The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

I don't know what to say about this film other than it is, as expected, perfectly made. But I will fill a little column space with biographical trivia:

When I was a kid, I saw Ralph Bakshi's animated Lord of the Rings several times. It was a feature film that only covered the first book and a half of the three original novels. I remember liking it, but friends tell me now that if I saw it again, I'd hate it. Maybe. But at least it served as a good introduction to J.R.R. Tolkien's imagination. I then tried to read The Fellowship of the Ring, but it were too large, too unwieldy, and I was too young and easily distracted. I couldn't get past page 30. I was a TV baby, hooked on the boob tube until I weaned myself from it at age 21. In short, I didn't read much back then. But I did enjoy buying and painting tiny pewter Hobbit figurines.

Anyway, all these years later, I still remember things like Pippin's real name (Peregrine), Aragorn's nickname (Strider), and Gimli being a dwarf, so while watching Peter Jackson's triumphant adaptation, part of the joy for me was seeing all my childhood memories come flooding back. Yet I couldn't help but wonder, What would people make of this film if they were completely unfamiliar with Tolkien? Would they find it confusing? Pretentious? Dorky? Based on reports from formerly uninitiated viewers, most seem to understand and enjoy the film just fine.

I'm sure there isn't anybody reading this who is still on the fence about seeing The Fellowship of the Ring; you are either dying to see it, have seen it already, or feel indifferent about the whole enterprise. Nothing I say will change any that. But I liked the film a great deal. And that's that.