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We’ve reached the Elite Eight! Vote Now in Middle-earth March Madness Round 4!

middleearthmarchmadness14-verticalWe’ve reached arguably the most exciting round of this year’s Middle-earth March Madness – The Elite Eight! Eight combatants have tested their gruff against some impressive opponents, and now face a battle for the ages! In the Lonely Mountain division we have the (16) Elrond taking on fan fav (6) Aragorn. In Erebor, (1) Thorin Oakenshield faces a much bigger challenge than gold fever when he faces (3) The One Ring. The Bag End match-up is a battle of the top seeds as (1) Bilbo takes on the trending (2) Thranduil (aka Sparkles). And last but not least, Mirkwood gives us a battle of two all-time Middle-earth juggernauts – (1) Gandalf vs. (14) Legolas. This is a round for the ages!

Voting in this round will end on April 1st (we promise to give you real results) so don’t delay – fight for your choices. Share! Tweet! Comment!

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Posted in Characters, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Events, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers, Uncategorized

Badali Jewelry Shows Their Support for TheOneRing.net

Badali JewelryAs we continue our 2013 Pledge Drive – Light the Beacons – you may be wondering if we are receiving any corporate support.The answer is a decisive ‘Yes!’ Over the years, we’ve been privileged to establish amazing relationships with some very reputable and worthwhile corporate entities. Those entities are now popping up to lend their support to TheOneRing.net with a financial commitment.

So without further delay, we’d like to announce our first corporate donation is from  Badali Jewelry – the amazing proprietors of quality hand-crafted jewelry-art, and unique and original custom jewelry. While we know them for their amazing line-up of officially licensed Tolkien related items, they also feature other great properties like  have an amazing offering of other categories. From the wonderfully witty Geek Tags, to their Zodiac offerings.

We need to be clear – Badali has contributed financially to our drive. They are simply supporting TheOneRing.net, just like you have with your pledges. So please take a moment to visit their online store at BadaliJewelry.com and make a purchase. Support those businesses that are sharing in the goodwill of our community and helping keep TheOneRing.net online and thriving for years to come.

As an added incentive, and in celebration of Bilbo and Frodo’s combined birthday, Badali has sent us a 15% off coupon for their entire site. Simply use code BILBO at checkout. It will be good until September 30th.

TheOneRing.net would like to formally thank Badali Jewelry for their continued support of TheOneRing.net!

[Visit BadaliJewelry.com] [Pledge Your Support Today]

 

Posted in Characters, Clothing, ComicCon, Conventions, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Fans, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Jewelry, Jewelry, Meet Ups, Posters Prints, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

No. This is not the Official Poster from ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’

desolation-of-smaug-poster fakeWithout hearing from our official entities, this reporter will unequivocally state the following poster is NOT the first poster for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.‘ Why? There are a variety of reasons, some I will outline below with a ‘fake factor’ rating. The closer to 10, the more obvious the error should raise a red flag!

  • Fonts – All major film/tv licenses have a strict style guide that require all assets created follow a defined set of rules. One of the main components of any style guide are the specific typographical fonts allowed to be used. The font used with the  ‘From The Director of ‘Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy’ is wrong. (Fake Factor: 8)
  • Film Name – Another major component of a style guide? Getting the film name correct! Guess what folks, the LOTR trilogy can only officially be called ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, not ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. (Fake Factor: 10)
  • Existing Imagery – Here’s a link to the image that was used in this ‘poster.’ Yup, just swapped the color on the jacket. [Image(Fake Factor: 8)
  • Poor Graphics – Let’s be real here. While some might be cynical about PJ’s films, he would never let such a poorly composed photoshop job make it into the wild. Check out the really bad ‘white’ glow behind Bilbo.(Fake Factor: 9)
  • Low Res – Anytime an image is sent around to various news sites in a lower res format, it is usually because the creator doesn’t want you to notice the poor quality of the composition. (Fake Factor: 5)

 

And on and on…(I’m sure many of you will find additional reasons)

Here at TheOneRing.net, we try our hardest to never report something as ‘fact’ until we are sure. But if this is the real poster, then we don’t have much faith in what is coming next in the franchise!!

