I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

This is the story of some magical midgets called the hobbits (sort of like the smurfs except caucasian instead of blue). What they do is, one of them inherits a powerful magic ring created by an evil individual from the past. If this took place in america in 2001, the hobbits would just go ahead and use the ring, and everybody would be all for it. It might not even make the headlines, it might be buried on page 11 like the story I read yesterday about how the Bush regime is already developing “small” nuclear weapons to use in the caves in Afghanistan.

But this is Hobbitland or whatever so they do the right thing, they take the weapon, they REFUSE to use it because they know it corrupts them, and they travel toward the Mountain of Doom, the only place it can be destroyed.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingBut it’s not easy to travel, because cars have not been invented, or jetpacks. They just use a horse. Also, there are 9 invisible guys in cloaks and about seven to eight hundred goblin monsters trying to kill them.

Meanwhile Ian Mackellan plays the mentor wizard Merlin, sort of Ben Kenobi with a more tacky beard. This guy is pretty wise except he smokes alot of weed and that slows his mind down, just like all you potheads that read my sight. In one scene he is so high he decides to go to Dracula’s castle for advice. Christopher Lee reprises his role as Dracula and he does pretty much what Dracula always does when you go to his house, except instead of seducing and biting Merlin he just does a magic kung fu fight with him (my favorite scene).

You nerds were right though. Hobbits and dragons and shit are back in style. The terrorists have already won. Can you imagine if you were that sap that went up on the space station for all those months? You come back and all the sudden there’s no world trade center, nuclear bombs are considered okay, people like George W. Bush, everybody’s watching wizard movies all day and on tv they’re trying to shove this magic scooter down our throats as a new way to revolutionize walking. “No more cumbersome right foot left foot garbage – with the magic scooter all you gotta do is lean forward and you’ve walked all the way across the room! AMAZING!”

I mean has the world ever gone so far down the shitter in such a short period of time? Not counting when all the dinosaurs bit it? You’d step off that space ship and say, “How long was I gone again?” You’re thinking maybe landing on the planet of the apes wouldn’ta been so bad.

But really, I had no problem with the dungeons and dragons in this movie because it was a well made picture. A real 3 hour epic that happens to be about magical midgets. You got elves (in this world, they are tall instead of short and they live in the woods instead of the North Pole), you got dwarves, you got trolls. You got swords and bow and arrows and fighting. You know, that kinda shit. Except pretty good. The visuals are pretty amazing, especially since they used regular sized actors to play the small sized characters. With the power of computery technology, they gave them little stubby arms and legs. And it’s completely seamless. I don’t know how the fuck these kiwis did it but Warwick Davis’s name was nowhere on the credits.

The director is the overrated but still pretty fucking great Peter Jackson. Some of his fans will be disappointed because there’s only one decapitation, and no puppets fucking each other. But he treats it very respectfully, doesn’t hollywood it up at all (since he lives in New Zealand, at least a two hour drive from Hollywood according to my calculations), just throws in a couple of pot jokes for the old stoners that loved all this fantasy shit in the seventies. Alot of it is very dark and violent and creepy, in between pretty shots of waterfalls and horses walking around in the grass.

And of course this is a timeless story that happens to be extra relevant in this time when the ol’ US of A here thinks it’s okay to blow up, spy on, capture and torture everybody that stands between them and building an oil pipeline in Afghani- er, I mean is connected to terrorism. You know, even if their motives were pure, like the bearded dude in this movie who wants to use the ring to protect his people, you STILL don’t fight terror with terror. Obviously using the ring will only make everything way, way worse. (Asshole.)

I mean if George W. went to this movie, which is doubtful since it’s rated PG-13, he’d be shrinking down in his seat the whole time. I guess calling the new Star Wars missile shield thing Lord of the Rings is out of the question, they’ll have to stick with the Matrix.

After the movie I was taking a piss between two fat guys in wizard robes, and one of em goes “I still thought the subtitles were awful. If you’re gonna dumb it down for an audience that doesn’t know Elvish, at LEAST get the optimum translation.” And the other one goes, “I don’t know, it didn’t seem as bad this time.”

(See, it just opened yesterday and this was already the second or third time they saw it.)

So I said, “What I want to know is how come this ring is so big that a huge guy can wear it over his armor, but also so small that little smurfs and goblins can wear it. I mean fuck man let’s have some REALISM.”

And they go, “Yeah, good point.”

Anyway, it’s a good picture. I hope they make a part two.

thanks new zealand

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Thursday, December 20th, 2001 at 8:21 am and is filed under Action, Fantasy/Swords, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”

  1. THIS is the review that got me turned on to your sight, Vern. A marvel of perceptive thought and encyclopedic Cinematical knowledge. You might want to brush up on your geography a bit, though… just a thought.

  2. What, no complaints about the excessive fakey computer gizmo graphics?

  3. Dude, you see the ring change size in more than one shot. I can’t believe the cosplayers missed that.

  4. *This guy is pretty wise except he smokes a lot of weed…* – Are you sure you weren’t high when you saw this, Vern?! Funny review!

    Still love these movies. I know they were ripe to get the piss taken out of them back in the day, like in a “Haha look at Sam and Frodo eyeballing each other, how gay is that?” type of way (well, the cynical internet did anyway), but the utter sincerity of the performances sells the friendship between Sam and Frodo. Sam’s speech near the end of The Two Towers – “It’s like in the great stories Mr Frodo, the ones that really matter. Full of darkness and danger they were…”, still gets me every time.

    Couldn’t get into THE HOBBIT films for some reason. These ones hold up.

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