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The 20th Anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

ManaByte

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This week marks the 20th anniversary of the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. What does that have to do with The Lord of the Rings? That's the first place any completed footage from the movies were shown publicly outside of an Internet first look in 2000 (embedded below). New Line cut together a 26-minute reel from The Fellowship of the Ring that also included very early footage from The Two Towers and Return of the King (including Frodo at the Cracks of Doom) and showed that at Cannes. People were blown away. New Line took the footage on tour later that year and I got to see it that October, two months before FOTR hit theaters in December.

The first public look at the movie was posted online in early 2000. YouTube didn't exist there, so New Line hosted a downloadable .exe on the official LOTR site and you downloaded to view this in postage-sized Quicktime:

The first teaser trailer was released in theaters with New Line's Cuban Missile Crisis movie 13 Days in early 2001:

I saw the movie in theaters 12 times that year and into 2002. I saw it eight times during it's regular run, and then around February/March 2002 they added a four-minute preview of The Two Towers to prints in theaters. This played right after the final shot faded out and before the end credits:

The movie was released on DVD a couple months after that preview played in theaters, and it actually hit DVD in Canada more than a month before the US release. Yes, I imported it.

The Extended Edition would arrive in November of 2002 right before the release of Two Towers in theaters. It restored the full Gifting scene in Lorien that was missed from the theatrical cut.
 

Come On Tars

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FOTR is top 5 movie of all time. It's the best of the trilogy by a country mile. The pacing, the action, the emotion and score was all fresh here. I can rewatch it whenever wherever. I don't even need TTT and ROTK as fellowship is just perfection.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
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Still the best of the trilogy as a baseline and still the best extended version.

Fellowship is rainy day blanket junk food perfection.
 
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Kev Kev

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fr tho some of the best movies ever made. not sure how anything is ever going to match the movie magic PJ and co made. the sets, make up, costumes, music, acting, the heart and soul that sean astin poured into sam's character, sir ian mckellan being the perfect gandalf in appearance and personality, and so much more.

watching the movies lead to reading the books, which lead me to getting really heavy into tolkien, and i looooved the books. cant wait for the amazon series to come out. hopefully its mega successful, and some day they get more rights to tolkiens work and can really dig into the first age stuff and other stories in the tolkienverse. there is so much good shit in there.
 
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Ma-Yuan

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As others realized we are getting old 🤣 have all 3 movies on their original DVD release man...
 

Aesius

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2001-2004 was nothing but LOTR hype for me. It was awesome to see the movies in the theater 2-3 times, then get the Extended Edition shortly before the next movie released. And even after ROTK released and I saw it in the theater, the trilogy still wasn't "over" because the Extended Edition was still coming!
 

jufonuk

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Jan 1, 2009
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I went from what is this nerd shit film gonna be three hours long? not Gladiator and the two godfather films are awesome enough to do this

to huh Peter Jackson he made some good films. To ahhh shit I want to watch all those films U.K. my veins
Still have not seen the hobbit. Films. Should I?
The power of books yo.
Beauty And The Beast Books GIF by Disney
 
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DeepBreath87

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Really special movie. Even more so now with the direction big blockbusters have taken (Marvel). The way it doesn’t force action into the movie to patronize the audience. A real adventure movie.
 

BigBooper

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I didn't know anything much about the story or films when my friend wanted me to go see Two Towers with him. I fell asleep.😔

Later I bought the dvd trilogy and watched it a couple of times. Then I got the EE blurays and watched those probably three or four times. Now, I'm watching for 4k bluray deals.

The movies are fantastic of course, but for such a long movie, being able to pause it at home is a must. Too long for theaters imo.
 

Sophist

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Best movies out there for fantasy. I can't see anything topping it. Is there any big budget fantasy films in development? I know we have the amazon rings show but it wont be nearly as good.

Haven't really followed but another Pirates of the Caribbean movie is expected. Same for the harry potter spinoff series. Not really fantasy but Dune is planned for this year.
 

Hulk_Smash

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2001-2004 was nothing but LOTR hype for me. It was awesome to see the movies in the theater 2-3 times, then get the Extended Edition shortly before the next movie released. And even after ROTK released and I saw it in the theater, the trilogy still wasn't "over" because the Extended Edition was still coming!

I remember waiting until all 3 extended editions were out before watching them all in a row. 14 hours. Only took breaks to piss and eat. It was amazing.
 

Vestal

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A masterpiece of cinema. 20 years later every single one of the movies holds up in every single department, from the visuals, CGI, presentation and everything else. Perfect casting in every sense of the word, and the score OMG THAT DAMN SCORE!!!!

I wish someone would give this sort of treatment to the Dragonlance series.
 

Mistershine.

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Watched the first two in the cinema but the boy arrived at the beginning of December '03 so we couldn't make it for the third. Ended up watching a Centropy TC, at 5am on Christmas day while feeding my first born. That was my favourite viewing of any movie, ever. Even better than when I eventually went to see it in the big screen a few weeks later.
 