Do you see other red flags in the poster that clearly show its a fake? Enter them below in the comments!

Happy Sunday!

Posted in Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit

CNN: ‘The Hobbit’ One of the Top Ten Worst Movies of the Year?!

The following is a small editorial from co-owner and staffer Calisuri. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of TheOneRing.net:

CNN.com writer Tom Charity has posted his ‘The 10 worst movies of 2012‘ and decided to controversially include ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ on the list. It should be noted, he specifically calls out the 48fps experience as being the ‘worst’ – not the actual film itself. Though he does take a dig at the length of the latest Middle-earth tome. The facts about ‘The Hobbit’ seem to paint a different picture: RottenTomatoes Critic index of 65%; RottenTomatoes audience rating of 81%; CinemaScore rating of ‘A;’ Ringer Review average of 4.5/5; Three week lead at the international box office; and breaking multiple December box office records. Looking at Mr. Charity’s other films on the list, most have a RottenTomatoes.com rating of < 30% and only one breaks the 50% mark.

So what made Mr. Charity put ‘The Hobbit’ on his list? The easiest explanation is he really didn’t like the 48fps experience as he states in the article. Hey, I didn’t either (my review) – but I wouldn’t put it on any kind of ‘worst list.’

His true intention is even more transparent. He simply wants more eyeballs and a bit of controversy. Afterall, he only continues to get paid if he remains interesting. (The quote from Zoolander comes to mind…’Dance Monkey, Dance!’) So including a popular film on his ‘worst of’ list on a major outlet like CNN.com is sure to do just that. It will definitely cause some discussion.

Would you put ‘The Hobbit’ on your own worst list of 2012? Is Mr. Charity totally off base? Tell us what you think!

Posted in Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit

The Hobbit: an expected masterpiece in a distracting frame

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘ is a fulfilling and entertaining adventure that is sure to please most Middle-earth enthusiasts.  Filled with direct book-to-screen moments and some unique new additions, the film stands as a strong first installment of a three-year adventure. If you think of it as a fine art masterpiece in a beautiful museum, it can sit proudly next to its LOTR siblings. Well, sorta. You see, someone chose an overly busy frame with bright colors and fancy patterns that distracts from the essential content. Luckily, in your experience, you can easily swap out the frame.

As you’ll read later, this reviewer suggests this may be the wisest course first-up.

As an adaptation and expansion on Tolkien’s 75-year-old children literature classic — emphasis on children — this film is more fantastic and at times more ‘cartoony’ than its trilogy predecessor. A quick example… while in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring we see the four Hobbits trying to escape Farmer Maggot and falling down a long slope with nothing but a broken carrot, in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey we see the Company of Thorin falling down a 1000-foot crevasse (multiple times) and simply dusting themselves off.

That theme permeates the film. The ‘bad guys’ are not quite horrible monstrosities that cause death and destruction but instead are similar to villains in an episode of the A-Team. You know, where no matter how many times they shoot at our heroes, they never actually hit their mark. It ultimately makes for exciting confrontations, but no real concern the heroes will meet their doom. Some who are not familiar with the childish nature of The Hobbit might find this a bit odd when they compare the drama to the LOTR films.

The acting by the core cast was astoundingly good. Martin Freeman IS Bilbo Baggins and as expected delivers an amazing performance with true emotion, humor and feeling. Ian McKellen is a less serious version of his LOTR-self and in many ways a lot more likable. His sense of humor comes across more in the performance and it is very endearing. Richard Armitage delivers a dead-on performance of Thorin. For those of us who know what the future holds for Thorin, I can clearly state the casting was perfect. Andy Serkis returns as Gollum and provides yet another amazing performance. ‘Riddles in the Dark’ will be one of your favorite scenes — guaranteed!

