores, I had heard and read a ton of things about it, and seen all the awards it had received, and expected a lot. To my surprise, it did not disappoint. Now, several years later after having watched all three of these "Rings" films twice each, I still think this first movie of the trilogy is the best. It is a truly spectacular adventure story all the way through, probably the best ever put to film...and the first three hours of it is extra special. The following two films were very good, to be sure, but this first had a better mixture of the story. The second and third movies were almost entirely Frodo and his allies' long journey, but the first half of this movie also gives a good bit of interesting introductory material including a number of scenes at the Shire, before the long adventure starts. If you watch all three of these films consecutively the action wears you down by midway through the final episode and it almost becomes just too much That never gets a chance to happen with the "Fellowship" film. Anyway, "Fellowship," stunned me for the visuals alone. I can't recall any film that has so many jaw-dropping scenes, one after the other, for three straight hours. Some are beyond description, and I don't care if they are computer- generated. So what? The fact is they are awesome to view, both in beauty and in staggering action scenes that feature incredible-looking monsters and other mythical characters. The story covers all kinds of terrain, too, from the lush Shire of the Hobbits, to the harsh neighboring landscapes. Each couple of minutes, as in the two movies that followed, scenes radically change from calmness to action, adventure to romance, sweet lovable characters to hideous monsters, on and on and on. It's an incredible movie experience.

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          02.03.2010 21:16
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          10/10

          I am currently off work after an operation so I have decided to watch all three Lord of the Rings and review them. There was huge hype about this film when it came to the cinemas but I didn't know what it was about, but still I decided to go and see it, and how glad I was afterwards. So glad that I bought the DVD which has enabled me to give it a full and proper review. I quite liked that there is some background information about the ring at the start of the film, with a voice over while there are some dramatic scenes following the life of the ring. Then it cuts to some beautiful scenery and it isn't long before we get a taste of some great special effects in the form of fancy fireworks that look like the real thing apart from all the crazy things they can do! This is a sign of the effects still yet to come. As I watched the film this time I really thought about how good the acting was, especially knowing that I was reviewing it, and I have to say it is of my personal opinion that it was brilliant. There is a huge amount of great actors in this film: Ellijah Wood - The main character in by far his best role as Frodo is more than believeable. His facial expressions throughout the film tell a story in itself, I can't recall one bit where I thought it was poor acting with Ellijah. For this he won best actor award with Empire Awards UK and best ensemble acting from Phoenix Film Critics Society. Sean Astin - Supporting actor as Samwise Gangee, also a great role which see's some top quality acting although I did have to question one part where Sam is drowning in the lake, he doesn't look too much like he is drowning when he is under water. Sir Ian McKellen - Gandalf the Grey, for me was the best actor in this film. He was absolutely faultless and extremely powerful, he was nominated for lots of awards for this role including a BAFTA and an Academy award, however he only won Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. Viggo Mortensen - Aragorn (strider) is your typical warrior/brave man in the fim who fights hard and never gives up. Great acting in which he beat a bevy of other stars to the role. Other actors who play an important part are Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Sean Bean (Boromir), Billy Boyd (Pippin), Dominic Monaghan (Merry), John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) and Christopher Lee (Saruman the White). I feel that these all simply add to the greatness of this film, but they aren't in it as much to talk about in great deal. The film also has two short parts played by Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett. There is some amazing costumes and make up in the film with some authentic looking armoury and also some authentic looking monsters or orcs as they are known in the film. The scenery comes from New Zealand and there is some quite simply stunning shots. The film uses lots of special effects including one that makes the hobbits looks smaller than everyone else. I think the film is directed brilliantly by Peter Jackson and due to this it won many awards mainly four academy awards (it was nominated for thirteen). For those of you who haven't seen this film I would strongly suggest you put it on your list of films to see. It made cinema history and is definitely a must see. It's currenly selling for £3.97 at amazon! What a bargain!!!

