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Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies,Billy Boyd, Orlando Bloom,Hugo Weaving and Ian Holm
Directed By: Peter Jackson



Bluntly Speaking? Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring is brilliant - in every way. What's even better than the seamless CGI driven special effects and the adorable shire of Hobbits come to life? The names of Tolkien's wonderful animated characters; Bilbo, Gilmi, Frodo. Are these words spicy Thai dishes form the take out joint down the road? Nope. They're just author J.R. Tolkien's brilliant choice of memorable, catchy, name gaming whipped together with a magical tale of middle-earth and good and evil.

LOTR:FOTR is perhaps, the most anticipated film of the year (after Harry Potter - and for me The Shipping News). There certainly is a greatness to it, as people had hoped - especially its legion of fans around the globe. There's also a grandiose drama not seen it a fortnight. I can already see Chris Kattan spoofing Elijah Wood as the diminutive Hobbit Frodo Baggins...

A Hobbit is as small as a dwarf but cute as a button. They are like slight Scottish lilted pixies, but from Brigadoon, that love life and mayhem. What they lack in height and stature they make up for with gusto mucho macho. Fun little fellows.

The Fellowship of the Rings begins a studio trilogy and tries -hard- to follow true to J. R. Tolkien's classic masterpiece about middle -earth and their struggles for power and peace. For those not in the know, the "ring" they speak of is a plain old gold ring that masters all "rings." It was lost for something like 2500 years until Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) a Hobbit discovered it and claimed it. Of course he thought it was merely a magical ring-- not "the" ring that could change time and lands as they know it.

Upon his one hundred and eleventh birthday Baggins decides to go forth and live the final days of his life a little fuller. The Shire he dwells in bores him and in short he's a hobbit damitt he needs adventure!

His friend and mentor Gandalf the Grey (Sir Ian -love this man- McKellen) notices his anxiousness is worried that it is not merely old age calling Bilbo towards a bit of senility with dreams of youthful jaunts, but fears Baggins' "ring" is through with him and is setting some ominous chain of events into motion....

Of course it is....And our adventure begins to manifest.

Bilbo's nephew, Hobbit Frodo Baggins (elfin-esque Wood) is left the ring when Bilbo departs. He's now the ringbearer. As young Frodo inherits the ring, Gandalf the Grey discovers his worst fears. He learns that the ring is specia" and so much more than just one of those "everyday-run of the Shire-mediocre wizard-knock-off magical rings" available at the Rivendell gift shops. This ring is the ring of all rings! He also learns the only way to stop the evil it commands is to return the ring to its place of creation, the dreadful Mount of Doom. Gandalf tells Frodo to get going, as fast as his hairy little feet can carry him. He warns, "they" will be looking for him.

"They" are a group of uber evil knights that work for the ring's true master. They want the ring back and will stop at nothing to get it!

Frodo does as he's told, slightly scared and a smidgen confused at what his role in the whole scenario is to be he heads off. Luckily, his best Hobbit buddy, Sam (Sean Astin), joins him- 'cause it is so much "betterer" to face evil faceless ring hunters and Orcs with a buddy than all alone in the woods of Narnia...Oops wrong Oxford author, sorry.

Awesome story? You bet ya! The characters are as plentiful as originality in Tolkien's names. If you're not a Tolkien groupie you may want to peruse the site- just to hone up on what's the difference (in Tolkien's world) between a Ringwraiths, a Hobbit, a Goblin, an Orc and a wizard. For the rest of you...Enjoy!

Blunt Aside: The glory of LOTR/FOTR aside, I can not help commenting on the silliness of the reoccurring shots (132400,000 at last count) of Frodo's adorable eyes in a frozen gaze of shock/fear over and over again. Come on! That was a tad too dramatic and with the triumphant or foreboding music, hopefully even you die-hard Lord fans got/will get a chuckle outta that.

Snack Recommendation: Broiled Orc ball and a side of Hobbiton lilting bingleberries.

Neat LOTR/FOTR Facts:

To get an idea of the sheer scope of creating Middle-earth, consider the following numbers:

more than 900 suits of hand-made armor

more than 2,000 rubber and safety weapons

more than 100 special, hand-made weapons

more than 20,000 individual household and everyday items handmade by artisans

more than 1,600 pairs of prosthetic feet and ears, individually sized and shaped


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