The dwarves were always a bit of a concern for me because I thought we’d be spending a lot of time getting to know each and dealing with lot of childish humor. This is not the case. They do all get introductions and each has their own distinct and unique contribution to the film. There is of course some ‘potty’ humor, but nothing that is overdone or inconsistent. Ken Stott as Balin delivers a stand-out performance — one that does not go unnoticed and puts him on par with the other key players.

The rest of the cast provide strong performances but some are a bit constrained by the visual performance that accompanies their acting. If you are looking for the awesomeness of The Goblin King from Rankin/Bass, I fear you will be a bit disappointed. And Radagast, while semi-interesting and fun in a childish sense (which is okay!), seems to be just thrown in to have another wizard.

Some of the folks I saw the film with had issues with the ‘slowness’ of the story, but I did not. I was surprised how fast the film felt – when it ended I was surprised at the time.

To avoid major spoilers, I’ll just say that there were definitely a few points where I felt the small things were ‘overdone.’ Take Elrond’s reading of the moon-letters on the map.

The book: …The moon was shining in a broad silver crescent. He held up the map and the white light shone through it. “What is this?” he said. “There are moon-letters here…

In the movie it’s not nearly so simple. You see, apparently the Elves in Rivendell have painstakingly built a ledge on a massive cliff-face complete with a special moon-table. To read moon-letters, you must gather around this table and place the suspected moon-letter document on the table. The table then glows with moon-light and reveals what is on it. I can’t imagine this ledge gets much use — typical of the wealthy elves to be so wasteful with space and function. Heh — yeah, I had a bit of a chuckle at that point.

There is one BIG negative from my viewing of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It has nothing to do with the plot, acting, score or any other aspect of the actual content of the film. It has to do with wrapping this masterpiece in the inappropriate frame of HFR 3D. It was quite simply unnecessary to saddle this film with this presentational wizardry.

And it’s something I had hoped that was not going to be the case.

In fact, I was very excited to see this new technology and experience the ‘future of film.’ I was ready for it! Even with the uproar from those crusty cinema owners last year, I figured that was a bunch of old fogeys who simply didn’t want to update their equipment. I was fully expecting to be blown away and fall in love with this next evolution in film. I felt this way right up until the opening scenes of the movie. Then it happened…

I told myself: ‘Oh Chris, your eyes will get used to it… just a bit longer.

Nope — never got used to it. I couldn’t help but think, ‘Why does this look like some highly produced BBC TV drama?‘ In fact, about every 10 minutes or so (or maybe whenever something was particularly bright on screen) I found myself being literally drawn out of Middle-earth and back into the present — the theater. And therein lies the issue. I was constantly taken out of the story and performance because my brain was distracted by the ‘bells and whistles’ on screen. I was jolted out of the content of the film and noticed the tech behind it.  That is unfortunate.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a great movie that is saddled with this unnecessary mission to advance the future of film. So here’s my slightly controversial suggestion: Watch this film first in good ole fashioned 24fps. Then, for your second viewing, go and see it in HFR. This way your initial experience won’t be compromised by the tech and second-time-round you may actually be able to enjoy the high frame rate as well!

As an aside, I did consider that I’m simply too old for this type of presentation. I’m 38. I don’t play video games and don’t run out to see IMAX or 3D viewings of films on a regular basis. So maybe the thirteen-year-olds of the world will love it.

To summarize, rush out and see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and enjoy the ride! As long as you bring along your inner child you’ll have a wonderful time. If you have a choice, DO NOT see it in 48fps for your first viewing.

9/10 Rings

– Calisuri.

