The New Zealand Herald
January 21, 2001

LOTR Trailer Promises Great Things to Come
Staff Reporter

You could say it's a sight for sore ears - we've heard so much about Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, it's about time the other senses participated.

They certainly did that today.

For after the one minute 44 seconds of film that constituted the first cinema trailer for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy rolled at the 12.30 pm session of The Cell, some odd symptoms kicked in. There was a lumpening of the throat, a tingling of the spine, and a general irrigation of at least one tear duct.

It looks fabulous, right from its opening frames when the ring, its inner engraving shining in firelight, spirals into the hands of Elijah Wood's Frodo.

Then it's on through battlefields (one an ashen grey teeming with armoured figures, another recognisably Canterbury tussock country), a shot of the fellowship of the ring trekking up a snowbound ridge (Mount Somewhere-in-the-South Island? Or Ruapehu?), close-ups of Sir Ian McKellen as a weathered wizard Gandalf and Cate Blanchett who, as Galadriel, delivers the only line of dialogue of the trailer to a wide-eyed Frodo: "Even the smallest person can change the course of time."

Yes, it also does all the usual trailer things - like having a man of very deep voice delivering a cosmic commentary, while the sweeping accompanying music sounded to these ears like a near-relation of Carl Orff's heroic Carmina Burana, though it may just be there for the trailer.

It saved its best for last. A vivid oil painting of a shot set against background of a sky of otherworldly blue and a mountain where the Fellowship of the Ring nearly stride out of the screen in slow motion, with the warrior-like Boromir (Sean Bean) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bringing up the rear and showing Middle Earth is no testosterone-free zone.

Funnily enough, straight after the trailer came a New Zeland Army recruitment advertisement - quite a few soldiers were extras and builders on the trilogy.

Yes the trailer is running on the internet too but up on the big screen, it already looks like a couple of hundred million dollars well spent and - if we can be so bold - that on looks alone, the project of our Mr Jackson is a surefire hit. If nothing else, it's the best 104 seconds I've spent at the cinema in ages.