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

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The Suspect begins a trilogy of reviews where he takes a lighthearted look at Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies! First, he takes you blow by blow through 2001’s Fellowship of the Ring, starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, and Viggo Mortensen. 

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Tag: Unusual Suspect's Lord of the Rings reviews

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  • Xxlois_must_diexx

    Hahaha!  My best friend and I were completely obsessed with these movies when they came out, and now that she’s leaving, we’ve been having a lord of the rings marathon the past few days.  Irony!

    That said, this was great, and I like how you added the movie’s flaws in as well.  I would have just spent the entire review gushing about how amazing the movie was, but I love how you showed that balance and pointed out it wasn’t necessarily perfect, even if I think it is.  Can’t wait to see you review the rest of the trilogy.

    • The_Unusual_Suspect

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it :D

      That’s pretty much the premise of my show, I review movies I like but I like to point the flaws out too and try to be as constructively critical as possible.

      Reviews of the other 2 might be a while off, this took a long time to make because of the film’s length. Thankfully, I chose not to review the extended editions! The review would be about an hour long! This one actually came out to 40 minutes but I chopped off about 6 mins to keep the time reasonable. I’m planning on uploading the scenes I cut to my YouTube channel soon :)

  • Sofie Liv

    This is the problem with all the new talent on the site… I make a lord of the rings video, and then some-one makes one that’s funnier, clevere and all around just better.

    Curse you Shock Suspect, curse you. First the potter and then Lord of the rings, this is starting to get personal.

    I got my eye on you…. 

    • The_Unusual_Suspect

      Haha :D I swear I had no idea you were doing LOTR at the same time as me. But you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself Sofie! I watched your LOTR video, I thought it was great!

      I didn’t talk about the books in my review, you did. Basically because the books are way too smart for me. Plus, as you said, there were 6 of them. I agree with you, in order to cover everything they would need a whole TV series with several seasons. But that would mean a TV series budget, and back in 2001, that wouldn’t have been able to do LOTR justice. So stuff had to be cut from the book in order to give it a film’s budget. Seriously, you have some great points in your video! Stuff I hadn’t even thought of :)

      • Sofie Liv

        I am trying to make a Vendetta against you here! Don’t make it so difficult, work with me here! gezz.

        Seriously, what I need to say for you is that you are funny as heck, I was honestly laughing several times doing this video.. and that doesn’t happen to often with many video producers. The bar is being raised here at the Agony Booth, and I just hope I’ll be able to follow up on that.

        But I am glad that you like what I have to say! And well, I do hope to include you in my own vidoes at one point.. I do have you in mind to be honest.

        Keep in mind that all Agony Booth members are available for cameos and cross-overs kay?
        This site is really coming together now, and let us keep it that way! So yeah, if you ever feel like writing a silly cameo for me, please go ahead. I’ll be sure to write one for you some day in near future… hehehe..

        And as for the lord of the rings movies.. as fantasy fans, the only prober response from us should be that of over-joy that this even exists!
        As you stated and as I have stated, this thing has not been matched in ten years! And the only thing that looks like it’s going to match it is a prequel based on the original book created by the same guy. So… yeah..
        Just be happy it even exists.

        • MichaelANovelli

          That reminds me: Suspect, we’ve written you a part in the upcoming Juno crossover.  You in?

          • The_Unusual_Suspect

            Sure! You got my email? Send me what you want me to do and I’ll get it done ASAP :)

            Though I will have to watch the movie first; never seen it.

    • Muthsarah

      The two videos are very different, I think.  TUS’s is a straight plot-centric review (with cutaway jokes), while yours spends more time talking about the history of LotRs on screen, as well as delving into your personal history with the franchise and genre as a whole.  It’s like having two films about an event – one a documentary, and one historical fiction.  They both have their place, especially given how big LotR is.

      As for this review, it did remind me of a lot of the things I liked about these movies, mostly the production values and all the details made to bring Middle Earth to life (which I think is the greatest thing about the Extended Editions), and I liked that TUS was willing to mock one of the film’s stupidest scenes.  Though I do wonder how a punk kid like TUS would even know about that song. :p

      • Sofie Liv

         Yeah.. It’s kind of every second video of mine which is concentrating upon being funny and every second where I more document.

