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265. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (#10)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, this week joined by special guests Andy Melhuish, Deirdre Molumby and Grace Duffy, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every second Saturday at 6pm GMT, with the occasional bonus episode between them.

This time, to mark the 20th anniversary of its release, Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

“The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it. It began with the forging of the Great Rings.”

At time of recording, it was ranked 10th on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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New Escapist Column! On the Whole “Lord of the Rings” as an Extended Ending…

I published a new column at The Escapist today. This week, to mark the twentieth anniversary of the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, we’re taking a look back at the trilogy as a whole. We’ll be publishing three articles looking at the films, one each day. This is the third and final of the pieces.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is typically criticised for having too many endings. However, that is oddly appropriate. The entire trilogy is an extended ending. It’s a story about the end of a magical age, about how nothing lasts forever and how everything eventually fades into history. Frodo and his allies are fighting to save Middle-Earth from Sauron, but the films make it very clear that the world’s days are numbered.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On How Only Peter Jackson Could Have Made the “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy…

I published a new column at The Escapist yesterday. This week, to mark the twentieth anniversary of the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, we’re taking a look back at the trilogy as a whole. We’ll be publishing three articles looking at the films, one each day. This is the first.

Most films are minor miracles. It is remarkable that films get made at all, let alone that many of them turn out to be good. This is particularly true of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which seemed like an impossible assignment. At the time, Peter Jackson seemed like the most unlikely of directors to successfully adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s unfilmable epic. However, in hindsight, it seems impossible to imagine that anybody except Jackson could have brought the film to life.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! “His Dark Materials” Could Only Exist in a Post-“Game of Thrones” World…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine yesterday evening. This one took a look at the new BBC/HBO co-production of His Dark Materials, adapting Phillip Pullman’s fantasy epic for a new generation.

It feels appropriate that somebody should take another crack at Pullman’s novels now. New Line Cinema attempted to adapt The Golden Compass back in 2007, using the same model that they applied to The Lord of the Rings. However, that was never going to work; Pullman’s work was too subversive and too radical to ever fit the traditional cinematic narrative template. In contrast, this feels like the perfect moment for another adaptation, as Game of Thrones has pushed the boundaries in terms of television fantasy, both in what is possible and what audiences will accept.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Why Del Toro Departing The Hobbit is a Good Thing…

The Hobbit is dead. Long live The Hobbit. Look, we all know it’s going to happen. Like the next James Bond film, the economics of the situation dictate that it must happen – a spin-off from The Lord of the Rings is too lucrative an opportunity to pass up, it’s an excuse to print money. Think of all the simple/theatrical/standard/deluxe/super/extended versions of the films have been released on video/DVD/HD DVD/Blu Ray. Now double that. So now you know why The Hobbit is going to happen, eventually. Unfortunately, I think we all know it’s not going to happen soon. And I’m here to tell you why Del Toro departing the film is actually a good thing.

Down the hobbit hole...

Note: This is part of a two-part article. Andrew over at the always wonderful Andrew at the Cinema is offering this article a jolly good rebuttal. Pop over and give it a read. Just make sure to spend a few minutes appreciating my flim-flam arguments before he pretty much destroys them with his advanced reasoning.

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Waiting for Super Special Editions…

I own DVDs. I own a lot of DVDs. However, I don’t have all the movies that I would like to have. Which seems odd, because I also own a lot of forgettable nonsense that was on special offer in some bargain basement somewhere – Kurt Russell’s Soldier, for example. So, how come I don’t own all those classic films I would love to get my grubby little hands all over? One reason: I know that there’s going to be a super-extra classy hyper deluxe edition coming at some point down the line. Am I the only person who does this?

Two years and counting on my Amazon wishlist...

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Non-Review Review: Alice in Wonderland

I imagine Lewis Carroll’s iconic fantasy story poses quite the problem for anybody looking to bring it to the screen. Both Alice in Wonderland and Alice’s Adventures Through The Looking Glass essentially consist of a collection of vignettes, very loosely linked to each other. One minute you’re translating The Jabberwockey and the next you’re hearing the story of The Walrus and the Carpenter. I can’t imagine it would be particularly easy to produce a film following that sort of almost random structure. Perhaps that’s why Tim Burton’s wonderfully visual fantasy seems to draw perhaps more heavily from The Lord of the Rings than its own source material, which is a shame, as the director fantastically brings the magic of Wonderland to life. If only there were more of it.

Down the rabbit hole...

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My Top 50 Movies of the Decade…

Alright here it is, my top fifty films of the decade. I’ve decided to stop complaining about Donal Clarke’s list in the Irish Times and just let rip myself. There’s more than a few crazy choices down there, but – after a week in the works – I’m happy with it. I doubt that a lot of other people will be.

Like the Oscars, but... you know, better...

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