Ain't It Cool News (


It is everything I ever hoped it would or could be.

Have you noticed a curious little habit in the reviews we’ve been seeing online from movie geeks? The habit of bringing up their favorite films of all time?

I’m not going to do that. I feel no need to push a film off my top ten. Not that this film wouldn’t re-sequence the entire bloody list, but because this was a completely different experience for me.

I look at my top ten, and I must say I love a film that makes you examine that list. Like I said, I look at my top ten and they are so comfortable. Never dusty, always there for me to handle and rewatch. To lay back with and to take me from whatever state that I am at, to that state that they take me to.

My top ten films have been my top ten films for 20 years. Something doesn’t replace one of those overnight, does it? Do I push out number 10 into the ominous spot of ELEVEN? Could I do that? I mean, that’s like replacing a friend on Speed Dial… that is a major thing. Something that requires oodles of thought and deliberation.

FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING is something new anyway. Due to my experiences regarding this film… well…

I came to AICN with only one qualification, Love for Film. I had not written professionally, mainly because no one would have ever given me a chance. (Nor should they have any reason to.) I came with Forrest J Ackerman in my brain. Alongside Leonard Maltin and Roger Ebert. However, it has always been Uncle Forry, who I most wanted to grow up to be like.

Visiting and talking with Ackerman changed my life. Listening to him telling stories about when his friend Ray Harryhausen first showed him the room where he animated. Listening to him talking about being friends with and being associated with some of my favorite films ever. Well, that just does something to ya.

Ackerman has this peaceful Zen-like smile… all at once cherubic and devilish. FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING made me understand that smile.

When you see older people looking at youth… get that far away look in their eyes and smile that smile of memory, that’s the smile of Forry’s that I’m talking about.

He smiled like that at me as I picked up the smoke bomb that Carl Denham hurled at KING KONG. He smiled because he remembers when Willis O’Brien gave that to him. When he told me it was ok to move the Stegie’s tail from KING KONG, he began to chuckle. He could see his love reflected. And he told me stories. Such wonderful stories about Willis and his wife. Of Harryhausen on MIGHTY JOE YOUNG…

I was transformed. I realized right then and there… I wanted to have those stories, to be able to delight others with those memories and those experiences. To talk from a first person perspective with intimate knowledge of the greatest films of all time.

In the years of running this site I’ve been blessed with having experiences with many B-movies. Films of lavish design and spectacle that just fell short on an innumerable amount of ways.

I could never hope to stare at KONG’s wall… Even Ackerman didn’t get this joy. Kong was what woke him up, he joined the fray after it. I’ve spoken with the hair stylist that worked on THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD and listened to him remember Flynn’s fight with Basil Rathbone on those stairs. I remember listening to Johnny Weismuller when he was babysitting me, talking about making TARZAN AND HIS MATE.

I have had good experiences with films of other people’s times. Hell, at Butt-Numb-A-Thon 3 I had a real live Munchkin talk about being a part of an eternal thing. Something that has out-lived many of his friends, a film that will be here in people’s hearts when he himself is gone.

The love of film was in his eyes.

What does any of this have to do with me watching LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING?

Well, I can’t pretend to write a normal objective review of this movie. That’s not the experience I have had. For the first time in my life I feel exactly how I’ve always dreamed Forry felt about the movies he had touched.

If you read Moriarty’s review, he’s got the love and passion and excited bewilderment for FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, and he has it without the baggage that I have with me.

On that last day in New Zealand as I sat there with Peter Jackson in his house. The trolley car from BRAIN DEAD over my head, Peter’s collection of Famous Monsters of Filmland over my shoulder. And we chatted about why we do the things we do, Peter intimated to me with his lovely wife Fran, that he hoped that my having seen so much behind the scenes hadn’t spoiled the experience of watching the films. He told me he dreamed that he could perhaps one day erase his memory and sit like any regular film geek and just let these films he was making happen to him. And he was truly worried about being able to do that, and he was worried that the time I spent on set, with the crew, with the cast and with him… That I would never be able to separate that from the movies.

Peter… I know you are reading this. You were right, that experience altered the affect this movie had on me.

I believe I have just had the most perfect film experience in my life. The one that I struggle so hard to have has happened effortlessly.

As the lights went dark in the theater and as my film mate Patch clutched my arm, I realized that I was very much afraid I was going to have a heart attack. My pulse was racing at a humming bird’s rate. My breathing was erratic. And my arm was hurting, though that was attributed to Patch squeezing it like an empty beer can.

I’ve never been so awake, so aware, so excited, so thrilled or so conscious while watching a movie in my life. As the movie played I realized that I knew everyone in this movie. Each of those names, I know the faces to go with them. I know stories about them. I can shut my eyes and see them live.

As we first see Frodo under that tree, pipe in mouth and reading that book, my pulse increased. I wasn’t crying… I didn’t even feel tears, instead there was a different feeling. A feeling that I don’t know if I can wholly describe or not as I have no comparable feeling to join it to.

I remember, I was sitting on the steps of THE FACULTY’s set where Elijah is going to be running from Robert Patrick. There was a break in shooting, because as Robert was running with the steadi-cam, he slipped and fell and they were checking all the equipment out. Elijah joined me on the steps and asked how things were going. It was mid-afternoon and I told him that I had spoken on the phone with Peter Jackson that day. That Peter was going to try and make THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Elijah had never read that book, but he had read the Hobbit, and loved that. That’s when I looked at him and told him he would be perfect to play Frodo.

There he is. He is Frodo Baggins. After all these years, all this time, there is my friend. The guy I ate bar-b-que and screened 16mm films in the backyard with… And he is Frodo Baggins. Is this pride? Satisfaction? It just felt perfect, as if this was how things were meant to be. How they should be. And you know. That memory is really quite old now. Elijah was literally just a kid then. Now he’s Frodo.

Then I see Gandalf in that cart, that horse-drawn rickshaw of explosive wonderment. As soon as I see him, I flash to chocolate in his beard and that pursed lips uttering, "Oh my, they’re going to be furious with me," as he began to smile. That same smile he smiles at Frodo. A delighted smile. Same make-up. Same look.

I’ve never ever had complete and total unconditional love and the feeling of brotherhood that I feel for FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. There is a strange calm and a wonderful warmth that comes with this. It is that dream we all have had since we were children watching Lucas’ and Spielberg’s and Harryhausen’s and all those other people’s movies.

Remember that Universal Picture "RIDE THE MOVIES" trailer thing that used to play in theaters with the Cylons and stuff? Remember how you used to think when you would go on that, that you could just walk around as they shot the movies they showed you there? How you would walk around as they were shooting JAWS?

I mean, if you go to MGM’S STUNT SPECTACULAR and you watch that re-enactment of the Airplane scene from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK… Well in a weird sort of, kinda, maybe, squint and an enormous suspension of disbelief, you can try to imagine being there as it was actually filming.

Here. As they battled the Watcher in the Water. As Frodo’s leg is snatched, as the various members of the Fellowship begin attacking it trying desperately to save Frodo… I’m right behind the camera. When Peter yelled CUT that day, I was off camera talking with Randall Cook, the effects guy in charge of the animation needed to bring that scene totally to life. I remember watching as the costume people put Sam’s backpack with all those pots and pans onto Sean Astin. I remember Orlando Bloom coming over, grabbing me, having the Polaroid person snap an instamatic of him and me, and I remember playing with Gimli’s axes, Legolas’ bow, Frodo’s Sting and Gandalf’s staff. I remember their weight. I remember the rubber versions and the real versions. The oversized versions and the normal sized versions.

I was there for that. As I watched it play out on screen, I smiled in a goofy tearful OHMYGOD sort of manner and thought of Kerwin Matthews.


If you look at your DVD of SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, there’s the interview/making of feature, and Kerwin Matthews, who played Sinbad, talks about watching the finished version of the film for the first time. And how everything was so much better than he imagined it being as he was making it happen. He talks about how Ray showed him images and sketches. How Ray told him where to look. And how when he saw himself on that screen doing what he was doing against that skeleton that he had to imagine was there… and seeing that magic, that beautiful transcendent work of Hollywood Magic, he couldn’t believe that it was him on screen.

That’s how I feel. I can’t believe that’s Elijah Wood up there. I can’t believe that I’m watching that moment that I watched being filmed that day, and that this immense… awesome… incredible creature is where I was standing. As I’m typing this I have tears dripping over my pushed up cheeks because this is beautiful. The feeling I have of being there… That I’ll be able to tell my nephew about. That I can tell people these stories as I get older… that like Forry, I can remember and talk about ‘the time when I…’ Ya know?

All of a sudden I understand Clarence, the midget from THE WIZARD OF OZ. This is a memory of mine, that is preserved and will definitely be loved fondly well beyond my years and for the rest of my life, I’ll be able to share a some what unique perspective of.

That. That is why I do what it is I do. That is what I dreamed of feeling when I created Aint It Cool News. To be there. To witness the creation of the moments we love for a lifetime.

What do I think of the finished product? The film. I’ll tell you in 10 years. Because for the moment, I feel like this is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. That I could just sit here and watch it play over and over and over again. The feeling in me right now is more vital than any film has ever given me. But was it the film alone?

The reason I’ve been running so many reviews. Why I will continue, is I’m fascinated with others’ experiences with seeing the movie. My father for example. Yesterday, while I was asleep, Tim League dropped by the house… on my birthday. Apparently there was a testing of the print that was showing today at the theater, and Tim dropped by on his way out to see it. I was asleep. Dad tried to wake me, but I apparently told him, "Leave me alone, it’s my birthday… SLEEP!" and I allegedly didn’t hear the words COME SEE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING NOW!

Today was Dad’s second time seeing the film. Upon walking out he proclaimed that all things considered, it was the best feature film he has seen in his 50 years of film going.

That shook me. Dad wasn’t in New Zealand. In fact I remember him being quite pissed that he wasn’t going. Patch, she’s barely able to walk. Quint looks like he’s a heroin addict. The film was knocking people’s teeth out. They are all enthusing about the film.

Me, I’ve had a very personal reaction. It is the realization of everything that I’ve said I was hoping this would be. It is an uncompromisingly perfect telling of a fantasy tale aimed directly at the intended audience with 0% pandering, told by a team of artists helmed by a director of singular vision inspired by the God’s of old. He wasn’t setting out to "SHOW LUCAS HOW TO MAKE A MOVIE!" He set out to make the best movie he could make. To do it right as he saw it.

The reason so many people bring STAR WARS into their reviews is that for many geeks, STAR WARS was the focal point for their love of cinema. It is what made them first pick up magazines about film, to click on websites that give them information about films. Now this movie happens. A movie that hits them as hard and as note perfect as STAR WARS hit them as children, only they aren’t children anymore. Now they’re adults, and many of them were disappointed by PHANTOM MENACE. Many loved that film too. I loved feeling like a little kid in the theater again… that’s the greatest. This is different though.

This is a movie that straddles the fence between great popcorn movies and great movies and important movies and cinema. It doesn’t waffle back and forth, it is simply all those things at all times.

The screening today was attended by AICN’s Austin Spy Branch of Quint, Father Geek, RoboGeek, El Cosmico, Perfect Tommy, Dorothy Parker, Massawyrm, Patch and myself. 9 reviewers to match the 9 of the film.

There was not a single negative review in the mix. They are each bringing their own experiences or lacks of experiences to their reviews. They range from being in High School to being College Drop Outs to being Graduates to Intellectuals and so on. Male, Female, Yuppie, Hippie, Student, Loafer, Video Store Clerk, Artist, Screenwriter and a Computer Technician. Some have read the book, some have never touched it. Some have met young Frodo Baggins, most have not.

They all love film.

Me, I ponder how many times I will watch this film in the coming years. I know right now that I love it. That I love it more than I’ve ever loved a film. I know that I feel protective of it, that I cherish it deep in my heart. I know that I am evangelical about the movie. I know that the movie makes me feel better than 3 hours of prime copulation in a warm waterbed of delight. I know the movie fits me like a fork and a spoon and a knife.

As I watched that Balrog fight Gandalf, I did not breathe. I didn’t scream out, I didn’t howl with "YEAS!!!!" and pump my arm… Instead I stared in awe.

I know that the scene that kills me. Wounds me. Opens up my heart is not a scene that I knew about. A scene I don’t recall from the books. It showed Boromir teaching Merry and Pippin how to fight with swords. The warmth of the scene wasn’t done front and center. It was just something that was going on while more important things were being attended to. But it was who Boromir was.

Though I hesitate to highlight moments and individual scenes. I hate it when people take out a two minute movement from a masterful symphony and play it over and over again. To me, the marvel is in the whole. That complete emotional journey that the work takes me on.

Was there a complaint? Only in regards to the theater that I saw it in. The TINSELTOWN SOUTH, a CINEMARK theater. I pleaded with New Line to move the screening. They did not. They consulted the local film critic for the Austin American Statesman, Chris Garcia for a second opinion. Reportedly he told them that this substandard indoor drive-in of a rat nest was as good as any place to screen the film. I told the folks at New Line that this theater is the worst in town. That it did not have THX, that they did not have balanced sound, that more often than not they show films that seem to come from center channel mono only. That their projection is muddy from low-light bulbs. However, Chris Garcia has apparently never noticed this sub-standard performance there. I can only assume that his lack of attention to the details of the theater’s exhibition standards is similar to his acumen in regards to film itself.

This morning’s screening had well over 100 incidents of the sound popping out, warbling and distorting like a heat warped eight-track in a 74 Ford Pick Up with a faulty alternator. In otherwords, IT SUCKED BALLS!!!

From this experience I have many recommendations. First, never ever listen to Chris Garcia in regards to the performance quality of a theater. Second, if you are seeing LORD OF THE RINGS in Austin, do not see it at the TINSELTOWN SOUTH, but rather THE GATEWAY or ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE NORTH. And Third, New Line… If I were your regional booker, I would pull the film from release at the TinselTown and move it across the Highway to the METROPOLITAN, which is the best theater in Austin all things considered for the exhibition of giant screen super sound films. I really hope that New Line is paying attention to the theaters that they are screening this film to Press and Awards Show Voters, because substandard projection and sound… Never a good thing.

Peter Jackson and the wizards in New Zealand that worked years of their lives to make this masterpiece deserve better than to have their film eviscerated by crappy venues.

It enrages me that this film could ever be shown short of perfect conditions. Despite the hell that was this screening, the film had a power and a majesty that I do not know if I have ever seen in film before.

Peter Jackson has made a film that at the very least is for me. I will not presume to tell you that this is your favorite movie, I do not know you, your heart or your loves. I know mine, and I love this film. I hope you do as well.

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 13, 2001, 4:53 p.m. CST


    by Butterbur

    Way to go Harry!

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 4:54 p.m. CST


    by JackBertin

    been waiting all day!!

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Can't Balrog, such a huge wingspan...

    by jackrabbit

    It just doesn't get old...

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:02 p.m. CST

    But Harry -

    by desslok

    is it any good?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:02 p.m. CST

    I can't believe he said he cried...

    by Stuart

    Dear God, I hoped he wouldn't say it, but he did.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:03 p.m. CST


    by Psychopompous

    the review i've been waiting for. ain't real until i've read what harry thinks. Not that there was any doubt about what he would say..

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:04 p.m. CST

    harry just summed up why we all watch movies

    by 14byit

    for that feeling that he felt. THAT is why we are fanboys.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Lor' Bless You

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    I'm thrilled this worked for you, dude. I'm going to take an informed, intelligent decision and Believe the Hype. Last time I did it was for Empire Strikes Back, and that worked out okay...

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Never read the books

    by holidill

    I admit freely that I have never read any of Tolkien's ring saga. I am still going to see this film with my girlfriend and I am excited about it. Here's hoping a non-reader of the books likes it as much as a reader of the books. I may read them after I see the film but for now, I will keep my eyes open. Oh by the way, I am so pissed that this is not playing at the majestic Senator theater in Baltimore. Instead we are going to get The Majestic, which I will see there but I was really hoping that the Senator was going to get it. Oh well, I got to see Harry Potter there, and I will see Episode 2 there, so I should be ok. E.T will probably play there too.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:10 p.m. CST


    by Z of X

    Wow Harry. I've been waiting to hear from you all day and you certainly don't disappoint. I'm going to email your review to all my friends and then I'm going to stay off line for the next 6 days. This experience (you've convinced me not to call it a mere movie) is one that I'm eagerly awaiting. Family is reuniting over this man. God bless the geeks.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:10 p.m. CST

    I want to see this soooooo bad!

    by Russman


  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:10 p.m. CST

    So, Harry, what you're saying is that you liked it, huh?

    by Bad Guy

    I've never read the books, but I am really looking forward to this movie. I hope it's better than "Hannibal", which Harry also liked. A lot. Peace.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:11 p.m. CST

    At last I can breathe easy

    by Butterbur

    I share your love of film, Harry. I also share Moriarty's summary of the modern blockbusters -- mere moments of glory in 2 hours of sewage. I can finally rest easy. There is no review that matters as much as yours. And to have this from you means that I can finally let the guard down. I am sure I will not be disappointed. Thanks.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:11 p.m. CST

    But did he like it?

    by Merciful Maximus

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Not to be an ass but...

    by quiscustodiet

    ...did anyone really think Harry was going to caome back with an "It was all right" review? After being thanked on the soundtrack, got a personal tour, did you think he would bite the hand that feeds him. I don't doubt that it is a good movie, probably great, but this sort of hyperbole is ridiculous and a good reason why we shouldn't take Harry and Moriarty's opinions too seriously.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Thanks Harry

    by BigToby

    Fantastic review,that was the one I was waiting for, now I can relax and look forward to Wednesday when I'm off to see it at the Leicester Square Odeon: no crappy sound for me:-)

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:12 p.m. CST

    but what did you think of it, harry?

    by salopasolini

    so is this a really good movie or is it a just sort kinda good movie?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Well Put Harry

    by OGReadmore

    Crying again makes you the Dick Vermeil of movie geekdom.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:13 p.m. CST


    by Micro-locked

    that's all...

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Thank you Harry.

    by BilboFett

    That's all.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Trolls already hit the vote?

    by Mr. Sartre

    That's odd... You one-voters wanna speak up? You guys seen it? Anyways, nice to see a heartfelt Harry review, something authentic. Keep it up, big guy. slack

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:14 p.m. CST

    No complaints? No bad reviews? How can this be? Every film ha

    by Ralph Cifaretto

    Everyone didn't universally praise "Raiders" or "Lawrence" or "Brazil" or even "Star Wars," did they? Can't wait. Such a huge erec-, uh, fan. But, can it really be this good?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:15 p.m. CST

    I know I'm gonna be sad when my first experience with this f

    by jackrabbit

    But happy when I see it again! And again and again and again!!!

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:15 p.m. CST


    by Boba_Fett

    Thanks for trying to be objective, Harry. Everybody knows this was a big deal for you and all the AICNers and it's hard to really get the context and handle that time can give you. Time will tell on this film. -Fett

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:15 p.m. CST

    the road goes ever on...

    by hershey_dente

    100 million of us who have read LOTR, know every character and plot thread, who know the trimuphal and tragic ending, will still be flocking to the theaters to see what I'm sure will be hailed as a classic. Prof. Tolkien and Mr. Jackson have done our generation a great service in reminding us that the journey is often far more important than the destination.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:18 p.m. CST

    One complaint about Harry

    by SDHTF

    Great review Harry but I have to say that I

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:19 p.m. CST


    by The Grin

    He wrote this: J.R.R. Tolkien in a letter to Forrest J. Ackerman - June 1958 Quotes : J.R.R. Tolkien : "The canons of narrative art in any medium cannot be wholly different; and the failure of poor films is often precisely in exaggeration, and in the intrusion of unwarranted matter owing to not perceiving where the core of the original lies." He also wrote: "As far as I am concerned personally, I should welcome the idea of a ... motion picture, with all the risk of vulgarization; and that quite apart from the glint of money, though on the brink of retirement that is not an unpleasant possibility." Too bad he can't enjoy any of these royalties. I do not feel like I have to see the film anymore, even though I'll be there on opening day. My greatest desire was that the film would not embarrass Tolkien, that it would be true to, as he says, THE CORE of the story. Judging from the reactions of Harry and Moriarty, this has happened. Thank you, Mr. Jackson. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Jeffrey "the Grin" Overstreet Seattle

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Can't fan. Such a huge Beer.

    by Parable

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Nice One Big Red

    by Kraven

    Straight from the heart, unexpected and highly enjoyable; a first class piece of journalism.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:22 p.m. CST


    by Halloween68

    Harry... No wonder it took you six freakin hours to give us your feedback. Good googly moogly. Anyways, happy you enjoyed it. This production strikes at similar regions of my heart for different reasons. I hope I enjoy it as much as well. Six more son of a bitchin days. Where's my son of a bitchin early screening? Damn. On the short end again.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:22 p.m. CST

    oh man...OH MAN!!!

    by Soul Suckin Jerk

    this sounds to good to be true. i mean, it REALLY sounds to good to be true. i can't imagine how this thing will deliver...yet somehow, i have faith. unreal.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Great review

    by aldorn

    There is something about this film that will change the way we look at movies. Moriarty's review and harry's go beyond mere praise. The critcs are loving it. The Sun Paper in England called it one of the best films in history. There is not a better director who could have done this than Peter jackson. Can you imagine how happy he is just knowing about all the good press? Sure it still has to perform well at the Box Office, but now he can say, well, I did it. And it works. people dig it. Can you imagine how Gordon paddison (producer) feels knowing that this megagamble so far is looking very, very good. I am so glad this film is working for so many people. I have waited twenty-five years to see this. Can you imagine the disaster that would have reared its head if this had been turned into one movie directed by a Hollywood hack? Peter jackson will go down in history as the director who brought the biggest most loved book to the screen

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Gawd Bless You Harry!!!

    by Gabba-UK

    That was proberbly the most heartfelt recomendation for a film I've ever read! For you to not prosume that I will love the movie and simply state that you did speaks volumes to me as a fellow film geek that I must at the very least see this film. I await final release date with the knowledge that at the very least I will see something very special.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:25 p.m. CST

    PJ and what I hope happens...

    by Nazzim O'Bazzim

    I remember seeing PJ's Heavenly Creatures and leaving the theatre shaking, trembling. I'd been swept up in the Fantasy World that those two girls had shared, I'd been seeing fantastic special effects being used to CONVEY EMOTIONAL CONTENT. And then the murder of the mother - most brutal, I cannot watch it again when I see the movie on video - the wail that escaped her like her heart broke that her little girl would do this, that the act killed her before the brick her... Heavenly Creatures is on my top ten ( we all have that list, yep...) for sweeping me away and shaking me up. And that was what PJ did with a 15 YEAR OLD GIRLS'S DIARY (!) as source material. Then I found Dead Alive/ Braindead and watched it over and over again, spreading the word to friends, watching them howl with laughter at the audacity of it. Noone can make a zombie comedy to touch that one. Both had such a love of filmmaking at their core. So my expectations were fairly high for the Frighteners, but alas... Lots of Whomp Whomp but didn't get me where I live, or even get my funny bone. Maybe something kinda Hollywood had interfered. Still, just based on those first two PJ movies I saw ( and now I've seen all the others ) I knew he was an inspired choice for LOTR. I hope this movie is huge, the hugest. I hope it knocks the dust of people's eyes and that everyone goes "What? Up until now we've been watching crap! So that's how you make movies! That's what you need, a love of filmaking!!" And I know it'll send rip-off artists out there looking for other Fantasy projects to buy up and film. Which, if they were say Moorcock's Elric series of the tales of Fafrd and the Grey Mouser, and they did them right, might not be such a bad thing....

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:26 p.m. CST


    by Frau_Blucher

    Hey, nice review Harry, remarkably restrained. GOOD JOB!

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Now Im scared.

    by Entmoot

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Come on Harry, whats your top 10 of all time.

    by Miss Aura

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:28 p.m. CST

    *loud horse noises*

    by Robin Goodfellow

    Sorry, Frau... couldn't resist. Rock and rule, Harry. Nice review

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Wish I Was There With Ya

    by Mnlymn

    I'm brand new here at AICN, and have been indulging myself, wallowing in the near unanimous praise heaped upon this film. I'm dying for the 19th. I'm sorry about the horrible projection and sound problems you encountered...I had a similar experience in Episode I when the projector bulb burned out while the sound went on for nearly 7 excruciating minutes! Film becomes a part of us, viscerally and permanently. I remember being on the set of "The Postman" standing 2 feet from Kevin Costner as a helicopter flew a camera overhead. "This is cool, ain't it?" Costner asked me. Yes, certainly is.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Now Im scared.

    by Entmoot

    Got my tickets all shined up, going with 8 of my friends. Some geeks.. some not. Now I'm scared I'm going to cry like a little girl in front of them. Is it going to make me feel like harry and Gush.. maybe.. maybe.. and then I'll never live it down. Damn you peter jackson! You ruined my life!

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Come on Harry, whats your top 10 of all time.

    by Miss Aura

    Nice review by the way, but I bet everyone here is interested in what you class as the 10 greatest films of all time. At the moment Its obvious that it is FOTR.

  • Harry, great review but I cannot tolerate reading the quote about the prophecy of YOU telling a young Elijah that he would make a great Frodo. It just reminded of the plans for the DVD release where fans can pay $100 to have their name in the credits. I think that's stupid. There's a difference in contributing to the making of a film and watching the making of the film.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Well done Harry...

    by Jon Snow

    Although some reviewers may be better technical writers, nobody can infuse their words with an absolute LOVE of film like Harry Knowles. I don't care if some doubt his objectivity concerning this film. This is the review that I've been waiting for... and I'm not disappointed. All that is left for me is the film itself.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:30 p.m. CST


    by MercilessMing

    ok, maybe not this one.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:31 p.m. CST

    correcting my spelling mistakes, that's all...

    by Nazzim O'Bazzim

    Well, I won't correct them all.. but I meant OR Fafrd and Grey Mouser... I know my Leiber from my Moorcock. (heh heh)

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Turns out he was writing about Dec. 19th...

    by MrSnart

    Look to this day! For it is life, the very life of life. ... Look well, therefore, to this day! Such is the salutation of the dawn. -- Kalidasa

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:32 p.m. CST

    yippie skippie diddly doo!!!!

    by twan_deeth_ree

    Great review, Harry. Your dad really said that this was his single best movie going experience of all time? In-fucking-credible. I wish I had some kind of sleep chamber that I could climb in so I could hibernate until next Wednesday. I don't want to have to think about this movie anymore before I actually get to see it. I do believe I shall go and defacate in my trousers now. Good day beatches.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Let me clarify...

    by quiscustodiet

    ...I am not trolling, I am simply saying is that due to personal friendships with filmmakers Harry's opinion on their films should be taken with a grain of salt. I am not discounting the movie, nor am I denying Harry his right to have friendships with these people, I am saying that his view of the movies are biased due to these friendships. I know mine would be, so I'm not judging him for it, just saying, maybe everyone should take a step back and realize this review is not the final confirmation that this film rocks. It's a friends opinion on a friends film.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:34 p.m. CST

    There is one negative review at Rotten Tomatoes, but that's

    by Terry_1978

    Gotta give that reviewer credit for not just following the herd and saying FOTR is the best thing since sliced Wonder, but I am over here salivating waiting for Dec. 19. Yes, I am going to see Not Another Teen Movie and Vanilla Sky tomorrow night because I need my new movie fix every freaking week...but once the epic arrives....week after week, it shall recieve my patronage....

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:34 p.m. CST

    the PERFECT blurb!

    by rev_skarekroe

    "IT SUCKED BALLS!!!" - Harry Knowles, Ain' sk

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Disappearing posts?

    by Chocky

    Maybe it&#39;s cuz there&#39;s so many lotr TB&#39;s on AICN now, but it seems like some of my posts have gone missing after appearing on the TB&#39;s. Not like I had anything that exciting to say, but it bugs me. Anyone else notice their posts disappearing? <><><><><> I&#39;m happy for Harry that he finally made it to the movie. I only hope I like it as much as he did. Will be bringing Kleenex just in case I bawl my eyes out. <><><><><> Reminder: Liv Tyler will be on David Letterman tonight. <><><><><> Yes Elijah was rather prissy on Letterman and Conan, but he&#39;s young. He&#39;ll shape up after a few years of debauchery.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:37 p.m. CST

    I Always Wanted to be Six Again...

    by The Feral Kid

    Yeah, six. That&#39;s it for me. The first time I saw "The Empire Strikes Back." The time I moved along with the Millenium Falcon, up and down, as it manuevered through the astroid field - and didn&#39;t even realize I had done such a thing until later. Then it was "Raiders of the Lost Ark." You know, that rustlin&#39; piece of brown map unfolding, a dirty worked hand sliding over it, a gun holster slowly and greedily popped open and that whip ... holy shit that whip man - and the first time we see Dr. Jones - no, no I mean Indiana look up from under that hat...holy shit, that hat. I&#39;ve been looking for that feeling my whole life. And yes folks, I believe that there is a spirituality in films, certain films that are born out of passion and earnest love. I didn&#39;t get that feeling again for many years, that first time sense of awe - even after the close to thousand times I&#39;ve viewed "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Then it happened again. Twice actually. I was older, mature and just watching a fun movie, one that looked good. It had Mel Gibson, I mean, I had lots of fun with lethal weapon - so I popped in "the Road Warrior." And I know folks were yelling at Morie for his inclusion of "Mad Max 2" on his favourites lists - but I&#39;d have to also. Not because I believe it is a perfect film, not because of a star or something superficial. There is glee in that film. Grim as it is, there is sheer joy in that movie. And don&#39;t tell me that Max wasn&#39;t having fun driving that tanker. Cause I know he was. I really know it. When Max is driving into the camp with the tanker, and Miller has us with one of the S and M cops, fiddling with his keys and making a mad scramble for Max, driving along side the tanker, the members of the group chaotic in the whirling dust - and Max just looking straight ahead. That&#39;s power, that&#39;s a oneness with something that can never be explained - Max barrelling straight ahead. I find no other name fitting enough to use than the Feral Kid for me on a "movie lovers" site like this, because I was the Feral Kid, wanting to help this mythic figure, being almost animalistic in my sheer ecstacy of finding such a hero. And that&#39;s what I feel right now. I never got to see any of these films in the theatre in their first release. But I do now. One of "THOSE FILMS" and boy, I&#39;m excited. No, no - I feel as though something of Christ-like preportions has occurred. Because this is a film that takes all those feelings from childhood, the ones we don&#39;t even remember, the ones we&#39;ve been trying to get back for so long - and for 3 hours, we get to watch that wonderment play out before us. Yes, I&#39;m a geek. Not many people understand my feelings, my need for films like this - but who cares. Geeks, one of our few defining moments is soon to hit the screens. Rejoice.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Upping the ante

    by Gunganesque

    Rolling Stone with "best movie of the year," Moriarty calls it one of the top ten movies of all time, and now Harry goes straight to the top naming it his favorite film. Someone is going to have to take up the challenge and name it the greatest work of art in the history of western civilization.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Not... gonna... make it... Go... on... without... me...

    by Juggernaut125

    Less than a week boys and girls. I don&#39;t think I can last much longer. Most of the peoples here at work are likely gonna kill me if I ask them one more time "Is it the 19th yet?" I read the books about 8 years ago. At the time, all I could think was that it would make a great live action film for the Jim Henson crew. Then when I heard a couple of years ago that the guy that made FRIGHTENERS was doing it using a lot of CGI, I was a bit apprehensive. That all changed about a year and a half ago when the first real footage started coming in. And my mood changed to growing anticipation. Now, with less than a week to go, I find it difficult to concentrate on any other tasks. I want to inhale as many reviews as possible. I want to catch all of the commercials on line. Watch the making-of special. But nothing seems to pass the time quick enough to get me to that goal of December 19th. I may weep at its brilliance. I may cheer at its more-than-acceptable presentation. I may be delighted that it tells a good story with interesting characters, exciting FX and sweeping landscapes. (And after the summer of "blech"busters we just had, even that&#39;s not too much to ask for.) But I doubt that I will be disappointed.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:44 p.m. CST


    by mrbeaks

    I have none of those friendships, and that didn&#39;t stop me from raving, but there will be no better proof that this film "rocks" until y&#39;all see it for yourself. I think the majority of you will agree with Harry, Mori, Hallenbeck, and everyone else who&#39;s chimed in so far. This is true epic filmmaking, and I can&#39;t wait to see it again. Great review, Harry! The torture is over, yet begins anew for THE TWO TOWERS.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Another blurb...

    by Hawq

    "Do not see this movie"- Moriarty, Ain&#39;t It Cool News

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Great Review

    by FrodoLives

    Great one, Harry! I&#39;m glad you finally got into the movie....I know how long you&#39;ve been looking forward to it. The only warning I have for you is that the next six days are going to be even harder. I&#39;m more anxious to see this movie AGAIN than I was before I saw it over two weeks ago. I have never known time to pass so slowly :-(

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Did he *really* like it that much?

    by Boris Grushenko

    It sounds like he just enjoyed being part of the making of the movie... in other words, a "friend of the family" kind of pride. Reading between the lines, it sounds like he might have a couple of reservations, or at the least he spoiled the movie for himself... whatever the case may be, there was no way Harry was going to say anything negative about this movie. But I wish he had, if only to legitimize all of the good things he has said about it all along. In other words, by criticizing something a little, it is easy to accept your entire opinion. It makes the good things you say about something that much more believable and credible. Then, I&#39;d no longer have the nagging wonder/fear in my head that you are just a schill for the powers that be. I&#39;m always suspicious of love it or hate it opinions... for no movie is 100% perfect or 100% shit. Oh well, Harry&#39;s review is hardly news. We knew what he was going to say before he said it. We knew it would be another rambling stream-of-conscious piece where he would not actually *review* the movie, but blubber on about his touchy-feelie emotions the whole time... He could be talking about the latest Coen Bros movie, the latest Pixar movie, the latest Spielberg movie, the latest Fincher or Anderson or Soderberg movie, you fill in the blank... I can only digest so much rhapsody and hyperbole without it losing it&#39;s flavor and/or meaning alltogether. When all you do is use superlatives, they actually lose their meaning or power as superlatives... indeed, they are no longer superlative.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:52 p.m. CST

    The love for two great film epics

    by Boomer32

    Reading all these talkbacks about LOTR vs. Star Wars on this site is really starting to get annoying. It reminds me of the story of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Two Yankees who were both great ball players, yet the people only had room in their hearts for one hero. This is the same situation. I am a die-hard Star Wars fan and it will always have a special place in my life, so I am counting down the days till Episode 2. I am also counting the days till LOTR. The books were great and the movie looks even better. A lot of people say Star Wars is dead because of TPM, but let&#39;s look at this logically. Just because one of the four movies wasn&#39;t perfection isn&#39;t reason to call it dead. I don&#39;t hear any of you calling great shows like Buffy, Babylon 5, the Sopranos, or the West Wing dead because they had one bad episode. Star Wars is just another example of this. TPM wasn&#39;t the greatest and I&#39;m glad that we got the one mediocre one out of the way. Like TV shows, the first episode is never the best. AOTC looks to be a spectacular movie with a lot of action and a wonderful story. LOTR looks and sounds to be the same. I hope both do extremely well and I hope you all agree with me.

  • Hello Harry, Having been spoiled by a few master projectionsists I have known, and in once instance, represented, I share your concerns about proper presentation and after reading all of those great reviews about Lord of the Rings, have some suggestions for those who reside in LA&#39;s own San Fernando Valley and who plan to see this, or any other big movie, for that matter. Just an opinion, but I am spoiled like many in the biz. For great to adequate presentations here try: 1. The all new Pacific Galleria, Sherman Oaks, has what appears to be Academy standard projection and sound, great seats...and it will probably take over most of the 5 screens that were relegated to "Harry Potter" The theatre complex is only about 6 weeks old and is better than the majority of Pacific&#39;s recent multiplex theatre facilities - save for the new one&#39;s going up in LA proper. Pacific has a new engineer in charge that seems to know what he is doing. Hooray!!!! 2. AMC Promenade, Woodland Hills When it first opened a few years back, it was a real dog relative to sound and picture, now it appears that AMC&#39;s local engineers call it home, so sound and picture are now greatly improved. Hope it stays that way for "Lord of..." And they have a couple of big screens there, which they will undoubtedly play this picture in. 3. Mann&#39;s Agoura Hills Once the best complex in the Valley area, should still be fine as it attracts some of Mailbu&#39;s finest. 4. Pacific Winnetka OK, it has three giant 70 foot screens, which should be impressive, but usually underlit - particularly on 1:85 ratio features, if this film is in scope all the better, otherwise, try the Galleria. Theatres to avoid: 1. anything UA has in the Valley - or maybe anywhere for that matter 2. Mann&#39;s Valley West, they dont own it, hence no financial upgrades worth talkng about. Go there if you don&#39;t have a car to get you to the better venues. 4 Mann&#39;s Plant: a real dissapointment. Low end engineering, at least when it opened, the gangs that hung out there didnt help, maybe its improved - but safety first after all. 5. Any second run type of theatre in the Valley.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Houston Premiere Party!

    by Butterbur

    All you talkbackers in Houston, Texas are invited to witness all the glory of Fellowship Of The Ring on Tuesday night, just after midnite, at the AMC GulfPointe 30, South Beltway 8 at I-45. We will be lining up at 8pm, doing dramatic readings from the books, having door prize giveaways, including busts of Aragorn and Pippin from Sideshow/WETA! I&#39;ll be there dressed as Gandalf! Join us!

  • Better than 3 hours of prime copulation? Sometimes you frighten me Harry, you really do.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 5:58 p.m. CST

    New official LOTR related site from New Line

    by howdyall

    I was surfing the net today and found this cool new web site from New Line. It looks like they are bidding to get LOTR some Academy Awards! Definitely worth a look! bye!

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6 p.m. CST


    by Batutta

    The Vista in Los Feliz is the best theater in the Los Angeles area. Perfect seats, perfect projection, perfect sound, perfect audiences. The only thing better was The Cinerama Dome showing 70mm (but that&#39;s being renovated).

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6 p.m. CST

    A movie worth seeing? In this year of crap?

    by TheBlairZip

    I have no idea what the story for Lord of the Rings is. I don&#39;t know the characters, I don&#39;t know the terminology, I don&#39;t even know where the hell Middle Earth could possibly located. All I do know is that a movie which brings tears to the eyes of grown men (and I&#39;ve read reviews other than Harry&#39;s which admit to this rare phenom) must be worth seeing. Especially in a crap-filled year like this one. Is there any other movie from this year (so far) that has moved you, in any form, so much as this movie seems to have moved almost ever single person that&#39;s seen it? Can you name one? Anyone?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6 p.m. CST

    Fat Ass Name Dropper

    by rushmorebkeeper

    Can&#39;t you write a review without name dropping your "friends?" You are so full of yourself, Harry. It&#39;s the one bad trait of the site, you always mouthing off about who you know and relating it to a review of a movie. Grow up.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:01 p.m. CST

    To the Detractors

    by JoeMama420

    First and foremost, great review. That&#39;s what sucked me into AICN in the first place: balls out, emotional responses to a great art medium instead of rigidly structured high school essays pretending to be film reviews that all say the same boring thing in the same boring sequence. Second, I agree with Frodo.Lives. Having seen it, it&#39;s almost worse waiting to see it again, especially after reading the reviews from Harry and Moriarty. Rejoice, though, because I don&#39;t think any amount hype or subesequent reviews you all take in could possible ruin this movie going experience for you. I was barely old enough to remember seeing ROTJ in theaters so this is definintely my first bonafide film phenomenon and I&#39;m loving it!------------And finally, to Harry&#39;s detractors who say that he is simply on PJ&#39;s nutsack or that he would never "bite the hand that feeds him," come on. If you remember, he described a very similar experience of hanging out with John McTiernan for hours, exchanging film geek stories, and having what sounded like a true bonding moment. He then proceeded to absolutely bash the screening of Rollerball, despite how much he felt a connection with McTiernan as a person and with some of his previous films. I just felt the need to defend the big guy after having such a heartfelt review attacked for such a petty reason. WILL THE 19TH EVER COME?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Excellent review Harry, But there&#39;s still more of my work y

    by Jesus_Christ74

    Crikey! You&#39;d think the Son of God&#39;s userid would be kept sacred and used only in moments like this. I see there&#39;s a lot of false prophets running around these days doing God knows what in my name. Anyhow, good job Harry, but you must forge on and complete your review of the Holy Trinity err....Trilogy. See you around Year 2033. Opps, I shouldn&#39;t have said that. And to the rest of you Talkbackers, please try to get along. Gotta go, there&#39;s a US Marine that could use a Hand - The Real J.C. aka Buddy Christ

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Theaters In Chicago

    by FrodoLives

    For those in the Chicago area, there is no better theater than the Yorktown Premium in Lombard. Just spectacular. All leather seats, a bistro outside the theater. Tables beside each seat (at which they will serve you anything from the bistro). BEER! Wine...etc. FREE popcorn. And no one under 21 allowed inside. Their sound system is one of the top rated THX systems in the country (as rated BY THX). The only hard part is getting tickets....there&#39;s only 60 seats.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:04 p.m. CST

    AICN Reviews

    by EvilNight

    Harry and Moriarty make the perfect review team. Moriarty has a bitter, cynical vein in him which is priceless but doesn&#39;t usually interfere with him writing a good review (and analysis) of the films. His reviews tend to be quite honest and even if they don&#39;t hit the bullseye all the time usually you know what you are in for. Harry, on the other hand, is a bonafide film geek. He has a pathological need to like every film he sees. Harry actually FINDS a way to enjoy all the films he watches, and is good enough to tell you exactly what perspective you&#39;ll need on a film in order to get the most out of it. That&#39;s why he likes movies that nobody else seems to get (Armageddon, Godzilla, etc). No other reviewer I&#39;ve ever seen anywhere does that. They make a perfect team... throw Hallenbeck in for pure bitter, evil vitrol and you get a good evil bastard&#39;s opinion on the films. Now, let&#39;s see... FOTR has Harry reduced to a bouncing ball of tears and smiles and writing one of his most eloquent reviews ever, Mori has been so inspired that he&#39;s redefined his standards, and Hallenbeck is singing like Dr. Dirty about how good it is... if that doesn&#39;t sell the movie to anybody, what will?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:04 p.m. CST

    It&#39;s official: Harry sells out and AICN jumps the shark

    by Indiana Jones

    Harry mentions in his review the origins of AICN. But what he convieniently leaves out is that AICN started as kind of an "underground" movie web-site, kind of an anti Ebert and Siskel, for geeks, by geeks (no negative implications, morGoth!), if you will. Where the reviews wouldn&#39;t pull punches and cow-tow to corporate Hollywood. And it was one of the best movie sites on the web. Where you knew you would get good, honest reviews. But as I pull up AICN these days, I am slapped with advertisements pandering for me to go see LOTR. And AICN has become everything it once stood against: corporate Hollywood. Harry loves LOTR, great, but he should know that it is the film that lost both him and his web site any shred of credibility it had left since this LOTR hype-monster began.

  • I&#39;m very curious to find out.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Pacific Complex in The Valley / Los Feliz

    by JoeMama420

    The screening I went to was at the Pacific Theaters in Sherman Oaks and I can verify that everything was top notch, not a single problem and the stadium seating is oh-so-sweet. Since they aren&#39;t playing it at the Fox Village in Westwood, I&#39;ll probably end up seeing it there again. Whoever posted about the one in Los Feliz, could you give me the cross-streets so I can keep my options open (I&#39;m in West Hollywood)?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:18 p.m. CST

    As the lights went dark in the theater and as my film mate Patch

    by SportzEd

    Um, isnt that how Harry feels all the time anyway? An hour on the treadmill every couple of weeks will kill that feeling.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:22 p.m. CST

    "I&#39;ll read Harry Potter if you read LOTR"

    by slaggbottom

    That was what I told my younger sister who was pushing me to read HP. So I borrowed the 4 books, gobbled them up in a few weeks (and enjoyed them very much), and checked back with my sister&#39;s progress on LOTR... "It&#39;s so boring, I can&#39;t get past page 15 without falling asleep," she said... So 6 months later, when my family got together to spend a week at the beach, I told her to bring the book, and I&#39;d read it out loud to her if I had to! So that week we took turns reading chapters, and read the whole book out loud! Never thought it would have happened, but it turned out to be great fun giving "dramatic readings" back and forth to each other, and witnessing someone getting into Tolkien&#39;s world for the first time was a treat too. So of course, we had so much fun, we read Two Towers out loud the following week (I was known for my wonderful vocal performance of Treebeard ;), and a month later we got together and finished the trilogy with RotK. The entire trilogy read out loud! Man, you really soak in EVERY detail that way... So now my sister is a huge LOTR freak like me, and spreading the word. I&#39;m making the trip home on the 19th so we can see the movie together opening day. Can&#39;t wait!!!!

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Thanks for your review harry, and now Im off

    by JimmyTheHand

    After hearing your review I&#39;ve decided to stop looking for LOTR info on the internet until after I see the movie. I now Im not going to see a horrible film, so it has increased my excitment. Think I will just use my computer for games now, no more LOTR news!!! Bye all.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Someone please give me heavy sedatives...

    by Nagual

    ...because I&#39;ve been waiting for 12/19 for most of my natural born life. This movie had better be great because I won&#39;t tolerate anything less. I want to be knocked out of my reserved seat, taken out of my body. I want the worst thing to be the fact that I won&#39;t be able to watch it again until at least 2 days later...and I want the year wait to TTT and the two-year wait for ROTK to be nearly as interminable as the wait was for FOTR. Ferrchissake, I haven&#39;t even opened the soundtrack yet to keep it a relatively pristine experience. It&#39;s such wonderful torture.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Two VERY GOOD FOTR reviews in here:

    by virkku

    ...They are pretty detailed, objective and don&#39;t have any ridicilous overpraise. Both liked the film. and

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Great review Harry

    by Sith Warrior

    I have to say there was something elegant about this one that is missing from all of the other reviews Harry has written. Easily the best review Harry has ever written (IMHO), despite the fact that it is almost completely devoid of content - but then, we&#39;ve heard it all before, there&#39;s not much he can add.-----------------And Indiana Jones, bugger off......

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:30 p.m. CST


    by EvilNight

    Save the Oscars for Return of the King ;) Remember, we have three perfect films here not one. If the first one is good, the other two are of the same quality without a doubt... and the first book was easily the worst of the three...

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Harry is the luckiest guy alive

    by europop

    He can think to himself when watching this movie "I played my part. With a different Frodo, things may not have been so perfect." The lucky lucky LUCKY bastard. And the worrying about a heart-attack at the start of the film? I think I will be in the same situation. The last few months have been leading up to Dec 19th. Harry was so hyped and yet still loved it. This could be the first movie ever that truly deserves the slogan "Believe the hype". Nearly down to 5 days to go.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:33 p.m. CST


    by FrodoLives

    Harry, have you checked out the demo that I&#39;ve got for the new TB? Again, I&#39;ll give you this for free....I&#39;ll recode anything that you need in it. I&#39;ve already recoded some of it based on feedback from the kind folks on these boards that have checked it out. I think it can make life a lot easier on this site....I love AICN, but can&#39;t stand these TBs...they&#39;re just poorly done. If anyone reading is interested in giving their input (check it out, let me know what you&#39;d like to see in it, etc.) just go to ----------------- I have no affiliation with AICN....this is just something that I&#39;m offering up to Harry to try to help out where I can.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Harry

    by durdhamboy

    I&#39;ve been reading your site on and off for the past few months, and I&#39;d just like to thank you for the remarkable coverage you&#39;ve given LOTR. I&#39;m glad you enjoyed it so much - I can&#39;t wait to see it myself.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:36 p.m. CST


    by pravda

    Harry, from the sound of it, what you now need is a good drink or two, and a good night&#39;s sleep. :)

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Harry Knowles is worth his weight in gold

    by Silvio Dante

    Yes, that preciousss. I mean, there&#39;s enough academic and detached snobs writing on films, looking down on general public and passing judgement. Yeah, Harry seems to find a way to like every film he sees and you know what? I find that very refreshing. Actually, anyone who&#39;s ever been involved in making movies (shorts,features, promos, whatever) knows that it&#39;s actually a reward in itself to get the damned things finished. Not to mention finished on time. And don&#39;t even get me started on the budgets..there is NO REASON for the attitude film criticism generally has. You know, don&#39;t WASTE YOUR MONEY on this, CONSUME on this instead. Harry&#39;s all-encompassing attitude is actually quite healthy. Then again, the reviews of LOTR:FOTR so far have been frightening in their universal praise. Just wanted to say that AICN is great site, that&#39;s why I try to visit every day. Well, enough of the brown nosin&#39;. How about that Gimli line in Moria, Eryndur? Joe Mama? Frodo Lives? Are you on the Mori thread?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Thoughts from a very proud New Zealander

    by lymond

    Even without seeing the film yet it is already something I&#39;ve fallen in love with. For alot of us kiwis its more than a film - its yet another reminder that we have some people in this country that are as unique and talented as some of the worlds best. But along with it there remains something so definitively kiwi about the persona of Peter Jackson. Everything is very understated when he talks and although the passion comes through when he talks about film its always with a touch of humility. This is a guy who&#39;ve I always admired, rooted for, been jealous of and am proud of ever since I saw Bad Taste is school. All my life I&#39;ve loved movies and wanted to work in film but I always blamed being in NZ for the reason I couldn&#39;t make it happen - but he&#39;s proved this is such a cop out. I&#39;m so relieved he took two years of weekends to live his dream while people like me just decided that would be way too hard :) Peter is so down to earth for somebody who may have just made one of the best movies in history and I can&#39;t ever see that changing as the spotlight of fame gets brighter. He doesn&#39;t need his ego massaged by big movie execs (not even sure if he HAS an ego!) so he has so much freedom to do things as he wants to. NZ&#39;rs arn&#39;t an outwardly patriotic bunch but I know that this is the best place in the world to live for so many different reasons and I&#39;m so happy he&#39;s thinking along the same lines. It means we get to keep one of our heros for once and he brings the world to us instead of the other way round. Cheers from middle earth :)))

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:38 p.m. CST

    It&#39;s not just the best FILM ever! It&#39;s the best THING ev

    by togmeister

    Shakespeare! The Sistine Chapel! The Beatles! Plato! Proust! The guy who invented the wheel! Beethoven! The Apostles! Freakin&#39; amateur work compared to what (Harry&#39;s pals) Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson have come up with! I&#39;m tellin&#39; ya, Mozart, Ibsen, Da Vinci and the rest of those no-hopers are well and truly roiling in their resting place right now, displaced by something that&#39;s better than love, better than eating, better than breathing! Shill, shill, shill! (Is that good enough for you, New Line? Do i get a cheque for that?). All sarcasm aside, here are two notes: 1) Roeper and Jeffrey Wells at reel have slammed the movie, for some reason this site has failed to report that in it&#39;s endless &#39;review round-ups). 1)I have not seen this movie yet, but i have seen Ali. Best movie of all time? I&#39;ll take odds that Fellowship isn&#39;t even the best movie of the week. Hope you enjoy it.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Regarding JoBlo review

    by Sith Warrior

    OK, you could say it&#39;s a good review, but take a look at the bottom of the page. You see where it says &#39;Dungeons and Dragons"? See the score next to it? Yes, 7/10, the same score given to FOTR. I don&#39;t know about you, but I seriously cannot believe that Dungeons and Dragons and FOTR can be considered equal in ANY way whatsoever. Also, he gave Battlefield Earth 7/10. WTF? I can happily accept a 7/10, but how the hell can he give it equal scores to those two abominations!!!? Arrow&#39;s review was better.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:41 p.m. CST

    STOP PRESS: I&#39;ve found a way to speed up time!

    by Synner

    I&#39;ve just invented a device that speeds up time! And because I&#39;m a generous swine, I&#39;m going to share it with you. It&#39;s really very simple. Take some chilli powder and sprinkle it over the end of your john thomas (its important to scream at this point). Then insert your orange coated member into the powder tray of your washing machine. Set your washing machine to "Whites Only". Now take a hammer and hold it in your left hand. Turn on the washing machine with your right hand and wait for the spin cycle to kick in. Finally, shout "Peter Jackson is god!!!" and smash the hammer into the side of your head. When you wake up, it&#39;ll be December 19th!

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Anyone in Britain turn to BBC1 right now.

    by Miss Aura

    30 minutes of Lord of the Rings interviews and action.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Well said

    by DexterFillmore

    It&#39;s so nice to see such a love for cinema. I&#39;m more excited for this movie than I have been for any movie I can remember. Great review Harry. I&#39;m glad it was everything you hoped for and more

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 6:51 p.m. CST

    RE: Joblo&#39;s review

    by virkku

    You have to read Joblo&#39;s reviews in their entirety before you form an opinion on him. You see, he loves campy, cheesy flicks. He stated in his reviews that both D&D and BE are far from being good flicks in traditional sense, but he enjoyed them for their campiness. They are so bad that they are good in his opinion. So he is reviewing FOTR in a totally different scale. Joblo is one the most trustworthy critics I know, and a big reason for that is the fact he reviews them on the merits of their respective genres. The campy, cheesy, so-bad-it&#39;s-good tone of D&D is entirely different to the serious tone of LOTR, and therefore the films are not automatically comparable, even if both represent the fantasy genre.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Just the review I was waiting for!

    by CactusEd

    Finally! Harry&#39;s review, based upon emotions and personal history, is exactly what I was looking for. For most of us, LOTR is going to be an emotional experience, not just another casual Wednesday night at the flicks. This review is why AICN is valuable.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:05 p.m. CST

    In a Nutshell

    by Justicer

    Both Harry&#39;s and Moriarty&#39;s reviews are well appreciated, and prove refreshing in that they&#39;re not just critical essays written for the sake of criticism and self-importance. They are genuine feedback from guys who really,..well, -just love films. LOTR seems to be that once in a while film that can draw "life-altering" responses from these two and apparently countless others. I don&#39;t think I need any more convincing. There really isn&#39;t much else to be said about this film, so in closing-Here&#39;s to the 19th, may it be as truly wonderful for all of us as it was for these two. Thanks, Guys.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Just great, Harry

    by Ramakien

    Sometimes it&#39;s refreshing to read a statement like Harry&#39;s today. Great work, Harry, I now hope the movie matches the review ;)

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Jeffrey Wells at

    by Malificent42

    Jeffrey Wells is rather crotchety and negative in general, and I never agree with his opinion on films. He hasn&#39;t actually written a review yet, but here&#39;s what he&#39;s had to say: "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is going to be widely loved and make a huge amount of money. Everyone I&#39;ve spoken to about it save one (a critic for a local daily paper) seems to hold it in some kind of high esteem. I wouldn&#39;t argue about its merits, but for me sitting through it was like a coast-to-coast flight with nothing to read. There&#39;s a kind of comfort in being the holder of an extreme minority view because you know no one will pay the slightest attention; you&#39;re just the nutter who didn&#39;t get it. Lord of the Rings is probably the finest, most passionate, most lovingly composed fantasy film of the year. The fact that watching it felt to me like a sentence in a New Zealand penal colony should be of no concern to the fans. I&#39;ve never gotten the Rings thing, and I never will." That seems fairly positive to me and I was impressed at his willingness to admit that he just hates the genre.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Who will play Bilbo in The Hobbit?

    by Declan_Swartz

    There is no way that The Hobbit will not be made now, so who will play the "young" Bilbo?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Artificial Womb

    by JAGUART

    As I write this I am completely naked, my waterbed temperature has been set to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and filled with a combination of amniotic fluid and cattle blood. I&#39;ve plugged all my orifices with hunks of foam rubber and I now suck oxygen through a SCUBA regulator. The room humidifier is on eleven and I&#39;m covered with a thick layer of uncooked hot-dogs. There will I incubate for the next six days and nights. On the morning of December 19th I shall emerge anew, have my girlfriend at the ready slap my ass, shower up, and head to the theatre, Reborn Once Again.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:07 p.m. CST

    V I N D I C A T I O N

    by RedCapitalist

    Wow, now I don&#39;t feel bad about raving to all my friends about this movie over TWO YEARS AGO!!! They all thought I was crazy - literally. I can&#39;t wait for them to see it and LOVE EVERY MINUTE!!!

