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The Fellowship of the Ring
December 13, 2001 10:21 AM   Subscribe

The Fellowship of the Ring opens in six days. You've read the book, seen the trailers, watched the commercials, bought your Burger King Goblet. What's left? How about some rave reviews from Newsweek, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, Moriarty, and more. I've got my tickets; do you?
posted by Marquis (46 comments total)

 
no, not yet.

Although I will probably go see this one sometime.
posted by howa2396 at 10:38 AM on December 13, 2001


Yaddah yaddah hype. I love Tolkien's books, and I think the film will be REALLY good. That said, I'm not buying into all the hype and paying $9 to see it on opening night at Mann's Chinese. I'll see it with my friends at a matinee in Reno a few days after it comes out. I lose nothing in the deal.
posted by phalkin at 10:52 AM on December 13, 2001


I love Peter Jackson, and fully expect the movie to be BETTER than the books (which were so slow at points I never made it all the way through), but I haven't purchased tickets yet. I'll wait until the theater isn't so packed. People tend to be very rude in theaters near me.
posted by Doug at 11:03 AM on December 13, 2001


And for a while there, i thought i was the only person who thought there were impossibly slow parts of the book that were boring.
posted by jmd82 at 11:12 AM on December 13, 2001


Will this be a breakthrough performance we have been waiting for from Liv ?
posted by Voyageman at 11:14 AM on December 13, 2001


I work in a movie theater. Need I say more?

Oh, and I'm still not sure exactly what it is that makes LotR stand out from... well, everything else with elves and trolls and powerful objects with quests.

I mean, I've played Dragon Warrior, but other than that I admit ignorance.

Can somebody summarize the appeal? Maybe I've just been jaded from reading too much Ain't-It-Cool News.
posted by kevspace at 11:16 AM on December 13, 2001


I've got a 2-year-old and his only babysitter is his grandma.

I hope it comes out on ppv soon :(
posted by UncleFes at 11:24 AM on December 13, 2001


You've read the book, seen the trailers, watched the commercials, bought your Burger King Goblet. What's left?

Play the recent cooperative boardgame: It's great.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 11:29 AM on December 13, 2001


The only boring parts I found in the book were some of the endless poems. I hope they axed about 99% of the poems!

NO WAY it will be better than the books because the beauty in the books is that it's all in your head. The books take my mind on such a journey. I've developed my whole vision of Middle Earth and the Cracks of Doom and Gollum and Sheba and everything else from Tolkien's descriptive words and I love that. I'm a little scared to have the movie ruin that because I'm sure my idea of what an Orc looks like and someone elses are totally different. Now we will all imagine Peter Jackson's Orc vision. Ditto for everything else in the movie. I've been pushing my husband to read the books first so he gets the wonderful experience of creating the vision in his head. Once you've seen the movie, you've lost that chance.

That being said, I'm so excited to see it come to life. I'm sure it will be wonderful. I hope to see it on opening day.
posted by aacheson at 11:30 AM on December 13, 2001


Do you here a buzzing sound? It was quiet for a while, but it's gotten louder over the last few months.

…I think it might be J.R.R. Tolkien spinning in his grave.
posted by Down10 at 11:39 AM on December 13, 2001


I find that every time I read it, a part I ignored before becomes interesting and important to me. It's definitely a far different experience to read the trilogy [yes, I know] as an adult -- there are themes there that are so clear, yet remain invisible to the immortal teenager.

I do expect that these will be simply terrific. I've felt they were in good hands ever since Peter Jackson was announced as director; his Heavenly Creatures is a deft handling of tricky themes, reality, sharp acting, language as marker, and most especially special effects that bleed seamlessly in and out of reality. It's one of my 10 favorite films.
posted by dhartung at 11:43 AM on December 13, 2001


I just can't see what the big deal is. Orcs, elves, yadayadayada. I'll go see it, just to see. But I'm secretly hoping it tanks (which it won't).
posted by owillis at 11:43 AM on December 13, 2001


aacheson: "I've been pushing my husband to read the books first so he gets the wonderful experience of creating the vision in his head."

Fat chance.

(hi honey)
posted by msacheson at 11:46 AM on December 13, 2001


"The Fellowship of the Ring opens in six days."

Sheesh. 'Ring premiered in London on Monday.
This whole 'world revolves around North America' schtuff... tsk.

That being said.... can't wait! Here in Wellington NZ, we get our own little mini-premiere on the 19th.
posted by Catch at 11:59 AM on December 13, 2001


kevspace:

part of the magic (for me) is that Tolkien not only created a land, he created an entire history. after writing The Hobbit and moving on to The Lord of the Rings Tolkien took time off to write The Simarillion, which is an incredibly in-depth look at the history of Middle Earth, the Elvish races, and even discusses how languages evolved.

