day. Since so much of our site’s content is lost in other designs,
hampered by ad code messing with the pages, or surrounded by gas and
low on evil, I’m going to start reprinting them for new eyes. You’ll
see classic Smilin’ Jack Ruby, stuff from me when I was relevant, early
Devin, and if there’s a God… some Brian Koukol. So, look for the CHUD
Rerun branding and enjoy. It’s nice revisiting some of this stuff. –


Republished from December 25th, 2001

are those who will say that The
Fellowship of the Ring
a mediocre film, or that it’s nowhere
near as good as many (including myself)
are saying.

true, at least for them. Each person
carries a different brain into the
theater and our recepters all flag
different things (Note to Micah:
Nobody hates you, at least not for
your dislike of the film

I WANT everyone to love the film.
It’s a rare film that we can almost
universally enjoy on a variety of

a lot of you did feel the same way.
To the tune of 73 million. Hopefully,
this sucker will have legs and sustain
itself (and New Line) well into 2002
so that nothing impairs the next two
films being just as magical.

some of your LOTR comments (potential




makes the lord of the rings such a
special film and my vote for best
films of the year (memento a close
second) is that it doesnt hold back.
Jackson made no compromises to assure
a box office success like making some
of the fighting less gory , scenes
less scary for younger viewers and
needless special effects and explosions.
He held true to the vision that tokkien
created and it paid off. The film
is visually stunning and the effects
are seemless. Unlike most big budget
action movies this film tells a story
of freindship and compassion. The
character in the movie become our
friends and we want to see them succeed.
My hats off to Mr. Jackson for making
a film I want to see over and over
and that is sure to become a classic
that all other films will be compared
to over the years to come. I hope
that those who give out the awards
will give Mr. Jackson and his wonderful
movie the recognition it deserves.
My last word on the subject is how
involved Peter Jackson let the fans
of the books be in the
movie by listening to input showing
us things from behind the scenes and
a wondeful website. George Lucas should
look to how this film was done and
take it to heart. I have already asked
for the day off in december the next
two years so I can be first in line
to buy tickets to the next two films.

Mr. Jackson and all those who worked
on this film.


thoroughly enjoyed the movie! It wasn’t
the best movie I have seen this year,
but it definitely makes my top 5.
A little slow in the beginning, but
once the action started, I was hooked.
Kudos especially to WETA for the wonderful
sets, costumes, weapons, makeup, CGI,
etc. They also did a great job with
the hobbits and dwarves by making
them seem smaller than the other actors
by using trick photography and doubles.
I will certainly go and see this again
and I think my review will change
for the better, as I had a headache
and was not feeling well. Definitely
worth the wait and true to the original
source material. Peter Jackson should
receive an honorary award for his
work. I look forward with great fervor
to the next two installments.

From Brian:

I saw the movie. My big distinction
is that I’m seemingly the only film
buff who hasn’t read the books. But
it gives me a different perspective.

What worked:
They set up the film’s setting and
history perfectly. I never felt lost
or that I "should have read the
book first". The effects are
never showy or overshadow the film’s
story and characters. The cast is
uniformly brilliant in their roles.
Howard Shore’s score is his best and
one of the best I’ve heard in a long
while. The movie is epic and really
gets you into this world.

What Didn’t Work:
Some of the characters seem pointless
to a non-initiated person. Gimli never
does anything worthwhile and just
seems like a waste. Saruman is cool
but too brief to really feel like
a classic villain. A few elements
are thrown in but never really explained
like the Cate Blanchett character,
the Balrog in the mines, the new "ooze
Orc" or whatever, and Sauron
himself. Legolas is a great badass
type character, but he has no personality
or characterization.

Also, biggest gripe of all, the Hobbits
are annoying. Sean Astin irritated
me every time he was on screen. He
was a whiny tag-along and his overly
touchy feely moments with Frodo got
old after the THIRD PROLONGED HUG.
The non-fan in me wondered why all
these serious warriors on such a serious
mission still got sidetracked again
and again by the stupid Hobbits that
get kidnapped at the end?? Waste them
and get on with saving the universe.

