Transcript: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Transcript of 70mm’s Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Episode.

40 min readDec 6, 2021

SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday I sit down and record with dear friend and artist Danny Haas.

DANNY When I can see the little kids wearing the Elijah Wood mask on their face, I turned it off. You should not be able to see that.

SLIM And our own spiritual advisor, Protolexus.

PROTO I’ve seen this and, you know, people were all “Oh, Boromir, Boromir.” I was like, ah c’mon. I cried again! I cried again. [Proto laughs]

SLIM And together as friends for life, we discuss recently watched movies. Later in this episode, we’re going to be talking about the extended edish of the Fellowship of the Ring. Is it the real deal? Or is it just for longtime fans? Enjoy!

[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]

SLIM It has been — [in Bare Naked Ladies voice] It’s been — two weeks since we recorded. It’s been that long, Danny, how do you feel? Two weeks since we set the studio?

DANNY I’m rested and ready.

SLIM For those that are here for the Lord of the Rings. Listen, we got to get through some stuff first. You know, we haven’t chatted in a long time. Feel free to use the chapters in Apple podcasts or Pocket Casts, what have you. But is it time we talked about the big topic of the week, The Beatles Get Back on Disney+ 4K?

DANNY need you two to get this out of your system now. Just go. Start.

SLIM Proto’s head is bopping around like a bobblehead. [Slim & Danny laugh] There’s like eight hours — so let me just be be clear. I’m not a big Beatles person. But there was like buzz floating around every Discord I’m in about ‘Beatles this, Beatles that’. Proto, are you a Beatles guy?

PROTO I would say yeah, I’m a Beatles guy. I’ve always liked the Beatles. I’ve you know, listened to all their albums many times.

SLIM Really?

PROTO Yeah, yeah. I love the Beatles. I’m not, I’m not gonna say I’m like a super fan or anything. But yeah, you know, I love them.

SLIM So were you like, amped up when they announced this Peter Jackson thing?

PROTO I want to say I was amped up. Like I didn’t even know. I wouldn’t say like, oh, I’m gonna watch it day one. Because I haven’t seen any of the documentaries or any of the other movies they’ve done. I’m not that, you know, I’m not that level of a Beatle fan, really. But I was like, you know, this sounds interesting. I like Peter Jackson. And just the idea of them making this, you know, iconic album together, just like raw footage from this, you know, the 60s, you know, them making this, it sounded really fascinating to me.

SLIM I mean, this is like a veil, one 4K or whatever. But I think they cleaned up the film, looked amazing. Like whatever stuff they did. I think they got some complaints that like, I wanted to see the film grain on this eight hour documentary. I thought it looked great. It still looked old. It’s not like it was filmed last week or whatever. But even the lighting and the backdrop of them like in the studio with dynamite.

PROTO Yeah, yeah. And some of the cinematography in it too is like, what’s wild is about this is through the whole, the whole thing you hear them talking about what they’re even going to make with all this footage. So they have a director there who’s, you know, shooting all of this.

SLIM That guy was annoying.

PROTO And they’re talking about the whole, you know, process of like, are we you know, first it’s going to be a TV show, and then they’re going to make a movie and they’re talking about well, like, how should we ended? What should we do, we need some kind of payoff, blah, blah, blah. But you’re like that is what this whole documentary is about. It includes all of that stuff. But then there’s also other storylines in it with, you know, there’s like a little bit of a breakup in the middle of it, in the way that it plays out. To me it almost at times, it felt like a movie. The footage was almost too good. For what, what it was recording on the screen. I don’t know if you felt that way, but some of like the, quote unquote ‘’dramatic’’ moments. Were like, I was like, blown away at how it felt like I was watching a movie.

SLIM I mean, I guess they filmed, they said they had like 60 hours of video. So they probably had, like, you know, the ability to kind of let’s find maybe six things out of this that we can kind of make, you know, other focus of. And just for the non-Beatles fans, listen, I support you. We’re almost out of this topic. I know Danny is snoozing right now. But I liked how it ended with the, you know, the famous concert on the roof. Like I’ve only ever maybe ever seen 30 seconds of that. But they show the whole thing at the end of the movie is Like 25 minutes and they’re repeating songs and stuff, which I thought was interesting. You know, they’re playing one song like three times and then the cops finally it’s all like live like one take Wilson over there. So I thought was very interesting.

PROTO Yeah Paul McCartney just an absolute King not stopping for anything. Just gonna keep on playing. He sees the cops there.

SLIM George Harrison is flipping on his amp right in front of the cops after they got turned off. That was pretty cool.

PROTO Amazing. What are those cops gonna do? Really? You know, they’re gentlemen. They’re English.

SLIM They got batons. What is with the straps on these helmets that they’re wearing? The strap doesn’t even go into their chin, it just rests in the front of their chin.

PROTO It’s like a fidget device to keep your tongue active, I think. [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM I mean, if you have to join the force, they call it the force over there in that location. I mean, can we adjust the straps? That would be my first note, like Captain, can we adjust the straps? They don’t make sense.

PROTO Our heads have grown larger than the straps allow, can we get an adjustment?

SLIM So I thought it was interesting. My wife also it was just like, why are you watching this? You don’t like the Beatles. So it was almost like Danny was speaking through her in that moment. And then she was also like, the final day, she’s like, why am I hearing let it be over and over again? I was in a basement and she was upstairs in our office. And it’s like, sorry,

PROTO I love seeing them. Like because I’ve never seen foot like this much footage of you know, the Beatles. And it was just so cool to me to see these different personalities and these figures that I know of, you know a lot and you hear him in pop culture all the time. And you know,

PROTO The thing that that stuck out to me though the most is like, you hear about the Beatles, right? And you know, everybody loves Paul. I mean, he’s the genius, right? And then you know, George, he has a solo albums. And then even Ringo, everybody loves Ringo. But the thing that I found is that nobody ever really talks about John Lennon. He’s really, you know, no one really says much about him.