The Simarillion is so dry and such a history book that I couldn't read it. Which is what amazes me: It's fiction.
posted by o2b at 12:06 PM on December 13, 2001


Oh, and I'm still not sure exactly what it is that makes LotR stand out from... well, everything else with elves and trolls and powerful objects with quests.

Almost anything you've ever seen or read with elves, trolls, powerful objects and fantasy quests is a ripoff of Tolkien's original (or a ripoff of a ripoff of Tolkien...)

Tolkien's books are better than most of the derivative works because they are so well written and because he put so much work into developing a background world for the books to take place in. It seems more real than most attempts at writting fantasy.

I hope the film will benefit from being directly tied to Tolkien's work and be something special. But it may be that a film version of Tolkien may not be all that interesting to people who've already seen Tolkien's ideas used in a hundred other movies and TV shows and books and computer games and role-playing games.
posted by straight at 12:10 PM on December 13, 2001


The Tolkien Archive, from the New York Times, features a 1967 interview with Tolkien, archived book reviews (including W. H. Auden's from 1954), audio, video, art, a preview of the movie, trivia quizzes, even lesson plans for teachers of grades 6-12 (it's really a glorified ad, but some good stuff nevertheless).

Can't seem to get my link to work in the preview - it's http://www.nytimes.com/specials/advertising/movies/tolkien/index.html
posted by ferris at 12:11 PM on December 13, 2001


I've got my tickets alright, for Fri 21st.

But actually, I haven't read the book (I did try read Hobbit as a youngster and wasn't too impressed), haven't seen any of the trailers (I tried to download one of the trailers once, the site required some sort of registering and I didn't bother. It's been a while since I've been in the movies) nor commercials (don't own a tv set) and the only film I've seen from Jackson is Forgotten Silver (I liked it a lot, but I don't think I'd particulary enjoy his earlier splatter stuff. I like my violence real). I somehow feel I'm going to be in the minority in the audience...

But I know Tolkien by reputation and the reviews have been great, so I'm looking forward to it.
posted by ikalliom at 12:26 PM on December 13, 2001


i've been waiting for this movie for as long as i can remember. I remember sitting around talking in a coffee shop with other computer graphics students back in 1993--visual effects were really really really starting to get to the point where we felt it was feasible to attempt something like LOTR.

It will be great. It will be different from the book, but film is a different world...it is the creation of a whole new work of art based on another...not a translation but a derivitive. I'm just happy that someone is Attempting it...now we just need a real version of Dune and i am the ultimate happy guy.

[Straight brings up a good point...LOTR looks like just some more fantasy genre stuff because so much was influenced by his writing.]
posted by th3ph17 at 12:36 PM on December 13, 2001


No.
posted by mmarcos at 12:50 PM on December 13, 2001


For months, I was leery of the idea of the movie, because I have my own image of Middle-earth and I don't want it ransacked by Hollywood. But the trailers I've seen look remarkably like the vision that plays in my head when I read the books (twice this year alone). The hobbits look too human, of course, but I'll forgive the filmmakers that, and for the omission of Tom Bombadil, who is interesting but not worth the huge fuss some people have made. (We'll see if I can forgive them for Xenarwen.) If anything, the whole thing looks sweatier and dirtier than I've imagined, which is a tremendously pleasant surprise. Doesn't look like Jackson and Co. have sweetened things up too much to please the Burger King set.

The last time I made an effort to see a movie on its premiere day was "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." I might just break my string next Wednesday.

As for the Tolkien-vs.-other-fantasy-writers debate, it's no contest. Years ago, I quit reading the likes of Terry Brooks and David Eddings because their books are 1. derivative of LOTR and/or 2. not nearly as well-written or as detailed as Tolkien's writings.

I'm with aacheson about the poems and songs, though.
"Sing Hey! for the bath at the end of the day..." Spare me.

Finally, nice main link, Marquis. TheOneRing.net is a great fan site, while the official site for the movies is lame in any number of ways.
posted by diddlegnome at 1:09 PM on December 13, 2001


Got my tickets already and am driving my girlfriend nuts with my geeky nerdlike rants! :)
posted by Lanternjmk at 1:13 PM on December 13, 2001


I bought my tickets last week and took next Wednesday off so I can go and see the first matinee with my dad. Dad was the one who gave me the books when I was but a wee little geeky girl, and he was also the one who nourished my love of science fiction and, well, just reading in general. Not to get too gooshy, but he's had a hard year, and I'm so glad he's here to share this experience with me. Sniffle.

