Ringers: Lord of the Fans (2005)
Directed by: Carlene Cordova
Premise: Documentary film about the fan base for J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy, The Lord of the Rings.
What Works: Ringers is knowledgeable about the subject matter and it treats the fans with respect; it has fun with them and shares their admiration of Tolkien’s work. The film addresses a wide range of topics related to the series and is able to weave them together in a narrative that is strong enough to hold its own and flexible enough to allow interesting tangents into various topics related to the mythology.
What Doesn’t: The film bites off more than it can chew and covers some levels of The Lord of the Rings phenomenon in very superficial ways; its coverage of The Lord of the Rings challenge to the literary establishment is done in a silly animation style and the film glazes over some of the deeper issues in Tolkien’s mythology.
DVD extras: Commentary track, deleted scenes, memorable Ringer confessions, featurettes, and photo gallery.
Bottom Line: Ringers makes a nice tribute to the fans of The Lord of the Rings and nicely summarizes the history of the series. Despite its mile wide, inch deep approach, the film will prove enlightening for those who have only had a passing exposure to the series and it should be a fun piece for the Ringer audience. This is a documentary for those who enjoyed Trekkies.
Episode: #84 (February 6, 2006)