The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Film Review


Having watched the first two hobbit films, I wanted to revisit The Lord of the Rings. All I really remember is that the last film had about seven endings and drove me nuts (especially as, being such a long film, I was desperate for the loo) and that it was all pretty epic.

So this, the first one. Wow. It’s everything I remembered. Big, loud, strong, violent, funny at times, full of heart and with both Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom looking more attractive than in anything before or since.

So, Frodo (Elijah Wood) has to take the evil ring to the fires of Mordor to destroy it. In this film, he joins with a bunch of humans, elves, hobbits and a troll, and (of course) Gandalf (Ian McKellen). I couldn’t recall the whole story, and so it was as exciting as the first time. I’m making this a movie marathon. Wonderful.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring won Oscars for Best Cinemaography, Best Makeup, Best Music, Original Score and Best Effects, Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ian McKellen), Best Director (Peter Jackson), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Best Art Direction – Set Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Original Song (May it Be) and Best Sound.

The Frighteners (1996) Film Review

The Frighteners

Frank Bannister (Michael J. Fox) can see ghosts. He has been able to since a car tragic accident that he survived but took his wife. It has been relatively light, with ghosts like The Judge (John Astin) who help him in his spirit psychic business. Things turn for the worse as the townsfolk start dropping dead of heart failure, and Frank sees numbers appearing on their heads before they go. An evil spirit is in town, and the incompetent and strange FBI Agent Milton Dammers (Jeffrey Combs) believes that Frank is responsible. It is only with the help of recently widowed Dr Lucy Lynskey (Trini Alvardo) that they have any chance of stopping the murders.

I think this is a really clever film. It’s quite funny, but also scary, and as he has shown over and over again, Peter Jackson can tell a good story. I suspect that if you love horror films, you’d not enjoy this as it is possibly way down the scale for horrors, but for a wuss like me, it’s a good combo of horror and comedy. And Michael J Fox *sigh*.

Heavenly Creatures (1994) Film Review

Heavenly Creatures

Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey) is a miserable, misfit of a girl in the early 1950s in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her life is transformed when Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet) sweeps into her life, bringing a whole fantasy world that the girls create where they are king and queen and all sorts of dramas take place. But when they are threatened to be separated, drastic action is required, and they plot to kill Pauline’s mother.

It’s based on real events, and it is frightful story. But it is really amazing. The two leads are marvellous, with the intense, giggling and passionate friendship that is surely unique to teenage girls. But I think my favourite part of this is the world they go to, with life-size figures made of clay living in the palace that the girls created in their minds.

Heavenly Creatures was nominated an Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson).

The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey (2012) – Film Review


I admit it; I’ve been avoiding this one. There were two main reasons; firstly, a lot of people whose opinions on film I deeply respect found this film overly long and drawn out, and secondly, it seems very indulgent of Peter Jackson to turn this single book into three films to be released separately. It is, after all, one story. Why turn it into three very long films rather than just one very long film?

Yes, absolutely, it is very long. It is entirely possible that there are scenes in the film that are not in the book (I can’t recall. I have very little interest in re-reading it) but that didn’t bother me at all. As it happens, I really quite enjoyed it. It is a good yarn, with some spectacular effects and a bit of heart. Martin Freeman is wonderful as Bilbo Baggins, and it was wonderful to see Sir Ian McKellan back again as Gandalf.

Despite my enjoyment of the film, I doubt I’ll get to either of the next two films at the cinema. I really do not have the patience for it. I expect I’ll watch them once they get their DVD release. I expect.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Achievement in Production Design and Best Achievement in Visual Effects. It was nominated for BAFTAs for Best Make Up/Hair, Best Sound and Best Special Effects.