SLIM Yeah, you’re right.

PROTO But I found that I really connected with John. I think he might be my favorite Beatle, which no one really says.

SLIM I agree with you. And there’s funny moment in the show — this will be the last thing I say on the Beatles and we can move on. But I thought of myself in John Lennon. Because he has a running joke. A dumb running joke through the entire eight hours. He references of Rolling Stones special and they introduced the special with someone like intro and I was like, let a gentleman your host for the evening. The Rolling Stones. And John Lennon like right before they start rehearsal or a song. He says it he’s like [Slim in John Lennon voice] ‘Ladies and gentlemen, your hosts for the evening, the Rolling Stones.’ and he says it like six times. That’s like, when Danny and I play Apex, every time I joined chat, I just say Lin Manuel Miranda’s name like a jackass. It’s like last week, and I thought when John Lennon was doing it, I was just cracking up because it’s so funny.

PROTO Yeah. He’s a special —

SLIM Great hair. Great shoes.

PROTO Go ahead, Danny.

DANNY I have nothing else to say. I have nothing to say.

PROTO What did you watch?

SLIM Hold the phone. Danny was just guest starring on — speaking of LMM, those LMM heads out there. Just reminder, if you don’t hear about LMM, you can use the chapters in this episode. You were just on a special episode of the Cinenauts podcast talking about Tick, tick… Boom!

DANNY Tick, tick… Boom!

SLIM Tell us about it.

DANNY Yeah, one night, we were doing something and I came. It was, I don’t know, we showed up late home in case was going to watch a movie, but I was coming to play Xbox with you Slim. And she’s like, have you heard about Tick, tick… Boom! And I said, Yeah, I don’t know much about it. I know. It’s Andrew Garfield, musical, etc. They care. I was like, you can watch without me. It’s fine. I’m gonna go play it back Apex with Slim. And so she watches it without me. And then when she finished she’s like, you kind of have to see this. And so the next night I watched it, we watched it together. And when I talk about this more in depth on the episode, but I felt like there — I know this sounds insane. But there was a moment where I saw myself in this performance of Jonathan Larson. And I connected with this film way more than I thought I was going to. I say like, if Casey looked over at me watching this film, it was like I was watching a horror movie, like the way I watched Jonathan or even Andrew’s portrayal of Jonathan, the way his creative process was in creating this failure of a play. I was having an existential crisis watching this film. I was questioning everything about my life. I turn 40 Next year, what am I doing as an artist, as a professional artist? Like I was having a full on mental break and I went to — I mean even I told you then after when I watched it, I was about to play Xbox. And I was like, I don’t know if I can play tonight Matt.

SLIM You were shook.

DANNY I was a mess. It really affected me. I know, not everyone’s going to have the connection to this like I had. But I just saw choices that Jonathan made in his professional career to either, you know, do the thing where he’s making money for not what he wants to do with his art or live his life — I don’t know. I was a mess watching this and it’s honestly changed — it sounds so stupid to say it’s changed my life. But there is a way that I’m thinking of how I want my art career to look like and now it’s changing like it’s like I’m questioning what I’m doing I’m questioning why I’m doing it now and is just a different path that I feel like I’m on after watching this film. And it’s so wild to even say this and I know it sounds so stupid. But I’ve never connected with a film like I have like with this one before. It’s now up on my top four on Letterboxd.

SLIM Excuse me.

PROTO Wuuut?

DANNY I don’t know, I think about it daily. I really do think about what Jonathan went through daily and it’s just a wild story. And I say —I mean, we joke on the episode about needing to have safe people to talk to and I know you guys are safe to talk to. But I don’t expect you guys to watch this film. So I didn’t know how to — I needed a place to talk about it with people who loved it like I did. So that’s why we did the Cinenauts episode.

PROTO Do you guys remember when Andrew Garfield got absolutely bodied by Jesse Eisenberg? [Slim & Danny laugh]

DANNY This is what I’m talking about! This is why I couldn’t have the conversations.

SLIM We talked a little bit on Apex and maybe I’m gonna have this in my watchlist.

DANNY would love for you guys to watch it. I would love for nothing more than you guys to watch us and enjoy it. But I’m not gonna —

SLIM This will be a top secret wash. I might not even post this on Letterboxd. This is gonna be a private conversation with the three of us on Xbox.

DANNY It really is, if you don’t like musical theater, you may not enjoy it.

PROTO I have to be careful because I know I think if when I tell Jenna about this movie, show, she’s gonna want to watch it immediately. So I’ll probably, I see myself watching this with her. She’ll be totally down for this.

DANNY Listen. I will take your honest opinions on this film. You guys. I don’t need you guys to sugarcoat anything when you’re talking to me about it. Okay? Because I have no expectations for you guys. But I am a changed person after this film.

SLIM Well, Proto and I support you in every way.

DANNY I know you do. I love you guys.

SLIM However we can. Tony asked about season 11 of Apex Legends. How’s it going? Tony, I’m gonna be frank with you. I’m having the worst season of my life in Apex. I’m playing so bad on this new map. It’s like I’m playing with my feet on that controller. I don’t know what’s going on.

DANNY I can’t confirm or deny that statement. But Slim’s having a rough season.

SLIM It’s the hardest season so far for me.

PROTO That’s a shame.

SLIM Proto’s have the season of his life! Love the map, but I just can’t. I just can’t make it work this season. We have a lot to get to. Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring is our movie tonight. It’s just mere moments away. This is one of the most anticipated episodes we’ve ever done. We announced this a year ago. It’s like when WWF said Cena was fighting the rock again at WrestleMania and they announced it a year in advance. Remember that, Proto?

