Episode 1 has some very awesome moments. Darth Maul is probably my favourite sith in the entire series, and I look forward to his scenes everytime I watch this. The effects can be stunning, but sometimes a little too much for my liking, especially at the very end when they are celebrating on Naboo. Liam Neeson is fantastic, him and Ewan McGregor compliment each other so well. I'm not alone in Jaja Binks irritating me after 5 minutes, and I don't see how his character really enriches the story, I would have prefered greater character development of Darth Maul or Shmi. That said, Episode 1 is still amazing and is a great build for Episdoe II.
So I finally built myself up to see this (I am not so good with scary movies!) and in hindsight I must have built myself up far too much. I was bored in the movie, especially in the first half. I found myself waiting for the night scenes as I wanted something to happen. And yes it had its scary moments and I jumped a few times, and screamed once haha. I like the way it preys on our basic fears and what goes bump in the night, but the movie was just too slow, it felt like it had all been done before and the boyfriend was such an annoying character which I didnt feel added anything positive to the movie. There has been so much hype over this movie, and I knew that going into it so I guess that hype has impacted my expectations and ultimately I felt let down as I thought it would be scarier.
The Fellowship of the Ring is fantasy perfection. Every scene is rich, genuine and focused - from the battle scenes, to every horrifying Orc, to the grass in The Shire, to the beauty of Rivendell, no matter how small or how big, every detail is stunning. The characters are believable, passionate, full of emotion, and individually demonstrate the fine line we balance on between good and evil and the minds struggle with greed. An amazing cast with some fine performances, especially Ian McKellen who embodies Gandalf with such strength and emotion that his presence is undeniable. The landscape is vast and beautiful (I live in NZ, but I don't think I'm being bias here!) the special effects are almost always so perfect that you never doubt what you are watching. Peter Jackson's monumental efforts remind you of what a movie should be, and I don't believe anyone has created such a fantasy adventure of this proportion since George Lucas. Tolkien's story has been brought to life on the screen with such respect for the content, such devotion and artistic passion, that what results is a 3 and a half hour masterpiece ...and then the excitement of knowing we are lucky enough to have another two movies to further immerse ourselves in the journey and epic battle for Middle-earth.