Blog ≫ 2001 ≫ Lord of the Rings Review

Invited to the star studded Leicester Squre Premiere? With my reputation? Read on...

Do you remember the last time you heard applause at the cinema? Seemed to happen all the time when I was a kid, whooping and cheering as the opening titles rolled up the screen. This was Hampshire, so possibly it was the wonder of electricity that people were applauding. Anyway, last night it happened all over again at the Lord of The Rings premiere...

Anyway, that applause - there was a big old fight, Boromir (Sean Bean) got it pretty bad from some big Orc goblin type beast so the full size hero of the film - Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson) - steps in. He thrusts, he parries, he slices, he dices, he cuts this big mother's head right off, and the audience went wild... It's one of many GRATE fight scenes in the film; if you were worried the film was going to be a bit Belle and Sebastian, stop fretting now...

They (Director Peter Jackson and New Line entertainment) don't seem to have taken any liberties with the story line as far as I can see, but they've possibly cut out some of the flowery dialogue - basically they've "sub-edited" it, and made it more relevant to the cinema goer. This is not a an academic text, this is a modern film for a wide audience after all... Some of the best examples of this are the encounter with the troll in the mines - it's CGI-tastic, so much more dynamic than I could have envisaged. It's Jurassic Park's T Rex terrorizing the kids, times a hundred. It may seem to the purist that casual mentions in the book are given too much of the film (like the love interest), and important bits aren't played out in enough detail, but I think the balance is, well, balanced... Another scene with more OOOMPH than you might expect is Arwen (aforementioned "leading" lady, Liv Tyler) is being chased by the Black Riders - it looks like they should be on Land Speeders rather than horses. This is NOT an episode of Black Beauty...

The New Zealand scenery is spectacular. If I had a garden, I'd be digging me a hobbit-hole to live in as we speak. At times (please forgive me) the setting of the film seems to slip into cliche, but then you realise - Lord of the Rings, uh, um - how do I say "wrote the book" in a non wanky way? This film blows the froth off anything I've seen for a long while (Harry Who?)

The effects are amazing, but subtle; it's easy to forget that Elijiah Wood (Frodo) and Ian Holm (Bilbo) aren't really half the height of Ian McKellan (Gandalf) and Christopher Lee (Saruman). Well not so easy for me, as I was sat about 20 seats away from them, but that's not important. Filming must have been MIGHTILY COMPLEX, but it flows together seemlessly, to make an exhilarating and moving experience. This film is smashing, and I liked it very much. It just about makes up for me missing my nephew's nativity play today.

Elvish has left the building.

[small](If you were wondering, I got in as a last minute stand by (replacing a major Eighties pop star) for the hottest film of the year, and found myself lovin' it lovin' it lovin' it for the whole three hours. More premiere league name dropping in Stalking Heads... Thanks to Emma @ Impressive PR who made it possible.[/small]

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Tue Dec 11 2001

This content originally from my very popular (in the late '90s) website popex.com. Parts were contributed by other people, but mainly originally created by me. I moved the content here here when the website eventually shut down at the start of the noughties. Hopefully this ignites memories if anyone sees this.