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Can&#39;t wait to cheat...such a huge wife

    by MattO

    Harry is happy, and that&#39;s cool. I just hope PJ gives us 30 more minutes of FoTR in the DVD.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Almost forgot

    by Malificent42

    Jeffrey Wells&#39; comments are from his Hollywood Confidential column:

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:16 p.m. CST


    by Silvio Dante

    Excess=success. Funny, man. LOL. And by the way: I bet Jeremy Irons thought he was doing LOTR. Why the hell else he was in D & D?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:16 p.m. CST

    by Boba_Fett

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:17 p.m. CST

    The Hobbit live action movie

    by Boba_Fett

    If anybody was going to play Bilbo in a Hobbit movie, it would definitely be Ian Holm. He wouldn&#39;t look any younger in the film either, because Bilbo stopped aging once he got the Ring. -Fett

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:19 p.m. CST

    The Hobbit live action movie

    by Boba_Fett

    If anybody was going to play Bilbo in a movie of The Hobbit, it would be Ian Holm. The character would look the same age as in LOTR because Bilbo stopped aging when he got the ring, and he was in his fifties back then anyway. -Fett

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Silvio - the dwarf-tossing line

    by Eryndur

    I heard about the dwarf-tossing line long ago when it first sprang up, and now I&#39;ve seen the Cannes footage and the finished film itself. Both times, it worked. You have to picture it context, I think. The action at this point is at its greatest peak: running from orcs, dodging arrows, navigating precarious staircases, and then they have to jump over a chasm to reach the next staircase. You are literally on the edge of your seat. You are giddy with excitement. You know that something bad is on its way. In the midst of all this, Gimli just raises his hand, and firmly says, "Nobody tosses a dwarf." The audience at the screening burst into laughter, as did I. It wasn&#39;t derisive laughter, it was pure joy, a release of tension in the form of gaiety. I thought it was perfectly placed. I think it was a deliberate attempt to allow the audience to vocalize the awe of what they were seeing. I mean, you&#39;re sitting there watching this unbelievable scene, and you just want to scream, "THIS IS SO FUCKING COOL!!!". This line allows the audience to do this through laughter. I have a feeling I&#39;ve looked way more into this than I should have, and it&#39;s starting to look like a rationalization, but fug it. Plain and simple: it bothered me even less than Aragorn&#39;s last line.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:33 p.m. CST

    OK, it seems that nearly everyone who has seen this movie compla

    by Lenny Nero

    Even Malexandria had faulty sound.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:36 p.m. CST


    by FrodoLives

    Sound at my screening was fantastic. It&#39;s entirely dependent on the theater. Given a good sound system, this movie has NO problems in the sound department. I can&#39;t agree strongly enough with Harry&#39;s sentiment of making sure you catch this movie in a good theater. At least for your first couple of viewings. You&#39;ll be glad you did.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:37 p.m. CST

    S o u n d P r o b l e m s

    by RedCapitalist

    What the crap??? I&#39;ve heard a lot of complaints about sound problems in LOTR from lots of different sources!!! I don&#39;t want the movie to fail just because word gets around that "all the sound problems ruin the movie" or something!!!! ACK ACK ACK

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:37 p.m. CST


    by FrodoLives

    For a change, we agree ;-) ------------- I loved Gimli&#39;s line....thought it was perfectly placed and timed. Like you said, it was a much needed outlet at that point.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:42 p.m. CST

    sound fears put to rest

    by Eryndur

    Frodo.Lives -- rock on! Finally, we can agree on SOMETHING! ;) I also second Frodo&#39;s experience with the sound: mine was perfect. And no, I didn&#39;t see it at the same screening as Frodo.Lives. Don&#39;t worry about it, but like Harry says, if there&#39;s ANY movie to see in an exceptionally set-up theater, it&#39;s this one. Choose your tickets wisely.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Silus, et. al.

    by RedCapitalist

    Some just can&#39;t believe what sounds too good to be true. Do you know why? It is for the very reason that Moriarty discussed in his review - everyone has become accustomed to let downs!!! And now that there is a movie that lives up to the hype they can&#39;t believe it...

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 7:52 p.m. CST

    by tonybickle

    first of all, i fucking LOVE movies. almost nothing beats sitting in a (good)theater watching a kick ass movie.i come to this site every now and then, hoping to discover some cool movies that i normally would never hear about ( i never would have heard of momento or gingersnaps if it were not for this site ), and check out some pics from movies i do know about ( i love fx and monsters and all that cool shit ). but i really cant stand this place anymore. i dont know why i am compelled to read these talkbacks when i come here, but i am,and everytime i do, i get so pissed off i want to run down to my local comic book store and kick seven shades of shit out of the first geek i see. most people who post on here do so because they really love movies and really love having conversations about movies. but you other fucks need your balls cut off." ooh, i dont like this review....harry is a fat fuck"...thats intelligent.i bet the people who write shit like that have massive pecs and abs of steel. if harry loses weight, will you like his reviews better. does this habit extend to the rest of your "lives" as well. "mom, this ham is too salty and the mashed potatos taste like ass, you lard ass." and who gives a shit if a review has spelling errors. this isnt english class, its a freakin movie web site, so calm the fuck down. if the only reason you come to this site is to nitpick and bitch and namecall, dont fucking come here. noone wants you here. so fuck off, you fat fuckers.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 8:04 p.m. CST


    by Silvio Dante

    I loved that line! Wow, deja-vu: These multiple LOTR threads are making my head spin. Gotta go away for few days now - see you guys here on sunday - I bet there&#39;s new reviews to talk back. Harry keep posting them and elaborate your own thoughts after a little breather, okay. Take it from me, this one stays inside your head and haunts you. Namarie.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 8:05 p.m. CST

    The real review is still not yet written.

    by Kizeesh

    Peachy review Harry, although it was more like a article on film appreciation, still I got a bit tearry reading it..... Anyway the review I&#39;m waiting for is from, by far the most insane madly god feearing film reviewers on the planet, they review the films in order to see how corrupting they are. Ther best review yet had to be when they reckoned that Mathilda was the moral equivalent of an R rated movie. They are a joy to read if you want a laugh. They even classed the Praying to Maximus&#39; family on Gladiator as a corrupting pagan influence which might make children try and become non-christian.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 8:06 p.m. CST

    NewFlash - Homosexuals Diss Fantasy

    by vergence

    Even though they are a group that is discriminated against gays are among the first people to talk trash about people who are into fantasy. They are losers who "don&#39;t get laid, have no success in their reality, can&#39;t use use soap, etc". My opinion is that those who can&#39;t get into LOTR or respect the qualities that make fantasy so popular are the same people fawning over the completely false-reality of People magazine and Access Hollywood. Star obsessed clowns who actually think that actors are the onces that make movies great. Idiots who fawn over talentless media creations like Nicole Kidman. These individuals look for sex and titilation at every turn. They search for the ultimate validation of their own vain, self-absorbed lives and often find it in movies that celebrate these values. Movies that call into question these values - that thrust sacrifice,friendship, commitment and honor to the fore are mock as being "out of touch". Well no shit --- i experience enough sex, drugs and betrayal everyday in my reality - why would I want to experience it in movies. Movies too me are comoplete escapism - let me see something i will never see and never do. Give me characters that don&#39;t need to be plagued by the petty concerns of small-minded buffons. Characters that understand that the right road is the hardest one to travel yet still do it. Give me heros -- not a reflection of the flawed human beings i see everyday. Yeah, this rant became something different but it pisses me off that queers like JoBlo slobber all over movies where gets to interview the star, where he gets to brush up against the world that he so obviously desires as his own and then gives a truely unique and inspirational tale such as LOTR a half-hearted rating. I&#39;m sorry if you actually have to listen to the dialogue and put something&#39;s together for yourself. I&#39;m sorry you are bored with fighting against evil and turning away from the dark side. But most of all I&#39;m sorry for you that you will never know the sublime pleasure of fantasy - that you will never understand that fantasy and LOTR speak to the truest ideals of human nautre. I&#39;m sorry you have become such a cynical bastard.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Thanks Harry

    by Gordo27

    for a wonderful review and sharing your experiences with us. On another note I wonder why so many people think FOTR is the least appealing of the 3 books. In my mind FOTR is by far the best Hobbiton, Bree, the first encounter with the Ringwraiths, Rivendell, Lothlorien FOTR develops the story and leaves so many memorable etches in my mind. TTT and ROTK should be action packed blockbusters but they will lack the solace of the moments in Hobbiton, Rivendell and Lothlorien that give FOTR the edge in my mind. Anyway just my thoughts.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Just for the record...

    by Wick

    ...that one negative review at is from the same critic that gave an A- to the Martin Lawrence movie "Black Knight". In other words, a reviewer that would probably be better off with a job in the warehouse industry. And for those of you whining about Harry not being objective, or having yet another movie change his life, or for the mention of crying...maybe you should go find a different site, eh? Obviously this one doesn&#39;t do it for ya.

  • I can understand, I really can. I have read the books at least 20 times (I don not exagerate) and yes, if asked, Lotr is my bible...does that make me sad? Maybe, but what the hell. My 18yr old Cousin, was interested in the hype surrounding the film, but has an unhealthy dislike for fantasy. So I forced her to read lotr, she begged to stop right up until Moria, and now she is a follower. The moral to this tale? Keep trying...Fellowship is hard (although I loved every page from day 1and it was the first book I read of my own free will), but worth it. I sit here in Germany and count the seconds until I can finally see PJ&#39;s masterpiece (I liked the Frighteners!), I have fallen prey to the hype, I am not proud, but damn you guys make so hard not to. Do I have any regrets? YES, since I read the book for the first time, some 8 years ago (when I was 14) I have always wanted to play Aragorn in a film version and prayed that I would be old enough (and maybe even an actor) to be able to do so...well, that&#39;s one dream blown, but from what I have seen, my mind is back off to Middle Earth come December 20th (when I will see it in English)...or did it ever leave?? Hmmm... Greetings to all.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 8:55 p.m. CST

    So, is it better the second time around?

    by Bob419

    Since you screened it at BNAT and continue your little charade... perhaps you can drop it now, or would New Line be none too happy with that? Well?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Thanks Harry

    by Kieran

    The reason we come back to this site again and again, Harry, is that sometimes, just once in a while, we get to read these amazing, delerious pieces. Where your love of film infuses every word, and you help us share the excitement. Thanks for that unique perspective, keep it coming.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 9:45 p.m. CST


    by Batutta

    The Vista is at the intersection from hell, where Hollywood Bl., Sunset Bl, Hillhurst, and some other street conjoin. It&#39;s listed at moviephone as having a 12:01 am showing on Wed. morning.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 9:57 p.m. CST

    LOTR and AICN

    by MirabellaTook

    Years ago, someone sent me a link to a website with info on a possible LOTR movie ... I&#39;ve been waiting that long for the movie and this review and it seems like it&#39;s going to be worth it. If only they&#39;d let me into an early showing!

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Peter Jackson is my Dad!

    by Hate_Speech

    I can&#39;t sit through Harry&#39;s writing. Get to the point! Damn.. Peter Jackson is one of the only director/writers that I look up to, always have, always will. BTW: Frodo owns joo -

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 10 p.m. CST

    Frodo Winnfield

    by Scrotisauris

    What&#39;s up wif Frodo&#39;s hairdo? Looks like Jules Winnfield. I can hear it now: "I will take the ring, though I do not know the way. We should have shotguns for this job." For all you pinheads who continually harrass Harry--do you think your pathetic abuse bothers him? Your presence here keeps him from having to punch a timeclock. Oh yeah, get your fork ready: Star Wars is done. I like Cheetos. Check out the package on that parakeet! &#39;SUP?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Is it just me, or...

    by zacdilone there an increasing trend in Harry&#39;s reviews to make sure everyone knows he is still a "player?" I&#39;ve noticed a lot more name-dropping recently, and the "Elijah is Frodo--so let it be written, so let it be done" thing is just TOO much. It just seems that in the past few months, as more and more people have accused the site&#39;s quality of dropping, Harry seems intent on reminding us that he is in the league with the "big boys." Just my 2 cents&#39; worth.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 10:18 p.m. CST


    by Kraven

    Anyone else observe that the guys who hurl the most vitriol at Harry would seem to have made lifelong enemies of their grade school English teachers shortly after they started class?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Basher lives! And Indiana ...

    by Doubting_Thomas

    Ebonic Plague : Yes, I too miss Mercier, and also Basher, who appears to have dropped off the face of the earth. So I can go into Basher Mode if you want .... ***ON*** "LOTR sucks, it will fail at the box office, it will make only $2.53 in the US and will be SO bad that theatres will drag it even before the first showing has ENDED!!! LOTR SUCKZ !!! TPM RULEZ!!" ..... ***OFF*** Phew, it&#39; s hard to type with half your brain removed. And Indiana_Jones, I&#39;m afraid your bias is showing. You&#39;ve attacked Jackson, predicted a box-office failure and that "Ali" will knock LOTR off the #1 spot (can&#39;t stop giggling about that one). And now, in white-knuckled desperation, you attack Harry and the credibility of this site. Grasping at straws, aren&#39;t we? If you hate the site, then why the fuck are you still here?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Tolkien Must Be Proud...

    by Morgoth-Melkor

    Let me start off by saying that, yes, I&#39;m a newbie. Laugh if you&#39;d like, but after visiting this site for a few months, I finally have a reason to "Talkback." First things first. Excellent review Harry ma-boy. It seems strange doesn&#39;t it? A movie that never should&#39;ve been made has, and it truly is the essence of why we&#39;re all here in the first place - to discuss our loves and hates about cinema. I mean, when you think about it, this movie had every reason not to be made, and yet it was. Perhaps JRRT has some pull in Heaven, but it definitely was for the best. I mean, think about it. Most people don&#39;t even know who Peter Jackson is, where New Zealand is, what a hobbit is, or why this will be any different from Harry Potter. We do. And when you couple this with the fact that PJ and company were on their last leg to find someone who&#39;d help them in their vision, the term "luck" just doesn&#39;t seem like the right term to use. New Line (yes, the ones responsible for Little Nicky - ack!) must be commended for being brave enough to support a vision held by such a devoted group of Tolkien fans. I don&#39;t know why, and though I haven&#39;t seen the film, but I get the feeling that Mr. Tolkien is pleased with the fact that his love of lore and legend will be represented on that silver screen where legends are born, heroes are made, and where our imagination is, if only for a while, the only thing that matters.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 10:58 p.m. CST

    After all these years running the site, you would think Harry co

    by Fitzy Funk

    But no...apparently not. I know you like to get "personal" with your reviews, Harry, and I actually have grown to accept that (if not like it) as a personal sort of touch. But the first rule of writing ANY sort of review is to mention the know, the stuff that is, like, UP ON THE SCREEN! Not if you ate lunch or stared deeply into Elijah Wood&#39;s eyes. That&#39;s all well and good, but it doesn&#39;t affect me or 99% of the people reading this. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT AS A MOVIE?? Oh well, at least there&#39;s always Moriarty&#39;s BRILLIANT review.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 11:01 p.m. CST

    Negative Review

    by Xfonhe

    Ross Anthony&#39;s Hollywood Report Card says of FOTR : "Bounteously bold, gorgeous, video-game-esque battle sequences are placed like decadently rich chocolate chips in this huge sugarless cookie of a film that over bakes the pan."...."It&#39;s definitely an epic undertaking, long with intermittent brazen fight scenes, sort of an "Apocalypse Now Junior." Unfortunately, and unlike Coppola&#39;s masterpiece, the most profound thing about LOTR is its length. I had to use the restroom at the two-hour mark, and frankly enjoyed the break. Nor does LOTR deliver a payoff to its patient audiences." VERDICT: B. (NOTE, take this score into context: &#39;Black Knight&#39; A-, &#39;K-Pax&#39; A-, &#39;Corky Romano&#39; A- ((are you effing kidding me?!)), &#39;Serendipity&#39; A-). I think you get the picture. To read his review in full, goto:

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Don&#39;t Get Ahead of Yourselves

    by Darth Melkor

    Remember Harry loved TPM too as well as tons of movies I hated. I did love TPM personally, so I&#39;m in the minority. Just saying there are those that won&#39;t like it and will be disappointed. Then there are those that couldn&#39;t possibly ask for more. Just saying to prepare yourselves for a letdown and you&#39;ll enjoy it much much more.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 11:14 p.m. CST

    moving review

    by madmaxsdog

    Very moving Harry. I believe you&#39;ve touched the universal spirit Itself through your experience of this movie. Bliss is what we are Harry, bliss.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 11:24 p.m. CST

    There are still no negative reviews...

    by virkku

    Since when is B considered as a bad grade? **1/2 out of **** is not bad either, it&#39;s adequate. And these are the most negative reviews so far.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Mr Harry Knowles, you&#39;re the man!

    by Pedro_Adolfo

    Your review has been so far the most honest and most brilliant i&#39;ve ever seen! Can&#39;t say that i&#39;m not suffering even more right now that i know your thoughts on this. You said it, than its it. Thank you, you&#39;re the man

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 11:38 p.m. CST

    The Negative Reviews so far....

    by Maximus21

    I think it&#39;s starting to become clear from all the reviews I&#39;ve read, that the movie is gold to the fans, good-mixed to the non-fans. And if you read some of these reviews that have problems with the film(length,ending,repetitiveness of action), the reviewer nitpicks during their entire review, then throws a B at the end. Well, if you give it a B, how about some of the good stuff? what did you like? You must have liked more than you disliked to give it a B. These negatives reviews sound like reviews for Dungeons and Dragons except for the final grade. Something tells me there is some kind of hidden agenda in some of these reviews(not all). They&#39;re huge SW or HP fans and want to see LOTR fail is most likely. BTW, I think Ebert and Roeper should bash the film tonight on Leno, and watch them throw in a line like "Harry Potter was much better or go see Harry Potter".

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 11:45 p.m. CST

    Thank you Harry

    by rocksalt1

    Thank you.

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Harry proves he&#39;s a fan.

    by rabid_republican

    The review, as I might&#39;ve expected, was retrospective of Harry&#39;s journey towards what he considered the ultimate film experience in quite some time. For that I am happy. Now, for those of us in the TB you just merely think this might be another example of Harry being a sell out (being as he was courted by PJ), we need keep in mind one crucial point: Harry&#39;s a fan, not a critic. Quite frankly when it comes to this film, I wouldn&#39;t have it any other way. Well Harry, you liked it. Mori liked it. Quint liked it. Hell, even Joe Hallenbeck liked it and that boy doesn&#39;t even like his own mother. Could I be any more in line to see this when I go home for break?

  • Dec. 13, 2001, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Ross Anthony&#39;s Review in Perspective

    by rocksalt1

    The guy gave Corky Romano an A-! &#39;nuff said.

  • You know, a thought occurred to me during one of the innumerable flame wars over the likely BO take of the movie. I never really found an opportune time to put it out here and now seems as good as any. It just may be that, contrary to the general rule of sequels, TTT or RoTK will take in a greater box office than FoTR. Most series of movies are self contained stories, the sequels exist only to capitalize on the success of the original. But that is not the case here. FoTR is not a self contained stroy, the ending lacks closure. The succeeding movies will provide that closure. It seems possible to me that because of this one or both of them may exceed the BO take of FoTR. Since the first movie lacks closure there may be a higher rate of retention of the original audience when the next two movies come out. People who don&#39;t go to see the first part in the theaters may well watch it on video/dvd and become interested in the resolution of the story and see the next one in the theater. Just an interesting thought.

  • They, the Hobbits, Frodo, Merry, Sam and Pippin stepped out of the Old Forest and found a wide sweep of grass welling up before them. The river, now small and swift, was leaping merrily down to meet them, glinting here and there in the light of the stars, which were already shining the sky. The grass under their feet was smooth and short, as if it has been mown or shaven. The eaves of the Forest behind were clipped, and trim as a hedge. The path was now plain before them, well tended and bordered with stone. It wound up on top of a grassy knoll, now grey under the pale starry night; and there, still high above them on a further slope they saw the twinkling lights of a house. Down again the path went, and then up again, up a long smooth hillside of turf, towards the light. Suddenly a wide yellow beam flowed out brightly from a door that was open. There was Tom Bombadill&#39;s house before them, up, down, under hill. The hobbits stood and gazed when suddenly Frodo cried "The House of Tom Bombadil!" Merry and Pippin chimed in "Tom Bombadil&#39;s!". Sam added wryly "Its only a model".....There was a moment of silence when Frodo announced "On second thought, let&#39;s not go to Tom Bombadil&#39;s. Tis

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:02 a.m. CST


    by kojiro


  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:05 a.m. CST

    "Elaine, you must see the ENGLISH PATIENT! What do you mean you

    by Magnolia-Fan

    Haven&#39;t seen it, haven&#39;t read the books, not a big fantasy fan, so I&#39;m just a bit skeptical as to how much I&#39;ll like this movie. (I do like Japanese fantasy video game RPGs like Phantasy Star and Shining Force, but fantasy needs an element of "tech" to hold my attention.) Will this be a movie, like the GODFATHER or 2001, we&#39;ll HAVE to not just like, but list amongst our 5 favourites, in order to be taken seriously on movie geek sites like this after next Wednesday? I think I&#39;m going to be feeling a lot like Elaine in "the English Patient" episode of SEINFELD if I don&#39;t just love this movie. I should mention that I purchased my tickets two weeks ago on, and shall enter the theatre on Wednesday with an open mind, but I&#39;m fairly certain it won&#39;t touch my own top 10. (And no, MAGNOLIA&#39;s not in my top 10 either (though I do like, not love, that film); it&#39;s a JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK reference.)

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:16 a.m. CST

    Splendid Harry, absofuckinglutely brilliant!

    by Methestel

    That&#39;s it, I don&#39;t care anymore. The negative reviews always made me feel better just because it was so clear that the critic had so tragically and completely missed the point, but when the Geeks with whom I identify praise this movie so much... that it means so much to them... what&#39;s the point of prattling on and questioning them... Fuck, Moriarty&#39;s review made my eyes well up. I actually shed tears the first time I saw the trailor (not the "you shall not pass" one, the one before that), I&#39;m going to literally lose all my shit when I see this, and regardless of how many spoilers I have read, none of it will matter a fucking bit when the lights dim for me in South Ken., on the 19th... cheers Harry, and Moriarty, you nailed it.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:24 a.m. CST

    B- is a negative score

    by wilko185

    Ross A&#39;s scale runs from A [:)] to C [:(]. "For kids" he gives FOTR B+, presumably above average, and "for adults" B-, hence the rotten tomato. ___ But to quote the guy&#39;s "mission statement": ___" you should know the genres I typically don&#39;t enjoy. Those would be: psychological thrillers, mystery/suspense-driven, depressing and horror. (So, if these are the three types of films you love ... you might be better off at another site.)" ____Erm, you might be better off reviewing different films, don&#39;t you think Ross?

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Ross the Reviewer

    by JAGUART

    I agree the guy is kinda "off". He probably got passed around the set of the "Wedding Planner" like a cheap bottle of wine, if you know what I mean. Let&#39;s not let one Rotten Tomato spoil the whole bunch.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:34 a.m. CST

    Ah Wilko, there you are... can you believe this shit!!?

    by Methestel

    Wow, I can&#39;t even come up with a skeptical criticism, I don&#39;t give a fuck about the negative reviews from the outsiders, I only care about what the Tolkien purist geeks say, and they are literally crapping themselves with joy. I am screwed for the next few days... I mean, to have the people whose opinion you trust the most rave in THIS way (I mean, literally weeping with joy), fuck, I&#39;m not going to get anything done... bring it on! By the way Wilko, I&#39;m glad you saw my drunken post last night, it may very well have disappeared for ever into the mysts of cyber-space, but I thought those comments were important, and have been trying to restrain myself from ranting about them for days now. Just glad another Tolkein junky saw, read and appreciated them (meaning, didn&#39;t literally die on the spot from boredom). Not much else I can think of to say at this point... but it&#39;s coming... BRB

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Very Good!

    by James T. Kook

    Harry, just want to let you know of my envy and delight that you&#39;ve had so excellent an experience! Your words have stoked me for my own viewing next Thursday night at Gateway even beyond the almost universally rapturous reviews elsewhere. Thanks for that, and congratulations on having been lucky enough to meet and spend time with the great Forrest J. Ackerman. He was a profound and always imagination-expanding influence on me as a youth, just as Tolkien&#39;s works were in my teens and beyond. I&#39;ve followed all your updates on this film since its inception and now can hardly wait to see it. Thanks again Harry, and all kudos for your excellent site!

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Don&#39;t Hold Back, Harry, Tell Us How You Really Feel.

    by Heffaloo

    I hope I actually get to see this movie. I don&#39;t think having waited for it to be released for several years is something my wife would consider a valid excuse for leaving her with our new baby and watching it alone. Maybe I can convince her to let me take our 5-year-old daughter.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:48 a.m. CST

    Where were Ebert & Roeper on Leno?

    by Magnolia-Fan

    Some of you were saying Ebert & Roeper would be on Leno tonight anf talk about their thoughts on the movie, but the guests were Russel Crowe and the guy who invented the "Segway".

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:55 a.m. CST

    HEY HARRY! A-ha!!! So THAT&#39;S why we had no cool news for the

    by jackrabbit

    I bet you received some less than flattering e-mails...

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:58 a.m. CST

    The Red Flag, Sure Fire Sign that someone is a shitty reviewer

    by JAGUART

    I&#39;ve noticed a common thread amongst shitty reviewers and I think it will hold up pretty well to scrutiny. They all fucking bitch about having to go to the bathroom when reviewing a film. When was the last time you were telling a friend about a great film but said " Yeah, it was awesome, but I had to go to the bathroom at about the two hour mark". Fucking wankers.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:02 a.m. CST

    I Hate Being Australian

    by jellyfish

    The good shows always come out later over here. Freaking hell, this may just be one of the movies that actually lives up to the hype. I have a feeling my own list of cool movies is about to be changed. I have pictures of Legolas stuck in my school diary. I have a feeling he&#39;s gonna kick ass on a global scale.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:02 a.m. CST

    Methestel, I wish I could drink some of what you were on ;).

    by wilko185

    I was a bit drunk (well, something like that) when I wrote my response on Frodo&#39;s forum, but couldn&#39;t match your eloquence. _____ ______I actually do care about the negative reviews.... but there haven&#39;t been any really credible ones that I&#39;ve seen (has Ebert weighed in yet?). This virtually unanimous approval, some from people who plainly don&#39;t like Tolkien/fantasy, enthuses stokes me even more than the raving reviews, which I&#39;ve pretty much stopped reading now. ___ I read Moriarty&#39;s review though, as I expect him to be honest and intelligent (though I don&#39;t really share his taste sometimes). And I read Harry&#39;s review (or his "reaction", rather). Both really moved me (Harry&#39;s especially- he obviously put real care into it, and hardly gushed at all, but still, it was a Knowles OTT special). But I don&#39;t know if I can take any more. Are there really going to be 9 AICN staff reviews? Lump the rest into one article please, Harry.... I&#39;ll save it for after the 19th.

  • I LOVE a true blue cinema experience. Let&#39;s face we all do - it use to be the we "loved film" - but now due to DVD, video we can maintain our "fix" in the privacy of our own home. Long has been forgotten about what the experience of seeing a majestic film that was created specifically for the big screen. LoTR:FoTR seems to me to been created specifically for the big screen. To be able to catch every detail within the panorama that was Tolkien&#39;s vision. Remember Lawrence of Arabia? If I could have the opportunity to experience that movie for the first time on the big screen, I would jump at that chance. But I&#39;ll take FoTR. With today&#39;s society so willing to accept only mediocre levels of "entertainment", FoTR has got to be the breath of fresh air. This film seems to be have been forged by the passions of all that was involved and led by a certain Mr. Peter Jackson. The passion I talk about is a passion for respect of the material. Unbelievable. I&#39;ll be 36-years old this Saturaday. I remembe seeing Star Wars for the first time in a theater - as well as Jaws, Close Encounters. Man, I remember seeing Close Encounters, though. I had been eagerly anticipating that movie. Star Wars, not so much. Hey, Star Wars didn&#39;t have a story that had been around for like, 60-years like LoTR. But the one thing about Close Encounters was that by that time, Spielberg had already done Jaws and this was his Next Big Thing. And it rightfully was. BUT - LoTR, we are talking about a whole new stratosphere here, folks. This is a film BASED on a book that has been captured in the imaginations of generations. And now a Kiwi has goddamn done it. I freakin&#39; can&#39;t wait. I&#39;m a grown woman, but I&#39;m trembling with anticipation like a li&#39;l schoolgirl. You naysayers, who for some strange reason insist on logging on and continually add your opinions to this site, can go and find yerselves a li&#39;l sandy plot on some deserted island, cuz I ain&#39;t gonna stop gushing. I&#39;m so happy that soon I&#39;ll stop being this cynical bitch about H-town for 3 hours of my life. And it&#39;s my right. Goddamn, you bet.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Wilko, with as many papers to write as I have and with as little

    by Methestel

    God, it&#39;s horrible that I can be transported so easily to the idiocy of my pre-teen youth by the mere idea of a... a fucking MOVIE!... but here I am, paralysed and utterly incapable of doing anything else but blather, wax philosophical, and (hee hee), guzzle Glenfiddich with you guys. Was supposed to go clubbing this evening and actually interact with other people, but instead I chose to sit at my sill brick of a computer and talk to you guys about these books, and this weird phenomenon of a movie that has somehow transported me back 11 years to my silliest self... wow. I&#39;m such a crackhead. I hope some of you can empathize...

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Oh, for Christ&#39;s sake, the thing&#39;s screwed up again... G

    by Methestel

    The damn page is loading idiotically again, just when things were getting interesting, predictably... flee to the safe Havens of Frodo. See you there... Hope you know the URL...

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:27 a.m. CST

    It&#39;s reviews like this....

    by TedTwist

    That make me remember why I&#39;ve been kicked off the boards so many times for sarcastic remarks.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:32 a.m. CST

    An example of a *bad* bad review

    by wilko185

    From People Magazine: "One comes to praise The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring, not to bury it. There is so much to admire -- the look, the special effects, the expert acting by Englishmen McKellen, Bean and Ian Holm -- in director Peter Jackson&#39;s loving, virtuoso transfer to the screen of J.R.R. Tolkien&#39;s fantasy novel. In this epic three-hour installment of a planned trilogy, Frodo (Wood), a hobbit (like a leprechaun but with oversize, hairy tootsies), and eight pals battle an evil wizard and monsters for an enchanted gold ring. The problem? All this plays like a giant game of Myst, with Ring&#39;s mythical characters never making the leap from virtual reality to real. Onscreen it&#39;s still for teenage boys, in age or at heart. (PG-13) Bottom Line: Fails to enchant" _______ ____________ They praise it, but can&#39;t allow themselves to like it, it seems. It&#39;s just kids&#39; stuff after all right? Again, no one can fault the work of PJ and co. just the source material (where I *know* I disagree with them). The bottom line: fails to faze me :).

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Okay, Harry. Now that you&#39;re done creamin&#39; your pants,

    by fatmannewt

    A review isn&#39;t spouting off your belief of what film should be and what it is. It isn&#39;t a half assed attempt at trying to wow us with your belief that film should be done solely for artistic reasons. It isn&#39;t name dropping, it isn&#39;t telling us about how you knew, in your heart of hearts, that it was going to be a great movie. It&#39;s giving a brief synopsis of a film, it&#39;s giving it a recomendation or not. I probably wouldn&#39;t piss and moan so much if you didn&#39;t cream your pants for half of the movies you review.

  • which I just did. And man, this coming year is gonna make up for all the dreck that we just witnessed. LoTR:FoTR leads the pack of Spider-Man, Blade and Ep2. Folks, these are happy times for film lovers everywhere.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:45 a.m. CST

    Ah....posting at the top now

    by wilko185

    Is AICN slowly morphing into Frodo&#39;s forum? (

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:49 a.m. CST


    by gwaihir73

    I LOVE TOLKIEN&#39;S LORD OF THE RINGS! I LOVE PJ&#39;S HEAVENLY CREATURES! I have read every piece of info about the film on a daily basis. My expectations we&#39;re high. Too high! I have to be honest. I was almost in tears because the end of the film couldn&#39;t fulfill my expectations. Why With use of computereffects PJ makes the army&#39;s in the prolugue incredibly big. The lines of warriors just never stop. Too big to be realistic! (Braveheart used no computereffects, and was realistic) More than an our of filmed material stayed at the cutting floor. With as a result that the pacing was unregular. PJ&#39;s spend way to little time in Lothorien. For example: Galadriel in her Swann-boat was cut. (lothorien was filmed partly in an studio.) Lot of special effects we&#39;re perfect. But some of them we&#39;re dissapointing. The interaction between the fellowship and the cave-troll looked fake. Especially when the troll was jumped. The effect used to look Bilbo and Galadriel look evil when temped bij the ring looked fake and we&#39;re totally not needed. I prefer subtile acting to show the power of the ring. PJ didn&#39;t have enougt time to give Gimli, Legolas, Merry and Pippin more depth. That&#39;s why te emotions they showed at the end of the movie feeled a little melodramatic. ALL THE GOOD STUFF YOU HEART ABOUT THE ACTINC, ABOUT GANDALF, ABOUT ARWEN, ABOUT THE SPIRIT OF THE BOOK ETC. IS TRUE!!!!! That&#39;s why it&#39;s a good movie. But far from perfect. I couldn&#39;t help feeling a bit dissapointed. I am down the earth again. Still looking forward to TTT an ROTK. But they&#39;re only movies. Made by (passioned) people... Michel (Holland)

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Can I humbly add....

    by Smugbug

    that back in 1977 when Star Wars was first released there was no such thing as DVD, and video. Which means that there were no options of "waiting until the video/DVD comes out..." like now. You had NO CHOICE but to see Star Wars in the theater. As well as any other sudio proclaimed big budget film. NOW let&#39;s disuss LoTR. This is a film that demands to be seen on the big screen. So there. You do have a choice now; see it NOW on the big screen or wait until the DVD/Video. I have a feeling that we&#39;re all gonna be in the theater next week.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Ah....making me look stupid now

    by wilko185

    AICN is *the* most annoying forum on the web. It could be so much better, with just a little more effort. Grrr! ____ ___Anyway, Gwaihir: too big an army? The Last fucking Alliance was too big?? Not sure what you wanted here. ___ I know, and am prepared for, the imperfect effects and the cuts. BTW, I&#39;ve seen a picture of the Swan boat, and was secretly dreading that scene in the book (Galadriel coming down the river standing on a giant swan, playing a harp and singing....) being really camp in the movie. And it&#39;s inevitable (isn&#39;t it?) that the first installment would focus on establishing the main characters. Gimli, Merry etc will have their golden moments in the next 2 films. Like the book, this is one story, not 3, unfortunately for the movie-going public.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Where can I download the 1st internet trailer?

    by smwhitejr

    Does anyone know where I can go to download the 1st internet trailer that they released for LOTR? It was the one that had behind the sceens footage and a Peter J. interview, etc. I download it a little over a year ago and was wondering if anyone knows where I can still get it. Email me at if you know of just post it here.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:45 a.m. CST

    More LOTR ways to pass the time

    by spunaround has some cool clips mixed with interviews. They show part of the scene where Sean Bean picks up the ring in the snow...the ferry chase scene. A couple shots I&#39;d never seen. *** *** another review ***

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:53 a.m. CST

    re: Gwahir - thanks (honestly)

    by Methestel

    It&#39;s nice to hear concerns from those who have been lucky enough to see a preview screening of the film. It&#39;s even better to hear concerns from a fellow LotR geek, but what were you really expecting, I mean, this is a movie. It simply cannot be perfect. I&#39;m going to probably go and see it ten times before I can even begin to formulate an opinion on it... if you really care and really KNOW about these books, then you can&#39;t help but walk in expecting some from of quasi-religious experience, an epiphany... but it ain&#39;t going to happen. You have to read the actual books for that. The movie itself, I hope, I will be able to appreciate on its own merits, and by the reviews from the geeks I trust and from the clueless critics I mock, I am thinking that I will be able to do so quite comfortably... About things looking fake... anything on such a scale would look fake, even if it were real (I know that sounds obtuse, but think about it), the Last Alliance was (barring the Wrath of the Valar) the greatest assault in Tolkien&#39;s mythology... the armies cannot possibly be too big. And if the cave troll looks kind of pixely and imperfect, I could care less. Quite frankly, the only things I care about is whether or not PJ has been able to nail Elves and the Istari, and whether he has been able to adequately portray the key messages of the story (I&#39;ve gone on and on about these so I will refrain from belabouring the point - you know what I mean Wilko). I just hope that it&#39;s a movie that can be enjoyed on its own merits, and if it manages to convey even a fraction of what I get from reading the LotR, then I will be not only satified, but amazed... Yours, even dumber than before. Methestel.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 3:03 a.m. CST

    Life-changing experiences

    by St Buggering

    Losing your virginity. Getting married. Having a child. The death of a parent. These are life-changing experiences. Generally speaking, a movie is only a life-changing experience if you have never had any of these other experiences, since you have nothing of great emotional significance to compare the film to. That&#39;s why so many of our favorite movies are the ones we saw as children. I was 13 when "Star Wars" came out, and it was a huge point in my life. But certainly not more important than my first sexual relationship. The point? I&#39;m 37, and I really doubt that "Fellowship of the Ring" is going to be some sort of grand epiphany for me. I don&#39;t think that I will weep for the beauty of it all. I have to think that people who are having these reactions were investing a bit too much in it. It frightens me to think what these people might have done if the film had disappointed them. In the end, if it&#39;s a great film, then that&#39;s enough, isn&#39;t it?

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 3:15 a.m. CST

    Methestel, AICN has almost defeated me for another day

    by wilko185

    (Will anyone read this?) Like you, I still claim to be skeptical, and will wait until I&#39;ve seen the movie myself, yadda yadda. But really, I can&#39;t *imagine* a bad or mediocre film version of LOTR now (Bakshi who?). Who amongst you has any doubts of a superlative cinema experience? Well, people who don&#39;t like LOTR, and people who don&#39;t like good movies, and people who don&#39;t like fantasy I guess. Anyone in here fit those categories? ___ Sure, FOTR won&#39;t be to everyone&#39;s taste, lots of people won&#39;t "get it"... but *we* will, I&#39;m sure. Has PJ achieved the impossible balancing act of pleasing the Tolkien fans and the movie fans both? It is starting to seem so.... ___ Gwaihir, you are the second LOTR fan here I&#39;ve heard sayng you&#39;re "let down". I feel bad for you, truly. You say there is not enough subtlety in the acting, not all the effects are perfect, some favorite scenes are gone - but then you say the spirit of the book is there on the screen. I think that&#39;s as much as we can ask for ___ The ones I feel sorry for now are the "purist" Tolkien fans, who have closed their minds to the possibility of a LOTR film ever being faithful enough to the text. Unhappy fools, but I could have joined your ranks at one stage... _____ Oh, what the hell, here&#39;s a good "good" review:

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 3:51 a.m. CST

    touching review harry... very touching...

    by a goonie

    one of the more moving pieces of yours that i have read.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 3:57 a.m. CST

    Joe Sixpack Speaks

    by wilko185

    While I&#39;m posting "good" reviews to match my bad one at the top of the TB (and while I can&#39;t thinnk of anything interesting to say)... I really like these reviews, from non-fantasy fans who ended up liking the movie quite a lot: ___ Sample quote: "I also dug seeing that archer dude (Bloom) doing all kinds of neat stuff with his bow and arrow." (That&#39;s the Bow Guy, you cretin!) ____ _____And ___ sample quote: "The casting seemed perfect from top to bottom, with special kudos going out to Ian McKellen as Gandalf (the anchor of the movie, in my opinion), Elijah Wood as Frodo (despite/because of the overly bulgy eyes) and my main man Viggo Mortensen (still acting with his hair, but coming through gangbusters here)." ___ ___ ____ If nothing else, these reviews suggest the general public appeal (word-of-mouth) on FOTR, which I&#39;m not in a position to judge being a huge Tolkien geek, will be pretty damn good. (And the box-office also, maybe, for those who care about such things?)

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 4:14 a.m. CST

    E&B ,re the net "killing" movies

    by wilko185

    I certainly agree I&#39;ve never experienced a build-up to a movie like this before (the TPM thing passed me by). And the net "hype" has changed the film experience for me, no question. But isn&#39;t all this stuff we&#39;re doing here part of a new way of enjoying a "film event"? Isn&#39;t it worthwhile in itself? Even if I feel a bit let down on the 19th, I&#39;ve still had a blast these past 2 years, thinking about LOTR in new ways, going places on the net (like here) and incidentally finding stuff outside LOTR that&#39;s interesting, suddenly finding out people I know are lifelong Tolkienites, etc etc.... I wouldn&#39;t call it all a waste of time if the movie blows. Maybe I would&#39;ve enjoyed the movie more going in absolutely cold, but that&#39;s a choice we all make (and to some degree, I am unspoiled - I skip the detailed reviews, a lot of the online pictures etc). Maybe I&#39;ll decide to go cold turkey on TTT and see how it compares... (who am I kidding? I&#39;m weak, so weak...)

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 4:21 a.m. CST


    by wilko185

    just replied to you (, it landed in the middle of the talkback <emits yell of despair> AICN hates me, the feeling&#39;s mutual. Fuck this stupid site, I&#39;m going home. Later. ___PS Everyone tell Harry to go to, see if it will spur him into some sort of action on this ridiculous situation....

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 4:43 a.m. CST


    by venusXL

    Harry I *love* thi site and thank you for the movement you represent in pressuring Hollywood to try and raise the bar. I have been visiting this site for as long as i can remember being online BUT i am thinking of stopping my daily visitis due to these REALLLY BAD movie network pop ups. I don&#39;t know how you and the crew read the site but on my Windows 2000 machine these popups actually INSTALL A PROGRAM WITHOUT MY PERMISION! Is this even legal? I always click cancel etc and yet still end up with a short cut on my desktop and the Start menu - Is this ruining AINC for anyone else or just me????? Grrrr - Please get rid of them mate!

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 5:11 a.m. CST

    You know

    by Toshlines

    I read the Harry Potter Books in just over a week when I saw the film I came out disappointed. I had a load of nitpicks; Chris Columbus had confirmed himself to be an uninspired choice, the effects weren&#39;t that good, the acting sometimes poor and I felt the storyline was truncated and thus confusing (y&#39;know the Quidditch cup and the whole losing 50 points each sort of falling off the plot as well as Snape&#39;s now unexplained motivations). I saw the film again (I had promised to take my folks) and was able to see the film for what it was (a dman good, entertaining film, not amazing, but fun) and not what I so wanted it to be. The same goes for TPM; I defended it for about a year, rabidly. Now, without my neuroses I can see it for what it is: Patchy. Now I face this film. I read the Hobbit in...oooh... when I was six or seven (I like SW, HP AND LOTR? How can this be? I should be punching myself in the face). My copy of LOTR is 19 years old. I&#39;ve read it each and every year since and love it. LOVE IT. What I&#39;m trying to say in my own inarticulate way, is that we have to enjoy this for what it is. I so hope people (like Gwahir, above) aren&#39;t disappointed as in the face of these huge expectations some people might get crushed. I hope I&#39;m not one of them. I&#39;m trying to be cynical and negative. Its getting so hard. Just wanted to get that off me chest, like. Cheers.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 5:28 a.m. CST

    You people bashing TPM are pathetic!

    by darthflagg

    This is supposed to be a happy occassion. let&#39;s not bicker about which saga is best. LOTR may be the greatest film ever, or not. Either way, why are some of you trying to destoy people who found joy in TPM? What is your purpose? Grow up!

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 6:36 a.m. CST


    by stuntrocker

    Before I bother to read the rest of the talkback I have to give my first impressions of the review. Awesome. That&#39;s what it&#39;s all about baby! Yeah! All Ya&#39;ll Jive Turkey&#39;s who can&#39;t handle it can step on a rusty orc nail. To the Fools who always talk smack to Harry in Talkback-Yer a bunch of Gollum wretches who could find a way to bitch about the Beatles the day George died. You&#39;ll never be satisfied and you don&#39;t have an opinion in my opinion. Not one with the fuel of intelligence. And Love of Cinema. Not like Harry. So pipe down. He&#39;s just tellin it like it is. Now let&#39;s see wussup here in Talkback.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Harry is no longer one of us

    by Destructor

    Why do we come to this site? To get film reviews- are they any good? When it started, this site was the no-bullshit, site-that-gave-you-the-fanboy&#39;s perspective. What is it now? Like so many things, it&#39;s been ruined by celebrity. The review I&#39;ve just read for LOTR isn&#39;t even a review. It&#39;s masturbation. I know that the reviews are supposed to be from the reviewers own perspective- but Harry is saying that it&#39;s a transcendant experience BECAUSE HE WAS ON THE SET??? How does that help anyone? Maybe I&#39;ll have that experience myself, because I was an extra in the film (as a Rider of Rohan) and happened to grow up in Paekakariki, where they filmed one of the battle scenes. But I never hung out with PJ, never met any of the stars. Who else is going to have that experience?!?! IS THIS FILM ANY GOOD OR NOT?!?! Of course it is. But reading that review pissed me off, a LOT, because it confirmed what I&#39;ve been thinking since Pearl Harbour: The reason this site was once so good has long since passed away, because Harry&#39;s existence is so far removed from the existence of his readers. d

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 6:59 a.m. CST


    by stuntrocker

    As I suspected. The way it used to be people and Harry is too different people. If this webite deigns to keep the talkbacks that followed mine from Destructor and BasherkillsRrite I&#39;d be surprised. First of all it&#39;s Pearl Harbor not Pearl Harbour you bouring lamo. And second, don&#39;t even call Return of the Jedi a better movie. That movie lost it when it changed it&#39;s name from Revenge of the Jedi. You fools don&#39;t listen, yer just waitin to talk. We&#39;re lucky Harry bothers.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 7:18 a.m. CST

    not a review- more ego trip !

    by ShoesUK

    Out of his little gang , Harrys one of the last to see it so has to constantly remind us of how well "in" he is with those who made the film.....boring ! If you managed so easily to crawl up their asses to get on set etc etc (ad infinitum) , why the hell were you not even invited to an earlier viewing....blah blah.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 7:26 a.m. CST


    by Destructor

    What&#39;s up? I was being serious, I wasn&#39;t bashing. I spell Harbour differently because I&#39;m from New Zealand where we spell words like harbour and colour differently to the United States. I love Return of the Jedi. What&#39;s up with the negativity? I hope my post doesn&#39;t get deleted `cause I&#39;ve got a valid point. I hate to be put in the same league as BKR. I don&#39;t feel I was &#39;waiting to talk&#39; because this is my second-ever post to AICN. d

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 7:47 a.m. CST

    PLEASE HARRY!!!!!!

    by TarantinoWebsite

    harry, your fans are starting to doubt your geekness. in my opinion your reviews get worse every day. I love Lord of the Rings and I will watch it on the 21st, but this your review was bad. You got the point, as always, and you express your knowledge...... but the essence of a review, is the REVIEW. You don&#39;t mention LOTR very much in your review..... please harry! back to the roots! let&#39;s review movies, not tell old stories! bye

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 8:02 a.m. CST

    FOTR and crying

    by manchester mike

    well, I was almost in tears READING Harry&#39;s review. I am going to the first screening on the 19th on my OWN. so none of my mates will see me blubbing. Nice one Harry, you are the King of the Cool.

  • By the way, who was the dipshit who said Braveheart didn&#39;t have CGI armies? It was loaded with &#39;em. Sorry about the negativity.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 8:05 a.m. CST

    I think it takes months of hard work to be put in the same categ

    by Toshlines

    Now it seems he has been taken from us. An obituary: Fair play to the man. He&#39;s dedication to dementia is almost worthy of merit in it itself. Almost. I&#39;ve only recently started to post on LOTR TBs (love the acronyms) and he&#39;s always been there; Sniping away with never tedious box office gross estimates and unfortunate SW comparisons. <Steed/Macnee voice> Some believe he may yet be a LOTR fan who likes to wind other people up. I think he&#39;s an idiot. I&#39;ve said more than enough about that pratt.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 8:07 a.m. CST


    by presidentevil

    hahahaha i live in tampa and we have 2 imaxes...and one of then is showing FoTR on the BIG screen....dont have to mention the sound system

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 8:10 a.m. CST


    by presidentevil

    that was bad....was giddy with glee:)

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 8:20 a.m. CST

    calm down, you&#39;re going to have an embolism

    by Sepulchrave

    Sorry to say this, since I expect to be knocked into the middle of next year by this film as much as any boy who got savaged by the LOTR in his early years and has relied on it as a sort of touchstone during all his trials and tribulations since, but Harry;re starting to slip. No matter how fantastically mesmeric this stupendous film might be, you&#39;re going to have to shoulder the burden you took up when you decided to do this movie thang. This is not a review, not at all. It&#39;s a nice emotional piece and I&#39;m truly happy for you, but you could have faked this some time last year, there&#39;s nothing objective about it. I hope you get down and write something a bit more measured when you&#39;ve had a chance to calm down. You&#39;re psyching me, but it doesn&#39;t do justice to you. Too much nostalgia, maybe I will ask you in ten years...

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Guess what?

    by BilboFett

    I like LOTR, I like Star Wars. I even like Harry Potter and can&#39;t wait for Spider Man. I am 26 years old and I like good movies. I like to make fun of bad ones. I like to talk to people about movies. What is going on now is just jealousy and spite. Arguing over what is better? Try discussing the merits of both films and how they made you feel then and now. It&#39;s fun. I also like pie.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 8:39 a.m. CST

    You had me at hello....

    by Mel Garga

    He would have an enormous vonshtuka......well, that goes without saying.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 8:45 a.m. CST

    "Harry isn&#39;t one of us."

    by RedCapitalist

    What the crap are you talking about??? If I had to guess, I&#39;d say he represents over 90% people who claim to be real fanboys/girls. The other 10% are just posers. GET A "REAL" LIFE, and quit acting like you care...because you obviously don&#39;t have a clue.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Negative - and positive - views from the UK

    by misteraldridge

    check out those fickle limeys! Negative: Positive:

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 9:04 a.m. CST

    HO, HO! Me pipes are playing l0udly this day!

    by AOTCFacesmasher

    The Fat One&#39;s review has made the Squire most happy. My friends, this will be a happy day with many more to come until the 19th! DANCE! Dance, I say! I raise me mug to ye all! A pint of ale for everyone here, says the Squire! HO, HO! <<<<pipes playing>>>> Now dance the Rutland Reel with the wench of your choosing and let the days melt away until at last we arrive in Middle Earth as a Fellowship of our own!

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 9:07 a.m. CST

    I made a corn-laden Matisse in my drawers!

    by Lardass_Hogan

    Sizzler Buffet+LOTR anticipation=Stinky car ride home.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 9:16 a.m. CST


    by Purple Toupee

    I&#39;m not seeing this until the 22nd. Yes, I COULD go see it opening night. But my girlfriend wants to see it, and she has never read the books. And since we can&#39;t get together to see the film till then, I&#39;ll wait. I just want to experience the movie with someone who hasn&#39;t experienced LOTR at all. I don&#39;t know about you all, but does anyone else sometimes like watching the reactions of friends who haven&#39;t seen it before?

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 9:28 a.m. CST


    by BigMother

    I was almost as excited about reading your review as i am about seeing the film on Wednesday!!! I LOVE YOU HARRY!!! You could feel your love seeping out from the computer screen. I for one appreciate how attached you are to the film, even though i&#39;ve never been in the situation myself. THIS IS THE MAGIC OF FILM YOU CYNICAL BASTARDS!! Oh, by the way, is that a yes or no to my initial question?!

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the, er, objective review...

    by dallyllama

    Watch your step around this review, there are names of "friends" being dropped shamelessly. Honestly Harry, do you think Peter and Elijah are goin Hollywood telling everyone they know you? I hope you&#39;re on the studio&#39;s payroll. If this movie doesn&#39;t live up to the reviews on this website, it&#39;ll be the biggest lemon since Hannibal. Say, didn&#39;t that get a stellar review by Harry? Missed the boat on that one, bub.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Harry Reviewers ... or lovers of film?

    by 40 oz. Pope

    I guess you could call me a &#39;Rings&#39; geek - I remember jumping up once while I was reading the book all because Theoden resisted Saruman&#39;s twisted speech. Why there? Of all the climactic places, why that one? That passion ... that standing up after being down for so long. It was empowering, overtaking ... a real jewel in the books. Passion! It never wears thin. Likewise, don&#39;t bash Harry for his stray from formula into a blubbering segue. He said he&#39;d give you a formulaic review in ten years ... Everyone&#39;s talking about origins of this site and how this man has abandoned those. Maybe so, but if you want to play that game, then let&#39;s talk about the origins of man, too. Or the origins of you. When this site was created, where were you? And if so, why are you "biting the hand that feeds you?" Do you feel Harry has lost his mind? Mayhaps he&#39;s just trying to share a profound emotional experience with colleagues. You (critical pricks) should all read your own words and realize that it would be stupid of Harry to give a review anyway, so why are you expecting one? Even if he critically overanalyzed the film, his credibility has been shot by being so closely involved with it. So, why not give his "friends" a piece of his mind/heart, instead? Even if he did his job "right," you&#39;d be the first in line to say, "OH, well his cred was shot - I don&#39;t believe a word of it." Sit back. Relax. Film review is tripe, the most "yellow" form of journalism out there, besides The O&#39;Reilly Factor, that is. If this site is getting away from film review&#39;s yellow properties, more power to it, because journalists are cynical fucks - I should know. I am one. It&#39;s refreshing to hear words that mean something, not a mapped out criticism of a piece of art (and all accounts say that LotR is just that). My stalwart, 65-year-old film crit professor would always say, "Movies today have no magic." Well, fuck him. My friends, the magic 8 ball says your chances for witnessing some magic are "almost certain" on Dec. 19th. It&#39;s not like you have to convince anyone here to see (or not see) LotR:FotR. Everyone will. We don&#39;t need film critics to tell us what to think, now do we? You&#39;ll be in line; so will I. Please let this film transcend those petty quibbles, if only for a moment. My film crit teacher also gave me straight Bs because I thought Robert Altman was a bastard, because I disagreed with him about "the Duke," who couldn&#39;t act his way out of a paper bag, mind you ... Thank Harry for this site. Thank your lucky stars that you&#39;ve got a bandwidth to post your always amusing posts about "hyperbole." That word gets thrown around so much, it makes me wonder if any of you (critical pricks) see the irony in your use of it ...

