Wednesday, May 27, 2009
If you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, be sure to check out The Hunt for Gollum.
Within two minutes you will be amazed, because this is a fan-made movie. That is, it was done by motivated, skilled, dedicated fans, not by a big-money studio. As such, it really is a remarkable achievement. The production values, the sets, the costumes, the makeup, the music, the camera-work, and even the CGI, are all incredibly impressive. For a fan-made movie, it's a marvel.
Now that "for a fan-made movie" is not meant as a note of condescension. It is simply an expectation-setter, so that you give it a fair view.
The actors are for the most part adequate or better. The gent who plays Gandalf (Patrick O'Connor) is quite good. I'd like to have seen a lot more of him, and less of....
Unfortunately the weak link is the man who plays Aragorn. He mostly looks the part (though I was too conscious of his eyelashes in some shots; what was up with that?). He has a good physical presence, does the very impressive action scenes quite well.
But he is almost completely expressionless. Either he has few skills as an actor, or he comes from the Old School that the best way to depict fantasy is to affect an ethereal trance. His expression almost never changes at all, unless you count an unfortunate tendency to let his mouth hang open.
(Oh dear. After writing this I go to the cast page and find that the actor is Adrian Webster, and he is described as "a strong actor with a thoughtful gaze." Oh, so that's thoughtful, not unnervingly vacant. Well, decide for yourself.)
Though I've read the books many, many times, I'm not a Tolkien scholar. But I do think they added a brief bit of ancestor-worship that is not in keeping with Tolkien, right towards the start.
It is about 40 minutes, and it's time well-spent. The fight-scenes are intense, and a couple of the deaths are a bit violent and lingering, so you might preview it before showing it to your younger, more tender 'uns. I'd probably rate it PG-13. But if you're at all an LOTR fan, it's definitely worth watching.