Scott Hardie | December 30, 2001
Saw it today. Haven't been able to get it out of my mind since.

Spectacular. Amazing. Exquisite. Masterful. Grand.

If you haven't guessed already, I haven't read the trilogy. It seems that everyone who likes the movie is new to the tale, and everyone who dislikes it has read the book first. Well, it's too late for me to change what camp I'm in, and I loved the movie. Just when you think you've seen the most amazing shot, it's topped by something new. Just when you think the scenes couldn't get any more tense or the adventure any more fantastic, they do. This is one hundred movies for the price of one.

What keeps it from being the best movie I've seen this year is its length. Regardless of time on a clock, the film does go on too long. By the time the final battle arrives, you've stopped soaking in every shot, and you're just sort of paying attention to the action to keep track so that you're ready for the next scene. It drags. Without an intermission, there's just too much to take in during one sitting. To me, it would seem wisest to cut out Galadriel's scene (unless she's important in parts two and three), and maybe the battle with the orcs and the cave giant inside the tomb (though that was one of my favorite scenes). Half an hour less and this would have been a better film.

If you've ever played D&D before, this movie will make you want to run to the nearest set of dice to play with friends.

Matthew Preston | December 30, 2001
Well, you can't cut out the Orc battle in the dungeon... hands down the best scene in the movie. I agree on the Galadriel scenes however. I would have cut out some of the scenes with the things going on in the hobbit, not to mention a few of the whiny scenes from Frodo. I get that he doesn't want the ring, but he must keep it for all of humanity.

I saw this on Christmas day in a FULL theater. I can't remember ever being in a theater where there wasn't one seat available... maybe Episode I, but I think there were still 1 or 2 seats.

It still amazes me the things that parents will let their children see. Movies can get away with a damn lot of terror and violence if they leave out language. One child would burst into a screaming fit when the orcs were on screen. Big ups to the father who continued to take the child out of theater when he was upset. Still, this isn't exactly the movie to bring your family on Christmas.

At any rate, a fantastic movie. Ian McKellen is amazing as Gandolf and it was a great surprise to see Hugo Weaving (all I thought of was an agent of course though).

Scott Hardie | December 30, 2001
How could I forget about the children! We saw a 4:30 show that was maybe two-thirds full, and of course half of the audience were children. My mom sat on the aisle seat and I beside her, and I swear, every thirty seconds, some kid came down the stairs to go to the bathroom (or up to return to his seat). And the kids didn't step lightly, they stomped up and down those stairs. I know I'm an uptight prick when it comes to movie-viewing conditions, but my kids are going to be taught to show respect for the rest of the audience. If the movie hadn't been so deafeningly loud (one more shriek from a ring wraith and my ears would have started bleeding), those stomping kids might have made me miss something.

Ian McKellen was indeed cool, and Christopher Lee was good too. I read that their battle scene in Saruman's throne room was added for the movie and that Tolkien fans don't like it. Fine, but the part with Gandalf spinning in circles was cool. I kept thinking of Curly.

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