        And as I found out.. I am not very good at cut-away joke. Some people just have this gift that they immediatly remember a line or a cut-away from a movie and television show which would be funny and use it.. I do not have that gift. BUT! I think I can find ways where the comedy stemps from other sources.. just wait to my commando review, i promise! It’ll be funny!

        It is funnier to mock things you like, I mean no matter how you put it, fantasy is silly and silly things will happen within the fantasy universes, that is the nature of it, the concept itself is silly.

        I love Harry potter, I adore those books. But if you stop up and think.. there is a reason why Potter has proven itself to be that easy and that great to spoof, there is a lot of things in there to spoof and poke fun off, that’s why.
        Lord of the rings has a tiny bit less to make fun of.. but it’s not much. Who’s grand idea was it two send two hobbits alone into the middle of the big mordoer any-way? at least put a body guard on them with a sword or some-thing. Okay so the fellow-ship broke up but Faramir, couldn’t you have spared a soldie? they are hobbits!

        • Russell Brin (Facebook sux)

          You should include more cutscenes of Hyacinth, because Hyacinth is purely awesome.

        • Muthsarah

          Good cutaways jokes are 10% inspiration, 90% timing.  Keep the editing tight (especially if it’s cutaway dialogue and not just a 3-second Family Guy clip), and as long as it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, and as long as you think it’s funny, it should work for your audience.

          I must vehemently* disagree with you about the “need” for fantasy to be silly.  It can be silly, sure, but it should only be silly if it’s intended to be silly.  Fantasy just means a story constructed such that can’t happen in our world, so the audience has to stretch their imaginations a bit and imagine a very different setting, and perhaps some very different assumptions behind the characters’ actions.  But that’s no reason such a thing should be treated any less seriously.  Of all fantasy works, LotR was the MOST deserving of reverence given how influential a work it’s been for decades of authors, artists, and readers.  It’s not pulp to be read and forgotten, it’s not dated camp (like the old Star Trek inadvertently became), it’s not even meant to be a light-hearted, whimsical tale for children.  It’s intricate, it’s sprawling, it’s mythos.  It’s more or less the New Testament, Ramayana, and Iliad of an entire genre.

          That doesn’t mean the movie requires slavish devotion to every event in the source material, but I think it does require that the story and it’s place in our world be taked seriously and respected as the creator intended and as the long-time fanbase expects.  You don’t have to include everything the author put in there, but you should not add new material that flies in the face of the author’s intentions or disrupts the story’s themes or atmosphere.  Fundamental changes to the plot or to major characters, lowbrow humor not featured in the original story, fourth-wall breaking references only relevant to our universe and not the characters’, I think it’s all very distracting.  The audience should not be taken out of the story by having the filmmakers shine a light on how goofy things CAN seem if looked at from the right angle.  Instead, those rough edges should be ironed out if possible.  If some element of the story doesn’t make perfect sense by 21st century Earth logic, then skirt around it, or, if you must, make a minor tweak that doesn’t fundamentally change anything important. That’s a big trick of adaptation, but anything worth loving is worth loving right.  If the story is meant to be comical, self-referential, or be a satirical take on the author’s world or on ours, that’s fine.  It’s ripe for adaptation and updating.  But Tolkien never did that.

          The parts of the movies I don’t like were the parts where I was pulled out of the action and conspicuously reminded that it was all just a movie, and that only happened for me when the filmmakers stepped completely out of the story to set up a gag, introduce a film trope that didn’t fit, or made a major change to the story or the characters.  I realize I’m being inflexible and almost dogmatic here, but I think the Lord of the Rings is not only worthy of such reverence, but that it uniquely deserves it.  And Tolkien deserves some more zealots.