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 10:11 a.m. CST

    great review Harry

    by MinasTirith

    folks, if some of you don&#39;t think this is a review, then you completely missed Harry&#39;s point. Like other reviews on this site, LOTR seems to be a soon to be part of history. History that some of us recall with the first Star Wars movie, history in the way movies should be done, and history in the modern fast paced world we live in that is beyond your 4 second sound bite. This is an awesome review and conpliments Moriartys review exceedingly well. The review need not tell us plot points and about acting and about technical acheivements. We have dozens of reviews stating that already. This review hits the heart of why we like movies, of what we like about movies and how movies are such a big part of western society. This movie gave an artist an ability to show off, to tell a story with images and sound. It allows for a 3 hour escapism, but an escape into another reality. Sure these are all simple concepts and &#39;stating the obvious&#39;, but that is what I get from Harry&#39;s review. If you don&#39;t like Harry&#39;s take on this review, read all the others. This movie struck a chord with som many people and it&#39;s not even out. There seems to be magic here, a magic that is convincing. This is a happening. This is the 60s in London where Pink Floyd would play at sunrise, blasting out all kinds of waves of psychedelic mayhem in clouds of pink. Have you really felt that as a movie lover any time recently?? Has hype ever been matched. There will be plenty of folks who don&#39;t get this movie, and won&#39;t fall into the hype and be taken away on any level. But like Moriarty said, in 10 years we will see how important this film will be. Yes, this is simpleton speak for you more than advance TBers. But this is the &#39;moment&#39;. Sieze the moment and enjoy it. Things like this don&#39;t happen often nor enough.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 10:17 a.m. CST

    God Bless ya Harry

    by shadowjak

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Got my tickets

    by Leatherneck

    I bought tickets this week for myself and my family. I can&#39;t hardly sleep in anticipation. I am seeing it at a brand new theater. Huge screen, all the bells and whistles sound system, stadium seating with reclining seats. I&#39;ll probably have to be carried out.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Gurn Blanston

    by FrodoLives

    Gurn, I complain about the ordering in the TB _because_ I like the site. The TB is one of the few issues I have with the site. I like the reviews, I like the people, and I (generally) like reading the TB. I just wish that it were easier to navigate the TB. And I&#39;m not just sitting around complaining. I&#39;ve gotten up off my ass and done something about it. Well....change that. I&#39;ve gotten back down onto my ass and done something about it. I&#39;ve got a message board that I&#39;ve been testing out with folks, taking comments and making changes....trying to make a TB format that pleases as many people as possible. I&#39;m offering it free of charge to Harry. All he needs to do is email me and we can talk about how to host it on his server, or how I could host it for him on my own server....I really don&#39;t care. I just want to see this site thrive. Those that are interested in giving their input on the message board that I&#39;m developing, just go to

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 10:46 a.m. CST

    I think I found what Ebert thinks about this film...

    by JoeSpawn

    Even though Ebert hasn&#39;t posted his review of this movie, I think the following paragraph pretty much sums up what he thought about the movie. This was a paragraph from his "Not Another Teen Movie" review (which, by the way, I wouldn&#39;t be caught dead in. Just read it out of morbid curiosity. Here you go: "You will know you have reached that personal goal for yourself when it takes but a moment of thought to calculate that in the month of December, when the studios traditionally showcase Oscar candidates, when movies like "Harry Potter," "Vanilla Sky" and "Ocean&#39;s Eleven" are in theaters, when "Lord of the Rings," "In the Bedroom" and 21 other ambitious movies are circling for landings, to spend 82 minutes watching "Not Another Teen Movie" would be a reckless waste of your time, no matter how many decades you may have to burn."

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Tee hee

    by SpacePervert

    Just read the reviews over at Dark Horizons, and rofled my mao! Two from reviewers who admitted right away they really don&#39;t like fantasy, but couldn&#39;t help liking the film. The negative one is just golden."Even the babes are nothing to write home about, very anaemic like they`re dying of tuberculosis, dressed from their heads down to their toes, totally unorgasmic". Genius. Huzzah for the lowest common denominator, complaining because there aren&#39;t enough tits on show.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 11:26 a.m. CST

    So, it is better than A New Hope?

    by Silver_Joo

    Now, although, TPM dirtied my adoration of Star Wars, I think A New Hope still stands two fold as a bastion of cinematic vision and, ultimately, the cause of the rot that we are dealing with now. It is clear that LOTR may change that, perhaps even The Matrix sequels - but, for every blockbuster that dares to develop characters, create emotion that is not cheap, there will be a Pearl Harbour, or Terminator 3. I am by no means dissing LOTR, but one must remember the source material is fantastic;Star Wars drew heavily on many things but it gave cinema life, until the cynicism of the money men overwhelmed creativity in favour of a quick buck. LOTR stems from that same environment, even if the cast and crew share a vision and want you to be immersed in Middle Earth. Finally, there is no point in these gushing, terrible reviews from Harry and Moriarty, if you liked the books, there is a chance you will like the movie. The director has a pedigree, and the cast can all act. There, go and see it.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Leah Rozen is a urine-guzzling cockeyed PIG!

    by TroutMaskReplica

    This crummy bimbo, "People"&#39;s main critic, wouldn&#39;t know a good movie if it bit her on her 300- pounds-of-chewed-bubblegum ass. She hates everything that&#39;s good, loves everything that&#39;s bad and, overall, has the wit of a mentally deficient grammar school janitor. Those "Bottom Lines" sound like they were written by a four-year-old! Those reviews aren&#39;t meant to be serious analysis of films, anyway. All they are designed for are the fatass minivan-driving soccer moms who flip through the mag during Rosie&#39;s commercial breaks, trying to figure out what movie to dump their kids into while they schtup the mailman. That review holds as much intellectual value as a ten-pound dump packed into a five pound container.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Talkbacks motivated Elijah?!

    by Espen

    Who would ever think these talk backs actually had a part in motivating Elijah to do a good job when playing Frodo. Just read this exerpt from an article on Pretty interesting, eh? "And now, back to July 8, 1999: In sunny Southern California, at the home of Warren and Debbie Wood, their son Elijah is reading some of those Ain&#39;t-It-Cool-News Web site rants on his PC. (For the record, the reaction to Wood&#39;s casting wasn&#39;t all thumbs-down.) "That was the first time I really realized how big the fan base was, when they announced my casting on Harry Knowles&#39; Web site," says the still-boyish actor, now 20. "There was a huge discussion and I&#39;d read all these postings, and a lot of it was really negative. "I thought it was actually quite funny at the time, but it really clued me in as to how fanatic the fan base is. I didn&#39;t respond to any of the comments but it was a topic around the house for quite some time." And it stayed in Wood&#39;s consciousness even after he got to New Zealand. "I think I just added that bit of pressure onto myself to really get the character right," he says. "But once we started filming I had to forget about the fans, and the Web, because I felt like I&#39;d found the character. I felt very comfortable playing Frodo, and more and more comfortable as we would progress "I feel like I&#39;ve done the best job that I can do. And if I&#39;ve reached the Frodo that everyone had imagined, then I&#39;ve done over and above my job. But if not, I guess it&#39;s an another interpretation."

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Harry, thank you...

    by JMcConnor

    Thank you so much for writing a review that was totally from your heart. To everyone who got mad because Harry put in how his being on the set of the movie affected the way he viewed it...WHO CARES?!! This was Harry&#39;s take on the movie, not ours, not what he thinks the average movie-goer will see...but his own take on the movie. A movie review is supposed to give you some idea of what the person thinks of the film, and obviously Harry loves it. If you don&#39;t like what he has to say, go see the movie for yourself and write your own review...don&#39;t bring down other people because you can&#39;t identify with what they&#39;re saying. Enjoy the movie many times Harry :)

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 11:41 a.m. CST

    quit whining

    by Jaqen H'ghar

    So what if Harry&#39;s review isn&#39;t dispassionate and by the numbers? There are a fuckload of reviews just like that out there already.. go read them. Some of us are looking for something more, something a bit more heartfelt, and that&#39;s why we visit this site. keep it real, homies.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 11:53 a.m. CST

    You jerkwad

    by FooManChoo

    Harry, You are such a loser. No tickets to the opening parties <cry_now>, and your "review" is pathetic. Did you wipe Jackson&#39;s ass? LOTRs is going to rock despite having a lamer like you writing a piece of shmuckola about it (sounded like it came straight out of the same typewiter that begat The Majestic). If you were a character in Meet The Feebles, Jackson would have your head blown up so he could recover his stash. Which reminds me, has someone got a countdown clock going so we can guess how long it will take you to brag about sucking on a weed-loaded LOTR(tm) Gandalf(tm) pipe with Jackson(tm). Glad you got your nice little free trip. Please clean the cum from your LOTR(tm) keyboard monkeyboy. - FMC (John Bigbootay) PS. You deserve this. Reread your self-serving piece-of-shit review in its entirety before replying

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Entertainment Weekly names LOTR Best Film of 2001

    by Kraven

    Just got my copy. Article on Viggo Mortensen too.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:08 p.m. CST

    All you people bashing Harry should just leave

    by Gordo27

    Harry stated that his review could in no way be completely trusted as he was personally involved in this project, haven&#39;t you read enough reviews about FOTR to know its good. Total count 70 reviews two negative, 3 neutral. Go away you fucking nimwits!!!

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Movie critics

    by indyhu

    I have yet to see Ebert, Maltin or any of the major critics ever talk about what the studios, directors or anybody ever did for them prior to seeing a film. We have never known if their opinions have been swayed in any way at all. Harry has been making us aware all along of what has been given to him, or what he has been invited to. This gives us an idea of where his mind is at when he reviews a film. We never see this from the big guys. That&#39;s why I would rather read his reviews than the others.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 12:49 p.m. CST

    DIRECT NOTE TO HARRY: Help - I&#39;m worried I won&#39;t love it

    by Hagrid1

    I am a bastard - I&#39;ve never read the books. Is my viewing experience going to be diminished because of this? If it is, I need to know so I can read the book this weekend... please help. Most of my excitement for this project has come from seeing all the enthusiasm for it on this site. I hope I&#39;m not disappointed.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1 p.m. CST

    Adding my thanks...

    by JudgeDredd

    Harry, that was a great review. I love how the fanboy in you just exploded all over my screen. It&#39;s cool to see, amidst all the jaded cynicism, that there&#39;s still a place for unadulterated joy from time to time in a moviegoer&#39;s heart. Am I more psyched to see the movie now than I was before. Well, no. I was excited from the first, and I remain excited now. Nor do I anticipate having the same reaction that you had. But still...the opportunity is there. That this may give me the same thrill that "Star Wars" did, or "Alien", or even the first time I discovered those old "Shadow" radio broadcasts. That there is still joy to be found in the entertainment medium, not just the momentary, visceral thrill to tide me over until the next big whatever, but something that may just give me a sense of profound joy. Enough rambling. Thanks again. I remain the Law.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Well done Harry

    by gingeracrockford

    You are a god. Your coverage of this film from beginning to end has been all one could ask for (and I&#39;ve been following its development since 1998)Great review and I feel exavctly the same as you do fro Tolkien&#39;s book and I&#39;m convinced this will be my perfect movie too.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Let&#39;s hope you&#39;re right Harry..

    by jesuschrist

    I really need a good movie before the end of the year. Please Please Please....

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Want to email Ross Anthony?

    by AlonzoMoselyFBI

    After reading this idiot&#39;s review of FOTR I was a little pissed. Then I looked at some of the other grades he&#39;d given out for other movies. A&#39;s to the likes of &#39;Black Knight&#39; and &#39;Corky Romano&#39;?! This man has not business reviewing ANYTHING. If you&#39;d care to email him, this waste of space&#39;s email is: >>>This guy makes me sick.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Speak the word my brother...

    by InTheBackRow

    To all you negative bastards who couldn&#39;t enjoy a day in Nirvana even if it meant banishment from it for ever just please SHOO LIKE THE LITTLE FUCKING FLIES THAT YOU ARE!!!! IF YOU DON&#39;T LIKE THIS SITE AND THE PEOPLE WHO RUN IT GO SOMEWHERE ELSE, that&#39;s what so nice about this little thing called the web you HAVE CHOICES and can find someone who has a shitty little site that shares your insipid little point of views that hates everything too. To all the True Believers who are just as excited as I am, heheheheheheheheheheheheheheeee it&#39;s almost here. I can&#39;t wait, wish I could climb into Michael Jackson&#39;s sleeping chamber and not wake til Wedsnesday afternoon. gonna be a loooooooooong week, but so fucking worth it.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Chris (I&#39;m a cinema GOD!) Garcia

    by Silent_Boba

    As I read your "review" of the Austin American-Statesman chief film critic and cranial rectosis poster-child Chris Garcia I launched straight up off my chair with an ear-popping "YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!" Every time the AA-S has hired a new film critic it&#39;s like they have deliberately tried for someone even lamer and more pseudo-intellectual than the last... and every time they have succeeded in SPADES. CG wouldn&#39;t know a good film if it slathered itself in Vaseline and crawled up his ass (to accompany his head).

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Aw, Harry, where&#39;s the REVIEW

    by emorr

    Harry, every so often you do this thing, and it frustrates the hell outta me! C&#39;mon guy! --ed

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:49 p.m. CST

    OH, HO! The din of me pipes is lost in this foul TB!

    by AOTCFacesmasher

    Perhaps we&#39;ve all had too much ale this fine morn, but things seem a bit out of order! HO, HO! Fear not, my friends! Me magic flute will lead you out of this chaos! <<<<flute playing>>>> Oh, sod it! Bring on the ale, tapsman!

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 1:57 p.m. CST

    NYC Premiere

    by trystran

    I just saw it last night and it was by far one of the best movies i&#39;ve seen in my lifetime...It was nice to hear Jackson get up and talk and have him say he was nervous but here goes!! Simply amazing.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:01 p.m. CST

    JAGUART, methinks you have it backward...

    by Silent_Boba

    The surest form of rating a film is the bladder method. There has never been a film that really knocked my socks off that I couldn&#39;t hold my bladder for the duration. Conversely, a real dud can shrink my bladder down to thimble-size. The bladder does not lie, friends....

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Could this be any more melodramatic?

    by Jerk_Sisko

    Every review this guy writes is either "Seeing this film was like being a child again while staring into the face of God and finally knowing true love" or it&#39;s "This waste of film was like colon surgery without anestetic while watchimg my mom die in slow motion". Everything he does is like this. Remember when all the September eleventh stuff went down? Out of all those voices of reason and compassion, Harry was the one guy who ranted about how there would be missile launchers on top of all skyscrapers in a few months. If he wants us to believe that something is this all-encompassing religious experience, he should try not having one every couple weeks.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Listen up!!! Go see FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING at least 5 X. I wan

    by Fandude

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:43 p.m. CST

    My pants look like I rode my 10-speed through a mud puddle!

    by Lardass_Hogan

    1 box of Hamburger Helper, 2 bottles Tabasco Sauce, Nachos w/chili, Foot-long Weenies, Cotton Candy, 7 boxes of Mallomars, 3 Fried Balogna & Butter Sandwiches, 27 Slim Jims, 5 pints of Rocky Road, 2 cans of Cheez-Whiz and a case of Pepsi. All this combined with LOTR anticipation makes for 1 soiled set of blue jeans. My mom says I&#39;ve gotta wear rubber pants until after the 19th. I&#39;m starting to think she&#39;s right.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Annoyed by Guardian Review? Here&#39;s is the Financial Times, w

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    I said I wouldn&#39;t do this, but I was hanging around, and you know how it is Spellbound by Jackson and Gandalf By Nigel Andrews Published: December 13 2001 17:29GMT | Last Updated: December 13 2001 18:37GMT At university I fought with the strength of 10 men. Every day dozens of friends - so called - attempted to scale my battlements and conquer my integrity as a literature student. "You must read Tolkien," they cried as I beat them away. "Be a friend to Frodo!" they shouted as I poured boiling oil over them. "Do not disregard the wisdom of Gandalf," exclaimed others, whom I pushed away with a stick. I was never vanquished. I refused to read all those tomes about elves, hobbits and creatures that whinged from dawn to dusk saying, "Oh dear, I&#39;ve lost my ring." We get enough of that from Wagner, whom Tolkien evidently raided shamelessly. Finally though - price of my profession - I must go along to the movie: three hours of elves, hobbits and Sir Ian McKellen saying "Oh dear, we&#39;ve lost the ring." After five minutes, however, I was worried that I was enjoying it. After 10, I was worried that I was enjoying it more. After 20 minutes I realised that Peter Jackson&#39;s film of the unfilmable is as close to great filmmaking as an epic-sized pop-mythological kiddyflick can get. Jackson is the New Zealand director whom many critics used to rubbish (but not, check records, the FT) for making haywire horror films like Braindead, before he went quasi-mainstream with the Kate Winslet- introducing tale of murderous schoolfriends Heavenly Creatures. Destiny&#39;s choice of Jackson to take on Tolkien is inspired. He answers both of two needs. On the one hand he can tell a convoluted story swiftly, cleanly, accessibly: we get the whole of The Hobbit, Tolkien&#39;s novel-length prologue to his trilogy, thrown into a few minutes of voiceover early on. On the other hand - though I suspect he has six other hands - Jackson can storm the Heavens and plumb the deepest, most blazing abysses with a special-effects imagination that it simply stunning. This film makes Harry Potter and the Philosopher&#39;s Stone seem like Jackanory on a low budget. I gasped first at an early battle landscape so vast, so painterly, so unearthly that it belongs in an art exhibition devoted to "Gothic delirium after Gustave Dore". The source of my next gasp was more kinetic: a flyover view of the black tower on which Frodo&#39;s friendly wizard is waking from a swoon, a shot that begins by low-scudding over fiery mineworkings, fantastically populated like a living Hieronymus Bosch, before soaring with digitised seamlessness into a giant close-up of Sir Ian Mc- Gandalf, then plummeting sheer down his night-black pinnacle into the boiling fires of Tolkien&#39;s plagiarised Niebelheim. Add to these spectacles the following: thrilling horse chases, the spiked and clanking horror of the Ringwraiths and Orcs, the sudden avalanche on a snowy pass, the beetling bridges over black voids that promise spinning death, and the attack of the Goblins of Muria, humanoid horrors who scuttle not just across the floor but down columns from the vaulted ceiling where they spiderishly roam. We even gape joyously at the kitsch pastoralism of the Shire and Rivendell. The first is Hovis country, all green downs and doolally sub-Delius warblings, though sumptuously realised with its round Hobbit doors punched into verdant hillsides. The second is an Italianate Shangri-La of filigree-Venetian villas and cloisters, perched half way up a belief-beggaring gorge. That Jackson can also direct actors is a virtuosity too far. Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins hasn&#39;t been this good for years. He transforms his whole body vocabulary to new-create this anxious, Lilliputian old codger who is half the height and a quarter the composure of the other, wizardly Ian. McKellen singsongs deftly through two feet of beard, giving weight, wit and warmth to the man who Merlin-engines Tolkien&#39;s plot. As for Frodo-playing Elijah Wood, he has grown from a child star (North, Avalon) into a youth with the features of a William Blake angel. I kept doing double-takes. This firm-browed, almond-eyed lad with the strong cheekbones and slim, symmetried descent of nose and mouth surely has escaped from a Blake painting? I barely have a complaint. The women make a weaker impression than the men. Liv Tyler does a Camay advertisement in the woods, all soft focus and dreamy skin glow: "you too can have a complexion like mine", especially if you daub a ton of Vaseline on the lens. I didn&#39;t understand what Cate Blanchett was doing in another part of the forest, dressed like the Lady of the Lake. And surely I didn&#39;t hear her say "Farewell, Frodo Baggins, I give you the light of Air India." (The sound has always been problematic at the Odeon West End). Frankly, too, the story seems composed almost exclusively of fights, hairsbreadth scapes, more fights, more scapes. And there will be six more hours of this, in two parts, over coming Christmases. Yet Jackson makes it fly. I was going to devote today&#39;s extended column inches to a comparative think-piece about Lord of the Rings versus Harry Potter. But there is no comparison. Potter was made by a committee masquerading as a director. Rings is made by a genius masquerading as a normal human being. Where can Jackson go from here? If anyone wants Citizen Kane remade, here is the man. But he may and should prefer to do his own thing, as he did when we select and shining few urged him on towards greatness through the inspired insanities of Braindead and Meet the Feebles. Isn&#39;t there a moral here, a moral deeper and more radical than anything in Tolkien (or anything that has been piped through to me by devotees)? That it takes a scapegrace to deliver true grace, as it has always taken artistic outlaws to rewrite the laws of art.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:48 p.m. CST

    destructor, may I offer a retraction...

    by stuntrocker

    Your opinion is valid of course. I was up way too late. And I was kinda baked. Yet the reality is that it serves no purpose to cold dis someone&#39;s first impressions of losing their virginity, or their first impressions of anything for that matter. So why do people come into this little page on WWW and complain about a review of a movie they haven&#39;t seen. What do you think Harry owes you? If you think he owes you the perfectly objective review that you would write if you were friends with Frodo and PJaX you are wrong. And if he likes &#39;Pearl Harbor&#39; so be it. Maybe you should share some more about LOTR and Paekakariki and you might find that Harry&#39;s not so far removed from his readers. Because to me anyone playing a Rider of Rohan, Orc, Elf, Wizard, Hobbit, etc. is a legend. And with a Phantom Edit &#39;Pearl Harbor&#39; could be pretty cool.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:53 p.m. CST


    by Linkin_Park_Rox

    Making a whole movie based on the lerics of a 60s band WON&#39;T work! Dude, Fred Durst AND Eminem are coming out with movies next year that will TRASH this one. Look, it was a good TV series in the 90s with Kevin Sobo, but it&#39;s OVER.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:53 p.m. CST

    destructor, may I offer a retraction...

    by stuntrocker

    Your opinion is valid of course. I was up way too late. And I was kinda baked. Yet the reality is that it serves no purpose to cold dis someone&#39;s first impressions of losing their virginity, or their first impressions of anything for that matter. So why do people come into this little page on WWW and complain about a review of a movie they haven&#39;t seen. What do you think Harry owes you? If you think he owes you the perfectly objective review that you would write if you were friends with Frodo and PJaX you are wrong. And if he likes &#39;Pearl Harbor&#39; so be it. Maybe you should share some more about LOTR and Paekakariki and you might find that Harry&#39;s not so far removed from his readers. Because to me anyone playing a Rider of Rohan, Orc, Elf, Wizard, Hobbit, etc. is a legend. And with a Phantom Edit &#39;Pearl Harbor&#39; could be pretty cool.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Seriously, is this a great time to love movies or what?

    by Monster Rain

    Whether you love LOTR or not, the fact stands that a wonderful movie seems to be waiting in the wings for us. Maybe I&#39;m a big geek, but I&#39;ve loved coming here and just reading what everyone has to say. Even the trolls! It&#39;s been fun, and I can&#39;t wait until after the 19th when we&#39;ve ALL seen the film and can really discuss it at length!

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 3:20 p.m. CST

    New Review from Financial Times

    by Harry Proudfoot

    Film - Reviews ------------------------------- Spellbound by Jackson and Gandalf------------- By Nigel Andrews------------- Published: December 13 2001-------------------- 17:29GMT | Last Updated: December 13 2001 18:37GMT----------------- At university I fought with the strength of 10 men. Every day dozens of friends - so called - attempted to scale my battlements and conquer my integrity as a literature student. "You must read Tolkien," they cried as I beat them away. "Be a friend to Frodo!" they shouted as I poured boiling oil over them. "Do not disregard the wisdom of Gandalf," exclaimed others, whom I pushed away with a stick. ---------------------- I was never vanquished. I refused to read all those tomes about elves, hobbits and creatures that whinged from dawn to dusk saying, "Oh dear, I&#39;ve lost my ring." We get enough of that from Wagner, whom Tolkien evidently raided shamelessly. Finally though - price of my profession - I must go along to the movie: three hours of elves, hobbits and Sir Ian McKellen saying "Oh dear, we&#39;ve lost the ring." ------------------------------ After five minutes, however, I was worried that I was enjoying it. After 10, I was worried that I was enjoying it more. After 20 minutes I realised that Peter Jackson&#39;s film of the unfilmable is as close to great filmmaking as an epic-sized pop-mythological kiddyflick can get. -------------------------------- Jackson is the New Zealand director whom many critics used to rubbish (but not, check records, the FT) for making haywire horror films like Braindead, before he went quasi-mainstream with the Kate Winslet- introducing tale of murderous schoolfriends Heavenly Creatures. Destiny&#39;s choice of Jackson to take on Tolkien is inspired. He answers both of two needs. On the one hand he can tell a convoluted story swiftly, cleanly, accessibly: we get the whole of The Hobbit, Tolkien&#39;s novel-length prologue to his trilogy, thrown into a few minutes of voiceover early on. On the other hand - though I suspect he has six other hands - Jackson can storm the Heavens and plumb the deepest, most blazing abysses with a special-effects imagination that it simply stunning. ------------------------------- This film makes Harry Potter and the Philosopher&#39;s Stone seem like Jackanory on a low budget. I gasped first at an early battle landscape so vast, so painterly, so unearthly that it belongs in an art exhibition devoted to "Gothic delirium after Gustave Dore". The source of my next gasp was more kinetic: a flyover view of the black tower on which Frodo&#39;s friendly wizard is waking from a swoon, a shot that begins by low-scudding over fiery mineworkings, fantastically populated like a living Hieronymus Bosch, before soaring with digitised seamlessness into a giant close-up of Sir Ian Mc- Gandalf, then plummeting sheer down his night-black pinnacle into the boiling fires of Tolkien&#39;s plagiarised Niebelheim. ------------------------------- Add to these spectacles the following: thrilling horse chases, the spiked and clanking horror of the Ringwraiths and Orcs, the sudden avalanche on a snowy pass, the beetling bridges over black voids that promise spinning death, and the attack of the Goblins of Muria, humanoid horrors who scuttle not just across the floor but down columns from the vaulted ceiling where they spiderishly roam. -------------------------------- We even gape joyously at the kitsch pastoralism of the Shire and Rivendell. The first is Hovis country, all green downs and doolally sub-Delius warblings, though sumptuously realised with its round Hobbit doors punched into verdant hillsides. The second is an Italianate Shangri-La of filigree-Venetian villas and cloisters, perched half way up a belief-beggaring gorge. --------------------------------- That Jackson can also direct actors is a virtuosity too far. Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins hasn&#39;t been this good for years. He transforms his whole body vocabulary to new-create this anxious, Lilliputian old codger who is half the height and a quarter the composure of the other, wizardly Ian. McKellen singsongs deftly through two feet of beard, giving weight, wit and warmth to the man who Merlin-engines Tolkien&#39;s plot. As for Frodo-playing Elijah Wood, he has grown from a child star (North, Avalon) into a youth with the features of a William Blake angel. I kept doing double-takes. This firm-browed, almond-eyed lad with the strong cheekbones and slim, symmetried descent of nose and mouth surely has escaped from a Blake painting? ------------------------------------- I barely have a complaint. The women make a weaker impression than the men. Liv Tyler does a Camay advertisement in the woods, all soft focus and dreamy skin glow: "you too can have a complexion like mine", especially if you daub a ton of Vaseline on the lens. I didn&#39;t understand what Cate Blanchett was doing in another part of the forest, dressed like the Lady of the Lake. And surely I didn&#39;t hear her say "Farewell, Frodo Baggins, I give you the light of Air India." (The sound has always been problematic at the Odeon West End). ------------------------------------ Frankly, too, the story seems composed almost exclusively of fights, hairsbreadth scapes, more fights, more scapes. And there will be six more hours of this, in two parts, over coming Christmases. Yet Jackson makes it fly. I was going to devote today&#39;s extended column inches to a comparative think-piece about Lord of the Rings versus Harry Potter. But there is no comparison. Potter was made by a committee masquerading as a director. Rings is made by a genius masquerading as a normal human being. ------------------------------- Where can Jackson go from here? If anyone wants Citizen Kane remade, here is the man. But he may and should prefer to do his own thing, as he did when we select and shining few urged him on towards greatness through the inspired insanities of Braindead and Meet the Feebles. --------------------------------- Isn&#39;t there a moral here, a moral deeper and more radical than anything in Tolkien (or anything that has been piped through to me by devotees)? That it takes a scapegrace to deliver true grace, as it has always taken artistic outlaws to rewrite the laws of art. ------------------------

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 3:25 p.m. CST

    New review from FT!!

    by Harry Proudfoot

    Film - Reviews Spellbound by Jackson and Gandalf By Nigel Andrews Published: December 13 2001 17:29GMT | Last Updated: December 13 2001 18:37GMT At university I fought with the strength of 10 men. Every day dozens of friends - so called - attempted to scale my battlements and conquer my integrity as a literature student. "You must read Tolkien," they cried as I beat them away. "Be a friend to Frodo!" they shouted as I poured boiling oil over them. "Do not disregard the wisdom of Gandalf," exclaimed others, whom I pushed away with a stick. I was never vanquished. I refused to read all those tomes about elves, hobbits and creatures that whinged from dawn to dusk saying, "Oh dear, I&#39;ve lost my ring." We get enough of that from Wagner, whom Tolkien evidently raided shamelessly. Finally though - price of my profession - I must go along to the movie: three hours of elves, hobbits and Sir Ian McKellen saying "Oh dear, we&#39;ve lost the ring." After five minutes, however, I was worried that I was enjoying it. After 10, I was worried that I was enjoying it more. After 20 minutes I realised that Peter Jackson&#39;s film of the unfilmable is as close to great filmmaking as an epic-sized pop-mythological kiddyflick can get. Jackson is the New Zealand director whom many critics used to rubbish (but not, check records, the FT) for making haywire horror films like Braindead, before he went quasi-mainstream with the Kate Winslet- introducing tale of murderous schoolfriends Heavenly Creatures. Destiny&#39;s choice of Jackson to take on Tolkien is inspired. He answers both of two needs. On the one hand he can tell a convoluted story swiftly, cleanly, accessibly: we get the whole of The Hobbit, Tolkien&#39;s novel-length prologue to his trilogy, thrown into a few minutes of voiceover early on. On the other hand - though I suspect he has six other hands - Jackson can storm the Heavens and plumb the deepest, most blazing abysses with a special-effects imagination that it simply stunning. This film makes Harry Potter and the Philosopher&#39;s Stone seem like Jackanory on a low budget. I gasped first at an early battle landscape so vast, so painterly, so unearthly that it belongs in an art exhibition devoted to "Gothic delirium after Gustave Dore". The source of my next gasp was more kinetic: a flyover view of the black tower on which Frodo&#39;s friendly wizard is waking from a swoon, a shot that begins by low-scudding over fiery mineworkings, fantastically populated like a living Hieronymus Bosch, before soaring with digitised seamlessness into a giant close-up of Sir Ian Mc- Gandalf, then plummeting sheer down his night-black pinnacle into the boiling fires of Tolkien&#39;s plagiarised Niebelheim. Add to these spectacles the following: thrilling horse chases, the spiked and clanking horror of the Ringwraiths and Orcs, the sudden avalanche on a snowy pass, the beetling bridges over black voids that promise spinning death, and the attack of the Goblins of Muria, humanoid horrors who scuttle not just across the floor but down columns from the vaulted ceiling where they spiderishly roam. We even gape joyously at the kitsch pastoralism of the Shire and Rivendell. The first is Hovis country, all green downs and doolally sub-Delius warblings, though sumptuously realised with its round Hobbit doors punched into verdant hillsides. The second is an Italianate Shangri-La of filigree-Venetian villas and cloisters, perched half way up a belief-beggaring gorge. That Jackson can also direct actors is a virtuosity too far. Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins hasn&#39;t been this good for years. He transforms his whole body vocabulary to new-create this anxious, Lilliputian old codger who is half the height and a quarter the composure of the other, wizardly Ian. McKellen singsongs deftly through two feet of beard, giving weight, wit and warmth to the man who Merlin-engines Tolkien&#39;s plot. As for Frodo-playing Elijah Wood, he has grown from a child star (North, Avalon) into a youth with the features of a William Blake angel. I kept doing double-takes. This firm-browed, almond-eyed lad with the strong cheekbones and slim, symmetried descent of nose and mouth surely has escaped from a Blake painting? I barely have a complaint. The women make a weaker impression than the men. Liv Tyler does a Camay advertisement in the woods, all soft focus and dreamy skin glow: "you too can have a complexion like mine", especially if you daub a ton of Vaseline on the lens. I didn&#39;t understand what Cate Blanchett was doing in another part of the forest, dressed like the Lady of the Lake. And surely I didn&#39;t hear her say "Farewell, Frodo Baggins, I give you the light of Air India." (The sound has always been problematic at the Odeon West End). Frankly, too, the story seems composed almost exclusively of fights, hairsbreadth scapes, more fights, more scapes. And there will be six more hours of this, in two parts, over coming Christmases. Yet Jackson makes it fly. I was going to devote today&#39;s extended column inches to a comparative think-piece about Lord of the Rings versus Harry Potter. But there is no comparison. Potter was made by a committee masquerading as a director. Rings is made by a genius masquerading as a normal human being. Where can Jackson go from here? If anyone wants Citizen Kane remade, here is the man. But he may and should prefer to do his own thing, as he did when we select and shining few urged him on towards greatness through the inspired insanities of Braindead and Meet the Feebles. Isn&#39;t there a moral here, a moral deeper and more radical than anything in Tolkien (or anything that has been piped through to me by devotees)? That it takes a scapegrace to deliver true grace, as it has always taken artistic outlaws to rewrite the laws of art.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Double post and URL

    by Harry Proudfoot

    Sorry about the double post. Looks like new is at the top now! Here is the URL. cheers

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 3:39 p.m. CST


    by drjones

    ppfff....i hate it to post at the 1000st position:) harry! your review was as always pure poetry to the ears of a more to say! i just have to say that i LOVE the indy sequels. they made me a geek....thanx steven! i think that this shows the individualism of being a geek!!! (sorry for this words which haven`t really a context or a connection to english grammar) ohhh...i even wanted to write that the one ring was made in ...germany. true german quality!!!:D

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Thank you so much Harry for taking me on this trip

    by Wolfdan

    I don&#39;t know if you will read this, Harry, but I wanted to let you know how grateful I am that you are who you are and to have given me a chance to meet all these people.I have to tell you all that though I was a regular geek until the last ten years of awful, repetitive and copying moviemaking, I used to see at least ten movies a week plus I enjoy looking at masterpieces over and over again (Raiders, Star Wars, King Kong1933, and so on)but the last years I have been deceived, disapointed and disillusion one time too many so even if I go see a movie once in a while, they just don&#39;t make them like they use to and so they lost me. But teo years ago something caugt my attention and all of a sudden I was caught with an odd sensation: expectation for a modern movie. It all began when I heard about the making of a movie call "The Lord of the Rings". At the time I was not sure if I should be glad or if I should weep (another great story going Hollywood. Then I was struck with uncertainty when I learned that Peter Jakson was the originator and director of the project. I had seen a few movies of the man (altough I haven&#39;t seen Heavenly creature yet, I will soon I promise)but didn&#39;t know anything about the man. Then I let it go for a while and simply check the news from time to time from the one ring website. Then one day the most incredible thing happened, I saw the first trailer that included a few words on the making of and a few scenes of the film. Wow, since then I was hooked, gutted and cleaned. The promised seem incredible, Mr God Jackson, oups sorry, Peter Jakson seemed like he was doing a wonderful job. So I begun the watch and the countdown. But even then I was a little bit worried. See, this is one of the best books I&#39;ve ever read, over ten times in the last 15 years(so I&#39;m still part geek and proud of it) and with the last twenty years of not so great moviemaking and so many disapointments I feared that I was letting my hope get too high. But an unknown geek to me at the time made a "there and back again " trip to NZ and witnessed the last days of filming. I can&#39;t tell you how upset and jaleous I was then, if I had seen you at the time I would probably have had to kill you (haha not real of course but it shows how envious I was.) But my frustrations where much lessened and my hopes were climbing ever so higher and the great reports that you gave us. I swear that through those I feel as if I have been there with all of you (minus the partys, drinks and souvenirs Grrr.) And so I discovered AICN and since then I have been coming here for regular reports on My movie and got caught on following the news about others too. Like you the last months have been just awful, only one thing kept me going, a date: 19th december 2001. And altough I haven&#39;t seen the movie yet, I have learned and seen more than enough to know that on this date I will have the movie experience of a lifetime. Actually, my wife can&#39;t wait for this day also, that way she&#39;ll stop hearing about it (that&#39;s what she thinks but there are two more years to go for the whole movie), I&#39;m really driving her nuts with this. But to end this, I wanted to let you know that your last comment really touch me, You see I&#39;m from the region of Quebec city and for a long time I had the same dreams that you have except that you stuck to it and now it has come true for you. Congratulations, I&#39;m very happy for you and I hope that it will happen again. So thank you so much because without knowing it you brought me along with you on this wonderful trip and altough I won&#39;t see the movie before the 19th, with this posting you just put out I will sleep better and finally I will have the strenght to wait. I know that my posting is very long so I apologize to those of you who might not share my views or give a damn about my thanks but it&#39;s the first time in ages that I ever shared my thoughts on the subject of movies so I had to do it properly( oh and I&#39;m french speaking also so sorry for the mistakes). So one last time Harry thanks you, and don&#39;t worry I will still be here to watch for other intriguing and potentionnally good movies (just saw the spidey trailer, looks great, can&#39;t wait to se this one too, my favorite super-hero). So whatever they say, you and your team keep up the good work. Oh almost forgot to thank all of your colleague who help bring us the news and the reviews for LOTR:FOTR, thanks all. TTFN Dany

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 3:42 p.m. CST

    My Fruit-of-the-Looms now look like Hershey Park!

    by Lardass_Hogan

    I just re-watched the Sci-Fi special while eating my way through a White Castle sack of 30 and a Cookie Puss cake! Good thing my mom put the plastic down!How much longer until Dec. 19th??? I&#39;m gonna go to Pizza Hut tonight, but my Dad says I can&#39;t eat nothing until we get home. New car. My stomach can&#39;t take the excitement is all!

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 3:47 p.m. CST

    one for the ages

    by anser

    Knowles certainly knows how to crank out a useless review! The thought of this guy freeloading around MY movie set would be enough to double the security budget. Do you suppose this means ROLLER BOOGIE will be bumped from his top 10?

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Another review from Irish Times

    by Harry Proudfoot -----------Lord almighty!------------------It&#39;s set to be the biggest film of all time, and is certainly the most eagerly anticipated by fans of the book, but is Fellowship of the Ring any good? Resident Tolkien nerd Hugh Linehan attended the first London press screening to find out 12/12/01: I can&#39;t believe it - you&#39;ve seen it! You&#39;ve actually seen it. What&#39;s it like?" I&#39;m in an Oxford Street department store, shortly after leaving the Fellowship of the Ring screening in Soho, and the shop assistant has spotted the film&#39;s publicity brochure under my arm. There&#39;s an almost scary edge of hysteria to his voice as he calls over his colleagues, and I&#39;m press-ganged into giving my first review. If I hadn&#39;t realised it before, here&#39;s evidence that it&#39;s pretty weird out there in Tolkien fanland at the moment. There&#39;s been no shortage of advance publicity for The Fellowship of the Ring, the first in Peter Jackson&#39;s three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien&#39;s much-loved fantasy novel. Special supplements, in- depth profiles, location reports, star interviews - all the usual paraphernalia of the movie hype machine. But, up until this weekend, virtually nobody has been allowed see the actual film. Even the press screening in London on Saturday morning, just two days before the official world premi

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Critics like what their bosses tell them to

    by Swifty Slowpoker

    I can&#39;t believe that you guys are trying to psychoanalyze all these critics,e.g. why Ebert didn&#39;t like LOTR and he did like Harry Potter. THESE CRITICS LIKE WHAT THEIR BOSSES TELL THEM TO LIKE. It&#39;s as simple as that. Most of the magazines and papers are owned by a huge media conglomerate. If it&#39;s a competitor&#39;s film, pan that sucker. If it&#39;s one of ours, why it&#39;s the greatest work of art of all time. (E.G. Citizen Kane [not one of my faves, but is acknowledged as a great film by almost everybody] got LOUSY reviews by all the critics in its day) It may not be an overt order from the "higher-up&#39;s." But, say, I am a critic, and I don&#39;t "get with the program," well, then I don&#39;t get to be in the paper no more. I don&#39;t see my soundbite quoted in the commercials no more. When we consider all these reviews, (and, hell, even real "news reports") we should ask ourselves, "Who signs this guy&#39;s paycheck?" I think a little paranoia is a healthy thing.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 4:34 p.m. CST

    I aplogise, offer a retraction

    by stuntrocker

    Your opinion is valid of course. I was up way too late. And I was kinda baked. Yet the reality is that it serves no purpose to cold dis someone&#39;s first impressions of losing their virginity, or their first impressions of anything for that matter. So why do people come into this little page on WWW and complain about a review of a movie they haven&#39;t seen. What do you think Harry owes you? If you think he owes you the perfectly objective review that you would write if you were friends with Frodo and PJaX you are wrong. And if he likes &#39;Pearl Harbor&#39; so be it. Maybe you should share some more about LOTR and Paekakariki and you might find that Harry&#39;s not so far removed from his readers. Because to me anyone playing a Rider of Rohan, Orc, Elf, Wizard, Hobbit, etc. is a legend. And with a Phantom Edit &#39;Pearl Harbor&#39; could be pretty cool.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 5:34 p.m. CST


    by Paddy123

    Okay, this looks good - but personally im into the more hardcore kick-ass (i.e. less fantasy) style films like Blade, Matrix, Terminator etc etc It may have fancy cgi and magic, but hobbits and elves AINT my thing. Anyone see the spidey trailer? That kicks ass with butt-cheeck to spare. By the way, anyone else find the way Harry reviews films FUCKING IRRITATING. He&#39;s so corny, youd think hes fucking reviewing his own mother. It all seems a bit cheap when he seems to do this &#39;changed my life,&#39; deal with every fucking big-budget hyped film he ever sees. Okay, rant over. Pads.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 6:15 p.m. CST

    private thoughts

    by Damien646

    A few thoughts: First of all, I believe FOTR will benefit from the "atmosphere" created by the events of Sept 11th. People are looking for a nice escape from reality. What could be better than a film that actually elevates the virtues of friendship, community, and sacrifice.... (Remember,the Beatles arrived in America 3 months after the unfortunate assassination of JFK --just when America needed the joyous escapism provided by their music.)....Now a few personal memos: Memo to Harry: Happy Birthday, Harry...I hope your 2nd FOTR screening has perfect sound..... Memo to SmugBug: Go Girl !!!... Memo to Lardass Hogan: I have one word: "Depends".....Memo to EntMoot: It&#39;s o.k. to cry. If you do, your "real" friends will not mock you...... Additional thought: I believe the emotional reaction in the reviews that i have read may be, in part, a subconscious reaction to the Sept. 11th events. (I am just assuming, since I am not a psychologist.)

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 6:19 p.m. CST

    The Big Ebert

    by proevad

    My friend works for the suntimes in chicago. caught a glimpse of eberts review. take this with a grain of salt, but he said that his review will contain the phrases..."jackson never quite connects all the dots", and "overly long"...he&#39;s been mistaken before though, so we&#39;ll see

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Harry - Learn how to F***ing write!!!

    by ROM_2099

    Jesus! You&#39;d think someone who writes so much would, over time, learn how to put together a coherent paragraph. Alas, Harry has proven that theory false with this review/rambling diatribe on god-knows-what. People who actually made it through reading this latest crap-fest of a reveiw deserve a medal (or to be committed to an asylum.) The fact that someone is actually putting out an entire book of the crap that pours out of his keyboard is surely an indication of the sad state of publishing today.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 7:09 p.m. CST


    by Mr Zero

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 7:15 p.m. CST

    My first long one (hey, no giggling)

    by AlyFox

    I am always wary of trying to keep comments brief, but after the novels I&#39;ve seen written here lately, I say fuck it, here I go: Some questions answered for those who wonder; "If you don&#39;t like the site, why do you visit?" Well, maybe, just maybe, it&#39;s because those people who don&#39;t like it are people who were fans of the site from the beginning and are sad to see where it has ended up. Also, they come back for the news and tidbits, then get sucked into a talkback. Many people believe that the site used to be about love and enjoyment of film, and now it has evolved into who can think up the coolest User ID, and who can think up the funniest putdown. "Can&#39;t you talkbackers take a joke and not take posts so seriously?" Yes and no. There are sometimes 2 forces behind a "joke". There is the joke itself, and then how it is delivered. When someone says to you in person "You suck and everything you hold dear blows cock", well, you can tell by thier vocal inflection and laughing that they are kidding. When someone types it and posts it for thousands to read, it becomes a tad harder to tell who isn&#39;t being serious. Just food for thought. On Harry&#39;s "reviews". I have no beef with someone posting thier feelings on watching a film. But Harry, more often than not, does go off on personal experiences more than he should. We have gotten to know Spielberg, Lucas, Hanks, and other film figures through thier many movies and interviews over the years, so when they tell us of a personal story, it means something to us as well. Harry is none of these guys. He is a guy who loves movies and started a site for the common geek and film-lover to banter with. So when he delves into his own psyche for paragraph after paragraph, he pumps himself up to a level that he does not deserve. And I&#39;m sorry, it does not come off as pure love of film when he name drops, it comes off as "hey look at me, look who I&#39;m talking to". I am in no way saying that Harry is not a figure in the Hollywood game; he is in one way or another. But he really does act as if this film would have not been made if not for him. He didn&#39;t break out the thesaurus and lavish praise ON THE FILM, he used the thesaurus to describe in every way possible HIS REACTION TO IT. In my opinion, that is wrong. We should be excited about THE FILM and news OF THE FILM. We should not be excited about WHO discovered the news. My Lowly Opinions on film (for those who are already composing scathing replies): Read the first Harry P., loved it, saw the movie, loved it too. Read Hobbit, none others, I admittedly am not a big reader, but cannot wait for LOTR. Love Star Wars, Empire is best (big surprise), and Phantom Menace was disappointing, but one cannot deny that there is a lot to like about it. That&#39;s my two, well, more like 15, cents. Have fun and remember, love film, but try not to love it at the expense of telling someone else they suck. Okay, whatever.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Kidding right?

    by Kraven

    What was there a "lot to like" about Episode 1? A pod race solely designed to sell videogames and a three-minute light sabre duel? Give me a break!

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Nice heartfelt review, Harry

    by Butch_McTavish

    A tad long and verbose, but I&#39;ve been told that&#39;s your style, so who am I to complain? It&#39;s your site, after all. I do think it&#39;s a good idea, as you mentioned, to write a more objective review sooner than later. I look forward to reading it. You and your crew, keep up the good work. : )

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 8:42 p.m. CST


    by AntoniusBloc


  • Dec. 14, 2001, 9:30 p.m. CST


    by Laracna

    I shit you not, this article was published in a teen brazilian magazine. On to the so-called review.-------------------------------------The day before writing this article, I checked the busy showing of LOTR-FOTR. It&#39;s almost three hours and you&#39;d better be prepared, because your buttocks are gonna ache. The movie is visually spetacular, but it&#39;s very boring, with archaic dialogue. Besides, there&#39;s Enya&#39;s new age "music" at the end (Thankfully, only at the end!!). There&#39;s also a great kiss between Liv Tyle (sic) e the handsome Viggo Mortensen, which draws sighs from the women in the audience. But what&#39;s really gonna surprise everyone is that the film is quite gay. I&#39;ve never seen so many men crying, battle scenes where the survivors throw themselves over the dead friend&#39;s body, slaming their fists again their (the corpse&#39;s) chest and wiggling their little legs in the air. Elijah Wood is great, but he has this really weird big neck (WTF???). To sum it up, different from many people, I&#39;m not looking forward to the next two installments of the series, which are dues Christmas 2002 and 2003. ------------------------------- This piece of crap was badly written in portuguese and I chose to do a quite literal translation, resulting in this barely readable... malex clone?? But think about it... he (IT&#39;s a guy) actually makes some very fine observations! The big fault in this film is not the pace or the CGI!!! IT&#39;S FRODO&#39;S WEIRD LOOKING GIGANTIC NECK!!!! Gimme a break. At least I can now say we have our own Malex wannabe down here in Brazil.

  • Dec. 14, 2001, 10:38 p.m. CST

    To follow up on the "movies and the net" topic

    by wilko185

    (I was pontificating on this earlier). I really think the build-up to FOTR has been unprecedented. This is what the internet was made for. Maybe TPM had a big buzz (on the net and elesewhere) before release, but this movie is being released almost simultaneously around most of the globe. That makes a big difference, though the USians may not be aware of this. (Where is it coming out late BTW, apart from Japan and Aus (sorry guys)? Brazil? Some parts of Eastern Europe? Commiserations if so)_____ I used to think New Line was blowing it. "Where&#39;s the hype?" I thought, "where&#39;s the TV ad blitz? the billboards?" Well, we got those things, but by then I was thinking "who cares? These movies are now going to be made no matter what. I&#39;ll still probably get to see LOTR done right on screen (or as close to right as is humanly possible)." ___ I don&#39;t care if not everyone goes to see this movie. And maybe New Line don&#39;t care either, cause the way it&#39;s going, half the population are going to see it twice instead. New Line have played this game the right way IMO. I mean, how long ago did the official website go online? Seems like 2 or 3 years. That was for *our* benefit, you know. This film is built to please *us*, and we shall tell the world to go see it (and read the book while you&#39;re at it). Which is how it should be. ____ [Having said this, the "weird neck Frodo" thing will probably ruin it for me...]

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Aww. . C&#39;mon. . guys. . can&#39;t we all just get along

    by Sir Pops-O-Lot

    C&#39;mon guys. So much hostility. Can&#39;t anyone just throw down there swords and patch each other on the backs? Like the movie. . don&#39;t like it. . it&#39;s all the same.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 2:22 a.m. CST

    Ebert&#39;s Review (*** out of ****)

    by BrianS

    Found this at, I think someone copied it by hand out of their newspaper "We invest hobbits with qualities that cannot be visualized. In my mind, they are good-hearted, bustling, chatty little creatures who live in twee houses or burrows, and dress like the merry men of Robin Hood -- in smaller sizes, of course. They eat seven or eight times a day, like to take naps, have never been far from home, and have eyes that gow wide at the sounds of the night. They are like children grow up or grown old, and when they rise to an occasion it takes true heroism, for they are timid by nature and would rather avoid a fight. Such ntions about hobbits can be found in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," but the hobbits themselves have been pushed off center stage. If the books are about brave little creatures who enlist powerful men and wizards to help them in a dangerous crusade, the movie is about powerful men and wizards who embark on a dangerous crusade and take along the hobbits. That is not true of every scene or episode, but by the end "Fellowship" adds up to more of a sword-and-sorcery epic than a realization of the more naive and guileless vision of J.R.R. Tolkien. The Ring Trilogy embodies the kind of innocence that belongs to an earlier, gentler time. The Hollywood that made "The Wizard of Oz" might have been equal to it. But "Fellowship" is a film that comes after "Gladiator" and "Matrix," and it instinctively ramps up to the genre of the overwrought special-effects action picture. That it transcends this genre - that it is a well-crafted and sometimes stirring adventure - is to its credit. But a true visualization of Tolkien&#39;s Middle-earth it is not. Wondering if the trilogy could possibly be as action-packed as this film, I searched my memory for sustained action scenes and finally turned to the books themselves, which I had not read since the 1970s. The chapter "The Bridge of Khazad-Dum" provides the basis for perhaps the most sensational action scene in the film, in which Gandalf the wizard stands on an unstable rock bridge over a chasm, and must engage in a deadly swordfight with the monstrous Balrog. This is an exciting scene, done with state-of-the-art special effects and sound that shakes the theater. In the book, I was not surprised to discover, the entire scene requires less than 500 words. Settling down with my book, the one-volume 1969 India paper edition, I read or skimmed for an hour or so. It was as I remember it. The trilogy is mostly about leaving places, going places, being places and going on to other places, all amid fearful portents and speculations. There are a great many mountains, valleys, streams, villages, caves, residences, grottos, bowers, fields, high roads and low roads, and along them the hobbits and their larger companions travel while paying great attention to mealtimes. Landscapes are described with the faithful detail of a Victorian travel writer. The travelers meet strange and fascinating characters along the way, some of them freindly, some of them not, some of them of an order far above hobbits or even men. Sometimes they must fight to defend themselves or to keep possession of the ring, but mostly the trilogy is an unfolding, a quest, a journey, told in an elevated, archaic, romantic prose style that tests our capacity for the declarative voice. Reading it, I remembered why I liked it in the first place. It was reassuring. You could tell by holding the book in your hands that there were many pages to go, many sights to see, many adventures to share. I cherished the way it paused for songs and poems, which the movie has no time for. Like "The Tale of Genji," which some say is the first novel, "The Lord of the Rings" is not about a narrative arc or the growth of the characters, but about a long series of episodes in which the essential nature of the characters is demonstrated again and again (and again). The ring, which provides the purpose for the journey, serves Tolkien as the ideal MacGuffin, motivating an epic quest while mostly staying right there on a chain around Frodo Baggins&#39; neck. Peter Jackson the New Zealand director who masterminded this film (and two more to follow, in a $300 million undertaking), has made a work for, and of, our times. It will be embraced, I suspect, by many "rings" fans and take on aspects of a cult. It is a candidate for many Oscars. It is an awesome production in its daring and breadth, and there are small touches that are just right, the hobbits may not look like my idea of hobbits (may, indeed, look like full-sized humans made to seem smaller through visual trickery), but they have the right cominbation of twinkle and pluck in their gaze - especially Elijah Wood as Frodo and Ian Holm as the worried Bilbo. Yet the taller characters seem to stand astride the litthe hobbit world and steal the story away. Gandalf the good wizard (Ian McKellen) and Saruman the treacherous wizrd (Christopher Lee) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), who is the warrior know as Strider, are so well-seen and acted, so fearsome in battle, that we can&#39;t imagine the hobbits getting anywhere without them. The elf Arwen (Liv Tyler), the elf queen Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Arwen&#39;s father Elrond (Hugo Weaving) are not small like literary elves ("very tall they were," the book tells us), and here they tower like Norse gods and goddesses, accompanied by so much dramatic sound and lighting that its a wonder they can think to speak, with all the distractions. That "The Fellowship of the Ring" doesn&#39;t match my imaginary vision of Middle-earth is my problem, not yours. Perhaps it will look exactly as you think it should. But some may regret that the hobbits have been pushed out of the foreground and reduced to supporting characters."

