New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson fulfills his lifelong dream of transforming author J.R.R. Tolkien's best-selling fantasy epic into a three-part motion picture that begins with this holiday 2001 release. Elijah Wood stars as Frodo Baggins, a Hobbit resident of the medieval "Middle-earth" who discovers that a ring bequeathed to him by beloved relative and benefactor Bilbo (Ian Holm) is in fact the "One Ring," a device that will allow its master to manipulate dark powers and enslave the world. Frodo is charged by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to return the ring to Mount Doom, the evil site where it was forged millennia ago and the only place where it can be destroyed. Accompanying Frodo is a fellowship of eight others: his Hobbit friends Sam (Sean Astin), Merry (Dominic Monaghan), and Pippin (Billy Boyd); plus Gandalf; the human warriors Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Boromir (Sean Bean); Elf archer Legolas (Orlando Bloom); and Dwarf soldier Gimli (John Rhys-Davies). The band's odyssey to the dreaded land of Mordor, where Mount Doom lies, takes them through the Elfish domain of Rivendell and the forest of Lothlorien, where they receive aid and comfort from the Elf princess Arwen (Liv Tyler), her father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), and Queen Galadriel (Cate Blanchett). In pursuit of the travelers and their ring are Saruman (Christopher Lee) -- a traitorous wizard and kin, of sorts, to Gandalf -- and the Dark Riders, under the control of the evil, mysterious Sauron (Sala Baker). The Fellowship must also do battle with a troll, flying spies, Orcs, and other deadly obstacles both natural and otherwise as they draw closer to Mordor. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) was filmed in Jackson's native New Zealand, closely followed by its pair of sequels, The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
Movie Level Themes
Heroic Mission, Fantasy Lands, Wizards and Magicians
Blu-ray: Theatrical trailers and the Lord of the Rings Aragorn's quest game trailer
DVD: 3 spellbinding documentaries, including Sci-fi Channel's a Passage to Middle-earth
Featurette gallery spotlighting the creation of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantastical qorld and how the actors embraced their characters
Enya May it Be Video
Preview of the Two Tower movie
2001--British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Andrew Lesnie-Nominee
2001--British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Ngila Dickson-Nominee
Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is certainly the grandest and most skillfully made cinematic spectacle in recent memory, surpassing even Star Wars -- perhaps the most venerated science fiction series in cinematic history -- in terms of creativity, adventure, and sheer enjoyment. Swift, economical (in spite of a nearly three-hour running time), and extremely engrossing, Jackson starts his tale with a brief and essential history of Middle-earth and its inhabitants to bring moviegoers unfamiliar with J.R.R. Tolkien's epic novel up to speed, while greatly impressing Tolkien's longtime fans with great flourish and a bit of inside humor. And so it goes from the lush and rolling meadows of the Shire to the bleak and infernal wasteland of Mordor, all vividly realized by Jackson's team of screenwriters and special-effects technicians who are all well on their way to receiving a bevy of awards for their amazing work. As for the cast, one would be hard-pressed to assemble a more perfectly suited ensemble. The three main characters -- as portrayed by Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, and Viggo Mortensen -- are the real life force of the film's narrative, each giving astonishing performances with characters that could have very easily been made into caricatures had they been essayed by lesser actors. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring does have some very minor narrative problems, mostly involving some very brief explanations of certain plot elements, while a handful of the secondary characters -- particularly Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) -- are not quite fully characterized. These issues, however, have more to do with the audacity of attempting to cover the entirety of a 400-page novel in three hours than with some deficiency of the script. As it stands, Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring is the ultimate fantasy film, thereby making the next chapter of the saga, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, one of the most anticipated films of 2002. ~ Ryan Shriver, Rovi
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