Posted in Events, Film Screenings, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Premieres, The Hobbit, Uncategorized

Hobbits Deal with Government Compliance

Thanks to Ringer David H from Auckland NZ, we have this link to a wonderfully revealing and in-depth PDF from The Department of Welfare and Housing Te Tari Kaupapa Whare. The document is titled: Compliance of barriers to a bridge located on a former film set at 501 Buckland Road, Matamata. You see, the bridge made famous in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit was considered to be not complying with Clause F4 Safety from falling of the Building Code, and and as a result seemed to ultimately be required to make some adjustments to allow public use. However, after a lot of discussion, notes and analysis, you’ll see that Manager Determinations John Gardiner has reversed a previous decision and decided the bridge, in its current form, qualifies for code compliance! Hobbits of Hobbiton rejoice! The bridge will remain open!  [PDF]

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Miscellaneous, Production, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community

Gollum Makes EW’s ‘Top 50 Most Vile Movie Villains’

One can always count on Entertainment Weekly to compose some intriguing ‘Top’ lists. Their latest is the ‘Top 50 Most Vile Movie Villains,’ and sure enough, many classic villains are well represented.  Among the top 50, only one Tolkien ‘villain‘ makes the list at No. 10:

He may only be a CGI character, but the conflicted, bipolar Gollum managed to be both cute and scary — a feat we hadn’t seen accomplished since Gremlins. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that his tendency to break out into cheerful song in between ruthlessly chasing the ring of power was, well, precious. Plus, he bit off Frodo’s fingers. And that’s pretty bad-ass. —Kate Ward

This reporter never really saw Gollum as a ‘villain’ per se, but hey, to each their own! For the complete list, jump on over to EW.com today! [Read More]

Posted in Andy Serkis, Creations, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Popular Comic-Con ‘OBEY’ Shirt now available Online!

After receiving multiple requests, we are finally making our Comic-Con 2012 ‘OBEY’ shirts available for online purchase. The popularity of this shirt was a surprise to us all! After selling out last Thursday, we begged our shirt producer to rush another 100+ shirts to arrive at Comic-Con by Saturday afternoon. Those sold out just as quickly by Sunday and ultimately left a lot of con-goers empty-handed. So we are happy to offer them to our entire online audience for a limited time. The shirt comes in three colors: Black, Blue and Red. We are also now offering Women’s V-Neck options. Shirts are $20US with flat rate shipping of $5 US and $15 International. In case you were wondering, proceeds from our shirt sales go directly to site expenses and our events. TheOneRing.net is not for profit with a 100% volunteer staff. We regularly donate any excess monies to international literacy charities. Please help support TheOneRing.net and our efforts by snagging yourself a cool shirt! (And yes, our other shirts should be online shortly!) [Place your Order]

 

Posted in Clothing, ComicCon, Conventions, Creations, Fans, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Merchandise, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Product Review: ‘Mines of Moria’ LEGO® Set

‘…There are Orcs, very many of them,’ he (Gandalf) said. `And some are large and evil: black Uruks of Mordor. For the moment they are hanging back, but there is something else there. A great cave-troll, I think, or more than one. There is no hope of escape that way…’

I think back on my relatively young life and can fondly recall a few events that I would consider highlights: My marriage to my beautiful wife; the birth of our daughter; TheOneRing.net Oscar Parties from 2002-2004; Finding my dream job with Sideshow; and that time I got to see 26 minutes of The Fellowship of the Ring at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001. As you can read in my original report, I was blown away by the revelation of Peter Jackson’s vision of The Lord of the Rings on the big screen, especially when it came to the infamous Mines of Moria. Sure it was different from the books, but visual execution seemed to transmit my own visions of Middle-earth and put them on the big screen. So many years later, it is now my privilege to relive some of that sequence through the ‘Mines of Moria’ LEGO® Set, now available at most retailers.

As a preface to my review, I need to remind you all that I am not a LEGO® Set expert. My first experience with LEGO® Sets in many years was building the ‘Shelob Attacks‘ set I reviewed last month. So if I get some terminology wrong, please don’t hold it against me :P.

