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March 15, 2017

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) --- "9 Fellows On A Journey To Destroy A Ring."


Plot Summary

In a world called Middle Earth, where they have elves, dwarves, men, hobbits, orcs, goblins, and more. A sorcerer called Sauron crafted an ancient Ring, called the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule over all of Middle Earth. But it was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-Earth but it remained lost for many ages. That is until it was found by one of the most unlikely characters, a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. On his 111th birthday, Bilbo bequeaths the Ring and a perilous quest to destroy it to his young nephew, Frodo but he does not go alone.
He is joined by Gandalf the Grey a wizard, Legolas the Elf, Gimli the Dwarf, Aragorn the Ranger, Boromir steward of Gondor, and his three Hobbit friends: Merry, Pippin, and Samwise. Their quest: destroy the One Ring and end the Dark Lord Sauron’s reign forever. Through mountains and forests, rivers and plains, the Fellowship faces evil and danger at every turn. (1)

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Hello Movie Buffs!
It is official, Star Wars has been dethroned. Although George Lucas' movies are good in their own right, his scripts (which borrow heavily from J.R.R.Tolkien, mythology, and religion) can't compare with the brilliance of the literary trilogy `The Lord of the Rings'. Now granted, Lucas took on an extraordinary task when he became both the writer and director of the story. However, the combination of Tolkien’s words, and Director Peter Jackson’s faithful adaptation and inspired vision, has created something no man could measure up to. In just 3 hours, Peter Jackson has crammed everything essential from the first novel and some of his own creativity into the film by rewriting some scenes and dialogue with lesser characters for the leads, and leaving out only what there wasn't enough time for. In the end,
we have two 90 minute movies running back to back, with no slow spots and just one big climax after another.

     The story, sets, costumes, and special effects are so rich, you'll have to see the film several times to absorb everything. Never before have I felt so much at home in a movie, everything felt like home - the Shire, Rivendell, Moria, Lorien. The untouched New Zealand locales were fantastic, in providing a variety of environments to represent the different settings on the characters' journey. The outside location sets are imaginative, detailed and weathered adding to their believability, while the in-studio sets match them meticulously. The costumes are at once familiar and strange, drawing from both medieval and the fantasy, but more importantly, they are also well-designed and realistic. The music by Howard Shore is properly all-encompassing. Combining both Celtic and folk music, following the theme of the novel. The special effects are as they should be, unobtrusive and unnoticed most of the time. They are purely there to support the story and not draw attention away from it, which can be the case in most Hollywood movies – that try to cover up illogical plots and bad acting.
     The actors were amazing and I know people seem to think many characters were not developed enough, but by the actions seen you can learn a lot. With Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) a lot can be learned about the dwarves; they’re prideful with a deep sense of honor and family, they’re mistrustful of elves, and they love strong beer and a good fight against anything bigger than themselves. The elves for the first time are portrayed as more than just a pretty face; they’re quick, agile, graceful, and terrifyingly elegant in battle. Next, we have Aragorn, a mysterious and loyal ranger, and Boromir, a man who will betray his friends in order to save his people yet, in the end, he redeems himself by showing his true valor and that deep down he's willing to die to defeat evil. Each of the hobbits was great in their own right, Frodo is pessimistic but brave, Sam is the loyal 'best friend' everyone would like to have, and Merry and Pippin are the shining lights in a dark place. Finally, there is Gandalf, an honest and sound voice offering hope when there is none.

Overall the Fellowship of the Ring is a 6 hr movie (in the extended edition) with a $90 million budget and a stellar cast giving some of their best performances. The visuals delivered are beyond what I could have ever imagined, a perfect blend of humor, passion, and tragedy mixed with a feeling of grandeur and impending doom. This is a wonderfully assembled piece with so many characters and even though it proves difficult to concentrate on any one character, the ideas are not lost. As far as I'm concerned, The Fellowship of the Ring – as well as the following two sequels – is a movie that cannot and should not be passed up, it is a movie bucket list must have.

“So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought. 
– Gandalf (To Frodo)

Final Vote
Worth Seeing: 5 of 5 stars
Worth Buying: 5 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar
Avatar (2009)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
The Golden Compass (2007)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Harry Potter Saga (2001 - 2011)
King Kong (2005)
Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (2002)
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
Warcraft (2016)

Cast & Crew
Directed by: Peter Jackson        
Writing Credits: (Novel) J.R.R. Tolkien(Screenplay) Fran WalshPhilippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson.
Produced by 
Peter Jackson            ---    producer
Barrie M. Osborne    ---    producer
Tim Sanders              ---    producer
Fran Walsh                ---    producer
Rick Porras                ---    co-producer: WingNut Films
Jamie Selkirk            ---    co-producer: WingNut Films
Michael Lynne          ---    executive producer: New Line Cinema
Mark Ordesky            ---    executive producer: New Line Cinema
Robert Shaye             ---    executive producer: New Line Cinema
Ellen Somers             ---    associate producer (as Ellen M. Somers)
Bob Weinstein          ---    executive producer
Harvey Weinstein     ---    executive producer

Alan Howard --- Voice of the Ring (voice)
Noel Appleby --- Everard Proudfoot
Sean Astin --- Sam
Sala Baker --- Sauron
Sean Bean --- Boromir
Cate Blanchett --- Galadriel
Orlando Bloom --- Legolas
Billy Boyd --- Pippin
Marton Csokas --- Celeborn
Megan Edwards --- Mrs. Proudfoot
Michael Elsworth --- Gondorian Archivist
Mark Ferguson --- Gil-galad
Ian Holm --- Bilbo
Lawrence Makoare --- Lurtz
Andy Serkis --- Gollum
Brent McIntyre --- Witch-king
Ian McKellen --- Gandalf
Peter McKenzie --- Elendil
Sarah McLeod --- Rosie Cotton
Dominic Monaghan --- Merry
Viggo Mortensen --- Aragorn
Ian Mune --- Bounder
Craig Parker --- Haldir
John Rhys-Davies --- Gimli
Martyn Sanderson --- Gate Keeper
Harry Sinclair --- Isildur
Liv Tyler --- Arwen
David Weatherley --- Barliman Butterbur
Hugo Weaving --- Elrond
Elijah Wood --- Frodo

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