Fellowship was even better than I expected, and I was expecting a lot. Sure, I have my gripes, but they seem like nitpicking in retrospect. Here are a few notes:

  • Everybody calls Sauron by name. In the book, few people are unwilling to say “Sauron” for fear of attracting his attention. Why would you change that?
  • If directors are going to do arrows-in-flight shots, they should really look at some videos of arrows in flight first. It looks much cooler than anything I've seen in a movie.
  • Why do fantasy movie archers always have to hold their bows sideways? It's just silly.
  • Showing Sauron in full armor wasn't so bad and it seems like a nice compromise with just having Gandalf or Elrond tell the Isildur story with no visual.
  • The fight scenes were great but it's too bad they succumbed to the trend towards jumpy, close-up camera work so it's hard to tell what's going on. I guess maybe that's necessary when you're working CG into fight scenes.
  • I like how they beefed up Arwen as a character, she is practically non-existent in the book.
  • I enjoyed everything from the Balrog on even more because it seemed more faithful to the book. I think that bodes well for the rest of the series.