Also, the film has such an open-ended
finale that it just feels weird walking
out of the theater. Don’t get me wrong,
I really liked it, but I had a strange
downbeat feeling. I wanted to adore
it, but I don’t think I did. Basically
though, definitely in my top ten right
now, and Peter Jackson is amazing.
This is a meticulous and brillaint
film, and probably will get better
after the sequels are out and we can
watch the entire saga. Thanks, love
the site.


think the LOTR Trilogy will be the
best trilogy of films ever aside from
Star Wars.


me start by saying that I am not a
fan of the books, I am a fan of movies.
I have been following the progress
of these movies on websites, such
as yours, over the past 3 years. The
thought of massive fight scenes between
Elves and Orcs has always geeked me
out. Like most of your readers, I
played a little D&D when I was
younger. I was by no means hooked,
however. Which brings me to LOTR:FOTR…

the good:

are parts in LOTR that blew me away!
I felt like the opening sequence and
subsequent time at the Shire were
very strong. The interaction between
Frodo and Gandalf was note perfect.
As a matter of fact, the acting was
top notch all the way around. Not
a poor performance in the entire movie.
I can honestly say that I enjoyed
getting to know all of the characters
in the film. The size effect was seamless
and never drew attention to itself,
you felt like the hobbits and dwarves
were really that short. Speaking of
special effects, holy crap were they
awesome! From the scenery and breathtaking
landscapes to the use of Massive during
the battle scene, just perfect! Ditto
that for the fight scenes. They are
extremely well executed and kept me
on the edge of my seat. Bottom line,
this movie took me somewhere I have
never been before.

for the bad stuff…

film started to lose me a bit once
the group left the shire. To be more
specific, I felt like it started to
drag a bit and felt repetitive until
they entered the mine. Walk and talk,
chase scene, walk and talk some more,
another chase scene. Another thing
that bothered me, was how many times
we had to hear about how evil the
ring is. I got it in the prologue
guys! I know it was taken straight
from the books, but this is a movie
review. You can argue the accuracy
of the film vs. the book with someone
else, I don’t care. All I care about
is how good the movie is and if it

also felt like Peter was a bit heavy
handed in places. The way Arwen was
introduced and Cate Blanchett’s reaction
to the ring being offered to her are
good examples. These scenes were way
over the top for my taste. The last
thing that bothered me was the running
time. I could sense all of the people
I was with at the theater squirming
in their seats throughout the movie.
My friend next to me even checked
his watch 7-8 times! Not good if you’re
trying to create a series, folks!
To quote my friend," It would
have been great if they cut an hour
out of it." While I don’t fully
agree with that assessment, I do think
some scenes would have been better
off left on the cutting room floor.

be fair, I generally hype myself up
for movies a bit too much. It may
take another visit to Middle Earth
for me to accurately review the movie.
Now that I know what to expect, my
guess is that it will improve with
additional viewings. My biggest concern
for the series and genre, is that
there will be a lot of people who
agree with my friend. If so, expect
a big opening and a big drop off after
the first weekend. Bad news if your
a fan of fantasy movies and movie
studios that are willing to take a

Impression Review Score: 8 out of


I was amazed and astonished. Truly.


the film, a friend commented that
it would have been a much better film
without the Lorien sequence. I agreed
with the problem — Lorien was
the weakest sequence in the film —
but disagreed with the solution.

think that the sequence could have
worked beautifully with two minor
changes. First, add one beauty shot
of Lorien by day, with golden fingers
of sunlight reaching through the magnificent
trees, happy singing beautiful elves,
etc. That shot should have been enough
to make us love Lorien as much as
we loved Rivendell. The shot would
open with Legolas and Gimli talking
about the lady’s test, ending
with Gimli declaring that from then
on, he will call no thing fair unless
it is the lady in her wood, etc. Galadriel
surprises him by appearing at that
moment, and complimenting him on his
fair tongue. Legolas puts an affectionate
hand on his shoulder.

