Top positive review
Excellent source of movie info
on February 10, 2002
Perhaps the best movie I've ever seen is the movie adaptation of "Lord of the Rings." This book by Brian Sibley is a gold mine of info on the production and background of the movie -- and the exquisite care taken with every part of it.
The book begins with background information on, well, "Lord of the Rings" the novel; it then proceeds to the events leading up to Peter Jackson getting the budget and green light to make a movie trilogy - the bulk of which was shot in one big lump, not spaced a few years apart. Then a chapter on the choosing of New Zealand as an ideal shooting country, and the artists they hired to help them; then to the cast of characters and how they were hired. (Elijah Wood's story is particularly memorable)
We then have a one-page brief bio, filmography, and clips of interviews for each cast member (even Marton Csokas, even though he has one line in the whole movie). Then it's an extended talk on the stunning special effects -- including how they shrunk 5'6" actors down to child-size, and Orlando Bloom's memorable description of fighting a CGI troll; about how they made Hobbiton and the Shire look like hobbits had lived there for hundreds of years; the weaponry and armor of Middle-Earth, including the stunning Elf plate armor; costuming, why Frodo's outfit is different from the other hobbits, the nightmares of costuming Gandalf, and why Legolas and Gimli are polar opposites; the effects of wizard beards and hobbit feet, and a great deal more!
There are utterly delightful pictures sprinkled throughout it -- some never made it to the screen, though (Galadriel lecturing Arwen in Lothlorien, hobbits herding sheep, and Frodo sitting in a tree with a pipe). Most of the best pictures include Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortenson and, of course, the man at the helm. One particularly memorable pic has Jackson sprawled in front of the four laughing hobbits.
This is overall a warm and insightful movie guide, a must-read to know anything about what happened behind the scenes!