Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) ***1/2
Just about everything hits in Peter Jackson’s inaugural nerd derby: Sir Ian gives gravitas to Gandalf, few people can pull off mannered menace like Sir Christopher Lee, and Sean Bean gets to practice playing Ned Stark in more ways than one. The sweeping shots of Kiwi vistas make like cinematic post cards. Lone quibble: Am I the only fantasy dork on this warming globe who wishes these movies were shorter? If Return of the King Kerri Strugs the landing, this one spends too much time on the ramp-up. Fewer shots of pickin’ and grinnin’ Hobbits at the get-go would’ve been addition by subtraction.