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            24.01.2010 10:25
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            Brilliant Fantasy Adventure

            Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is the first in the series of classic novels written by JRR Tolkien which Peter Jackson took on the massive task of adapting for the big screen. A task I wouldn't begrudge anyone. Having read all three books I just couldn't imagine them ever being brought to life the sheer scale of the adventure just made it seemingly impossible. However, Peter Jackson defied my belief and created one of the greatest trilogies ever made and it began here with The Fellowship of the Ring. The first thing I would like to say is that I have read the books, which are an amazing piece of literature, but I didn't enjoy them. I found most of it quite boring, the use of language throughout is brilliant but they just didn't capture my imagination. However, when the news first hit that the books were going to be adapted for the screen I was excited, the books are epic and it's a fantasy world, a delicious combination for a film. Here in The Fellowship of the Ring the adventure begins. The Dark Lord Sauron forges a ring that gives him the power to control Middle Earth. Darkness spreads through the land and Sauron rules the land until the people of Middle Earth come together for one last stand against the Dark Lord. Sauron is defeated and the ring passes to Isildur who has one chance to destroy it, but the hearts of men are easily corrupted, he keeps the ring until he is killed and the ring is lost in a river bed. Thousands of years later the ring is found by Gollum, who takes the ring deep into the mountains and for 500 years it consumes him. The ring then abandons Gollum and is picked up by the most unlikely of creatures, a Hobbit name Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm). 60 years later we're in The Shire for Bilbo's birthday where he is joined by his old friend Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellan) and Frodo Baggins (Elijah Woods) his young Nephew. At his party Bilbo announces he is leaving and to everyone's surprise disappears, using the ring of course. Bilbo then leaves The Shire, leaving all his possessions to Frodo, including the ring. Bilbo's exploits and reluctance to part with the ring rise suspicion in Gandalf and he leaves to confirm his suspicions are correct. He soon returns to The Shire and tells Frodo what he suspected is true, the ring Frodo possesses is the ring of power, and Sauron is looking for it. Gandalf tells Frodo he has to leave The Shire and sends him to Bree with his gardener Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) and the ring. So, the adventure begins and in the first instalment we visit the first of many strange fantastical locations, Rivendell, The Mines of Moria and Lothlorien and they look perfect, it's like they were created from the images of Tolkien's imagination. Filmed on location in New Zealand the sets were always bound to look amazing but the way everything is put together is amazing. The Mines of Moria was a particular highlight, throughout the impressive scenes here the tension builds nicely and subsequently an eerie ambience is created, and you sense trouble could strike at any time. Lothlorien and Rivendell are both places inhabited by Elves and they both look beautiful. Rivendell is a city on a mountain on the side of river, there are grand buildings mixed with tranquil settings and it is the first time in the film you feel our heroes are safe from the foes that hunt them. Lothlorien is a stark contrast to Rivendell, it is a city built within a forest built using rope bridges. It's not just these locations that impress though, everywhere the characters pass is beautiful and the films settings could easily be used as an advertising campaign for tourism in New Zealand. The landscapes look amazing and it all adds to the unique experience of the film. Rarely, have I been so impressed by the location where a film is shot. In Rivendell a council is called to decide the fate of the ring where it is decided by Elrond, Lord of the Elves, that the ring must be taken to Mount Doom and thrown back into the fires with which it was created to destroy it forever. After an argument between the different races present Frodo elects himself to the task and then some of the others volunteer to help him bare this burden. Here we meet more of the films main characters, Legolas (Orlando Bloom) an Elf Prince from the Woodland Realm, the Dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) and The Steward of Gondor, Boromir (Sean Bean). Together with Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Gandalf, Merry (Dominic Monaghan), Pippin (Billy Boyd) and Sam they form the Fellowship of the Ring. All these characters are brilliant, they all have their strengths and weaknesses and most have a back story. Aragorn is Isidur's heir, the King of Men, Boromir the Steward of Gondor longs to bring glory back to Gondor. It all adds to the epic story and makes it even more enjoyable as the ring corrupts each character in its own way. The performances of the actors that play these roles are all brilliant. Sir Ian McKellan plays Gandalf superbly, his performance is powerful and he fits the role of the wizard brilliantly. Sean Astin as the stout and brave-hearted hobbit Sam is impressive but he grows into the role as the series moves on, likewise for Elijah Wood as Frodo. Monaghan and Boyd are good as Merry and Pippin and add some much needed humour and light-heartedness to the film. There are so many other characters it is hard to mention every performance but Christopher Lee deserves a mention as the dark wizard Saruman, he is intimidating and quite scary. However, there are two outstanding performances within this first instalment. Firstly, Sean Bean as Boromir, his performance is something to savour, he embraces the role and turns out a powerful and poignant portrayal. Viggo Mortensen provides us with the second outstanding performance, he plays Aragorn superbly, he is entirely convincing as the nobleman who is fighting the demons of his ancestors whilst striving to protect Frodo. The special effects are also brilliant; the variety of different creatures, the action sequences and the way that the hobbits look convincing at half the size of everyone else is great. Firstly, the Orcs, they look superb they are genuinely quite scary and look very real, the make up is great and brings these evil creatures to life perfectly. The highlight in this film however is the Balrog, the ancient demon the fellowship encounter in The Mines of Moria, it looks absolutely staggering it is entirely convincing and is a highlight of the whole trilogy. When I read the books I wondered how they were going to make the hobbits look good, they are after all under 4 feet tall, I though it might look a bit ridiculous but again they look great. The illusion that they are half the size of everyone else works perfectly, I have no idea how it was done but it works. The action sequences also look brilliant, and although not many special effects are needed for a lot of them, it is the fight between Gandalf and Saruman, the battle with the Cave Troll and the fight with the Balrog that are particularly impressive. The films soundtrack, written by Howard Shore, is also great. The tracks really add to the overall atmosphere of the film. They build the tension well as well raising the excitement levels as you know a battle or something is about to happen. Without the soundtrack I really don't think the film would be what it is, it just wouldn't have worked as well without. The soundtrack truly does add to the atmosphere of the film and really adds to the enjoyment of this epic adventure. At just under three hours the film is massively long and normally I would say that it is too long but here it just isn't. I can't see where the length could have been cut down, every scene is pretty much essential to the progression of the story. What's more none of the scenes are boring and the three hour runtime flies by, it is perfect. The film rings true to the book throughout, watching the film it is like the book is being played out word for word in front you, in the scenes they chose to include obviously. It would have been extremely difficult to incorporate everything that happens in the book though, and then the film would have been unbearably long. Still it is a true representation and I feel that the book has been trimmed down perfectly and this allows the story to flow seamlessly. This is a truly epic film, the sheer scale of it is awe inspiring and I would strongly recommend this film to anyone. The film is part of a trilogy and so the ending is quite loose as you would expect but the film does stand well on its own and it is a truly remarkable recreation of a great piece of literature.