          And to pick up on what Michael Novelli (bravely) mentions in his post above, about the Bakshi versions: while I can’t say that I agree with him on which is the better adaptation, I do think better of the Bakshi version’s shortcomings.  When that movie was bad, it was mostly due to technological or budget restraints or by edits necessary just to cut down the story to make it digestible for a 1970s audience that would have been even less familiar with the story and the world than a 1990s/2000s audience (Dungeons and Dragons was brand new back then!).  Jackson had no such limitations, so his additions seem entirely gratuitous.  He’s clearly been a fan of the books far longer than I have, but I do not understand why he, as a long-time fan, made some of the additions and changes that he did.  I have to hope he did so only reluctantly out of a belief the film would never have found an audience otherwise, but I can’t think of how any of these changes made the movie better or even more accessible.  With the exceptions of Arwen and the cliff scenes, the additions add nothing save a few instance of cheap humor.  There’s more than enough action, there are pretty visuals in every shot, he had a perfect cast lined up, and a gorgeous soundtrack seeping through every inch of the film…why shouldn’t that have been enough?  Edited for pacing (and for the unadaptable, like Bombabil), all you needed to make a great series of movies was already in the text.  The movies for me are still a gem; how often do you encounter a movie that’s 95% perfect and big and gorgeous and spectacular and unbelievable , etc.

          But the last 5%…oooh, how that stings!

          * – Yes, I’m using big words gratuitously because you’re foreign. :p

          • Sofie Liv

             I think you miss understood what I said.

            You cannot deny that the Fantasy Genre is silly if you stop up and perspectivate it.
            Harry potter, eleven year old kid goes to a magic school which is the best place in the world in spite of him nearly dying every single year.. urh yeah.
            It’s silly in the same was as Super-heroes are in reality silly, man dresses up as a bat and goes on his one man vendetta against crime.. urh kay.

            BUT! we do not need to treat it as being silly, if you do that you’ll end up with. “Your highness” which was a music very confused about what it wanted to be.

            We can empathises the themes, worlds and characters and treat material with so much respect that we compleately forget the sillieness.

            In truth, all movies, also none-fantasy, has its silly points, all fiction does, but a movie creators job is to convince us that it doesn’t by giving us a great a now experience as possible and manipulate the audience to the best of their ability. Doctor who possible the worlds silliest show, having president nixon in one episode and then space-pirates in the next had me in tears when the emotions are on high.. and we of-cause all shit ourselves when it comes to weeping angels.

            Good story tellers are manipulators alfa omga and knows how to manipulate it’s audience into buying what is shown, in spite of flaws and silly factors.

            BUT as a comedian, it’s great for us that they are like that, cause then we can spoof the heck out of it without worry.
            And man, i love all does Lord of the rings spoof, potter Spoof, just the other day I watched “Colleagues humours.” sketch about Two-face in the Dark knight, it was hysterical.

          • Muthsarah

            “I think you miss understood what I said.

            You cannot deny that the Fantasy Genre is silly if you stop up and perspectivate it.”

            I do not think I misunderstood you, Sofie, and I must go ahead and deny that.  We disagree on the inherent sillyness of fantasy.  Whether a story is based on fact, fiction, or fantasy, I don’t think that has an impact on how serious a work should be viewed.  If a work is silly, then I’m just fine with it being treated as silly, but I just do not view LotR as being anything other than a very serious work.  Sure, it has some whimsical parts, and I’m just fine with how the light-hearted hobbits are portrayed, but all the other instances of humor in the film feel very out-of-place to me.

            And if your threshold of silly is “Your Highness”, well…I can’t disagree with that, but I think I’m more sensitive to sillyness than you are, as that’s light-years past silly to me. :p

            “In truth, all movies, also none-fantasy, has its silly points, all
            fiction does, but a movie creators job is to convince us that it doesn’t
            by giving us a great a now experience as possible and manipulate the
            audience to the best of their ability.”

            I don’t think Jackson was trying to make the world LESS silly than it appeared on the page.  I think he was trying to toss a bone to those who hadn’t read the books and who expect jokes (whether slapstick, sight gags, or dry cool action movie wit) in any movie regardless of atmosphere.  I suspect he was afraid of having the movies come across as being humorless, even though it made no sense (to me) to throw humor into scenes that weren’t meant to be remotely humorous.  Scenes at Hobbiton, or Pippin and Merry just being goof-offs, that’s fine.  That fits the scene, and it fits the characters.  But jokes in Helm’s Deep? 