PROTO Yeah, I was there. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Let’s say hello to some new patrons that joined this week. Mike, James and Jess joined us on Patreon. You can join Get access to the VHS Village Discord, get access to discounts on prints, Danny’s beautiful prints on our Web Store, and access to exclusive episodes, which you can also do now on Apple or Spotify. So get your pick. And if you’re on the edge, I mean, we just posted the Matrix Revolutions episode, just for our supporters. The ratings on that episode may shock you. FYI. Proto, did you watch anything else this week?

PROTO I finally got around to watching, I guess I haven’t talked about this on the show — The Love which.

DANNY Oh yeah.

PROTO Gosh, this movie is so much fun. This came out in 2016. And a lot of people in our group have have seen this. Rated highly for the most part. And I just had a ball watching this. It’s about Elaine, who’s a witch. She’s a love witch. And she just loves to love. And she loves to give her love and to receive it. And she uses sex magic to make it happen.

DANNY Sex magic.

SLIM Great podcast name.

PRO That’s all you really, all you really need to know. And it was just, it’s just like such a fun movie. I just loved it. I gave it four stars. It’s shot to kind of feel like a movie from the 60s. So it’s kind of you know, it’s pretty campy, it you know, it looks a little hokey, but it’s it just kind of nails that because, you know, it’s it’s doing it on purpose. And you know, if you’re into that you’ll like it. If you’re not, it might be kind of like throw you off. But for me it was a ton of fun.

SLIM Yeah, I loved how she made that movie look like it was filmed in the 70s. Like if you gave that to somebody to watch. They’re like, is this film The 70s? Maybe?

DANNY Is it not?

SLIM No, it’s not. It’s modern day movie.

DANNY Wait, The Love Witch is a modern day movie?

SLIM She made everything look like a retro 70s film and she did amazing.

DANNY Oh, wow, that’s impressive. I’ve only thought of it being like a 70s, 80s movie.

SLIM Every week we give out a free year of Letterboxd Pro, you share the show on social media. And you’re entered to win a free year. So that gets rid of ads you get access to just a ton of stats about the movies that you watch. And then my favorite feature is to see where movies are streaming. So I can see when one of my watch listed movies is on Tubi, you know what I mean? And this week’s winner of a free year of Letterboxd Pro was VertigoXCured on Twitter. Just won a free year. We’re running late. I don’t even know if I have time to talk about a movie I watched.

DANNY Just pick one, quick, go.

SLIM Soldier of Orange.

DANNY Soldier of Orange.

SLIM Verhoeven. My boy. Benedetta. Robocop. Total Recall. Basic Instinct. Elle. The King. Andy in our Discord, which we I think we called out in our last full episode, we were talking about Verhoeven and we he was talking about a movie that was like out of print one of his first movies 1977, maybe it’s his first movie, I’m not sure, with Rutger Hauer and it’s out of print, only available on DVD. So he bought a copy on eBay. And we’re having a Possession esque ship around the DVD so people want to love it asked to see it get shipped to them and then you pass it down the line. So I finally got it. I liked it. Three and a half stars. Rutger Hauer. It takes place with it starts out with like some friends in college in the Netherlands as World War Two is kicking off and you know, Nazis coming in and taking over and then kind of joining the war not joining the war, which side are the joining, etc. So this is the probably the oldest movie I’ve seen with Rutger Hauer on it. So he’s really young. He is an absolute specimen, Rutget Hauer, he is a good looking man. He’s chiseled. Great to see him act in a younger role, because otherwise most people probably have only seen them in Blade Runner. You know, the gifs, you know, in the rain.

PROTO Does it feel like a Verhoeven movie?

SLIM Not to me, no. I just kind of know. You know, the science, the science fiction aspect of Verhoeven are my favorite ones. So those have definitely a Verhoeven style, and I’m only really recently in the last year or so getting into his more modern films like Elle. So I’m excited to see Benedetta. It’s time. We got to do it. We talked about this a year ago. Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, all December. We’re doing the trilogy. Next week is Two Towers. But first, we got to get into this one. The first one. Extended cut is the one we watch three and a half hours long, three and a half hours plus. Proto, are you prepared to walk us through the first film?

[music from Lord of the Rings plays]

PROTO Middle Earth is an ancient place. The land has lived through the First Age, in which the Divine Spirit Morgoth the first Dark Lord waged war against the volare. More goth was defeated by the other enter, and his threat was ended. In the Second Age, Sauron, a lieutenant of more goth, had a powerful ring forged the One Ring, into which he poured his power, which gave him the might to dominate men, dwarf, and elf alike. But a great alliance came together to overthrow Sarn and free the land from his enslavement. In that time, his great ring was last for 2000 years. Of these ages, much can be said, but our story is of the Third Age, and is concerning the fate of the One Ring and The Hobbit, Frodo Baggins. Frodo, along with his eight companions, leaves Rivendel on a quest to destroy the great ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Their journey is full of peril, pursued by orc wizard shadow and the Dark Lord Himself. The company must make the journey into the heart of Mordor or the whole world and fall into darkness.

DANNY I can hear the music.

SLIM I’m envisioning that slowly come after that one piece of music that I really love. Oh, boy, what a moment. Three of us. We’ve made it. Look at us.

DANNY We did it.

SLIM I just have so many notes to get into.

DANNY Can I start with one?

SLIM Please.

DANNY I figured we’ll start this off with a typical 70mm start. I hated the 4K.

SLIM Are we going to have a Dune start to this? [Slim laughs]

DANNY I turned it off and put my DVDs on.

SLIM Really?

