There was a lot that I liked in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” and there were a few things that left me scratching my head. But first, let’s get the niceties out of the way; this review is chock full of spoilers, so turn back now if you just don’t want to know. Also, this review is based on my opinion, other reviews will be popping up shortly from other staffers, so take that for what it’s worth.
Beware, there be spoilers ahead!
Really, if you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading now!
These spoilers reveal a lot, last chance to come back later!
Here is a list of all the cool scenes that really made an impact on me.
- I did rather like that instead of a Flashback beginning, like all the previous films, this one jumped right into the action with Smaug attacking Laketown and everyone trying to flee.
- On a related note, I love the way Bard faces off against Smaug. He stays so calm and yet watchful and careful as he prepares to defend the city against Smaug’s attack. Once Bain enters the scene, it becomes event better. Everyone who might have been afraid that this sequence would be ruined, or at least lessened by the use of the Wind-lance, fear not, Bard goes real old school in how he launches the fatal shot. The fact that Smaug is taunting him is even more perfect.
- Dol Guldur – Perfection in just about every way. From Galadriel’s rather relaxed entrance, to Elrond and Saruman double-teaming the Nine, this is the kind of epic showdown we hoped for from the White Council. And then Galadrield goes nuclear on Sauron and things get really serious. If you ever had any doubt that Galadriel was the most powerful Elf in Middle-earth, this will drop you jaw to the floor. It also shows just how close the bond is between Galadriel and Gandalf, so that in 60 year’s time, when Galadrield learns of Gandalf’s fate in Moria, we will be able to feel her grief just that little bit more.
- Bilbo presenting the Arkenstone to Bard and Thranduil in order to broker peace between them and Thorin. Thranduil is universally dismissive of the Dwarves throughout the film, but Bilbo cuts through the politics and states he would not like to see his friends in battle, so he has come up with another solution.
- As impressive as it was for Bilbo to make the decision to take the Arkenstone out of Erebor, it is even more impressive that he returns to the Mountain to be with the Company when Bard plays the Arkenstone for peace. Thorin’s fiery reaction is pitch perfect, and Bilbo barely escapes without being thrown over the walls.
- Thorin’s decent into madness is expertly played, but my favorite scene is actually when a suspicious Thorin questions Bilbo about what he has in his hands, to discover it is an Acorn. Bilbo picked it up in Beorn’s garden and intends to plant it in his own garden at Bag End. Thorin is so surprised that Bilbo has been able to keep this little thing safe so long, that Bilbo would even make the effort when now he can have a share of the treasure. Bilbo simply reminds that it will grow, and that it will remind him of all his adventures, the good and the bad, all the people he encountered along the way. I believe it is at this moment that Thorin decides Bilbo is the only member of the Company he can truly trust because he just does not covet treasure at all. This whole sequence plays beautifully between these two.
- To bookend the relationship between Bilbo and Thorin, at least before the Battle, is the gifting of the Mithril shirt. Bilbo thinks he looks ridiculous, but Thorin knows there will be a fight and that Bilbo needs something to help keep him safe. Of course, it is during this sequence that Thorin confides to Bilbo that he thinks a member of the Company has taken the Arkenstone, that he has been betrayed by one of his own kin.
- Thorin, Dwalin, Fili and Kili all jump on the Battle Rams brought by Dain’s army and ride those up Ravenhill. It is now made very clear why Dwarves use Battle Rams as steeds, they are the perfect animal for folk who live in or on mountains because they can climb so well.
- Thorin and Azog, the battle royale on the ice. This is a big, bone crushing battle that is exhausting just to watch, and it ends just the way it is supposed to end. We do get to see how Thorin get’s Orcrist back, which is a nice touch.
- Bilbo does get to join the battle, much more so than he did in the book. He is on the field of battle when both the Orcs and Dain’s Iron Hill Dwarves show up, and then when the Laketown people are withdrawn to Dale, he makes the decision to go warn Thorin that a second Orc army is bearing down on his position on Ravenhill. This, after Thorin nearly threw him from the Walls, is why it is clear that Bilbo is no longer that same Hobbit that left the Shire.
- Bilbo does get knocked out, but not while he is invisible, and he awakens in time to see Thorin’s epic fight with Azog, allowing him to be there at the end. This will be one of the times you need your tissue.