INC

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Gonna get hate for this, but I prefer to watch the hobbit

Now im not saying its a better trilogy, I just find it easier to watch

I do make a point of watching LotR every year, even tho I'm not a massive fan
 
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Fbh

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Still my favorite movie trilogy, these movies are amazing and nothing since them has been quite as good.

They also came out at the right time. These just wouldn't be the same if they were made now, they'd be 99% CGI, full of forced woke shit and spending a third of the runtime trying to set up some cinematic universe.
 
D

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Absolute masterpieces and it's a wonder that so much of the books got faithfully translated to film. I fear we may ever see anything like them again.

I'm re-reading all of the books right now and planning to watch through The Hobbit and The Lords of the Rings trilogies on 4K Blu-ray afterward.
 

DragoonKain

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I ordered the steelbook 4K box set last year. Might watch that and The Hobbit trilogy this summer. These are definitely summer movies.

The one thing I was always meh about though and this isn't the fault of the movies, it's the source material, is you have this super powerful ring that if Sauron gets, it makes him virtually unstoppable. But all it does with humans is make them invisible(and corrupt them).

When I first watched the movies for the very first time and knew nothing about LOTR, I thought it was going to give the wearer some type of strength or power boost, at the cost of something great. But it just made you invisible. I still wish we got to see the power of the ring in action in some way.
 
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BouncyFrag

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The behind the scenes documentaries in the extended edition dvds are fantastic. The bts for Return of the King is a bit stressful as they barely got the film done in time. Good stuff!
 

Come On Tars

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Absolute masterpieces and it's a wonder that so much of the books got faithfully translated to film. I fear we may ever see anything like them again.

I'm re-reading all of the books right now and planning to watch through The Hobbit and The Lords of the Rings trilogies on 4K Blu-ray afterward.
I didn't like the hobbit trilogy at all. But man look up m4 book edit. It's so much better and it's a single 4 hour movie.
 

Herr Edgy

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Gonna get hate for this, but I prefer to watch the hobbit

Now im not saying its a better trilogy, I just find it easier to watch

I do make a point of watching LotR every year, even tho I'm not a massive fan
I feel you, the Hobbit just feels a bit more personal imo. A bit less grand fanfare. It's always a joy to me.
 

SirKicksalot

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This recent making-of book by Weta is great:


It covers both trilogies and is a very good companion to the extended edition documentaries.
 

IDKFA

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Probably the greatest film trilogy ever made.

Watching all three films at the cinema was the greatest cinema experience of my life. Truly breathtaking. Doubt we'll see anything on that scale again.
 

Swaff

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Some of the greatest films ever made, and easily my favourite film scores.
It got to the point where i'd put the films on in the background just so I could listen to the score and the dialogue. Even just listening to Concering Hobbits takes me straight back.
 
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RJMacready73

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Fuck I remember when they released details that this was being made by Peter Jackson, I went Fuuuuuuuuuuck they've let the cunt who made Bad Taste and brain dead two admittantly brilliant stoner movies make this epic and we all thought it was gonna suck balls...
 

Kazza

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Did anyone else here have absolutely no idea what Lord of the Rings was before the first movie dropped? I had never even heard of the books, but one day my cousin brought the the DVD of the first film over and, holy shit I was completely blown away by it. Sometimes going into something totally blind is the best way. Immediately borrowed the Two Towers as well, and that was great too of course.

Return of the King came out in the cinema around a year later, so I at least got to see one on the big screen.

By the way, has anyone else got this extended edition set?



I found mine in the loft after going back to my parents' place due to covid. I'm tempted to rewatch one weekend, but 12 hours is a long time! I also don't have a DVD player, but I suppose I could use my old PS2 :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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ManaByte

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Did anyone else here have absolutely no idea what Lord of the Rings was before the first movie dropped? I had never even heard of the books, but one day my cousin brought the the DVD of the first film over and, holy shit I was completely blown away by it. Sometimes going into something totally blind is the best way. Immediately borrowed the Two Towers as well, and that was great too of course.

Return of the King came out in the cinema around a year later, so I at least got to see one on the big screen.

By the way, has anyone else got this extended edition set?



I found mine in the loft after going back to my parents' place due to covid. I'm tempted to rewatch one weekend, but 12 hours is a long time! I also don't have a DVD player, but I suppose I could use my old PS2 :messenger_tears_of_joy:

Those are out in 4K now.
 

Rockondevil

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An amazing trilogy and while I don't enjoy Fellowship as much as the others together they are amazing.
The practical effects make it still easily hold up to anything today and likely will for a long time to come.

I just wish when they took The Hobbit on they gave it the same love they gave LOTR.
 

ManaByte

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Out of curiosity did they rescan the negative? I remember Jackson scanned the negative in house at 2K.
Yes they rescanned the whole thing in 4K, Jackson supervised the whole thing including Weta touching up the effects and compositing for the higher res. They also restored a shot of Minas Tirith from Two Towers that was removed after test screenings confused it for Helm’s Deep.

 
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