DANNY I could not get past how bad the CG looks on this. And I never — not the DVD’s, not the blu-rays. I’ve never once questioned this movie and what’s being shown in front of me. When I can see the little kids wearing the Elijah Wood mask on their face, I turned it off. [Slim & Proto laugh] You should not see that. I was so frustrated. And even Gandalf in Bag End in the beginning looks so bad to me. I was done. I was finished. I am not watching these 4Ks anymore. I don’t need to count the pores on Ian’s nose to enjoy this film. I was done.

SLIM I thought you were going to talk about like the color grading, what turned you off.

DANNY I couldn’t even get to care about it. I just wasn’t even — I was so frustrated with these 4Ks. No thank you.

SLIM I mean people just tuning in for the first time on 70mm, they’re shutting it off. They’re like listen to these dorks playing grab a about the 4K.

DANNY Nerds.

SLIM Just sit tight, please. Pardon. What did you think of the 4k? Did you watch in 4k?

PROTO No, I didn’t. I watched it on my laptop as it was intended.

SLIM Can you back up and explain why you had to watch it on your laptop?

PROTO I mean, just you know not to spend so much time on it. But I think I mentioned on the show before, my two year old, I’ll name him. Albin. He broke my 4k TV. Oh well. What are you gonna do? It happens. Kids do things, right? So I had to find a lug out my 42 inch 1080P.

DANNY The dark ages.

PROTO Well, he broke that one too. [Danny laughs] So apparently it wasn’t a mistake. It wasn’t an accident. So yeah, I’m I’m down to no TVs at the moment. So I got to watch this the way I probably watched it, you know, circa 2004. You know, on a laptop. So I did I didn’t notice any of that 4K non sense. But you know, you saying that Danny that’s the experience. I had watching 1917. That was the first 4K I watched. And it took me out of the movie. It was like I’m so ready to watch this movie again. And it actually lessened the experience. So I can relate to that.

DANNY Yeah, I was I was totally taken out of it. I was like, I am not enjoying this like I normally do. I’m at this point. I was like I’m looking for flaws I need to turn this off now. I had to rectify the situation.

SLIM I haven’t seen this since — I think I had the DVDs, the OG DVDs. Probably. That was maybe the last time I think I watched this. I actually didn’t mind the 4k that much I didn’t think of I’m not like a hardcore viewer where I’m like, I’m probably seeing these things with their hairy ass feet. Probably in 4k. The rubber the rubberized stuff. Proto, what about your background with Lord of the Rings? What is it?

PROTO Background with Lord of the Rings? I will I read the books before the movies came out just barely. I think I had like Two Towers finished when the first one came out. And then like just finished Return of the King before Return of the King came out. And yeah, you know, I saw them all in theaters. And then when Return of the King was coming out, I went to see, I went to like an all day showing of the first two before the premiere of Return of the King. With like all my like close friends.

SLIM Eat your heart out with Marvel.

PROTO There was like 20 or 30 of us in the theater. Yeah, it was amazing. So yeah, an amazing experience with that. Yeah. And then of course, I mean, I’ve been watching, yeah, I’ve seen this one so many times. Like so many people. I watched this this time of year. It’s just like, I don’t know. It’s not even like this is a holiday movie. It’s like, like December is a Lord of the Rings month. It’s like the other way around, if that makes sense.

SLIM Makes perfect sense.

DANNY Yeah, right there with you.

SLIM Did you read the books growing up, Danny, what’s your background with the Lord of the Rings saga?

DANNY My background is only the Ralph Bakshi animations of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I watched those quite a bit, especially The Hobbit one, The Lord of the Rings one isn’t great. I mean, yeah, it’s fine. But I love that Hobbit animated and so that was only my background before these movies came out. And then since I’ve listened to the audio books of the Lord of the Rings. How about you? What’s your history?

SLIM You know, I don’t really remember i This might shock people but I have a really bad memory. Amanda has long said that I need to be getting gingko biloba ASAP into my system to try to maintain whatever I have. So I remember seeing these, I remember having the CD of the soundtrack when I was younger also. I remember seeing it in theaters. I remember being excited about it. But I had zero interest in reading the books. Like I’m not, I was never going to touch those things. So the movies were kind of it for me. I’m not a hardcore LOTR person. Like Dale, you know, on staff at 70mm, producer at large. Like he’s been to those like big Fathom Events or whatever the hell they are. We’re like they’re playing this isn’t the soundtrack or the there’s like people playing the instruments as the music’s going on. They’re playing like specialized interviews with this with the cast and stuff. So I have never been like that kind of person. But I also like mentally loop in Lord of the Rings with like, for better or worse, people that play like RPGs and like MMO RPGs. Like I’ve never been into that stuff either. So like mentally it’s just not my bag. Really.

PROTO Yeah, if that makes sense. Y

SLIM Sitting down to this one. How is this movie even real? Like how did Peter Jackson get this gig?

DANNY Not with his track record.

SLIM I know The Frighteners right before this.

SLIM Who’s giving him the rights to The Lord of the Rings, to film a trilogy all at once in New Zealand?

DANNY What was that sexual puppet movie he did? [Slim laughs]

SLIM Excuse me?

DANNY I’m being serious.

SLIM I don’t remember that one. Unless you’re talking about Basket Case.

DANNY No, Meet the Feebles. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Oh. So like, yeah, I’m on the wiki. I literally was about to Google. Like, how did Peter Jackson get Lord of the Rings? Because like he bought the rights to I guess the movie production from somebody and was able to get funding. It just boggles the mind. Right? Like, this could be the biggest failure. This could be some zilch making a trilogy. It just feels like such a gamble. Right?

DANNY Major gamble. Yeah, I definitely agree. And it’s wild that like he’s such a fanboy. And this feels like the level of detail in these three movies. It feels like only a fanboy could accomplish this like someone who is who is wanting the story to be told a specific way but told to a degree where it makes his fanboy life happy. Only he could really have produced this.

