Saturday, 30 May 2015

Film Review: The Fellowship of the Ring, Part 1

Way back when I first started doing these not-quite-a-live-blog film review posts I thought 'at some point, once I'm finished with the Harry Potter films, I'd really like to do the Lord of the Rings ones'. And then I finished the Harry Potter films and got hung up on whether I should do the Hobbit films first and then the Lord of the Rings ones, or vice versa.

So I stalled. Until now, when I finally decided to do them this way round, mainly because the length of these films means that I'll probably have enough material to keep me going until the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies comes out. The plan for now is to review all the Lord of the Rings films (Extended Editions, of course), then do the Hobbit films straight afterwards.
I'll warn you now. These films are long, so the reviews will be long as well. Right now I'm anticipating this film coming in at somewhere in the region of six parts, definitely five. Just so you're prepared.

The Lord of the Rings films are kind of one of my first loves, so I'm really looking forward to having yet another excuse to watch them. Let me know what you think in the comments. :-)

In this part: We get a brief history of Middle-earth, are introduced to the Ring and Bilbo only to have the latter leave in the middle of his birthday celebrations, and discover that there's something after Frodo's new Ring.

1. I used to know most of this film off by heart, including what Galadriel says in Elvish. I was such a dork as a teenager.

2. Isn't this music wonderful?

3. I love looking out for the people who worked behind the scenes; there's one of the art guys as one of the nine men who was given a ring.

4. "One Ring to rule them all!"

5. Ooh look, sneak peek at The Two Towers.

6. There's an awful lot of information to get across in this opening, isn't there? Peter Jackson does a pretty good job of it.

7. I like that the gold really stands out in this battle scene. I'm sure that's deliberate.

8. Ew, fingers everywhere!

9. I always wonder if that Elf getting his hair blown everywhere is Legolas. Was he at the battle?

10. Isildur had this one chance to destroy the Ring forever. But if he had this film would be over by now.

11. "History became legend, legend became myth..." Love that line.

12. First of many moments which just show off New Zealand's gorgeous scenery.

13. We'll revisit Gollum's cave in a future film. ;-)

14. I wonder if they'll ever go back and re-edit this film to take out Ian Holm in this scene and replace him with Martin Freeman. I hope not. I don't want Peter Jackson to get all George Lucas on these films.

15. I love that map. I actually have a beautiful version of it in the cupboard which has never been taken out of the cellophane.

16. I wonder if you compare this scene with the opening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey all the books and things are in the same places.

17. Peter Jackson did a really good job of tying this in to the book with 'Concerning Hobbits'. Also, one of my favourite pieces of music here.

18. Hobbits don't just like eating, they get drunk and stoned too!

19. Aww, Sam. :-)

20. "A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins, nor is he early; he arrives precisely when he means to." I love Gandalf.

21. Ironic that Bilbo says that things are made to endure in the Shire, when the original Hobbiton set was all dismantled and until The Hobbit films it wasn't built to endure at all.

22. Uh oh Bilbo! Where's the Ring?

23. Oh, there it is.

24. He's a bit like an addict with the Ring. It's very well played.

25. "The incident with the dragon" - Gandalf claims he just gave him a nudge out the door. He didn't really nudge him, he forced him to have a tea party with a host of Dwarves.

26. I always think that the 'p' in 'Party' on the sign looked like an 'f'. Considering Gandalf's reaction to his fireworks going off, he could be visiting on 'farty business'.

27. I remember reading that when Gandalf bangs into the chandelier it was an accident but they liked it so much it stayed in the film.

28. That map looks familiar now.

29. It's interesting to think that they used forced perspective in this film and then an entirely different technique in the Hobbit films. I can't help but watch looking out for those bits.

30. It always makes me happy when I hear characters speak lines direct from the book.

31. Bilbo blows smoke rings. Gandalf can't help but show off with his smoke ships!

32. Love this song! I think it's called Flaming Red Hair.

33. And who can miss Frodo's chicken dance!

34. Those would be the fireworks like silver arrows.

35. Aw, baby Jacksons!

36. I love that we've gotten to see what actually happened in Bilbo's stories now.

37. "Gracious you have been productive!" Hehe.

38. I wish they'd done more with Bilbo's ear twitching when the Sackville-Bagginses are around.

39. Hehe, Bilbo's trying to have a heart to heart with Frodo, but Frodo thinks he's drunk.

40. Watch how not only does the firework blow the top off the tent, but also all the things in tent disappear! Magic.

41. This whole scene is like a carbon copy of the cartoon version of the film, right down to the 'Proudfeet' character.

42. Watch the smoke that drifts past behind Bilbo during his speech. Apparently the cake caught fire and they just kept filming.

43. That guy is a really big Hobbit.

44. How did Gandalf get back to Bag End so quickly?

45. Did you know the pictures of Bilbo's parents above the mantelpiece are actually Peter Jackson (sans beard) and Fran Walsh?

46. Bilbo's having second thoughts about giving up the Ring. "It's mine, my own, my precious."

47. I love scary Gandalf. They did a brilliant job of capturing that scene from the book.

48. The Ring hits the ground so hard. It's like it's really heavy.

49. I wish there could have been a Dwarf or two waiting to walk out with Bilbo like in the book.

50. With the Hobbit films, the flash of fiery eye that Gandalf sees kind of takes on a new dimension.

51. Gandalf's just hanging out by the fireplace, muttering chapters from The Hobbit to himself.

52. Is it just me or does 'he's gone to stay with the Elves' like the sort of thing parents tell their children when they say the dog's 'gone to live on a farm'?

53. And just like that, Gandalf has to leave.

54. This bit is so dark that I can't really see what's on the screen, I bet it's impressive though because Gollum's just give up the location of the Ring.

55. I love how quickly it seems like Gandalf gets to Minas Tirith compared to the rest of the company in the later films.

56. Also, does anyone else think Minas Tirith looks like something from Star Wars? I keep expecting to see pod racers or something zipping round the turrets.

57. It's cool how the Ring seems to shrink while Isildur holds it.

Next week Gandalf will confirm that Frodo's Ring spells the end of his peaceful life in the Shire and before long a motley band of Hobbits is on the road, where they meet a mysterious man named Strider. Meanwhile Gandalf spends some time visiting his old friend, Saruman.


  1. Fun list! I think the first one is the best of the three films, mostly because I prefer the books :-)

    1. It's my favourite of the three as well, because it introduced me to the world and was the final push I needed to actually read the books. ;-)

  2. I've been meaning to watch these movies and I've just never gotten around to it.

    1. I definitely recommend them, if you're into high fantasy. Though The Hobbit films are probably a little more accessible for people not familiar with The Lord of the Rings.

  3. I thought I was the only one... but the first time I saw that shot of Minas Tirith, I immediately thought of Star Wars too (Episode 1). It looks very similar to the castle in Naboo (at least on that specific shot and lighting).


Let me know what you think. :-)