A View from Inside - finally

What do you think of Tolkien on the silver screen...? Whether Bakshi, Jackson, Amazon, BBC radio play, or whoever else, come on in and discuss your reflections, opinions, and memories...

Postby Saranthir » Wed Nov 28, 2001 5:36 am

Well, here it is. Sorry its so late but I've had a lot of trouble logging in today - typical. I'm just copying and pasting the email I was sent. See what you think.<BR><BR>I hope this is what you were waiting for, Adam <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR> <BR>Just to let you know that there were about fifty of us viewing this screening. I know perhaps 20 of them.  Some of the others could have been, probably were, media.<BR> <BR>I cannot tell you how excited I was as I sat down, the feeling was simply amazing. The buzz was, I don’t know, kinda like electricity.  When the film began there was complete silence, and THAT is unusual at an event like this – at least here anyways.<BR> <BR>The film begins with the voice of Galadriel and some sweeping vistas of Middle Earth and much of  The Prologue, that was filmed.  You actually get to see the One Ring being forged.  Shore’s ‘The Prophecy’ plays here and accompanies the mood well.  To be honest I was getting a little ticked off by Cate by the end of this section and wanted to dive into Middle Earth.<BR> <BR>For me the film began with Hobbiton.  You cannot imagine how right this is.  It just IS the Shire and these are Hobbits – no doubt.  Gandalf’s arrival is perfect and the ‘comedy’ moments inside Bag End, that I know you were worried about, came across to me as a lightness of touch, a moment of ease that was somehow underscored with tension.<BR> <BR>And there is a lot of this.  Tension throbbed within the film.  I don’t mean there aren’t fun moments, moments of relief, but even here PJ seems to have managed to imbue, at least in me, a sense of fear and danger – a sense of something much deeper and darker.<BR> <BR>The whole film is very Jackson – his style is really evident with moments of closeup and claustrophobia.  But even in the many many Grand shots, scenes trying to capture the spectacle of Middle Earth, you know this is Jackson at the helm.  There are a lot of these vista shots – maybe too many for my liking.  They are wonderful, but it felt sometimes as though he was striving too hard to capture the description of Tolkien’s world.<BR> <BR>Things do move pretty fast after the party – fireworks are awesome.  Gandalf’s worried return does spark a very compressed series of events.  You can see why, with the pacing for this section, that episodes like Bombadil and the Barrow Downs were cut.  You really feel that the Hobbits will be caught and slain by the Black Riders – and it is with a staggering sense of relief that they reach Bree.  And yet you can just feel from the film that they aren’t safe even here.<BR> <BR>I wont spill all of the beans, though, ‘cause I want you to experience this yourself – I don’t want to spoil it all.<BR> <BR>Weathertop did feel a little too artificial for my liking, but the action was all right.  I did not mind Arwen at the Ford – although the clash of swords and the spell were a bit overdone perhaps – Frodo was excellent.<BR> <BR>The whole of Rivendell was kinda magical, very Elven, very ethereal.  The council involved a good deal of argument and there were, for me, some visually amusing moments.  You do get to see more elements of the ‘filmed’ prologue throughout the film, inserted in appropriate places (I’ll leave you to guess where)..<BR> <BR>The Wizard Duel I enjoyed – honestly.  I was slightly annoyed for a start, but it was handled really well and just seemed to fit the film perfectly.<BR> <BR>Moria was awesome as all the reviews promised – it is an adrenaline filled rush of action that leaves you stunned and, when the shattered Fellowship emerge into Dimril Dale, you really feel as though you have emerged with them from some terror-filled darkness.   The Balrog, incidentally, was brilliant – but I can see it disappointing some.   Gandalf’s demise at the hands of the beast is shocking and you get a brief glimpse of him falling into the abyss, crying back up to his comrades to FLY.  Very Sad, very intense, Shore’s score matches it.<BR> <BR>Again things are compressed and the chase by the Orcs is quite intense.  Frodo is hampered by his injury at the hands of the troll.  You do get to see Elves of Lothlorien smash the chasing Orcs and spirit the Fellowship into the depths of Lothlorien.  Wait and see how they have captured Lorien – just wait and see.  If there is anywhere that the films tension eases and peace can be felt, it is here.<BR> <BR>And then we have Amon Hen.  The journey here is again fairly compressed and passess through some stunning scenery.  The interaction of character is much better here and Boromir is amazing.    This whole climactic section is quite different from the books, as it shows more of what is going on.  You see Boromir’s stand, Pippin and Merry being carried off.  You see Aragorn fighting and running from a horde of Saruman’s Uruk’s.  And the last scene is that of Frodo and Sam slipping across the river, followed by something in the water.<BR> <BR>My only reservations about this film are that some of the characters came across as a little odd.  The acting was mostly excellent.  No need to worry about Frodo or Sam.  Viggo has hammered a giant nail through Strider and Aragorn – he is the heir, no doubt.  Gandalf is stunningly realised, but my favourite of all was Saruman.  This must rank as Lee’s finest moment.  You would think you actually were in the presence of Saruman – he is THAT damn good.  Elrond, OK.  Arwen, OK.  Galdriel, GOOD, Celebron, BAD.  Oh yes, and Legolas – looked great and was mostly, but there were a couple of times when his acting ability seemed a bit thin.<BR> <BR>The effects, across the board, were awesome.  We’re pretty certain here that FoTR will win Oscars in certain categories.<BR> <BR>So, to sum it all up for you, it did not seem like nearly three hours.  It was an intense, emotional experience shot through with moments of Genius.  I cannot say it was the best movie I ever saw, but it was head and shoulders the best movie fantasy movie and probably the best film in five years.<BR> <BR>Bye.<BR><BR><BR>My opinion is that it all sounds excellent - with a few bumpy patches possibly. I cannot wait - bundle - I have to wait.<BR>
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Postby Hama » Wed Nov 28, 2001 5:46 am