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 2:23 a.m. CST

    kubrick101&#39;s theory ***Spoilers***

    by Boba_Fett

    Interesting theory, but I find it far more likely that Saruman had become very arrogant at this point and wished to wield as much power as possible. After all, he&#39;d already turned evil, why not go all the way? I seriously doubt he would care what the Ring did to him as long as he could rule middle-earth. -Fett

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 2:47 a.m. CST

    Can there now be any doubt?

    by Venture

    Reviews, lenght of talkbalks, paranoia from the Star Wars geeks about box office returns . . this movie will drink more beers and cheet on more wives than Gone With the Wind!

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:08 a.m. CST


    by spunaround

    I just caught the tail end of ebert on the craig kilborn show. Then I come here and read the review. Thanks for posting that. I don&#39;t need the reviews to validate the movie but a thumbs up from Ebert means that a few people who would have not gone to FOTR will give it a chance. Sad but true.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:22 a.m. CST

    In a bit of a bind...but not much of one...

    by Bud666

    I made plans to see FOTR the first showing on Wednesday with a good friend but now I&#39;m finding out about the midnight screenings that will be taking place around my neighborhood. While she is excited to see the film, she&#39;s not quite as pumped for it as I am and isn&#39;t at all familiar with the source material so I&#39;m a bit worried that my viewing pleasure might be occasionally interupted by her whispered questions. So I&#39;m thinking about hitting the midnight showing alone (I like seeing films by myself anyway - I never thought of it as a group experience) and then going again in the morning. She&#39;d probably be pissed that I didn&#39;t wait for her so I&#39;m guessing I&#39;d do it on the sly. I don&#39;t give films, even films I love, much repeat business. The last two films I saw more than once in the theater were Memento and before that Election and I had to give them both about a solid month between respective showings. For those of you that have seen FOTR, will it really hold up to two viewings in such a short time? Even with a three hour running time and being a film based on a book I&#39;ve read half a dozen times in my life? I know it&#39;s good, possibly great, but how many of you were itching to see it again eight hours later? Lemme know...

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:24 a.m. CST

    Ebert & Hobbits

    by bahhh

    Ebert seems infactuated with hobbits. He seems to really identify with short, overweight, hairy-footed people who eat 8 or 9 meals a day, and wanted an entire movie dedicated to that ideal. Hah. Seriously though, I guess that&#39;s why the books are so great. He reads them and loves & identifies with all the hobbit-themes (great deeds done by little people, etc.), and that&#39;s fine. I read them and, though I relate to the hobbit-themes, my favorite aspect is the whole theme of "all the races of middle earth" uniting in their epic battle against evil. And it seems like Peter Jackson&#39;s interpretation was closer to mine than to Ebert&#39;s. Which is good, because I think mine makes for a better movie.. (what does Ebert want, a 3 hour hobbit walking party?!?)

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 4:34 a.m. CST

    Because it&#39;s magnificent

    by OnceALurker

    Fellowship is an exhausting exercise in denied gratification. Why subject yourself to that? Because it&#39;s magnificent... "Director/co-writer Peter Jackson ("Heavenly Creatures," "The Frighteners") has taken up a challenge of page-to-screen alchemy unmatched since David Cronenberg tackled the "unfilmable" "Naked Lunch" -- and has produced a magic elixir of enchantment bound to be eagerly gulped down by Tolkien readers and newbies alike. Every frame of "Fellowship" bursts with finesse and imagination, demonstrating what miracles a moviemaker can accomplish with his head, hands and heart fully engaged. " ... it rings so true.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 5:07 a.m. CST


    by OnceALurker

    Damn, deez nigazz be play&#39;n shit like they on some mofok&#39;n DubyouzeBee network shit. Dayem. Sauron Escobar ain&#39;t no muthafuckiingn supplier, he&#39;s da green sittah, tha plain makah dolla makahh. muthafucka sauron biach holdn&#39; tha fort up front. Frodo be all like " YO, what you niggaz want?" an tha evil muthafuckaz be like " you know what we want, it is you we want. Give us tha ring". But Frodo be like< "No motha-fucking way Black ridah muthafuckaz!" But the audience be all like "Yo, is Frodo down with the goodness or his he just in to his own damn self?" It gets all confusing and shit from there but there&#39;s two more movies to go so my ass is in the theatre next year to see if Frodo sells his ass for eternal Hobbit poon and and immortality and all that shit or if he does the right shit and drops that shit in Mount muthafucking doom.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 5:37 a.m. CST

    by BH|Sauron

    Just saw Peter Jackson and John Rhys-Davies get interviewed on Late Night with Mike Bullard (its a Canadian talk show, much like Letterman.) They showed a clip of Gandalf and Frodo in Moria. A new clip that I havent seen on tv or the net. Good stuff! 5 DAYS PEOPLE!

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 5:39 a.m. CST

    Jackson/ Davies

    by BH|Sauron

    Just saw Peter Jackson and John Rhys-Davies get interviewed on Late Night with Mike Bullard (its a Canadian talk show, much like Letterman.) They showed a clip of Gandalf and Frodo in Moria. A new clip that I havent seen on tv or the net. Good stuff! 5 DAYS PEOPLE! (sorry if i double posted )

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Jesus Christ.....

    by Wintermute007

    Reading that review of Harrys was like pulling teeth... Can someone give me the jist or general idea of it?

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 6:41 a.m. CST

    re: Ebert&#39;s Review

    by Calenth

    I think that as the next two films in the sequence come out, and the hobbits act more and more independently, some of Ebert&#39;s concerns will be addressed. That said, I think he probably would just prefer a movie of "The Hobbit."

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 7:09 a.m. CST

    anal-na-thrack: Thou art dissembler most flagrantly foul

    by Almost Sexy

    There is no, I friggin repeat no Peter Travers review of lotr fotr up at R------S----.c--. God. All I know is if it only comes out on the print edition of the "magazine," I&#39;ll have to hope someone puts it up in here. Oh well. However, there is a delightfully puerile review up at (and a quick thank you to this website for eating my previous post so that I have to type the whole fudgsicle-sucking thing twice. Double grrrrrr!!!!)! Anyway, the review is mercifully short, so I&#39;l just give you the "highlights." The reviewer&#39;s main complaints are as follows: that LOTR FOTR fails to follow the example of better "popcorn" flicks like the Mummy series, takes itself way too seriously, and doesn&#39;t make the slightest concession towards a girl-on-girl scene (guess he&#39;ll just have to rent Heavenly Creatures). Anyway, here goes: (in reference to the Mummy Series) "There are so many rewindable moments like the sexy girlfight between bikini-clad gold-sprayed hotties Rachel Weisz and Patricia Velasquez which I call the Yummies Return. The Lord of the Rings doesn&#39;t have such wanna-see-billion-times memorable scenes, I can&#39;t single out any. Even the babes are nothing to write home about, very anaemic like they&#39;re dying of tuberculosis, dressed from their heads to their toes, totally unorgasmic." The horror. Imagine women on screen with dialogue and clothes! (Be sure to include an abbreviation for the words "What" "The" and the "F-word" here, to drive home the point that you think the reviewer&#39;s comment is somewhat questionable). It is certainly a strange move on Jackson&#39;s part to portray thinking, human characters on-screen as also being female, and then conceal their physiognomy from the viewers. Verily, "unorgasmic" seems to be an apt description for such a decision. Maybe Butt Sluts from Outer Space will be out soon. Maybe the reviewer would have appreciated the Bridge of Khazad-Dum scene if the Balrog had been a CGI-enhanced rack. Well there&#39;s always the director&#39;s cut. I didn&#39;t really like the review from the Irish Times either. Only about a third of the text involves having seen the film, and that only just. Well it&#39;s not as if we haven&#39;t seen enough reviews. I did want to read Travers&#39; though.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 7:16 a.m. CST

    a negative review

    by VincentSpain

    i found this in Darkhorizons: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" - A Review by &#39;Aceman&#39; In a nutshell: dark, depressive, unfunny, over 1 hour too long.Bring on the yummies! While watching the Lord of the Rings I was daydreaming that it was TV screening and that I switched the channel and started watching some entertaining popcorn flick such as The Mummy(s), Indy or even the wiz boy movie, anything that would`ve put me in the good mood. I didn`t want to leave because it was a chance of a lifetime to see the most anticipated movie of the year in advance. But it made me wish to have seen some silly yet entertaining stuff instead. My beef with the Lord of the Rings is that it denies its popcorn nature. The plot is silly like any good vs evil fantasy but the movie keeps pretending it`s the Schindler`s List. And this attitude makes it so unfunny. I enjoyed straight popcorn flicks like The Mummy and The Mummy Returns much more because these movies are not affraid to be over the top, they are pleasure to watch especially after hard day at work. There are so many rewindable moments like the sexy girlfight between bikini-clad gold-sprayed hotties Rachel Weisz and Patricia Velasquez which I call The Yummies Return. The Lord of the Rings doesn`t have such wanna-see-billion-times memorable scenes, I can`t single out any. Even the babes are nothing to write home about, very anaemic like they`re dying of tuberculosis, dressed from their heads down to their toes, totally unorgasmic. The characters aren`t nearly as likable as popular characters from other popular fantasy movies while action scenes are very good but because the movie is over an hour too long I became too tired and depressed to enjoy them without wondering when the movie would be over. I appologize for comparing the Lord of the Rings with other flicks, it`s lame I know, but that was the only way to explain why it fell flat with me. It`s just a matter of taste. If you`re into dark stuff you`ll love this one.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Yes, there is a peter travers review.

    by Calenth

    yes, there is a peter travers review up at it&#39;s a video review for some reason, not text. Look for it, it&#39;s there, I just watched it, if you can&#39;t find it, that&#39;s your problem.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 7:51 a.m. CST


    by Calenth

    hahahah! That&#39;s probably the most amusing review I&#39;ve yet read. "The lord of the rings sucks because it needs more catfights. And the women keep their clothes on the whole time! What gives?!!!111!!?

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 7:55 a.m. CST


    by Calenth

    hahahah! That&#39;s probably the most amusing review I&#39;ve yet read. "The lord of the rings sucks because it needs more catfights. And the women keep their clothes on the whole time! What gives?!!!111!!?

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 8:01 a.m. CST

    I&#39;ve been naughty...

    by Almost Sexy

    Calenth: You have edified me most adroitly. I consider myself learned by your succinct yet assured prose. Mr. na-thrack: I have been found to be in error. I prostrate myself before you, and hang my head with the knowledge that perhaps I myself am some sort of nancy-boy or half-a-man. To paraphrase Shakespeare: Hail, hail to the throng. Let life be short, my shame shall last too long... Sadly Calenth, it is my problem indeed, as I cannot persuade my computer to comform its behavior to my wishes, and thus I will not be informed of Mr. Travers viewpoint. Oh, cursed wheel of fortuna....

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Go here.

    by Calenth

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 9:30 a.m. CST

    What dumb mofo says there isn&#39;t a Peter Travers review???

    by Almost Sexy

    Calenth: Thanks much. That was really cool of you to hook me up with the link, which I could have done myself if I wasn&#39;t such a lazy chapeau shop wanna-be. I loved the clip that shows Peter Jackson directing Aragorn and the hobbits. It was also nice to see Peter Travers red shirt and awesome mustache. I am emphasizing the visual aspects of the review as I couldn&#39;t get any sound out of my media player, brought to you by the good people at AOL. What a surprise. Am I upset about this? Not as much as you might think, for the simple reason that this marks the first time I have ever been able to get my wayward Compaq Deskpro to actually play any sort of digitized film clip, and this in of itself is almost as much of a Christmas miracle as the fact that I actually managed to be happy for a six month period of my adult life, once. Two whole years ago. But thanks much Calenth. This post has been brought to you by someone who is so stupid that they no longer deserve to live. Nice red shirt though.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 9:50 a.m. CST


    by NZ


  • Dec. 15, 2001, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Who saw Film 2001?

    by TheDrunkenJedi

    That scene they showed in the snow when Frodo drops the ring and Boromir picks it up was excellent!!! The reaction of Gandalf and Aragorn suddenly panicking!! If I remember rightly, this scene is not in the book. Peter Jackson, you are the man!!!

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 10 a.m. CST

    Almost Sexy, you talk funny

    by wilko185

    Heh heh. __ What&#39;s all this about no catfights? If PJ has cut my favorite scene from the book (Goldberry and Arwen rolling round in the mud - Reeowww!) I&#39;ll be sorely disappointed. ____ Re "Peter Travers Takes You Ring-Side" (one thing we miss from reading reviews pasted into talkbacks is the punning headlines, which LOTR surely provides ample opportunty for. Just have to write our own I guess). ___Travers says it&#39;s as dark and scary as any adventure he knows, and not some friendly little Spielberg romp (referring to ET, presumably, rather than Jaws, Saving Private Ryan etc). Some more quotes: "Unprecendented in movie history" (speaking of the scale and spectacle of it) ____ "I&#39;m sure George Bush wishes he were Gandalf" (topical Afghanistan reference there). ___ "Genuine epic with resonance that gives us something to think can you do better than that?" (beats me, Peter) ___ He also implies it&#39;s the best "epic movie" of the year.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Re: Wilko185&#39;s assault most acrimonious upon my wanton displ

    by Almost Sexy

    All I can say is: (in a tone reminiscent of Mr. Bentley, the Jeffersons&#39; elevator operator, and not without some inevitable hand-wringing) "I&#39;m just as god made me, sir." (The hotel manager looks on sympathetically and makes comforting sounds). Wilko, if my speech patterns seem singular and passing strange, it&#39;s because I&#39;ve stood on the shoulders of (Isaac Newton&#39;s euphemism for theft, and no, that&#39;s not the same as Isaac the bartender for the love boat, damn your 80&#39;s sensibilities) some really weird writers. Does anyone know how to spell George Jefferson&#39;s wife&#39;s nickname, (or as the french say, nom de nick). Hint: Her full name was Louise Wilhelmina Jefferson. Her nickname sounds like "wheezy," but I&#39;ll be snookered if I&#39;ve ever figured out the proper spelling. Anyway, I&#39;m indebted to you for breaking down the nuts and bolts of the Travers review for me. It&#39;s not like it should matter, since I&#39;ve already read more reviews than I need to, and know he already voted it best movie of the year, but it&#39;s really frustrating when you know more about a film critic&#39;s fashion sense (or lack thereof, natch) than you do about his review of the film you&#39;ve wasted the last three years of your life waiting for. By the way, anyone out there seen the film The Corn Dog Man? (The question mark isn&#39;t actually in the title. I really recommend this movie).

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Reviewers and the thing about Sci-Fi and Fantasy

    by Lobanhaki

    Reviewers, it seems, have unfortunately been taught that their role is to weed out the bad films for the audiences benefit, to be the arbiters of taste in a tasteless world. The truth is that people will decide on their own what is worth watching and what is not. So are they merely meant to stand around and be witty? No. Their job is to raise legitimate questions about bad or mediocre work, or alert people to movies, that despite outward appearances might be of some worth. So what is the difference between raising awareness and simply nitpicking a film to death? It&#39;s really all a matter of whether or not you go in there looking for formal mistakes (mistakes in terms of general patterns of the work out there), or internal inconsistencies (which are mistakes in terms of the work in terms of it&#39;s individual nature.) The difference between what it takes to do the second rather than the first is quite simple: It takes critical thought.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I guess some may not think to look between the lines in terms of science fiction and fantasy, but when you get a good piece of work going, usually, that&#39;s where the depth is to be found. It&#39;s the hardest place to look, really, but it&#39;s there for the taking. Some SF and Fantasy filmmakers unfortunately forget to create the subtext, and the overlying detail to support it, and we all suffer for that, the filmmakers included. I am getting the impression that LOTR:FOTR is not going to make people suffer, and I am sorry if some people can get beyond a little thing like genre to recognize a truly significant work.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Universal Suffrage

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    Well, even if a movie has no subtext, if it doesn&#39;t actually cause suffering within me, that is at the very least a place to start. Now, "Vampire$" by John Carpenter, *that* was a movie that made me suffer. There have been about five movies I&#39;ve seriously considered walking out of, and that was one of them. It sucked the Devil&#39;s greasy knob, though I must say the scene where a random Baldwin strips the hooker tied to the bed, just to show us her naked arse, and then dresses her again was laugh-out loud funny, though not in an intentional way. I didn&#39;t think they were allowed to make movies like that anymore. I suspect that John Carpenter should be forbidden from making any more movies, period. Bag of shite. Almost_Sexy, I was briefly happy for eight months in 1996, though I didn&#39;t realise it until normal service resumed shortly thereafter. Isn&#39;t that always the way? And to stay on topic, I&#39;m really looking forward to seeing LOTR.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Dear Alice, the title of your post sounds like an extensive life

    by Almost Sexy

    Yes, happiness is a lot like Brigadoon, only it disappears more quickly. The moral being: as long as you find yourself amusing it doesn&#39;t matter if anyone else laughs at your jokes. Unless you&#39;re a parent trying to make a living as a comedian. If that&#39;s the case, you&#39;ll have to kill the dog to feed your starving children and slaughter your cattle and render the fat because having electricity is about as unattainable a goal as you achieving trans-substantiation. I&#39;m not talking about you Alice, I&#39;m using the impersonal you (ditto for that last one. Here, I&#39;ll go ahead and put it in quotes). " "

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 11:54 a.m. CST

    PJ, if you&#39;re reading this talkback....

    by Big Papa

    This movie looks really awesome, BUT they&#39;re doing a terrible marketing job. And I mean TERRIBLE. The movie comes out in four days, and it&#39;s been a week since I&#39;ve seen a trailer on tv!! What is New Line thinking? This is their biggest, most expensive project ever. Do they WANT it to be huge or not??? It&#39;s no good having an awesome trailer, if nobody sees it! I&#39;ve only seen the full 3 minute trailer attached to 3 movies ALL year (I&#39;m sure there have been more, but it was only attached to 3 of the ones that *I* went to), while they have the "Shallow Hal" and "Big Trouble" trailers attached to like EVERY movie you go see! Secondly, the "making of" specials.... Again, what&#39;s the point of having a great special like "Passage to Middle Earth" if nobody even knows that it&#39;s on?!!! If I didn&#39;t visit these websites, I wouldn&#39;t have known that it was even on. There were NO commercials advertising for it, and when I looked in the tv guide all it said was "Passage"; not "Passage to Middle Earth" or "Making of LotR"; just "Passage". Uh....ok. Sounds interesting. How do you expect non-fans to know what that is?? And lastly, the tv trailers.... they&#39;re all cool, but you&#39;re not showing them enough!! Star Wars Episode 1 was the PERFECT opportunity to create awareness, and New Line only showed the trailer ONCE during the whole movie, while the trailers for "Black Knight" and "Out Cold" were shown several times! How are people supposed to remember a 30 second trailer that aired only once? Please start showing it more. Buy as many spots as you can. You&#39;re doing a very good job of using the internet to create hype among the fans, but what about the mainstream? Only us film geeks come to sites like these! Also, the Burger King commercials.... no offense, but they&#39;re really cheesy. The glass goblets themselves are really cool, and I like how they&#39;ve got LotR cups and fry holders and bags at Burger King (that&#39;s the only really GOOD marketing decision they&#39;ve made so far), but the "behold Gandalf the he can be-held!" commercials just scream "kids movie!" (which the movie isn&#39;t, but that&#39;s what those commercials make it look like). Oh, and Dave Letterman keeps talking about this movie like it&#39;s for little kids. "This movie is going to be like E.T." Wtf?

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 11:57 a.m. CST

    No offense taken...

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    ... as I&#39;m unlikely to ever achieve trans-substantiation. Saw the Rolling Stone vid. Is anyone else getting the weird and annoying feeling that everyone in the entire world has seen this movie? Everyone&#39;s seen it except me, of course, because I am a nobody. Though I think I am better off than you, Almost_Sexy, as I did hear words come out of the Rolling Stone guy&#39;s mouth, (admittedly not in time with his lips which was kind of distracting, but you can&#39;t have everything. Or so I hear). Killer moustache!

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 12:42 p.m. CST

    impressive...most impressive

    by devil0509

    Great review, Harry. Not so much because it helped me decide whether or not to shell out 8 bucks on this thing - I made my my mind to do that a long time ago. But a great review because, unlike alot of other reviewers, you have the honesty and integrity to admit when your review is going to be biased, and to tell us why it&#39;s going to be biased. Given your involvement with this project, your review clearly isn&#39;t impartial, and you stand right up and say so. Thanks for that. As a side note, I&#39;m thrilled about the boromir and merry and pippin scene. It was clear in the books that Pippin, in particular, was very fond of Boromir, and Boromir, it always seemed, was very protective over all the hobbits. In the book that always made it poignant that Boromir fell defending them, and that Pippin pledged himself to Denethor as repayment. I could very well see Boromir taking time aside as they walked through Hollin to teach these two something about self defense, as they had swords but no real training on how to use them. A great touch.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Hmmm Miami, I think you&#39;re correct. On reflection

    by wilko185

    I realise the Arwen-Goldberry catfight only occurred inside my twisted brain. Pity, I get the feeling old Tom B would have enjoyed watching, somehow. ____ Re Ebert, I really don&#39;t want to instantly dismiss critics who have genuine problems with FOTR as being "wrong" or biased. But Ebert admits *his* problems with the film need not be ours. He&#39;s doing a "Harry K", really, filtering everything through his own perspective to the point where he loses all objectivity. I respect his honesty though. He sometimes goes back and drastically changes his opinion on things (eg The South Park Movie), so I hope when he&#39;s seen all 3 LOTR films, he will see that the hobbits have their correct standing in the whole story arc, and everything fits, and all is well and all manner of things will be well in Middle Earth. (Not that I *know* this is how LOTR will work out, but I hope and trust it will, and that Ebert and all sensible critics will realise it).

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 1:07 p.m. CST


    by RumPunch

    Roger Ebert didn&#39;t like Matrix because he thought it had no payoff and was a ripoff of Dark City!!! After his Matrix review I stopped reading him. He&#39;s lost all sense of perspective at this point and and needs to take a year off, sit by the beach sipping cocktails, and then return to reviewing films. (I do however, love his "The Great Films" essays, so he can keep doing those ...)

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 2:19 p.m. CST


    by BH|Sauron

    ROger Ebert is a fucking moron. Lets get that straight right off the bat. If the movie isn&#39;t black and white, or wasn&#39;t made in the 40s, this fag is gonna hate it. He tows the line, like the old boys. The dusty old shadows that have long been mouldering in there graves will always be number one. (IE Bogart/Alice in wonderland/and anything else old and crusty. Even if he gives the FOTR a thumbs up, I give the old piece of pop corn eating crap a thumbs down.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Steady On!

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    I&#39;m not that old and crusty!

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 2:43 p.m. CST

    A BAD REVIEW!!!!

    by Gabba-UK

    On last nights Late Review on BBC2 here in Blighty last night Germaine Greer (Yes, that one.) HATED IT!! She said basicly that it was further prove that Hollywood had taken on the role of being a moral leader saying whats good (The West) and whats bad ( Arabs). What the fuck!!! At least it&#39;s comfirmed my wanting to see it if it pissed her of that much!!!

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:07 p.m. CST

    more Ebert

    by BH|Sauron

    Hehehe, Alice :P Anyways AIWL was a good movie for its time, and Bogart rules, my point being that the old fucker likes those old flicks because they are old. No other reason. Not acting, not effects, not screenplay. Sure I can understand the whole "cornerstone" mentality, but lets face it. A 2001 Hum "V" is a better vehicle than a Model "T", but old festering farts will always pick the model "t" NOT because they think its a better vehicle, but because its a "cornerstone. In other words... Well, there are no other words. I&#39;ll take a Hum "V" over a rickity piece of crap Model "T" any day. Ebert can take his old props and dead actors and stinky bear suit and STUFF THEM ! hahaha :P

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Germaine Greer

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    She&#39;s well known for loathing the books, and while she sometimes says interesting things, oftentimes she&#39;ll shoot her mouth off in quite bizarre ways. I remember her trashing "The House of Mirth", solely on the issue, as far as I could make out, that Gillian Anderson had been in the X-Files. I kid you not. Like the fact she&#39;d worked on something else was a good reason not to make anything else, ever. I remember at Cambridge she caused a big ruckus at the womens&#39; college she was at, because one of the female dons had actually been born a man and had a sex change. She objected. However, her stock in trade back in the day was that sexual identity was cultural, if memory serves (I read "The Female Eunuch" ages ago). The whole west/east thing reference, as far as LOTR is concerned, is clearly glib soundbite nonsense as the film has been in the works for years... and two minutes consideration of the issue would suggest that probability to a thoughtful person. But it sounds well when you&#39;re showing off on TV, I suppose. I wdo onder about the intellectual state of Britain, however, when film geeks have clearer heads than British academicians.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Shock horror! Greer didn&#39;t like it!

    by wilko185

    Wow didn&#39;t see that one coming ;-). What did the rest of the Late Review think? I heard Tom Paulin was at the premiere. I find him hilarious when he&#39;s slamming something, for some reason, even though I usually disagree with him. ______ BH|Sauron, going a bit OTT aren&#39;t we? Someone didn&#39;t like it, fine. You&#39;re right, he&#39;s wrong, no need for a character assassination is there?

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:14 p.m. CST

    character assassination

    by BH|Sauron

    Bwahahahaha! WTF are you talikin about here bro? Its Ebert for Gods sake, Like he has never played his hand at Character assasination??? ROFL!!!!!!!!!!! -please explain yourself, or dont, I dont care.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:21 p.m. CST

    OK, bad phrase

    by wilko185

    Maybe "WTF" expresses my feelings better. Though "Roger Ebert is a fucking moron.... If the movie isn&#39;t black and white, or wasn&#39;t made in the 40s, this fag is gonna hate it." is totally misrepresenting Ebert IMO (he liked Final Fantasy, TPM etc etc). Have you got any counter-points?

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Late Review

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    I do find the Late Review unbearably patronising and annoying, but Tom Paulin slating something is indeed always amusing, Wilco. That said, the whole show has this kind of smug, glib, "We&#39;ll tell all of you intellectual bottom-feeders that somehow ended up with middle-class pretensions what to think for the rest of the week, all right? Now isn&#39;t that a load off your mind, or what passes for it?". In short, they are bound to hate the film just as much as I hate them, so all corners are fairly served. Hardly any of their criticism stands up to scrutiny, though it is quite good for cruel laughs when you&#39;re in the mood. And I&#39;m often in the mood for cruel laughs, but fortunately very rarely watch TV anymore... I have to get my cruel laughs from AICN talkbacks.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:29 p.m. CST


    by BH|Sauron

    Like I said, I havent read or heard of an Ebert review, so Im not getting on his case for not liking fotr. I havent seen it, so I cant say its the BEST FREAKING MOVIE OUT THERE either. The guys a ham, a plant, a relic who&#39;s jaded opinion amounts to nothing more than a fresh pile of steaming feces. As for giveng FF a thumbs up, well, Im sure he gives the odd movie a thumbs up. Look, If Im giving a member here a hard time or calling him names, you can tell me to cool it. But to tell me to back off from Ebert is ridiculous. The guys a bad reviewer. Thats my opinion.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:44 p.m. CST

    "I havent read or heard of an Ebert review....The guys a bad rev

    by wilko185

    So long as you&#39;ve thought it through.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:49 p.m. CST


    by BH|Sauron

    I havent read an Ebert FOTR review you FUCKING MORON. Well done, youve just made yourself an enemy you fucking loser. Next time quote the whole sentence. RETARD

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Ebert Gave Anaconda Four Stars

    by CatoTheCensor

    It&#39;s true, people. Look it up. This guy is fucking hack.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Oooooo no, don&#39;t hate me Sauron!!

    by wilko185

    I apologise for being unable to parse your sentences. I geniunely thought you meant what you typed, as you give every indication of not knowing anything about Ebert except "he&#39;s wrong because he gives an ambivalent review to FOTR."

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Well done, youve just made yourself an enemy

    by ParamountExec

    LOL! Internet tough guy!

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Isn&#39;t Sauron "the Enemy" of everyone, anyway?

    by wilko185

    Ebert&#39;s review is at, though I&#39;m sure no one needs to read this fucking fag&#39;s opinions to know what to think, right? And if he loved FOTR I&#39;m sure we all would still be slagging this retard&#39;s opinions.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 4:05 p.m. CST


    by BH|Sauron

    Why dont the both of you guys grab a black and white camera, set it up in a sleezy motel, pay R Ebert 10 bucks (thats what paramount probably pays him to give there shit movies a good rating) and make a sweet little porno. As its obvious that your love for the guy goes beyond his opinion of movies and deep into his rectal region :P

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 4:08 p.m. CST


    by BH|Sauron

    "he&#39;s wrong because he gives an ambivalent review to FOTR." Like I said in an earlier post. I havent read his review of FOTR and probably wont. I&#39;d actually rather vomit razor blades than read or listen to anything the dork says.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Chill out dude

    by wilko185

    I happen to disagree with Ebert on his assessment of FOTR (to the extent that I can, not having seen the film. I posted on this earlier in a different TB I just find it exasperating when someone gives FOTR a bad review (Not even that! He says it&#39;s Oscar material, transcends its genre etc etc, but some things just didn&#39;t work for him personally) and everyone attacks the guy, picking apart his past reviews. If we did that with every critic (including the ones who loved FOTR) we would find a movie we disagree with them on and have to discount their opinion. OK, if you weren&#39;t doing that but have come to the conclusion based on many Ebert reviews that you have a different taste in movies (or indeed, you think he&#39;s a retard hack) then I apologise. Unreservedly. (Hey, I actually respect someone&#39;s opinion, even though I disagree, what a concept)

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 4:21 p.m. CST


    by BH|Sauron

    Ok, cease fire. I agree. Kind of lose it when my words are misinterpeted. Peace, happy, joy.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 4:30 p.m. CST

    OK, pax sauron :-)

    by wilko185

    I actaully like reading the slightly negative reviews more than the gushing ones. I&#39;m sure FOTR will be incredible, but I don&#39;t want to get too carried away.... and I like feeling superior when a critic obviously doesn&#39;t know what he&#39;s talking about when he starts criticizing the book.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Fuck Lord of the Rings (I hope it flops, not likely but one can

    by NFLRefugee

    Fuck Father Geek. Fuck him in the ass. I hate him. Hate him with a passion. (Complete disclosure: I don&#39;t know him, and he&#39;s done nothing to me.) Does anybody care what Harry&#39;s father thinks? I doubt very much this was the best movie he&#39;s ever seen. He&#39;s a fucking idiot. I&#39;ll consider myself banned for this. It will be the fifth time in a month. I was sick of this userid anyway.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 4:36 p.m. CST


    by BH|Sauron

    Well, what I like about the negative reviews so far is the fact that many of the problems, IE hobbits not having enough air time, (yes, I had to read that after it was posted here),Plot to involved, etc. -is that FOTR is one third of a long movie. The hobbits will get there time to shine. Im sure that after 45 minutes of watching Frodo and Sam in mordor, they will be saying "Not enough elves or men"

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 4:38 p.m. CST

    The Verdict is in

    by Kraven

    With 87 (count &#39;em!) online reviews counted thus far, 84 positive, 2 indifferent and 1 negative, it&#39;s obvious that we have a winner and then some. Star Wars is dead, long live Lord of the Rings!

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Yeah, almost none of the bad reviews really *agree* on what&#39;

    by wilko185

    and most of the things the reviewers don&#39;t like are either problems with the book (which I know I disagree with) or the whole concept of fantasy. ___ I&#39;ve seen a couple of people say some of the effects aren&#39;t that good, that&#39;s about the only point of agreement I can think of not related to Tolkien&#39;s story- and I find it unlikely to be a big problem, based on what we&#39;ve seen so far.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 5:16 p.m. CST

    ebert&#39;s review again

    by RumPunch

    That isn&#39;t even a film review! It&#39;s a review of a comparison between what he liked about the books and what was in the movie, but decidely not a review of a film. This guy is putting the Harry Potter film in the same realm as Wizard of Oz. HP was competent, but it was really was soul-less and didn&#39;t even get the plot of the first HP book, which was all about character development. Ebert&#39;s lost the capacity to watch a film on its own merits. Like I said, he needs a vacation!

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 5:20 p.m. CST

    95% of good reviews aint bad fellas

    by jezabear

    lets face it. THE MOVIE IS A SUCCESS. now all that remains is to see how the average Joe likes it. And i&#39;m sure it&#39;ll do fine. this waiting is killing me. And to all those who think AOTC will do well...pull your fucking heads out of the toilet.Lucas has become a hack. Hes lost sight of makes good cinema. The entire scope of what audiences want from a movie has moved on since he made Starwars....hes lost that completely. AOTC looks like an episode of Dynasty...or Days of our Lives...for fucks sake. Lucas is raping Star Wars...theres going to be some pissed fans come May 2002. Theres no freshness about it...oh well...too bad...BECAUSE LOTR WILL ROCK AND WILL REPLACE STARWARS FROM HERE ON IN. OOOOHHH YEAH.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Bad Reviews and Fantasy Storytelling

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    It&#39;s actually very encouraging. All of the bad reviews I&#39;ve heard of have been from people that you wouldn&#39;t necessarily like to be trapped in an elevator with - people I&#39;d have nothing in common with. They all seem to contain the phrase "not as magical as Harry Potter", which to me rings deep, dark alarm bells. Because HP is unashamedly a kids film, and fair play to it on knowing its audience. (I actually read the Travers review of HP and agreed with his take on it.) HP plays well to people that have no time for fantasy or myth, in that it doesn&#39;t attempt to demand much of the viewer in terms of personal investment. He&#39;s a kid, he&#39;s cute, he&#39;s *special* though, he has problems, they appear to be solved in a 15 minute rush job deus ex machina. But it&#39;s a "kids film", so what the fuck. The books were somewhat more compelling in that they increasingly have a kind of Brothers Grimm darkness, a sense of real evil under the surface of house point competitions and jolly midnight feasts, an evil that knows Harry&#39;s name. I don&#39;t think *that* HP would have been anything like as well received, and makes me wonder about the future of the franchise (they will make less money than the first one, and I shall like them better.) From what Ebert says (though I can&#39;t find the review anywhere) his criticism of FOTR is coming from a different place - "Actually, yeah, I would have invested in FOTR, but it wasn&#39;t my FOTR and I had some difficulty making it mine", which is a completely just and honest criticism and implies that he gave a shit. LOTR is huge in scope and everyone takes away different things from it. Hell, reading it all my life, it seems a different book from when I first picked it up. It&#39;s the same text, but I&#39;ve changed. Sometimes I think it reads *me*. But if you&#39;re the kind of mentally stultified hack who can&#39;t relate to the issues in LOTR in a non-ironical, cynical, lazy-arsed, pop-culture reference, glib soundbite, post-modernist way (because LOTR is about the opposite of all of those things, it&#39;s a tale of the absolute after the manner of fantasy and fairy tale), then the odds are good the movie will not engage you, as it seems that the film has managed to preserve this ethic from the book. And this is also (to draw to a close) the failure at the heart of The Phantom Menace - Jar Jar is just the whipping boy, in my opinion. Anakin, like Harry and Frodo, is that staple of fantasy - the guy that has his name picked out of the hat by Destiny. But he&#39;s never in conflict with the dark forces at work in the movie except in shallow, slapstick ways - he&#39;s sidelined by Qui Gonn and Obi-Wan (another potential journeyman hero who is also sidelined in the movie - I couldn&#39;t *believe* they had him sitting in the hold of a ship for most of the film - he should have been out there, bonding with Anakin). Maul should have been after Anakin, specifically. TPM couldn&#39;t work out who its hero was, who the person the narrative should have followed ought to be. For my money it should really have been Padme, and could have been if she&#39;d been more charismatically written. She&#39;s the link between the incidents in the movie, and it would have made sense to tell it from her perspective, but she is also sidelined. Fantasy requires a strong protagonist against a terrible evil - the immovable object against the irresistable force. Well, anyway, that&#39;s my take. Take it or leave it. Time to put my chicken in the oven.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Too long? Not enough female presence?

    by RulingRing

    I&#39;d like to think that the reason you didn&#39;t hear those particular complaints about the other movies mentioned was because there were more substantial complaints to be made. Yes, go ahead and claim that I&#39;m discounting the negative reviews while allowing for the positive. The unfavorable reviewers sound like nitpicks because that&#39;s what they are, desperate almost universally off key gripes for desperate people. There seems to be a universal penchant among the literati that fantasy just can&#39;t be commended. They pulled their guns but came up shooting blanks. Don&#39;t worry about it Anal-Na-thrack, the institutions that claim to uphold the arts are the one&#39;s who most vociferously decry new ideas and are almost always the first to fall.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 6 p.m. CST

    Re-enactment based events, actual or otherwise

    by Almost Sexy

    Scrolling down...Put down pork chop...Scroll some more......Pick up scoop of milkshake out of cup and smear all over bare chest for monkey surrogate-breast-feeding simulation......Still scrolling...Did someone say Ebert porn???? I was at the Metro today picking up a ticket to see lotr fotr this Thursday, and this other guy&#39;s in line, and he asks the parking validation mistress what Mulholland Drive&#39;s about. Mme. Validator replies: "Oh you know, love story." After the guy went in I asked the parking person, "You know, Mulholland Drive isn&#39;t really a love story at all right?" We had a good laugh about that one. To Monsuier Jezebar: What the sweetchuck you talking about, son? AOTC will make loads of money. Don&#39;t you worry about that. Lucas has forgotten what makes a movie good? Fans are gonna be (your naughty word for angry here) in May 2002? Judging by your attitude, I&#39;m guessing you feel (and correct me if I&#39;m wrong here) that The Phantom Menace was a result of Lucas having already lost the recipe for good movie-making before he started putting that project together. It still made hundreds of millions of dollars. And there&#39;s already plenty of angry fans. So what&#39;s changed since then? I&#39;ve been a very sweet Almost Sexy about this whole Star Wars deal, but I&#39;m gonna have to call obfuscation and bebotherment on anyone showing up in May going "Waitaminute, this movie sucks!!! How can you not understand that???" Star Wars Round two (by which I mean the whole second set of three films)is the geek equivalent of the Grand Schism of the Roman Catholic Church, resulting in two diametrically opposed factions, and never the twain shall meet (and don&#39;t try to get all clever and ask me which group&#39;s Rome and which one&#39;s Constantinople, cause I&#39;m as inscrutable as the guy from 21 Jump Street and the Blues Brothers when he was on X-Files, and I ain&#39;t falling for it). My point: Anyone who loved The Phantom Menace will not be able to help but like the next installment. This isn&#39;t something you can persuade (or even browbeat) people into changing their minds about. I don&#39;t mind if you think it&#39;s the worst film of all time, but please oh please don&#39;t expect people who are fans of the new series to suddenly have a mass epiphany and change their mind. It&#39;ll only result in failed expectations, which is where this whole conversation started in the first place.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 6:26 p.m. CST

    Brow beating et al

    by RulingRing

    There is one component I think you left out Almost Sexy. There was one talkbacker who mentioned that he had been defending TPM for about a year and then finally caved and admitted that TPM was the same steaming pile of feculent matter that half the original adherents had decided it was 15 minutes into their first viewing. I agree it doesn&#39;t do much good to tell someone "SW suxLOTR RULZ!" and have an expectation that they&#39;ll just drop the whole matter and defect, but I do expect after the 19th that some of those old BKR types will have an epiphany of sorts and quickly make a new logon something along the lines of "LOTR4EVR"

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 7:46 p.m. CST

    check out get ready for the foley cath

    by devil0509

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 7:52 p.m. CST

    check out get ready for the foley cath

    by devil0509

    doh, sorry about the double post. Anyway, rottentomatoes does a nice compilation of good vs. bad reviews, and so far FOTR is getting a 95% on the tomatometer. It&#39;s also a good link to alot of reviews, and you can read reviewer after reveiwer gush over this flick. Which brings me to the foley cath. Come 2004 when all these flicks are in my DVD collection, I&#39;m gonna park my ass on the couch, load up a bunch of nutrient rich snacks within armreach, insert a foley cath so I don&#39;t have to break for a piss, and watch this thing, all 9 hours, right through to see this story as it should be - unfolding from start to finish in one awesome event. Sure my wife will probably take the kids and leave me for the obsessed slob I am, but hey, priorities, man. One disagreement I have with Harry, though...NOTHING beats 3 hours of copulation in a water bed.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 8:04 p.m. CST

    length is a side issue

    by jezabear

    I think the fact that the only thing some critics can critisize is the legnth is a good sign. Its funny how some of these movie-critic-fucks feel they have to always hedge their bets when appraising a movie and at least mention something they felt was bad. I suppose thats their job but sometimes I feel like they just cant watch a movie and enjoy it. Its like, "let me scrutinize every particular thing and I&#39;ll find a fault somewhere"....don&#39;t get me wrong...FOTR must have faults and Im sure we&#39;ll feel/see them as they go but I have virtually lost all regard for movie critics who write for papers....its like, when a guy gets a reputation for good writing/reviewing they suddenly can&#39;t write/review for shit because they feel pressured or people will lose respect foe them if they actually give their honest opinion. They get cramped. Their style goes and their ability to tap into a movies life and story. Well, anyway, I predict a massive hit with FOTR. Long live PJ.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Official word on the LOTR DVD

    by Kraven

    In case some folks have missed it, Imladris&#39; LOTR fan website today interviewed some of the folks at WETA, who said confirmed that the DVD will have a LOT more gore and will probably be rated R. There will also be almost an hour of additional footage. There will also be a three-disc CD of the making of Fellowship (they have 16 hours of footage!). Very cool!

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 8:55 p.m. CST


    by Boba_Fett

    "I&#39;m sorry, but the next I hear someone piss and moan about the BK tie-in, I will kick them square in the nuts! My goblet (which is really heavy glass, not plastic) is so fucking cool! And it is has Stider on it, but I have to point out to everyone that his real name is Aragorn. And it makes all my drinks glow red!!! A need the Gandalf one too!!!!! WOO HOO FOR HOME OF THE WHOPPER!!!" And this is the guy who thinks Fight Club is stupid. Bahahahahahah! -Fett

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Medieval Women

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    Well, actually they did quite a bit in Arthurian tales... ruled kingdoms, cast spells, plotted, had affairs, intervened in fights - no they didn&#39;t do a lot of sword waving, but there is a lot more to do in a half-way decent legend than wave a sword. In fact in "The Lord of the Rings" Frodo himself doesn&#39;t exactly forge a path of steel-edged destruction to Mount Doom like a mini-Conan the Barbarian. True, LOTR is female-light, but since, in the main, there are two situations going on for most of the book, Frodo and Sam toiling with Gollum to Mordor on their lonesome, and the others participating in battles in places like Minas Tirith and Helms Deep where most of the women and peasants have already been sent away to refuges, there is no particular reason that there would be a huge female contingent. It&#39;s a war story, after all.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 9:06 p.m. CST

    What about Ioreth?!?

    by RulingRing


  • Dec. 15, 2001, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Rolling Stone confirm LOTR as the best movie of the year

    by Kraven have their top ten list online as well as an artilce looking at the year in movies. LOTR is indeed at #1!

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Speaking of females, what happened to Morwen?

    by wilko185

    IMDB still lists her in the cast of LOTR (it&#39;s not just for FOTR, it seems), as being played by Robyn Malcolm (of Shortland St "fame"). She was to be a woman of Rohan, but I think she was only written in to the bit where Arwen is fighting at Helm&#39;s Deep, which AFAIK is now written out (correct me if I&#39;m wrong)? ___ So, is she still going to be in TTT, anyone know? _________ __________ _____ _____ And yes, it is a double standard how the medieval-esque LOTR gets criticised more than contemporary Hollywood films for lack of leading female roles. (the Alien series is the main exception I can think of to Hollywood&#39;s blatant sexism in the "action-adventure genre", and of course that&#39;s set safely far away from the "real" world anyway. Hmmm, drawing a blank here.... is Tomb Raider really some kind of groundbreaking move towards sexual equality in the contemporary action genre?)

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 9:26 p.m. CST

    in the name of all that I hold dear and true deep down inside my

    by Almost Sexy

    I would blow up any number of family members with chilling alacrity to get that DVD. And I don&#39;t even have a DVD player. An hour of footage. I hope it&#39;s in the movie though, or there is an option to do so, not just an hour of uncompleted scenes that you sort of have to sift through. I want a four hour lord of the rings movie. Hey, you know what I&#39;m noticing lately? None of those really dume SW vs. whatever debates. It&#39; like my children grew up and went off to college overnight. Or I simply left them out in the woods...

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 9:45 p.m. CST

    A few selected quotes from a negative review

    by wilko185

    This is an old one, but I&#39;ve only just seen it ( I was going to describe why I don&#39;t think much of this review, but I&#39;ll let the following words and phrases plucked from its slimy entrails speak for themselves: kazoo, oopsy, cultish, imagineering, kitsch, Leni Riefenstahl, munchkin, Gary Coleman, the rhetoric of exalted cheese(?), gorgingly(?), Star Wars, whopper-welded(?), ga-ga, turgid, Harry Potter. _______ Get the general idea?

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 9:52 p.m. CST

    I used to be a Phantom Menace defender.

    by BilboFett

    I tried to watch the DVD yesterday. I couldn&#39;t even get past the first 40 minutes. I just stopped it. Actually thought about raffling it at my daughter&#39;s birthday party today. I firmly believe that the only reason that Star Wars as a collective still remains high in people&#39;s minds is because of Empire. That movie can only carry the franchise for so long, though. I have my tickets for the 7pm showing on 12/19. Getting the shakes...

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 10:31 p.m. CST


    by KneelBeforeZod

    I honestly could give two shits about this movie. Tenenbaums, baby. Vanilla Sky. Beautiful Mind. HOW HIGH. All of these films interest me more.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 10:35 p.m. CST

    when it comes to killing people with heavy metal objects...

    by The_Fiend

    men are simply better at it due to physiological reasons. In other words, men statistically are significantly stronger. Good gravy, did anyone realize that there were no women flipping up their kilts and charging the british in Braveheart??? MYSOGINY!!!! Cripe, is that spelled right? That&#39;s not to take anything away from women, who have nice hair and smell pretty, it&#39;s just an acknowledgment that swinging heavy objects is typically not a strong point for most women. Is it unfortunate? Maybe. Is it oppresive to recognize that men tend to be stronger than women? Hardly. Of course there are some girls that could kick my ass, but statistically it&#39;s a pretty small number... AHHHH!!! I AM GOING TO BE TORN TO SHREDS BY PEOPLE THAT HATE THE TRUTH!!! AHHHHH!! But really, I&#39;m not a hardcore weight-lifter, and I am still tons stronger than my girlfriend who lifts all the time. Different chemistry and whatnot. Don&#39;t hate me, I didn&#39;t make the rules...

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Harry and LOTR

    by tbrosz

    Probably not much point in writing this since nobody sensible is going to plow through all the talkbacks already here, much less Harry, but he should know that the reason I hit this site is precisely because of his fanboy outlook. Sad though it may be, I&#39;d bet two thirds of the major movie reviewers in newspapers and TV wouldn&#39;t even know who Forry Ackerman was. Keep up the good work, Harry. ****** As for FOTR, I am really looking forward to seeing it. As an old family man with a wife who has trouble walking, I will not be fighting the opening day crowds, but will catch it a week or so later. I&#39;ve waited for this since the 1970s, and another week won&#39;t kill me. Thank God Jackson shot all three films at once. The sequels, save for production work, are THERE, waiting for us. Even if, God forbid, one of the actors goes down in a plane or something, it&#39;s all safely in the can. There&#39;s a feeling of security about this. I wonder...should I buy the first DVD when it comes out or wait three years for the amazing BOXED SET?

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 10:59 p.m. CST

    This Saruman/One RIng thing

    by SpaceLord

    Someone posted that Saruman aiding Sauron find the One Ring was a good idea. To me, yes and no. Pro:Saruman understood Sauron better than any of the Istari, and the Rings of Power as well. So it does make sense that he might aid Sauron. Con:Saruman knows how the one ring works. The more "powerful" one is, the more powerful you become while using it. Because Sauron instilled a great deal of his power in his Ring, he was awesomely powerful with it, and not as powerful without it. Gandalf once says that he is afraid what him wearing the ring would do. This is also the reason Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo and Sam all initially just use the ring to become;s the easiest power to tap. No matter how long Smeagol wore the ring, he never became powerful...he was simply addicted. Back to the orginal point...Saruman knows if he wore the One Ring he could possibly challenge Sauron for supremacy. That&#39;s my take on it.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Harry & Moriarty&#39;s reviews are weak

    by spyridon

    These are the two FOTR reviews I&#39;ve been waiting for all along. So what did we get? Moriarty starts out by saying the Indiana Jones sequels suck and slamming just about every other genre movie in the last few decades. Wtf? Sorry, once I read those several paragraphs (!) I didn&#39;t care about the rest of the review. And Harry immediately taints his review by saying that he sees the movie only in the context of having visited the sets, met the actors, yadda yadda. I stopped reading his piece, too. How am I supposed to relate to that? Man, after the way this site has hyped the flick, I expected more out of the headliner reviews. I love AICN and everything, but this was a distinct letdown.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 11:03 p.m. CST


    by SpaceLord

    Im my post above I meant that Saruman aids Sauron in the MOVIE, not the book. Sorry

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 11:05 p.m. CST


    by RedCapitalist

    You say their reviews are weak, and then procede to admit you didn&#39;t even READ them!? HAHAHAHAHA GG n00b $$

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Pud the Stupud

    by Kraven

    Which review? There are two - their main critic loved it - the second review has already been ripped apart on the TBs. This just in - Howard Shore&#39;s score for LOTR has just been given best score of the year by the LA film critics.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Ahh! PJ finally includes a catfight from the sacred text.

    by wilko185

    Should keep the purists happy (and me as well) :-). ____________ Re Saruman&#39;s Ring-fixation: In the "back-story" to LOTR there is a lot of stuff about Saruman&#39;s duplicitous dealings with Sauron. He starts off pretending to aid Sauron find the ring, while really wanting it himself. One cool scene left on JRR&#39;s cutting room floor is when the Nazgul stop by at Isengard on the way to looking for the Shire. Saruman (already in contact with Sauron via the palantir) lies to the Nazgul about his knowledge of hobbits and the Shire. He doesn&#39;t actually let them in Isengard, but he magically emits his cunning voice from the gates, and fools the Witch King into thinking Saruman is an ally, but can&#39;t help them. When the Nazgul catch and interrogate Saruman&#39;s spy on the Greenway (the "slant-eyed southerner" at Bree) who is actually carrying a map of the Shire, the Nazgul are really, really pissed, and almost turn back to deal with Saruman. ____ Saruman is conflicted in the book - he secretly wants to get the Ring, but he is trapped into aiding Sauron, and via the palantir Sauron was in the process of totally subverting Saruman to his will. Saruman and Sauron were very similar- they were both Maiar under Aule, the Valar of "craft and technology". Sauron was obviously far superior in power, cunning and malice, but if Saruman had got the Ring (Gandalf says that only if he did so would he have a chance of defeating Sauron) and had time to learn its uses, who knows who may have triumphed..... ___ "You hold out your hand to me, and I perceive only a finger of the claw of Mordor. Cruel and cold!" (Theoden to Saruman).

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 11:45 p.m. CST

    I&#39;m glad someone else has seen how Star Wars promotes tobacc

    by wilko185

    How could it NOT, it&#39;s just a rip-off of Tolkien&#39;s LOTR, and everyone knows how Tolkien love to smoke pipe-weed. Lucas fucked up even more by cutting out the mushrooms. [I call this "Pud-logic". Win any argument with Pud-logic!]

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 11:48 p.m. CST


    by spyridon

    When I walked out of the theater during The Horse Whisperer, I wasn&#39;t concerned that I might be missing a lean, taut third act. Same thing here. Sorry, if a review alienates me so convincingly in the opening few paragraphs, I consider it a failure of the writing. I expected better from Harry and Moriarty, whose reviews I generally like.------------Maybe I should add that I completely dug Harry&#39;s set reports from New Zealand. Those were great fun. I&#39;ve got no beef against the cool stuff he and Moriarty do in the service of this site. However, for me their appeal as reviewers, especially in Harry&#39;s case, stems from the fact that we are all film geeks and they usually write from the fan perspective. I like them because I identify with them. Both of their reviews sabotaged that connection in the early going. After that I had no interest in reading yet more gushing FOTR reviews.

  • Dec. 15, 2001, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Wagner Etc

    by Kraven

    Wagner&#39;s Ring Cycle (not "series") has as its premise the desire for material gain - the dwarf Alberich lusts wealth. In contrast, the LOTR has as its premise the protagonist&#39;s desire to annihilate evil. They are polar opposites. As for racism, you are forgetting (or are ignorant of) the fact that in the Britain of the mid-fifties not one person in ten thousand was of a colored race; the likelihood of Tolkien even knowing enough people of colour to form a prejudice against them is unlikely to the extreme. As for the charge of antio-smitism, Tolkien once wrote an angry letter to a prospective racist German publisher in which he stated that he would be proud to have Jewish blood in his veins. Add to this the fact that Tolkien was a devout Christian, and that his love and respect for all mankind (and other invented races) shines throughout the entire novel (which you would know if you had actually bothered to read it) and you are on very thin ice indeed. All the above are facts; if you have facts of your own to refute them, please feel free to post them.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 12:02 a.m. CST

    Lord of the Rings wins Best Score!!!!

    by JKW

    The Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awarded Lord of the Rings Best Score. They Awarded In the Bedroom with Best Picture. URL:

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 12:04 a.m. CST

    PUD you&#39;re as dumb as a bag of hammers,

    by LordDark

    How is LOTR homophobic if it&#39;s promoting homosexuality like you say it is? You make no sense. Either you&#39;re just trying to be funny, or you&#39;re a total wack job. And who cares if there was a gay theme to the books. You&#39;re the one who&#39;s homophobic. Freak!

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Guys, don&#39;t waste your breath

    by wilko185

    Pud doesn&#39;t respond to arguments based in reality. I&#39;m more than half-convinced he&#39;s a troll just posting this "racist/homophobic" crap for giggles. Though he&#39;s been doing it for far longer than a sane person would still find any humor in it. However, I&#39;m still a fan of his "hobbits are really negroes" routine, that always cracks me up. "Sambo Gamgee" har har har. Classic! Go on Pud, wheel it out one more time!

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 12:14 a.m. CST


    by RulingRing

    With that name and the ridiculous diatribes I&#39;m starting to suspect that Pud likes to sniff the proverbial "pickle".