film caught Galadriel’s power
and majesty. It missed her warmth.
This scene would show us her compassion
and her sorrow. Frodo comments that
Lorien is the most beautiful place
he has ever seen, and that it will
break his heart to leave. The Lady
tells him that if he fails, the land
will be enslaved or destroyed, but
even if he succeeds, it will fade.
This will add poignance to the mirror
scene that follows.

the mirror scene comes next, it would
have that much more resonance. Finally,
get rid of the cheesy horror effects
that accompany her temptation by the
Ring, and we’re there. That would
be much more powerful if done only
with the skill and charisma of the

an opinion. Aside from that, I thought
the film bordered on perfect.


my thoughts on FOTR.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship
of the Ring

Wood IS Frodo. I had doubts when he
was first cast. I didn’t think he’d
make a good Hobbit. I was dead wrong.

-Sean Astin IS Sam Gamgee. Funny,
caring, vulnerable, earthy. It’s been
a long time since The Goonies, but
he’s finally returned in style.

-Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd just
were Merry and Pippin. Hilarious.
Clumsy. Scared. Reliable. Hobbits
you’d want with you.

-Aragorn. He’s always been my favourite
character. The Han Solo of LOTR. I
don’t know if it’s a coincidence that
both are introduced in a bar. Viggo
Mortensen ruled. He’s always been
a good actor, but hopefully this will
bring him the stardom Star Wars brought
Harrison Ford.

-Gimli was great. Funny and cheesy
in a dwarf kind of way. John Rhys
Davies did great as him, and I didn’t
once think of him as Sallah from Indiana
Jones, which is what I always think
of when I see him in a movie.

-Legolas. Another of my favourite
characters. Orlando Bloom played him
perfectly. Cautious, skilled, brave.
Again, perfection.

-Speaking of perfection, Ian McKellen
IS Gandalf the Grey. Charming. Wise.
Powerful. In many ways like Obi-Wan,
but in many more ways different. Oscar

-Boromir. I’ve always thought Sean
Bean was a wanker, so he seemed the
perfect choice to play the greedy
Boromir. But like Elijah Wood, I see
now what a superb actor he is, and
what he has brought to the role. Pettiness,
greediness, but sheer courage, bravery
and sacrifice. I was surprised that
they featured his death in Fellowship,
as it normally occurs in The Two Towers,
but I surmise that it was needed to
give a stronger emotional crux to
a very open ending.

-Saruman. Christopher
Lee is the MAN. Between this and Count
Dooku, Lee is getting a monopoly on
badass evil roles. He was perfect
for this role, such a respected figure,
and when he’s on screen, you really
respect him. Top class.

-Elrond. Hugo Weaving is awesome.
I didn’t rate him too much in The
Matrix, but he really brought a great
dimension to Elrond here. Very impressive.

-Arwen. My my, Liv Tyler is hot with
those ears. After seeing this, I’m
glad she wasn’t featured a lot, not
because of her acting, but because
of the story (for those who have not
read the book, she only appeared in
Rivendell once in it). Her expanded
role is good, but I wasn’t that happy
to see Glorfindel’s role written into
hers, but oh well. Small price to

-Galadriel. Cate Blanchett was so
perfect for the lady of the woods.
So beautiful, so pure, so… perfect.

-Rivendell. I wanted to see more of
it. But what we saw was great.

-The Mines of Moria. Oh my god, this
f*cking ruled! The orcs, the cave
troll, the Balrog! Wow.

-The music. Howard Shore deserves
the oscar he’s going to get. I’m running
out of superlatives. Again, awesome.

-Bill the pony. I which Jackson had
taken five minutes to flesh out Sam’s
relationship with Bill, because when
they leave him at Moria, it’s not
half the emotional hit that it is
in the book.

