Watching all the movies on the Warner Bros. 50-movie box set that I bought for cheap. This week the random number generator has big ol’ hairy hobbit feet for The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.
Here’s what happens: In the fantasy world of Middle Earth, the One Ring is the most powerful item of all. The Dark Lord Sauron is returning from the dead (or something) and his armies are on the march. The ring, however, has ended up in the hands of a lowly hobbit, Frodo. Now, Frodo and a group of friends and warriors must take the ring across country in hopes of eventually destroying it.
Why it’s famous: For years, everyone in Hollywood considered Tolkien’s three brick-sized novels to be unfilmable, until Peter Jackson and his team took them on like madmen, with an audacious plan for three three-hour movies. And they actually pulled it off!
Get your film degree: While there is plenty of CGI, a lot of the movie was filmed practically. There are actual New Zealand landscapes instead of virtual ones, and the hobbit size differences were done with simple forced perspective instead of putting the actors in front of a greenscreen. On one of the commentaries, actor Elijah Wood said it felt more like being on the set of a student film rather than a big blockbuster.
Movie geekishness: A lot of fantasy adventure stories are about a group of heroes, each with differing personalities and skill sets, on the quest together. Tolkien’s Fellowship is really the one that gave birth to that, or at least popularized it. Seeing all nine members of the fellowship interacting with each other and fighting alongside each other are my favorite parts of both the book and movie series.
Thoughts upon this viewing: Like I said before, I remain a big fan of the LOTR movies. Everyone, from the director to the writers to the crew and especially the actors, are all on the same page right from the get-go. This makes a strong start to keep us invested for the next six hours of this thing.
Next week: Viva la France!
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