- I do so love it when Bilbo invites the surviving Dwarves back to Bag End for tea, whenever they are in the neighborhood. It is so very Hobbity, and emotional at the same time.
- The auction at Bag End, in the Shire. We finally see Lobelia Sackville-Baggins trying to get away with Bilbo’s spoons, and many other Hobbits do get away with quite a lot of his furniture. Bilbo has to prove he really is himself by showing some document or other with his name on it. Luckily, he still has his contract with his name on it to do so, but alas his home is nearly empty at this point. It is while he is looking at Thror’s Map that we transition to Old Bilbo just at the moment that Gandalf knocks on the day of Bilbo’s Birthday. So the film ends just where it should, back in the Shire where the next story begins.
- The Last Goodbye by Billy Boyd is a rather perfect song to listen to through the end credits, accompanied by Alan Lee’s wonderful drawings, as usual.
And here is a list of the few things that confused me or did not seem to ring true.
- Not a big criticism, but I found it odd that a few scenes shown in the Trailer released just a month before the Premiere did not make the final cut. There is no Ice Chariot careening down the icy river outside Erebor, in fact there is no Ice Chariot at all. There is also no sequence where you can clearly see the Iron Hill dwarves riding the Battle Rams, which is not a big deal, you see the army, just not the Rams. But since Thorin, Dwalin, Fili and Kili all go grab a Ram to ride up to Ravenhill, it’s an odd transition to not see them arriving.
- The biggest thing I was looking for was when Bilbo and Gandalf finally discuss the Ring, but it happens in the most unexpected way, and very off hand, as if they almost forgot to include it at all. Just as Bilbo and Gandalf reach the edge of the Shire and Gandalf is about to go his own way, he stops and warns Bilbo that Magic Rings are not toys and should be taken seriously. Basically, it’s the same thing he says to Bilbo after his Birthday party stunt 60 years later. Problem is, the Ring has never been a topic of conversation, so Bilbo is about to deny it when Gandalf stops him and says something along the lines of “I know you found something in the Golbin caves and you’ve been acting strange every since then.” But how does Gandalf surmise it is a Ring of Power and not just some magic Acorn, or a brass button with a charm on it? It’s just a bit out of left field and took me completely out of the scene.
- The only other bit that made me a bit sad was the fact that Beorn was barely even in the film at all. He arrives at the last minute with the Eagles, lead by Radagast, and he joins the fight by simply sliding off the back of an Eagle and falling into the battle, changing into a Bear on the way down. That is wicked cool, but we basically see just one swipe of his giant paw, sending Orcs flying, and then that is all done. Just not very satisfying at all.
Posted in Fans, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Line Party, Meet Ups, Premieres, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien
Should you find yourself in Los Angeles next week and the week after, there will be plenty of Hobbity goodness to go around. And if you are not in LA, a few of the events will be covered so that you don’t miss any of the fun.
1) First up on Monday, December 8 with Peter Jackson receiving a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This will begin at 11:30am and run till about 12:15pm. The Walk of Fame website will be live streaming the ceremony, which means everyone can enjoy it even if you can’t be here with us. For those who do decide to attend, TORn will be hosting a lunch moot at the Cabo Wabo Cantina inside the Hollywood and Highland complex. The Star Ceremonies are open to the public, but they do not allow chairs or step ladders or anything that would impede walking. The ceremony lasts for about 45 minutes once it is started and they expect everyone to clear out once it is over in order to reopen the sidewalk. Peter’s star is slated to be outside the Dolby Theater on Hollywood Blvd, so you can park in the Hollywood and Highland Complex. If you wish to attend you can check out our Facebook Event Page. Andy Serkis will be speaking during the ceremony and numerous other cast are scheduled to appear.
2) The Hollywood premiere for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will take place inside the Dolby Theater on Tuesday, December 9. The Red Carpet starts at 5pm, so do try and arrive before then. Last year’s Hollywood premiere was more of a press event and not very fan friendly, so just go into this with eyes open. Arrive early, bring lots of patience with you, be prepared to stand for a long while, bring water and comfy shoes, and be open to changing locations if security changes protocols 6 times on you. Regardless of what happens on the Red Carpet and with the screening, TORn will again be hosting a little moot in Cabo Wabo Cantina, which will be open until midnight. We do hope that we learn a few helpful hints for the Premiere at the Star Ceremony the day before, so stay tuned to our Facebook Event Page. Numerous cast are slated to attend the premiere.