Excellent! I think of all the reviews I have seen so far that one paints the best picture. Sounding good. Thanks for that.<BR><BR>Hama.
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Postby RambleOn » Wed Nov 28, 2001 5:48 am

EXCELLENT! At last a review with some nuance!!!! I mean, reviews were the guy just goes on with superlatives to infinity with nothing to say just don't light my fire. This was VERY good news. One thing that impressed me was the ending! It seems just perfect!
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Postby Nilson_The_White » Wed Nov 28, 2001 5:50 am

Well, I almost need a bad review to level me out! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR><i>And the last scene is that of Frodo and Sam slipping across the river, followed by something in the water.</i><BR><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif"border=0> <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR><i>I did not mind Arwen at the Ford – although the clash of swords and the spell were a bit overdone perhaps.</i> Well, at least it isn't bad. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0> Glad to hear Frodo is still key in this scene. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR><i>Weathertop did feel a little too artificial for my liking, but the action was all right.</i><BR>Ah well, which would you rather have? The best portrayal of the Ringwraiths possible, or good Weathertop lighting. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-rolleyes.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I don't like the word "compressed", but from day one it was inevitable. But hey, just wait for DVD season! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR>This all sounds very good, and I especialy can't wait for the prologue. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-rolleyes.gif"border=0> <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> Prophecy is one of my favorite tracks, and I can't wait for it to come alive on screen. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Glad to hear the Wizard's Duel isn't all bad. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> Looks like it could be cool.<BR><BR>Also glad about the CGI... same as all the reviews. It was perfect. Always good to hear. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Iavas_Saar » Wed Nov 28, 2001 5:56 am

Best review yet. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I just wish that it WAS the best movie he ever saw.. but close enough!
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Postby AlphaHelix » Wed Nov 28, 2001 5:57 am

"I cannot say it was the best movie I ever saw, but it was head and shoulders the best movie fantasy movie and probably the best film in five years."<BR><BR>Ai. I have to say, I was hoping with all the hope I could muster that these would indeed be the best films ever made. It just -felt- right, that these could be the best films ever... All of the reviews clearly point to the fact that it is not. This is a little disappointing to me. Better to be disappointed now instead of in the theaters though.. <BR><BR>It sounds like a great movie but not the best.. But then, what is the best? There arent that many great movies out there, you know..<BR><BR>OH well.. hub bub ub<BR><BR>At least its not like a Bakshi catastrophy!<BR>It appears we finally have a film of the lord of the rings that will actually server its purpose.. but.. not the best film ever.. hehe<BR><BR>/me rambles on for the next few hours<BR><BR>K. Thx for review, bye.<BR><BR>
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Postby Nilson_The_White » Wed Nov 28, 2001 5:58 am

Iavas, that doesn't mean it won't be the best movie you've ever seen. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby Kingasaurus » Wed Nov 28, 2001 6:33 am

---Ai. I have to say, I was hoping with all the hope I could muster that these would indeed be the best films ever made. It just -felt- right, that these could be the best films ever...---<BR><BR>Talk about setting yourself up to be disappointed!<BR><BR>Alpha, you've certainly been here long enough to know better. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>I'm sure PJ would like to slam his head against the wall if he ever hears things like, "Well, I'm disappointed because reviewers aren't saying this is the best film ever made." Criminy!<BR><BR>-King<BR>
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Postby Nerdanel » Wed Nov 28, 2001 6:49 am

It keeps sounding good! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>It strikes me that even though several of the reviews we have had, have had some small complaints, they have never been the same complaints. I think it is very good and more indicative of personal tastes than any objective faults in the film. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> The general consensus may find objective faults later, but if they were obvious, they would have come out now.
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Postby Splungeman » Wed Nov 28, 2001 6:51 am

