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Customer Review

11 of 91 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a let-down., 28 Aug. 2002
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring [Extended Version] [VHS] [2001] (VHS Tape)
Ok, I seem to be in something of a minority here as I found this film a disappointment after all the hype surrounding it.
In all sincerity, I was painfully bored for the first 30-45 mins as the film tediously worked itself through the inevitable character studies before any real action kicked in. I am a real fantasy film addict and something of a film buff in general but I am often very easily pleased with cheesy B movie horrors etc, so I'm not a hard viewer to entertain. BUT, this failed dismally for me. I very nearly turned off on a few occassions but stuck in there.
I was moderately glad I did as there are indeed some fabulous scenes with impeccible special effects. Some of the large scale scenes are breathtaking and exciting but they are unable, in themselves, to support the film enough to make this a real classic.
I found many of thre characters shallow and there were some poor performances from otherwise reliable actors like Cate Blanchett.
Don't get me wrong. It's OK and worth a look. BUT, it has missing the X factor that classic/epic films like Star Wars and Alien had. It's hard to put a finger on what's wrong with it but it doesn't have any real feeling/passion to it. It's rather two dimensional with no characters that I personally felt endeared to or interested in.
It's done on a very grand scale indeed but then that's expected today with all the special effects wizardry out there. Sadly, that doesn't compare to that magic ingredient that makes a true cult/classic film and you get the feeling the film makers here expected fabulous SFX to carry the whole thing on its own, to the point they needn't bother putting much effort in elsewhere. It makes the mistake that SO many films do now - it relies on computer imagery where-ever possible, even when it is clearly inappropriate. This means many scenes are so obviously SFX, when taking the time to put a real human in a mask would have been more realistic and probably more scary. Gollum is a prime example. His SFX are rubbish and he looks ludicrous!
When you think of the ground-breaking effects from Alien (now a whole 23 years old!!!) and Terminator (about 17/18 years old?) it seems inexcusable that LOR could present you with something as amaturish as it's version of Gollum. Awful.
I come from the generation that studied all the Hobbbit books at school - I grew up with it and loved it. This film doesn't, for me anyway, do the FEEL of the book justice.
I honestly ended up not caring if Frodo set the world to rights or not. I think that was largely down the the flat performance given by Elijha Wood who, whilst he looks the part, seems to sleepwalk his way through the film.
I just think that a little more patience, more graft and less SFX and a Director demanding more from his cast would have resolved the weakness in this offering.
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