One helpful suggestion for both events: If you wish to get autographs, make sure to bring with you everything you will need, including a good sharpie pen and the items you want signed. And while large posters or the Chronicles books are lovely items to get signed, you are best bringing something small and easy to carry.
3) Next up on the very busy Hollywood Hobbit tour is Billy Boyd doing a live performance and then CD signing for the new Soundtrack for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on Wednesday, December 10. The event will be at the Barnes and Noble at The Grove, starting at 6pm. This will be a Wristbanded event, and they will begin to hand out those wristbands on Tuesday, December 9 at 9am once the soundtrack officially goes on sale. So, if you will be heading to the Premiere, swing past the Grove, pick up your soundtrack and get a wristband. For more details, please visit our Facebook Event Page for more details.
That’s it for next week, but then the film will be released the week after and our line parties kick into full gear.
4) Marathon Monday at the TCL Chinese theater on Monday, December 15 starting at Noon. This will be the first publicly available screening of the final film, and TORn will be there with Trivia, games and prizes for one and all. Please visit the Facebook Event Page.
5) On Tuesday, December 16 at 7pm, the TCL Chinese will hold their first screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in IMAX HFR 3D. More fun and games will ensue. For more details, please visit the Facebook Event page.
Posted in Andy Serkis, Billy Boyd, Director news, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Line Party, Meet Ups, Music, Other Events, Peter Jackson, Premieres, soundtrack, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
As the lead up to this year’s One Last Party, we will be featuring images and stories from Oscar Parties past.
When “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” was first released, this staffer hosted a Line Party at the Irvine Spectrum 21 theaters, which is about an hour south of Hollywood. I had made friends with the manager the previous year during the Line Party events then, so for this second year we got even more ambitious and hosted trivia contests, a costume parade and even a blood drive. I was also able to secure the large movie banner that hung over their box office, which they had delivered to my home on mid-January. This banner measured some 50′ wide and 30′ tall and was quite bulky and heavy when folded up and presented to me. These types of banners are made by a company that custom fit them to the theater requirements and then installs them and later uninstalls them. Usually, they are professional disposed of, but in this case, I got it.
TheA month later while we are figuring out our decor for the Two Towers, One Party, we decided this banner would make for a great back drop on the stage, and that is exactly what we did with it. We had that party in the historic Hollywood Athletic Club, which had a wonderful oval room with a balcony level ideal for hanging a banner from.
The banner made a perfect backdrop, except for one problem. It was a solid canvas that did not allow for anyone to pass from backstage to onstage. So, we had to slice two 6′ slits on either side to allow for techies, guests and performers to get on and off the stage. During the party, we hosted a silent auction and one of the items was this banner. A very lucky person got to take it home the next day, after we figured out how to get it down without killing anyone. Like I said, this was not a light item to work with.
There are now 28 days left in our campaign to host a last big hurrah, The One Last Party: There and Back Again. In just the three days since the campaign started, we have already met 19% of our goal, and have received 3 pledges in the various VIP levels, leaving just 7 others for you to pick up. We’ve also taken 17 of the available 50 ‘Smaug’s Treasure’ which is actually one of the exclusive Goody Bag(gins) full of all the same sponsor items that will be handed out at the party to attendees. Please check out all of our Supporter perks, no level of support is too small. Please visit our Indiegogo campaign page for more details on how you can help make this party happen.
The One Last Party: There and Back Again.
Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, Meet Ups, Movie The Two Towers, Oscar Parties, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The One Last Party, The One Last Party
The date is almost upon us, when we open up our Pre-Oscar Party support campaign, which includes tickets to attend ‘The One Last Party: There and Back Again” on Saturday, February 21, 2015. The Campaign will be going live tomorrow on Indiegogo and will include numerous levels of support, including cost saving levels for those who can’t attend but would still like to support TheOneRing.net as we say One Last Goodbye to all things Middle-earth on the big screen.
In the first of a series of Scrapbook articles, we will be looking at brief moments from previous parties, some from the planning phase, the production phase, or reviews from fellow fans who have attended. While digging through some of our old photos, I came across something a little different. This was a story written in a small town paper by a woman who had decided to try and attend our Return of the One Party in 2004 and conveys her excitement at the prospect. With the tickets and support page opening up tomorrow, this seemed a very appropriate Scrapbook reminder. You can read her story from this below.
