‘THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Welcome to Middle-Earth – The Journey Begins
For my friend, Hannah, a ‘LOTR’ fan like me.
“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”
I love ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movie trilogy! It’s one of my favourite fantasy trilogies in the history of cinema and it’s well adapted and well-directed by Peter Jackson and his team of filmmakers. I’ve been immersed into the world of Middle-Earth and still love these three classic and majestic movies!
I didn’t like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ at first though. My parent and I were lent a DVD of the first film ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ by some neighbours in late 2001. In 2003, I decided to give the first film another go by purchasing the DVD. Now I’ve seen the full trilogy and I love watching these epic films.
‘The Lord of The Rings’ is based on the book trilogy by author J.R.R. Tolkien. It was a book trilogy deemed impossible to be made as live-action movies. Thankfully, film director Peter Jackson took on the challenge with his team of New Zealanders to turn J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels into three epic movies.
The story focuses on a Hobbit from the Shire called Frodo Baggins. He inherits a ring from his uncle Bilbo before he discovers that it is the One Ring, forged by the Dark Lord Sauron. Accompanied by his friends, Frodo sets out on this quest to destroy the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom in Mordor.
I first purchased the original 2-disc DVD edition of the first ‘LOTR’ film before I purchased the four-disc Special Extended DVD Edition in 2003. The extended edition has new extra footage and special features. My family and I now have the movie in ‘The Hobbit’/’The Lord of the Rings’ Blu-ray box set.
The film begins with a prologue narrated by Cate Blanchett as Galadriel. She gives us a history of Middle-Earth and of the Rings of Power. Long ago, there was a battle against the Dark Lord Sauron who used the One Ring of Power. An alliance of Men and Elves fought against the armies of Mordor.
60 years later, we meet the Hobbits of the Shire. Ian Holm stars as Bilbo Baggins, who lives in Bag-End in Hobbiton. As depicted in ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy, Bilbo brought back a gold ring with him from his adventures in the north. Soon, Bilbo uses the gold ring for his long-expected birthday party.
The main star of the ‘LOTR’ is Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, Bilbo’s nephew. Frodo is a peace-loving Hobbit. When he discovers that Bilbo’s ring is dangerous, Frodo is determined to save his people and his home. He’s afraid of doing it alone. With the help of his friends, he faces a lot of terrible dangers.
Sir Ian McKellen stars as Gandalf the Grey, an old wizard. He’s an old friend of Bilbo’s from the days when they had adventures in Middle-Earth. Gandalf shows great concern for Bilbo’s nephew Frodo. He aids Frodo to destroy the Ring of Power. Gandalf helps him to leave the Shire to take to Rivendell.
Frodo has four Hobbit friends in the ‘LOTR’. They are Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee (also known as Sam), Dominic Monaghan as Meriadoc Brandybuck (also known as Merry) and Billy Boyd as Peregin Took (also known as Pippin). These four Hobbits are really loyal to Frodo during his quest to Mordor.
Sam is Frodo’s gardener and a loyal helper to him wherever he goes. Merry and Pippin are the comic relief featured in the ‘LOTR’, but they have their moments of heroism too. The four Hobbits work really well as a group both on-screen and off-screen. They provide a lot of the heart featured in the ‘LOTR’.
Whilst Sam, Merry and Pippin accompany Frodo on his quest to Mordor, Gandalf goes to seek the help of Christopher Lee as Saruman the White at his tower of Orthanc in Isengard. But Saruman turns out to be an evil wizard in the movie and teams up with Sauron, wanting the One Ring himself.
In ‘Fellowship’, there’s a wizard-fight between Saruman and Gandalf. Gandalf gets trapped on the top of Orthanc before he escapes via a lift with an eagle. Saruman meanwhile sees to it that the forests of Isengard get cut down by Orcs and he has caverns built to create a new evil Orc-like army.
Whilst heading for Bree and Rivendell, Frodo and his friends get hunted down by nine Black Riders called the Nazgûl. They’re also known as Ringwraiths. I found the Ringwraiths to be scary when I first saw them, especially when the Hobbits are hiding under a log as one of them hunts for Sauron’s ring.
Eventually, Frodo and his friends arrive in Bree. They stay at the Prancing Pony inn to wait for Gandalf before they meet Viggo Mortenson as Strider. He is also known as Aragorn, who turns out to be the heir to the throne of Gondor. Strider/Aragon helps the Hobbits escape from the Black Riders.