PROTO Yeah, cuz even to write a screenplay for Lord of the Rings like the undertaking of that alone. The source text is so dense it just to be just to take it and try to convert it to a movie is is incredible that alone and then the fact that the thing that I was struck the most watching this is just like how many iconic shots there are in this movie to me, like I could have been screenshotting but if I would have screenshot I probably would have had like 100 screenshots, of just even moments that are like small. But just like when I see it, it’s like, it’s like logged in my memory, this this frame that I’m seeing. And it just looks so good. Like, there’s so many moments that are so small, that just like stay with me. And when you think of how they were like put together like the amount of like effort that would have been put in to it. And some of them are really small, like the one that’s just like popped into my head now is when they’re at Bri and the ring rates are coming up to kill the hobbits. And you see the innkeeper. And he’s like cowering up against like the bar. And the ring rates are passing by with their blades out like that scene, that shot is so perfect. And it like communicates so much. And the movie is filled with so many short moments like that of shots that are just iconic. Yes. And I just don’t know how you write the screenplay, you do all the work that’s involved to make this monstrous trilogy. And then you still have these amazing cinematic shots that seemed like it took so much time to craft them.

DANNY Gosh, I mean, my first note is literally just the Shire. Like every inch of like, every ounce of my being I just want to live there like I just want to it just pains me every time I watch these seeds how much I love how this is filmed. Just when it slowly like, like pans into a Bag End and Bilbo sitting there writing and it’s just going through. It’s just, I’m just like yes, I need I want this in my life, like number one on my bucket list is to get to New Zealand and see this area of of Hobbiton. And, like it kills me that I just want to go there so bad and watching it on film every time. Just even Frodo laying on the tree stump smoking or waiting for Gandalf and it kills me. I love the beginning of this film so much.

SLIM Jokingly said cue the music. Spotify if you’re listening, don’t kick us off for the amount of music that’s gonna be in this episode that’s going to be playing under Danny just then. Just cut us a break, Spotify. You have hearts too, don’t you?

[music from Lord of the Rings plays]

PROTO Well, even before that, you know, the opening of just giving you a brief rundown of where we are. Probably my favorite opening of any movie ever. Like that experience of you know, the music kicking in The Lord of the Rings title popping up. But just like the whole, like the battle losing of the ring. It creates, like it creates like a like a moment in my like personhood as I experience, like I’m back. I’m like back to this place that I love so dearly. That, that I don’t have with like other movies. And it’s weird because it is almost like that. And I think maybe this is why I like so many people equate it to this time of year is that it gives me almost like a nostalgic, sentimental feeling. But for a movie and I only can relate to that like of how I feel about like Christmas as like a kid with my family it like it engages that same part of my brain. And that’s why like I want to I want to experience it at this time of year.

DANNY And the genius to me of that opening the intro is it gives you the absolute weight of this ring like without this intro who really cares that Frodo is carrying around this ring to Mordor. Like we see the power of the ring in this quick 15 minute intro and it’s And it really is there for the people who have no idea what they’re getting themselves into with the Lord of the Rings. And it’s a quick this is why the ring matters, this is why it has to be destroyed this is the power it can have over men and the weak minded and etc etc etc. And it’s brilliant even though I mean another on the lines of the weight of the ring when the when the ring is in the hand and it falls on the ground and the noise that makes in Bag End. That thud. Every time I just like smile because I love that that effect of the ring and just showing the weight and like metaphorically and physically of this ring.

PROTO You haven’t aged a day. [Slim & Danny laugh]

SLIM Sarah in chat watched it for the first time I think this week. But Sarah, was there a rating attached to that Letterboxd review or is that not rated? I can’t remember. I must’ve missed it. Sorry, what was it? Please. Someone help me. Oh three and half stars? Okay.


SLIM Let’s move on. [Slim & Danny laugh]

SLIM Part two was higher she says. Yeah the intro fight like I can’t stress enough like this is 2001 and I also got a kick out of them calling him the Dark Lord. I always love that in Harry Potter. All the stuff looks great, like that fight scene him coming down with that amazing armor like and and swatting the armies away. That stuff still looks great in like much of the science fiction or action whatever with CGI around this time does not look good. So I was still kind of be like really impressed that, you know, it’s got a emotion it’s got amazing score, but in my opinion the CGI is still great. Like there’s no that I was never like that looks pretty bad. Like there that never happened for me and I was watching the 4k. So I mean this movie probably still looks rock solid no matter what format you’re watching it on. Proto, how was that laptop’s 1280 resolution?

DANNY The fans on that laptop alone.

PROTO It was alright. I think the one of the reasons that like the CGI still looks so good is it is like that period where things kind of looked like extra shiny, and like glossy and like not enough detail on it. But whenever like there’s CGI with action it seems like it’s almost like sped up just a little bit so that it it’s kind of blurry and you don’t actually see everything too closely and it works really well because then you kind of like it kind of looks like a blur so you don’t you don’t really make it focus on it. And he does a lot of cool stuff with I feel there’s like a lot of slomo in this and then there with the action there’s like a lot of that where it’s where it like speeds up and you know it’s pretty quick. Especially like this scene in Moria with cave troll. Everything goes very fast there it looks good. It makes it look like frenetic.

SLIM You know It also reminded me to of the scene with the fire demon or whatever the hell thing drags Gandalf down. I remember that from a video game hardcore and I know we said this in the Harry Potter episode like Chamber Secrets must have been like a PS2 game whatever but like I remember this entire movie from a Lord of the Rings game. Wasn’t there a popular Lord of the Rings like PlayStation game that had come out around this time?

PROTO Yeah, there was a few like action hacking slash games. Yeah, and there was you know that you say that there was one like setting the Shire? I don’t know if that was, I remember playing that now that you say that, I feel like.