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 12:43 a.m. CST


    by Wrathchild

    I attended the premier of LORT-TFOTR here in Minneapolis last Wednesday night. LOTR producer Barrie Osborne&#39;s Carleton college benefit was held at the State Theater in downtown Minneapolis. I got to see it with my lady, a week before it opens for 50 bucks a ticket. Money well spent I think. I went in trying to be as objective as possible, not wanting to expect too much only to be dissapointed. I came away feeling like I&#39;d just had my ass kicked. My friends and I retired to a local pub to wash down our awe with a few sudsy pints. WE sat there until they kicked us out, talking about how fantastic it was, even though much was missing. (i.e.: the enmity between the Elves and the Dwarves and Gimli&#39;s immediate infatuation with Galadriel) 3 days later, I am still processing the experience. This film must be seen several times, I fear, just to take in it&#39;s magnitude. Fuck the Balrog. It was certainly cool, but it was 5 or 10 minutes of coolness in 3 hours of sheer wonderment. I had tears running down my face as Boromir died in Aragorn&#39;s arms. I was in awe as the river, horses&#39; head in the foam, swept away those nasty fucking Nazgul. I can&#39;t wait to see it when it opens to the public next Wednesday. Go see it if for no other reason than to see a genuine masterpiece of modern cinema.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 12:58 a.m. CST


    by LordDark

    What kind of meds are you on? They should have you sedated by now, it&#39;s getting pretty late.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 1:30 a.m. CST

    Yay! Pud-logic rules!

    by wilko185

    I&#39;m sarcastic about Pud&#39;s racist schtick, and that makes Tolkien "even guiltier". There&#39;s no gainsaying that. And ZING! good call on Tolkien&#39;s spelling! That hit the mark! Professors of philology don&#39;t change spellings for a reason, to emphasise a word&#39;s lost cultural heritage or anything like that, no, they just can&#39;t spell. Dumb bastards. And what about that crafty racist JRR inserting italian words in his stories eh? Good job Pud&#39;s here to call him on it. ___ However, Pud does makes a serious point here about the plight of gay midgets, and I think we&#39;ve all learnt something here today about tolerance and respect. __ Thanks Pud! You&#39;re a crazy asshole, but we love you really! ____PS thanks for keeping the phrase "step-and-fetchit houseboys" in modern parlance. It was in danger of falling out of fashion. Again, we&#39;re in your debt.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 3:23 a.m. CST

    Pud the Troll

    by Kraven

    Yes, Pud&#39;s remarks do strongly indicate a pronounced tendency towards a latent homosexuality. His counterarguments with regard to my own post concerning Tolkien&#39;s obvious lack of racial bias were both puerile and illogical, so I shall ignore his feeble trolling henceforth. The clock has ticked over into Sunday - 3 more days!

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Mark Kermode is my new hero

    by wilko185

    OK, turns out Tom Paulin wasn&#39;t on The Late Review (pretentious BBC2 arts review programme) panel, though I have it on good authority he was at the FOTR premiere. Too bad, his elitist ramblings always tickle my funnybone. But Germaine Greer and Mark Kermode were on the show. A poster called Iavas_Saar typed in a transcript of the relevant section of the program at (Iavas has my undying gratitude as I no longer live in the UK but still want to know what absurdities the British "cultural establishment" gets up to). Mark Kermode is possibly the coolest film critic, and definitely the #1 Exorcist fan, in Britain (anyone remember his regular appearances on Mark Radcliffe&#39;s R1 evening show a few years ago?). Germaine Greer is ...well, I don&#39;t know what the hell she thinks she is these days. I don&#39;t think either have read the books. I found the above transcript highly amusing, possibly only because I can imagine the voices of the participants (inc. fat-boy "moderator" Mark Lawson, whose claims of being a high-school jock, and thus above geeky LOTR, are particularly absurd) ___ Sample exchange: [Iavas&#39; comments in ()] ________________ "GG: There is a lot of money there, and a lot of expertise. It IS a seductive film, that&#39;s one of the reasons why I hate it. (You mean you hate it because Peter Jackson made a good film when you really wanted him to fail?) __ ML: Mark, we&#39;ve already mentioned Harry Potter a couple of times, why suddenly are these huge childrens films just dominating? (It&#39;s not a childrens film you idiot!!) ___MK: Well there is nothing sudden about Lord of the Rings, it&#39;s been on the board for ages and ages. This is the thing that Peter Jackson has been building his entire career up to. In fact, the unfortunate coincidence of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings IS completely coincidental, because Lord of the Rings has been on the go for 4 or 5 years." ___________ _________ Anyway, Mark Kermode, whose opinion seemed generally spot-on (to me) on all sorts of films on the afore-mentioned Radio 1 show (and who hasn&#39;t read LOTR) really sticks up for LOTR, and Greer comes across as some kind of mad old witch (for a change ;-). Great stuff, wish I&#39;d seen it.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 4:24 a.m. CST

    Hey Harry...

    by SecretChimp

    your not the only one who&#39;s been to Forrest J. Ackerman&#39;s home, I also picked up that same very grenade that you picked up my friend which Carl Denham hurled at King Kong. And yes, I have also been to good ol Bob Burn&#39;s home in L.A and sat in his Time Machine where once George Pal sat his bum in it. So there you have it Harry.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 4:36 a.m. CST

    Peter Jackson writes for the New York Times

    by Kraven

    HUGE self-penned feature article by Peter Jackson on the making of LOTR. Absolutely terrific stuff! Go to

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 5:31 a.m. CST

    There is no Lord of the Rings movie. It&#39;s all a complex scam

    by Andy Travis

    The largest, most expensive scam in certainly the history of cinema, at the very least. The principal actors spent just 34 days in New Zealand. The total footage shot is seen in the various commercials and trailers. Everyone&#39;s in on it--New Line, AOL/Time Warner, Burger King, Billy Boyd, countless planted "movie critics". Everyone. When you get into the crowded theater on Wednesday remember this as the lights go down and Martin Lawrence&#39;s Black Knight starts up.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 5:38 a.m. CST

    Jonathon Ross. of Film 2001 here in the UK..... A RAVE REVIEW

    by Arnold J Rimmer

    This is a review from a prominent personality here in the UK. He is the host of Film 2001. .................................................................... THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING Dec 14 2001 ................................. (Certificate PG, 178mins) ................................. After all the recent hype surrounding Harry Potter&#39;s transition to the big screen, you might be forgiven for thinking that we&#39;ve had our share of magical movies this year. But you&#39;d be wrong because here&#39;s the one we&#39;ve really been waiting for. ................................. In case you&#39;ve had your head stuck down a Hobbit hole for the past year, The Fellowship Of The Ring is the first of a three-part, live-action, big-screen adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings - JRR Tolkien&#39;s phenomenally successful trilogy. This is a work that critics and public alike have applauded and which has become as much a part of modern life as the TV. And the good news is that the film is fantastic. .................................. Tolkien&#39;s books evoke the strange world of Middle-earth - a wondrous but dark place steeped in its own culture and mythology, and inhabited by dwarves, humans, elves, wizards, trolls, hobbits, and such like. Don&#39;t panic if it&#39;s already sounding too airy-fairy and complicated, this film makes your entry into his magical kingdom surprisingly welcoming. ................................. The action opens with humble hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) hosting a massive party in honour of his 111th birthday, at his home in the Shire. But the festivities have hardly got under way before Bilbo makes an unexpected early exit. ................................. He hopes to avoid questions about his planned retirement to elf country to finish a book he&#39;s been working on. What he does do before leaving is give away all his possessions, entrusting a magic ring to his nephew Frodo (Elijah Wood). Although they know it has special powers, neither hobbit realises quite what the ring is capable of. ................................. Luckily, Frodo&#39;s friend, the wise wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), knows that the ring can be used to wield absolute power over Middle-earth, and it must be destroyed before it falls into the hands of the evil Sauron, Dark Lord of Mordor (Sala Baker). ................................. It is up to Frodo, who is now the ring&#39;s owner, to embark on a perilous quest to Mount Doom to dispose of it - an adventure made all the more dangerous because of the dark forces that the ring attracts. Along the way, Frodo has to draw on his inner strength and act as a buffer between good and evil. .................................. Along with Gandalf and his hobbit friends Sam, Pippin and Merry, he leaves the Shire for the world outside, unprepared for the terrors and hidden dangers that lie ahead. They are joined on their journey by various humans, warriors and an elf princess Arwen (Liv Tyler) who all bond as The Fellowship. The nine friends are pitched against the might of an evil wizard, fearsome Orcs and the terrifying ringwraith riders, who are all hellbent on retrieving the ring for Sauron. ................................. This is certainly one of the best fantasy films ever made and it will probably shoot straight into everyone&#39;s list of Top 10 films. ................................. All the cast are uniformly brilliant, but special mention should go to Elijah Wood in a very difficult central role. Sean Bean as brave Fellowship warrior Boromir, who also has an inner battle raging against the temptations of the ring, does well, while Aussie star Cate Blanchett was born to play Galadriel the powerful but beautiful elf queen. .................................. Yet it&#39;s the veteran stars who really stand out - Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Christopher Lee as wizard Saruman, the arch enemy of The Fellowship who is in league with Sauron. Both bring a great depth and maturity to their respective roles and impressive weight to the cast. ............................... The film&#39;s battle scenes are to die for, involving some of the best action I&#39;ve ever seen on screen. (Like Jurassic Park, it gets a PG rating but some of the scenes might be a bit too violent for the very young, so be warned.) And the melding of special effects and live action is pure genius. ................................ At just under three hours, it is bum-numbingly long, but it&#39;s rare that I sit through a film with such a running time without wanting to stretch my legs or look at my watch. I&#39;m happy to report that neither impulse came over me while watching The Fellowship Of The Ring. ................................. Even the supporting cast, with Liv Tyler and Viggo Mortensen as the romantic interest, do fantastically well in their given roles. The whole thing looks amazing - as dark and sinister as anything your imagination could conjure up - and the attention to detail is astounding. ................................. It all shoots along at breakneck speed while never ignoring important plot points or favouring action and effects above developing fully-rounded characters. ................................ Kiwi director Peter Jackson has done wonderfully well. And let&#39;s face it, with such an ambitious undertaking he would never have been forgiven if he&#39;d got it wrong. I&#39;m looking forward immensely to the remaining films which are released in the next two Christmases, and just hope that they too manage to keep the magic alive. ................................ Now I have a confession to make. I&#39;ve never actually read either The Hobbit or The Lord Of The Rings. But although I suspect that fans of the books might get a little more from the movie than I did, the script is such a fabulous achievement that never once did I feel left out. And, more importantly, I haven&#39;t had so much fun in ages.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Jonathan Ross

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    No surprises there. He&#39;s a total and unashamed fanboy. I knew he&#39;d like it in the same way that Germaine Greer would hate it.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Namedropping, Jawdropping &#39;n Lucrative Vapidity

    by hiplingo

    Harry Knowles reviewed The Grinch from the perspective of Ron Howard&#39;s personal colonic irrigator. Harry Knowles reviewed the atrocious Blair Witch 2: Book Of Shadows from the perspective of the director&#39;s churlish little brother. How many more similar uncomortable reviews of this type can you recall on this site? Is it the hallowed &#39;Love Of Film&#39; that Harry Knowles gushes on about or a love of shoulder rubbing with people who, for better or worse, haul their behinds out of pizza encrusted beds and actually create something that is the ever increasing basis for this site? This &#39;review&#39; of Lord Of The Rings is a perfect illustration, with more time spent taking some sort of credit for Elijah Wood&#39;s casting than giving an accurate crtique of the film that may be of some benefit to the casual filmgoer and/or ardent movie enthusiast. Hanging in Peter Jackson&#39;s house and wittering on about partial lobotomies fails to do that simple task. And surely it is this simple task that most of us visit AICN to have fulfilled, not to see whose sacred annuls Harry has been allowed to infiltrate this week. This is not E! or Hello magazine, it&#39;s a place that people once trusted for unbiased opinions and well written reviews, a place that was set apart from the Hollywood back scratching and publicity wagon. Now it&#39;s about 2000 word rambles about childhood dalliances with vaguely famous people, adulthood rambles about dalliances with very famous people and a sentence at the end for you new found friends to use on their posters. Ain&#39;t It Cool?

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 8:23 a.m. CST

    More Late Show Observations

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    Just read the transcript over at the White Council of the Late Review, and I agree with the tone of the remarks made there that Mark Lawson is an arch dick. Some of them are writing in to the BBC to complain about Germaine Greer, and I wish they wouldn&#39;t. Controversy is gold dust to people like that - it just proves to her bosses that people watched the show and reacted to it, and the Late Review is basically Howard Stern with a bigger vocabulary. The summation of her arguments is that films like LOTR shouldn&#39;t be made since the general public is too stupid to tell fantasy from reality, and the rules of myth should be identical to the rules of realism. I&#39;m not entirely sure how strong Germaine Greer&#39;s handle is on telling fantasy from reality, as I don&#39;t believe she watched the film. Her comments about any of the events in the narrative are simply incorrect - did you know the Fellowship was fighting against the evil *dwarfs*? This was a surprise to me. Basically this woman lost her handle on popular culture some time in the mid-eighties and its been showing for some time. This saddens me, as she was a power back in the day, but she never could admit when she&#39;s wrong (this is still true, I know people who know people that handle her publicity, and she made several comments in "The Whole Woman" about people suffering from a sex chromosome disorder that were just incorrect and hurtful, and that wasn&#39;t handled well at all.) Mark Kermode&#39;s remarks about it being better than Star Wars did make me very excited though, and Natasha Waters seemed to love it. Dammit, will the 19th *never* come? I keep thinking that all of the reels of the film will spontaneously combust just before I get to the cinema.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Am I last?

    by BilboFett

    I am at work this morning. Waiting. I have 3 more days until bliss. Is anyone out there? Do I have to endure this alone? Please talk to me!!!

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 9:52 a.m. CST

    I&#39;m out here...

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    Or out there. Whatever.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 10:03 a.m. CST

    I was starting to feel like the Homega man...

    by BilboFett

    It is a good feeling to know that there are other people out there that are as excited about this film and this story as I am. I finished reading LOTR two weeks ago. I had not read it since I was 9 (I am 26 now). It carries a different weight now.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 10:11 a.m. CST

    To the naysayers

    by Lugnuttz

    To the naysayers... I suspect most of you were not around in 1977. If you had been, you would understand the fervor surrounding Lotr. I saw Star Wars in &#39;77 when I was 11 years old. I walked out of the theater with a feeling no other movie has yet to achieve. Star Wars connected with people in a way no other movie had. It was an assualt on peoples conventional movie experiences and senses. As an Lotr junkie, from what I have seen in the previews and TV specials, I expect this movie to approach if not exceed the movie experience that Star Wars was. I have my ticket in hand and will be at the Hoyts Cinema in Concord,NH on 12/19 at 6:30 pm. I cannot wait. Harry, a friend turned me on to this site just last week and I am soooooo glad that he did. Thanks for the review and keep up the good work.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Hats off to anyone who read the entire review..

    by Thumper2k1

    That was the longest piece of shit I&#39;ve ever seen in my life. Get an editor dude.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Pud - Eh??

    by Seth_Isurus

    Are you serious? No really, are you? How is J.R.R Tolkien racist?I can only assume you&#39;re taking the piss in the hope of making a bunch of fan boys wail nerdishly. And if that&#39;s the case, I&#39;ll be glad to gratify you... Firstly, Tolkien&#39;s novels draw from Norse Mythology more than any Wagnarian work, and the man served in wars precisely to defend the world from fascism and tyrannical bigotry. Secondly, his novels are supposedly set in a pre-Medieval Britain, so of course all the principle characters are British. Every film in the world doesn&#39;t need a wisecracking African American to be &#39;politically correct&#39; you know. And as for Uruk-hai being Asians - well, its slightly possible he may have sketched that stereotype when describing their physical characteristics, but give the guy a break! He was writing this stuff during World War 2 in a time when everyone was extremely angry at the Japanese and the notion of racism was barely understood. Its easy to be a critic in hindsight, but no doubt you would&#39;ve been the first to haul American Japanese citizens into detention centers after the Pearl Harbour bombing. (Unless you&#39;re Japanese of course). Anyway, this stuff has clearly been omitted from the movie version, as all the Orcs look like vampire rejects out of the flick &#39;From Dusk Till Dawn&#39;. Finally, Tolkien spelled &#39;dwarfs&#39; &#39;dwarves&#39; precisely to avoid association with the real life &#39;little people&#39; of the world. He makes note of this in the preface to the Hobbit and everything. But anyway, just to make you lot feel better for having to wait so long, I live in Australia, and we&#39;re not getting this film until after Christmas. Lucky sods.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 11:48 a.m. CST


    by Daegor

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 12:01 p.m. CST


    by Daegor

    Hey Pud brings up a good point, I mean LOTR is a fictional story why didn&#39;t PJ make it more acceptable to a 21st century audience by casting with ethnic diversity. Thats why I always said that Boys in the Hood should have starred Tom Cruise and Emilio Estevez. I mean why let accuracy get in the way of Political Correctness. I was incensed when Paul Newman wasn&#39;t cast as Malcom X. To insenuate that Tolkien was a racist is ridiculous. The letters he wrote denouncing Nazi Facism, the fact that the man himself fought in WW1 to stop german aggression and his son fought in WW2 to fight nazi idealism should say something about him. To attack his character based on your own overly sensitive perceptions is extremely unfair considering he can not defend himself. Calling his use of dwarves a type of bias is another bad point, the fact that dwarves appear in Norse mythology from which he drew much of his inspiration proves that. Furthermore in the books when Sam first sees a black man he doesnt see him as a beast or lesser race, he sees him as a man and feels sorry for a nation that is dragged into a war that has nothing to do with them. Ghan-buri-Ghan is of a non white ethnic group and is counted among the allies of the men of Gondor in RotK. He even takes a moment in the books to point out the treachery of the Gondorians in the past. In fact his complaints are reminiscent of the American Indian&#39;s plight. If Tolkien were a racist I doubt either of these things would have been included. By the way, Tolkien lifted the word "Orc" From Dunsany so try to get your info right. As far as Orcs being described as Asian, you are a little off there. He describes the man in bree as an asian and he may be part orc, but that is because of Saruman&#39;s cross breeding, and the description lends itself more to an inhabbitant of the Eastern Steppes and not a true Asian. I think we can all recall that the Steppes tribes were a feared people throughout early history, and that is why the description is used.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Tolkien&#39;s bad spelling (for anyone who&#39;s interested)

    by wilko185

    [Paraphrasing Tom Shippey here] In 1954 Tolkien was "infuriated" to find the printers of LOTR had changed the spelling of dwarves, elven to "normal" dwarfs, elfin. He made them change it all back. The point is, in Old English many words ending in "f" are changed to "v" forms in the plural (leaves, hooves). Tolkien knew that dwarf "should" pluralize to dwarves, but the word had fallen out of the general lexicon for too long, and is now treated like a modern word (rebuffs, proofs, and other words Pud should take note of). That obviously wouldn&#39;t have happened in Middle Earth. Also, as Seth pointed out, "dwarves" avoids any association with contemporary "little people" (except in Pud&#39;s twisted fantasies).

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 12:14 p.m. CST

    pud&#39;s chioce of name should be an indication

    by BilboFett

    of what sort of mind we are dealing with. I know people like him. They will do their very best to try and stir the pot by making quasi-educated claims. To say that he seems educated, though, may be stretching it a bit. At any rate, I feel that this film will exceed the expectations of many. I hope that my showing is seen with an appreciative crowd and that someone is handing out clean undies. I have a feeling about this. Pud, I love you like only another man can...with a mighty thrust.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Pud has a beer and cheets on Malexandria

    by BilboFett

    Which saddens me. I had grown quite fond of him in the way that men often do. Ah, to be in his sweet embrace now. To feel the roughness of his scruffy face as it touched my neck. Pud, will you reconsider your heterosexaulity? Please? We miss you at the tea party. You and your ass-less chaps. There will always be a place for you. Right next to a copy of Spike Lee&#39;s "Gang of the Muthafuckin Ring and Shit".

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 1:29 p.m. CST

    OK, I&#39;m curious now

    by wilko185

    (from a philological standpoint, not from any desire to delve into a troll&#39;s psyche). What is Pud&#39;s choice of name supposed to indicate? Obviously some slang I&#39;m not familiar with. Or is it an acronym (I&#39;ve heard it used for Pickup and Delivery)? "Pud" is an alternative for "pood", derived from the latin via Old Norse, which as we all know is a Russian unit of weight equivalent to about 16.4 kilograms (36.1 pounds) avoirdupois. Could that be significant?

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 1:32 p.m. CST


    by Daegor

    I have never personally played any role playing game, but I guess you are allowed to generalize people any way you want by your own biases. Tell me did your mother have any children that lived? Using an Italian word that means monster equates to calling all Italians monsters? I guess you can call that logic if you want but stick to your day job... I promise I won&#39;t come in and rock the slurpee machine while you&#39;re working. The Malcom X thing is what we call sarcasm son... try and use your head. Nice boy I say nice boy but he&#39;s about as sharp as a bag of wet mice

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 1:53 p.m. CST

    T h e S e c o n d A g e O f R a u c u s

    by ism

    The first age began with the Wizard of Oz and ended with Return of the Jedi. The second age begins this Wednesday. Does everyone have their tickets?

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 1:59 p.m. CST

    I have them. 7pm. Better than Christmas.

    by BilboFett

    If you want them, come and claim them.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 2:13 p.m. CST

    17th baby!

    by LordDark

    One more day for me. Show opens at 7pm! Ah yeah!

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 2:27 p.m. CST


    by jnark32

    now understand that i AM an avid Star Wars fan as well as a LOTR fan, but all i have to say is Lucas better pull through in AOTC if he wants to keep my loyalty...i dont want any more phantom menace crap or i may have to drive a minivan painted like darth maul&#39;s head off a 20-story building in i&#39;m weird

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 2:28 p.m. CST

    How&#39;s that working out for you?

    by I_AmJack'sUserID

    Being Clever? "That&#39;s like replacing one of your friends on speed dial." Very clever Harry. I am excited about this movie as well, but I am getting sick of your reviews. You cannot seem to review a movie without comparing it to your favorite movies, so don&#39;t pretend you can avoid it.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 2:44 p.m. CST

    This is Boromir. Boromir has bitch tits.

    by BilboFett

    Okay. So I jumped over and read Harry&#39;s review of "Ocean&#39;s 11" and have already seen the first causualty of LOTR. Like Moriarty said, this film will ruin all other movies for you. It has already ruined TPM for me and I haven&#39;t even seen it yet. Granted, TPM was already falling on its own sword, but now it is just dead to me. 3 more days until all is set right in the world.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 2:54 p.m. CST

    I concur

    by Kraven

    Nothing out atm that makes me want to see it. I surf the net for LOTR reviews, features, etc, counting the seconds till the 19th (my wife and I have tickets for 12 noon and 4pm showings in NYC). Giddy yap time!

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 3:03 p.m. CST


    by RulingRing

    "First of all, Malcolm X was A REAL PERSON!" Pud once again steps up on the soap box and demonstrates the extent of his third grade education. Malcolm X never existed! Hence the X in place of a last name. Apparently the author of the novel featuring the Malcolm X character felt he should represent the everyman and thus gave him the "X" moniker. On the other hand, it turns out my good friend Pud, that LOTR is actually the true history of Northern Europe circa 5,000 B.C. If you had done your reading with more attention to detail you&#39;d have noted that Tolkien was merely deciphering an older text by the title "The Red Book of Westmarch". Tolkien was a philologist and was given to concrete matters. The old prof lacked the imagination to write a tale such as LOTR. In fact, I doubt there has ever been a literary genius capable of such a monumental feat as "creating" the LOTR saga. The detail is simply too abundant to credit to any one human being.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Orcus pocus

    by wilko185

    Orcus is another Roman name for Pluto, god of the Underworld. From this we get modern "ogre" and presumably Pud&#39;s Italian word. However, Tolkien&#39;s "orcs" are probably derived from the Old English words [don&#39;t have the proper font for these] "orcneas" ("demon-corpses") and "orcpyrs" ("orc-giant"). I don&#39;t think Tolkien would just lift a term like "orc" from a contemporary like Dunsany. If Dunsany did use the word orc, they were likely to have arrived at it independently. Anyway, Tolkien certainly knew of orcneas from Beowulf. ______ ____ Re stereotypical Italian orcs, I think Pud may be on to something. "Wassa matta Gorbag? Shelob been sendin youse Morgul guys to sleep with the fishes?" "Don&#39;t disrespect me Shagrat. Disrespect me, and you disrespect the Nazgul." "Hey, hey, scuzi. Come on, let&#39;s siddown over some spaghetti and figger out what we&#39;re gonna do with this informa we justa caught." "Put his head ina vice, he&#39;ll squeal. Badaboom badabing."

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 3:43 p.m. CST

    M a l c o m X

    by ism

    RulingRing, I hope you were joking about not thinking Malcom X was real. He most certainly was real! I only hope that you don&#39;t know this because you are not American, otherwise I am frightened by your arrogant ignorance.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 3:44 p.m. CST


    by Daegor

    Dunsany did in fact use the word orc as we know it before Tolkien. I suppose I overstated it by saying that Tolkien lifted the term. However, even if they used the original Latin term as inspiration it means nothing since a good part of the English language has Latin roots. Of course English is a Germanic based language with only romantic overtones, but the case is still the same. I tend to agree that the word is actually rooted in the northern european languages as both Dunsany and Tolkien were most familiar with those language groups.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Ok pud, you&#39;re obviously not a complete idiot, but...

    by Methestel

    As one of my philosophy professors used to say, you can&#39;t simply defend an idea by restating it ad nauseum, you have to prove it; hopefully using some form of evidence, which, to date, you have been clearly incapable of presenting in any kind of coherent or even semi-plausible fashion. You&#39;ve never even referred to the book. What did you do, read some dumb article and remember only the central argument without ever checking for yourself to see if it was tenable? If you did, then for Heaven&#39;s sakes don&#39;t read Mein Kampf, you&#39;ll turn into a Nazi. I bet you think Friedrich Neitzche was an anti-semnite as well. If it had been a sword instead of a ring would Tolkien have been "ripping off" Arthurian Legend? He didn&#39;t want it to be something like a sword, but something ostensibly harmless... "such a little thing". In the end, everybody who ever wrote anything in the Western world could be accused of ripping off either Homer or Virgil. Maybe there are some common themes in human life that we are all interested in and tend to recur in our literature? Ever thought of that? I guess he could have called it the Lord of the Scrunchies, that would have been pretty original... Maybe it could have been a magic pauldron of some kind, or a shield... it the end it doesn&#39;t matter what it is but what it represents that matters. Talking about what it is is missing the point. Next, you clearly haven&#39;t read the books, or if you have, you should read them again (I mean actually read them this time). There is nothing in there that is even vaguely racist or anti-semetic. There aren&#39;t any Jews in the story, and allegory doesn&#39;t work too well if the author tells you a thousand times whenever the issue is raised that he hates allegory and that the story has nothing to with any but the most basic human concerns (the fall, temptation, tragic choice, agon, etc.). This is pre-social myth. There are no gay dwarfs in the books (I mean, honestly, what the fuck?). There are no dwarfs in the book at all, there are dwarves. There is a difference, even if there weren&#39;t, the dwarves are good, there something wrong with being good? There aren&#39;t any gays at all, did there have to be? Sam loves Frodo. Do you love your father? Does that mean you want to shag him? Sam marries his sweetheart at the end of the books and has something like 15 kids. Even if he were gay, does that matter in some way? He&#39;s one of the most important and heroic characters in the books and if he weren&#39;t there, Frodo would have gotten offed way before. Is the absence of gays in Tolkien offensive to you? Why? Don&#39;t know why you think Hobbits represent blacks, or why Orcs represent Italians (again, what the fuck?). Your assertion that Italians are always portrayed in a similar light to Orcs tells me that you must no have watched many movies or read many books. There are dark-skinned people in the book, but in no way does Tolkien ever even begin to hint that being evil has anything to do with their skin colour. In fact, he is clear in saying that they aren&#39;t evil, they have merely been decieved (like many other men in the book), by sweet-tongued Sauron (he&#39;s the bad guy) and been convinced to fight against their own best interests. For Tolkien, men are men (regardless of skin colour) and in general are the most susceptible to evil influences, elves are elves and far less susceptible, dwarves are dwarves and pretty much impervious, and orcs are horribly twisted beings created by Morgoth (Sauron&#39;s predecessor) from elves. Now, the reason why the characters in Tolkien&#39;s books are mostly white is because Tolkien&#39;s books were written for England by an English person as a pre-social myth (there aren&#39;t many minorities in Arthurian legend, or in Homeric legend, or Norse Mythology, or in any other socieity&#39;s underlying mythology... it&#39;s just the way it is). White people aren&#39;t inherently good in Tolkien, and these northern men are only somewhat less likely to be turned to evil because they are further from Sauron&#39;s influence and closer to the positive influence of the Elder race (elves - who are light skinned, yes, if they were candy-striped would you be happy?) By the way, a lot of my friends are jewish, and so am I. We all loved the books, we&#39;ve all heard your dumb argument before, and since we know the books, we know it&#39;s unfounded. I suggest you get to know them a little better yourself and try to exercise some critical thinking.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Tolkien chose his words very carefully

    by wilko185

    He would be aware of the resonance that orc has with "orgre" in the public mind (he probably assumed people would be familiar with Orcus too). He also may have known of Dunsany&#39;s coinage of the term, and all of this would give "orc" a feeling of a genuine word, but without the many fairy-tale connotations of "goblin" (the term which orc replaced in Middle Earth). And most importantly (for him) JRR had an "authentic" Old English precursor for orc. A rationale can be made for ents, wargs, dwarVes etc

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Well stated Methestel

    by wilko185

    I think this "discussion" may be beneath you though. Pud&#39;s position is immovable. He just turns up from time to time, repeats the same crap and then leaves when his "arguments" become too absurd for even him to take seriously (he&#39;s my definition of a troll btw). Actually, I *still* don&#39;t know if he&#39;s trying to be funny, annoying or serious, which I guess is some kind of achievement. But he&#39;s a troll in any case.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 4:23 p.m. CST

    arrogant ignorance

    by RulingRing

    interesting choice of words

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Ah Wilko, you miss my point...

    by Methestel

    I&#39;m not trying to convince our shamefully misinformed troll of anything really, I am just afraid someone might go through this page and actually put some faith in what he&#39;s saying in the absence of a few tenable counter-arguments. Calling him an idiot doesn&#39;t disprove him, which is what we&#39;ve been trying to do. Btw, that bit on the English origin of "orc" is brilliant - so that&#39;s where it came from! We know he was an English philologist - I never heard he spoke italian though - Ockham&#39;s Razor, my friend. (if you know what I mean... how can you say someone got an idea from somewhere just because it exists - you have to prove he/she was actually exposed to it).

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 4:47 p.m. CST


    by wilko185

    I *hope* no one would take Pud seriously. Did they? I suppose I was too lazy to really attack his more outrageous racism arguments (I think I had a go once before, though. Someone else&#39;s turn ;-). ______ Re Tolkien&#39;s language skills, they&#39;re frightening (on N. European tongues anyway. I think he knew Spanish too?) I was reading on another board a German reader asking why LOTR translates elves as Elben, instead of the normal German word for elves (which I&#39;ve forgotten). Turns out JRR wrote a translators&#39; "manual", which recommended eg using the old High Germanic forms of words like elf to give the words the correct Tolkienian flavour in that language. BTW I got the orc origin from Tom Shippey&#39;s Road to M-E, which is excellent for this kind of "background research".

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 5:14 p.m. CST

    peter jackson

    by earwax

    whats with all this crap about peter jackson can teach george lucas a thing or two about making a great fim.So george didnt exactly nail it with episode one it still had its moments and btw return of the jedi is still a pretty entertaining film muppets and all.Im sure peter jackson will have a medicore film somewhere down the road.Even genius like francis ford coppla have had a few misfires.All im saying is george still has two films to go and im sure he will give us a good star wars film so give him a chance hu.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Ebert vindicates Dufusyte

    by DufusyteII

    Ebert: "If the books are about brave little creatures who enlist powerful men and wizards to help them in a dangerous crusade, the movie is about powerful men and wizards who embark on a dangerous crusade and take along the hobbits." I have been saying all along that the film is about "the Great of This World," while the book is about "the Little Ones of the Shire." Tolkien&#39;s focus on the weak and downtrodden, the simple, the common, the domestic, has all been lost as this film focuses on the Powerful, the Mighty, and even the newly concocted Warrior Princess. The heros of the book are the little people, the flag sewers, but the heros of the film are the sword wielders, the horse riders. It is a shift in focus, a shift in spirit, and a shift in the essence that was Tolkien&#39;s view to the more routine focus of the film. In short, the film misses the mark of Tolkien&#39;s charm, and turns into a typical ode to the Mighty. The lack of a Scouring of the Shire is a classic example of this. For Tolkien, the the quest is all about saving the Shire, whereas for the film the Shire is an inconsequential backwater, and the film is happy to hurry the narrative away from the Shire and never return there. I agree with Ebert that the film has mega-oscar potential, and that is an exceedingly well made Sword and Sorcery flick, and I agree most of all that the film has lost the essential focus that is Tolkien. By losing that focus, it also loses the universal appeal that Tolkien has for the common, the little people of the world, the domestic lasses etc.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 6:27 p.m. CST


    by The_Fiend

    I guess I am confused as to the whole "the hobbits are lost in the shuffle in the Fellowship of the Ring" because well, at least in my version, the hobbits ARE lost in the shuffle. When all the big folk are making plans, it&#39;s almost like, "oops, what did you want to do Frodo?" Perhaps in your version of the Fellowship, it was Sam that drove off the Nazgul at Amon Sul, Frodo gave the Balrog a good one for at the Bridge, and Pippen and Merry saved Boromir at Amon Hen. I guess my version had the Great and the Powerful (christ, since when did being Great become a negative thing) saving the hobbits&#39; collective asses on numerous occasions. Did the hobbits even kill one bad guy in Fellowship? I wish I had my copy with me, but I don&#39;t think they do. However, in the Two Towers, Frodo and Sam start to show thei mettle, and finally in Return of the King, Merry and Pippin show their steel as well. And that&#39;s the whole goddamn point. The pansy hobbits of the Fellowship leave the Shire and return having found their inner courage in Return of the King. That&#39;s why my second favorite scene in the books (second to Eowyn telling the Witchking to piss off) is when Pippin nearly sets his troll-bane to the ruffian who calls Frodo a cock-a-whoop. I know that the Lord of the Rings isn&#39;t a true trilogy and needs to be viewed as one complete story, but come on, people should at least be able to figure out what parts are which in each book. Wait for TTT and ROTK, then we&#39;ll get to see the hobbits kick a little evil ass...

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Did the Hobbits kill one bad guy in the Fellowhip?

    by Methestel

    Yes, as far as I can remember, Sam manages to off one Orc in Moria, earning a small scratch on the head (in Balin&#39;s tomb), to which Aragorn responds something like: you&#39;re lucky, many have paid far more for slaying their first orc... Good point though, I agree, it&#39;s really not all about the Hobbits at all, nor is it just about saving the Shire, it&#39;s that they have something in their nature that allows them to resist what is so tempting to the Greats, which makes them indispensable when it comes to ridding the world of the One Ring...

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Ebert&#39;s review is online btw

    by wilko185 ____ The version which I had read before, pasted into TB, omitted the final lines: "And the movie depends on action scenes much more than Tolkien did. In a statement last week, Tolkien&#39;s son Christopher, said his father&#39;s work doesn&#39;t translate to film. Jackson, instead of transforming it, has transmuted it into a sword-and-sorcery epic with many of the same characters and incidents." ___ This final remark changes the tone of Ebert&#39;s review for me. I&#39;m not sure what the difference between "transform" and "transmute" is supposed to be, but it seems he&#39;s NOT really saying "it&#39;s *my* problem the focus isn&#39;t on the hobbits, the film may match *your* vision of Middle Earth". Rather, he&#39;s saying PJ&#39;s adaptation is poorly done. I think the earlier spin we put on Ebert&#39;s words would be a fairer viewpoint. ___ Same applies to Dufusyte. You may think the "essence" of LOTR is the story of the down-trodden hobbits, but many other people disagree. They will probably have a better time with the film than you, Dufusyte, I&#39;m afraid. If they enjoy the heroism and epic grandeur, that doesn&#39;t make them less receptive to the book&#39;s prime meaning or theme. It just means they realise there are many other aspects of the story to appreciate besides your personal favorite theme.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Ass-Kicking Hobbits in FOTR

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    Well, off the top of my head, I don&#39;t remember Frodo killing anybody, but he does manage to inflict some injuries. He cuts the barrow-wight&#39;s hand off, rips the Nazgul&#39;s cloak with his sword, and stabs a troll in the foot. Sam does actually manage to kill an orc, as well as having a bash at the Watcher in the Water. I don&#39;t think Merry and Pippin achieve very much in the sword-wielding stakes (indeed, throwing themselves down on the ground when the Nazgul attack at Weathertop), but since they get their chance later, they cannot be begrudged. I could be wrong.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Pippin shoves someone down a well...

    by wilko185, wait, that doesn&#39;t sound right...

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 7:37 p.m. CST


    by AliceInWonderlnd

    Hmmm... got Matrix issues? ;)

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 7:43 p.m. CST


    by Silvio Dante

    I knew he wasn&#39;t too exited, but I still expected him to give it at least 4 stars. His review seems to suggest that Peter Jackson&#39;s LOTR is somehow medicore and way different from Tolkien&#39;s vision. Well, only in one thing: another is a film and another&#39;s a book. Using Christopher Tolkien&#39;s comments as a stepping stone Ebert raises himself above this film and sneers at the phenomenon...only few weeks after embracing the bespectacled boy wizard and offering him as the saviour of the film craft and trade. Some talkbackers have blamed Harry of name-dropping and too-all encompassing attitude towards film. At least Harry is consistent most of the time. Ebert proves that no critic is above rising to the occasion when there&#39;s chance to be heard: how to stand out from the crowd - go across the grain. He read all the praise, now wabted to shine. And I generally tend to like Ebert - it just that when it comes to event flicks and such, he always goes haywire. Shit, what a long rant - better stop. P.S. this film is many things to many people, but it&#39;s not medicore.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Another positive review 4 of 5

    by spunaround

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 7:50 p.m. CST

    HARRY!!! Go to

    by FrodoLives

    Harry....I&#39;ve pretty much finished off the coding and a fair bit of the testing for a new (and MUCH) improved message board system for you. I&#39;ve sent you an email telling you about it. I&#39;ve posted notes on this TB about it. I&#39;ve gotten a fair number of people from this site logging in and checking it out (and giving me much appreciated feedback). But still no Harry. Not a word. What gives? If you&#39;re not interested in improving (or even FIXING) your TB, that&#39;s fine. Just let me know and I&#39;ll stop pestering you and give the message board to someone else. But at least give me the courtesy of a response. Cripes, I&#39;d even host the danged thing for you if that&#39;s what you&#39;re worried about. Anything to get rid of this crap that we&#39;re using now....

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 7:56 p.m. CST

    I can&#39;t wait...

    by ewem

    Less than 72 hours and counting... all I have to say yet again is...even Joe Hallenbeck loved LOTR! This is going to be amazing!

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 7:58 p.m. CST


    by Daegor

    The argument eventually turned to the origin of the word yes, but it started as something more than that. Go back and read all the posts so you can see teh origins of the discourse. By the way German is not rooted in Latin and neither is English really. English is in the Germanic language group with romatic overtones. The romance languages (spanish, french etc) are rooted in latin.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 8:04 p.m. CST


    by Silvio Dante

    One more thing, the story in this film is told mostly from Hobbit&#39;s point of view, so the main claim Ebert makes just isn&#39;t valid. And really, what is Christopher Tolkien&#39;s problem? Not enough cash from the film rights?

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Does anyone remember Ebert&#39;s review of Star Wars waaaaay bac

    by Butch_McTavish

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 8:25 p.m. CST

    Ebert and Christopher Tolkien

    by AliceInWonderlnd

    Christopher Tolkien doesn&#39;t, according to something I read, have a problem with Jackson&#39;s film - as far as I know, he&#39;s not seen it. He just believes, like his gaffer did, that its essentially unfilmable. And this would also appear to be Ebert&#39;s opinion, as "The Lord of the Rings" he talks about is also unfilmable. I&#39;m not saying that what they say is untrue - at the end of the day, this is not an art house picture we are talking about. It&#39;s a blockbuster, an event movie, and people want drama and spectacle, which happily is *also* compatible with Tolkien. And frankly, if people think the new film is rushed and lacking in the essential spirit of Tolkien, whatever they perceive that to be (and I wouldn&#39;t argue with them, as different people clearly take different things away from the books) then I suggest they re-watch the Bakshi version, which has the hobbits in Bree in indecent haste and about a good third of which involves around static frames of warriors and orcs preparing to kick one another&#39;s arses. And regarding the question of whether the hobbits would get anywhere without the big folks, the answer has to be a resounding *no*. They wouldn&#39;t have got past Bree. But Wilko is right, that last line of Ebert&#39;s does slant the whole article. "It should be up for Oscars, it&#39;s beautiful to look at, but Christopher Tolkien says it doesn&#39;t work." This is dishonest, as Christopher Tolkien has been careful to say nothing of the sort. What CT means is, "It isn&#39;t likely to." I do wonder whether this critic dusts off all the old books he hasn&#39;t read since the 70s every time he watches an *adaptation*. I think he&#39;s probably a bit more of an ex-hippie than he lets on...

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 8:33 p.m. CST

    My ass is spaeking to me...

    by BilboFett

    It says that one of its race, the race of ass, is named Roger Ebert. He says to beware of him. He says that often this Roger speaks out of his mouth, which coming from a race of ass, is not very complimentary. My ass is usually pretty good to me, getting rid of all that gas and not giving me too much trouble even when I eat all that cheese, so I tend to regard what he says pretty seriously. Plus, he said that he saw LOTR on Monday. He loved it.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 8:44 p.m. CST

    What Christopher Tolkien actually said

    by wilko185

    "My own position is that The Lord of the Rings is peculiarly unsuitable to transformation into visual dramatic form. The suggestions that have been made that I disapprove of the films to the extent of thinking ill of those with whom I may differ, are wholly without foundation." ___ This implies he has had "differences" with the film-makers (PJ? New Line? Whoever, he&#39;s not plotting to kill them), but he may be tired of being quoted in attacks on the film, like Ebert virtually does. ____ I have to respect CT&#39;s opinion on this, though I disagree with him and agree with Alice&#39;s points above. ______ BTW I doubt money is an issue. According to the Guardian: "Far from the

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Who you callin&#39; a cracker?

    by toastbitch

    Harry can say whatever he wants. You don&#39;t like it? Leave.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 9 p.m. CST

    Tolkien and movies

    by BilboFett

    Somehow I doubt that he had a movie in mind when the book was written. At the time, people didn&#39;t write novels with idea of making bank off of film rights. Then came Michael Crichton (sp?) came along and changed the whole dynamic. It wasn&#39;t just him but you get my point. I also doubt that Cooper had a film in mind when he wrote "The Last of the Mohicans" but I&#39;ll be damned if it wasn&#39;t adapted into a fine film. I respect CT&#39;s opinion, but sometimes you have to just embrace things. I don&#39;t want to say that money cures all ills, but I would say that the book sales will go up a shade, thus padding their coffers in a small way. This is a celebration of a story that was written for all to enjoy. Now the story has a chance to get to more people and that is a direct result of the film.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 9:08 p.m. CST

    HA-4, I don&#39;t have a problem with political correctness

    by wilko185

    (Well, I do in a way, but that&#39;s nothing to do with this discussion). Pud was seeing racism and homophobia in LOTR when it just isn&#39;t there. Someone replied to him, saying a film doesn&#39;t need a token African American to be PC. Pud later asked what "politically correct" means. I think that&#39;s the extent of the "PC" discussion we&#39;ve had. ___ I (and others) went into the whole etymology thing because, well, I&#39;m just interested in that sort of stuff. How Tolkien used the language(s) is a big part of appreciating LOTR for me. (It started off when Pud said "orc" is Italian, and therefore racist, which is just a bewildering example of "Pud-logic". No one was taking that seriously).

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 9:18 p.m. CST


    by Daegor

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 9:22 p.m. CST


    by Daegor

    Sorry bout the bad post. Ok yes you can link almost all european languages at some point in history , but for our purposes I was talking about recognized language groups as they exist today. I was a comparative religions/mythology major not english so my etymology background is not as extensive as some. My main problem is not with PC, but rather with finding dragons in windmills such as calling LOtR racist when you can find bold faced racism elsewhere. I was arguing with Pud based on this idea. I have heard the Tolkien was a racist thing before, and it always hits me in such a strange way. I think that too often people look to be offended and make something of nothing. That is my only point.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 9:26 p.m. CST

    I am an idiot.

    by BilboFett


  • Dec. 16, 2001, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Would Tolkien want the movie made?

    by wilko185

    Well, he did sell the film rights. And he consulted on an abortive early script treatment (which would probably have turned out worse than the Bakshi version). While he clearly was exasperated with the film-making process, and was worried LOTR was getting shabby treatment, he didn&#39;t shun all contact with the film-makers, or go on record as saying the movie was "raping the text" or should be boycotted by LOTR fans if it ever got made. ___ BTW Have you guys seen this interview?: Not quite funny enough to be tasteful, if you ask me....

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Usama Bin Laden. The Real Schmiel

    by braaap

    I am an Arab lanaguage student and I have posted my own translation of the Osama bin Laden video.It expoese bin Butthead as the hypocrite he truly is... TRANSCRIPT ( inaudible/ Bin Laden and associates enter) SHEYK: Praise be to allah! Dude ! do you have the infidel X Box? Usama bin Laden: God willing we shall soon be virtually snowboarding in the lands of the infidel as we smoke chillum after chillum of hashish. Did you bring the music and young boys? SHEYK : (inaudible) Jay Z , Missy Elliot , and this ...(holds up copy of pink Floyd&#39;s Dark Side of The Moon) But let us wait for gaming, shall we sample the 2 9 year old boys I have brought for our pleasure? Ayman al Zawari: (off camera ) Sheyk , let us game now. Osama&#39;s young sons are enjoying the boys now... UBL: 9 year olds what a nice present . Sheyk: Yes . I like boys no older than 10 , it is so hard to get young boys in my country, so we bought these here in (inaudible) but in a pinch a 9 yr old girl will do. ( UBL and associates laugh) Al Zawari: I shell send the serving girl to fry some s--t for us, we have saved all droppings of the animals in preparation for your visit and shall eat many pounds of delicious animal droppings. ( Note Al Zawari refers to the traditional Afgahn dish of S&#39;htfri , which are deep fried dumplings made from livestock feces.All afghans love their national dish) Sheyk; Young boys and animal droppings! Allah be praised! Al Zawari : Lets par- tay!(farts loudly) (UBL and associates laughing) UBL: Brothers. tonight there shall be another attack. Sheyk : Where? UBL : Here and now ! ( farts loudly) ( UBL and associates laugh) al Zawari: (covering face) Thats a bioterrorist attack , dude.Lets set up the X box. Sheyk: I only have one controller so we cannot play Madden. wecould take turns playing Tony Hawk.. I am so close to unlocking spider -man. UBL : I had a vision. I was asleep in Tora bora and I saw the American Uncle Sam. He was giving me the american salute ( middle finger) from the sky above. suddenly , I heard a loud ,"BRAAAAP!" I saw a great pair of buttocks crash through the ceiling and fill it full of foul smelling gas. Then I awoke from this nightmare gasping for breath.. What does this mean. SHEYK : many holy men have had the same vision ,it must mean Allah is with us. Al Zawari : One American whose buttocks I long for is the American actor macaulay Culkin, although he must be grown now. UBL .: No matter . i often shamefully find myself watching reruns of the infidel TV show ," I love Lucy" and lusting after the boy "little Ricky" I would trade 500 kilos of poppies for (inaudible) SHEYK: I had the best Reuben sandwich in jalalabad , real NY deli style cornbeef.That wil make you flatulent.But it really cleans out your pipes. UBL : (inaudible) (farts loudly) ( laughter) END TRANSCRIPT sickening . Why did the Gov&#39;t lie to us? get your war news here at the D message board , not from those sluts and retards on TV. its the real schmiel

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 9:59 p.m. CST

    I love you guys.

    by BilboFett

    This talkback has been my lifeline for the past week. I have laughed my ass off, gotten angry and been informed. Maybe it isn&#39;t love, but this has been fun.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Bjarki the talkback system here sucks, doesn&#39;t it

    by wilko185

    Now if Harry had adopted the free system waiting for him at maybe it would have worked better..... Still, interesting stuff. Didn&#39;t realise even names from the Hobbit like Oakenshield and Arkenstone are "authentic". Thanks Bjarki.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Pud, I saw you put your finger in the peanut butter jar!

    by Declan_Swartz

    The Hobbits are supposed to be black? That is so silly... Everyone knows they represent the Irish!

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Shippey contra Ebert

    by pseudoplotinus

    Based on what I&#39;ve read about the movie my guess is that Ebert was probably put off by the emphasis on the action scenes in LOTR (which therefore necessarily placed the &#39;Powerful&#39; more in the foreground of the story). I agree with Alice that turning LOTR into a Dickensian style period piece centering on the pluckiness of the Hobbit&#39;s probably is not a viable option cinematically. But I think Ebert is simplifying LOTR terribly by insisting that it&#39;s about the quiet heroism of little folks. Tom Shippey offers a more apt summary when he suggests that the Hobbits in LOTR represent a people most closely resembling our own time (or perhaps Edwardian England specifically) whose relative comfort and security in the Shire has made them increasingly indolent and passive. The entire thread of LOTR, echoing The Hobbit, is about how the Hobbits come into their own as they are faced by circumstances greater than themselves and are forced to rise to meet the demands of crisis, in the case of Merry and Pippen by becoming a participant in the heroic societies of men. In the case of Frodo and Sam by undergoing a much more internalized journey requiring them to find the fortitude to make it to Mt. Doom. But in both these cases the emergence of the Hobbits as heroic figures doesn&#39;t take place until the last two thirds of the novel. In all of FOTR the Hobbit&#39;s are either running away from something, getting bailed out or defended by more powerful allies. Ebert seems to have been dissapointed by the fact that Jackson&#39;s first installment does not embody all the themes that JRRT required the whole three parts of the novel to develope. Either Ebert has forgotten FOTR and can&#39;t distinguish it&#39;s place from the whole, or he really doesn&#39;t have a very good grasp of the the general story. I look forward to seeing how Jackson navigates these themes in the next two films, but I don&#39;t expect to see them fulfilled in this first installment.

  • Dec. 16, 2001, 11:44 p.m. CST

    New Talkback Boards

    by RulingRing

    Hey Harry, don&#39;t know if care about or even read the comments on these TBs but a fellow by the name of Frodo has been trying to get your attention for awhile now. He&#39;s devised a new and improved messaging board and he&#39;s put some real effort into it. If you haven&#39;t read about it before, he&#39;s offering it entirely free, no strings attached. He&#39;s even willing to host it for you on his servers using his bandwidth. The URL if you want to check out the demo is Its worth a look so get your husky hirsute over there. It&#39;s the internet, no jogging required just a few keystrokes.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Tolkien bio on PBS Tuesday at 8

    by dfeddon

    At least here in Los Angeles (KCET). Otherwise, check with your local PBS affiliate ( may know). BTW, anyone know if Manns Chinese Theatre is screening FOTR?

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Ungrateful moaning

    by Seth_Isurus

    The site is free. Its made specifically for your enjoyment. So why are you hurling abuse at it like jabbering monkeys? Who cares if Harry filled his review with on-set references that were fairly irrelevant to everyone else? Its not like he did it in a sneering boys club &#39;I&#39;m-in-and your-not&#39; type fashion. I mean, honestly. Instead of being a pack of whinging weasle-spawned bastards, why don&#39;t you go out and beat these guys at their own game by actually CREATING your own site? Its easy to knock something down, a little harder to sketch something up. And that goes to all those film critics giving needlessly harsh reviews too. But anyway, keeping on the LOTR vein, what does everyone think of the whatcher in the water? Should they have kept it a hidden terror we only see a few tentacles of, thus conjuring a monster in our own imaginations? Or is the huge cgi beast that appariantly lumbers bodily out of the water a good thing?