            And while comic books and other book series can be ridiculous in premise, if they are meant to be taken seriously (and if they aren’t so wildly off-base that they CAN still be taken seriously), I think they should be.  The best Batman movies are the darker, more serious ones*, and I think that’s no surprise, since they’re all based on the Frank Miller books, which are meant to be dark and serious.  The Potter books had plenty of whimsy, especially early on, so making the movies silly didn’t really change anything.  And the movies, appropriately, got less silly as they went on (can you imagine if the filmmakers felt that Deathly Hallows should be every bit as whimsical as Philosopher’s Stone?).  But for works that are meant to be serious, and can be told seriously – in other words, movies I think SHOULD be taken seriously – adding humor where it doesn’t fit, well…I’d rather not imagine Ben-Hur with midgets and fart jokes thrown in to appeal to a wider audience.

            (If I was making a video rant, I cut away here to the clip of Peter Griffin complaining that Uncle Vanya doesn’t have enough people throwing pies.)

            Some things just should be taken seriously, that’s my position.  I do understand what you’re saying, but, well…I’ve gone on long enough.  I respect your opinion on this particular matter, I just don’t share it.  I’m not the bright, happy little elf you are.  I’m not even a Doctor Who fan. :o

            * – The Adam West Batman is glorious too, but it’s an aberration.

  • Zee Panda

    This was one of the best video reviews I’ve seen on this site, which is saying something – there are a lot of great reviewers here.  I like a lot how you don’t disguise your love for the film(s) but still provide a fair, open-minded critique that points out both the strengths and the weaknesses.  Also, I feel you on the scene where Bilbo goes all monster face; no matter how many times I see it, I feel like it takes 

  • Zee Panda

    …uh, hit post too soon!  The Bilbo face scene takes years off my life, every time. 

    I think far too many people think that being a fan of a movie means you have to like every single second ever committed to film but that’s not true.  I think recognizing that a movie can have some serious flaws and still be a wonderful movie is a better compliment to its creators than simply insisting that it’s “flawless”.  

    “Fellowship” is actually my least favorite of the trilogy but after watching this review last night I decided to watch the movie myself and I found I had a whole new appreciation for it as a result.

  • MichaelANovelli

    You know, all this praise about Lord Of The Rings around here, lately…

    Well, I watched the animated adaptations from the 70’s recently, and I discovered something…

    I don’t like Jackson’s versions very much.

    Maybe it’s just because I’m more of a Meet The Feebles kinda guy (show that one to a Tolkien nerd, his head will explode!), but…I never really felt like anything was at stake.  Plus, you know, films in the 70’s just had more grit to begin with.  The whole time I was watching Bakshi’s Lord Of The Rings, I kept thinking, “Oh yeah, shit’s fixing to go down!”  With Jackson, it’s more, “Oh, look at all the pretty trees!”

    Yeah, I know, Mr. Hates Everything hates Lord Of The Rings.  I promise you, you can all throw it back in my face if I ever make a video gushing about Gone With The Wind…  ;-)

    • Russell Brin (Facebook sux)

      I want to see you review movies you can relate to, like Don Juan (really any of them), Casanova (1976 film), and squash them both for being overly non-manly!

    • Don’t worry Mendo, the guy who does ‘They Made me Watch This’ holds the title of Lord of the Rings trilogy hater with his ‘7 Things I HATE about the Lord of the Rings movies’ video. You talk about a negative look at the franchise!

  • edharris1178

    Great review, one thing that always makes me chuckle is Frodo’s reaction to Galadriel’s little freakout session.  It just screams “Lady, I have already had one hell of a week.  I need you going nuts on me like I need to get stabbed for a third time.  Work this crap out after I leave.  Okay?”

  • Chimaera

    Bravo! I can’t remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did from that “Back to the Future” cut!

  • Hahahahaha! Okay, the final fight scene between Aragorn/Gimli/Legolas and the orcs set to the other music is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.

    My only disagreement with you on this movie is the exclusion of Tom Bombadil. I don’t know why, but when I read his section of the book, I’m always left with a weird mix of being creeped out and going “Uhhh…huh? What was the point of…?”

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