Friend 2 Pudding’s review published on Letterboxd:
Just saw this in theatres for the first time in 19 (!) years. I was 10 when it came out. It's not the first film I remember seeing in the cinema (that's Rugrats: The Movie), but it is the first one I remember just completely astounding me. From about a minute in - that wide, far away shot of Gandalf and the Balrog falling through the cavern, into the lake, was seared into my mind. The trilogy is an embarrassment of riches really, but that entire opening beat really is something.
Also think the most impressed I can ever remember being by a special effect is about 10 minutes in here, when Frodo and Sam wrestle with Gollum and Gollum's foot interacts with a blanket, totally naturally. Tiny moment but Gollum was probably the most tactile piece of visual FX I'd seen.
Anyway, whole movie's great. Peter Jackson please unretire.