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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> September 2002 >> The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
This movie's page is incomplete. I hate to admit that I'd put a page on my site only to leave it as "under construction", but it's the easiest way for me to be reminded of the reviews left to write. In this case, I know pretty much what I want to say about this movie, but I have yet to actually type it all in. This message will no longer appear when the I consider the page to be complete. That doesn't mean it won't ever change after that, but you can bet that it's less likely.
Fellowship of the Rings is a large movie. When I think about it, I hear it in Ian McKellen's magnificent Gandalf voice, speaking florid prose with Howard Shore's majestic score in the background. There was a moment when the heroes were riding on horseback across the majestic plains of Middle Earth and the camera flew by on a helicopter. This scene was as powerful as it was obligatory. You just can't go for gigantic adventures and not have the helicopter shot of heroes on horseback! The movie's scope defies description, and it is executed in stunning detail. It's not enough to have big parts, it has astonishing small parts, as well. Perhaps most stunning, it takes actors of one basic size and convincingly transforms them into characters of different heights who interact almost seamlessly. I noticed one obvious use of stand-ins, and was absolutely convinced the rest of the time. Fellowship also has its share of magic, which is among the most convincing magic ever brought to screen. This is fantasy the way fantasy should be! As if the technical details weren't enough, Fellowship is also good drama and good storytelling. I found the pacing of the action to be quite good, such that three hours still felt like three hours, but they were three very good hours. The blend of the bright and the dark aspects of the story was also exquisite. If Jackson had not taken such care in balancing the whimsical with the frightening, the overall effect could've been quite depressing.
The performances in Fellowship are everything they need to be. I've never been a big fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, having been soured after a reading of The Hobbit. Thus, despite the extensive praise, I avoided watching