-What happened to the fifty years
between Bilbo leaving and Gandalf
telling Frodo of the ring, and Gandalf
returning to tell Frodo he needs to
go on his quest?

-Bilbo. Ian Holm ruled. As soon as
I saw the old guy, I felt something
warm in my heart. Man, he was great.
Great actor, greater here.

The right amount of beauty, spookiness
and purity. Wonderfully realised.

-Where was the conflict between Gimli
and Legolas? I can’t remember it being
there hardly anywhere, except for
the ‘dwarves aren’t reliable’ bit
in Rivendell. There should have been
more, because it brings a better pay
off when they become better friends.

-The cinematography. That crazy Joan
woman talked about it down there.
Absolutely stunning.


Holidays!! Hope all is going well
your way!

last night I was fortunate enough
to have the time to catch a 4:30 showing
of LOTR. What did I think? All I can
say is….WOW!! I loved this movie.
It of course varied slightly from
the book but the true essence of the
story, plot and characters was accurately
captured in my opinion. The performances
were wonderful and presented the characters
as I always envisioned them, the set/scenery
was breathtaking, the effects were
very well done and the direction was
impressive. I was eagerly awaiting
this movie but I was not by any means
a fan boy, however I may have to change
mind on that score! The only thing
I hate right now about the movie is
that i will have to wait another year
just to see the second installment
and another year after that for the
finale!! Having read the books I knew
basically what was going on and what
was coming but I am curious to know
how those who were not familiar at
all with this story felt about it.
I will have to talk to some people
who never read the books to see if
they were lost at all and if they
truly grasped what was going on with
the fellowship
and characters. Anyway, I thoroughly
enjoyed this film and would highly
recommend it to any and all that are
looking for an entertaining night
out at the movies.



yesterday I was thinking, "well,
it’s not gonna be as good as they
say it is, but I hope it doesn’t suck."

was right; it wasn’t as good as they
say it is.

was better.

there were problems; it was slow in
spots, Arawen really didn’t do it
for me, I missed Tom Bombadil and
remain convinced that Gimli should
have broken the Fellowship instead
of Boromir.

Peter Jackson achieved in a little
under three hours what George Lucas
hasn’t been able to do in thirty years.

Obi-Wan bought it at the end of Star
Wars, I didn’t cry. Boromir’s death
scene had me in tears. It was so tragic,
and yet so beautiful.

you Peter. Thank you New Line.

you CHUD.


Nick, I hadn’t been to the boards
in a while, as I moved from Indianapolis
to the little town of Athlone Ireland
recently. Since they are usually a
month or two behind the states on
movies, any insight I have is usually
dead on the board before it gets to
the screen here. Last night I went
to see LOTR and I have to say I am
relieved. Its true enough to the book
that only the biggest die hards will
find fault. I loved it. I plan
on dragging people to see it this
weekend. I had two minor problems
with it. The scenes in Lothlorien
were kinda jarring and didn’t flow
with the rest of the movie and the
heavy narration at the beginning may
be a bit much for viewers who haven’t
ever read the books.


Nick, storytelling has finally returned
to the big screen. Peter Jackson tells
Tolkien’s tale exactly how it was
meant to be told. the movie was visually
stunning, filled with non-stop action,
and just plain mind-blowing. The movie
took you away into MiddleEarth, and
you were only reminded you were in
a movie theatre when the lummoxes,
that forgot to pee before a three
hour movie, got up! And, a lot of
people may be scared away by a movie
of this length…F THAT! After the
movie ended, I wanted another three
hours. It is a very rare occassion
where I gush over a movie, me bieng
a very harsh critic; but this movie
deserves it more than any I have seen
in a long time. Jackson gives us all
hope that not all of the fantasy movies
that are coming out in the next few
years (ie- the death of Marvel!) are
going to suck ass. Let me end on this
note…my girlfriend was speechless.
Now that says something about a movie.