Hello...this is my first post here. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>So far none of the reviewers have mentioned how good the "shrinking" of the actors looked. I guess in that case no news is good news becuase they didn't notice it. I am very interested in how it will look. It seems a very arduous task to have to meticulously prepare each shot so that the Hobbits and Dwarves will appear small. They didn't talk about it all that much in the Official Movie Companion.
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Postby Trog » Wed Nov 28, 2001 6:54 am

<BR>He's got two more goes yet.
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Postby Klonkku » Wed Nov 28, 2001 6:56 am

Every review has been HUGELY positive ( this one included ) - and as usually opinions range very wide, the opinions towards Fellowship haven't ( yet at least ). It would be UNREAL to have everyone calling it the BEST FILM EVER. If you want some 'adrealine of positivity', go check the newest full review at aintitcool by JoeMaMa <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>There were mixed opinions towards the Harry Potter movie - and I loved it, and it is currently my 'greatest fantasy film ever' ( will get replaced.. I'm sure <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>)<BR><BR>My oh my how I'm waiting forward to this film! My heart is up to my throat...<BR><BR>( and Alpha, perhaps it'll be the BEST MOVIES EVER for you - and perhaps for me - but it just wasn't for this reviewer - but still one of the best, which is a VERY good statement <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> - I'm actually waiting forward to see the first toned down review )
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Postby Berhael » Wed Nov 28, 2001 7:02 am

Wow - this and Ian McKellan's reviews have made my little heart flutter in excitement. I've waited for these films for so long, that to know I'll be seeing them in a few days, and to read from other people that they're good, gives me a serious case of butterflies.<BR><BR>All I ask is to be as stunned, moved and absorbed as I was while I read these books for the first time. I don't mind the way that is achieved. Even if Arwen were an axe-wielding warrior, if it moved me as much as the books, I'd be happy as a clam. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Black_Breathalizer » Wed Nov 28, 2001 7:02 am

I think the important issue right now is: is it a good movie or not?<BR><BR>Clearly, all signs point to it being a very good movie and reflects well on Tolkien's work. <BR><BR>The issue of "is it the greatest movie ever?" is something that is determined over time. Classics don't become classics overnight. In all honesty, we won't know the answer to that question until at least December 2003, if not longer.
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Postby Jersey » Wed Nov 28, 2001 7:05 am

Thanks for posting your friends comments, Saranthir. <BR><BR>Hey, Alpha. "Best Movie Ever" is hugely subjective. "Citizen Kane" has most frequently been voted that title. I don't agree. I'm with all the people (including PJ himself) who think that "King Kong" is the greatest movie ever. Anyone reviewing the film is really going to be telling us how the film fits into their "my favourite films of all time" category. Just because this person, or that person didn't find FOTR to be that movie for them, perhaps you or I will.<BR><BR>What I find warming with these early reactions to the film -- the power and revolutionary nature of the film making itself -- is that FOTR is comparatively a mere prelude to the vastly more epic moments of the remaining two films, such as the clash at Helm's Deep in TTT, which itself is dwarfed by the extraordinary scope of the cataclysmic battles of ROTK. And, of course, beyond the stunning visuals and grandeur, there is the continuing emotional journey of the characters... everything from Aragorn's "horsey chat" (invented!) to the stirring reunion of the Fellowships after the destruction of the ring... just what the cumulative effect of the complete trilogy will be should be quite something.
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Postby Elmtree » Wed Nov 28, 2001 7:11 am

Woo hoo! This is definately the best review. It seems most genuine-- it marks the "bad points" this reviewer, which gives it far more credibility to me.<BR><BR>I am really leery of the "greatest movie ever made" reviews. Or "PJ got everything perfect" reviews.<BR><BR>So, we have quite a few bumps but still it hold up and is well done? That sounds good (and about right) to me.<BR><BR>Oh, one more thing-- I noticed this reviewer didn't go on about excessive violence. Saranthir, could you ask about that? I realize some people like that sort of thing (hello,llyr!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>) but it tends to turn me off if it's too graphic.<BR><BR>And thanks Saranthir, for bringing us this review!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Nerdanel » Wed Nov 28, 2001 7:17 am

FYI, Blade Runner is definetely the best movie ever. Unless Alien is.<BR><BR><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Saranthir » Wed Nov 28, 2001 7:30 am

Elmtree and others - thanks for thanking me for this review <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>All credit goes to my source - it is he who has stuck his neck out for me repeatedly. More than once he has told me that it could very easily cost him his job if his leaks were uncovered. So I thank him wholeheartedly.<BR><BR>As to your questions, Elmtree, they have already been emailed to him along with a request for whatever info he can give me on Isengard and the creation of the Uruks, the pod scenes etc. I await his response and will obviously post it if he tells me anything of interest.<BR>
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Postby Hama » Wed Nov 28, 2001 7:36 am

