Monday, July 19, 2021


 by Adam Riske

Winner of “Best Menu Design” at the DVD Exclusive Awards. Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year won Best Editing. That’s not a joke.

• Best Scene/Moment (tie): The whole “You shall not pass!” action sequence with Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the fire monster or Boromir’s (Sean Bean) heroic, extended death scene. That speech he gives to Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) is pretty spectacular.

• Best Song: The score by Howard Shore is one of the best of the 2000s, maybe ever. Putting that aside, Enya has two songs on the soundtrack – “Aniron” and “May It Be” – and “May It Be” is the banger of the two.

• Best Merch: A LOTR: FOTR script signed by 14 different cast members for only $14,715.40! I’m no expert but that seems overpriced.
• Director Check: The Lord of the Rings trilogy was the high water mark of Peter Jackson’s career (that would be true of 99% of directors) and won him multiple Academy Awards and nominations as well as a blank check for a while to make pretty much any movie he wanted. Prior to Lord of the Rings, Jackson was known for splatter/midnight movies like Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles, and Dead Alive. He then moved onto establishing indie cred with Heavenly Creatures before making his studio mark with 1996’s The Frighteners. After LOTR, he continued the run of acclaim and box office with his mostly well-liked King Kong (2005) reboot before stumbling big time with the film adaptation of The Lovely Bones. Jackson went back to the well with The Hobbit trilogy, which was a mixed bag to be kind and now is establishing himself as one of the best documentary filmmakers going with 2018’s amazing They Shall Not Grow Old and the upcoming, much-anticipated The Beatles: Get Back. Despite not liking all his movies, Peter Jackson is a director I’m always rooting for.

• Double It with This 2001 Movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

• Year 2001 Movies to Trailer Before It: The Mummy Returns, Shrek, Spirited Away

Draft Day or The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring? The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
• Mall Movie? This is the rare elevated New Line Cinema Fantasy film, so it would have been at the big theater across town first and then eventually made its way to the mall theater deeper into its run.

• Only in 2001: Omnipresent Hugo Weaving.

• Scene Stealer: This is a tough call because everybody pulls their weight from the main cast. I’ll go with Sean Bean since he comes into the film around the halfway point and is a dominant focus in every scene he’s in after that.

• I Miss (tie): Christopher Lee and the days when movie studios were still trying to make blockbusters that would knock your socks off.

• I Don’t Miss: When films like The Fellowship of the Ring would take 8 months to go from theaters to being available on DVD.

• 2001 Crush: Liv Tyler.

• 2021 Crush: Sarah McLeod.
• What I Thought in 2001: I wasn’t a fan the first time I saw The Fellowship of the Ring. I got lost narratively early in the film and it felt like a 3-hour slog after that. It wasn’t until I went back a second time to see it at a dollar theater months later that I sat there, paid close attention, and came away a huge fan of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Plus, in late 2001, I was all in on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and arbitrarily decided I couldn’t be both Team HP and Team LOTR.

• What I Think in 2021: I love it. I was lucky enough to get to see all three Lord of the Rings movies (theatrical cuts) in a row at the Music Box Theatre last weekend and it was an amazing day at the movies. I used to think The Fellowship of the Ring was my third favorite of the films but now I’m not so sure. This most recent watch was the best the film has ever played for me and I think it might be the best paced of the trilogy.


  1. When they came out I was overwhelmed by the scale of these movies - the whole franchise, but now I really appreciate their detailed craftsmanship!

    That reminds me - when I little I LOVED The Chronicles of Narnia, which they'd put on in summer school (so it was like go out on the burning hot jungle gym playground or stay inside and watch Chronicles of Narnia in the dark with cookies) and as a kid I was so impressed with the costumes and effects...looking back now, though, I barely can watch them, they look so dated and cringey. Anyway it's fun to see how the looks and feels of these age over time.

    1. by the way thats the BBC version in the 1980s

  2. I really love the LotR trilogy, but even more than that, I love the huge amounts of extras on the Extended Edition releases. Watching those hours of behind-the-scenes footage was a big part of me learning to love practical effects.

    1. Yes! Wouldn't it be great if every movie included that much bonus material?