SLIM Two Towers, a few comments in chat. Yeah, I think I remember Two Towers like PlayStation cover or something that I might have played. Danny what else on your list?

DANNY The perfection that is Vigo as Aragorn Strider and his intro. Every time I watch it it just kind of gives me the chills him in the corner booth smoking the pipe cloak over his head and then him just I don’t know just taking instant charge of these hobbits, these idiots in this bar and literally saving their lives from the ring rates. I love the intro to Strider. I think, I mean Vigo in this whole film, I mean in the whole trilogy alone. Vigo, he’s the best. I really do love him a lot but I really love his intro because I love the action in Brea. The bait and switch with the bodies in the beds and just the absolute terror that is The Ring, that segment alone I love a lot.

SLIM Also that like scene with him and Liv Tyler, there’s probably like names people have the scenes I’m sorry, I’m not gonna just rattle them off. He references you know, his like last love, I think in a couple scenes before that, right, with the hobbits. And then they are speaking together. I thought that was like — and I hesitate to bring up Dune.

DANNY Thank you.

SLIM But the moments in between characters, everything is perfect. You care about everyone in this movie, and you barely even know them. And there’s joy and there’s emotion, there’s happiness, and there’s pain and you’re so invested in this movie with every character. And that’s so hard to do. And I don’t want to harp on Peter Jackson, just like having a miracle happen. But it’s a miracle.

PROTO And it’s not just like, a love, you know, romantic relationship. It’s like Gandalf with Frodo. Gandalf with Bilbo, Aragorn and Frodo. Frodo and Sam Wise. All of these different characters, they all have their intertwined. Boromir with Frodo. Boromir with Aragorn. It’s like, all of these characters have had time to form these relationships. And you’ve seen it and you see the emotional connection they have with each other. It’s amazing.

SLIM Danny, what else is on your list?

DANNY It’s still my turn? The Weathertops. I mean, I’ve got to talk about this whole damn movie, if we’re not careful. I love the Weathertop sequence when they have to stomp out the fire because the hobbits have to eat for the fifth time that day. And Aragorn is just a badass. Again, on the top of this Watchtower fighting off the ring wraiths I mean, it’s such a cool sequence. And I love it. I love the floppy arms of the ring, right that catches on fire, and how it’s is like so terrible, but I still love it. And I look forward to every time.

PROTO Yeah, that’s a good point. There’s so many moments where things should look hokey, and kind of have that, like, men are dressed up in cosplay and look stupid kind of feel to it. But for me, it never fully gets there. I think like that scene a little bit when the ringwraiths are like running around the especially with the one with as like that the torch in its face. That was just like a comedic moment. I think when they’re at Rivendell, and they’re like sitting down and they’re in broad daylight. Like, it looks like you’re getting very close to like, are these guys just LARPing on us right now? That scene on you know, Weathertop it. So I was trying to like just see other things I haven’t noticed before. And I noticed that Peter Jackson, he does so many shots from like, I don’t know the technical terms, but it’s like, either, you know, like below a character looking up or above them looking down. And then he does it often where there’s like an object in between the two. And it just creates like, you know, a lot of perspective and it makes it feel very cinematic. So that scene on the Weathertop when the ring wraiths takes the blade and stabs Frodo, like that just looks so good. Like I don’t know what else to say. But there’s there’s just like so many moments like that where it’s just, you know, there’s just a fine or like a nice finish to the moment of action that communicates so well like what’s happening. And he does that again with the the cave troll in Moria where were Frodo gets stabbed there as well.

DANNY The ringwraiths coming out of the fog is what I picture every time Slim is trolling me. Like I’m waiting for him to come out of the fog and stab me. [Slim laughs]

SLIM One note that I have. Frodo, says I’m ready to go home. And I wrote in my notes, Frodo, we’re in hour one of this trilogy. [Danny laughs] You are in for it my friend. [Slim laughs] I was cackling as I typed that in my phone. The music.

DANNY The amount of art that I have created listening to the Fellowship of the Ring score is unreal. I mean I use this as my go-to for when I need no talking. Nothing in my ear that could make me be distracted. I mean this score just sends me every time. It puts me in an amazing place. [music from The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring plays]

SLIM The score might be the reason why you got kicked off Twitch too.

DANNY You know it might be why I got silenced on Twitch.

PROTO There’s I mean, there’s so many parts of it. One of them I love is I don’t know what it’s called. But just whenever they go to Eisengard. For the orcs like that, to me, it’s like it triggers in your head like, oh, here we go. Yeah, I love that. Like it’s just there’s such a connection with what you’re hearing and what you’re seeing on the screen.

DANNY So true. There’s a point in when Gandalf falls into the shadow and they start to run but the music gets soft, and it does the high choral singing as they’re running out of the minds. And it it honestly almost makes me well up but the hairs on my neck just stand every time. That kind of kicks in because it just gives me the chills. It’s so perfect.

SLIM I also love seeing the statues, those like giant statues as they were in the water and like I love I like to kind of like the lore of the world like the dead lore. I love that stuff in most movies, it just looks so badass here. Proto, anything else?

PROTO I have a question. So does — how should I phrase this?

DANNY Phrase me.

PROTO What breaks the immortality of an elf?

DANNY Choice.

PROTO Choice. What choice?

DANNY You have to choose to become immortal.

PROTO Is that true?

SLIM He said it with conviction. [Slim laughs]

PROTO All right. We’ll go with that. Because I’m wondering when Arwin and Aragon and she’s like I choose you. But like all right, like so when went like what happened? What changes? You know? Like why is she not going to be immortal anymore? Is it just a choice?

