One boring December day at Ft. Myers Beach, my dad looked in the morning paper for a movie to take us kids to. “How about this Lord-of-the-Rings thing?” he said in a tone showing he had no idea what it was about, but with all the little advertisements making it look good, why not? So we ran across Estero to the Beach Theater, grabbed the big free-refills popcorn and settled in, not knowing what we were about to see.
Within the first five minutes I was hooked, mouth agape with popcorn drooling out. When it ended, I was furious to find out that we would have to wait another year for the next installment of the trilogy. I ranted and raved for days straight. Never had I been so angry at a film I loved.
In case you’ve been under a rock for the past nine years, The Lord of the Rings trilogy came out and immediately defined the epic film of the twenty-first century. We’re not talking about jumping to light speed or beaming-up sci-fi epic. This is back to nature, trekking across mountains, riding horses, steel clanging steel, arrows whistling by your ear, sweat in your hair and dirt under your toenails epic. I think the most technological thing present in the film is a windmill.
The meat of the story is simple enough for anyone to stand behind. A great and powerful ring that can rule all of Middle Earth is found by a hobbit, now he and his friends must go on a long journey to make sure it is destroyed before falling into the wrong hands.
Great, there are always a few people who will read that and fear I’ll ask them to roll for initiative. Those people don’t even understand that last sentence. Let me clarify, this movie isn’t as nerdy as it sounds. Sure it’s full of wizards, elves, dwarves and hobbits, but they’re just different types of people. Like a multicultural group of adventurers.
Fellowship walked into Oscar night with a whopping thirteen nominations, but walked out with just four: Cinematography, Visual Effects, Makeup and Original Score. Not the most prestigious awards, but enough to claim the eyes and ears of audiences that year. With two more installments on the way, Fellowship was just the first hard blow of the battering ram.
I understand that some people just can’t get into any Lord of the Rings films; it’s just not their style. The medieval feel can be too real, yet filled with fantasy at the same time. The speech can be too eloquent or formal and become boring for some. There’s one thing I hope we can agree on: this film is a sweet sensation for the eyes and ears. Honestly, a little minivan TV cannot do this film justice. The Moria and Balrog scenes need to be as big as possible. Find whoever has the biggest TV, set up some crazy surround sound and just let your senses be overloaded.
“There’s an eye-opener, and no mistake.”