Strider escorts the four Hobbits to Weathertop, a weather-beaten hill that used to have a watchtower called Amon Sûl on it. During the night they stay at Weathertop, the four Hobbits get attacked by the nine Ringwraiths that have come for the Ring. This is a very terrifying sequence here.
Frodo makes the mistake of putting the Ring on his finger before he gets stabbed by one of the Ringwraiths. Strider turns up and scares the Ringwraiths off with fire. Frodo meanwhile is impaled by the Morgul blade thrust into him. His chances for survival are unlikely with the evil poison inside him.
Our heroes soon meet up with Liv Tyler as Arwen, the daughter of Elrond from Rivendell. Arwen has come to help Aragorn and the four Hobbits. On horseback, Arwen rides to get Frodo to Rivendell so that he can be cured by her father. But on the ride across the Ford of Bruinen, Arwen gets company.
An exciting chase scene ensues between Arwen and the nine Ringwraiths in the movie. I enjoyed watching the chase scene. Arwen manages to defeat the Ringwraiths by summoning river horses. It transpires that Arwen has this sweet but very doomed romance with Aragorn in the ‘LOTR’ film trilogy.
Thankfully, Frodo is delivered safely to Rivendell and gets cured by Elrond. I found Rivendell to be a beautiful Elvish place. I really like the set design to it. It’s the sort of pretty place that you’d want to spend your retirement in. That’s certainly the case for Bilbo Baggins as he’s now retired in Rivendell.
Frodo reunites with his uncle Bilbo in Rivendell and gets to see his book – ‘There and Back Again: A Hobbit’s Tale by Bilbo Baggins’. Rivendell does feel very heavenly, safe and out of danger from the dark forces surrounding it. But with the One Ring in Rivendell, it’s not a place truly safe from danger.
Hugo Weaving stars as Elrond, the high ranking Elf in charge of Rivendell. Hugo delivers a rich and elegant performance as Elrond in the ‘LOTR’. Elrond confides with Gandalf about the seriousness of the situation regarding the One Ring. He isn’t very convinced as Gandalf that men can overthrow Sauron.
It turns out that Elrond was there during the battle against Sauron and the forces of Mordor in the prologue. He witnessed Isildur, who defeated Sauron, taking the Ring from him and refusing to destroy it. If the One Ring got destroyed in Mount Doom by Isildur, none of this would be happening.
A Council of Elrond takes place to discuss the situation regarding the One Ring. This consists of Elrond, Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn at the meeting. But there are also some new characters in attendance at the council meeting. These characters will become important in the ‘LOTR’ film trilogy.
There’s Sean Bean as Boromir, a man from Gondor, a kingdom of men; Orlando Bloom as Legolas, an Elf from Mirkwood and there’s John Rhys-Davies as Gimli, who is a red-bearded Dwarf. I’ve met John Rhys-Davies in real life at the ‘Cardiff Film & Comic Con’, March 2014. I got an autograph from him. 😀
During the Council of Elrond scene, Frodo eventually makes to decision and agrees to take the Ring to Mordor and destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom. He doesn’t do this alone though. Frodo gets joined by a company of friends who agree to help him during this pretty dangerous quest to Mordor.
As well as Frodo, the company includes Gandalf the wizard, Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Legolas the Elf, Gimil the Dwarf, Boromir of Gondor, Samwise Gamgee, Merry and Pippin. Elrond names this new group of heroes as the Fellowship of the Ring. Thus we have the title for the first film in the ‘LOTR’. 🙂
As Aragorn is reluctant to take up the kingship of Gondor, Frodo receives gifts from his uncle Bilbo before the Fellowship leaves for Rivendell. This includes the sword Sting and the mithril shirt given to him by Thorin Oakenshield. It was very funny as Frodo asked Gandalf which way it was to Mordor.
Pretty soon, the Ring goes south as the Fellowship journeys upwards into the Misty Mountains. The Fellowship soon takes a rest on the Misty Mountains before they hide from a flock of crows sent by Saruman the White. It seems there are spies watching the Fellowship’s every move on their journey.
The Fellowship soon journey up the snowy mountains of ‘cruel’ Caradhras. There’s a tense moment when Frodo trips and loses the ring before Boromir picks it up. The group journey higher up where snowy blizzards occur. They get caught in this avalanche once Saruman puts a spell on the mountain.
Finding that they can’t go on any further up the snowy mountain; the Fellowship decides to take another route. Instead of going over the mountain, they decide to go under it. They head for Moria, the dark mountain kingdom of the Dwarves. Gimli the Dwarf is very keen to go into Moria in the film.
