I have just seen a masterpiece. It will surely win the Oscar for best cinematography and may even win best picture. It has an incredible cast of relative unknown actors. It has one of the most beloved stories at its core. Finally, it has the added feature of two sequels already filmed.
The movie is of course, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Having read the books several years ago and actually owning a BBC radio drama of The Lord of the Rings on CD, I can say that the movie is truly an amazing journey. One that I believe every moviegoer will truly admire and love.
Is it the books on screen? Well, no. It is director Peter Jackson’s vision of the books, but his vision is so closely associated with my own (and undoubtedly many others) that I can say that it is one of the best adaptation of a book to film in many a feature. It is even better than Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which is a pretty good adaptation itself.
I was quite afraid that the movie would suffer from bad CGI since there are several CGI monsters and the like in the movie. I was heartened that I felt that it was a Jurassic Park-style CGI movie instead of a Star Wars:SE-style CGI movie. One of the problems with Harry Potter is that I never felt the mountain troll in the girl’s bathroom was real, just a nice CGI element. However, the Balrog was fully realized and it seemed real and scary at the same time. Not quite as good as the raptors from JP, but good nonetheless.
This movie is going to be compared to Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. It is unfortunate I fear, because I can tell you this, AOTC will never win an Oscar for best cinematography. FOTR most certainly will. AOTC is all blue-screen work. FOTR is all real. Well, almost all real.
Let me explain, in FOTR they built Hobbiton a year in advance to facilitate a more weathered, lived in look. Actors filming AOTC were in blue rooms all day imagining they were conversing with aliens on alien landscapes. Different type of film making. I’ll let you be the judge of, which is more entertaining.
In addition, the core of The Lord of the Rings is the story. Now, I believe the Star Wars saga certainly has a grand story, but individual chapters sometime suffer. There will not be any suffering in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is simply the first installment of a trilogy that has already been filmed. The events of the movie cover several months, so the characters really shouldn’t be totally different. It will make a viewing of all three movies back to back very enjoyable.
Star Wars will always be mired in miss-steps and “cuteness.” Ewoks were a mistake. Jar-Jar was a mistake. Midi-chlorians was a huge mistake. Casting an 8 year old to fall in love with an 18-year-old was a massive mistake. The romance of FOTR at least makes sense compared to The Phantom Menace. I do realize that it will be “fixed” in AOTC, but it’s still an 18 and 28 year old. That would be somewhat scandalous in the real world. She would be accused of robbing the cradle and he would be a freakin’ stud.
The FOTR is an adult movie. The Star Wars movies will forever be known as kiddie movies. I like’em both, but I know which is the better movie. Mark my words… we’ll see come Oscar time.