Everyone has expectations about this movie. I imagine most of you have read the books. You all have ideas about what a Balrog looks like. What Gandalf is like. And yes, hell, even what the ring should look like. And you simply can't expect a movie to meet everyones ideas... but this thing came just as close as I could have hoped.
In short, there aren't many great movies that come out any more... but this is one of them. Everyone seems nearly perfectly cast. The special effects are nothing short of brilliant. The sets from the Shire on out look so wonderful and believable that you just wanna move in... until the Ring Wraiths show up and make everything all miserable.
Elijah Woods pulls off Frodo quite well. Yeah maybe he fell down one to many times, but the angst is believable. And Gandalf? His desire for the ring is intense and his actions are truly heroic.
I can't imagine a film adaptation of perhaps the best book ever written being done better. The first 45 minutes are a bit slow going, but once the Fellowship starts coming together I just didn't want to blink.
I could find things to nitpick about: some scenes the audio mix wasn't quite right, but that could partially have been the mediocre sound system in the theater: dialog was a bit muffled under the music. Some of the effects were noticably CG, but those were rare. Quite frankly nobody has done CG monsters as convincingly in a film to date. There was a handful of shots that looked faked, and all the rest seemed as perfect as could be.
God damn. The hype is warranted. The wait was worth it. But 12 months for the next one? At least I have my copy of FFX to keep me occupied during maybe 40 hours of the next 8,760 or so I have to wait. But who's counting?