The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey With A Few Detours

December 19, 2012 at 8:18 am

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey With A Few Detours | The Hobbit Review 2012

WELCOME BACK MIDDLE EARTH!

It’s impossible to truly articulate just how much I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Leading up to the release, I created 9 Middle Earth posts including a Top 30 Countdown of the series’ best moments.  It’s safe to say, I didn’t force myself to write those posts.  I love writing about Middle Earth and what it means to me.

XTRA | Check out all my Middle Earth related posts here.

To me, the Lord of the Rings is more than just a groundbreaking trilogy.  It’s a source of inspiration in my own screenwriting journey.  For that, I will always be thankful.  Having said all that, you can imagine how excited I was to finally see The Hobbit after years of development.  At long last, we get to return to Middle Earth.

I loved the first chapter of this new trilogy.  It’s packed with amazing battles, creatures and moments worthy of Middle Earth.  It’s definitely entertaining but allow me to quote Bilbo himself by saying this film feels a bit stretched…

“Like butter scraped over too much bread.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey begins with a mission.  The dwarves lost their home to a ferocious dragon named Smaug.  It is their goal to reclaim their home.  Thanks to Gandalf the Wizard, they are joined by Bilbo and the adventure begins…  At it’s core, the LOTR trilogy was about Frodo and the One Ring.  Here, the mission is to defeat Smaug.  Simple enough except once the story is setup, the film tends to go off on tangents for over an hour.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey review 2012

Some of these episodes are more entertaining than others while some (like giant fighting mountains) seem out of place.  It doesn’t have the same focus but that’s what happens when you stretch one book into three films.

When the Fellowship of the Ring was released, I lot of people were disappointed by what they left out.  For example, the episode featuring Tom Bombadil.  It made me curious about the scene and I wondered what it would be like on the big screen.  The Hobbit feels like Peter Jackson’s attempt to appease those fans by including everything and more.  So while I felt the first half of the film was stalling, I can’t really complain because we do get to see more Middle Earth.

Hobbit Hype: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To | An Unexpected Journey

Normally, an hour of filler would absolutely kill a film but it’s a testament to Jackson’s directing skills that The Hobbit doesn’t die.  Each of the ‘detours’ are packed with the rich history of J.R.R Tolkien’s world as well as delightful references to the LOTR trilogy.  Characters we love return and we truly get a sense that something evil is coming.  Sauron.

Eventually, the film finds it’s focus and that’s when The Hobbit truly shines.  I absolutely adored the second half of An Unexpected Journey.  This is highlighted by Bilbo’s famous encounter with Gollum.  It was great to see one of the greatest characters in all of fiction back on the big screen.  From a technical perspective, Gollum has never looked better.  The technology behind this tortured soul has most certainly improved and watching him on an IMAX screen is spectacular.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review 2012 Gollum

Throughout the game of riddles we also follow the dwarves into the heart of Goblin town.  The whole Goblin escape is truly breathtaking on the big screen and a reminder that we are going to see MORE incredible battles in the next two films.  Indeed, Middle Earth has returned in a big way.

I had my complaints about the lengthy first half but The Hobbit is still a wildly entertaining movie.  It sucks that The Desolation of Smaug is a year away but hopefully we’ll have an extended edition Blu Ray before then.  The Lord of the Rings extended editions boast, in my opinion, the best special features of all time.  I can’t wait for more.

Click here for more reviews.

XTRA | Love Middle Earth?  Here are 9 more fantastic movie worlds.

Hobbit Hype: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To | An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit 2012

The Athletic Nerd on The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit & Middle Earth

December 19, 2012 at 8:18 am

The Athletic Nerd on The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit

Over the last few weeks, I’ve written a lot about The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the world surrounding it.  Everything from top 10 lists to personal tales of the inspiration the series provides.  With The Hobbit enchanting screens around the world, I thought it would be time to collect these posts in one place.

19 posts dealing with the films and the filmmaking journey.  Enjoy.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review

Top 30 Moments: The Lord of the Rings

Top 10 Moments: The Fellowship of the Ring

Top 10 Moments: The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Return of the King

LOTR Extended Editions: The Best Special Features of all time?

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

Why The Lord of the Rings continually inspires the screenwriter in me.

Movies That Changed Everything: The Lord of the Rings

Link, Zelda, Hyrule, Middle Earth & Screenwriting

Why Special Features Inspire Filmmakers

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Trailers & TV Spots

Behind the Scenes of The Hobbit Inspires

All Time Best: Movie Trailer of 2011

10 Flicks: Best Movie Fantasy Worlds

10 Flicks: Awesome Looking Movie Villains

10 Flicks: Box Office Favorites

10 Flicks: If I Could Only Own 10 Movies

10 Flicks: Yearly Favorites

XTRA | Check out The Athletic Nerd on The Dark Knight

The Athletic Nerd Movies, Screenwriting & Independent Film Blog

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

December 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

THE LENS FLARES HAVE RETURNED!