So this is a sentimental thing for me, even more than being a book-love thing, which it is too. I was one of those people who went to mediocre films just to get glimpses of the Fellowship trailers. I may even break out the elvish temporary tattoos I scored from New Line awhile back and go in true geek style.

I can't wait.
posted by kittyb at 1:18 PM on December 13, 2001


Tom Bombadil was the first rap star.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:54 PM on December 13, 2001


I've been wanting to see this movie since I was twelve, or thereabouts, but I have more patience of the "wait for the crowds to go away" sort than the "wait to get in the door" sort. This movie won't be leaving theatres for a good while, so I'm in no rush to see it.

I read The Lord of the Rings something like a dozen times when I was in my early-middle teens. Tolkien's world stained my youthful imagination all kinds of Middle-earth colours, and it will be interesting to see how the vision translates to the screen.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:12 PM on December 13, 2001


I am going to be a great, big geek about it. I already have my tickets for the midnight showing on the 18th. My whole team from work is playing hooky to see it during lunch on the 19th. And I'll probably see it later in the week at the nearest whoop-ass theater.

I could care less about all the grumbling about Liv Tyler or the lack of poetry or "I don't see the point." I am a great, big geek boy, and I can't freakin' wait.
posted by RakDaddy at 3:08 PM on December 13, 2001


suckerz.
posted by quonsar at 3:54 PM on December 13, 2001


Do you think it's excessive of me to glue hair to my feet? (The tops, of course)
posted by daver at 4:04 PM on December 13, 2001


Do you think it's excessive of me to glue hair to my feet? (The tops, of course)
posted by daver at 4:11 PM on December 13, 2001


Call me a geek if you want to, I scheduled next Wednesday off from work months ago! I am going with a small group of friends who are the remnants of our old D&D crowd, mainly the ones who had at least one foot in reality and could hold down jobs and make decisions that didn't involve the use of dice. This will be my second trip to the theatre this year - I just pray FOTR doesn't pull an AI on me!
posted by RevGreg at 4:18 PM on December 13, 2001


The Fellowship of the Ring opens in six days.

No fair. It doesn't open in Australia 'til Boxing Day (not sure about advance screenings, though).

Which reminds me, if I'm going to see it soon, I'd better get off my arse and buy some tickets.
posted by eoz at 5:32 PM on December 13, 2001


part of the magic (for me) is that Tolkien not only created a land, he created an entire history.

so would i be wrong to say, it's a lot like dune? i seriously wouldn't know, as i've never taken the time to read lord of the rings, though i'll definitely see the movie sometime next week (too many friends want to see it.).
posted by lotsofno at 5:46 PM on December 13, 2001


lotsofno: You would definitely not be wrong, at least as far as the level of detail. "Dune" is the only other work of fiction I've read that has as much detail as LOTR. The "Dune" universe is as fascinating as Middle-earth, but I find LOTR more accessible and entertaining. I guess that just means my tiny little brain has an easier time comprehending Tolkien than Frank Herbert.
posted by diddlegnome at 5:59 PM on December 13, 2001


PleasepleasePLEASE! let the soundtrack be absent of any form of pop music!

"...and here's Mariah Carey singing the soulful 'Aragorn's Love Theme' from the Fellowship of the Rings..."
posted by groundhog at 6:23 PM on December 13, 2001


"...and here's Mariah Carey singing the soulful 'Aragorn's Love Theme' from the Fellowship of the Rings..."

Now *that's* scary. Way worse than any orc.
posted by diddlegnome at 6:35 PM on December 13, 2001


Well, they've got Enya doing a couple of tracks for the soundtrack, but no pop songs as far as I know.

Funny, when I used to cast the movie in my head, I always hoped Enya would do something for it. Seemed like a natural fit.

I'm also VERY excited to see the movie. I've been getting swelled eyes just reading the reviews.

And I, too, am trying to get my girlfriend into it. She's not a big fantasy fan, and I wanted to start her off with The Hobbit. I've been reading a chapter or two a night to her (you know, to make it a "couple" thing) and unfortunately we won't have time to make it through FotR before opening night -- she's been a bit reluctant.

I'm hoping she'll like the movie so much that she'll want to read the book herself.

And as for Bombadil: I'll miss him. I re-read the books a year ago and forgot just what a powerful character he is. I believe at one point when they're assembling the Fellowship at Rivendell, someone says words to the effect, "Why don't we just give the Ring to Tom Bombadil and have him destroy it?" And everyone was pretty quiet, until someone said he wouldn't care about it. And remember, the Ring didn't even *affect* him when he put it on. Wow.