There are a few obvious differences between the  ‘Shelob Attacks’ LEGO® Set and ‘The Mines of Moria.’ First, and most obvious, is that the set is much larger and more complex. Whether it is the ‘action’ elements in the gate and right side piece, or it is adding the detailing stickers just in the right place, you will find this set takes anywhere from 3-4 hours to piece together. Let me say…that is not a bad thing! I’m quickly finding myself addicted to the enjoyment and plain old fun of LEGO® Sets again! (After the break I’ve got 84 pictures of the set!)

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Posted in Collectibles, Elijah Wood, LEGO, LEGO, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Merchandise, Movie Return of the King, Sean Astin, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Toys

Total Film Reveals Hobbit Romance Spoiler in their Summer 2012 Future 100

Hobbit Romance.’ Yup! We knew it was going to show up somewhere.

Before we get to the spoiler fun, Total Film has named six ‘Hobbit‘ actors as part of their Summer 2012 Future 100: Aidan Turner (Kili), Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel), Martin Freeman (Bilbo), Richard Armitage (Thorin), Luke Evans (Bard)  and Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug/Necromancer).

We’ve attached a scan from the magazine for your viewing pleasure. (Courtesy of richardarmitagenet.com)

So now for the spoiler…highlight the text to read the details: (or if for some reason you can see text below, stop reading!)

“Kili’s part has been expanded from the novel; as well as chasing treasure, he’s also pursuing female elf Tauriel. But is he setting his sights too high? ‘I guess he knows nothing can ever happen,’ he explains. ‘She’s about 20ft tall and he’s only two!'”

So there you have it – at least one hint at how romance may play a part in The Hobbit! [TotalFilm]

Posted in Aidan Turner, Benedict Cumberbatch, Casting Rumors, Evangeline Lilly, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community

Allentown Art Museum Showcase ‘At the Edge: Art of the Fantastic’

I live near Allentown, PA and rarely have an opportunity to partake in any special events that would interest the Tolkien community locally. Today was a bit different. You see, the Allentown Art Museum is currently exhibiting  ‘At the Edge: Art of the Fantastic,’ the most comprehensive and largest exhibition of fantastic art to date in the United States.  When I saw an ad featuring Donato Giancola’s The Hobbit, I just knew I had to go! The presentation is quite impressive – showcase fantasy art from hundreds of years ago to present. If you ever wanted to see works in person, but really didn’t want deal with going to a convention convention, this showcase is a perfect opportunity. Tolkien themed works on exhibit: The Hildebrandt Brother’s Smaug and The Gift of Galadriel, Ruth Sanderson’s Galadriel, Mark Zug’s The Sands of Gorgoroth, Matthew Stewart’s Battle of Five Armies, Stephen Hickman’s Siege of Minas Tirith (triple WOW factor in person), Darrell Sweet’s The Slaying of Glaurung, and last but not least, Donato Giancola’s The Hobbit (Absolutely stunning in person – and gigantic!). The exhibit runs through September 9th 2012 in Allentown, PA.  [Allentown Art Museum]

 

Posted in Events, Exhibits, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Meet Ups, The Hobbit

Epic Fail: Darth Vader vs. Gandalf – Super Power Beat Down

The folks over at Super Power Beat Down are obviously trying to tick off Tolkien fans. In the recent match-up of ‘Darth Vader vs. Gandalf,’ they’ve managed to make an amazing technical presentation of a battle between these two pop culture icons (well worth the watch!), but failed when it came down to making an educated decision on who could actually win a battle between the two. Ultimately if the competition comes down to a vote of the pop culture masses, we can always count on the slavish drones of Lucasites feverishly voting for anything that has the moniker of ‘Star Wars.’ Yea, I’m all kinds of sour grapes. Enjoy the video for the technical prowess and presentation. And, I may mention, the guy in the Darth Vader outfit is actually good TORn friend David Baxter (aka Treebeard)! He’s really tall, but next time I see him, I’ll try to send a collective slap for the Tolkien community. (P.S. – the views in this story of those of Calisuri, and not TheOneRing.net :P) [Super Power Beat Down] [Direct YouTube Link]

Posted in Creations, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien