It definitely gets an "A" for effort.
I wish I could say that I thoroughly enjoyed director Peter Jackson's ambitious epic, the adaptation of J.R.R.Tolkien's classic The Lord Of The Rings, but I really can't say that. But I did appreciate the hell out of it. It's a very well made movie with some incredible moments and much more character development than your typical fantasy adventure.
Based on the classic book, The Lord Of The Rings tells the story of Middle Earth, and the quest to destroy an extremely powerful ring that controls other rings, as well as corrupts whoever possesses it. Elijah Wood plays Frodo Baggins, the Hobbit charged with this enormous task.
Helping him on his quest is a Fellowhip made up of other Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Gandalf the Grey, a wizard portrayed by the great Sir Ian McKellan, most recently scene as the evil mutant Magneto in X-MEN, and Viggo Mortensen, who was the asshole tough guy in the underrated G.I.Jane opposite Demi Moore.
Elijah Wood is very good in this movie. A lot of people remember him as a child actor in such films as Radio Flyer and North, but where I first took notice of him as an actor is in Ang Lee's awesome look at suburbia and family dynamics in the 70's, The Ice Storm. He did a great job in what was really a supporting role, but a very important one. He's a very good actor and he has very expressive eyes.
This film is the first of a trilogy, which will be released over the next three years. During that time Wood should become a very well known and popular actor. When he gets a little older I can easily see him taking the roles that Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt are too old for.
Liv Tyler, Cate Blanchett, and Hugo Weaving all portray elves. The three have small roles, but they all do a nice job, especially Blanchett, who may be the best actress working today. That may seem like a bold statement, but if you've seen her in anything, you know it's true. Also in LOTR are Ian Holm and Christopher Lee. Holm gets a lot of work, but this is a pretty big role for Lee, and it's fitting that the man who played Count Dracula more than any body else gets to play a sorcerer in what could become the biggest fantasy franchise of all time.
The Lord of the Rings is a big, big movie. It must have been a huge undertaking for those involved, and even though I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked, I give Peter Jackson a whole lot of credit for making this movie. His direction is superb, and he could soon rise to the iconoclastic status of Mssrs. Spielberg and Lucas. I just hope he does something special after this whole trilogy thing is over, so that LOTR won't be his be all and end all.
In defense of LOTR I have to say that I do plan on seeing it again. At three hours long, there is a lot of movie to take in. I'm hoping the next time I will actually enjoy it a little more, but as it stands it is a movie that deserves to be seen.