The LOTR Movie Site
April 8, 2000

The LOTR Preview Reel Reviewed
Matthew Bass

This reel can be summed up in Keanu's immortal words ... whoa ...

Lord of the Rings Title Screen

I don't even know where to begin here. We've been waiting for this moment since August of 1998, and now that the first shots from LOTR have been released I've realized that many of us have underestimated Jackson.

The preview was wonderful. It surpassed my every expectation. Many things looked exactly as I had imagined them when reading Tolkien's trilogy. True, there were minor imperfections, but that is to be expected with any film.

Anyway, here we go. Click on any image for a larger version.

The Forging of the One Ring

The reel opens with what could possibly be the forging of the One Ring. Remember in LOTR where is says the ring was "forged in blood?"

Lothlorien or Moria?

After that is shown brief glimpses of what appears to be a matte painting of a flet in Lothlorien. Some sites, however, are reporting that this is Moria.

Very Long Legs

Now this is a strange image. Is this going to be an Ent? More likely, they are using these "stilts" to help create the size difference for the Hobbits

.Theoden or Gimli?

Theoden or Gimli? I can say for certain that this is not John Rhys-Davies, so it must be either Theoden or another Dwarf. Nice prosthetics here.

The First Truly Spectacular Shot

This was the kicker, folks. Apparently, Jackson's cool MASSIVE software is being used here to generate <ahem> massive amounts of Orcs. Note the presence of Mt. Doom in the background. Nice touch. Very nice touch.

Arwen: Looks Like a Lady to Me

Ah, our first shot of Liv Tyler's Arwen. Nothing too scary. I still think she was not the best choice, but at least she doesn't look like a warrior here

Gandalf: No Hooked Nose

I couldn't mistake Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf. It works. It works dang well. No long nose, but at this point who cares? McKellen IS Gandalf.

Boromir w/the Ring?

This is a bit strange. Yes, that's Sean Bean. Boromir holding the Ring? And what's with those snowy mountains? Oh well, another year to go...

The Nazgul

All I can say is ... cool ... very cool ... exactly as I imagined them.

Frodo Baggins

Those Nazgul are pretty scary dudes, as Elijah Wood's Frodo demonstrates to us here. As with McKellen, Wood is Frodo ... exactly as I imagined him.

The Four Hobbits

The Nazgul approach our heroes on Weathertop. This scene looked a little strange in the preview, but I expect there is still some CG work to be done.

Which Side of the Misty Mountains?

This is obviously the Company, but which side of the Misty Mountains are they on? Are they departing Rivendell or are they near the Emyn Muil?

Orcs: Wicked, Very Wicked

These Orcs truly are <ahem> wicked. These must be Uruk-hai, because it's daylight. The alternative is that Jackson slipped up. Unlikely, I think.

Legolas Kicking Some Butt

My favorite character, Legolas, kicking some Orc butt. Love it.

Aragorn Playing Baseball?

This is a shot near the end of Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn throwing a burning torch (now shown) towards the camera. Most likely this is on Weathertop.

The Eye ... Perfection

The Eye of Sauron. Made me shiver. Has a unique feel to it, doesn't look to stupid, and doesn't look identical to a cat's eye. Perfection.

After the trailer was over I watched it again, of course ... and again ... and again. My tally is at around 24 viewings now, I think. I want more! It's going to be terrible having to wait another year and a half for this release.

In closing, for full coverage of the countdown (including countdown images and Shockwave animations, mirrors where you can download the trailer, and links to news articles regarding the release of the trailer) visit Countdown.