Starring: Christopher Guard, William Squire, John Hurt, Michael Graham Cox, Anthony Daniels
Running Time: 132 minutes
Score: 9 / 10
Here's another cracking review by Paul.
Ok, so I'm not going to come on here and say that this is superior to Peter Jackson's (PJ) efforts. If I did I think Phil (Hello - Phil LFF) would erase me and I'd be in a Live For Film Limbo. Can't happen!
But if we treat this as it once was, our only link to those fine books we read and reread (I know for sure I'm not the only one) when we were younger, it does a mighty fine job.
Now I could stand up and get the video case (yes, video) for the details but that's Phil's job.
No need to describe the story, but this feature does has some nice touches.
The Balrog, what a scary ass dude he is, alll roars and flame and anger. Only a little guy but you still wouldn't mess. Nice set of stills thrown in for the Gandalf/Balrog fight. The Nine, dark and nasty, especially when they turn up for the first time.
The animation isnt amazing, but considering its time its good enough. What this has, however, is that wierd actor/animation overlay (the process is called of rotoscoping, a technique in which scenes are first shot in live-action, then traced onto animation cels - Phil LFF), put to excellent use when depicting the Orks in the latter fight scenes.
I don't know why the fight scene between Gandalf and Saruman was up for so many awards in PJ's version. Was I alone thinking it was rubbish? In this, the turning of Saruman had a darker essence to it, none of this 'I'm gonna spin you in the air' lark, a proper betrayal. And you get boss fireballs later on, like a proper bloody Mage! I spit on Potter.
Also, just look at Gollum and tell me you haven't seen him before, you'd even swear it was the same guy doing the voice. Maybe it really is Gollum and he's really old and came out of retirement to please PJ, but now finds it a bit tiring and longs to return to the wild, fresh fish in mouth.
It's a shame they didn't get to finish the film. I dont know if it was a 'cursed set' or the dude just died while making it, its still a shame. But it does raise the question of would I be happy with a feature length modern animation of LOTR? would you? I'm unsure. It seems to have worked for Star Wars, but I can't comment on that personally.
It's worth checking out I promise you. Ok, so I did post a review of a Snoop Dogg movie, but you can trust me.
Although the film was a financial success, it received a mixed reaction from critics, and the original distributors refused to fund a sequel to cover the remainder of the story.