john rhys davies

10

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Director - Peter Jackson, Cinematography - Andrew Lesnie

“The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it. It began with the forging of the Great Rings. Three were given to the Elves, immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven to the Dwarf lords, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine, nine rings were gifted to the race of Men, who, above all else, desire power. But they were, all of them, deceived, for another ring was made. In the land of Mordor, in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Sauron forged in secret a Master Ring, to control all others. And into this ring he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life. One Ring to rule them all!”

8

Ladies and gentlemen, some of the 100000 reasons why I will love the Lord of the Rings movies and the cast till the end of times.

It’s pretty amusing how much I love Legolas and Gimli but don’t like their actors.  I cordially dislike Orlando Bloom and absolutely loathe John Rhys-Davies largely thanks to what he did to Gimli via ad-libbing.  This is a big chunk of why I abandoned their fandom right around TTT and didn’t find it again till BotFA.  


This post has been brought to you courtesy of idle musing

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - Obligatory Depressing and Cliff Hanging Part Two of Three, but tops both of the others

My favorite of the three Peter Jackson ‘Lord of the Rings’ films. Mostly because of Andy Serkis’s wonderful achievement (along with no doubt an army of special effects technicians) as the character Gollum, which should have won a best actor nomination (at least), had the academy been a bit more open minded. While much of the character was computer generated, the part was actually motion captured and acted by a real actor, every move, every facial expression was duplicated by a human being, which accounts for the uncanny realism of the effect (while the computer generated characters in other films seem to be missing that certain 'spark of life’).

The film picks up where the last left off, with the fellowship split up into three groups. The captured hobbits Merry and Pippin and their adventures among the Orcs and the Ents. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas running across the Rohan riders and getting involved in their stuggles (while searching for the two hobbits). Finally, Sam and Frodo, and their new companion Gollum as they make their way toward the dark tower. Meanwhile, the wizard has come back from his fiery death as 'Gandalf the White’ and has much to do with two of the storylines, and we have an epic battle for Helm’s Deep (a mere teaser for the giant battle to come in the third film).

A problematic 'middle film’, with no clear climax and with a dangling ending, it nevertheless proves to be a complex, multilayered enjoyable film from beginning to end. Quite the achievement when you take into consideration the sheer volume of new characters and situations the audience has to digest, the overlapping storylines and character motivations, not to mention the technical problems involved in showing all this eye popping detail to an audience and not having them claw their own eyes out from sheer mental overload.

Had this to say on Netflix at the time:

Believe me, you don’t have to be a ’D&D’ geekazoid to enjoy these films. I didn’t read the books first, was, in fact, bored with the rings on my first attempt to read the 'fellowship’ book years ago. But curiosity got the better of me after the first movie, and I worked my way through all three of the books this summer. This is now my third viewing of this 'Two Towers’ movie. It just gets better each time, and I can’t wait for the third one (which you get a tantalizing peek at in the bonus disc). I was really worried that Golum would end up being some sort of 'yoda’-ish computer generated embarrassment, but I was simply blown away by the expressiveness of the character’s eyes and found him even more believable than some of the 'real’ actors (Liv Tyler for instance). Also noticed on the third viewing, more than a few references and lines that got me thinking, re: 9-11 and another 'two towers’.

5 stars out of 5

Released 2002, First Viewing July 2002 with revisits since, including the ‘extended directors cut’ versions