Maybe he would have just been too much of a mystery/enigma for audiences to handle in what would have been 10 minutes max screen time... perhaps even falsley diluting the power of the Ring, but at the loss of one the most interesting bits of the mythos for me.
posted by robbie01 at 7:06 PM on December 13, 2001


I'm sure it will be good. Peter Jackson is great. I wish I'd taken some photos of the castle that was on the Hayward's Hill in Wellington when I was still living there. Oh well!
posted by animoller at 9:18 PM on December 13, 2001


I'll definitely be going to see the film but in my own good time.

On the subject of why Tolkein is so great as compared to other fantasy I'd have to say that it has a lot to do with when people seem to first read The Hobbit and LOTR - between 11 and 20 generally. I don't know why this should be but it doubtless helps the whole immersion process as it is likely to be the first properly historically and geographically consistent fantasy epic that they read.

Why do I say this? Well, it's been ages since I read LOTR (getting on for 10 years) and with the trailers stirring up my fondness for the book to a huge degree I thought I'd flick through it again. Hmm... Not quite the rosy homecoming I was expecting. The first part (Fellowship...) is definitely the best and while it would be harsh to say that it's all downhill from there, I did find myself finding more and more that wasn't to my taste (Book-a-Minute's summary of the second part echoes some of my plodding plotting qualms).

Me, an action junkie? Not wholly. But with the films' ability to dispense with the increasingly stilted prose that Tolkein utilised and thus allow the plot more freedom to breathe I've got high hopes for things to come.
posted by MUD at 10:11 PM on December 13, 2001


I bought twenty tickets a week ago to go with a bunch of friends... they're all accounted for, and I had to order extra.

Yeah, this movie will do pretty well.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:47 PM on December 13, 2001


I'm glad the film doesn't have Tom Bombaill in it, he's always seemed to me like a bit of an intrusion upon the internal logic of middle earth. As Andrew O'Hehir says in this rather good salon article:

"In all this Tolkien was clearly inspired by 19th century Finnish scholar Elias Lönnrot, who "reconstructed" the "Kalevala," Finland's national epic, from fragments of traditional songs and poems. (Tom Bombadil, who was one of Tolkien's earliest creations and whose role in the "Lord of the Rings" universe is never explained, may be derived from the singing wizards of the "Kalevala.")"

more good Tolkien discussion in this earlier thread. And yes, tickets booked for December 27th.
posted by nedrichards at 3:28 AM on December 14, 2001


Six days, what are you talking about? It opens today. The Guardian didn't dig it. I'm more excited about the press screening of Mulholland Drive on Tuesday, myself.
posted by Mocata at 4:21 AM on December 14, 2001


And Jackson's best movie is clearly Braindead.
posted by Mocata at 4:22 AM on December 14, 2001


The Guardian doesn't ever dig anything that isn't left wing and out there and makes a political statement. Doesn't surprise me.
posted by aacheson at 7:12 AM on December 14, 2001


On the subject of why Tolkein is so great as compared to other fantasy I'd have to say that it has a lot to do with when people seem to first read The Hobbit and LOTR - between 11 and 20 generally.

That's a good point - what you're exposed to in those years make a big impression and stay with you forever. But I don't find this "imprinting" to be as strong for works of fiction, as it is for music. I read a lot of stuff during those years that I dimly remember; I could probably sing along with most of the pop songs (good, bad or ugly) from the same period.

Since high school (30 yrs - aiee!) I think I've read the trilogy 3 or 4 times. Got hardbound copies of the trilogy last year for xmas, and enjoyed rereading it immensely. It's not perfect, some verbose and draggy bits, and I agree that the first book is the best overall.

But - it's the depth and completeness of Tolkien's wold that makes it so memorable. I also reread The Silmarillion, although I never cared much for it before. I found some really beautiful passages, and the historical background is critical to understanding most of the legends referred to in the trilogy. It's worth reading if only for the character geneologies and timelines.

Getting back on topic: planning a long lunch hour next week at the cineplex down the street....
posted by groundhog at 7:24 AM on December 14, 2001


why did he not make the Hobbit first. budget, time constraints? The hobbit kinda reminds me of the phony war of 1939 (not much phony about it) the calm before the storm, the little storm within a big storm. I WANNA BURGLE A DRAGON.
posted by clavdivs at 7:50 AM on December 14, 2001


The Guardian doesn't ever dig anything that isn't left wing and out there and makes a political statement.

Like Harry Potter?
posted by Mocata at 8:33 AM on December 14, 2001


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