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 1:02 a.m. CST



    First Ebert says "The trilogy is mostly about leaving places, going places, being places and going on to other places, all amid fearful portents and speculations. There are a great many mountains, valleys, streams, villages, caves, residences, grottos, bowers, fields, high roads and low roads, and along them the hobbits and their larger companions travel while paying great attention to mealtimes." but then he uses basically the same description to criticize the movie?!!! "The film is remarkably well made. But it does go on, and on, and on- more vistas, more forests, more fearsome creatures, until we realize this sort of thing can continue indefinitely." W&#39;sup wit dat? Does he even read his own reviews? He also says he likes how the book takes time to stop for songs, etc. and that it&#39;s comforting how you know there&#39;s more to come. Well,PJ had 3 hours to present an impossible amount of stuff. D&#39;ya think Ebert might have taken that into consideration? Nope. I used to relate to his reviews so much more than Gene Siskel&#39;s back in the day, but in the subsequent years after Gene died, he seems so oblivious to anything that&#39;s part of public consciousness or a reference to such things. He also seems unable to hold different films up to the same criteria and has no apparent reference point for his criticisms- in essence giving one picture thumbs down while awarding a much lesser picture thumbs up. He lost me the moment he said Courtney Love should have played the Devil in "Bedazzled" instead of Elizabeth Hurley?!!! I just kept thinking " Man, he doesn&#39;t get it! It&#39;s all about the evil in pretty package (which is way more threatening, where as Courtney love is just an evil skank!! Now, I&#39;m not one to attack someone just because he/she didn&#39;t like this film (which I have not seen) but these glaring inconsistencies along with Ebert&#39;s trend in not liking movies because he has no clue of where they&#39;re coming from (he gave X-men ** and Harry Potter ****?!!) makes it really hard to take any of his reviews seriously. And for further proof of this, on tonite&#39;s Ebert/ Roeper show, he gave a thumbs down to a movie (I don&#39;t recall the name) because it told the story of one of his favorite writer&#39;s decline as a result of dementia, etc. instead of concentrating on the writer&#39;s works. Basically saying "how can you show my favorite writer&#39;s downfall instead of what I think you should concentrate on, you bastards!!!" I&#39;m not recommending this travesty to her memory! Even Roeper (who gave it thumbs up, by the way) had to say that he had issues regarding this movie that had nothing to do with whether it was good or not- to which Ebert agreed. I, for one will never take his "thumbs down" on any film if i want to see it and will only take his recommendations on a film if it&#39;s one I do not think he will like. For example, he recommended Dark City so highly that I went to see it simply because it looked like something he wouldn&#39;t like. and it turned out to be one of my all-time favorites. I basically see a meltdown coming from him soon.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 1:07 a.m. CST

    Great minds think alike: Ebert, Dufusyte, Christopher T.

    by DufusyteII

    The concensus: "It&#39;s a great film, kudos to the filmmakers, but it misses the focus/spirit/essence of Tolkien." Chris maintains that it would be impossible for any film to capture the spirit of Tolkien; I would disagree. With a slightly different angle, PJ&#39;s blockbuster could have hit the mark. All that would be needed is a "Phantom Edit" style re-work to cast the themes in a slightly different light (digitizing Arwen off of her high horse, among other things). As for Ebert&#39;s review, it so much in conformity with my own, that I think he cut and pasted from the Talkbacks. The only difference is that I was able to produce such an insightful review without having even seen the film, whereas he had the luxury of actually seeing it. ******* elanor, sorry I missed your post above, since I have not been able to read the entirety of the recent flood of lotr talkbacks. Maybe Arwen is only doing her cowboy routine for ten seconds of film time, but every marketing image has her with a sword in hand and a cut on her cheek. The marketers are overwhelmingly presenting her as the Warrior Princess. Even the movie posters have her grimacing menacingly. btw, did you see my post where I suggested, at your behest, that a character similar to the true Arwen would be Hope in the movie The Claim Hope is a young and strong character, but her strength is inner strength, an innocent strength, and she is the one unarmed figure in an otherwise violent frontier town. She is not manly, does not ride horses, does not shoot buckshot, but she has a true strength in a vulnerable feminine way. She is not a domineering woman (like several in The Claim), but her strength is uncompromising feminine. Anyway, she is the closest thing to Arwen I could suggest as far as movie heroines go. *** I&#39;m glad you liked the film and I am sure I will too when I see it on Wednesday. Tonight I bought a book about the making of the film as a Christmas gift, so as you can see, I am fueling the merchandizing machine. PJ and crew did a great job on the film, but that doesn&#39;t mean I can&#39;t rant about the 1% they didn&#39;t get right in my (and Ebert and Chris&#39;) humble opinion. - Dufusyte (the imperfect perfectionist)

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 1:53 a.m. CST

    That explains it - Ebert wrote his review by pasting together th

    by wilko185

    Heh heh sorry dufusyte, but that was just begging to be said. Seriously though, your trio are of course perfectly entitled to their opinions. I&#39;ll be interested to hear what you and Chris have to say after actually seeing part 1. Although maybe only after seeing the whole nine yards (hrs) will a valid overview really be possible? The nature of FOTR means it isn&#39;t really a stand-alone piece. ______ Ebert&#39;s review annoys me somewhat, as he seems to be saying PJ doesn&#39;t capture the real spirit of the book, but then he demonstrates a hazy grasp of what that is. Well, I shouldn&#39;t really question what his personal vision of FOTR is, but even the basic structure of the narrative seemingly eludes him (see several of the above posts) and so he draws shaky conclusions on character motivation and development. Rather than flicking throught the book while writing the review, he should have either read it properly before going in; or, preferably, pretend he never read the book 30 years ago, and just judged the film on its own merits. ___ (BTW when did you get on first-name terms with "Chris", dufusyte? Why not with Roger too?) ;-)

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Ebert naked and petrified

    by plunge

    Whatever you think of Ebert, you have to admit that he is a little off base with his purist posturing. Among the things he "remembers" from the book are that hobbits live in trees, and that the Bridge of Khazad-dum was "unstable." If he&#39;s going to dock the film for not following the book, he can at least know what the heck he&#39;s talking about. While other reviewers gagged at HarryPotter&#39;s slavish devotion to it&#39;s source material (resulting in a picture with little of the soul of the book), and praise Peter Jackson for daring to put art above strict textual fidelity, Ebert sometimes, as here, bases his reviews more on a more-learned-than-thou instinct than on what&#39;s on the screen. As someone pointed out before, he&#39;ll dock a film&#39;s score for things that have nothing to do with the quality of filmaking itself: just his opinions about what opinions and stories a particular film should depict. As a longtime movie biz, he should know better than to think that filmaking can portray literary works in images wihtout alteration. Many people have commented on "why did they change Pippin&#39;s stone into a stupid skeleton?" without even thinking about how such a thing would work on screen. Or Arwen: if her character hadn&#39;t been given a larger role, her character would have seemed utterly wasted, extraneous, and without context. If people are going to focus on according a film with their preconcieved images (which never face the difficulties of actual theatrical portrayal), of course they wont enjoy or appreciate what IS there and what DOES work as much as they otherwise would. Their loss, I guess.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 4:52 a.m. CST

    Ebert? Well, where is this review??

    by Methestel

    Ebert&#39;s review is not on the Ebert page... so where is it?

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Hail,Fellowship,Well Met !

    by MikeMazza

    So, I&#39;ve only seen the trailers (haven&#39;t we all !)and watched the odd documentary or two, but if the film is only half as good as it looks on the trailers (and it looks as if they have wisely not shown ALL the best bits), then it&#39;s going to be one of the best films of the year by far! I think we&#39;re all gonna be agreed on that ! Roll on "The Two Towers" !

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Don&#39;t you read my posts, Methestel? I&#39;m hurt...

    by wilko185

    Kidding. I posted a link to Ebert&#39;s review somewhere above: He will be reviewing it on his TV show next weekend as well.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 10:57 a.m. CST


    by BilboFett

    Do you really think that he is just trying to show what a cool guy he is by going against the grain, or are his problems with the film legit?

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 11:12 a.m. CST

    You got that right Bunger

    by Lugnuttz

    The Matrix SUCKED!!!!

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Ebert&#39;s credibility

    by Daegor

    I think we all need to remember that Roger Ebert wrote one of the worst movies in the history of film. "Return to the Valley of the Dolls" was horrible. When Siskel was still alive, and Ebert would begin to proseltyze about a films lack of artistic merit old Gene would say something like "kind of similar to Valley?" which would usually shut Roger up. I&#39;m not saying that he is always wrong, but when we consider that he does give the film 3 out of 4 stars, but goes on to talk about its failures I think we can all remember Gene&#39;s voice echoing through the ages: "What about that piece of garbage you wrote Rog?"

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 11:34 a.m. CST


    by Dr. Sid Schaefer

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Oh, you mean THAT Ebert... (you all seem to be talking about som

    by Methestel

    That&#39;s not the same Ebert, Wilko. That&#39;s just some other schmuck with the same name... no, I&#39;m serious. Do you think some backwater Canadian paper would have Ebert&#39;s review before his own paper (Chicago Sun Times), or the Ebert and Roeper and the Movies page? As far as I can tell, the Ebert of Siskel and Ebert has yet to review this film (unless you actually all cared this much about what this other Ebert thinks).

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 11:40 a.m. CST


    by Destructor

    Stuntrocker! Thanks for the withdrawal- all is forgiven! I agree that I probably couldn&#39;t write a review of this movie if I had been through what Harry has been through. When I see it (Tomorrow night!!!) I will probably have trouble viewing it objectively, and have to see it several times before being able to get a proper bead on my feelings for it, as a film (I already know I loved it as an experience, and love the production for being so good to NZ, but I&#39;ve yet to see the film). And Harry&#39;s entitled to rave about his EXPERIENCE. But perhaps he shouldn&#39;t have labelled it a &#39;review&#39;, because that&#39;s really not what it was. And, y&#39;know, I&#39;ve been thinking this for a while, that what made this site cool (Ain&#39;t it cool?) was the fact that it was coming from someone who was &#39;just like us&#39;- a commoner, if you like. But Harry isn&#39;t, anymore. He spends his days at press junkets and movie screenings, while we spend ours in offices or schools. I&#39;m not saying he is biased or unentitled to review- I honestly am not trying to be a basher, I fully respect Harry, I do. I just feel his existence is so far removed from mine and yours that any opinions he might hold on films (the reason I come to the site) will probably be equally far removed from mine, and therefore not entirely useful. This isn&#39;t anger or an attack on him for loving Lord of the Rings- I am absolutely obsessed with this films and am sure it will be wonderful. But I still feel Harry is slightly out of touch with MY reality, our reality. Again, this isn&#39;t meant to be a bash, just what I have been feeling about the site recently. d. ps- Yeah the directors cut of Pearl Harbour should be 45 minutes long, it&#39;d be great! d

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 11:41 a.m. CST

    A fart carries more weight than Ebert&#39;s opinion.

    by TroutMaskReplica

    &#39;Nuff said.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 11:43 a.m. CST

    That&#39;s "Beyond" the Valley of the Dolls.

    by Dr. Sid Schaefer

    Oops. Sorry for the premature post. "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" is not a terrible film; it is a work of pure, twisted genius. Oh alright, it is a terrible film. But at least it is an eminently quotable film that is an honest-to-God guilty pleasure for film geeks. Nobody would argue that "Red Dawn" is a great film either, but you know in your heart you&#39;ll watch it just the same. Man does not live by Kurosawa alone.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 11:48 a.m. CST


    by Daegor

    Yeah you are right it was "Beyond", sorry bout that.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Ah! Someone mentions Red Dawn!

    by BilboFett

    Let us all piss in the radiator and rejoice! Just remeber, whatever happens with this film, it can&#39;t be any worse than "Misfits of Science". Or that really awful Captian America movie. Or The Punisher. Or Dungeons and Dragons. Or...damn, there sure are a lot of bad movies, huh?

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 12:07 p.m. CST

    That word (Ebert), you keep saying it, I do not think it means w

    by Methestel

    Um, yes, sorry about the vague reference there (inconcievable!), but you are all talking about some fluff reviewer who is only reviewing movies because he has the same name as another guy who is quite famous (arguably) who also reviews movies. The guy you are talking about lives in Halifax N.S. and probably makes it on to a lot of movie posters in Canada, movies that were dissed by the &#39;real&#39; Ebert but which he praised (you see where I&#39;m going with this...). I don&#39;t think the Ebery you&#39;re thinking of has reviewed this film yet: check his actual site... (sun times).

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Really? Two Roger Eberts??

    by wilko185

    I thought his reviews were just syndicated to lots of N. American papers. And that review does chime with what I&#39;ve heard "leaked" from someone at the Chicago Sun Times regarding Ebert&#39;s views on FOTR.....

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Long time lurker, practically first time poster

    by Mithrilian

    If I posted here, it was years ago. I haven&#39;t seen the movie yet, and I am a hard-core Tolkien fan. Also, English is not my native tongue. Now, with that&#39;s out of the way.... Regarding spoilers. Read reviews at your own risk. Especially, on this site. Also, Tolkien&#39;s books are so popular, it&#39;s like complain about the spoilers in reviews of a movie based on the Bible. "What? David kills Goliath? Thanks a bunch, Harry!" Regarding these so-called "reviews". If people like these two don&#39;t like the movie, it HAS TO BE good. It has to be AWESOME. Thanks for that reassurance, Harry. Regarding the petition to Lucas to hire Jackson to direct Episode 3. Makes sense, considering he did not direct ESB, but only produced it. Regarding SW vs LOTR. Oh, all right, TPM was a letdown. And Lucas modeled Obi-Wan after Gandalf. So what? The original trilogy still rules. I watched it for the first time in 1994 on VHS, and I did not know which episode was which so I started with ROJ (My excuse is me being from Russia), and I loved all three. ESB is the best, though. Regarding "what should Jackson do next" and "what sci-fi/fiction should be filmed next". I dream of Bujold&#39;s Vorkosigan saga on the big screen. Shards of Honor kicks ass and totally lends itself to a film. Regarding someone here saying "animation with live action snippets". I think you saw Bakshi animated version. Did you download it from the internet? Figures. Phew. Back to life. (What life? Life is officially on hold.) Must... stay... calm... must... stay... calm....

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 12:34 p.m. CST

    C G I gripes in a couple reviews....

    by RedCapitalist

    Although many have raved about the WONDERFUL CGI in LOTR, I keep hearing some who think it was sub-par and even ruined the effect of the movie several times ----- -----

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Just 163 More Days To Beastmaster 5...

    by hiplingo

    Yes, that&#39;s right, if you love Lord Of The Rings you&#39;ll love this epic! Swords, sorcery, ferrets and Brigitte Nielsen as you&#39;ve never seen her before! As a warrior queen riding a horse wearing a skimpy outfit! Marc Singer returns as the now legendary Beastmaster with his trusty team of talking counterparts, the bear, the panther, the owl and some new friends, the badger, the squirrel and a sassy chimp named Russelot. There&#39;ll be action, there&#39;ll be thrills and more CGI generated effects than has ever been put down on celluloid before, more than Toy Story 1 & 2 put together even!! Will it live up to it&#39;s half written novelisation? Can it compare to the original 4 movies in the blockbuster series? We think so and we think you will too!! Beastmaster 5 - "I wept with the director in his private screening room like a kitten getting his belly stroked", Harry Knowles AICN.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Say what you will about Ebert

    by Chocky

    At least he&#39;s articulate, which is more than I can say for Peter Travers. I just watched the video on Rolling Stone and it was painful. I find it amusing that you&#39;re all slamming Ebert because he dared to give FotR 3 stars out of 4. The horror, the horror! I&#39;m sure he&#39;s not the only person out there who will be mildly disappointed by Jackson&#39;s version of FotR. <><><><><> You know what would be a great Christmas gift - a roly-poly, cuddly, Roger Ebert doll. That people can punch when they disagree with him, or have him go on adventures with Leonard Maltin (TM).

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Is this the live-action cartoon version?

    by UncleSalty

    Have not seen the movie yet, but every trailer, ad, review, (including harry&#39;s) makes this movie sound exactly like the cartoon (sorry, animated feature)put out long ago (can&#39;t remember when it came out but I saw it on one of those movies that look like a giant record with bigger grooves that predates beta) right down to the scene Harry doesn&#39;t remember from the book; the one with the hobbits learning to knife fight. From the water with the horsies on it to the hobbits hiding under the stump from the ringwraith (sic) to, i&#39;ll bet, the running battle through the dwarf caves. This movie sounds more like a remake. But I may be crazy as I haven&#39;t seen the movie. Anyhoo, looking forward to it, if it is exactly like the original that will be ok too.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 2:10 p.m. CST

    On Opinions, Ebert, and others

    by AlyFox

    Wrote a little something on Friday, just looked again today, and MY! What wondrous new topics have appeared! First off, to Kraven, should he/she be watching: I am not offended in any way by your pointing out to me that my liking Phantom Menace offends you. That is the whole point of an OPINION. It also illustrated what I was trying to say in the rest of my post, which was that a lot of people--not you, necessarily -- log onto this site to simply find new ways to put others down. I did not want to make the bulk of my post about TPM, because you know what? I don&#39;t dwell on it that much. I saw it opening day, saw it once more before it left theatre, then once on video. Overall, it was a massive waste of an opportunity for Lucas to dominate. But guess what? In my humble OPINION, the movie looked good FX wise, I enjoyed the music, Ewan McGregor was effective, the Pod race was okay, and Darth Maul was cool. Except for the script, it FELT like a Star Wars movie. Not the best, just entertaining. FOR ME. Obviously not for you, and agreeably millions of others. But for other millions, it was enough to hope that the next one is better. Not attacking, Kraven, just elaborating on an OPINION that you saw fit to focus on out of a larger message. ON EBERT: Just read the review, and I don&#39;t see anything wrong with it. BIAS, I am an Ebert Fan, but hey, everybody admit this to yourselves: the guy has forgotten more movies than all of you have probably seen, which maybe makes him a little more of an authority? Hmmmm? ( I can hear the responses now: "Maybe that is his problem, he forgets movies") NOW, to avoid attack, I apologize if someone on here has seen more movies than Ebert. My comments don&#39;t apply to EVERYBODY. Also, he is an older gentleman, so I agree that he may be more out of touch on certain things. But for everyone of you that picks apart every word of his review and say "SEE? He is an idiot!", there are others who read it and say, "You know, I get what he means." By saying the book has countless journeys means that a book has the luxury of taking its time through many landscapes, and the reader can stop and drink it all in. In a film, and I have not seen it nor have many talkbackers, MAYBE Ebert felt that cramming a lot of different forests and vistas gave the film a feel like too much at one time, despite it&#39;s 3 hour length. Get it? What works in a book feels different than on film. At least that is my interpretation of what Ebert wrote. And that is what I was trying to say in my Friday post: AICN is about posting your opinions to see what others think, and it&#39;s too bad that the TB area has become one big "You suck and let me find 100 ways to tell you you suck" forum. Let people like the movies they like, and let &#39;em hate the ones they hate. Oh yeah, what I just wrote doesn&#39;t make me any better or worse that anyone else, so Peace and let&#39;s see what we can do about lowering ticket prices. Can&#39;t wait to see LOTR myself. Goodbye.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Aerosmith Sadly Omitted From LOTR

    by hiplingo

    Having seen the movie LOTR next week I was saddened to see that the director Peter Jackson had omitted a crucial element from his adaptation of the original story to the screen, that of the character Aerosmith. Although admittedly not seen until the very end of the book when Tolkien was making his acknowledgements Aerosmith was nonetheless an important part in the final summation of the book&#39;s themes. As the character &#39;Arwen&#39; moves throughout the film like an undertalented American woman on horseback it is not widely known that she is in fact the daughter of Aerosmith who, through the medium of the Power Ballad at the end, should define perfectly the spirit and deeply intense soul of the piece. This was missing, much to the disgust of many of Tolkien&#39;s devoutest patronisers and keenest anorak wearers. Christopher Tolkien has been heard to remark "Even &#39;Angel&#39; off &#39;Permanent Vacation&#39; would have done". But sadly, to no avail. Peter Jackson thought the mood for his epic should conclude on something grandiose yet understated, frivilous yet wise and gentle yet thunderous. "Your Love Will Touch My Ring (Hurt Me)" by Britney Spears is available on Monday 24th December 2001 in all good record shops. Aerosmith is available for any old guest spot on any old movie/show whenever (Run DMC not included).

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 2:21 p.m. CST

    What? No other Canadians out there?

    by quiscustodiet

    I hate to tell everyone this but that is *the* Roger Ebert. His reviews are in all the Conrad Black owned newspapers across our fair and occasionally bitter cold country. The reason that it runs early is because they get all the review for a two week period at a time. Obviously an editor in Halifax thought it belonged up early, at least on their webpage. So what if he doesn&#39;t like it, everyone has a right to their opinion. Remember what Benjamin Disraeli said, "It is easier to criticze then to be right"

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 2:25 p.m. CST


    by Whomp

    Help me! I am living with a formless mass of quivering flesh... every once in a while it opens its mouth and things like "10,000 screens", "waiting... for... 20 years", and "must not drink fluids before movie" come out. What can I do with it??? It cannot wait! IT WILL NOT LISTEN TO REASON!!! PS- Ruling Ring, you are a nazi, I knew Malcom X and he was ten times the man that you are. Maybe eleven.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 2:28 p.m. CST


    by Methestel

    The Ebert who wrote the review just happens to be called Roger Ebert as well (probably why he&#39;s reviewing movies...). Anyway, it&#39;s not the Ebert of Siskel and Ebert, I thought I made that abundantly clear already. Whether the Ebert of Siskel and Ebert likes it or not we have yet to find out because he has yet to review the damn movie, unless you really care what this other Ebert thinks and have been writing about two hunderd posts about a guy with a readership of 10,000 who mainly live in and around Halifax Nova Scotia!

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 2:40 p.m. CST

    It IS "The Roger Ebert"

    by proevad

    That review was written by the famous Roger Ebert. I&#39;ve read every review he&#39;s ever written. (OK, most of them) It&#39;s his writing. It&#39;s very distinctive.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Ebert&#39;s review (again)

    by quiscustodiet

    I&#39;ll explain it one more time, Ebert writes up his review ahead of time and they are shipped to the subscribing newspapers on the first and the fifteenth of the month or the nearest corresponding Wednesday. Since this movie is coming out on a Wednesday this week, it was probably included in the reviews that are shipped on the 15th and the editor wanted to get it in before the movie is released in order to catch the buzz and to intrigue people. Or they simply made a mistake and added it early. Check out the AP press byline on the right of the screen. Do you honestly think the AP would have two Roger Ebert&#39;s that review movies on their release list? BTW, the population of Halifax is 360,000,, which is small for a city in the US, up here in the sticks (that&#39;s saracasm) it&#39;s a good size city! Hellooooo city, hey! (Any good canuck should be able to tell you why that phrase is relevant!)

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Oh, really? Well, ok then. Ebert is Ebert...

    by Methestel

    Was just wondering why it was on that random paper&#39;s site first and not the Sun Times (where one would expect to find it). Ok, so Ebert thinks Hobbits live in trees? Quelle prat, non? What&#39;s this about "enlisting" the powerful. Pretty much seems to me that the Hobbits were enlisted by the powerful because they could (or more specifically, Frodo) resist the ring better than they... and isn&#39;t Frodo the one who is trying to give it away most of the time (Gandalf, Galadriel)? Jesus, what&#39;s he talking about it not being enough on Hobbits, I mean, the book definitely "concerns Hobbits" and their role, but without the greats, they would all have been cooked in pretty short order. Can you imagine a fellowship consisting of Frodo, Sam, Pippen and Merry? "You shall not pass..." (can you imagine?). Christ, they wouldn&#39;t have even made it out of Bree! Without Gandalf, the ring would have been sitting in Bilbo&#39;s pocket, just where the evil greats expected to find it. That review is kind of dense, but hey, we&#39;re all entitled to our own opinion, aren&#39;t we? Just think maybe he should have refreshed his memory just a little and it seems to me that he read the Hobbit and not the LotR. (Just can&#39;t believe he thought Harry Potter was better than Amelie). That&#39;s just daft. Harry Potter, IMHO, is pretty much second-rate fantasy at best. I mean, lovely story for the kiddies and all that but for christ&#39;s sake, there&#39;s no real comparison, to the LotR, I mean.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 3:06 p.m. CST


    by deftone

    i&#39;m so glad harry&#39;s review was what it was....after waiting, buying every little peice of stuff i could get my grubby little hands on AND gaining 5 pounds from whoppers, i&#39;m glad that someone who&#39;se reviews i trust gave a happy review. :) i&#39;d hate to have to sell all my stuff on ebay. :)

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Dear Mr. Ebert, WTF have you been smoking?

    by Morgoth-Melkor

    I, like many others who are awaiting the release of LOTR:FOTR, are confused by Ebert&#39;s review. It seems to me that he TRIED not to like the movie. If I go into the movie knowing that it&#39;s unfilmable, then there&#39;s no way, even if I did like it, that I&#39;d give it a good review. The thing that gets me, though, is the fact that Ebert seems to have only read the Fellowship of the Ring. If that was the case, then yes, the hobbits are somewhat supporting characters. Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn and maybe even Boromir ARE the main physical presence once the group sets out from Rivendell, but the other hobbits are never really leading characters anyway, even before Rivendell. After FOTR, however, EVERYTHING changes. (SPOILERS) I mean, look at the Two Towers. Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas spend a lot of time just looking for Pippin and Merry, befriending Eomer and those in Rohan. Gandalf the White doesn&#39;t show up until the middle of the story, and Boromir is dead. THIS is where the hobbits become the main characters. Pippin and Merry struggle to survive/escape from the Uruk-Hai, they befriend Treebeard and the Ents which leads to the destruction of Isengard, they also are eventually split up which becomes even more a focus of attention (Merry and the Palantir, Pippin(?) and Theoden). And that&#39;s just Pippin and Merry. Sam and Frodo "tame" Gollum, go through the Dead Marshes, meet Faramir, travel to Mordor, go through the stairs of Cirith Ungol, eventually fight/destroy(?) Shelob, Frodo is captured by orcs, and a whole lot more. My main point is that the hobbits don&#39;t really take center stage until the second book. They have a large part in the first book, but 80% of what happens in the Two Towers is hobbit-related. Too bad Mr. Ebert spent so much time looking for reasons that this film shouldn&#39;t be made. He probably could&#39;ve spent his time reading the Two Towers and Return of the King. But if he did that, his review would&#39;ve been worthless, which it is anyway.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 3:29 p.m. CST


    by quiscustodiet

    Hey, she was a washed up former teen bubble gum pop star before American radio stations decided she was the second coming with that piece of shit Jagged Little Pill. We will, however, apologize profusely for Celine Dion and Bryan Adams, if you will apologize for Brittney Spears and Linken Park!

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 3:32 p.m. CST


    by BH|Sauron

    Canada spawned Allanis sure, but.. America spawned Richard Simmons Britain spawned the Spice Girls. In other words, SHADUP :P ----------------- Proud to be Canadian.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Blame Canada

    by Chocky

    . . . for lots and lots of our favorite comedians. Comedy: Canada&#39;s # 1 export. -- Chocky, an appreciative American.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 4:22 p.m. CST

    "Twin Towers" and "The King Returns".

    by Mithrilian "Twin Towers" and "The King Returns". (sic!) &#39;nuff said? Yet that reviewer gives the move 4.5 out of 5 (look for the second review on the page).

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Seeing LotR on TV . . .

    by Chocky

    A year ago I was freaking out at the idea of Gandalf being on the Tonight Show. Now it&#39;s almost ho-hum, seeing Frodo on Letterman. I was going to try to tape every different commercial being aired on regular TV, but there&#39;s so many versions now I don&#39;t even care. I find my growing indifference as strange as I initially found the idea of FotR ads on TV. Do we really want LotR as ingrained in our culture as Star Wars, so that 20 years from now everyone uses "Come and claim him" as a catch phrase the way "Luke, I am your father" is used now? And the way the story is boiled down so that newbies can understand . . . I hate it, when I know that the story is so much more than "Small hero must destroy ring before bad guy gets it so he can rule the world". Sigh. Well I guess we&#39;re living in really interesting times. (And yes I know it&#39;s sad that I care more about this than Tora Bora.)

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Ebert gave 3 stars out of 4, not 5

    by Mithrilian

    So, it&#39;s definitely a "thumb up" from him. So he didn&#39;t love it as the best movie of all times, big deal. He thinks it&#39;s a good movie, and anyway, go to his site and check his other reviews. His mentioning CT is not good, however. Tolkien himself didn&#39;t mind the prospect of a movie and wrote so (it&#39;s published among his other letters). *** However, I see from the clips and reviews that certain finer aspects of the Ring Quest have been ruined. For example, (SPOILER!.......................................SPOILER FOLLOWS!...........ok, you&#39;ve been warned...........)Aragorn meets the hobbits and he&#39;s got some sword with him, not the broken Narsil. I always thought it VERY significant that he brings Narsil. to the meeting. He goes to meet the Ring, and he brings Narsil with him. That&#39;s rings very true, if you are a mythology buff. I fear Jackson simplified/deleted/changes such very key things too much.(..............END SPOILER............) But if it&#39;s only a decent movie (and not a disaster), I&#39;ll forgive him the flaws. Because IT COULD&#39;VE BEEN MUCH WORSE. Jackson told some time ago (it was on that someone in Miramax said something about making elves black. I swear, I read it! And the idea of making Sam a girl was also introduced. And making one MerryPin out of the two hobbits. SO REJOICE DIE-HARD FANS! IT COULD&#39;VE BEEN MUCH MUCH MUCH WORSE THAN WE ALREADY KNOW IT IS...... I think I&#39;ll shut up now...

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 5:04 p.m. CST

    to Madmaxxking

    by Mithrilian

    "Middle Earth is not our planet in some pre historic age"---- yes it is. Tolkien wrote so himself. It&#39;s on record. Read his letters, they are published. Of course, " never happened. Except, maybe, in our hearts", as sir Ian McKellen put so beautifully. (He said it in "The Passage to Middle-earth", on sci-fi channel).

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 5:11 p.m. CST


    by RulingRing

    I entriely sympatize with everything you say right up until you called me a Nazi. Here I was sitting and thinking "My God this guy is describing my state perfectly." Mass of quivering flesh: check. 10,000 screens: stunning, I too have been waiting almost exactly 20 years! And the no fluids thing was just too much. I have repeatedly told my girlfriend to pry any beverage out of my hand and flush it for 6 hours prior to the film. And then you called me a Nazi. Hrmm. You learn something new every day here at AICN. So who&#39;s this guy Malco(l)m X you seem to respect so much?

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 10:26 p.m. CST

    My feelings on Ebert

    by Kraaken

    Ebert has always been a favorite reviewer of mine in that he truly loves films and often appreciates the efforts that go into the making of a film regardless of the subject matter. I believe had he not had an affinity for the books and a vision of what he would liked to have seen, he would have given the film a higher mark. Knowing the way he reviews, he certainly must have appreciated the vision of middle earth, and the creativity tha twent into it. Don&#39;t count him out yet. He has, in the past revisited films and changed his view. Perhaps when the 2nd installment arrives he will begin to get a different feel. There is still a long way to go in the full vision of LOTR.

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 10:46 p.m. CST

    the countdown

    by ShadeOGrey

    Ack.. Now less than 34 hours to me walking into the theatre to catch the show I&#39;ve waited 15 years for.. I&#39;m contemplating taking tomorrow off altogether to catch the FIRST show here.. This is not gonna work.... I&#39;m hearing the Jaws theme in my head. Going Duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-da-duh-da-duh-da-duh-da. Argh!

  • Dec. 17, 2001, 11:43 p.m. CST

    A history lesson to make you smarter

    by Seth_Isurus

    Malcolm X (1925-1965) was one of the most influential black-American leaders of the 1950&#39;s and 1960&#39;s. The bloke was born &#39;Malcolm Little&#39; in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1931, Malcolm&#39;s father was found dead after being run over by a tram. Malcolm reckoned white racists were responsible. When he was 12, his mother was committed to a mental hospital. Malcolm spent the rest of his childhood in foster homes. He became discouraged by racial prejudice around him. In 1941, Malcolm moved to Boston. In 1946, he was sent to prison for burglary. In prison, he joined the Nation of Islam, commonly called the Black Muslims. The Nation of Islam taught that white people were devils. After Malcolm was released from prison in 1952, he adopted "X" as his last name. The letter stood for the unknown African name of Malcolm&#39;s slave ancestors. Malcolm X quickly became the Nation of Islam&#39;s most effective minister. But he became dissastisfied with their teachings and broke away from the order. Black Muslims then condemned Malcolm X as a hypocrite and traitor because of his criticisms of the group&#39;s leader, Elijah Muhammad. On Feb. 21, 1965, Malcolm X was fatally shot while giving a speech in New York City. Three members of the Nation of Islam were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. So now you know.

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 1:08 a.m. CST



    I wasn&#39;t really raking Ebert over the coals and I do agree that his review for FOTR is still a good one. I just think he contradicted himself in his review in that he criticizes the same thing in the movie that he likes in the book. I&#39;ve just found myself having an on-going problem with him as far as what films he likes and dislikes and why, and the "improvements" he&#39;s suggested for certain movies sound to me like he just doesn&#39;t get it sometimes. And I can&#39;t understand how he holds some movies up to such critical analysis while letting other obviously inferior movies skate (cough, cough, Tomb Raider, cough cough!) But that&#39;s neither here nor there- ultimately the opinion that matters most is our own. It is encouraging, however that the vast majority of reviews are extremely positive or at least positive in Eberts case. I wonder what Roeper thinks.

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 1:45 a.m. CST


    by stuntrocker

    stuntrocker had an ex-girlfriend who took him to see Titanic. She took all her friends to see Titanic individually after she&#39;d seen it. She felt it was like giving them a little friendship bracelet they could remember her by. And it was. The Titanic movie was on TV tonight and my sweetie wanted to watch it. The movie resonates with women like chocolate during menses. Which can be rather tiresome for the male of the species to experience but hey, whatever works. Recite after me boys,"Oh, Jack! I&#39;m Flying!". Personally I like Chuck Yaeger better. Try joking around with a girl about Titanic. Their eyes glaze over and they won&#39;t hear it. Lord of the Rings is going to be like that. They&#39;re both big badass movies and what little me thinks is of little consequence. But if you remember seeing Titanic, you&#39;ll remember seeing Fellowship of the Ring.

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 2:09 a.m. CST

    I just saw it!

    by LordDark

    Well I just got back from FOTR. And I have to say, I really feel worn out after seeing it. It was a very good movie. I did have some issues with it however. Some of the lines were a little off and a handful of scenes were not to my liking. I, like some others, found the pacing up until Rivendell a little fast and very condensed. There are a lot of changes from the book overall, so leave the book at the door before you go in. But Listen, the movie is short for 3 hours, and PJ had to cut it way down to fit it all in so it&#39;s understandable. But you&#39;ll have to see it for yourself. Just remember this is a movie not the books. The effects were just awsome and the scenery was spectacular. The acting, aside from a few grating lines, was wonderful. Elijah Wood wins hands down with me as the best actor in the flick. I just can&#39;t wait until the DVD. I&#39;m seeing it for the next three days straight as well so I can aborb even more.

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 8:57 a.m. CST


    by Matt

    and 3 Minutes left, hehe coz of the time differences here in Germany we can see FOTR earlier than you Yankees ;) !!! I

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 12:08 p.m. CST


    by LordDark

    Yeah it was pretty cool when the Balrog spilt his milk all over the bridge, like a giant white gushing giezer. Gandalf was soaked in the white stuff and nearly slipped a few times. Those where on the edge of the seat moments for sure. BTW, why were Merry and Pippin filling up their water bags with the stuff? And why was pippin licking his lips? That was a disgusting scene.

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 2:03 p.m. CST


    by Shut up Donny

    So at what point do you actually review the movie?

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 3:53 p.m. CST


    by madmaxmedia

    Wouldn&#39;t it have been funny if after foaming at the mouth for months, Harry wrote a disappointing review? In any case, I&#39;m glad he liked it and I hope it&#39;s good.

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Turkish Lord Of The Rings?

    by Declan_Swartz

    I will wait for the Turkish version.

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Ass Munch > Killer_elfs_back

    by ism


  • Dec. 18, 2001, 8:04 p.m. CST

    Killer Elf Aka Mommy are we there yet?

    by RulingRing

    "This isn&#39;t the damn Bible its only a movie." One hundred million fans can&#39;t be wrong.

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 9:03 p.m. CST

    It aint the bible?

    by SalemP

    Well thank fark for that!!! This movie better be a damn site better than the bible. That book was the slowest fuckin read i have ever had. Even i could prattle off a few pages of "begatting" if i had to. I mean what the hell was the authors editor doing while he was supposedly proofing this overblown, masturbatory piece of truth stretching fiction.

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 11:13 p.m. CST

    This is exactly the reason why I&#39;ll NEVER SEE this movie

    by heywood jablomie

    The notion of sitting in a movie theatre with 999 geeks squealing orgasmically at every appearance of Gingko and Frobatron and Eeback makes me want to off myself. Why is it that American men, even educated ones, even ones that profess to "love film"...NEVER CAN GROW UP? As some frog once said: American men go from infancy to senility with nothing in between. The jizz spilled over this schlock is proof.

  • Dec. 18, 2001, 11:53 p.m. CST


    by MikeSal222

    Well, I hope there are no squealers in the audience when I see FOTR tomorrow, but I don&#39;t think there&#39;s anything wrong with getting swept up in the excitement surrounding LOTR. I do think, however,that those fans who worship the ground Tolkien walked on are a little immature. The guy wasn&#39;t a god, just someone trying to earn a living like everybody else. LOTR is a great novel, but hardly the Book of the Century. The most crowd-pleasing novel of the century, certainly. Best novel of the century was probably "One-Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It&#39;s a difficult read, though. I love Tolkien, but the obsession some people have with LOTR borders on bibliolatry. Even Peter Jackson is distancing himself from the super-obssessive fans trying to turn his labor of love into a religious experience. I thought Tolkien was the be all and end all, too, when I was 12-13. I still love LOTR passionately, but my tastes in literature have matured since then. I know that sounds artsy-fartsy, but I don&#39;t think it is. Challenge yourself by reading some of the great works by Faulkner, Conrad, Joyce, etc. There are no wizards, elves, or dragons in their books, but that&#39;s OK.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 12:22 a.m. CST

    At the risk of being crucified......

    by Immortal Alice

    I have yet to see FOTR, but have read the trilogy several times, and have been a Peter Jackson fan since I first saw Bad Taste over a decade ago. While I do want to see the film, I can hardly believe this "review". I come to AICN fairly often to see some news, scope out a trailer and occasionally take in a review or two. I rarely, if EVER, read a review by Harry, because they are never reviews, they are either orgasmic rantings that never quite tell you what he actually thinks of the film ("This movie brings back a memory I have of me and Hugh Jackman talking on a log during the big storm of &#39;98. Hugh said, "Harry, you look concerned," and I thought back to a time when I was eight....") or a relentless bashing based solely on the filmmakers reputation or ouvre. The name dropping and self-congratulatory tone of this review is just plain sickening. It&#39;s as if, at one point, Harry is taking credit for Elijah Wood&#39;s ivolvement in the film ("I told him he would make a great Frodo."). I mean, I do envy Harry for having a great gig, a popular site, and an obvious legion of devotees, but c&#39;mon people, he&#39;s no longer one of US anymore. He&#39;s one of THEM. He is a cog in the cinema system. He is a marketing tool. You think Peter Jackson would invite the guy from Arrow in the Head to New Zealand? Of course not, he doesn&#39;t have the bandwith! Harry sells movies now, plain and simple. If you piss him off your movie gets shat upon, if you give him a cookie, you are Orson Welles. So many of the readers on this board feel this allegiance with Harry, and defending him like he were a no-name geek being trounced upon by bullies but Harry isn&#39;t the little guy anymore. He is a corporate name dropping schmooze machine. The kind of guy who walks into a screener party and the cast and crew get nervous and say "be nice to this guy or he will direct his legions of followers to destroy our film!". So many of you seem to have waited for his blessing on this film. Why? Do you think that after weeks of Jackson&#39;s hospitality he&#39;d have a SINGLE bad thing to say? You think he would bash his "friend" Elijah&#39;s performance? Critics are supposed to keep an objectivity about them. Ebert is tight with Scorcese, but if Scorcese churns out rubbish Ebert is there to call him on it. That is the difference between good criticism and a purchased review. Shame on you, and shame on those who so blindly defend you, because the only defense you need is from your self.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 12:32 a.m. CST


    by MikeSal222

    Well, it&#39;s true, there was no way in hell Harry was going to write anything negative about FOTR, even if the movie was a steaming pile. But, two points in Harry&#39;s defense: 1) By all accounts, FOTR is a great movie. So Harry&#39;s glowing review isn&#39;t as disturbing as his raves for TPM and Godzilla. 2) Harry has posted (a few) negative reviews on the site. So, he&#39;s at least trying to give us both sides of the story.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 4:41 a.m. CST

    Part One

    by Eddie Poe

    Going into this one, I&#39;d not read a single negative review- nor had I heard a single negative comment. The trailer looked great. The behind-the-scenes documentary that aired on The Sci-Fi Channel looked great. The reviewers here waxed enthusiastic. ("The marvel is in the whole," we were told.) I was sold. I had to see this one. The window of opportunity opened and I attended a sneak preview. For three hours, I sat and watched and listened... and came away numb. The running time got to me, but that&#39;s not all: there were times when the emotions seemed forced in this film, which lent it an air of "form without substance" feeling. Though a far cry from MEET THE FEEBLES, LORD OF THE RINGS certainly never attains the epic feel director Peter Jackson strives so hard for: genius, they say, is in the details- but Jackson and company dwell only momentarily on the quiet, meaningful moments before hurtling headlong into the protracted chase that is the essence of these "quest" stories. Production design was never better, and the sets are staggering in their briefly-glimpsed, glossed over detail (and the hobbits and elves are brilliantly cast), but many of the panning shots are blurred, and the jump from one cliffhanger escape to another leaves a bit to be desired (at no point in the movie do we genuinely feel the danger our heroes are in: they effortlessly survive snare after trap after ambush so easily that they make the laughable heroics of GLADIATOR pale by comparison). That this one has its roots in "literature" is painfully obvious in the way some of the scenes are played out (to the hilt, if you will, like a badly-written play). From THE ODYSSEY to BEOWULF to CONAN to THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING, the traditions of fantasy have been laid- but it is Tolkein&#39;s books that seem to have had the greatest impact in the latter part of the twentieth century, from role-playing games to a veritable plethora of Johnny-come-lately rip-offs to movies (including the current trilogy) that suggest the craze has yet to run its course. I read THE HOBBIT in the early seventies. It had been recommended to me by one of the burnouts of the sixties drug craze (which seems to me to be where the books really found their biggest and most loyal followings). I read it and found it almost as bad as one of L. Frank Baum&#39;s books (which were clearly written for children, on a level most adults would tire of very quickly). If Peter Jackson follows up on the success of this one with the apparently already produced sequel (unlike Ralph Bakshi, who left us hanging years ago when he announced his intention of bringing the books to the Big Screen), he should make sure of at least two things: a running time of no more than two hours and the Roman numeral II after the title. There&#39;s much to be lauded in this movie, but there&#39;s also much that needs addressing. I think I&#39;ve addressed a few of the concerns moviegoers will have once they&#39;ve seen this one, but my opinion means no more (nor less) than anyone else&#39;s.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 5:26 a.m. CST

    Goddamned liberal reviewers...

    by BarkingShins

    Before I say anything at all, I have just gotten back from the midnight showing of FOTR at the Mall Of America here in Minneapolis and I thought it was absolutely incredible. Easily the best movie I have seen in many years and possibly the best that has been released in my lifetime (26 years). Having said that, I thought some of you might enjoy reading the bullshit review by Minneapolis&#39; own City Pages magazine. To provide a little background info, City Pages is very widely distributed throughout the Minneapolis area, in fact, you can pick it up at just about any convenience store in the Twin Cities metro area. It is apparently produced by a bunch of goddamned bleeding-heart liberals who always manage to find something to bitch about. In this case the reviewer is upset because of a lack of female presence in the movie and even goes so far as to say that "Girls will always be geekland&#39;s Mount Doom." He also seems to imply that the opening narration, which talks about the "ancient evil of the east encroaching on the free people of the west", might have something to do with current events in the middle-east. Give me a break will ya!! Anyway, here&#39;s the URL to the full review for you all to enjoy:

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 5:45 a.m. CST

    compares favorably with Empire Strikes Back

    by mnementh42

    Sure, we could use less close-ups and more establishing shots in many of the battles. The fighting becomes redundant only because so much of it&#39;s a blur, occasionally diminishing the impact of some amazingly rendered creatures. And occasionally the whole thing seems a bit perfunctory, plowing through a few scenes with a Potter-esque rush to cover events of a complex novel in under three hours. But mostly it&#39;s breathtakingly overwhelming. It won&#39;t challenge Memento for the Editing Oscar, but Cinematography is pretty much a given. Strong performances abound, with the ring earning top honors for its precious viciousness. Looking forward to seeing this one a few more times.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 5:51 a.m. CST

    I Saw It, I Saw It, And EDDIE POE Is Right On One Aspect Of LOTR

    by The Founder

    I saw the midnight showing, and the FOTR is good, but it ain&#39;t great. I&#39;ll say it&#39;s one of the best movies big budgeted movies that Hollywood has put out since the Matrix, but it ain&#39;t the greatest of all time, and I don&#39;t think it&#39;s intended to be, so don&#39;t go in with all the Hype in your mind thinking it&#39;s going to live up to it, well at least for me anyway. Eddie Poe is right about the running time, whew now it would have been cool if it was filled with stuff to keep you interested, but it slows down some what a couple a times, and picks back up, and I ain&#39;t saying it should be non stop action, but damn shave some of the time off, oh well I guess the slow pacing is for drama and character development, well it&#39;s not that slow, and sorry if I&#39;m making it appear as such. To us we&#39;ll take the slow down, but to the average movie goer, who is used to the crap that hollywood puts out that&#39;s whats supposed to pass as a big budget summer film, I think a lot of them will get bored, and become turned off by the movie, until the action picks back up, but by then they may walk out. The fx were great, as well as the , oh hell it looked great, no complaints there. I highly recommed seeing FOTR, you shouldn&#39;t be disappointed, but don&#39;t take small children, they&#39;ll become restless, I swear this kid in front of me who must have been around 7 or 8 kept making noises, and having to use the bathroom, I felt sorry for the father, who had to miss parts, but damn the kid should have been in the bed anyway, and he must have took a nap, because he stayed up the whole time. Well here is a movie that lived up to about 75 percent of it&#39;s Hype.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Roger Ebert Says -- Three Stars

    by fonebone

    He wasn&#39;t exactly blown away, nor will it be making his Top Ten list.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 12:59 p.m. CST


    by notpaul

    Well, I&#39;m not going to attempt a fully-detailed review, because I am sincerely just not ready yet. Allow me to explain ... I am not just some fanboy who doesn&#39;t see the difference between Starship Troopers and 2001: A Space Odyssey. I have been around the block as far as film goes, and although there is ALWAYS a nearly infinite variety of personal taste involved (whose style you like and whose you don&#39;t) there are also some semi-objective criteria by which any film can be judged. It&#39;s just that, this movie had a very strange impact/effect on me, and I need to see it at least once more (perhaps twice) before I am ready to give a full review. Having said all of that, my initial impression is that I liked it - VERY MUCH. At this stage, I would say 9 out of 10. The best I could do last night (at 4:00 am!) was to go through the film element by element and scene by scene, and try and find something I DIDN&#39;T like. Landscapes/scenery? Spot-on. Sets & Art Direction? Fantastic. Special effects? Almost all great. A few nits, but nothing that I felt was a glaring problem. Despite what the hype says, cinematic effects are still not QUITE to the stage of "real". Although I WILL say I was pleasantly surprised by a few things, Gollum being one. He looks FANTASTIC (so far). I hope that holds once we get more looks at him in The Two Towers. Cinematography & Lighting? All excellent. Not always exactly the shot I would have chosen, but those, my friends, are STYLISTIC DECISIONS wherein you have to allow for the fact that YOU were not directing this film, PJ was. Acting? I thought it was all very, very good. Some of it great. I agreed that Ian & Elijah were superb, and most tellingly, the bond and relationship between Gandalf and Frodo is believable and palpable. Ian Holm actually was getting maybe a B- in my book until Rivendell, where I thought he really shone, and I upgraded him to at least a B+, perhaps an A-. Liv was fine, as were the rest of the hobbits and men. Christopher Lee was VERY good. The "Death of Boromir" scene was very well done & well-acted. If I had to select a weak spot (in a relative sense) I would say Cate Blanchett&#39;s Galadriel, but I honestly believe this is more a matter (again) of PJ&#39;s stylistic decision to make Galadriel more "mysterious, ethereal, and magical" whereas I feel like she should be a bit more down-to-earth. I think she played it the way PJ wanted her to play it, and I have MUCH confidence in her abilites as an actress. Overall pacing? WOW. It was as lightning-fast as people were saying it would be. I have NEVER felt a three-hour film go by so quickly. I am not so sure that this sort of ride would have been MY choice were I directing, but it worked ... and may be just the thing that has so many NON-Tolkien fans enjoying the film as much as they say. PROBLEMS? Well, as far as the scene-by-scene, I found myself liking almost every one. Some might only rate an 8 out of 10, but they all worked for me ... EXCEPT ONE. The Mirror of Galadriel. Again, I MUST re-iterate that I am almost certain that the way in which PJ chose to portray that scene was grounded in his decision to portray Galadriel as a more inscrutable, "other-worldly" character. But I simply DID NOT like the "demon-transformation" when she was tempted by the Ring. I missed her LAUGH ... "thus are you gently revenged on me for my earlier testing of your heart" (forgive me for the paraphrase). For me, the way that Galadriel appears to deliver that scene in THE BOOK was the BIGGEST departure that PJ made ... the biggest "stylistic decision" that I saw, and the only one that - FOR ME - didn&#39;t really work. So, in conclusion, was that (or any of the other small nits) enough to ruin the film for me? Absolutely not. I really, really liked it. But you see, part of my difficulty in approaching this film is that I know the source material SO WELL .... it is hard to receive it in a "pure cinema" mode. I am too biased. I have too many pre-conceived notions. So, as I said at the beginning, I need to let it sink in. I need to think some more, and most importantly - I need to SEE IT AGAIN. Bottom line (since that is what people seem to look for nowaday) GO SEE IT. You won&#39;t be disappointed ... but you may be challenged.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 2:50 p.m. CST

    "There is in [Galadriel] and this land no evil, unless a man bri

    by RulingRing

    Those words said by Aragorn are the summation of the movie in my humble opinion. I look at the countervailing comments by those who have seen the movie and I find solace in them. Some find it too long and other find it too short, some too quick others too slow the dichotomies seem endless, and to me that says much to the movies favor. When we watch a film we give up our rights as the narrator at the ticket stand. Unlike to books we are not the arbiters of a movie. We cannot pause between chapters to consider what we just read, we can&#39;t skim a chapter that doesn&#39;t hold our interest and we can&#39;t invest the characters or scenery with images we find desirable. The film can only meet, exceed or fail our inward vision. Personally (and that word should invisibly preceed every comment posted by any talkbacker but rarely seems to be credited) the movie defies my attempts to classify it. I have no framework with which to compare FOTR. I haven&#39;t even begun to fully appreciate what I saw last night. The film shares the peculiar fate of the book it was based on. It defines the genre and yet it transcends it as well. If in watching FOTR you find some piece that speaks to you, that touches you that gives you a taste of awe and wonderment, I feel the movie has succeeded beyond my wildest hopes. It has been *SOMETHING* to all people, a group just as disparate and unlikely as the fellowship itself. Happy Holidays.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 3:25 p.m. CST

    An absence of suspense.

    by Irish Bug

    The hype over LOTR is...a bit overblown. I enjoyed the film, though I have read the books. For those who have not, I can see it dragging through some parts. The actual Fellowship doesn&#39;t occur until about halfway through the story, which is true to the book, BUT it also makes one who does not know the journey question the delay. There are parts where suspense was a neccesity, but was not apparent onscreen. The enitre Bree sequence was weak. Such as when the Ring Wraiths break into Bree and The Prancing Pony. They end up stabbing hobbit-pillows as the actual characters watched from a room across the street, finding they failed, screaming, and riding away. This all happenes so quickly, I don&#39;t even care that the hobbits nearly met their demise. The Ring-Wraiths were also not represented as evil as they should have been. They did not pose a big enough threat to the hobbits, and the close-calls were not close enough. Certain character introductions were stretched to a point of unbelieveability. Merry and Pippin get involved by happening to run into Frodo and Sam in a cornfield? They take the journey with them from just that? I didn&#39;t buy it. Strider/Aragorn should not have been taken in and trusted so quickly. There is a huge part in the book where they test his stories and identity which creates a stronger bond between the characters and reader. This was crucial, left out, and therefore created a lack of caring for the importance of Aragorn. Right now, he is just another rugged forest man. Action sequences were few and far between, and yes, this is the preliminary chapter to the epic...lots of introductions and laying out of the story. It takes far too long, even in the book, to get rolling, but there are ways to make this wealth of information more interesting and less dialogue-driven. Too many beautiful talking heads and too little subtle knowing looks in which all could have been explained. Striving to get the PG-13 rating may have killed this movie. It definately should have been quicker-paced, bloodier, and much more menacing. I was not concerned for the evil overtaking Middle Earth. The visuals were amazing, but how can you go wrong with beauty that already exists? There were one too many CGI camera moves through the pits of hell Saruman is creating. I got the point the first 2 times. The make-up on the orcs was great, and I suppose it was good on the elves, though all they really had were pointed ears, and you barely saw them. The score fit the film quite well. The theme worked, and the way it synced up with certain battles was powerful, BUT the end music over Frodo and Sam walking through the mountains finally passed those Titanic-esque flutes into cliche. Overall, I enjoyed FOTR, but was never on the edge of my seat. I just hope it is all redeemed in The Two Towers.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Another bad review (1 1/2 stars)

    by bdevil90

    The critic in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Daniel Neman, pretty much panned the movie. From the review, I get the since that he either has never read any of Tolkien&#39;s works, or if he did, he doesn&#39;t like them. With that disclaimer, here is the link to his review: I was pretty irritated at first(since I live in the Richmond area) until I went to and realized that he was only 1 of about 4 negative reviews out of more than 50 published so far. Thought I would pass it on though.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 5:44 p.m. CST


    by Thorn MS

    I&#39;m a 39 year old Finance exec - so you know who you&#39;re getting this from. The movie did not disappoint. Seeing this piece makes me wish for the day when I&#39;ll have all the DVD&#39;s to watch in my home theater. I&#39;ll be able to sit in my Chair, and breathe deeply, hit the button, and say to myself, "the circle is complete." Of course, that will proly be before I get all the DVD&#39;s of the original Star Wars trilogy, but who&#39;s complaining. One thing I&#39;ll say is that I didn&#39;t get the flavor of the battle scenes that some described. They are so fast and cut camera angles so fast, that I was expecting more *mystical* type battle of Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn, but it might as well have been the Princess Bride. No spectacular fighting ability evident like we were led to believe from various sources, and barring that, you&#39;re left wondering how they survived various encounters against insurmountable odds. Oh, well.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 6:28 p.m. CST

    cinema orgasm???!!!!

    by joompah7

    ohmygosh!!!!!!! I just stepped out of teh murky blackness of my local theatre from my 11:30 am viewing and we talked about for an hour at lunch non-stop!! It was everything I hoped for, dreamt about and I enjoyed every moment!! The special FX wre great! they blended in nicely with the rest of teh flick. The sets were incredible! The characters were casted PERFECT! So glad they picked Ian over Connery - great job! (Don&#39;t get me wrong I LOVE Connery, but Ian brought so much like to Gandalf)!! No slow parts or useless parts. Sit down shut up and hang on!!!! Well, actually don&#39;t be afraid to CHEER in the movie as there are great fight scenes and great comedy and thank god NO SINGING!!!!! And all you peeps that insist on reading the books before seeing it, be sure and read a few chapters into Two Towers or you&#39;ll be surprised!!! The ending doesn&#39;t happen until a few chapters INTO 2 towers.. GREAT GREAT GREAT! I&#39;ll have paid 3 times to see it before the weekend is up!! oh, and just think, we&#39;ll have seen 2 LOTR movies beofre a Matrix sequel... sigh.... AND the Blade 2 and Spider Man trailers were COOL also!! Have fun!!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 6:51 p.m. CST

    It didn&#39;t suck, but...

    by RU486

    it wasn&#39;t very good either. And no this isn&#39;t a backlash against the genius of Peter Jackson and his new legion of gushers. It&#39;s just an honest opinion, but perhaps I&#39;m deranged beyond hope. It was too long and poorly paced. I found myself bored with the movie at several points. LotR is not cinematic perfection or the start of some new form of filmmaking, it&#39;s just Hollywood&#39;s ability to create stunning visuals grafted onto a story that should have been rewriten as many times as it would have taken to make this a MOVIE and not a recreation of the book. It&#39;s ironic really. After years of listening to ignorant people whine about how the book was better (you pick your favorite adaptation), we now have two movies in Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings that reveal the fatal flaw in sticking TOO close to the book. Maybe those who don&#39;t get it will finally start to realize that film brings an entirely different aesthetic to the game than literature, and one should never sacrifice sequencing and pacing to appease the literary elite. It&#39;s not hard. It really isn&#39;t. Literature is literature and film is film. Both have their own set of rules and it just takes a little bit of effort to figure that out.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 8:01 p.m. CST

    is it the one film to rule them all?...

    by mansep

    saw it earlier today at the leicester square odeon in london. made me feel like a kid again. greatest film ever made? no. but was i disapponted? only a little. make no mistake, this is one of the most entertaing adventure films in a long time, and one of the best book adaptations i&#39;ve seen. but it isn&#39;t in my top 10 best films, or my top 10 favourite films. my main problems were: too much of the story is glossed over, like why merry and pippin decide to join sam and frodo, sam and frodo&#39;s unquestioning acceptance of the stranger strider, who legolas is (probably the most under-developed character), the way aragorn&#39;s sword suddenly becomes reforged, i could go on. often just one line of dialogue would have corrected these mistakes. you would assume that they had to make these cuts to cram it all into three hours. but the thing is they drew out other scenes too long, particularly the last 15-20 minutes which seemed a bit thin. jackson obviously was trying to build to some kind of climax rather than just have a sudden cliffhanger, but boromir didn&#39;t need to get up twice, the uruk-hai was given too much prominence in the film, it just didn&#39;t feel right. this was a three hour film yet felt like one and a half so it wasn&#39;t time that was a problem, it&#39;s the pacing. there were times when the film should have slowed down to let you understand how and why events unfold, but other times when things shouldn&#39;t have been so stretched. everyone will tell you how great the cgi is in this film and they&#39;d be right so i won&#39;t repeat their comments here (but the creatures and armies do look awesome). there is much else i love about this film and visually its very impressive, from little things like when the ring shrinks down to fit the finger of isildur, to the epic sweeps through isengard. i&#39;ve had the chance to sleep on it since i saw it and i&#39;d like to see it again to make a better evaluation. and i can&#39;t wait to see the next 2 films. lucas and ilm will be shitting their pants. for all my misgivings i can&#39;t recommend this film highly enough, but i think i can only give it 9/10. if jackson could tweak it for the dvd it would get a perfect 10. but tolkien would have hated it ;)

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 8:27 p.m. CST


    by durdhamboy

    I walked out of the cinema here in Bristol (that&#39;s in West England) about an hour ago, with my head full of some of the most astonishing imagery I never thought I&#39;d see. The film was superb - not perfect - but superb. I have never been so completely engrossed by a piece of cinema. My heartiest congratulations to Peter Jackson and the cast and crew of LOTR (as well as New Line for having the balls to pay for it). I wait with baited breath for part two. Now if I can just hold off reading the Two Towers before then.... P.S. Ian McKellen rocks. Knight him again.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 8:45 p.m. CST

    The best movie I can remember seeing in my adult life.

    by Smurfette

    Perfect 10.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 8:57 p.m. CST

    The bible vs. Lord of the Rings

    by bobis111

    funny that there have been posts in regard to this...i wrote a paper 5 years ago hailing Lord of the Rings as a far superior piece of literature to the bible (during a bible as lit unit). LOTR reflects every aspect of what makes us human in a way that the bible never could and does it in a way that actually excites us. The bible is a great piece of literature (i absolutely DO NOT consider it a historical text if you&#39;re wondering) but Lord of the Rings just soars above it across the board. the reason LOTR was the comparing factor in the paper is that we were to compare a piece of lit we had read before to the bible and reflect on what both tried to achieve and, of course, which was the superior piece of literature. very interesting slew of papers came through, i got an A on mine (my friend also tried the bible vs. LOTR but i think he got a little too into his whole atheism thing to get a good grade on it) please don&#39;t shoot me, i had a very liberal teacher :)

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 9:29 p.m. CST

    So much ridiculous hype...

    by CHEET

    Has every reviewer in the US gone mad? Here&#39;s a movie so awful that it made Roger Ebert write a lucid review - his best review in years, but he gave it way too many stars. How starved are we for quality that we&#39;ve elevated this movie to such a high pedestal. Now, let&#39;s get the crap out of the way. 1.) I think The Phantom Menace sucked balls, and the romance trailer for Ep. 2 is the most hideous, laughable trailer since any trailer featuring Kevin Costner. 2.) I read the books slavishly in my youth. I could read Dwarven runes. I now can write and read some Old English, such was this book&#39;s hold on my life. As for the movie, yes, it&#39;s impressive, beautifully realized (visually), and all the hard work and effort shows, and it&#39;s well cast. There is a sensation of caring about the material in this film - but caring about the script, and not Tolkien&#39;s work. Peter Jackson&#39;s taken the book and turned it into some kind of crazy ass action film. We spend more time looking at post CGI era swooping crane shots from Isengard into the bowels of the earth to marvel at CGI orcs than in the Shire. There&#39;s dubious references to weed that had the full audience I saw it with groaning (all of a sudden pipeweed has become weed). What&#39;s with the dwarf tossing reference? Yet again, a director succumbs to their own cleverness and sense of camp than of respecting the material. Don&#39;t get me wrong - I&#39;m not slamming Peter Jackson, saying he lacks talent or vision - I just don&#39;t think his vision is suited to this material. I actually prefer Bakshi&#39;s treatment of individual scenes. I was enthralled as the movie began, hadn&#39;t followed the production, didn&#39;t have expectations too high - then as soon as Sauron shows up looking like he was designed by some D&D playing artist for PC games, and slamming people into the air with shots from his mace - they lost me. All the magic went and I realized I would be watching three hours of the opening scene to the game "Diablo". No magic, everything overwrought and overloud... Tis a pity. In all fairness, I think the last twenty minutes are the truest and best moments in the film. But what the fuck was up with Bilbo Baggin&#39;s Large Marge face??? The only special effect Jackson needed was Holm&#39;s acting, but he couldn&#39;t resist some more cheesy CGI. Score: George Lucas: negative 20 Peter Jackson: negative 5. Another fond childhood memory ruined. Bring on The Cat in the Hat, Episode 2... Hell, maybe Joel Schumacher should adapt Where the Wild Things are. Meanwhile, I&#39;m gonna go watch TV and stare in horror and Lord of the Onion Rings commercials. What was with Gandalf&#39;s breakdancing? An homage to the spinning Tolkien&#39;s doing in his grave?

