Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Composed by: Howard Shore

J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic Lord of the Rings was for a long time considered unfilmable. The key issue was the length and scope of the book trilogy. In fact it was meant to be one book and was only released as a trilogy when publishers didn’t want to overwhelm readers with a 1,000 page tome. Film studios on the other hand were wary of committing to three movies, fearing the financial falllout should the first one bomb. The story was also impossible to squeeze into one film, a feat that many rejected screenplays attempted. Finally New Line Cinema took a chance, having Peter Jackson simultaneously direct three movies. The series succeeded expectations and now studios have the bad habit of releasing open-ended movies in anticipation of a film series.

Lord of the Rings is about a powerful ring which is trying to be returned to its owner, the dark lord Sauron. The only way to destroy it is to cast it into the volcano from where it was forged. The half-sized Hobbit Frodo is tasked with this, and is helped by fellow Hobbits, men, elves, dwarves, and even the wizard Gandalf the Gray. I regard the first film as the best, likely because the source material was easier to adapt. The first book, Fellowship of the Ring, was chronological while the next two acts are split into halves which don’t line up. There were less opportunities for questionable deviations. Fellowship also had Sean Bean’s Boromir, the only element in the films to be superior to its book counterpart. Continue reading

Van Helsing

Van Helsing by Alan Silvestri on Amazon Music - Amazon.com

Composed by: Alan Silvestri

Following up his Mummy sequel, Stephen Sommers moved on to Universal’s European stable of horror figures. The result, Van Helsing, is more of a superhero action flick, devoid of any true horror elements. The overstuffed plot is about a member of the legendary vampire-hunting family, Gabriel van Helsing, and his war against Dracula. However, he must also contend with Mr. Hyde, several Werewolves, Frankenstein’s Monster, and even the lab assistant Igor. Alan Silvestri also re-partnered with Sommers moving away from his adventurous, desert-tinged Mummy material to a gothic action extravaganza. Continue reading