Top 5 Moments: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

June 13, 2013 at 9:58 am

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

The first chapter of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy was a fantastic return to Middle Earth but not without a few problems here and there.  Still, returning to Middle Earth was inspiring and visually stunning.

In the end, I think my expectations were far too high.  I loved The Lord of the Rings trilogy but, even though I wasn’t blown away by An Unexpected Journey, I’m excited to see more.

Thankfully, if this trailer is any indication, the majority of my minor complaints have been left behind.  The Desolation of Smaug looks awesome.  Here are 5 of my favorite moments from the film’s first trailer:

COUNTDOWN | Top 30 Moments: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

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

5.  THE SCENERY

The sweeping wide shots of this series are breathtaking and they get better with every film.  Middle Earth has never looked so good.

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

4.  LEGOLAS

It’s always nice to see an old face especially that of an immortal elf.  I wonder if he’ll have a ‘Leggy’ moment in this film though they can’t top the Mumakil sequence…  Can they?

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

3. AZOG

I’m a big fan of this villain.

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

2.  WAS THAT AN EARTHQUAKE?

Obviously, this moment leads directly to #1 on this list but seriously, I’m very excited about seeing Smaug in action.

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

1. SMAUG!

Finally!  We get a glimpse of Smaug the Dragon.  It’s not the most revealing look but I’ll take anything at this point.  Next step…  Smaug’s voice must be revealed.  With Benedict Cumberbatch behind the beast, Smaug will be menacing indeed.

Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

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Top 5 Moments: The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Trailer #1

Between Bilbo & John Harrison There Is Sherlock

February 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Between Bilbo & John Harrison There Is Sherlock | The Hobbit | Star Trek Into Darkness

Two unrelated movie universes united by two characters and the brilliant actors that portray them.

BILBO BAGGINS

The long wait for the first chapter of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy felt endless at times.  Finally, the journey to the Lonely Mountain began and one of the standouts (and rightfully so) was Bilbo himself.  Martin Freeman.

XTRA | The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with Detours

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I had a few minor issues with The Hobbit’s bloated mid section but it was still an inspiring return to Middle Earth.  The landscapes were just as breathtaking and the film is packed with incredible monsters and spectacular battles.

Between Bilbo & John Harrison There Is Sherlock | The Hobbit | Star Trek Into Darkness

Peter Jackson must have felt enormous pressure to cast the right actor as Bilbo.  Having seen The Hobbit, I can’t imagine someone other than Martin Freeman as the titular character.  I first encountered the actor in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and I thought he was perfect for the part.

He’s truly becoming one of my favorite actors.  So, when The Hobbit ended I immediately began hunting for more projects featuring Mr. Freeman.

That’s when I discovered his fantastic work as Dr. John Watson.

JOHN HARRISON

However, there is no Watson without Sherlock?  I had heard many people rave about Sherlock but never bothered to check it out until the first two series popped up on Netflix.

Why not give it a shot?  I would get more Martin Freeman but also a closer look at Benedict Cumberbatch.  The actor who will be terrorizing the crew of the Enterprise this summer in Star Trek Into Darkness.

Between Bilbo & John Harrison There Is Sherlock | The Hobbit | Star Trek Into Darkness

Recently, I compiled a list of the 44 most anticipated movies of 2013.  I used a simple ranking system based on nearly 20 top 10 lists I found around the web.  Guess which film tops that list?  Click here to find out.

“You think you’re safe?  You are not.”

XTRA | Top 5 Moments: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer #1

There has been much speculation regarding Cumberbatch’s character, John Harrison.  Is he Kahn?  Perhaps he is really playing Gary Mitchell? I think he’s an original villain named John Harrison and that’s okay with me.  With so many characters we already knew, why not introduce some new people into the franchise?

I’m fascinated by the mystery surrounding John Harrison and I truly hope it stays that way until the lights dim on May 17, 2013.  Until then, I’m more than happy watching Cumberbatch as…

SHERLOCK

I just finished watching the first series of 3 episodes on Netflix and I adored them all.  While I’m jealous of the skillful writing, I think Benedict & Martin’s performances truly make this show a must watch.  There’s an interesting contrast between a show that is paced on the slower side featuring a character who speaks a mile a minute.  Sherlock’s keen observational skills are incredible and it’s pretty amazing to watch him piece together the tiniest details.

Sherlock, the world’s only consulting detective, is joined by witty Watson.  The dynamic between the two is extraordinary.  Both Benedict & Martin work wonderfully together.  It all results in a perfect fusion of performance and storytelling.  I’m thrilled to have another 3 episodes to watch.  Especially since they are each 1.5 hours long.  I can’t wait to see how Sherlock’s nemesis Moriarty challenges his superior intellect.

Still, the wait for Star Trek Into Darkness is getting harder and harder to bear…

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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.

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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

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The Athletic Nerd Movies, Screenwriting & Independent Film Blog

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Top 30 Moments

December 14, 2012 at 8:16 am

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Top 30 Moments | The Fellowship of the Ring | The Two Towers | The Return of the King

THE JOURNEY ENDS

I’ve counted down the 10 best moments of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers & The Return of the King.  In Part 4 of this series, we find out where each of these rank in the series as a whole!  For more detailed write ups be sure to check out Part 1,2& 3:

Top 10 Moments: The Fellowship of the Ring

Top 10 Moments: The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Return of the King

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE LORD OF THE RINGS MOMENT?

30. ROHAN ARRIVES

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

29. THE BIRTH OF LURTZ

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

28. GANDALF VS BALROG 2: THE WIDE SHOT

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

27. SMEAGOL’S BIRTHDAY

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

26. NUMBER 43

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

25. WEATHERTOP

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

24. LEGOLAS SHIELD SURFING

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

23. IS THIS ALL YOU CAN CONJURE SARUMAN?

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

22. THE WATCHER IN THE WATER

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

21. HORSE TIDAL WAVE

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

20. THE CAVE TROLL

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

19. I WILL TAKE IT / FELLOWSHIP

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

18. SAM VS SHELOB

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

17. GO HOME

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

16. MY BUSINESS IS WITH ISENGARD

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

15. TOSS ME

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

14. ARAGORN VS LURTZ / MY KING

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

13. DWARROWDELF

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

12. MY PRECIOUS

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

11. THE GREAT STORIES

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

10. LEGOLAS VS MUMAKIL

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

9. THE BEACONS

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

8. BOROMIR PIERCED BY MANY

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

7. “WHITE SHORES & BEYOND…”

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

6. AT DAWN LOOK TO THE EAST

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

5. YOU SHALL NOT PASS

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

4. “FOR FRODO”

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

3. GOLLUM VS SMEAGOL

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

2. SAM CARRIES FRODO

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

1. MOUNT DOOM

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER ONE LOTR MOMENT?

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The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Top 30 Moments | The Fellowship of the Ring | The Two Towers | The Return of the King