The Fellowship arrives at the ancient Dwarf kingdom under the Misty Mountains. It used to be a great kingdom. Now it becomes dark and foreboding. After a number of attempts to open the door, the Fellowship gets inside. It was funny Gandalf could not open the doors with the spells he uttered.
Thankfully Frodo works it out and Gandalf the Elvish word for ‘friend’ to open the door. In Moria, there are a number of monsters that the Fellowship encounter. Outside the gates, Frodo gets snatched by an octopus-like being of tentacles called the Watcher dwelling outside in Moria’s water.
Inside Moria, the Fellowship journeys in the dark before they get attacked by Orcs. These are the Moria Orcs that have cockroach-like character. There’s a dynamic action-packed fight in the chamber containing Balin’s tomb. I got excited when the Fellowship fought the Orcs during the thrilling scene.
Another monster ‘punches’ its way through in on the fight in the chamber containing Balin’s tomb. This is the terrifying Cave Troll, who isn’t happy when it gets provoked into fighting the Fellowship. I liked the behind-the-scenes story that Peter Jackson gave regarding where the Cave Troll came from.
The third monster that the Fellowship encounter in Moria is the Balrog. This is a fiery bull-like creature with horns. There’s a pretty exciting runaway scene as the Fellowship descend down the stairs of Khazad-dûm. They have to jump over a gap in order to get across and reach the bridge here.
Eventually, the Fellowship make across the bridge of Khazad-dûm to escape. But Gandalf stays behind in order to confront the Balrog. Sadly, Gandalf gets taken down into the abyss by the Balrog. It seems he’s dead. Frodo and everybody else are pretty upset once Gandalf has gone from the film.
With Gandalf now gone, the Fellowship makes for Lothlórien, another Elf kingdom. They get caught and are soon met and escorted by Haldir of the Elves to the city of Caras Galadhon. It’s in this place the Fellowship meet Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel, who are the high-ranking Elves of Lothlórien.
Cate Blanchett stars as Galadriel and is the lady of light in Lórien. Galadriel is the most beautiful of Elves in Middle-Earth. But there is also something sad about her as well as something dangerous. Frodo discovers this when he sees her during the night when she invites him to look into her Mirror.
In the extended version of ‘Fellowship’, Galadriel gives gifts to the Fellowship as they depart from Lórien. There’s a very nice scene featured between Galadriel and Gimli the Dwarf, who secretly falls in love with her. He asks for a hair from her golden head and she gives him three which is really nice.
The Fellowship departs from Lórien in boats given to them by the Elves. They journey through the great river Anduin before they soon come across the Argonath. They are a monument of pillars shaped as kings of men. It’s so hard to believe the Argonath are actually models. They’re impressive!
Soon the Fellowship arrives at the shores of Amon Hen before the Falls of Rauros. They rest before continuing their journey, but Frodo goes missing. So does Boromir. A really tense scene occurs between Boromir and Frodo. Boromir tries to take the Ring before Frodo disappears by putting it on.
Very soon, the Fellowship gets attacked by Uruk-Hai. They are Orc-Goblin men bred by Saruman in the Caverns of Isengard. The Uruk-Hai are gorilla-like Orcs built for one purpose. To fight! Aragorn fights the Uruk-Hai single-handed at first before he is helped by Legolas and Gimli in the endeavour.
The Uruk-Hai, led by Lurtz, attempt to find Frodo and take the One Ring from him. Will Frodo get to escape the Uruk-Hai? Will this mean the breaking of the Fellowship of the Ring? Only Frodo can decide that fate. Will he journey to Mordor alone or will he have a friend accompany him in this quest?
The special features for ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ on ‘The Hobbit’/’The Lord of the Rings’ 30-disc Blu-ray set are as follows. On Disc 13 & 14, there’s the extended edition of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ – Parts 1 and 2′. There are also four commentaries. There’s ‘The Director and Writers’ commentary featuring director/writer/producer Peter Jackson; writer/producer Fran Walsh and writer Philippa Boyens. There’s ‘The Design Team’ commentary featuring production designer Grant Major; costume designer Ngila Dickson; Weta Workshop creative supervisor Richard Taylor; conceptual designer Alan Lee; conceptual designer John Howe; supervising art director Dan Hennah; art department manager Chris Hennah and Weta Workshop manager Tania Rodger. There’s ‘The Production/Post-Production Team’ commentary featuring producer Barrie M. Osborne; executive producer Mark Ordesky; director of photography Andrew Lesnie; film editor John Gilbert; co-producer Rick Porras; music composer Howard Shore; visual effects supervisor Jim Rygiel; supervising sound editor Ethan van der Ryn; supervising sound editor Mike Hopkins; animation designer Randy Cook; visual effects art director Christian Rivers; visual effects director of photography Brian Van’t Hul and miniatures director of photography Alex Funke. And there’s ‘The Cast’ commentary featuring Elijah Wood; Ian McKellen; Liv Tyler; Sean Astin; John Rhys-Davies; Billy Boyd; Dominic Monaghan; Orlando Bloom; Christopher Lee, and Sean Bean. There’s also ‘The Lord of the Rings: War in the North trailer – The Untold Story’ and two Easter Eggs to enjoy.