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Well said.

    by MikeSal222

    I agree with you 100%, CHEET. I think this is another case of people convincing themselves that this is one of the best movies of the year, just because EW and Rolling Stone said it is. If the movie had gotten mixed or negative reviews beforehand, I think the responses to the movie would be different.

  • Dec. 19, 2001, 11:14 p.m. CST


    by bankythehack432

    HARRY,STOP BEING SO DAMN EMOTIONAL! its just a movie! christ! that had to be the sappiest review i have ever read! now i will talk about the fucking comic relief in this goddam miediocre flick. the only time comic relief was done right was in star wars. r2d2 and c3po. they saved the day without tripping over something! WOW! and are sam and frodo lovers? i never read the book so i dont know. to bad i&#39;m not gonna want to see th next two. TWO stars out of FIVE but ONLY because of the killer decapatations!

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Ebert was right and then some

    by TLoy

    I just saw the movie. I was disappointed. Let me try to be real specific about why. FOTR is technically flawless. Jackson does an astounding job at getting the big stuff about Tolkien right: the look of Middle Earth, the grandeur of the epic. Where he fails is getting the small stuff right. Some examples: 1. Aragorn weilding "the sword that was broken" is a major element of understanding and appreciating the depth of his character. Though the sword is mentioned in Rivendell as a "relic", we see or hear nothing of the sword being forged anew, giving a symbol to Aragorn&#39;s authority. It&#39;s never mentioned again. 2. The relationship between Frodo and Sam is essential to appreciating the depth of Sam&#39;s character: the heartwarming servility with which he devotes himself to Frodo. He&#39;s a manservant for god&#39;s sake. We get no sense of this until perhaps at the very end when Sam refuses to leave Frodo. Until that point for all we knew he was just a good friend. Also, Sam&#39;s obsession with Elves and his desire to see them is ignored. Finally Sam&#39;s attachment to the horse that Feeny at Bree at mistreated. In a bizarre fashion, Jackson leaves out the backstory of this and just gives the ending, where Sam seems sad at having to part with the horse at the gates of Moria. However, it&#39;s the first moviegoers have heard of this horse, so it makes no sense. In fact, the character of Samwise is gutted. 3. The tension between elves and dwarfs. There&#39;s one line that Gimli utters at Rivendell that alludes to this, but that&#39;s it. And by the way, the great scene when they enter Lothlorien and everyone (including Legolas) has to agree to wear a blinfold to keep Gimli from shedding blood over the issue. Jackson ignores this great moment. 4. The scene in which Gandalf is saved from Orthanc by the eagle is shot in such a way that is rushed and routine, when it should have been one of the more dramatic moments. One might point out that some things must be cut to get the movie to a decent running time. Just so. However, what about the things that were added: relatively long scenes that were absolute Hollywood hokum that were not in the book. Examples? 1. There&#39;s a rather long scene in Moria in which the members of the Fellowship have to jump across a bridge with a broken span (Aragorn and Frodo barely make it in a rather silly way). Never happened. 2. After Boromir has fallen and the Uruk Hai have taken Merry and Pippen, Aragorn returns to go mano un mano with what appears to be the head Uruk. Pure hokum. Jackson made it up. Of course Jackson gets a lot right. The performances are all exemplary. Liv Tyler is particularly good in the beefed up Arwen role, a change I don&#39;t object to. In fact, the scene at the border of Rivendell in which she evokes the river stopping the Ringwraiths is perhaps the strongest CGI scene and one of the best. The bottom line is this: when translating any book to film you have to make choices. You have to cut out a lot and leave behind what is essential to making the book a good book in the first place. Cutting out Tom Bombadil and the Barrow Downs was good movie making. The early quiet scenes at the Shire are good movie making. However, somewhere along the way he turned a very moving book with rich characterizations into a light and sound show. Not a bad movie, but I can name several this year that were superior: Memento and Moulin Rouge to name a couple.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 12:18 a.m. CST

    I&#39;m disappointed

    by Brother Isaac

    Bits and pieces of the film are absolutely delightful. I can&#39;t imagine a more perfect Saruman than Christopher Lee, for example. He *shines*. The problem is that in many ways, Peter Jackson and his co-adaptors seem to have missed the fundamental sense of things. I&#39;m not talking about the details they got wrong, like the exterior of Orthanc and the ridiculously short and narrow walls of Isengard, which are trivial in the larger scheme of things no matter how unfortunate they were. Nor is my complaint that of the nearsighted, obsessive fan -- that everything onscreen wasn&#39;t precisely as it was in the book. I understand the need to compress and discard. Skip Frodo selling Bag End and moving across the Brandywine? Makes sense. Ditch Tom Bombadil and the barrow wights? Again, an eminently reasonable decision. Replace Glorfindel with Arwen to increase her role a bit so that Aragorn&#39;s romance doesn&#39;t seem, when not backed up by the abundant details in the novels, to come out of nowhere later? That actually worked out OK as far as it went. But they strayed into dangerous territory when they attributed the quest&#39;s troubles with Caradhras to Saruman. I can understand the reasoning, but it was part of a fatal shrinking of Middle Earth itself. Tolkein&#39;s world seemed so huge and real because he made us feel its vastness and age, the enormous number of places and things and people and creatures that populated it, and the tremendous weight and detail of its history. Caradhras, a mountain as an entity unto itself, was an important element of that. Another vital chunk of history was lost with their treatment of Moria. If I hadn&#39;t read the books, I&#39;d never have known that Moria fell into ruin many long years ago, that Balin merely led an expedition to try to recover the kingdom, and that the Balrog was the very bane which ended the underground dwarven nation. No extra time need have been spent making that clear, and the dread of the Balrog would&#39;ve been infinitely greater -- instead of watching a generic (if impressive) fiery demon, we would&#39;ve been holding our breaths at the approach of the monstrous foe which destroyed an entire mighty *nation* of dwarves. In fact, the Balrog itself shouldn&#39;t have been so huge. It wasn&#39;t written that way, for starters, and as James Cameron understood when creating the T1000, smallness can sometimes be even more intimidating. But even these are not among the greatest of my complaints. Important as those problems are, they are, after all, more part of the background than the foreground. It was when they mangled the main characters themselves that they really pissed me off. For example, where on earth did they get the brilliant idea of Aragorn being petrified of power, fearing that his blood had gone thin and that he&#39;d repeat the sin of his ancestor Isildur? What a huge crock! That&#39;s not the root of his arc at all. And why undermine Frodo&#39;s resolve, not to mention Aragorn&#39;s nobility, by having Frodo announce that he&#39;s leaving and having Aragorn agree rather than having Frodo sneak off to save everyone else from the ring&#39;s influence? For that matter, why even include Merry and Pippin at all if they were going to cut their roles so heavily that it was hard to tell them apart? Perhaps most significantly of all, the very power of the ring was lacking. Why, for example, wasn&#39;t it made clear that the Watcher in the pool at the gates of Moria went straight for Frodo because it felt the power of the ring and lusted for it? Why didn&#39;t we see more of the ring at work among the company? Why, for that matter, rely on cheap theatrics for Galadrial&#39;s reaction to Frodo&#39;s offer of the ring? The effects there completely obscured the deep emotional test she passed. I could go on, but I&#39;d be going on at great length, so I&#39;ll stop. Oh well. I do wonder how the movie will play to people who never read the books. In some ways, I suspect it&#39;ll work better -- they won&#39;t know, for example, that Aragorn was supposed to be different, better. But I also think that without the background information to fill in the gaps, a lot of the story will feel very arbitrary and shallow. I guess the best thing that came out of this for me is that I&#39;m going to dig up my copy and reread the trilogy.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Bored of the Rings

    by Bad Guy

    I really wanted to like this movie. I really did. I&#39;ve never read the books, but that shouldn&#39;t matter, right? A good movie is a good movie. This movie looks great, strong cast, good f/x. But, oh my god, it just drags on and on. I mean this movie really feels long. How long? It seems longer than Titanic, Braveheart and Dances w/ Wolves put together. I&#39;m talking long. An hour and a half into it, I started to wonder if anything was really going to happen. I understand that you have to introduce the characters and their situation, but does it all have to be so ponderous? I enjoyed the opening segment where they summarized "The Hobbit" and the scenes with the Orcs and the troll, but twenty minutes of cool stuff in a three hour movie? You&#39;ve gotta be kidding. And it&#39;s not just that I only wanted to see lots of battles. Continueous fight scenes get old too. I think they could&#39;ve cut this down to two hours without losing anything important. I admire Peter Jackson for trying to be faithful to the book, but there&#39;s a lot of extraneous stuff in this movie. Actually, the battle scenes weren&#39;t even shot that well. Far too many closeups during the fights. Just for the record, I saw this with three other people. My fiance, her nine year old son and my best friend. My fiance feels pretty much like I do, my friend, who has read the book, fell asleep three times during it and even though the kid says he enjoyed it, after two hours, even he had to ask when this movie was going to be over. Oh well, at least the Spiderman trailer was cool. Peace.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 1:19 a.m. CST

    Frodo is Goodo

    by the son of John

    The son of John here. Well it was late last night when i decied that i would not submit myself staying home and listing to my father snore. So i called my buddy cheif who works at the Hollywood Video. Where the Boulvard the king of the 1.00 movie houses was. So i called him and after giving him so much crap about being a tratior to film geekdom. i told him about the midnight show Of Fellowship at Centneial Lakes. Oh to hell with it im too tired to be witty so i am going To sum LOTR like this, This movie along with the outher two movies that will become great movie fair. i enjoyed the film very much. I will though have to be more awake for it . and no i did not fall asleep during the film although the guy in the next seat was snoring when the fellowship got out of kasa doom Fucking awesome part . All in all probley will be on my top 100 list for this year. if there are a 100 grate movies out there

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Guess it&#39;s not so good...

    by ruskul

    I&#39;m kinda tired now, but if you must know, yes I&#39;ve seen FOTR. I liked it, but I definetly feel as if those whom have read the books will get the true feelings intended. I thought the film was a spectacular endevour, but because of how this movie was made, I can&#39;t tell if the adaptation was poor, or this is exactly what this "legend" of the lord of the rings is all about. In the end, I thought it was a good movie, but if this were true to the books, then the Lord Of the Rings isn&#39;t as big a deal as I thought.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 2:58 a.m. CST

    Finally released from cryogenic chamber--Holy Cow!!! O_O

    by Pippin's Diamond

    wOW! After two years of wondering and wondering and living off the bones PJ and crew would throw us every once in a while... After a kinda rotten semester at school... after leaving my tailender friends for a long time... the day finally arrived and the wait was Oh So Worth It as I sat there with a bucket of popcorn on my lap and Great Awe on my face. Sure I have my problems. Very minor, except for that Galadriel bit which felt kinda like someone sticking a piece of chewed gum on the Mona Lisa. But it&#39;s a truly great film. Right now I just wanna read TB and see what you all thought, but first I had to post to go down in TB history ;). Many many greetings and a big hug to all the old gang, BTW. You know who you are.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 3:28 a.m. CST

    New Line Should Move The Next One Up 6 Months, A Year Is To Long

    by The Founder

    Seriously, thiey need to move the next one up to summer 02, and release the last Christmas of 02. The wait is to long, and audience booed when it ended, apparantly some of the people don&#39;t know that the others are due out a year apart. New Line should at the very least have put a to be continued, and said the two towers, out xmas 02, not everyone knows. I still think the movie was good, but it could have been trimmed down by a half hour, some of the scenes could have been cut, and it wouldn&#39;t have affected the movie, and I agree with another poster, their was actual little use of MAGIC, I would have preferred more, but I haven&#39;t read the book, so I don&#39;t know if this is the way it&#39;s supposed to be, but Gandalf is supposed to be a powerful Wizard, but yet he hardly used any magic, oh well these complaints are my preferance, so it may not be the case with others. I can&#39;t wait for the next one.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 4:18 a.m. CST


    by phil dearly

    I must say that I cannot think of one person who I can recommend this movie too. The casual moviegoer will not be impressed by "The Fellowship of the Ring". Now, I purposefully did not read the books so I would not know anything about the plot of the film before seeing it. Every time I read the book, then see the movie, I hate the movie. And since I&#39;m a movie lover more than a book lover, I did not read the book. Peter Jackson assured me that people who have never read the books who still be able to enjoy the movie, in other words, he thought of us non-readers while making the films. Now, I was as excited about this film coming out moreso than any other film I can recall. I was so bored and disappointed with this film I can&#39;t even fully articulate. First off, the special effects aren&#39;t very special. They were about as convincing as the effects in SPAWN (remember Malebolgia?). Is it me or did the cave troll look just like the giant troll from HARRY POTTER? (Incidentally, Harry Potter was another film that I hated, but had not read the book for that either). What I really wanted from the film was to be transported to another world. Still photographs that I saw suggested that we would see a whole &#39;nother world. What I felt I got was weak special effects. Not since GLADIATOR have audiences mistaken a completely mediocre film for an epic masterpiece. What I also wanted from the film is a sense of adventure,a sense of wonder. I saw nothing in the film that I haven&#39;t seen somewhere else. I wanted to eb on the edge of my seat, biting my nails hoping that Frodo can escape from demons and goblins and evil wizards and whatever else he might come across. WHERE WAS THE EXCITEMENT???????????? The movie was practically dead on the screen!!! Nothing moved me at all. It&#39;s more comparable to THE MAJESTIC (a complete piece of shit) than to, say, HARRY POTTER. Hell, HARRY POTTER was garbage, but at least it wasn&#39;t as boring as FOTR. Arguably the most exciting part in the film was where the staircase is breaking and they have to jump from one side to the other. The lame f/x and utter predictability of it killed any chance of me getting excited. WHY THE HELL WASN&#39;T THERE MORE ACTION and EXCITEMENT???!!! TOO MUCH LAME-O DIALOGUE!!! Ask Kevin Smith, he&#39;ll tell you that dialogue does NOT put asses in the seats!!! Let me now state that I was not confused by the storyline of FOTR, I understood it just fine, but why all the long drawn-out dialogue scenes. As a HUGE Peter Jackson fan, I am completely disappointed. Am I the only person that believes this is his worst film? The main difference between FOTR and Jackson&#39;s other films is that his other films contained original elements. Not one new idea or visual in this film! Hell, even the score was recycled from other films (Think "Indiana Jones" meets "TITANIC"). I would rather watch MEET THE FEEBLES again before watching FOTR for the second time. Actually, I won&#39;t put too much blame on Mr. Jackson. I truly hope the trilogy&#39;s a hit, so he gets more money to make whatever he wants (Hell, I say give the guy a billion dollars and just ask that he delivers a dozen movies over the next twenty years!) I guess then, most of the blame should go to Tolkien with his horrendously-paced epic. Supposedly, the second book is a little more action-oriented with less of the set-up. Why was this movie almost three hours? I don&#39;t even remember much happening! Just for the record, I do NOT think this film will be nominated for best picture. I do not think the majority of audience members have the patience for a movie like this. It judt does not deliver the goods Peter Jackson has been promising for years!! Such a shame. The best picture nominees will be: 1. Memento 2. Moulin Rouge 3. Amelie 4. A Beautiful Mind 5. In the Bedroom P.S. Mr. Jackson, In my opinion it&#39;s a little late to start organizing the actual fellowship 90 minutes into the movie! There&#39;s way too much dead space!! God, I hope 2 Towers is better!!! Is it even possible it could be worse?

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 5:06 a.m. CST

    Another Review

    by Mousemonkey

    What a brave man Peter Jackson is. Just think about the scope, imagination and balls required to undertake such a task as all three episodes of the apparently &#39;unfilmable&#39; The Lord of The Rings and to undertake the task yourself with your own crew and effects company, on the other side of the world, away from the cradle of filth that is Hollywood. This is pioneering film making and you&#39;ve got to admire the man for that. That said the film and plot move briskly (a little too briskly at times) and the three hours simply fly by. Your eyes are treated to some of the most &#39;eyegasmic&#39; images ever transferred to celluloid. Unfortunately because of the books scope and Mr. Jackson&#39;s commitment to bring you people a faithful adaptation of said book the film sometimes suffers. We are rushed from location to location and as a consequence the characterisation and interaction between characters tends to suffer. The relationship between Frodo and Sam is all there but we the audience don&#39;t feel the strong bond between these two characters because Sams character is not fully fleshed out. I couldn&#39;t help feeling that all through this film Jackson the director was so in love with the visuals he had in his head that the characters just simply seemed to sit uneasily side by side. He seemed to miss many opportunities to strengthen characters that a Director like Spielberg would&#39;ve jumped on. An example of this is at the entrance to the dwarf Mines of Moria. The entrance is guarded by a secret password that Gandalf in all his wisdom cannot seem to open. But the simple Hobbit and their love of riddles manages to open the great door fairly easily. This should be a very warm and witty scene but because Jackson?s camera cannot resist moving the scene falls flat on it&#39;s face. The visuals are all there and in check, the actors are playing their part but the fault, I&#39;m afraid, lies with Jackson?s lack of experience as a director..... Strider/Aragorn (played by a wonderful Viggo Mortensen hastily bought in 10 weeks into shooting to replace Stuart Townsend because of &#39;creative differences with Jackson) is a King in disguise. This is a MAJOR plot point in the book but woefully underplayed in the film. The scene when all is revealed is yet another damp squib in sumptuous surroundings and is somewhat clumsily handled. As are the other members of the fellowship they are dropped in with little introduction or character built up around or between them and we the audience are expected to bond and root for them. But when all is said and done the film is definitely worth the ride, there are truly amazing scenes and set pieces. The CGI is superb and the character of Golum looks very promising (his reflective eyes are a very nice touch) Sarumans keep is seeped in evil and darkness and we are treated to a fall from the very top of the keep to the very depths of the earth where he is assembling his army and looks like a scene from dantes inferno. All in all Jackson has done a better job that anyone could&#39;ve hoped for, sure it has it&#39;s faults and some sections seem to stay just a little to long but the imagery stays longer in the memory and it&#39;s the first film for a long while that has raised so much debate amongst the regular punters. Everyone I sat with in the cinema was glued to the screen from beginning to end, they left in an excited babble and this is a good thing, what cinema is meant for, roll on The Two Towers

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 5:20 a.m. CST

    Excellent. A question, though...

    by DouglasAH

    Great movie, but I have one question someone acquainted with the books might answer. There&#39;s this theme of temptation surrounding the ring, yet we&#39;re told repeatedly that the ring answers only to Sauron, that it&#39;s trying to get back to him, that he doesn&#39;t share power, et cetera. If all this is true, what the heck can the ring be offering? Sure, it&#39;ll grant limitless Sauron. Long life, sure, but the immortal Elf was tempted, too. Invisibility, but not the type that&#39;ll let you sneak into Arwen&#39;s dressing room in Rivendell, and still see anything worthwhile, instead of spires and demons and a giant eye.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 5:25 a.m. CST

    PJ vs GL

    by kxmode

    Seeing how Lucas has lost his film-making skills. Maybe he should hand off a making Star Wars Episode 7-9 to Mr. Peter Jackson. Lucas PROMISED 9 (n-i-n-e) Star Wars movies. Way back in the early 80s he said the complete Star Wars story was going to consist of nine movies. Hence you&#39;ll want to read: The information on that page describes the events starting fives year after the death of Palpatine at Endor.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 5:44 a.m. CST

    RE: Excellent. A question, though...

    by kxmode

    I remember somewhere in the movie one of the characters explaining the spirit of Sauron was captured in the ring and that they are one and the same. Since Sauron isn&#39;t in psychical form yet the essence of the ring with his spirit would emanate evil. If the spirit of a good person (Gandalf for example) was in the ring maybe it would emanate goodness. Each race is effected by the ring&#39;s evil powers in different ways. We saw this in the first Human that cut Sauron&#39;s fingers and the ring in which Elrond prompted to throw the ring into Mt Doom but did not. We see this in Biromir. We see this in Queen Galadriel. Human, human and Elf. All effected negatively. That is why Galadriel states "This task was apppointed to you, and if you do not find a way... no one will."

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 5:56 a.m. CST

    I love the Cinerama

    by MrsDanvers

    Harry, I&#39;m sorry that you had to see this film in such a crappy-ass theater. You should come to Seattle and watch it at the Cinerama, the only worthwhile venture that Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen ever put his money into! I went to the sold-out 8 p.m. show, and the THX really did add to the excitement. We cheered for the Lucasfilm logo (Clones trailer) and the Wingnut logo, but as soon as Cate Blanchett&#39;s voice filled the theater, a hush fell over the audience (and a 3-block radius--they just knew somehow). As for Star Wars references: I&#39;ve always wondered if I glorified the trilogy just because I was a kid when I saw it. I always wondered what it would be like to see such a film as an adult and with LOTR, NOW I KNOW! As a kid, sure, you&#39;re entranced, but you have a shorter attention span. As an adult, you get this obsessive, cultish energy from it. You want to join the movie and be a part of it. And apparently, Harry, that&#39;s what you did--we are all jealous.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 6:24 a.m. CST

    I dunno, good sound system and all...

    by DouglasAH

    But I saw the Apocalypse Now Redux at the Cinerama recently, and I didn&#39;t feel like I was seated in a theater. It didn&#39;t seem all that dark, and somehow the seating made me feel like getting up for a restroom break or a refill was no big deal. That sorta clashes with my idea of sinking down in a seat, shrinking to insignificance as I stare wide-eyed at the screen, and getting lost for two hours.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 8 a.m. CST

    Liv T

    by Dogchew

    Does she get her tits out ?

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 8:28 a.m. CST

    phil dearly


    I totally agree with 110% on this.I too thought GLADIATOR was vastly overrated.It even won over BEN HUR AND SPARTICUS in a 100 greatest ever films poll (public insanity!)And this is exactly another gladiator.Uninvolving characters and although the acting was good in general it didnt quite gel.The effects were not seamless to its surroundings. If it is a classic tale it should NOT be filmed like a modern &#39;hip&#39;matrix style movie.(slowmo friggin SLOMO?!!!) It was a mess and failed in transporting me into the world.The opening was good enough and when it was at the shire I thought yeah! this is it! a film with a soul!Then it fell flat on its face.Ive seen it twice,dont go again thinking it may change your opinion because it may not. Not a masterpeice and not a &#39;great&#39;movie...just average. Dont forget your not alone so when jibbering fanboys bite back ignore them.They like xena,buffy and X files BUT they are not film lovers thats for sure!

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Re: the broken bridge scene

    by Smaugbelly

    "Examples? 1. There&#39;s a rather long scene in Moria in which the members of the Fellowship have to jump across a bridge with a broken span (Aragorn and Frodo barely make it in a rather silly way). Never happened.".... Well actually there is a passage during the trek through Moria where the party has to jump a huge gap in the passage one by one. While not exactly the teetering bridge, its close. Also incidentaly this is where Sam wishes he had some rope, which he eventually gets in Lothlorien, which comes in very handy in the Emyn Muil. I&#39;m actually disappointed they cut the Galdadriel gift giving scene, especially Gimli getting the strands of Galadriel&#39;s hair. Oh well, here&#39;s hoping its in the DVD. Elliott

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Bored f the Rings...and harry&#39;s dry humping of PJ

    by dschneider

    I so much wanted to love this movie....Since no one has the lemons to say anything bad about this so-so movie on an epic scale I will....I (and Mad magazine) will refer to it as Bored of the Rings...not as dull as the book but they should offer coffee and dramamine with a ticket...had good rhythm: quiet&boring, quiet&boring, quiet&boring, LOUD FIGHT, quiet&boring, quiet&boring, quiet&boring, LOUD FIGHT...and on...and on...and on...I like his filming technique apparently they strap cameras on birds and sweep through every scene...I havent seen that much camera movement in the woods since Blair Witch. How many times they gonna sweep around and through Sourmans tower? Maybe as many times as they show a close up of a growling orc? but not as many as close ups of Frodo&#39;s eyes or the ring laying somewhere. I about busted out laughing when Frodo is talking and the camera jerked for no reason. I think the cameraman dozed off too. I can&#39;t wait for the DVD, I can stop it and take a nap and resume play later. With out being a smart@$$ I can honestly say I had never yawned so much in a movie in my life! and I saw Vegas Vacation in a theater! All the geeks (especially on AICN talkbacks) have been saying this will kick star wars ass...I dunno, I doubt it&#39;ll kick Monster&#39;s Inc&#39;s. They also said about Episode 1 that pretty pictures and great special effects don&#39;t make a great movie and this is one for the example books. I might not have loved Episode 1 but I can sit through it and maybe yawn once, but I can sit through multiple viewings...which I might on the FOTR DVD when can pause for a nap. On the plus side, Visually it was stunning the effects were great and it did have an epic feel (but the sweeping above and around in almost every scene&#39;s begining got nauseating....yeah we go the fact that this is a grand adventure the first 30 times, he lets sweep by the tower a clos eup of the Frodo&#39;s eyes..ok, losing audience CRANK UP THE MUSIC. I thought I was on the back to the future ride at Universal Studios again) Peter Jackson&#39;s DVD commentary will be "WEEEEEEEEEEEE....look what we can do....WEEEEEEEEEEE....ZOOOOM....WHOOOOSH...." from the man who brought you...uhhh...uhhh...Frighteners? Must have got him cheap. If you go see it take coffee and go for a matinee, you&#39;ll have a better shot at staying awake. Well actually when it gets real boring they crank up the sound (and sometimes the music is so loud you can&#39;t hear the character&#39;s. OK, I&#39;ll stop now. I hereby remove my geek mantle, because you guys are the Uber-geeks, this snore fest was the same old crap with pretty effects. this yawnfest put me to sleep, Wake me up for the Clones and Chamber of Secrets...

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 9:56 a.m. CST


    by General Idea

    Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous movie. I can&#39;t remember the last time I was so engrossed in a film of this type. The escape from Moria/Khazad-Dun sequence had my heart racing, even though I already knew what was going to happen. I had a few complaints, as most people have already highlighted: Sam&#39;s drowning, Gandalf spinning, the super-orc, etc. Also thought the sequences with Galadriel and Bilbo being swayed by the ring & actually changing form were overdone a little. Someone here mentioned that they didn&#39;t show the ring&#39;s power enough. Are you kidding? It was given so much attention that it was almost it&#39;s own character. I thought most of the battles were fine. Not outstanding, but fine. The cave troll was great, balrog was great, Saruman was great. McKellan was Gandalf, enough said. Tremendous acting all around. It will take me some time to reflect to compare it with my favorite movies of all-time, probably only after all the movies are out will I be able to place them. My friend who saw it had never read the books & knew nothing about them. He thought the intro sequence was done perfectly (CGI of Sauron bashing 10 warriors at once notwithstanding). He couldn&#39;t understand how this was only the first third of the story, yet the fellowship seemed to already be in ruin. "Why did he kill off Gandalf so soon?? He was great!" I could only bite my tongue and tell him he&#39;d have to wait. Regardless of how this does at the box office, after the DVD comes out & EVERYONE sees it, I think The Two Towers will be even bigger. The audience erupted in applause when the movie ended. I don&#39;t remember the last time that happened. My head&#39;s still swimming with visions of this movie, & I expect it will be for some time... There were minor issues, sure, but wow....

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Fellowship of the Ring

    by PTI

    I wanted to like the first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I think Elijah Wood is a terrific actor. I like Sean Astin and John Rhys-Davies. And J.R.R. Tolkien&#39;s tales of Middle Earth seemed perfect for the palate of today

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Harry see&#39;s LOTR and cheats on his right hand and vaseline.

    by dschneider

    Jesus Harry! After reading your dry humping of the film can, I am still laughing...lose 300 pounds, move out of the parents hole and GET LAID! so how many bottles of hand lotion and kleenex&#39;s were sold yesterday to all you LOTR virgins? the movie was OK at best, admit it, then wack off again. "I believe I have just had the most perfect film experience in my life. The one that I struggle so hard to have has happened effortlessly" "I didn

  • First of all, I am pleased that Harry loved FotR as much as he did, even if he only presented his personal reactions to it and not really review the movie in this column. Oh well, it&#39;s his website. *******Secondly, for me this is the BEST film adaptation of a fantasy novel I have ever seen. Now, I qualify my statement in that way because this isn&#39;t the best original fantasy--for that I name Dragonheart because it moved me more than this--not that this didn&#39;t move me, Dragonheart just did it more and in better ways. Of course, there have been damned few fantasy novels adapted to film, but this undoubtedly takes Grand Prize.*******Basically, I&#39;m a purist when it comes to adaptation of a work of literature to film, and I judge such a movie according to how well it translated that work, but also in how it may have improved on the original form. Strictly as a purist, I could fault it greatly for the liberties PJ took with his screenplay. Howver, while he does change things quite a bit, omit some worthy sections of the novel and introduce important elements that take place (in the novel) "off-stage," as it were, I think he did a superb job in recreating Tolkien&#39;s epic in a visual, dramatized way.*******I love his settings, outdoors and in, the SFX he applied to connote effects of magic or the feelings of certain characters experiencing magical power, and most of his interpretations of how he thought things should look. I also approve of how he enhanced several background characters, in spite of the fact that that didn&#39;t happen in the original novel. For this movie, quite simply put, it works.*******In many cases he greatly improved on how Tolkien described things, in others PJ overdid it. Some improvements (albeit stark changes from the novel) were: the whole Prologue, the brief looks into the characters of Sam, Merry & Pippin as seen early in the whole Shire intro; keeping the comedy down to a reasonable bare minimum; Gandalf&#39;s (off-stage in the novel) investigation of the Ring he suspects is the One and his consultation and betrayal and imprisonment by Saruman; the incredible use of Arwen, who was sadly little more than window-dressing in the novel--I could listen to her speak Elvish for hours, even without subtitles--although perhaps overdone in her participation, her character really deserved more and she terrifically enhances the scenes she&#39;s in; the display and safekeeping of Anduril(?) at Rivendell; the whole look of Rivendell and Lothlorien--using winding stairs up the trees was far better than rope ladders, IMHO; Saruman&#39;s possible involvement in the Caradhras fiasco; Galadriel&#39;s transfiguration into what she could become if she accepted the Ring; Frodo&#39;s perception of the Nazgul while wearing the ring; all the fight scenes; the destruction/transformation of Isengard and creation of the Uruk-hai; the Watcher in the Water--shit almighty that was scary; the augmented use of the Cave Troll; and finally the BALROG (&#39;nuff said in simply mentioning it, I think.) Some things that didn&#39;t work, which PJ should not have overdone, changed, or left out: Tom Bombadil and his involvement with the hobbits; the Orcs swarming over roof and column like spiders--gee, never thought they could do THAT; the whole free-standing stairway sequence in Moria; Galadriel&#39;s putting the idea into Frodo&#39;s head that he should go off on his own because the Fellowship will break and one of them would betray him--although I will admit that in the context of the movie&#39;s screenplay, this change is not altogether illogical, and that also goes for Gimli&#39;s suggesting going through Moria and Frodo&#39;s figuring out the secret to entering Moria&#39;s western entrance instead of it coming to Gandalf on his own.*******Is it better than the novel? In some ways, no, but in others, definitely. For the incredible envisioning of this fantasy epic, the majestic settings and heartbreakingly subtleties of the acting and, by contrast, the display of deeper, but just as strong, emotions (such as Aragorn&#39;s & Arwen&#39;s love, Sam&#39;s fierce loyalty, Boromir&#39;s desperation and fear, Gimli&#39;s prejudices and racial pride, Frodo&#39;s psychological burden and doubts, the Companions&#39; grief over the loss of Gandalf, Bilbo&#39;s possessiveness over the Ring, Elrond&#39;s perspective on all the political manuverings and determination to do what was necessary, based on his millennia of experience, and Gandalf&#39;s reserved philosophy as the Wise Old Man,) I will go see this movie again and again and again and again. Thank YOU, Peter Jackson.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Pingus pros and cons

    by Pingu

    Cons: -Pacing. At times, the movie tends too slow down. -Cuts in action scenes are way too fast. More follow through-like e.g. "Braveheart" would have been nice. -You don&#39;t really get the feeling that time is passing e.g. the forty day march through "Misty snowy mountain thing" seems like a days hike. -Sam&#39;s comic relive "I&#39;m starting to get the hang of this!" with the frying pan during the Moria battle is unforgivable. -Orcs, Uruk-Hais and Ring wraiths seem to be as easy to kill as Stormtroopers (WITHOUT ray guns mind you! : ) Pros: -Everything else. Damn good movie!

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 11:09 a.m. CST

    The ending was AWESOME! but it would have been better if Frodo w

    by irncrom

    well, it would have

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Worth the wait

    by Jack Burton

    FOTR was great. So much was done well that it&#39;s flaws can be overlooked. My only problem with it was (as has been stated before) the battle scenes were cut too quickly and a sense of time passing. If I remember right, the first book takes nearly a year, this feels like a month at most. I know they say things like "It will take 6 days to reach Rivendale.", but there isn&#39;t much reference point. However, these are minor, minor things. Hearing Arwen speak elvish to Frodo was gave me a chill. Ian McKellen was perfect as Gandalf. The "fireworks" were incredible, the Balrog was awesome, the entire cast was dead on. I&#39;m not sure if it is the "best" movie of the year, but it is certainly my favorite. Bring on "The Two Towers"!

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Of Mice and Hobbits

    by FranklinCobb

    I remain puzzled by some of the comments made here, so I&#39;ll just share my experience of the film. The opening is amazing, but there are some "hey, that&#39;s just cgi" moments. But Sauron is awesome and lets the audience know he SHOULD be feared. The actors...all did a great job, but I&#39;ll admit having Agent Smith as Elrond was a bit distracting. I mean, I know he&#39;s probably done other films but my (and most others) first experience with him was in the blockbuster Matrix...and I heard some others laugh when he uttered a few of his lines a certain way. The score was great, I can remember it really reaching out and grabbing me at key moments. I&#39;ll forego my usual mp3 route and just buy this sucker, anti-music-industry crusade be damned. When the elves appeared, it felt truly magical. Galadriel was a presence that was breathtaking. Most of the scenes had that underlying urgency, thanks to the good pacing of Peter Jackson. Only a few times did I feel the story dragged but they were during necessary interludes to build more story. I do wish more background had been given for some of the characters...Aragorn&#39;s future role would weigh more heavily. But, there was a rousing cheer when he beheaded Lurtz. Complaints are indeed very few. Lurtz seemed almost superfluous...I&#39;m guessing they didn&#39;t want Boromir to "do the job" to some random orcs and goblins, so they fashioned a "main eventer" so Boromir could "jerk the curtain" properly. I would have also liked a bit more stable camera work during fights. As far as "pre-hype" lending more positive feelings...that&#39;s not true. The audience I went with was packed and it looked like a good mix of adults, adults with kids, and teens. I doubt seriously that many of them had read Harry&#39;s review, despite the importance we grant them here. The audience responded well. Oh yeah, and there was much applause at the end, which was shocking to me because that is such a rarity, at least to films I&#39;ve been to. There was no applause at the end of TPM. As a last note, when did it become "passe" to like the Matrix? Did someone mandate that it was now cool to bash it? I remember most geeks drooling over it just a while back...ah, whatever makes you seem "cool", I guess. To me, Matrix will always be that surprise film because I expected a lame-o "Virtual Reality" story but was instead rewarded with an innovative little picture. Oh, and one that folks used to like. Much like Star Wars, it seems. Rest assured, AOTC may not be as good as this film, but I seriously doubt it will "tank" at the box office. Let&#39;s get serious.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Lost characters

    by TLoy

    I mentioned earlier about how the characters were weak. I&#39;ve thought of more examples: 1. In the film Sam never once utters "Well, as my old Gaffer used to say. . . ." This line in one form or another is repeated through the entire trilogy. 2. In the book Gimli is first hostile to elves and then completely flipped by the beauty of Galadriel. For the rest of the movie he threatens to fight anyone who insults her. This is lost entirely. BTW, on the subject of Galadriel, I think that Cate Blanchett was seriously mis-cast. She is a serious actress and a very attractive woman. But Cate Blanchett is no great beauty by any means. An almost aching beauty is the defining physical characteristic of Galadriel. SPOILER BELOW 3. I understand the need to excise the Barrow Downs and I agree. However, how are they going to explain how Merry&#39;s sword was able to harm the King Ringwraith in Return of the King? After he got this sword at the Barrow Downs--it was forged by Numenor by men fighting Sauron, so it had special anti-Mordor power, if you like.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Loved it, but gonna need a second pass

    by kawoslski,Leon

    Odeon Leicester Sq. yesterday at 15.40 I was a very excited chappy, 3 hours later I was a very happy chappy. Loved 99% of the flim but would of liked to see more interaction between the fellowship, Legolas and Gimli&#39;s rivalary and mutual mistrust that grows into a powerful bond of friendship was absent. Sam&#39;s relationship with Frodo is also underplayed as is his love of Elves. There a few tweaks here and there that may be fixed in the DVD, just time cuts I suspect but those would help establish the bond of the fellowship to those who have not had the joy of reading the book (or simply cannot read). Hell I would have sat there for another couple of hours had it not been for the desire to piss!! Thank you Mr Jackson, bring on The two Towers!

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 12:33 p.m. CST

    It was a MASTERPIECE!!!

    by GollumBaggins

    I saw the movie last night, and while I consider it a masterpiece, and rate it 9.5 out of 10, I was surprised to find some moments during the film when the purism lying latent inside me came out in force. There were moments in the film that my heart leapt for pure joy, because PJ had achieved perfection. But alas, this made the moments that were less than perfect stand out all the more. Now these moments weren&#39;t necessarily BAD--in fact, I&#39;d call them well done--but when compared to the sheer awesomeness of the rest, it generated a sick feeling inside that actually made me come out of the movie feeling a tad dissappointed. Here is a list of all the things that made me feel this way.. ***BIG-TIME SPOILERS!! ABSOLUTELY DO NOT READ AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN&#39;T SEEN THE MOVIE!!!*** 1. At times, the scene jumped around too much. I was hoping for some smoother transitions. Doubtless, though, much bridging material was cut during the editing process, and will hopefully show up on the DVD. Also, I didn&#39;t like the way the scene would flash back to Isengard for just a few moments. I found it kind of distracting, and the montage of scenes where it showed the Uruk-hai preparing for battle looked kind of tacky, I thought... 2. When the Eagle rescued Gandalf, they didn&#39;t make it clear what had happened at all. All it took was one sentence by Gandalf to Frodo, yet for some reason, they didn&#39;t do it. 3. When Gandalf faced the Balrog, the scene was amazing and utterly perfect... except for one thing. When Gandalf thrust down his staff, the bridge didn&#39;t break immediately, and it came off looking like the Bridge merely broke under the Balrog&#39;s own weight. I just couldn&#39;t figure out why they did that. 4. When Galadriel turned into that witch-queen, my wife had no idea what was happenning because she couldn&#39;t understand a word she was saying. 5. I found the wizard duel a little over-done. It was kinda cool none-the-less. 6. Just little things they left out. It&#39;s entirely understandable that they had to do it, but I just felt every exclusion in the pit of my stomache. Some of my favorite scenes weren&#39;t there... like the exchange between Butterburr and Strider. Even things that were rumoured to be in the movie that got cut I missed... like the shimmer in the woods and the comment that the Elves were making the great journey, as well as references to Saruman and Gandalf being Maiar spirits. Oh, but I was glad that Bombadil wasn&#39;t there. 7. I expected much of the action scenes to be something amazing, something I&#39;d never seen before. But they were actually pretty standard. Believe it or not, I wished that a lot of them had actually gone on for a lot longer. I just felt there was more potential that was never really found, and that the editing was far too choppy. Except for Moria--that was mind-blowing and perfect. :) Okay, those were my major gripes. There were a few others, but I can&#39;t really remember them as there was just so much to absorb. Now on to the things I LOVED, which heavily outweighed these others. 1. The Shire. Oh the shire!! It was my absolute favourite part of the film. It&#39;s very essence was perfectly portrayed. Everything that happened there, the way it was all done, had me in a euphoria. 2. The relationships between characters. This was flawless, in my mind. The warmth between Gandalf, Frodo and Bilbo was apparent in virtually every scene they shared together. And the pure friendship between Sam and Frodo, as well as Sam&#39;s loyalty was done brilliantly, especially in that tear-inducing scene at the end. Other characters also had various subtleties in their relationships that I loved. 3. The acting and characterization. There was not a single moment of bad acting in the film. Every line was delivered to perfection. Frodo showed the perfect emotions on his face in every scene. Gandalf seemed frail and kindly, but there was always a sense that he&#39;d make a terrible enemy. Aragorn has so much more depth than he did in the books. And Boromir was simply perfect. And Arwen was INCREDIBLE!! Liv Tyler did a great job and everyone who ever criticised her should repent!!! 4. The quiet moments. I can&#39;t believe that Roger Ebert, and a few others, have complained that there&#39;s too much action and not enought emphasis on character. Did they watch the same movie as me? There were quiet moments that built up the characters throughout the whole movie. In my opinion, the movie could have actually used a little more action--I could feel my wife getting bored sometimes. 5. The humor. I laughed a lot more during this movie than I thought I would. Merry and Pippin were great. They&#39;re lighting of the firework was a real hilight for me. And I even liked the Dwarf-tossing line!! 6. The FX: One word--breathtaking. 7. The Nazgul: They were even more terrifying than I imagined them. 8. The Balrog: Utterly amazing. It was envisioned perfectly and was genuinely frightening. My heart raced with joy at it&#39;s first appearance. 9. Sauron: From his appearance on the battlefield in the Last Alliance, to his various appearances as the Eye of Mordor, Sauron was the very epitome of evil. There are so many other things I loved, but I also can&#39;t remember them all. So [B]IN CONCLUSION[/B]!! :) Parts of this movie surpassed my expectations, and other parts failed to meet them. But all in all, I feel the good outweighed the bad, and I can&#39;t wait to see it a second time, because this time I&#39;ll know what to expect and will probably enjoy it even more. I rank this movie as one of my favorites, and I&#39;m sure my affection for it will only grow over time. After I have seen the whole trilogy, perhaps I shall be able to call the saga my number one favorite movie (singular) of all time.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 1:05 p.m. CST

    you people crack me up

    by dschneider

    it&#39;s stuff like the review above that kill me!!! A paragraph about this great masterpiece 9.5/10 then 20 paragraph&#39;s on the woulda coulda shoulda&#39;s of the movie. Look, the other geeks won&#39;t look down on you if you say it&#39;s not the second coming of Christ. It&#39;s a better than OK movie but it&#39;s not the Citizen Kane of the new Millenium, it&#39;s not changing the way we view movies like Star Wars did. Harry practically orgasms in the theater but it&#39;s not good enough for his top 10??? WTF? It&#39;s like this movie is Allah and you guys are the Taliban....and Mullah PJ won&#39;t let you say anything bad about it? you peeple is funny...

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Thank God, I thought it was me!

    by RU486

    It&#39;s good to see that there are a few people who feel the same way about this film. I&#39;ve been going through this neurotic phase where I&#39;ve been worrying that I&#39;m not a real adult..still immature, etc. But now I understand that I&#39;m all grown up now because a rational, intelligent adult who doesn&#39;t smoke pot anymore will look at this film and see it for what it is. This is a film for teenage fan-boys. Now, understand that I&#39;m not criticizing (not really) those who liked it, of course you&#39;re entitled to your opinon, this is all a little theory of mine. FLAME AWAY GEEKS!!!

