The hottest movie here yesterday drew a capacity crowd that needed a secret location and two sets of I.D. to get in – and all we saw was 25 minutes of it. But when you’re talking The Lord Of The Rings, the biggest thing since Star Wars, it’s to be expected. Director Peter Jackson was on hand to show a select press audience clips from all three chapters of the $300 million (U.S.) LOTR trilogy, the first of which, The Fellowship Of The Ring, arrives in theatres in time for Christmas.
Judging by what we saw, long-suffering fans can finally expect to get the screen adaptation they’ve always wanted of the beloved Tolkien classic about the hobbits, elves, dwarves and various other inhabitants of the tumultuous world known as Middle-earth. Ian McKellen is perfect as the wizard Gandalf, Ian Holm makes a fine shire squire Bilbo Baggins and Viggo Mortensen is the brave Aragorn who will make female hearts beat a little faster.
As for the special effects, which gloriously convert the mountains of New Zealand into Tolkien’s world, one comment will suffice for now: George Lucas, watch your back.