Apparently, Christmas could not wait for Thanksgiving. We woke up to our first snowfall of the winter today. The dog is in heaven.
Well, I saw the film, and I enjoyed it. There are characters who don’t appear in LOTR that don’t really have resolutions to their stories, so I regretted that a little, but maybe the extended edition will touch on that. Also, I feel the film lacks the punch of Revenge of the Sith and Return of the King, which really are great finales, but “Battle” doesn’t disappoint. Lots of it is straight from the book, and it’s quite fun to see pure Tolkien on the big screen. I’d say the characters the film focuses on in order are: Thorin, Bilbo, Bard, Gandalf, Azog and Thranduil, with the rest (including Legolas, Tauriel, and Bolg) getting less screen-time. The story is a bit drawn out, but there aren’t too many slow spots. Billy Boyd’s closing number is very pretty and a nice way to end this second journey.
Still, I miss that high from seeing The Return of the King for the first time and kind of wish this was more in the ballpark. At least I have LOTR on Blu-ray so I can reminisce. And when I watch both trilogies back to back, it will all end with ROTK.
Paul Genesse left a great review of Middle-earth Madness at Amazon. Here it is!
What do you get a huge fan of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies? A copy of Middle-earth Madness of course! J.W. Braun and TheOneRing.net staff have put together an awesome collection of essays and inside information that super fans will love to read. The book is largely about the first two Hobbit movies by Peter Jackson, but there is a ton more information about the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Middle-earth movies by Ralph Bakshi and Rankin/Bass.
You get to read about the history of The Hobbit films, behind the scenes info, and lots of interviews with the cast and crew. Each major part of the first and second Hobbit movies were summarized and detailed observations were made by the authors. Learning inside information was my favorite part, as I want to know as much as possible about the films and how they were created.
The Q&A with artist and designer Daniel Falconer was a highlight. Learning his feelings about working on the films after being a huge fan his whole life made me smile. The interview with Lord of the Rings producer Mark Ordesky was also fantastic–even though I’d read it before on TheOneRing.net.
I loved the essay by Hobbit girl and fantasy author, Kellie Rice. The essay, Hobbitception, goes over how the video of Kellie and her sister Alex watching the first trailer for The Desolation of Smaug went viral after Peter Jackson promoted it. It has over 450,000 views on YouTube. Jackson showed it to some of the Hobbit cast, filmed it, and that video of Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, and Lee Pace, went viral as well. I remember the event and learning the exact backstory was so fun. Of course I had to re-watch the video of Kellie and Alex again. I laughed and smiled along with them as they screamed and freaked out.
There’s a lot of highlights in Middle-earth Madness, especially the in depth interviews of Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Richard Armitage (Thorin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), William Kircher (Bifur), and all the little snippets about the other cast and crew members.
This is a book by fans for fans. The authors put together a great collection of behind the scenes Middle-earth movie lore that will delight readers and especially Ringers.
Tip of the hat to: J.W. Braun, Clifford Broadway, Larry Curtis, John Webster, Kirsten Cairns–who did excellent interviews, Catherine Frizat, John Webster, Kristin Thompson, Nancy Steinman, and all TheOneRing.net crew.
So this is quite the exciting week, since the extended edition of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug came out on Blu-ray and DVD and there’s a new trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
I just watched DOS EE and thought it was great. The most notable additions focus on Thrain, and and while I think it was wise to exclude them from the theatrical cut, it’s good to have them in the extended edition. It’s nice to fill in that space between Thror and Thorin.
The trailer for the next film is pretty standard stuff, but there’s no reason for Warner Bros. to reinvent the wheel.
Middle-earth Madness is my new book all about both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies! My Middle-earth Madness section on this website is all up to date, so you can click on it to get all the details and find out how to purchase the book electronically or now in paperback. I have a copy now in my hands, and I think it’s really a great collector’s item!
You always hope for good reviews for your books, but you never know. Glad to see this first one for Middle-earth Madness:
As a constant reader of TheOneRing.net, I was thrilled to see they had written a book. This incredibly detailed volume caters to the ultimate nerds among the so-called “Ringers.”
After some history on the background and difficulties leading up to Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, the book delves right into scene-by-scene analyses of the first two Hobbit films. The analyses include witty summaries, “geeky observations,” and also revelations of the films’ rare mistakes.
I thoroughly enjoyed all the tidbits and thoughts expressed in Middle-Earth Madness. As someone who went from knowing very little about hobbits in 2012 to a full-blown Tolkien geek at the DOS midnight premiere, I appreciate the opinions and observations from all these fellow fans of J.R.R. Tolkien—an incredible man who used his God-given gifts to challenge and inspire the world.