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              30.11.2009 15:49

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              Great entertainment

              For me this is the best of the trilogy and sets the story up nicely. It follows Frodo Baggins and is journey from the quiet and peaceful shire into an adventure that will change his life. The book was brilliant when I read it many years ago and I'm so glad they have brought it to life finally with the aid of this film. For those who are in this the 3 or so hours that this part lasts will fly by and you feel that you flung right into the midst of the adventure with the hobbits and the band of characters that they meet on the way. The special effects and the way the film was put together are fantastic and the DVD is great value for money now that is slightly older. Would make a great present to start the trilogy collection for anyone who already loves the books or for anyone who wants to start out and get into this fantasy

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              23.11.2009 18:38
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              Slow moving but rewarding

              It's perhaps passe to even review the Lord of the Rings now, given how massively successful teh trilogy of films was, and how highly regarded they are as a literary adaptation. Based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring revolves around Middle Earth, where Dark Lord Sauron is looking for the One Ring needed to "rule them all". The ring is in The Shire, in the custody of a hobbit (small humanoid-looking creatures with hairy feet), Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), who, along with 8 other travellers, has to venture to Mount Doom in the dangerous Mordor to destroy the ring so that it can never be used for evil. Although I don't hold the series in as high a regard as most, there is a lot to admire here artistry-wise: it is EXTREMELY well produced, thanks to the now-legendary director Peter Jackson, who poured years of his life into making Tolkein's vision come to life, and his attempt has been praised not only by audiences and critics, but with full approval by Tolkein's estate. The visual effects for 2001 are outstanding, particularly when we get the Hellish glimpse at Mordor and the nefarious creatures that live there. The characters are also memorable and endearing: Sean Astin is great as Frodo's companion Sam, but the real show-stealer is Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Grey, a fantastical wizard who rides on a horse called Shadowfax. My only real complaint is that the thing is paced so sluggishly, and it's so long. Theatrically, the film runs at 2 hours, 58 minutes, but as the awkward opening installment, it's only a pre-cursor to the excitement that awaits in the second and primarily the third installments. Still, it's hard to argue with the level of artistry, and impossible to imagine an assembly better capable of bringing Tolkein's novel to the screen.

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              08.09.2009 16:10
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              A wonderful saga that will appeal to all.