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Previews anyone?

    by JonO

    I am speechless about Fellowship of the Ring. So now that I can draw breath again (Balrog! Uruk-Hai! Galadriel! Boromir! Legolas! Billy Boyd!) I would like to comment on the previews--I hope that&#39;s not too off-topic. Well, I&#39;m going to make it a topic. First off, and this will seem particularly over the top masculine fanboyish of me, but FOTR had real _balls_. And in no way was this made more obvious than in comparison to the decidedly mature, yes, but frilly girly nancy boy Episode II trailer. I ache for AOTC to be awesome and for Hayden Christiansen to fill in the motivational gaps of Darth Vader&#39;s character. But that trailer didn&#39;t have balls, and FOTR did. (FOTR also had beauty, tension, timelessness and humanity). Also, the little people who peopled the Goldmember teaser were annoying, because it felt like we were laughing at them (look at their odd size! look at their tiny features! ha ha!) instead of at Myer&#39;s ability to parody his own parody. Also, I&#39;m tired of Vern Troyer. Whereas the little people in FOTR (many of whom were digitally faked, I realize) had substance, and reality. After seeing this movie, other movies and especially the marketing gimicks used to sell those movies, seem cheap and tawdry and weak. Wouldn&#39;t it have been the greatest publicity stunt ever to lead off with a teaser for The Two Towers??! I mean, think about it! The trailer for the sequel to the movie you are about to see. And it would have been such an act of swaggering boldness! As if Jackson said, "I&#39;m confident you&#39;re going to love this movie. So confident in fact that I want you to spend the next 12 months salivating over the next movie, _which we have already in the can_! Bow to me!" Did anyone else wish that had been the case? The movies are shot! They&#39;re in existence! I think they should release them sooner, because it would be tragic if there was a fire or something. Think about that. That is all. JonO

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Saw it today

    by frenchie

    Wow, I&#39;m disappointed. It&#39;s good but it&#39;s not a masterpiece. It&#39;s way too long, the F/X are not that great, didn&#39;t like the fighting scenes, it&#39;s not so well directed after all. Wow.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Not perfect, but extraordinary

    by berdeb

    All I know is that in the cab on the way home from LOTR at 2 in the morning I could barely sit still. I don&#39;t see how anyone could be indifferent to this movie. It was too beautiful, too compelling, too magical. Elijah Wood&#39;s face and eyes were mesmirizing, conveying perfectly Frodo&#39;s quiet strength and purity, the weight that he felt at his task. I wasn&#39;t prepared for the emotions the movie elicited. The Black Riders were terrifying, the Sam/Frodo relationship was truly touching. The battle scenes were so dynamic that I couldn&#39;t take my eyes away (this coming from someone who hates battle scenes). I thought the whole Arwen/Aragorn relationship felt cursory and strangely empty, and of course there were parts that I missed from the book. I can&#39;t say it was a perfect movie (however close), and yet I feel like I had a perfect experience. Go figure.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Lost characters again

    by TLoy

    To GollumBaggins: Yes, some, myself included, have criticized the missing depth of character. However, this is not a very general criticism. It is very specific, specifics you ignore. In fact all of the glowing reviews have been very general. Let&#39;s talk specifics: 1. Sam&#39;s character as Frodo&#39;s manservent is missing. Until perhaps the very end all we know is that he&#39;s a good friend. Sam&#39;s obsession with and awe of elves is lost. Sam&#39;s repeated boring stories about "My old gaffer used to say. . .) are lost. Sam&#39;s love of Bill the horse, is awkwardly referred to at the gate of Moria but completely unexplained. 2. Gimli&#39;s deep mistrust of elves is lost. Indeed, the great scene in the book in Lothlorien where he insists that everyone must wear a blindfold or he won&#39;t (this almost leads to bloodshed) is gone. Gimli&#39;s great love of Galadriel is gone, and I assume the numerous instances in the remaining 2 films in which he threatens bloodshed if anyone insults Galadriel. Indeed, the entire scene in which Galadriel gives gifts to all members of the Fellowship (not just Frodo) is gone. This is important: Sam&#39;s rope and Merry and Pippin&#39;s elvish cloaks are central to several events that are yet to occur. Furthermore, the lock of hair she gives Gimli highlights again his adoration of her. 3. The sword that was broken. It is mentioned in an off hand way in the film at Rivendell, but the fact that it is forged anew and given to Aragorn as a sign of his claim to the throne is ignored. Anduril, the sword, is almost a character to itself throughout the trilogy. 4. Merry and Pippin were reduced to nothing but comic relief. Indeed, Pippin&#39;s best scene in FOTR -- arousing the orcs in Moria -- (Fool of a Took!) is completely botched by Jackson. He has Pippin accidentally knocking a skeleton and all of this armor into a well causing a loud crashing sound. Here&#39;s how that scene is written in the book: "Moved by a sudden impulse he groped for a loose stone, and let it drop. He felt his heart beat many times before there was any sound. Then far below. . .there came a plunk, very distant, but magnified and repeated in the hollow shaft." Somehow an intentional act of immaturity which results in a distant "plunk" got transformed into an accident that causes a horribly loud crash. You can almost see the Hollywood meeting in which the writers insist that he couldn&#39;t make the sound on purpose because it would make him unsympathetic. . . . Add to all of this the Hollywood hokum scenes in the movie that were invented by Jackson (Aragorn going mano un mano with the Uruk Hai that killed Boromir) and you might begin to understand why some people feel that some of the charcaterizations in the film were poorly drawn.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 1:49 p.m. CST


    by JohnAdcox

    First, I was amazed and astonished. Truly. But. After the film, a friend commented that it would have been a much better film without the Lorien sequence. I agreed with the problem

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 2:25 p.m. CST

    My review...

    by Rene Belloq

    Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of the books, I am a fan of movies. I have been following the progress of these movies on websites, such as Aint-it-Cool, over the past 3 years. The thought of massive fight scenes between Elves and Orcs has always geeked me out. Like most of you, I played a little D&D when I was younger. I was by no means hooked, however. Which brings me to LOTR:FOTR... First the good: There are parts in LOTR that blew me away! I felt like the opening sequence and subsequent time at the Shire were very strong. The interaction between Frodo and Gandalf was note perfect. As a matter of fact, the acting was top notch all the way around. Not a poor performance in the entire movie. I can honestly say that I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters in the film. The size effect was seamless and never drew attention to itself, you felt like the hobbits and dwarves were really that short. Speaking of special effects, holy crap were they awesome! From the scenery and breathtaking landscapes to the use of Massive during the battle scene, just perfect! Ditto that for the fight scenes. They are extremely well executed and kept me on the edge of my seat. Bottom line, this movie took me somewhere I have never been before. As for the bad stuff... The film started to lose me a bit once the group left the shire. To be more specific, I felt like it started to drag a bit and felt repetitive until they entered the mine. Walk and talk, chase scene, walk and talk some more, another chase scene. Another thing that bothered me, was how many times we had to hear about how evil the ring is. I got it in the prologue guys! I know it was taken straight from the books, but this is a movie review. You can argue the accuracy of the film vs. the book with someone else, I don&#39;t care. All I care about is how good the movie is and if it flows! I also felt like Peter was a bit heavy handed in places. The way Arwen was introduced and Cate Blanchett&#39;s reaction to the ring being offered to her are good examples. These scenes were way over the top for my taste. The last thing that bothered me was the running time. I could sense all of the people I was with at the theater squirming in their seats throughout the movie. My friend next to me even checked his watch 7-8 times! Not good if you&#39;re trying to create a series, folks! To quote my friend," It would have been great if they cut an hour out of it." While I don&#39;t fully agree with that assessment, I do think some scenes would have been better off left on the cutting room floor. To be fair, I generally hype myself up for movies a bit too much. It may take another visit to Middle Earth for me to accurately review the movie. Now that I know what to expect, my guess is that it will improve with additional viewings. My biggest concern for the series and genre, is that there will be a lot of people who agree with my friend. If so, expect a big opening and a big drop off after the first weekend. Bad news if your a fan of fantasy movies and movie studios that are willing to take a gamble... Initial Impression Review Score: 8 out of 10

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 3:04 p.m. CST

    The book would&#39;ve sucked on screen

    by 9072239387

    All these reviews that nitpick the little inventions of PJ make me laugh. Does anyone realize that if Tolkien&#39;s LOTR was put on screen exactly as it was written, the film would&#39;ve been one of the most boring movies ever made? I love Tolkien and LOTR, but he had no feel for action - that wasn&#39;t his thing. So if we need a scene a little more comical than Pippin throwing a stone in the well, or we need a scene of Aragorn kicking ass, then I totally applaud PJ! The film rocked. Like it or not, it will get nominated for several more awards and will likely win quite a few.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Caught the last 15 minutes of LOTR

    by Jim3D

    Caught the last ten minutes of LOTR, after seeing a rather dissapointing screening of "Charlotte Grey" last night., which also stars Kate Blanchette. Its a let down because with all the fine acting, cinematography, even direction, the script is muddled to the point where you dont really care about the characters. Too bad. Showed promise, although there is something to be learned here about the Nazi occupation of France, but a lot of it wasnt particularly clear and that is too bad, really. Getting back to LOTR, have not read the book and do not know the characters well enough to comment on much of anything...Yet..however, the theatres in the multiplex showing it ( in Century City, which is a part of the Westside LA viewing experience these days) were packed and it got reasonably good applause at the end, a good sign to me. Relative to comments I have read on this site about the drowning of one of the key characters, well, he does NOT drown and it appears that he will be there for the first sequel. It shows that those of you who have commented on this (saying the fellow drowns) either have short attention spans - want to create a distraction to gain some attention (guess we all do that, otherwise why would be commenting here?) or just like to piss people off. In any event, looks like there is some heart in this film from the few minutes I saw so looking forward to seeing the whole thing over the weekend. One question though, is the bleached out almost colorless look (except for those Deluxe lab greens) the look of the whole film or is this to create the desolation of battle in the woods? Not a big deal, just want to know if I should bring rose colored glasses to see the whole thing.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 4 p.m. CST

    Re: Roger Ebert, per Papercuts comments

    by Jim3D

    In 1983, Roger Ebert panned the whole 3-D effort, and while he was right about the technical problems and certainly the first of a few very weak films (that damn near killed 3-D forever..) he wasnt right about one thing..the cause of the headaches. He was given a pair of giant cardboard Astralvision 3-D glasses to try out. The glasses had giant lenses, which eliminated the sense of claustrphobia that many complained about with the smaller glasses. So when it came time to discuss 3-D a second time on Siskel&Ebert, he chose to endorse a a clip on design. What he may not have noticed was that the metal clips came very close to ones eye when worn over large eyeglasses, in fact, the end of the clips could break off very easily and puncture one&#39;s eye. Did he really bother to research this entirely, dont think so. Didnt matter anyway. Its taken the large format industry to come up with glasses that worked for all and they are most definately not clip-ons. While I often respect his reviews, he can be somewhat hipocritical in his views, however, that&#39;s what make the world spin and all of that rot.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Hey NEW LINE!! PLEASE, PLEASE tack some kind of reminder about

    by 1st Elder

    DO THIS NOW BEFORE IT&#39;s TOO LATE: If you don

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Would have been great, but...

    by Interested Party

    First, I&#39;ve never read the books. The prerelease footage from various sources and the coverage here caught my interest in a big way, though. After seeing it this afternoon, I have to say it was a very frustrating experience. It could have been, no, SHOULD have been a 9.8/10. Instead, I rate it about 7.5/10. Here&#39;s why: 1.Men have been executed for offenses more minor than Howard Shore&#39;s FOTR score. Not since John Williams&#39; work on Amistad has a score done this much violence to a film. Even James Horner on his worst day couldn&#39;t fill a film with this much unnecessary choral chanting. It may work by itself. I wouldn&#39;t know because I didn&#39;t listen to the soundtrack album before I saw FOTR. But it&#39;s terribly distracting in the context of the film. 2.The "Spawn Factor"- Visual parallels have been drawn between Spawn and FOTR. I disagree with most of them. The establishing shots of Saruman&#39;s lair were fine except for the one where the ravens were returning to report to him. And claims that the Balrog looked as laughably bad as the Devil in Spawn were unfounded. It looked fantastic. However, Spawn-esque touches are sprinkled throughout. The worst of them has to be the scene where Frodo offers the elf queen the ring. *shudder* 3. Speaking of that scene... Voiceovers are comically overused in FOTR, and to make matters worse, are usually whispered. (oooh, dramatic... <groan>)Some (from the ring?) might be necessary. But with as much voiceover as there was, they could have at least had characters actually speak to each other when they were IN THE F****** ROOM TOGETHER! 4.This one isn&#39;t a blanket statement but a problem with a specific scene. What the hell were they thinking when they did the end of the Balrog scene on the bridge? The thing falls, Gandalf almost gets knocked into the pit, but he catches hold of part of the bridge. AN ETERNITY seems to pass from when he starts hanging until he falls, (lets go?!) and everyone just stands there gawking at him, or crying like he&#39;s already dead!! At least four of them had to be strong enough to help him up. It&#39;s probably a problem with the source material, but it&#39;s a pretty serious one, and changes should have been made. Personally, I would have just had the Balrog pull him down with it. I mean, it had that flame whip around him alreay...

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Peter Jackson Cameo?

    by m.i.r.k.o

    First of all: I looved the movie. (the &#39;staring in awe&#39; thing works for me, too). I think the last five minutes were a little overdone but that&#39;s it. I love the things kept, I love the things changed. But here&#39;s a thing I noticed when I saw the flick for the third time today: In Bree, right before Frodo and company enter the Prancing Pony there is a human with black hair and black beard holding a carrot. This guy looks like director Peter Jackson! (whithout glasses, though). Could that be a cameo? Harry - you know the man. Is that Jackson?

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 8:52 p.m. CST

    blah blah blah

    by mikedesert13

    when I saw Bad Taste and Dead Alive some 10 years ago, I remember thinking Peter Jackson was insane trying to do a feature film with all puppets. Then I saw Meet The Feebles. He pulled it off. Trying to put LOTR on screen is a daunting task if youve read the way Tolken writes. You GOTTA leave stuff out. If you skip a paragraph you miss something important, but at other times he writes on and on about what the hobbits are eating for their second breakfast. my 2 complaints: 1. it&#39;s just a LITTLE sappy at times 2. Jackson left out the reason Gollum became Gollum (sp?) which was a rather good story 80% of the compositing and cg were great, and the bad parts were still much better than other films. Some more Hobbit comrodery could have been shown, but would I really want to watch an extra 20 minutes of Hobbit bonding? I am really looking forward to the other 2 films, then I hope Jackson takes a break and makes a movie out of his mum&#39;s garage again! Mike Desert San Francisco

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 8:57 p.m. CST

    re:jackson cameo

    by mikedesert13

    that was him belching. Not sure if he had any other cameos.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 9:26 p.m. CST


    by xoandre

    I have never read any of the Tolkien novels. I have seen the animated "Hobbit." I have watched the "animated" follow-ups that were more of a tracing-over-live-action than animated. For now, this is my review: I do not know the story. Simply put, I awaited this film eagerly. I was not disappointed. Nor was I overjoyous. I found it a very interesting tale that unfortunately relies upon the viewer having read the books. Many characters were never named. Many assumptions were made as to where and who and what. I intend to return for a second viewing of The Lord Of The Rings and will then post a further more in-depth review. The filming method used to make the actors playing Hobbits as short as Hobbits was tricky and there are many small flaws in the height of Frodo and even Bilbo. They appear taller and shorter, thinner and fatter in different takes of a scene. I will not go into depth on this issue, as I am sure it is a minor thing for most of you. The acting was bold and convincing. If there were any special effects, they were too good to pick out (except for the "dragon"). The problem with this movie I believe lies in the fact that they filmed all three stories as one grand sweeping epic and it is hard to divide the story after filming everything. This challenge throws off the audience (members who have not read the books) when the story just suddenly pauses and credits roll. Give me time to return to see the movie again (perhaps around Xmas) and I will be more detailed.

  • Dec. 20, 2001, 9:37 p.m. CST

    I just saw FotR

    by Mike_the_Impaler

    I read the books through twice by the time I was twelve. I wanted to live in Middle Earth. I recently read them again (a span of almost 20 years). I just took my wife (a Tolkien neophyte) to the movie. I was completely floored. I almost shead tears four times. My wife said she would give it a 9 or 10 if not for being nauseated because of pregnancy (I guess orc heads flying isn&#39;t good for that). Just my two cents!

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 12:23 a.m. CST

    900+ bad prints of reel 9 in theaters

    by Darth Astewart

    Harry (and all), I just came from a very disappointing first ride thru FOTR, due to some pretty severe audio problems in a theater not typically known for such flaws in presentation (AMC 24 in Oklahoma City). After leaving the theater twice to ask for the sound to be checked, once at the beginning (which resulted in a marked improvement), and once at about 2h 20m into the film (which never did change), I&#39;d had it. I sat thru the credits, barely able to hear Enya, and asked to speak with the manager. I explained what I had experienced, and he nodded as if he already knew why it had happened. What he told me was that New Line has released over 900 prints of the film with optical problems in the 9th reel which are severe enough to punt the digital soundtrack off and send the projection system scurrying back to analog Dolby surround (which in this theater was badly balanced-- almost no center channel, which made a lot of the dialog indistinguishable). He suspected that the problem at the head of the film was that no one reset the sound after the previous showing to play the digital tracks until I complained. The problem toward the end, he said, was due to a faulty print and that all three rooms they were showing FOTR in displayed the same problem. New Line was supposed to be expediting new prints immediately, but as of 8 PM local here tonight (12/20) they had not arrived, and he was not sure how soon they would be here, due to the load of prints being run of films already in the pipeline for Christmas. I got two free passes to attend another showing, and I got a card to call in and find out when the new prints were in and on. Overall, it was handled very professionally, after the fact. Just curious -- have you guys heard anything about this? Anyone? Anyone? Frye? Bueller?

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Anyone Care to Speculate on The Next 2?

    by Southron

    I heard lots of advance info on the changes made to FOTR and it now strikes me that I just haven&#39;t heard the same level of info on the remaining 2 movies. Has anyone major been dropped, have scenes been eliminated? How will PJ handle the divided action from the next two [ie. Frodo/Sam going to Mordor while the rest of the cast duels it out in Rohan/Gondor.] Will he jump back and forth to run things in roughly chronological order, or keep them as the book tels them?

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 3:07 a.m. CST

    My two dollars worth.

    by Darth Ranik

    I loved the book, I loved the movie. It has been a long time since I have felt such utter pleasure from viewing a film. Thank you Mr. Jackson for giving me this movie to enjoy. You sir are an artist.

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 3:10 a.m. CST


    WHO CARES? Theres better films around.Ive decided to forget that average little film known as LOTR. This is the last time im coming on this talkback.SO FLAME AWAY!!! I understand now what it means to be a real film lover...

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 4 a.m. CST

    thank the lord for harry ......

    by rack

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 4:26 a.m. CST

    FOTR reaction

    by TheSeeker

    Well, I&#39;ve seen it twice now, and I have mixed feelings. Overall, I am thrilled. What an exciting movie. I love that LOTR has been brought to the screen successfully, and I can hardly wait for the next chapter, TTT, next Dec. I thought the Nasgul were done to perfection! I thought Moria was brilliant. Oh My God - the cave troll!!! What an amazing fight scene. I was on the edge of my seat!! And the toppling steps! And the Bahlrog!! Wow. Gandalf - virtually perfect. Arwen - amazing (if only the rest of the elves could have been given the same oh so desperately needed magic and warmth). Boromir - again, perfect. FRODO - friggin perfect. The battle between Gandalf and Saruman - fabulous, stunning. The Eye - (I was worried about how PJ would do this) - great. I love having my heart touched. When Aragorn and Boromir have that farewell scene together - I wept. I also wept with the Hobbits after Gandalf was lost. There were other scenes with which I wept as well, but I can&#39;t remember them at the moment. Well, now for my disappointment. The elves. Alas, the elves. Rivendell was amazing, in the first shot - the look, the design of it. But after that it gets progressively colder (there is a scene where in the background, all of the windows are dark, shadowy - where is the warm, golden, magical light - where the mirth, laughter, and song!!!??? (of course the Frodo in bed scene has warm tones, but even then, the yellows and golds are not warm and earthy, they are cold and thin, almost metallic). This is the last homely house for god&#39;s sake! And what about Elrond!? He comes off as almost a warlord. Now I realize that, in part, Elrond is a kind of warlord for the elves. But, Elrond, above all, is wise, and he is the most chief healer in Middle Earth. Where was his undying warmth and wisdom!? Instead, he is played angry, judgemental, and impatient - and unfortunately, these qualities are played as his chief qualities, rather than as just minor elements of a more full spectrum character (Sorry, but there was too much &#39;Agent Smith&#39; there - everyone I saw it with thought of Smith - what a catastrophe). Lothlorien - same. Rather than unltimately warm, a resting place for ultimate rejuvination (as Rivendell should have been as well), it is cold and inhabited by a people whose mystery is informed less by magic and goodness as by fear and coldness. And Galadriel!!?? The perfect actress - yet played as wierd, distant, and cagey rather than warm, and of ultimate beauty that is so deep in her as to inform every aspect of her being. For me, LOTR&#39;s elves were always a version of angels - magical, healing, laughing, singing, warm folk (these were their primary characteristics - which isn&#39;t to say that they couldn&#39;t at times be scarily mysterious, angry, etc - it&#39;s just that in this film, all of the mirth has been drained out of them, which is a MAJOR departure from the actual story, and I think a major dertiment to the film; this error thins the film, and thins middle earth). In PJ&#39;s version, they are, alas, too cold and wrathful. I think the de-warming of the elves is a crucial error, and it lessens my reveling in this film. I think that essentially mirthful, warm, magically angelic elves that are wrathful would be much more effective in Tolkien&#39;s tale (as in the novels) than elves that are only mysterious and wrathful. Alas, poor Frodo. And in this version of his story, he doesn&#39;t ever find the all too brief respite periods he so desperately needs (and finds in the books)from the elves. As a result, the tension is kept very high, and we lose the magic of our beloved Tolkien elves.

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 4:37 a.m. CST

    if not for harry .... part II ...

    by rack

    i would not have been exposed to the resident know-hards who put LOTR in its place. if i had to rely on the 183-positive/7-neutral/11-negative reviews i might have totally fukt up and actually seen the POS.

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 6:26 a.m. CST



    I swear, it&#39;s true. Check it out:

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Shame on me

    by thhomas

    I saw it thursday (that late) but I actually think we now can talk about two LORD OF THE RINGS : J.R.R.TOLKIEN&#39;s and PETER JACKSON&#39;s.Some characters missing, some changes in the story(Arwen...) but after all not a bad movie!We can forgive Peter Jackson,he&#39;s done it no ?Can anyone say "I would have done better by myself ?"I think a few years later someone else will turn again THE LORD OF THE RINGS into a movie.Let&#39;s enjoy ...

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 8:58 a.m. CST


    by panpil

    And certainly the best (with Mulholland Drive, Hedwid And The Angry Inch, Amelie). I have seen it twice and there will be a third time. Magic. Pure magic. Sincerely thank you PJ.

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 1:01 p.m. CST


    by serialcarpins

    Unreal, that about sums up for this visual excursion have just been apart off. Peter Jackson has done what George Lucas cannot do,(Star Wars excluded) that is direct an epic masterpiece. What makes this movie so special is not the special effects or the story that we have already read and know how it ends. What makes this movie special is how Mr. Jackson brought these characters to life and made them real, you feel for these characters, you are with them during their journey, just like you were when you read the book. I felt like I was swinging aragons sword and rapid firing legolas bow. I was scurring like a rat across the bridge in the mines of moria right with the fellowship. Even with reading the books and knowing the ending I still had knot in my stomach when Gandalf fell in to the shadow, and tears welled up as baromir fight till his death, this is what film has needed ever since ep1 never lived up to the film it could have been. Thank you Peter Jackson, you have renewed my faith in film, and proved that MAN can create something beautiful.

  • This may be the problem. Most AMC theatres use Sony&#39;s SDDS digital sound and the soundtrack is printed on the outer edge of a 35mm print. IF there is a misprint and it affects these tracks, the audio more than likely will default. On top of this, most multiplexes that play digital sound (just about all of them) are not really tuned to play Dolby analog when a default of this nature occurs - so when it happens its going to depend on how the system in each auditorium is set up. Plan to see LOTR over the weekend, and knowing how DeLuxe has screwed up before (actually any lab can screw up, but DeLuxe always seems to be at the top of the list)I am concerned about this. The theatre I am going to has DTS and Dolby Digital. Dolby Digital is printed between the sprockets and DTS has a sync track located just off the visual area of a given print - and has a CD ROM type of disc that actually has the digital audio information on it. When defaults of this nature occur with this particular format, it usually will go back to the digital track after a few seconds, but not always. On top of that, the film was more than likely printed on Fuji stock, which is thinner than Kodak stock (mabye a good idea here as the film running time will fill the platters that hold the print on automated systems) and therefore may show signs of damage more quickly. For readers of this site, maybe you should know that DeLuxe blew out a film protectant process created by a late master projectionist to deal with these problems (and this after it had been quite successful in keeping prints in good running order on such titles as "Schindler&#39;s List" in the past). There was a concern about potential health hazards caused by one of the chemicals used to make it work (which actually dissipated once the process was applied to the print). Also, labs make nice profits on reprint orders - and probably could care less about audiences having bad viewing experiences. Its nice to know that they do not control our DVD&#39;s. Deluxe has already made some enemies on this issue, but politics always reign supreme when several million dollars are at stake. For me, cant wait until they iron out the very few remaining bugs in digital projection, while there may be some problems, audio drop outs probably will not be the biggest problem in the future. Hope you all see LOTR and future 3 hours epics with good presentation for hereone, but if not, well, get up out of your seat and complain till they get it right.

  • FOTR is a disappointment, in my opinion. 1/10th as much as TPM was, but a disappointment nonetheless. There is much to like, and it is somewhere between good and very good, but it is not in the top 5 of 2001. Since praise is not lacking, I will stick to the negatives. ***SPOILER alert*** 1) Most egregiously, there is a distinct lack of emotional involvement. I really didn&#39;t care about the quest, since the characters were given short shrift by the screenplay. (Chris Tolkien is right: it is impossible to bring these books to the screen, as each movie would need to be six hours long. This really should be a TV miniseries with a big budget). Anyway, the introduction of each character was handled in a completely hack-like manner. Any screenwriter had to be cringing when such major characters as Stryder and Galadriel were introduced as if they were a "paint by numbers" cog in the formula of screenwriting. Do you take complete strangers on highly secretive quests that determine the fate of the world? That is what the movie would have you belive. (Remember, you SHOULDN&#39;T have to have read the books!) It is INCREDIBLY important that you know why Frodo should trust Merry, Sam, Pippen, and Stryder. Instead, Stryder is some nice guy at the bar who seems to want to help them, and Sam is some nosy neighbor, who for all we know, could be an agent of the enemy. 2) PJ really can&#39;t handle action scenes. I couldn&#39;t tell what was happening in any fight. The fighting skill of the protagonists is still unknown to me after watching the movie. I have the impression that, say, Aragorn sure can kick some ass, but I only know that because that Gremlins-esque "Stripe" Orc got his head cut off. Just watch a Cameron film, or better yet, a Buster Keaton film to see how action should be handled. You always knew what was going on, even in a silent film dealing with a complex plot, such as The General. Close-ups during a fight should be used sparingly; they should not be the majority of your shots. The shots where the camera has pulled back were few, such as when we saw Legolas shoot three arrows in succession. It was painful to the viewer to watch these confusing, unexciting scenes. PJ is not alone; even big-time directors can&#39;t handle action and won&#39;t pull the camera back so we can see what is going on (Enter the Dragon blew everyone away in 1973 because we were allowed to see Bruce Lee&#39;s skill in full-frame). The best action was during the mines of Moria, though the storytelling still made the sequences ride the edge of silliness, such as when no one appears to get hurt or seriously break a sweat defeating a roomfull of nasty creatures, or when you are outnumbered 10,000 to 9. "It&#39;s a good thing that Balrog showed up, eh Scooby?" The ringwraith sequences reduced what were deeply scary things in the books to unthreatening black robes who sure can ride horses around aimlessly. 3) PJ&#39;s direction in general. I think he got tensed up making this and decided to keep the camera moving around at all costs, including the cost of coherence. I cannot take another rapid pan past blurry, mediocre CGI, when that shot should be establishing the setting. (Curiously, I don&#39;t recall this problem in the Frighteners, which I like). Furthermore, the way both the dramatic and action scenes were shot bordered on complete TV-movie land. Examples that spring to mind: the post-Gandalf death grief session, and the melodrama of Sam drowing himself. On the action side, cheesy scenes include all scenes with orcs, Cate Blanchett&#39;s weird freak-out, and the AARP Wizard fight. To sum up, the film is rushed narratively and does not competently develop and evolve its characters, rendering it lifeless and narratively uninteresting, unless you have read the books or have sufficiently become numbed by the incompetence of movies made in the nineties.

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 7:37 p.m. CST


    by thefloriantrout

    something no one is mentioning is that why was Steve Tyler used to carry Frodo to the ford? it was Glorfindel&#39;s horse that bore Frodo to safety & one of my favorite parts. the Narsil thing is really screwy. Gandalf hanging on the ledge was lame. why couldnt they blindfold the characters traveling into Lorien showing the friendship build between Legolas & Gimli and Gimli & his love for the Lady of the Wood. Gollum was no where outside of Lorien, no elves tried to catch him,

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Lord of the Mother F*^kin Rings

    by punkdogmalcolm

    Some of you are worried about the next installment "The Two Towere" sighting that it doesn&#39;t have the same magic as the first or last. I disagree I loved the second book!! I suggest reading it again, you might find it pulling an Empire Strikes back (the best of that other trilogy ;) )

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Leisure suit Larry

    by punkdogmalcolm

    I agree there were flaws in the films mostly do to the condensing of the book, BUT you must remember for those who have read the books, They&#39;ve been there and follow the story well. There&#39;s a certain joy with seeing it on screen even with certain flaws. For THOSE WHO HAVEN&#39;T seen it they do not know of the development of certain things like Gimli and Legolos. It works fine for them because they are ignorant to those details.

  • Dec. 21, 2001, 10:07 p.m. CST

    My God, I thank thee

    by RITUAL

    I like, like Harry, have constantly and still do; search for the effortless and pure joy and wonder experience at the movies most times I go. I want to again feel like I did as a kid at Star Wars, Superman, and Raiders of the Lost ark among others. This film FINALLY brought it all back. I love it, it was pure magic and brought emotion outlike I hoped, but cautiously. The movie restored much of the lost faith in movies in general. Thanks Peter Jackson! (and the FLAWLESS casting!!!!!)

  • Dec. 22, 2001, 2:02 a.m. CST

    THE WORST MOVIE OF 2001!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by JP3183

    This movie will satisfy the fans of the books, but for average moviegoers, this movie has the worst ending of 2001. Peter Jackson had a lot of faith in the books and wanted to make three movies out of them. In my opinion, the three books could&#39;ve been made in only one 3-hour long movie. If you&#39;re going to make a long film like this, you better fill the time with interesting scenes. But the only thing that made this film long is the extended and boring dialogue scenes. If you cut all the worthless scenes in the movie, it would&#39;ve been only 1 hour and maybe 45 minutes long. If the other 2 movies have the same formula, then Jackson could&#39;ve sqeezed the entire trilogy into one big movie. And if you&#39;re going to make a trilogy, the very worst thing you could do is leave your audience hanging with an unfinished ending (without a climax I might add). This makes the film worthless to the story because it doesn&#39;t have a conclusion of its own. Take a look at Back to the Future 1, it&#39;s ending provides a setting for the plot of &#39;Future 2&#39; (and &#39;Future 2&#39; to &#39;Future 3&#39;) but it has its own story and the conlusion for the story. In the end the audience was satisfied but at the same time anticipates the upcoming sequel. This movie reminds me of long and boring movies like Pearl Harbor and The Thin Red Line, even their action scenes were boring (who wants to categorize unstylish, neverending swordfights and running as great action scenes). When it comes right down to it, waiting for a year or two to see the conclusion of a story isn&#39;t really worth your time and money.

  • Dec. 22, 2001, 11:54 a.m. CST

    FOTR Trailer woes

    by Gus Sinclair

    While I&#39;m not prepared to announce that FOTR is one of the best films ever made, I will say that I enjoyed the film. Visually, it was sumptuous. I doubt that no one who read LOTR and envisioned the locales was disappointed with Jackson&#39;s creation. But I&#39;m worried that the trailers are hyping FOTR as an action film, which it isn&#39;t. I think that some filmgoers unfamiliar with Tolkien&#39;s epic will go for the action then complain when they don&#39;t see what the trailers promise. Just a thought.

  • Dec. 22, 2001, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Sounds great but CAN ANYBODY GIVE ME SOME NUMBER$$$ ?

    by Frenchnick

    Like how much the 1rst day ? First hour for that matter... No seriously, what records have been broken this time ?

  • Dec. 23, 2001, 3:12 a.m. CST

    all we need is another review of this movie

    by intelcat

    Harry, all we need is another review of this movie. It&#39;s not like the other 300 positive reviews were enough to convince us that this movie is a classic. Hell no. What really pushed it over the edge was your review. Finally I was convinced because if Harry said so, it must be true. This website has outlived it&#39;s usefulness in being a fan-run site. This place smells like the payroll office of a major motion picture studio.

  • Dec. 23, 2001, 7:15 a.m. CST


    by happyhippy

    all i can see is that i have never seen a book translated to film in such a perfect manner. to me the key of how good a film is to watch is that the time passes fast....3 hours flew by and all i could think was i needed to see it again....its possibly the pivotal film moment of my adult life(star wars being the first, when i was a child). Peter Jackson has reaffirmed my belief that good story and large budget are not mutually exclusive. and Alpine stream, being a brit and knowing of Sean Beans background, I always thought he would make a better strider....but thought Viggo Mortensen pulled it off perfectly, and Bean was the perfect Boromir...almost, as with the entire fellowship, as though it was the part he was born to play.

  • Dec. 23, 2001, 12:46 p.m. CST


    by balances_even

    I went to see this movie with my Dad and my brothers last night--granted I do not watch movies often, but this was wonderful. The show was sold out, and the audience was silent--completely, utterly rapt and silent--throughout the entire film. I had an unopened drink next to me through the entire movie, and I forgot it was there, because this was wonderful. It seemed shorter than three hours--or rather, it was good enough that I could have sat there longer watching it. Just as I could sit for hours at a time reading a book--it unfolded itself like a book, and the characters were real to me. This is in distinct contrast to the impression I got from the Star Wars Episode II preview before the show--the impression I got from that was that I was seeing two spoiled teenagers pretending to have undergone hardship, but in the end being no more than two spoiled teenagers surrounded by fancy toys and costumes. I could not believe that the actors were actually the characters they portrayed--they were people in costume. In the Lord of the Rings, not so. Ever. I did come into the show with an unusual advantage of ignorance--I didn&#39;t go to any sites about the show prior to seeing it, and didn&#39;t know who the director and actors were beforehand. For that matter, I did not recognize any of the actors while I was watching the movie--mostly a product of me seeing movies once in a blue moon, but also probably due to the quality of the movie itself. In my way of thinking, if audience members consciously recognize an actor, it detracts from the suspension of disbelief that allows them to be completely absorbed in the world of the film. Actors should not be recognized as anything other than the character they ARE at the given moment--if they can achieve that, it is the highest achievement possible artistically, if not finacially. Harry&#39;s reaction to seeing Elijah Woods play Frodo seems, in my mind, like a VERY high complement both to the quality of Elijah&#39;s acting and the quality of film in general--because it would have to be great for him to react this way to a production he was so familiar with. In my limited experience with theatre, it seems that people involved with the production are much more critical of a performance than the audience in general--because producing an illusion for the audience is a practical matter in their real lives. So--I spent three hours in Middle Earth. And this is a big thank you to everyone involved.

  • Dec. 23, 2001, 4:07 p.m. CST

    You have to see the movie twice.

    by Gordo27

    It is the best movie I&#39;ve seen in years after a second viewing.

  • Dec. 23, 2001, 9:50 p.m. CST

    So, did anyone else think this flick looked like...

    by JUSTICE41

    Three movies. While watching this thing I kept getting the feeling I was watching a combo movie, made up of three recent flicks.1) SPAWN. 2) SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. 3) WILLOW. It wan&#39;t a horrible movie but it was completely forgetable. I saw whole groups of folks get up and leave about 1:45 mins into the flick. The motion CGI was very poor, the Location CGI was alright but very static and was missing life. They were also missing people. JACKSON does not know how to film action, unless he wants you to become dizzy and disoriented. Not worth watching again.

  • Dec. 23, 2001, 11:38 p.m. CST

    The Ultimate Movie Experience...No, REALLY!!!

    by Zemora

    Been a hardcore Star Wars FREAK since the age of eleven (I&#39;m thirty five now). Never thought any movie could topple "Empire Strikes..." off the top of my list of best movie experience...until now! Un-f---ing believable! I haven&#39;t felt this kind of wonderment and awe since watching Star Wars at Manns Chinese Theater twenty-four years ago! LOTR made me that kid again for three hours Tues, at midnight. Thank you Peter Jackson! Now could someone please convince Lucas to retire...

  • Dec. 24, 2001, 5:25 a.m. CST

    To linkin park rox

    by spice runner

    I am of the opion that this person has not a clue to what LOTR is really. One, they mistakenly think that Led Zeppelin using some LOTR in their songs as the basis for the movies. Two, they go onto assume as well that these movies have anything to with the Hercules TV series. Well... my misinformed young friend I hate to burst your bubble. No, I can&#39;t say that because you haven&#39;t had the pleasure of reading this classic story told by a man who didn&#39;t just create a triology, but created a world so full and colorful that people have been drooling for the chance to see a gifted director take on the project and make it a master in film as well. I don&#39;t think I can wait much longer to see it, but this as it has to be. I won&#39;t be near a proper theater until 11 Jan 02 being that I&#39;m stationed Korea at Osan AB. I loved Harry&#39;s review, and he did show me something that is precious. It is how I felt after I read these books Twenty-some-odd years ago. I remember thinking how great it would be to see someone do this story and not in live animation. Well, from all the reviews I think PJ has done it. Thank you Harry for that review!

  • Dec. 24, 2001, 7:56 a.m. CST

    It&#39;s clear I&#39;m in the minority.

    by LordRodBlaine

    Oh god, this is going to be long, I&#39;m sorry. I didn&#39;t think Lord of the Rings was that great. It certainly doesn&#39;t threaten anything in my top 20. I&#39;m a little hesitant to say that here, because I feel like I&#39;m attacking everyone&#39;s religion in a fundamentalist country. I&#39;ll probably get stoned to death for this, but I have to call it like I see it. Before I get started, in case anyone cares, I can give some insight into my taste in movies. (I&#39;ll be brief) I loved Star Wars when I was a kid, and I still do, but Return of the Jedi seemed to have taken its eye off of the ball. But that was nothing compared to how horrible and painful Phantom Menace was when I first saw it, despite people creaming all over it everywhere I read. I had to wait a year before people cooled off and I started to read opinions I could relate to. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a masterpiece, and I still enjoy Temple of Doom, but The Last Crusade is unwatchable. Jurassic Park III is the most enjoyable and most re-watchable of the 3 movies. Speilberg has lost his way, except for Saving Private Ryan, which was a masterpiece. And my favorite film of this year was Harry Potter. I&#39;ve seen it several times and it never gets boring. It easily makes it into my top 10. I have read all of the Harry Potter books so far, but I have not read Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, and I won&#39;t until the other movies are out, just to keep myself clean. No question about it, Lord of the Rings was a unique film. I don&#39;t think I&#39;ve ever seen anything quite like it. I&#39;ll reserve judgment about the dramatic structure and character development for now, because it&#39;s obvious I&#39;ve only seen the first act of a 9 hour movie. I wish they gave this kind of treatment to Battlefield Earth, which was a great book, but a waste of perfectly good emulsion. I&#39;ve read gripes about LOTR&#39;s casting, but I thought everyone was terrific. The special effects were mostly passable. I don&#39;t rag on effects unless they interfere with the drama, like the redone effects in the Star Wars Special Edition did. Effects that bothered me were the flyaround shots of various locations that seemed to be inspired by Mortal Kombat. They killed the scale and made the locations feel artificial. I didn&#39;t like them in MK, and I didn&#39;t like them here. Many things I didn&#39;t understand because they weren&#39;t communicated very well on screen. Gandalf talks to the moth, (which I had no clue why he would do such a thing, but I let it go thinking we would find out later, which we didn&#39;t), and the following effects shot gave me the impression that the moth flew down into the pit with the orcs, and then the movie forgot about it. Later, after Gandalf simply shows up again in good health, a flashback shows Galdalf jumping off the tower and my impression was that he made himself really really tiny and flew away on the back of an ordinary eagle. In hindsight, that would have been magic far more impressive than anything else he demonstrated in the story. I didn&#39;t find out until someone told me later that the bird was a roc, and Gandalf didn&#39;t shrink himself, but the bird was just very big. If the effects were more competent and imparted the bird with the proper scale, that scene would have made a lot more sense. Apparently, according to my friend who is more familiar with the mythos, Gandalf had a history with the rocs, and that roc was a friend of his. That seems an important point considering the plot. I just saw the movie, and I think I was paying attention, so that should not have been news to me. I should also mention the decision to just have Gandalf sitting there in Rivendell, leaving us to find out how he got out of his fix in flashbacks. That just sucks. If it was that way in the book, then it sucks in the book too. You&#39;re taking what could be real emotion, tension, jeopardy, and dread, and replacing it with passing curiosity. Where is that coming from? By the way, I just loved the effects depicting the altered state of consciousness when wearing the ring. Totally awesome. Anyway, camera work is the same deal as effects for me; no problem unless it interferes. I can&#39;t say anything good about LOTR&#39;s camera work, except those times when the cameraman found the tripod. A particular example of what I&#39;m talking about is the close-up shot of the Fellowship walking over the mountain, the one that ended up in the trailer. Up, left, down, in, right, out, up, I was going to be sick. The Ringwraiths chasing Arwen and Frodo. They&#39;re ten feet behind, they&#39;re a hundred feet behind, they&#39;re touching, they&#39;re a hundred feet behind again, where the hell are they? Is this another altered state, or screwy editing? I should be able to tell. The action sequences were impossible to follow. You can see the trend in movies lately to shoot action so close and fast that it looks like nothing but blurred hands and feet and floor and sky whizzing past the flailing camera lens. I first noticed this style in the fight scene at the end of Lethal Weapon, and I hoped that would be the last time I saw it. But it seems to be the standard in every movie since then. Gladiator was a great movie, but the action suffered from the same impossible to follow photography. Please Brits, don&#39;t do everything Hollywood does. They don&#39;t always know what they&#39;re doing. Let me mention the music and I&#39;ll stop. It seems that very few filmmakers realize how very important music is to the effectiveness and impact of the story. I won&#39;t go into why I think they don&#39;t want to acknowledge it here. I&#39;m a big fan of film scores, and I picked up the soundtrack to LOTR as soon as I saw it. I wasn&#39;t a huge fan of Howard Shore, being unimpressed with his most notable score in my collection, The Fly, but I was curious to see what he did for this movie. Upon listening to it, I was so bored I couldn&#39;t make it through the CD. That didn&#39;t inspire a lot of confidence in the movie, but I figured I would give the score a pass until I saw it. Stranger things have happened, and I have a lot of scores I can&#39;t sit down and listen to, but work fantastically in the movies they come from. This was not the case with LOTR. The music is so themeless and formless, offers so little to the drama, and fails so greatly to participate in the storytelling, that I thought it actually held the movie back. I contrast it with the score from Harry Potter, which was so energetic and engaging. LOTR&#39;s music could have made Harry Potter boring. It boggles my mind what kind of movie LOTR could have been if the score was up to the caliber of Harry Potter&#39;s. I might not have felt two seconds for every one of the 3 hour running time. For an example of what music can do, just look at the domestic and foreign versions of Legend. The domestic version was scored by Tangerine Dream, and the foreign by Jerry Goldsmith. Except for some minor things, these two are essentially the same film, but for the music. T.Dream&#39;s score is detatched and formless, while Goldsmith&#39;s score participates. The difference is dramatic. Still not the greatest film of all time, but the foreign version seems to try, while the domestic version just blows itself off, and you with it. I can watch Goldsmith&#39;s version again, but I can&#39;t sit through T.Dream&#39;s. Isn&#39;t that the mark of a good or bad movie? I&#39;m going to try to see LOTR again, and I&#39;m taking an unsuspecting kid with me. Harry Potter was long, and he loved it. He&#39;s also into Star Wars. Will he like LOTR? Will I like it more, or will I get that same feeling when I saw I.J.& The Last Crusade or Independence Day the second time around, and feel like I&#39;m wasting my time? Okay, I&#39;ll stop now. =)

  • Dec. 24, 2001, 9:02 a.m. CST

    IMHO FOTR is the Greatest film in 20 years!

    by JMYoda

    I loved FOTR. I am one of the most die-hard Star Wars fans on the planet and I must admit this film is as good as "The Empire Strikes Back" and IT is the film that us die-hard Star Wars fans have been waiting 20 years for. It&#39;s the movie "The Phantom Menace" SHOULD have been. I&#39;ve often defended TPM against bashers, not because I thought it was brilliant but because I still thought it was OK (3 stars OK) and I&#39;m still a die-hard SW freak... I pretty much went into FOTR with the same sky high expectations I had for TPM. However where as TPM didn&#39;t even come within 100 parsecs of my expectations FOTR exceeded them a hundred times over. I haven&#39;t felt this enchanted by a film since I saw ESB (or ET) for the first time as a tyke. Seeing FOTR (not to mention Harry Potter) has made me realize just how bad TPM was. It SHOULD be a wake-up call to George Lucas. It makes TPM look like a steaming pile of bantha poodoo. I highly recommend FOTR to SW fans who think ESB is the best Star Wars film. YOU will LOVE FOTR. It&#39;s a brilliant dark masterpiece. I think Ebert is full of shite on this one. How he could give FOTR 3 stars and TPM 3 1/2 is beyond me. He said he liked TOM that much despite it&#39;s faults because of the beautiful CGI places it took us too, however the sites in FOTR rival those in TPM and has the rock solid characters, strong storyline and strong presence of true evil that TPM was sadly missing. Ebert says that Frodo isn&#39;t the main character in the movie as he should be, that&#39;s BS. He is that main character. Plus if Jackson did the movie in the way Ebert and other mamsy pamsies wanted the film (light not dark and have everything in the novel about the hobbits) it would be part musical and part nature documentary about Middle Earths trees and foliage. Although I love and adore the books the one that that has always bothered me in the LOTR novels is that Tolkien often takes more time to write out elaborate songs or describe trees then he does to describe the epic battles that take place. Thankfully Jackson used everything that would work well in the movie and left out what would slow it down or turn off people who haven&#39;t read the book. And besides the heart of the novel is the epic battle between good and evil and that&#39;s exactly what Jackson has focused on, AS HE SHOULD. Plus the fact that the film doesn&#39;t have anything that contradicts the book (outside of the extra Arwen stuff but that&#39;s hardly much at all). Even Lurtz doesn&#39;t contradict the novel, it&#39;s just as if the writer didn&#39;t know who the Orc&#39;s leader was. All the characters act just as that did in the novel, the story is almost identical as it is in the novel and 85% of the movie&#39;s dialog is word-for-word from the novel. Along with Harry Potter it&#39;s the most faithful book to film adaptation in a LONG time. Not like films such as Copolla&#39;s Dracula and Verhoven&#39;s Starship Troopers, both of which changed the storyline and characters drastically. Dracula especially pisses me off since Copolla and his people claim it&#39;s faithful. FOTR IS faithful. When Tolkien wrote LOTR he took the approach he was translating a true historical document and Jackson thus in turn took the approach that it was a true historical novel. By taking that approach Jackson has filmed the unfilmible epic and turned it into one of the greatest films in cinematic history. I ranks it up with classic such as the original Star Wars trilogy, The Searchers, The Seven Samurai and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  • Dec. 24, 2001, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Bashers make me sick

    by JMYoda

    I mean all you peoples bashed TPM endlessy ad nasuem repeating the same shit over and over and over again. Now a film comes along that really is fantastic and everything TPM should have been and you bash it to death too. Your all a bunch of angry little piss-ant morons and you make me sick! If this movie doesn&#39;t make you happy no movie ever will! Blah!

  • Dec. 24, 2001, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Director&#39;s cut DVD?

    by The Hindmost

    Someone over at tolkieninline put together a petition for the release of an as-long-as-possible-please extended director&#39;s cut DVD of FotR prior to the theatre release of TT. Sounds like something you might want to have? Well go ahead and sign:

  • Dec. 24, 2001, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Can&#39;t say that I liked it...

    by agentcooper

    I&#39;m not sure if any of the LOTR talkbacks are still active, but I finally saw the movie last night and thought I&#39;d throw in my two cents. First, the obligatory background: Read "The Hobbit" but have not read the other books upon which the movie is based. I am aware that Tolkien pretty much created the genre and appreciate the fact that so many people really enjoy his work...So out of the three hours, I think I maybe enjoyed one total. Let me say that the film was undeniably beautiful and should be praised for its production design and special effects. That&#39;s where it should stop. If you are not already a fan walking in the door, the movie offers nothing to grab you. I get the feeling that fans of the books love this movie because they are able to fill in the huge gaping holes that the movie leaves. For example: I think that we were supposed to be excited that all the "races" of Middle Earth came together in the Fellowship to take the ring back to the volcano. But the film just kind of glosses over this, so we are left with just a random group of people taking a journey together. Also, there are A LOT of things that happen that don&#39;t seem to serve any purpose in the film, other than to point out ONCE AGAIN that the ring is evil. It&#39;s evil I tell you! I can only assume that these things relate to events in the next two movies. For example, when the Fellowship stops in the Elf village (beautiful set, BTW) NOTHING HAPPENS. Oh, Cate B. Freaks Out, then says "I passed the test" (looked like she failed with flying colors to me), then gives Frodo that crystal, which I have to assume he uses in the next movie, because otherwise, there was absolutely no point in stopping there. It blew the whole pace they had established in the mine sequence, which was actually pretty cool. Oh, and can someone please explain why those two Jar Jar Hobbits were allowed to join the quest? All they did was get people killed, then get kidnapped. If the elf council was so wise, why were they even allowed to participate? There were some things I liked in the movie. I thought Ian McKeller was very good. I actually like Liv Tyler, which I couldn&#39;t believe. The aforementioned Mine sequence was very well done. I liked the Ring Wraiths until they turned out to be such wimps, all nine of them getting beaten by one guy with a torch and a sword. I liked the elf with the bow and arrow (Legolas?)because they gave him some really great stuff to do. But the movie as a whole left me cold. I thought maybe THIS is the film that should have been called "The Neverending Story."...All this being said, I would like to reiterate that this film simply wasn&#39;t to my taste. I do not mean in any way to slam those who liked it, and obviously there are a lot of you. If you found a lot to love in this movie, cool. You&#39;re the ones it was made for. As for me, I think I&#39;ll steer clear of the multiplex next year at this time. And the year after.

  • Dec. 24, 2001, 4:32 p.m. CST

    My Review and thoughts on Harry&#39;s Review

    by spidermanfreak20

  • Dec. 24, 2001, 5:10 p.m. CST

    FOTR IS THE WORST MOVIE OF 2001!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by JP3183

    This movie will satisfy the fans of the books, but for average moviegoers, this movie has the worst ending of 2001. Peter Jackson had so much faith and respect for the books and wanted to make three movies out of them. In my opinion, the three books could&#39;ve been made in only one 3-hour long movie. If you&#39;re going to make a long film like this, then you better fill the time with interesting scenes so the audience won&#39;t look at their watches (a lot of them did). But the only thing that made this film long is the extended and boring dialogue scenes. If you cut all the worthless scenes in the movie, it would&#39;ve been only 1 hour and maybe 45 minutes long. If the other 2 movies have the same formula, then Jackson could&#39;ve sqeezed the entire trilogy into one big movie. And if you&#39;re going to make a trilogy, the very worst thing you could do is leave your audience hanging with an unfinished ending for the first installment (without a climax I might add). This makes the film worthless to the whole story because it doesn&#39;t have a conclusion of its own. Take a look at Back to the Future 1, it&#39;s ending provides a setting for the plot of &#39;Future 2&#39; (and &#39;Future 2&#39; for &#39;Future 3&#39;) but it has its own story and the conclusion for the story. In the end the audience was satisfied but at the same time anticipates the upcoming sequel. This movie reminds me of long and boring movies like Pearl Harbor and The Thin Red Line, because all of their action scenes were boring too(who wants to categorize unstylish and repetetive swordfights and running as great action scenes). When it comes right down to it, waiting for a year or two to see the conclusion of a single story isn&#39;t really worth your time and money.

  • Dec. 24, 2001, 5:18 p.m. CST

    sorry bout that i hit enter instead of tab he he on to my review

    by spidermanfreak20

    I&#39;m a writer. or at least I think I am. I love to write and want to be a screenwriter. I love to watch movies. Comedy,Drama,Action. A movie that took my breathe away was Gladiator. I sat in the theater about 3 months after it was released. I knew it was the best picture of 2000. I loved everything about that movie. Crowes performance. The score. The story. Everything. A year passed and I had not seen any movie like Gladiator. A.I had good acting put the ending sucked.Pearl Harbor was garbage. Basically 2001 for me was I had followed the movie ever since they announced Tobey Maguire as Peter. Im so nervous for Spider-man I dont want it to suck. So far from what i have seen in the trailers looks like a superhero movie is being done right. My favorite movie of 2001? Moulin Rouge. No im not gay. I hate musicals. And Im 15. I had downloaded it on Morpheus thinkign it would be crap and was so mad I didn&#39;t see it on opening night. I loved the music the lights,the acting everything. I own the DVD and have seen it multiple times. Now onto lotr. Harry potter was a cute and I liked Hermoine&#39;s character.She reminds me of my little sister. I&#39;m anxious to see who goes out with her when she turns 15 Harry or Ron? I keep thinking Ron.I can&#39;t explain it but you know how when you see a little girl and little boy playing in the sandlot and they think "Yuck (insert name) has cooties" and you say "You think so now but when you grow older you will probably marry (insert name)" But onto LOTR. I never read the books. I had seen the trailer, and read spoilers.People keep saying its better than Star Wars. My favorite is Episode 5 Empire Strikes Back. To me its the best one. By the way Lucas did not direct Empire :)LOTR was a great movie and one of the best in 2001. Gandalf was great. Despite Elijah&#39;s fake ass tears and his wide eyes Frodo was cool too.Merry and Pippin were funny but they never did explain WHY the risked their life for Frodo. They kind of got caught up into things. Did not care to much for Arwen. Legolas was uber cool and uber gay. Hopefully he will develop more. The first hour kind of drags but once the fellowship forms the movie rules. WHY THE HELL DIDNT THEY JUST FLY ON THE EAGLE TO MT DOOM? Still I love this movie and its my second favorite film this year. I hope Moulin Rouge or LOTR take home the big one.The one scene in the movie that is my favorite is when Sam swims over to get in the boat and Frodo tells him to go back but Sam goes anyway at the risk of drowning. I&#39;ve seen the movie twice. But that scene is my favorite. Because Im just like Sam. When my best friend Jason and I were 12 we were terrified of the pop out haunted houses. People would be like Michael Myers is in there etc... We went with Jason&#39;s brother Jessie 2 of his friends and his girlfriend. Jessie kept making fun of Jason for being a chicken shit and said he would never go inside. So Jason was going to go in and he wanted to go alone but I knew he was scared so we went together. And in the end it wasnt all that scary. Granted Sam and Frodo have to face millions of gobblins and orcs and its a big difference. but still Sam knew that Frodo was scared.Like I knew Jason was scared. Just like Sam knew Frodo was scared. Another one of my favorite scenes is The orc getting its head sliced off. it reminded me of Gladiator when ceaser cheated and stabbed maximus then fought him. You feel pissed off like What a bitch he cant win like this then BAM Maximus fucked him up.It would ahve been cooler to see Boromir use all his final strength and fuck up the orc but hey the orc still died. LOTR was a great film my hats off to PJ. the worst part of the movie was THE END. I was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOO 12 MORE MONTHS ITS NOT FAIR. i would have sat through all 3 for 9 hours with breaks? Huh Huh? well at least we only ahve to wait a year unlike Star Wars.

  • Dec. 24, 2001, 9:57 p.m. CST

    great film.

    by 81666

    saw this finally today, and i was taken aback by the sheer magnitude of this movie. i&#39;ve finally gotten the books and will read them, because i was very surprised by many things in the film that i just guessed in advanced. i thought the ending was going to be just cut too short or dissapointing, but was very satisfying and promising, i liked it alot... the visuals was were beautifully rendered (galdriel&#39;s (sp?) outburst, sauron&#39;s first outing, the balrog.. man oh man.. a visionary&#39;s wet dream. liked this film a lot... *argh* another year to wait tho&#39; indeed. spoierl??***************p.s. why was i the only pussy to jump when bilbo&#39;s face morphed into that thing when he wanted to touch the ring, jesus, it was like large marge all over again!***************************spoiler over.

  • Dec. 25, 2001, 1:16 a.m. CST

    Well JP3183...

    by JMYoda

    Oh yeah, I see your point. Look how "The Empire Strikes Back" ruined the Star Wars trilogy. No one wanted to wait THREE YEARS to see the conclusion of a "To Be Continued" story. That&#39;s why "Return of the Jedi" made no money and the Star Wars franchise died... Oh wait ROJ is 8th highest grossing film of all time and the disappointing TPM is number 2 on the list. Not to mention ESB is 11 on the list and is also considered the best of the saga and one of the greatest films of all time. So apparently you ain&#39;t got a pot to piss in my friend. (Cheer up though, maybe you&#39;ll get one for Christmas.) The fact is word of mouth is spreading fast on FOTR so I think it&#39;s going to do quite well. Plus if people REALLY need to know what happens next before December 2002 they can just *gasp* read the books! Maybe you should try it sometime.

  • Where&#39;s the review? It&#39;s nice when you can relate your personal spiritual experience and religious orgasm to your movie review. But it&#39;s just plain boring when you stop talking about the movie at all and keep braging about your experience being at the place where they shot the movie. Guess what, nobody cares. We don&#39;t give a rat ass. We clicked on the link to read your review, because we thought you&#39;d have something intelligent to say about the movie. But apparently, you lost that long time ago

  • Dec. 25, 2001, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Harry Knowles is responsible for FRODO BAGGINS?!

    by Salacious

    Harry I find it hard to believe that you were the one who talked Elijah Wood into taking the role of Frodo Baggins. You were in The Faculty for a blink of an eye, yet you say how buddy-buddy you were with the stars. Stop faking it and start reviewing movies.

  • Dec. 25, 2001, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Harry Knowles is responsible for FRODO BAGGINS?!

    by Turpulus

    Harry! How can you take credit for Elijah Wood taking on the role of Frodo Baggins? What are you thinking? You were on for 3 seconds in The Faculty, yet you claim to have been best friends with Elijah Wood? I don&#39;t think so. Stop taking credit for things you didn&#39;t do and start reviewing some movies!

  • Dec. 25, 2001, 9:46 p.m. CST

    FOTR - my views, having read all of yours

    by shambhallanyc

    I want to be brief and hope that somewhere out there someone feels the same way about this movie. BTW I just saw Vanilla Sky and felt it was mostly awful, and on this site, which I haven&#39;t checked in a while [new pc], the review was rather glowing. But and so, I digress. Meaningfully, though. I love Tolkien&#39;s books so I qualify as a fanatic who can quote them as scripture - I will not bore you with this party trick. I have been anxiously awaiting these movies and following the production of them, though like many who posted I have plenty of other interests and am not "utterly devastated." For me, it comes to this. I want to be fair to Messrs Jackson et al, but they somewhat missed the point so far, and it&#39;s possible but unlikely that they can redeem themselves in the the next two installments. They blew it for me, not in the minor changes and omissions, and not in the CGI and effects, but in the dialogue and character development. I went back to my dogeared copy of FOTR and checked - there is potentially great dialogue there that really could have made it to the screen - most of it didn&#39;t. And because of that, and too little attempt to communicate the history, the uniqueness of the races, the surprises - that most people don&#39;t know about Aragorn, hobbits, the rings, etc., and that these members of the Fellowship are a revelation to each other as well as to us as readers/viewers, the movie is basically reduced to a decent but somewhat non-descript Sword and Sorcery movie. There is some good casting, but some valuable small details were tossed away with things like Bombadil and the Barrow Wights - such as the reasons why the Hobbits chose to follow Aragorn from Bree [after all he was a stranger!!!]or the scene at the ford where Frodo defies the Ringwraiths, or the dialogue at the Council of Elrond, where we see the competitiveness between Boromir and Aragorn, or the reforging of Narsil [which I guess happens later, or happened and got ignored],and a few other scenes. Sorry to get seemingly nitpicky - here&#39;s the point - I care about the hobbits in the books because they grow and change - I care about Aragorn because I know he has suffered for decades on thankless quests and his time has come finally, I care about the Council of Elrond because people went there because of dreams, threats, and prophecies and they were worried about surviving. In the movie, it just didn&#39;t come across. It w