rise of fellowship The Independent Critic has positively reviewed The Rise of the Fellowship, the ‘buddy-comedy written in honor of online gamers and The Lord of the Rings that will debut on Netflix on January 3.

The film, which won the GenCon 2012 Film Festival, is already available on VOD, iTunes, and Amazon.com.

An extract from the review:

The film has also played at the Richmond International Film Festival and the Los Angeles Fear & Fantasy Film Festival, a pretty clear sign that it’s aimed squarely at the fantasy movie-going fan and will easily get the most chuckles of familiarity from those familiar with all things Tolkien.

Randall (Justin Moe) is a geek surrounded by even geekier friends. He works in a game shop, not a bad gig for someone who spends all his time gaming when he’s not daydreaming about Stacey (Emma Earnest, which would be a kickass geek porn name), the school’s prettiest cheerleader who, of course, happens to be dating a jock/bully. He’s got a mother who doesn’t understand him, a brother who bullies him, and friends who are such geeks that even the game shop owner wants to keep them out.

The film’s parodying elements are at times quite strong, with a good majority of the scenes playing as awfully familiar for anyone who knows the movies. While a lot of films, especially parodies, tend to cross that line into poking fun of its subject matter, Rise of the Fellowship is clearly intended as a loving tribute to its inspiration and, even when the film falters in terms of production and performance, its overall likability keeps it afloat.

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