It’s finally here!  Our first real look at J.J Abrams Star Trek Into Darkness.  It’s rare to get any actual information from the people at Bad Robot so a new trailer is pretty big news!  Let the speculation continue as we crawl towards the May 2013 release.

Here are five of my favorite moments from the trailer:

5. “YOU THINK YOU’RE SAFE?”

Star Trek Into Darkness looks like it features an angry and formidable foe.  Time will tell if the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch is John Harrison as they say.  But he still might turn out to be Kahn or Gary Mitchell.

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

4. THE CLIFF

This is an incredible shot of Kirk & Bones running through a red forest before leaping off a tremendous cliff.

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

3. STARSHIP SPLASH

The image of a Starship (I’m assuming it’s not the Enterprise) crashing into water is as epic as it gets.

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

2 ADMIRAL PIKE’S VOICE OVER

The first half of the trailer is dominated by admiral Pike’s brilliant voice over.  He warns Kirk to learn humility before he gets himself and his crew killed.

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

1. HANDS ON GLASS

“Is there anything you would not do…  For your family?”

An iconic moment from the Wrath of Kahn returns as Spock & Kirk find themselves on opposite sides of the glass.

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

Click here for more Movie Coundowns.

Also, I have to say that space jumps surrounded by debris is pretty awesome:

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer # 1

 

Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer #1

 

8 Movie Characters That Look Like Santa Except They’re Not… But They Could Be?

December 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

7 Movie Characters That Look Like Santa Except They're Not...  But They Could Be?

WHITE BEARD.  CHECK…  THAT’S ABOUT IT.

Requisites aside, there are many movie characters out there that just might be Santa hiding in another cinematic universe.  Perhaps he loses some weight and blends in as a writer?  Or a Wizard?  Or the proprietor of a theme park with real dinosaurs?  You be the judge.

Gandalf
The Lord of the Rings

8 Movie Characters That Look Like Santa BUT They Aren't...  Or are they?

Remember, I’m not saying that Gandalf is Santa Claus…  I’m just saying he’s magical and hangs out with elves…

Obi Wan Kenobi
Star Wars

8 Movie Characters That Look Like Santa BUT They Aren't...  Or are they?

I’ll admit, of the movie characters on this list, Obi Wan Kenobi is least likely to be Santa.  But if he was, can you imagine 9 reindeer with lightsabre noses tied to a speeder?

Joseph ‘Blue’ Palasky
Old School

8 Movie Characters That Look Like Santa BUT They Aren't...  Or are they?

It’s slightly humorous imagining a retired Santa who loses weight, joins a fraternity and wrestles half naked women in a pool of K-Y Jelly…

Steve Zissou
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

8 Movie Characters That Look Like Santa BUT They Aren't...  Or are they?

I could see Santa as an explorer.

William Forrester
Finding Forrester

8 Movie Characters That Look Like Santa BUT They Aren't...  Or are they?

A Santa that becomes a writer & changes lives.

Marley
Home Alone

8 Movie Characters That Look Like Santa BUT They Aren't...  Or are they?

Would Santa hide in suburbia shoveling salt and looking grumpy?  He would because underneath it all, he’s got a good heart.  He helps save a kid who screamed directly in his face.

Mr. Lundy
Mrs. Doubtfire

8 Movie Characters That Look Like Santa BUT They Aren't...  Or are they?

This guy looks the part more than any other AND he makes television shows for kids.

John Hammond
Jurassic Park

8 Movie Characters That Look Like Santa BUT They Aren't...  Or are they?

John Hammond is a billionaire who helps create real live dinosaurs on an island.  Is it too far fetched to think he could come up with a model train or two as well?

Bonus marks have to be given to actors who have actually played Santa in the past too.

8 Movie Characters That Look Like Santa BUT They Aren't...  Or are they?

Click here for Movie Countdowns

The Post: Christmas Edition

December 17, 2012 at 7:46 am

The Post: Christmas Edition

Have you watched a short film today?

Welcome to another special edition of The Post.  This week it’s all about the films inspired by the holiday season!  Both main stream and indie are represented here including a couple classics.

PLUTO’S CHRISTMAS TREE

DONALD DUCK TOY TINKERS

SANTA VS SANTA

THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL (1954)

Check out this YouTube Playlist featuring tons of old Christmas films.

THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL

DECEMBER

PEACE ON EARTH (1939)

SANTA’S SURPRISE

DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT YOU WOULD LIKE TO PROMOTE?

Email me at jason@17west.ca and be sure to include links to your project/website. (Note: I don’t review submissions)

Check out The Post archives here.