On Disc 15, there are the original Disc 2 DVD special features from the theatrical DVD/Blu-ray release. There’s the ‘Welcome to Middle-Earth’ Houghton Mifflin In-Store Special; the ‘Quest For The Ring’ Fox TV Special and the ‘A Passage to Middle-Earth’ Sci-Fi Channel Special. There are fifteen ‘lordoftherings.net’ featurettes including ‘Finding Hobbiton’; ‘Hobbiton Comes Alive’; ‘Believing the World of Bree’; ‘Ringwraiths: The Fallen Kings’; ‘Rivendell: The Elven Refuge’; ‘Languages of Middle-Earth’; ‘Two Wizards’; ‘Music of Middle-Earth’; ‘Elijah Wood’; ‘Viggo Mortensen’; ‘Orlando Bloom’; ‘Cate Blanchett’; ‘Liv Tyler’; ‘Ian McKellen’ and ‘Weathertop: The Windy Hill’. There are also three theatrical trailers for the movie; six TV spots and a music video for ‘May It Be’ performed by Enya. There’s the Special Extended DVD Edition preview for ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ and a behind-the-scenes preview for ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’. There’s also a preview by EA on ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’ video game.
On Disc 16, there are ‘The Appendices Part 1: From Book to Vision’. These cover the making of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ from book to screen, including plenty of documentaries. There’s an introduction by director Peter Jackson who explains what happens in ‘The Appendices’ for ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’. There’s the ‘J.R.R. Tolkien – Creator of Middle-Earth’ documentary and there’s the ‘From Book to Script’ documentary. There’s the ‘Visualizing The Story’ section which contains the ‘Storyboards and Pre-Viz’ documentary; early storyboards; pre-viz animatics; animatic to film comparisons and a Bag-End set test. There’s the ‘Designing and Building Middle-Earth’ section which contains the ‘Designing Middle-Earth’ documentary; the ‘Weta Workshop’ documentary; the ‘Costume Design’ documentary and design galleries on the Peoples of Middle-Earth and the Realms of Middle-Earth. There’s the ‘Middle-Earth Atlas’, an interactive map that traces the journeys of the Fellowship in the first ‘LOTR’ film. And there’s ‘New Zealand as Middle-Earth’ which features a map of New Zealand containing behind-the-scenes featurettes looking into the many filming locations of the first ‘LOTR’ film.
On Disc 17, there are ‘The Appendices Part 2: From Vision to Reality’. This covers how the cast got involved in the movie as well as the filming; the post-production process and the eventual release of the film at the cinemas. There’s an introduction given by Elijah Wood who explains what happens on this disc just like what director Peter Jackson did for the first ‘Appendices’ disc for ‘Fellowship’. There’s the ‘Filming ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ section which contains ‘The Fellowship of the Cast’ documentary; the ‘A Day In The Life Of A Hobbit’ documentary; the ‘Cameras In Middle-Earth’ documentary and production photos. There’s the ‘Visual Effects’ section which contains the ‘Scale’ documentary; the ‘Miniatures’ sub-section that contains the ‘Big-atures’ documentary and design galleries; and there’s the ‘Weta Digital’ documentary. There’s the ‘Post-Production: Putting It All Together’ section which contains the ‘Editorial: Assembling an Epic’ documentary and the editorial demonstration of ‘The Council of Elrond’ scene. There’s the ‘Digital Grading’ documentary which looks into how they digitised the look of the movie to make it feel like Middle-Earth. There’s the ‘Sound and Music’ section which contains ‘The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth’ documentary and the ‘Music for Middle-Earth’ documentary. And there’s ‘The Road Goes Ever On…’ documentary that looks into the film’s release at cinemas.