DANNY I think she has the choice because she’s half human. Or he’s part human. And so they can choose to live the human side but I could be speaking on my ass but I’m pretty sure that’s a part of it as well.

PROTO I don’t remember it.

SLIM Get the intern on it. See what we can dig up.

PROTO Cut this out. Cut it out. [Slim laughs]

DANNY We want people mad at us on the internet. Let them respond.

SLIM Boromir’s death.

DANNY Stop it.

SLIM Boromir.

DANNY We’re already jumping to this?

SLIM Save the little ones!

PROTO I would have followed you, my brother, my captain.

DANNY Name a better death in a movie. I dare you.

SLIM What a scene. During this whole watch, you know, the memes you have been done to death about this movie. And as I said that Seantana posted one. But the scenes was with Sean Bean. And I was like this been so on. So watch this. And I was thinking like, Man, this guy is weak as hell, he’s gonna get that ring, boy, no matter what. I was like thinking to myself, like, well, you know, he’s just kind of like a regular dude, that is very difficult to say NO to temptation, and it just costs him at the end. But he makes up for it. Towards the end. Man, what a death scene. What a character.

PROTO And how much has led up to that moment of these moments of like him, you know, saying we should use it to fight the enemy. My people have been the ones who’ve been holding back, you know, you know, Soron and his armies, like we could wield this. And then just that even that monologue he has when he’s trying to get it from Frodo, like you’ll betray all of us, you know, and it makes so much sense of a man who has been, you know, just overcome by this and it plays into that idea of just like so much of how men are weak in this world. They’re like, really the weakest of the races and are so easily corrupted. And here is Boromir you know, just like, you know, given in right away, but redeeming himself. I’ve seen this and, you know, people were all *’Oh, Boromir, Boromir.’ I was like, ah c’mon. I cried again! I cried again. [Proto laughs]

DANNY Oh my gosh. It’s such an incredible scene. So brilliantly paced to with him, just taking each arrow I’ve made it. I still kind of cringe up every time it hits them. It’s such a sound to that they make it those are those are like torpedoes, those are not normal arrows. I couldn’t imagine like and he’s still fighting them off blowing the horn. It’s just he’s, he’s brilliant and he’s such a great character. It’s so good to have that kind of character where you you see the power of like the ring, like taking hold of him because everyone in the fellowship Gimli, Legolas they’re all just kind of there for the ride. They’re not being affected by this ring at all, but to see it take one of them and slowly have him turn on Frodo and it’s really smart.

SLIM The sound of the bow being pulled back alone.

DANNY Because they cut all the sound out. It’s just the sound of the stretching.

SLIM Even the fight scene right after that, it that quick. Like that was one of the best fight scenes in a movie. It feels like a last like five seconds. It’s so quick. But man just the way it plays out. It’s it looks so cool. To film so well. Everything about it.

PROTO Yeah. When he throws the shield at him and it hits him in the neck. And then but the most badass thing is when he when the the orc throws the dagger at him and he slashes it with his sword.

DANNY Oh the dagger that he pulled out of his thigh that Aragorn put there.

PROTO He licks it first.

DANNY Ugh, love it.

SLIM Who’s up? Danny, is that you?

DANNY Is it me? I got to go back a bit to Moria and the cave troll segment when they reached the tomb, and Gimli is a mess. And the fool of a tuk knocks, the longest bit, comedic bit in the movie where he’s knocking the bucket down though well, that wakes up the oil. Yeah, I love that entire segment of Gandalf reading the last words of whatever the person is that’s taking the the troll stenographer of the of the time. I just love that scene with everyone gets into form Legolas with this bow and then Gimli on the tomb with those axes and just firing the arrows off like that whole segment and the battle. It’s so well done, cutting back and forth of them fighting with the troll and the surprise of the mythril that Frodo’s wearing its eye that scene is so killer. And then you lead into the Balrog which is one of the most incredibly designed creatures in all of cinema. Every time I see it on screen, I get so excited because it’s so badass the just every time when it when it does that roar, and it’s that like, furnace kind of sound coming out of its mouth. It just gives me the chills. It’s so badass. It’s such an incredible creature design.

PROTO When Gandalf is reading from the book. There’s a line that describes I’m assuming it’s describing the Balrog, but it’s written, it says a shadow moves in the dark. And like what, what a great description of a creature like that where it doesn’t make any sense. But yeah, it’s just a great line.

SLIM How much does Universal need to pay for the theme park rights to build a Lord of the Rings land in Florida? Like can you imagine?

DANNY I honestly feel like conversations have happened. I think even conversations have happened with Disney about it. But I don’t know.

SLIM That’s like multi billion dollar deal. And it opens in like 2030 in Florida.

DANNY And then I mean, you come to the one of the greatest sequences with Gandalf on the bridge, you shall not pass. I mean, that whole badass segment is so good. I mean, them jumping from the falling pillar. It still looks kind of bad. Just the way it’s filmed. But getting to the part where you watch Gandalf fall. It’s so good. So good.

PROTO What’s great about that, too, is, you know, you’re, you’re not really I want to say you’re expecting Gandalf to die at this moment, right? Like he’s the wizard. He’s incredibly powerful. So if you’re watching this, you know, and you see him fall. It kind of subverts maybe your expectations of what’s going to happen in this. Like if Gandalf can die. Anyone could die, right? Like it totally changes the The rules are what you might expect from a story like this. Which is so great. And then of course, Boromir dies. So like, you’re, you’re watching this movie, and at the end of it, and it’s like, you’re left with these two, these two main characters who seem so huge, dying. It’s like, wow, like, you know, who knows what’s gonna happen now. So just in terms of cliffhangers or endings, I think this is like, it just worked so well to tell you that, like, no one is safe. And you You have no idea what might happen next.

DANNY I definitely agree with you on that.

