Blake B's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

My love for the Lord of the Rings was very late in coming thanks to a viewing of the horrible cartoon version of The Hobbit when I was young that made me shun the world of Middle Earth. I put off reading the books and even ignored Peter Jackson's version of The Fellowship of the Ring until The Two Towers was released in theaters, all thanks largely to the sour taste The Hobbit gave me. My girlfriend at the time wanted to see the Two Towers in the theater, as she had seen the first one when it first came out. Thanks to my adolescent tendencies to do whatever she wanted of me, I resolved to read the whole series and accompany her to The Two Towers. While my love for her was not to last, my love for the LOTR world has endured.

I read The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Rings, and The Two Towers in a single week. When I finished The Fellowship, we rented it and I got to watch it for the first time. What was most amazing to me was how Peter Jackson took all the best parts in the book, made them kick so much more ass on screen while also getting the best actors for their respective parts (except for Liv Tyler, who I personally think is miscast in EVERY role. As much as I love her dad, I can't watch her on screen in anything without rolling my eyes and keeping them pointed up so I don't have to watch her anymore). What Jackson also did was get rid of the more boring scenes and annoying characters (most notably Tom Bombadil(sp?)).

Tyler's casting aside, I really feel that everyone else was spot on in their portrayals of their characters. If you've read any of my reviews for his other movies, you know how much I love Viggo Mortensen. He'd been in a few big parts before LOTR, but his performance as Aragorn really thrust him into the spotlight, and he really delivers. I feel he and Sean Bean stand out the most in The Fellowship, whereas most of the other characters come into their own later in the series. I was only sorry that Boromir doesn't stick around longer.

This leads me to my only real beef with the movie, and that is the ending. The last twenty or so minutes of the movie are actually the first two chapters of The Two Towers book. If you are not one who reads the books before watching the movies, it's probably no big deal. But as I mentioned, I was in the middle of reading the series. The day that I finished reading The Fellowship, I watched the movie on DVD so I could move on to the Two Towers book and go to the movie with my anxious girlfriend (to her credit, she waited for me to finish the readings). So I was annoyed that the movie was spoiling part of the next book for me. I like to form my own opinions and feelings from the book before I have someone force their view into mine through their own vision. I know people who don't like to read or don't bother reading in the first place scoff when someone says the book was better than the movie, but most of the time that is absolutely true, mainly because our own vision is so much different than the director's.

So while I didn't like Jackson getting ahead of himself with the ending, he more than made up for it by spending less time with slow parts in the book and completely dropping annoying characters such as Tom Bombadil and some of the characters in Rivendell and Bree. While The Fellowship (and the rest of the movies in the series) is a rather long movie, it would have been much longer-feeling if he had wasted time with these things.

The Fellowship is a great starting point for Jackson's vision of the LOTR, and it only gets better from here. There are only a few more things in the movies coming that the book does better, but these are mainly casualties of time and the reality of translating thousands of pages to the big screen and still keeping everything in the confines of three three-hour movies. All that said, Jackson gets awfully close to perfection.