              I am reading the books again and have just finished The Fellowship part, so decided to watch the film again and thought I would review it. I have to say up front, that I am quite a fanatic about films made of books that I have read and not being accurate. I get quite irate, although I fully understand that changes have to be made, but I will often bemoan the fact that they made such bad changes and ruined the film. With this film I don't have the same feelings. I absolutley love the book and have already reviewed it. When I watch the film, although I do see the changes I know how difficult a proposition this book was to transform into a series of films. Other production companies have attempted it in the past and have gone bust. This film covers the first book of the three and is about the Ring of power and its journey with Frodo to Rivendell and then with the 9 companions - the Fellowship from Rivendell through many dangers to the falls at Rauros. The Fellowship is made up of Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas, Boromir, Gimli and last but not least Gandalf. The Fellowship is a fantastic film. It is very long, at least 3 hours if not more if you watch the extended versions. There are chunks of the story that are cut out, such as the journey through the forest at the beggining and Tom Bombadil and the Barrow Downs. They have combined some events for example when the Hobbits leave with Gandalf. In the book they wait for Gandalf and when he does not come at the appointed time then they set off alone. To have followed the book here would have added unnecessary lenght to the film. I think that the Peter Jackson was so obvioulsy a fan of this book and when he and the writers had their grand vision they sat down and clearly laid out what the true gist of the book was and what was needed to achieve the telling of the story. This film and the other two blows all the Harry Potter films out of the water. The planning and care with which this story was filmed has produced a film that really brings the book to life. I think that the trade off of the quality of the screenplay and the grand cinematic touch against the changes that have to be made to bring this book to a manageble level is more than acceptable. The overall aim of the book is fully preserved with those key characters and events being retained. If you have not read the book for a while, then you will probably not notice or mind, because the magic of the film just picks you up and carries you along on the adventure. If you have just read the book then it is more apparent, but still not a problem. I think that the actors who play the key characters are perfect and have so imposed themselves on those roles, that when I read the book all I now see are those actors. Another point scored is the music. This fits the film like a glove. It is composed by Enya and Howard Shore. It has that Irish lilt, but not too much. I particularly love the song May it Be, which was released in the charts and is on the bonus DVD. The soundtrack underpins the action and gives the film that extra layer of gravitas. All in all this film is magnificent (as is the whole series) and finally brings this huge breathtaking saga fully to life. I know the film received lots of Oscars, but none for acting. This has often been levelled at the film by critics, but I think that it would have been difficult to single out one person in such a stellar cast of characters with in such a grand story. The fact that this won best film really says it all.

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              01.07.2009 18:57
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              A must see

              Very rarely does a film manage to capture the magic of a good book, but Peter Jackson did and outstanding job with his Lord of The Rings trilogy. Featuring a classic battle between good and evil, Frodo Baggins finds himself burdened with the One Ring, which has a frightening owner - The Dark Lord. Baggins begins his adventure in his hobbit hometown of the Shire, and heads off with his Gardener and friend Samwise and two other hobbits. As the adventure becomes more complicated and dangerous, the Fellowship is formed which includes the hobbits, Gandalf the Wizard, Aragorn and others dedicated to destroying the ring. Overall this is a fantastic film and a great beginning to the trilogy. The battle scenes are well produced and the film features some great effects. It would have been impossible to get all of the descriptive content of the books into the films but Peter Jackson managed to capture the essence perfectly. Watching this film will leave you begging for more, and guess what? It gets even better.

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                30.06.2009 17:05
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                Jacksons aim was to please fans of the book and create new Rings fans... he succeeded.

