Reviews: The Lord Of The Rings

A mixed bag

As the title says, there are things I love and things I don't about this movie. Let's start with what I love.

The opening exposition is pretty good. When the rotoscoping works well, it really works well. Even though the Ringwraiths are not properly rotoscoped, that actually works for them as it makes them seem otherworldly. For the most part, the voice cast is actually pretty good. Of particular note is John Hurt as Aragorn, and I'd go as far as to say that William Squire was the greatest Gandalf before Sir Ian Mc Kellen took the role. Leonard Rosenman provided a perfect score for the film. Unfortunately, now I must get to what I hated about the film.

There is a lot of bad rotoscoping in the film (it's much more noticeable on Blu-ray) and the majority of it doesn't work for the better. The Orcs look like a bunch of cheap costumed actors, especially when the gorilla-headed ones show up. The Balrog looks like a complete joke. Then there's the infamous Prancing Pony customers. Samwise is a gonk and reduced to mere comic relief, despite Merry and Pippin being able to fill that role. Boromir looks like a common mercenary instead of having a regal appearance about him. Peter Woodthorpe plays Gollum like he's just talking to himself. The pacing with the plot isn't particularly good. During Boromir's death scene, the Orcs seem to move around like a bunch of idiots throughout most of it. The Wargs are essentially pointless and I swear the one time where they attack someone is painted over stock footage, which doesn't work for the better of the film. One thing I noticed on the Blu-ray is that the colors looked washed out. I'm not sure if this is because the film was improperly remastered or because the film is just that dated.

"Flawed but inspired interpretation" sums this movie up best.

In all honesty, Ralph Bakshi should not have combined the first two books into one movie.
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