Wednesday night I was going through the movie channels to see if anything neat was being shown and I saw that the critically acclaimed 2001 Peter Jackson epic film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was about to start on Encore. I thought to myself, “the last time I saw that was when I watched the special extended version back in 2002, so why not?” I quickly made popcorn and grabbed some Pepsi, killed the lights and plopped down on my couch just as the mandatory MPAA ratings hit the screen. It warned me that this film contained violence so I nodded to myself in acknowledgement and mentally prepared myself for the potentially disturbing images I might be exposed to.
If you don’t feel like reading all the analytical mumbo-jumbo, feel free to skip to the bottom of Page 3 for my concluding remarks!
From the get-go the first thing that I noticed were the special effects. I recalled how back in the theater in 2001 and in 2002 with the extended edition I was in absolute awe at the glorious special effects this movie had. The realism and magnitude of their awesomeness was absolutely mind blowing. After both screenings I remember being captivated by their immersive power. Yet last night, in good old 2011, I couldn’t help but wonder whether or not I was ridiculously high 10 years ago when I watched this film. The special effects were so obviously fake that they were laughable. How on earth did this film win an Oscar for Best Visual Effects? I’ve seen amateur 3D animation videos on YouTube with better visual effects than this film. However, I had to remind myself that ten years ago these effects were groundbreaking. Back then a 1.5Ghz single-core processor was Jesus and with 512MB of RAM and a 128MB nVidia GeForce 3 Ti 500 that rig could turn graphical water into graphical wine. It is interesting to look back on this film today and realize how far we’ve come when it comes to special effects. Imagine us looking back at Avatar in 10 years and thinking the same exact thing I thought when watching Fellowship.
However, my eyerolls didn’t end with the special effects. The acting in this film made George Lucas’ directing look like the second coming of John Ford. If I were to re-write the Academy Awards to feature a Shitty Acting award, I’d do so, and then I’d re-write those rules to allow for multiple winners of the Shitty Acting award.
Topping that list is Sean Bean for Boromir. Every time Boromir opened his mouth my ears bled a little. Remember that evening in Rivendell when Boromir was being all disrespectful to Isildur’s broken sword? Aragorn was staring at Boromir in bewilderment not because of his blatant disrespect, but because he was so shocked at what a shitty performance Sean Bean was doing. Talk about a horrible execution of forced drama. I was half-expecting Boromir to take a shit on the altar in the most grandiose and dramatic way possible. At the secret council meeting in Rivendell, he may as well have whipped his dick out and flailed it around like a helicopter while screaming, “I’m just here to remind you each and every time that you see me that I’m a deceitful and pompous asshole, just in case you didn’t get that point the first three dozen times I’ve been on screen already!” The absolute low point was towards the end when Boromir tried to take the ring from Frodo in the woods. Right after Frodo slipped on the ring to escape, Bormoir had some bullshit monologue where he was all angry, and then in the middle of it he fell down and began to cry like a little bitch. Ignore the fact that he fell on a pile of leaves and that his fucking companions were probably within shouting distance, he began to pathetically cry and do some ridiculous foreveralone.jpg monologue. The acting was just so unbelievably bad in that scene that I cringed.
And don’t even get me started with Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn. When I hear a name like Viggo I immediately think of some Transylvanian skull-bashing badass that sucks tears out of the eyes of babies and spits them onto a pile of werewolf corpses he is standing on (like the Viggo from Ghostbusters). So I assumed Aragorn, being the King of Men, was going to launch a rocket of piss into Sauron’s eye and scream out, “I’m coming to shit in your pupil!” Instead I got an Aragorn who was insecure about everything and was played by an actor who suffered from the David Beckham effect. What’s the David Beckham effect? Think to the first time you saw David Beckham. You saw this bad ass built soccer player with a superhot wife. You were like, “man, this guy is totally masculine.” And then you saw an interview where David Beckham squeaked spoke and your entire image of David Beckham burst into flames because this guy talks like a pre-pubescent boy. That’s exactly what Viggo did to Aragorn. It was fine at first when he was being all quiet and raspy in Bree, but when he began to talk in a normal voice I was positive that Greg Proops had been hired to dub Aragorn’s lines. On top of that, I had to deal with Aragorn bitching about how he was insecure about everything from a hobbit eating second breakfast to claiming his throne as the King of Gondor. Apparently the fact that one of his ancestors from 300 years ago made a mistake of being human convinces Aragorn that he too will make the same mistakes as Isildur because the “same blood runs in [his] veins.” Hey genius, in the last 300 years none of your predecessors have done anything remotely stupid like trying to use a ring of power to take over the world. Genetic qualities may skip a generation or two, but they don’t lie dormant for 300 fucking years waiting for your pansy ass to be born. Furthermore, I assume that your gene pool was diluted with each marriage, unless of course your lineage consists only of inbreeding, in which case that would probably explain a lot of your shitty qualities. King of Men? More like King of the Emos.