Archive for April, 2010

Favorite LOTR Deleted Scenes

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 21:01

The Lord of the Rings extended editions have so many great moments absent from the theatrical cuts, it’s hard to pick favorites. But what the heck! I’m going to rank my top ten favorite additions right here. If you wish to see the scenes, just click on the included links in bold. (Just be sure to return here!)

#10: Théodred’s Funeral (TTT)

Both the finding of Théodred on the battle field and his funeral are great scenes cut from the theatrical edition of The Two Towers. The funeral scene, featuring Éowyn’s dirge, is my favorite of the two. It was filmed in such a remote location, they didn’t have enough extras and had to add CGI characters to supplement them. Too bad I couldn’t be in the area that day; it wouldn’t have been bad to have been in the scene, huh?

Read the rest of this entry » Radio Show Transcript

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 19:36

On January 24, 2010 I was a guest on’s radio show, where I talked with the website’s founder Mike Regina (if you visit the site, he posts under the name of “xoanon”) about my book. I thought it would be fun to put the transcript of the show up here.

Mike Regina: This week’s guest is J.W. Braun. He’s the author of a great book called The Lord of the Films: The Unofficial Guide to Tolkien’s Middle-earth on the Big Screen, and this is quite an interesting book. It is basically a companion to watching the films. So if you’re watching these films, and you want to know more about a certain scene or what’s going on here and what’s going on there, you grab J.W.’s book and you read it and you basically get all the latest and greatest information from the films, from, you know The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. Here with us now is J.W. Can you hear me, J?

J.W. Braun: I’m here, Mike. How are you doing?

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Wall Street Journal Says Hobbit in IMAX, 2013

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 12:20

The Wall Street Journal mentioned some “hobbit” news in an article today. The key news is that The Hobbit (mentioned as one film) is supposed to hit IMAX theaters in 2013. Meanwhile is reporting that the Wall Street Journal, not understanding the The Hobbit is to be two films, is a bit confused. According to them, the first Hobbit film is set for 2012, and the second is set for 2013. Of course this is preliminary information and should be taken with a grain of salt. My guess is the 2011, 2012 dates will be pushed back due to MGM’s financial issues, but nobody has set firm dates yet and nobody will until filming begins.

On the subject of IMAX, I have to say the films that I enjoy in this format the most are ones that are specifically made for it that have running times of a half hour or so. When I see a “regular” film in IMAX that runs 2 hours, I get headache. Anyway, here’s the article:

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The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 6:26

I think there’s a law that if you have a blog devoted to Star Trek and Middle-earth, you must include this:

Star Trek Auction

Monday, April 26, 2010 6:27

The Associated Press has an article today about a Star Trek auction. Here’s the link.

If people are willing to pay big money for some of these trivial items, just imagine how much money a good Star Trek book could bring in!’s Review of Lord of the Films

Saturday, April 24, 2010 21:00

This is old news, but it happened before I created this website so I want to point it out here for the sake of completion.

Megan Hayner of reviewed my book The Lord of the Films. Hayner says:

“I am sure that many big-time fans would feel, upon hearing of this companion, that it was entirely unnecessary for their collection. (I mean, who needs to hear the behind-the-scenes DVDs repeated again, after we’ve watched them at least one hundred times?) However, I would say that this book is a must for every Ringer. Braun’s research is extensive, his interviews with artists and extras are delightful, and his facts are far from repeats. In reading this book, I learned so many new things about the film trilogy I have loved for so long, and I am certain that other Ringers would, too.”

You can read the full review here.

I also did an interview with the Hayner, which you can read here.

Spock returns “home”

Friday, April 23, 2010 19:29

Leonard Nimoy visited Vulcan, Alberta today.

“I have been a Vulcan for 44 years — I figured it was time I came home,” the 79-year-old actor said to wild cheers at a ceremony at the center of the town.

Vulcan, a community of 2,000 people about 100 km (62 miles) southeast of Calgary, has for years identified with the legendary sci-fi TV show. It has become a tourist draw, especially for hard-core Trekkies.

The full article about his visit is here.

My Ten Favorite Star Trek TNG Episodes

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 14:09

Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) was on the air from 1987 until 1994. (I actually had a Beagle named Molly that was born in 1987 and sadly had to be euthanized in 1994, so I can’t help but think of her when I think of the series.) This was the first Star Trek series I actually got to watch while it was originally on the air, often with Molly by my side, and I was a big fan of it. What follows are my ten favorite episodes. (Please note that for the sake of simplicity I will consider two parters to be one episode.)

#10: Encounter at Farpoint (first season)

This is the two hour pilot for TNG, and Roddeberry worked hard to make it a success. Unlike the original series, the pilot was made after the series had sold, so that allowed the creators to properly introduce the characters. Thus, we see Picard, Riker, Data, and company meet and learn about each other for the first time, which is as much fun to watch now (if not more so) than it was in 1987.

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Wall Street Journal talks with Peter Jackson

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 12:16
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The Wall Street Journal has posted this great interview with Peter Jackson.

Of note, Jackson said about the preproduction for The Hobbit, “[Director] Guillermo [del Toro] has been doing location scouts and design work, with the DVD people following him around, so we’ve shot 20 or 30 hours of DVD material so far and we’re still a few months away from the first day of shooting.”

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New Lord of the Films Review

Monday, April 19, 2010 20:55

Book Legion reviewed my book The Lord of the Films. (Here’s the link.) It says:

The Lord of the Films: The Unofficial Guide to Tolkien’s Middle Earth on the Big Screen is one of those books that I’d normally walk by in the bookstore. I see ‘Unofficial Guide’ and right away my mind moves to the idea of a lesser-quality book. What I’ve found through opening my eyes is that most certainly isn’t always the case. Its most definately not the case with the Lord of the Films. We’re huge Tolkien fans here at the Legion and we’re always up for some LOTR goodness, especially as we anticipate the eventually forthcoming Hobbit feature film.

I’ve figured out that J.W. Braun is a bigger nerd than I am. I mean that with much respect. This book, The Lord of the Films, is jam-packed with behind the scenes info, trivia and tidbits from the filming of what I consider to be the best film trilogy of all-time. One page might contain five-ten various bits of information ranging from where the Dead Marshes scenes were shot to how they trained Shadowfax the horse for his glorious on-screen entrance! The book even has a quiz and activity section in the back.

This book is a great time killer for any Lord of the Rings fan. It’d be great to have at work in your desk, or in the car on the go, or even just at home by the sofa. Its a ton of fun, well put together and has a great softback design. I highly recommend.

You know, I do have to admit it’s still weird to read about myself. I can’t disagree with the nerd part, though.

Grey HR Line

U.S. Residents Can Now Purchase a signed copy of The Lord of the Films for $5

Or Purchase the Book From These Retailers:
Barnes & Noble | Powell's Books | Amazon: US | US Kindle | Canada | UK | UK Kindle

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