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The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

It's been a week since we saw this film for the second time - and on reflection I'm now ready to give it my rating: 8.5 out of 10.

I really wanted to give this a 10/10 but realistically it wasn't going to happen. I'm a big fan of the books, but I'll give Peter Jackson all the artistic licence he needs to convert the epic into a three film screenplay.

When rating the first installment of the trilogy alone, I had to subtract half a point for the following irks (most annoying first):

  • Changing the ending so that everyone in the Fellowship knows that Frodo and Sam have left for Mordor alone. There's no excuse for this - it is an important plot point (I think) that Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli believed that all four Hobbits have been kidnapped by the Uruk-Hai;
  • Miscasting Hugo Weaving as Elrond. PJ should have realised that every geek in the theatre would hear him say, "Welcome to Rivendell, MISTer ANDerson... I mean Baggins". OK, so if you haven't seen The Matrix then you won't understand this, but what geek hasn't? Ever other character casting decision so far was brilliant, but Agent Smith as Elrond? It just doesn't work for me, and I suspect I'm not alone.
  • In the book, Frodo does NOT solve the Moria Gate password - Gandalf figures it out himself. Also, the watcher in the lake is disturbed by Boromir's throwing stones, not Pippin and Merry. The two Hobbits are used almost exclusively as comic relief throughout the film, and it is really not necessary. Humans, Elves, and Dwarves are not devoid of careless and thoughtless moments. PJ didn't have to force these characters into two dimensions as much as he did, in my opinion.

Still a terrific film, though. We may yet see it in the theatre again for a third time. It rocks - best movie of 2001 without argument.

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