                Starring: Elijah Wood Sir Ian McKellen Liv Tyler Viggo Mortensen Sean Astin Cate Blanchett John Rhys-Davies Billy Boyd Dominic Monaghan Orlando Bloom Sir Christopher Lee Hugo Weaving Sean Bean Ian Holm Andy Serkis Directed by: Peter Jackson Written by: J. R. R. Tolkien (Novel) Screenplay: Fran Walsh Philippa Boyens Peter Jackson Release date: 19th December 2001 Running time: 178 mins (Theatrical version) 208 mins (Extended Special Edition) When the One Ring of power comes to light after years in the shadows, it is entrusted to the unlikeliest of heroes - Frodo Baggins, a Hobbit. Accompanied by a fellowship of men, dwarves, elves and hobbits, Frodo and the wizard Gandalf are charged with destroying the ring before the dark lord Sauron can regain possession of it and use it to conquer Middle Earth. Almost every literature to film adaptation has been slapped with the tag 'Not as good as the book.' This is usually a valid if somewhat unfair criticism since writing a book and making a film are two very different medias. Whereas a book has hundreds of pages and days sometimes weeks of the readers attention to lay out it's story, films are granted 2-3 hours at best after which the audience will share their judgments. Fans of Tolkiens work can be especially protective. With this in mind, various studios deliberated for years over what kind of film Rings should be, and who they would get to helm it. When Peter Jackson pitched his vision of Middle Earth to New Line Studios, they wisely recognized the combination of faithful fan and director with a clear vision of not only he wanted to accomplish with these films, but what needed to be done with them to please faithful fans. And although there have been some quiet gripes from some corners, Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy is a beautifully rendered epic, upholding the finest traditions of cinema. Sweeping locations, swashbuckling action scenes, top drawer acting and seamless special effects all add to the magic that Rings offers. Much of the books narrative has been faithfully reproduced. Some elements such as Tom Bombadil have been removed but only for pacing reasons. Imagine the sharp veer off the rails it would have taken to include his scenes. An exclusion that may irk some fans of the book, but a necessary one to ensure general audience interest. The first part of the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring is a triumphant first act. Setting Frodo off on his quest we get plenty of chance to share in his adventures before the fellowship is even formed. Pursued by the genuinely creepy Black Riders, Frodos journey to Rivendell feels like a race that picks up pace as the first half goes on, with only a few stops for breath. Once the fellowship is formed, the audience is treated to an ensemble of diverse characters that mesh perfectly as one unit. Touching on racial and class differences as well as burgeoning ambition and different agendas, the internal struggles of the Fellowship present as much a danger to Frodo and the Ring as the evil forces that hunt them. Of course much of this success is to be credited to Tolkien who crafted this world and the peoples that inhabit it, but special mention must go to Jackson for his clear view of what he wanted to do, Weta workshop for their flawless attention to detail that helps give the on-screen Middle Earth so much depth, and to the cast who mirror their characters by displaying distinct personalities but never at the expense of other characters or plot. Each part is played beautifully, in a subtle, often moving, sometimes inspiring way. You can feel the camaraderie between the Hobbits, the dignity of Legolas the Elf, the bluster of Gimli the Dwarf, the pride of Boromir, the quiet humility of Aragorn and the knowing power of Gandalf. So sucked in to this group do we get that the audience is treated as member of the Fellowship. Whilst the next two parts got to the bigger, more epic scenes that appeal to the senses, Fellowship of the Ring appeals to the heart, re-igniting a sense of adventure that many never knew they had. Fellowship is those days you spent as a child exploring forests, only imagining what kind of world your childish imagination would be stepping into. It's a reminder of the times we spent with our friends before life sent us down different paths, it's a bar raiser, proving that blockbuster films can be something beyond special effects and big budgets. Most of all, it's the perfect start to a perfect example of film-making.

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                  27.06.2009 16:38
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                  Entertaining and Creative

                  The Lord of the Rings is set long ago in Middle Earth featuring legends and myths thoughout. The evil being Sauron created several rings, with one ring "to rule them all", the all powerful ring, which Sauron bound himself to. However, Sauron was defeated in a battle for middle Earth and was seperated from the ring, however, its power took over Isildor, the King of men, who could not destroy it. The ring was thought to be lost for ever until it turned up in the Shire, home to the hobbits, or halflings, very small men, and Frodo Baggins, played by Elijah Wood. Frodo is given resonsibility of the ring by the great wizard, Gandalf, and must follow the path to Mordor, home of Sauron, to destroy the ring. However, his path is full of obstacles and evil, which he must avoid, along with the help of the members of the fellowship of the ring, a mix of men, a dwarve, an elf, a wizard, and 4 hobbits. This is a thrilling film and a great adaption of the world created by J.R.R.Tolkien in his famous novel, a great film.

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                • Product Details

                  Set in Middle-Earth many many years ago, this is the story of a young Hobbit named Frodo, who has in his possession a ring... This ring is needed by the evil Lord Sauron to destroy civilisation and plunge the world into complete darkness. In order to prevent this, Frodo must find a way to the Mount of Doom and destroy the ring.