SLIM So these movies came out one year apart. So when this movie ended, he had to wait a year to see the next one, if I remember correctly. One of my last notes is the final scene with Frodo and Sam, you know, Frodo getting in that little boat, gets a little hairy little feet in that boat, pushing off. And Sam coming after him. And I wrote my last note, I made a promise Mr. Frodo. Am I my tearing up right now? With this music happening. What a scene, right? I mean, also, just like them ending the movie together. Like you are so invested. Even if you don’t read the books, like you’re invested in, I want to see what happens next, they’re going to save the little hobbits in the B plot. And these two need to get to get rid of this ring. You know, just a fantastic ending to this movie.

DANNY My final note for I mean, we didn’t talk about Gladriel. But I love Cate Blanchett, and this as well. But anyway, when Frodo makes it to the beach, and he’s in tears, I’m in tears. He’s holding the ring, and it has the voiceover in his head. He says, I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had ever happened. And then Gandalf comes to him, and you see it in his eyes that he can hear Gandalf spirit or whatever —

[clip of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring plays]

DANNY Like that gives me the chills every single time. Like I love that segment. I feel like it’s straight on the book. It’s just killer conversation between the two of them.

PROTO Yeah, it’s the line of the movie. Yeah, we talked a little bit about Moriah. But I do have to say Gandalf is my favorite character in all of Lord of the Rings, and the mines of Moria is my favorite sequence of all the movies to me, like, this movie is great in so many ways. But Moriah makes this movie to me. And in so many ways. It’s like the best representation of like, like you were saying Slim, really like a fantasy RPG. Like this is Dungeons and Dragons. This is a party entering a dungeon, getting trapped in a room. And, you know, there’s your through your dwarf, your elf, your wizard, your ranger, they’re all there. It’s like, it’s the best representation of that, like ever on a screen. I think the, you know, I love the concept, you know, this is, you know, just, it’s throughout all of fantasy, but of just like, you know, dwarves in mines, right? And like that scene where they go into that, that open cavern that these dwarves have dug out that’s like, it’s so big that, you know, Gandalf, his staff can even light and if for any of the ends of it, it’s, you know, it’s like the it’s bigger than you can comprehend. And it’s underground. Like the it’s just it, it communicates so much and it’s it’s so amazing and imaginative. And it just makes you want to, you know, experience this and it makes you wonder if like, how many people have seen this movie and like, you know, what has it inspired people to love or to like, you know, get into and to read about and you know, where like, where has it taken them in in life. It’s it’s just like this movie does so much in that regard. I think in terms of inspiration and, and opening your imagination to new worlds. That, you know, probably so many people accredit to it.

SLIM Is Gandalf the your favorite character in all books? If not, who?

DANNY If you say Paul Atreides, I swear to God. [Slim laughs]

SLIM I’m cutting this out. That’s getting cut.

PROTO I don’t know. It might be Gandalf. I wanted to reread the books this year but who has the time?

SLIM How come Dune Pod hasn’t done the Lord of the Rings books? That’s feels like it’s right up their alley. Right?

PROTO It’s a good question. Yeah, you mentioned Cate Blanchett. I mean, the Gladriel stuff I love and I, I know parts of that is only in the extended I don’t know which. But gosh, that scene with her and Frodo at the well, where she offers him the ring. Every time I see that I love that scene so much more. And just the cont the idea of like this, you know, both her and Gandalf are tempted by the ring. And just seeing her like show what she would be if she had that. You almost want to be like, let me try it on.

DANNY Yeah, are you sure you want to put this on? [Proto laughs]

PROTO Can we get a an alternate ending here? Because it just looks amazing.

DANNY One of my favorite behind the scenes is with her and how they wanted to make her look not just magical, but like the depth of her eyes. And so whenever she’s facing the screen, they have this giant net of Christmas lights that are reflecting into her eyes to give it the Galaxy type look. And I think about it all the time. Whenever I see her eyes up close that that’s a net of Christmas lights causing this effect. And I just love it.

SLIM Time to replicate that shot at home. You have like five Christmas trees up in your house.

DANNY That’s true. I’ll do it later for you guys.

SLIM I hit most of my notes, so I’ll give my final thoughts. I had a great time watching the extended cut. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the extended cut before. It never felt long to me. So I’m coming from the perspective of someone that is not a hardcore Lord of the Rings fan. It just felt so fun to watch it. Music is incredible. The acting. The characters. The emotion between those characters. The emotion that gave me. So five stars for Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring extended edish. Danny?

DANNY Yeah, this is a movie that I cherish with from every ounce of my body. This is a five star movie all day long. I wish I could give it more. i This is my favorite of the trilogy, even though it’s it’s a it’s probably not the it’s not the best. But this is my favorite movie. I could watch this one without seeing the others all the time. This is such a special movie. There’s something about the beginnings of these stories that I just kind of love and Fellowship does it for me every time. Yeah. Five stars.

PROTO Yeah, I feel it’s the same way of just like what Danny said this movie, it’s just special in the way it’s special to so many people. I don’t really have anything other to add. I just, I love it dearly. And I’m always excited to watch it when I get a chance. Five stars.

SLIM Joining the echelon of 15 bangers on the wall we need like a Hall of Fame plaque of the banners that like you know when when hockey teams win the Cup, the banner drops, yeah, that year. We’ll come up with something better and workshopping right now. Alright, so next week, Lord of the Rings The Two Towers. You have a few ways to watch it if you don’t own them. HBO Max, it’s on there. Right? Might even be on Netflix. I think it’s somewhere else too. But we have some VMs and a letter to get to you can shoot us either those at There’s links on there. So let’s get into that right now. Let’s go right to — return to the king. Let’s go right to the king right here.




A podcast for film lovers, inspired by Letterboxd.