The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings

A nullity unperturbed by any thought of the cinema. The critics proclaimed the emperor most darlingly madeover (it was hardly greenlit on a midscale megabudget for nothing).

Oozy green, “because you are green, you oaf,” as little Richie Rich says in The Go-Between. A giant twat aflame figures digitally in this sword-and-sorcery video game, with Sir Ian McKellen as Captain Picard as King Lear, Sir Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins, and Lillian Gish as Frodo. Christopher Lee is aboundingly philosophical (he says to his hordes, “you shall taste manflesh!”), and Liv Tyler manages to keep a straight face amidst the empirical array (which counts among its fey absurdities Cate Blanchett, who is glommed by the compositor after cutting a bit of a swath).

In all fairness, one can no more credit its popular success in the face of what it very plainly is, than one can confidently bless an American election result, when exit polling varies so dramatically from the announced tabulation, yet hardly anyone seems to have pointed out the discrepancy in either case.

How very much one would like to hear Jarry’s “Tatane” sung by the Orff-Choir here, or in any of the identical product manufactured by The WB or Fox or UPN. “A quarter in a Coke machine,” Eisner calls his ideal director. A slug will serve at a pinch. “To the Eyes of a Miser a Guinea is more beautiful than the Sun,” says yet another WB.

Airy-fairy to a piss-poor fault, a dismal greenish thing, Yoda’s nightmare. Bad Shakespeare, or rather a run-of-the-mill production of something called The Tragedy of Stentor. Endless close-ups of the titular bauble.

Digital hokeshit, whose natal tongue isn’t Elvish but Nerdish. Yet Holm by dint of technical mastery and sheer artistic skill makes himself at home in it pleasantly (there is, furthermore, one lovely shot just before the end, mauve river reflecting the sky, dark bank reaching away to the horizon, lasting a second or so...).