Berhael, I should warn you, all clams are manic depressives! Why do you think they bury themselves in mud and sand? Another old wives tale laid to rest!<BR><BR>And there is no best film ever.<BR><BR>Hama.
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Postby Linden » Wed Nov 28, 2001 7:45 am

Well, I can only say I'm sorry along with the rest that I have to wait a few more weeks to offer my own review <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0> Thanks for posting this! I believe that I will have a similar problem to that mentioned in the Ain't it Cool review - I will have to see it a couple of times to see it stand on it's own rather than measured against my personal vision.<BR><BR>It is certainly true that this is only the first installment and PJ and Co have a year to 1) take a vacation, and 2) polish up the TT using what has been learned with FotR, so all that can still be polished at this point should be fantastic.<BR><BR>The reports of satisfaction about the portrayal of Lorien suggest that Helms Deep and Minas Tirith will be very cool and well done.<BR><BR>Interesting that Celeborn gets the thumbs down - he does in the book as well, really.<BR><BR>...and we have yet to see Treebeard, Gollum, Denethor, Faramir, Eowyn, Eomer, Theoden, EAHD, and all the rest....<BR><BR>A closing reservation - my 12 yr old daughter has been looking forward to seeing this movie (and I to viewing it with her) and I am not sure she will see anything that resonates with her vision. I expect my son will thoroughly enjoy it. Oh well...
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Postby Adrahil » Wed Nov 28, 2001 7:58 am

I agree with Hama on this.... "Best film ever" is SOOO subjective as to be a useless term other than to express personal preference. I'm MUCH more interested in hearing about the strengths and weaknesses of the film.<BR><BR>This was an EXCELLENT review and it gave me a very good idea of what to expect.... just what I was looking for.<BR><BR>Adrahil
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Postby Grimm » Wed Nov 28, 2001 8:04 am

well the reviews sounds good, but it doesn't sound like anything I didn't already expect. But it's still nice to get someones opinion that has already seen it.<BR><BR>wonder what made Celeborn so BAD
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Postby sregis » Wed Nov 28, 2001 8:10 am

i think the 12 and under crowd is going to need a nightlight at best and a psychologists couch at worst after 3 hrs of FOTR!
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Postby Leonides* » Wed Nov 28, 2001 8:18 am

Saranthir,<BR><BR>Thanks you, sir. I like your review much more than my own source -- he was a little too gushing, for my likes. However, this all looks quite splendid.
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Postby Saranthir » Wed Nov 28, 2001 8:29 am

I'm sure my source would be pleased by the response.<BR><BR>For my own part I thought he was too damn sketchy, and I told him so. I want details. Trouble is, I doubt I'd be satisfied by anything other than the whole film laid out for me in minute detail, and the guy has a job to go to.<BR><BR>Still, it does all seem quite encouraging - and interestingly there seems to be good correlation between bits of the different reviews.<BR><BR>I might have more news tomorrow - depending on my source, obviously.<BR>
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Postby Iavas_Saar » Wed Nov 28, 2001 9:24 am

<i>Iavas, that doesn't mean it won't be the best movie you've ever seen.</i><BR><BR>Nilson, I am pretty much certain it will be the best movie *I've* ever seen. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>But I am also hoping that other people, who have a far wider knowledge of films than I do, will also consider it the best film ever made. I just want it ALL: World domination for LOTR! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby finarfin » Wed Nov 28, 2001 9:30 am

The first review that gets a 5 out of 5 stars! Actually, I felt he gave the info needed without hammering home all the details. I personally appreciate that, I don't need all the details until I see it myself.
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Postby Bernd » Wed Nov 28, 2001 9:45 am

Every review has so far mentioned the building tension of the film. I had taken this as a bad thing (when it comes to drawing audiences), but on further reflection, I've decided that it's not. The most anticipated movie 10 years ago was Terminator 2, which was unrelenting in its tension. It did quite well, thank you.<BR><BR>Best review yet, and for the first time I am actually very stoked to see this film.
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Postby finarfin » Wed Nov 28, 2001 9:51 am

Cynical Bernd stoked!! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif"border=0> This cause for celebration!<BR><BR>But remember it's NOT the greatest film of all time.<BR><BR><BR><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby jsavfusco » Wed Nov 28, 2001 9:51 am

<BR> Excellent review. Like Iavas, I guess that I am a little dissapointed that the person didn't say "best film ever", but that's only because my expectations were very high. Overall, this review is exceedingly positive, without being a gushing fanboy one. I'm really excited and can barely wait to see the movie. I already have my tickets!<BR><BR> BTW, did anyone catch the statement in the other very positive review posted that many women in the audience were "unimpressed" with the film. What do you all make of that?
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