Ugly Goblin Boy:

its wednesday night, and I am still
recovering from the three hour cinematic
assault that is "Lord of the
Rings". As a long time fan of
the talented and diverse director
Peter Jackson, I came into the film
with mixed emotions. I mean, Mr. Jackson
makes great horror flicks, and "Heavenly
Creatures" showed he could pull
off a drama. But how could he possibly
bring a story like LOTR to the big

the moment the opening credits rolled
I had a gut feeling this was going
to be good.

think what made the movie stick with
me was the attention to detail Jackson
put into it. The crystaline clearity
of the sceenery created a world that
had only before existed in my mind.
The attention to detail and flawless
CGI made you believe that a town of
halflings, living in the side of hill
actually could exist and the Orc castle
was terrifying and beautiful all at
the same time.

a fan of the stories could have made
the movie this way, the way it was
meant to look, the way we’ve all visioned


would just like to say a loud and
hearty "thank you!!!" to
peter jackson and company for restoring
my faith in movies, after being left
cold by so many hollywood "event
films." for years i thought that
it was folly to try to adapt the trilogy,
that it would never live up to the
spirit of the books. i have never
been happier to be wrong!


a scale of 1-5, I’d give it 2.5 (maybe).
Too many compromises were made. Too
many character arcs changed (Aragorn’s
arc is the main one that I’m not happy
about). Too many cool monologues or
speeches omitted. I cringed through
much of the film. My purist anal nature
couldn’t handle some of the factual

I will say that the move was well
cast. However, the characterizations
left much to be desired.

Haven’t decided if I’m interested
in seeing the next two movies. May
skip them.


guys, I walked out of the theatre
this afternoon…disappointed. I’d
read the books a number of years ago
and I’m a fan of the genre, but this
film left me cold. I never became
involved with this film on an emotional
level and found myself sitting there
in boredom as the movie plodded forward.
The main problems lie in its length
and pacing. It became a repetitive
string of uninspired predicaments
that lacked any suspense or danger.
I just kept waiting for them to overcome
this obstacle so they could move on
to the next. It tried too hard to
be epic and it failed. There is so
much about this film that I don’t
like, except for the stunning cinematography…but
it goes without saying.

As a film student, maybe I’m just
jaded and can’t see the forest for
the trees anymore, but I don’t think
that’s it. I know that so many people
LOVE this film. I just don’t see what
the fuss is all about. I can also
tell you that the people I was there
with, and hadn’t read the books, were
bored out of their minds. They couldn’t
wait for it to end.

Sorry, this gets a 6 out of 10 for

Brian F:

I have to say is… F*CK.

I’m not a huge Tolkien fan. I re-read
the books about six months ago, and
I ended skipping every five pages
or so. (There’s just so much walking
I can take.) I went in with mixed
feelings. On one hand, this is the
guy who did Dead Alive. Yet, the trailers
looked phenomenal.

And then I saw it. I spent of the
movie with my hands clenched, going
"shit… oh man… oh shit…"
Breathless. And unlike Harry Potter
(whose books I’ve also read), where
I spent most of my time going "Yawn…
wow, I feel no sense of danger because
I know what happens…", I was
on the edge of my seat. I know Gandalf
dies and comes back, and yet I was
tearing up when it happened. I knew
Baromir dies, but I still was hoping
that something would happen to make
it not true.

The last movie that came out that
left me this satisfied and giddy was
the Matrix. Two years ago.

To finish, all I have to say is that
when the DVD comes out, I’m there.


have just had the distinct pleasure
of watching three hours of the most
sublime cinema i have seen since when
I first had the pleasure of watching
Star Wars 24 years ago.The acting
was superb,the direction awesome,the
casting,well no other actor could
play Saruman or Gandalf.
I’m gooing back tomorrow.


has come, and it is wonderful. More
than expected with almost nothing
to be disappointed over. The story
flows nicely and for those who never