On Disc 18, there’s a behind-the-scenes disc created by filmmaker Costa Botes. Costa Botes was personally selected by director Peter Jackson to provide an in-depth look at the making of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ film trilogy.
‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ is an epic beginning to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy! I enjoyed watching the first film again and again as I got immersed more into the world of Middle-Earth. It’s a great film to start the trilogy since it makes you want to find out what will occur next in the following instalment.
I recommend that you save yourself a whole day to watch all three films in one go on an indulgent, undulated viewing of the ‘LOTR’. It’s best to do that when you go on holiday. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next to Frodo as well as to the other members of the Fellowship in the next instalment.
‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ rating – 10/10
‘THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING’
Originally written on the 19th of April 2018.
‘The Lord of the Rings’!!!
Who am I to argue? ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is one of the best movie trilogies ever made in the history of cinema. It’s well-directed by Peter Jackson, with strong characters and amazing worlds in Middle-Earth, based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien. Without a doubt, it’s the most successful of film trilogies.
I’ve recently revisited ‘The Lord of the Rings’ on Blu-ray, along with ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy in its 6 film box set. It was an amazing experience for me. I’ve happy memories of the ‘LOTR’ trilogy in the 2000s. So imagine my delight when ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ was getting a re-release at my local cinema.
This was at the Showcase Cinema in Nantgarw where I usually watch movies at the cinema with my parents. I saw the film last Tuesday this week. Being a dedicated ‘LOTR’ fan, I had to go and see ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ at the cinema and see what it was like on the big screen. It was very exciting!
I was so looking forward to seeing ‘Fellowship’ on the big screen. I didn’t see ‘Fellowship’ on the big screen when it came out back in 2001. This was because I wasn’t interested in the ‘LOTR’ at the time. The first time I saw a ‘LOTR’ film at the cinema was ‘The Return of the King’ and that was so amazing.
I did see ‘The Hobbit’ film trilogy afterwards from 2012 to 2014, but it didn’t feel quite the same as when I watched the ‘LOTR’ in the 2000s. I hoped ‘Fellowship’ would revive my nostalgic memories of this film trilogy when I first saw it. So, what was ‘Fellowship’ like on the big screen? It was pretty awesome!!!
‘Fellowship’ is still a great beginning to the ‘LOTR’ trilogy and I’m so happy that I got to see what it was like on the big screen. It was so surreal and I was able to pick out details from the movie I’d never seen before. This includes colours I’ve never spotted before and certain characters in shots.
I had a big surprise when I saw this movie at the cinema recently. When I walked in, I expected to see the original theatrical version that was shown at the cinema in 2001. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that they were actually showing the extended version of ‘Fellowship’ at the cinema.
WOW!!! I did not expect that! That was such a bold choice to make. It was a nice surprise for me. I don’t think that’s ever been done before where they showed the extended version of a movie at the cinema. I think this might be the first it’s ever been done with ‘Fellowship’. Correct me if I’m wrong.
I actually prefer the extended version of ‘Fellowship’ as well as for the other two ‘LOTR’ films, since I consider them superior compared to the original theatrical versions. The extended versions have more scenes and character development added to the films to make them worthwhile and in-depth.
However there is an issue I need to address with regards to this approach. There was no intermission for us as an audience to take a comfort break whilst watching the film. I had to go out during the film to take a comfort break. I’d been sitting down in the screen room for too long with it being a lengthy film.
It didn’t matter as I’d seen ‘Fellowship’ countless times before and knew what to expect with each scene to come. But still, if they showed the original theatrical version at the cinema, I would’ve stayed watching the movie without going for a comfort break. I’d have enjoyed the experience more.
I think it would’ve worked better to have an intermission during the film for us as an audience to enjoy. Showing the extended version of ‘Fellowship’ is great, but there are people who’d want to stretch their legs for a bit since the movie is over three hours and they’ve been sitting down for too long.
Despite this setback, I’m very happy I saw ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ at the cinema. It was an awesome experience and it was great to relive my fond memories of watching this trilogy in the early 2000s. I am glad they showed the extended version since it was surreal to see it on the big screen.
I hope that the Showcase Cinemas in Nantgarw will be showing ‘The Two Towers’ and ‘The Return of the King’ later in the year. It’d be a shame if they didn’t show the other two ‘LOTR’ films at the cinema. I’m sure it’ll be the extended versions of those two movies as well. My theory at the moment is that ‘Two Towers’ will be shown in August and ‘ROTK’ will be shown in December. I hope I’m right on this one.
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