And the list-making continues! Fresh off of the Diversion 2.0 Thirty Day Song Challenge, I’ve decided to make another Challenge list, if only to keep writing and prevent Jordyn from Popped Density from sliding into boredom-induced catatonia. With that, here comes the Diversion 2.0 Thirty Day Movie Challenge. What makes this different than other Thirty Day Movie Challenges, you ask? Well, for one, I haven’t even looked at any of the other Challenges; all I know is that they exist, and I didn’t bother checking from there. This way, you folks will be getting a pure D original series, unlike some others I’ve pilfered. Anyway, let’s get to it!
Day 1 – One of Your Favorite Movies (But Not Your Favorite Favorite)
I bellyached at moaned at the beginning of the last series about bringing out the big guns first, so I’m doing things my way now! Yes sir, the movie you are reading about is not my absolute favorite, but it’s definitely in my top ten, if not my top five.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (Extended)
Yes, I am opening this intro by talking nerdy to you, but I just bought the three-film collection on Blu-ray last week, so I thought I’d talk about it. The Lord of the Rings is one of those nerdy mainstays that, by and large, most movie-loving folk can agree are pretty good. I was never a fan of the books (the descriptions felt far too distant from the actual goings-on with the characters), but I’ve always appreciated the larger story and world created by Tolkien. It helps that I had several friends who were diehard Rings fans, and they helped me get into the film series, securing the trilogy as one of my favorites in movies.
I’m choosing The Fellowship of the Ring because I’ve always enjoyed the quiet moments in Hobbiton near the beginning of the film. Not only are they a great contrast to the ramped-up battle sequences later in the film, they’re simply gorgeous in their own right; I love the greens and browns of Hobbiton, as they give the place a natural, downhome feel. In fact, the main reason I prefer the Extended Edition, apart from padding the film with several excellent character-building moments, is the Concerning Hobbits chapter. While the theatrical cut immediately cuts to Frodo reading by a tree after Galadriel orates the history of the ring, the extended cut pans to Bilbo writing the opening chapter of his book, in which he describes how hobbits live to eat, drink, smoke, and generally avoid any sorts of adventures. It does a fantastic job of establishing the world of Middle Earth, and adds to the weight of when Frodo and Sam finally leave the Shire on their quest.
Of course, there’s more to Fellowship of the Ring than lengthy anecdotes on the dining habits of a village of stout New Zealand folk. For my money, Fellowship provides the best balance of character moments, intense action, and impressive vistas. The cast is uniformly excellent (Sir Ian McKellen, Sean Bean, Elijah Wood, etc.), and the production design is impressive even to those not interested in behind-the-scenes work. I enjoy how the movie borrows dialogue directly from Tolkien’s novels, giving the characters a central voice different from other fantasy epics. Lastly, what can I say about the incredible score provided by Howard Shore, other than I listen to it all the g@#%$&@ time.
In truth, it’s almost pointless for me to write about Fellowship of the Ring; apart from my own smallish, personal reasons for loving Concerning Hobbits so much, nearly everything that can be said about this movie has been done so already. Still, it’s one of my absolute favorite movies, and easily the most-watched out of the Lord of the Rings series.