Posted in Events, Fans, Lord of the Rings, Meet Ups, Movie Return of the King, Old Oscar Party News, Oscar Parties, Return of the King, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The One Last Party, The One Last Party, Tolkien
By now you have no doubt seen the new Star Wars teaser for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, and if not, it’s time to shake off that Turkey Coma from Thanksgiving yesterday and get thee to a theater, or you can find it here: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ The biggest question that has set off the inter webs since it’s debut is ‘Who is narrating this?’ It sounds like Smaug, er, that is, it sounds like Benedict Cumberbatch. He has not been officially attached to the film, but did visit the set and was extremely coy on a recent installment of the Graham Norton show about any possible involvement, which can be seen here: BC on Graham Norton. In a recent article today, Collider.com says the narration comes from confirmed cast member Andy Serkis, quoted below:
Contrary to rumors that began spreading right after the trailer hit, the actor providing the ominous voiceover narration is not Benedict Cumberbatch. It is in fact confirmed cast member Andy Serkis. With regards to his character’s allegiance, his words are rather ambiguous. It’s easy to imagine that voice belonging to either an old shaman-type Jedi or an age-old Sith. Which is it? We likely won’t find out for a very long time.
Read more at Collider.com’s Burning Questions answered
Of course, the narration could be anyone really, well, anyone with a nice, deep accented voice that could be equal parts menacing or world weary. As soon as we have a confirmation, we’ll pass it along. But in the mean time, what are your impressions of the new trailer? BTW, that new Sith Lightsaber is very cool with the feel of an old school broadsword.
Update: Hitfix has confirmed Collider’s story that the narration was performed by cast member Andy Serkis, but was unable to give any further details on what role he plays beyond being a pivotal character and not having much screen time. You can find more info at Hitfix story confirms Andy’s narration.
Posted in Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Fans
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has announced that the 2,538th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will go to Peter Jackson in a ceremony to be held on Monday, December 8 at 11:30am. The star will be located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd in front of the Dolby Theater, with the ceremony taking place in that same location. Andy Serkis will be the guest speaker with additional celebrities in the form of Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Richard Armitage and Elijah Wood. With all these folks in Hollywood that day, it now seems pretty clear that the previously supposed New York premiere on the same date is no longer happening.
Everyone at TheOneRing.net would like to issue Sir Peter Jackson a heartfelt congratulations, you will always be welcome at any and all of our fan events. After all, you helped create this thriving community of fans we foster on TORn.
The complete press release can be read below. (more…)
Posted in Andy Serkis, Director news, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Orlando Bloom, Other Events, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
A couple months ago we announced the big LOTR trilogy screening announcement for the Lincoln Center in NY where a full symphony and choir accompanies each film in a live, soundtrack performance. Having seen the first two, this is a ‘not to be missed’ event, unless you were denied tickets when the ROTK sold out.
Well, never fear, the Symphony Silicon Valley has picked up the quest and will be running two cycles of the trilogy in San Jose in mid-April. Run, do not walk and get yourself your tickets for this amazing performance of the much loved set of films and musical scores. You can read all the details HERE.
Posted in Concerts, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers
Tickets for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” are already on sale in some parts of the World, and are now slated to be available in the US on Friday, November 14. Before that happens, you may want to get ready for the big event by either hosting a Line Party event, or looking for one in your area to attend. So here are a few helpful tips to get you started.
1) There is no right way and wrong way to have a Line Party. You basically just choose a theater you wish to go to, invite some friends and go to the film and have some fun. If you feel up to the challenge of hosting, you can let us announce your event so that others in your area can join you. At that point, you can be as active or passive in planning as you wish.
Example of a low-key, passive sort of Line Party: Your local theater doesn’t have a history of long lines hours in advance of screenings, or has reserved seats. No problem, simply suggest to your friends, and any public announcement you are comfortable with that you meet up a couple hours ahead of the film’s start time at a local restaurant, pub or coffeehouse. At this meeting point, or in the line, you simply walk around others in line and ask a few simple questions, such as: Do you think Bilbo will reveal the Ring to Gandalf? Which battle are you most looking forward to, Dol Guldur and the White Council, or the Battle of Five Armies? Do you think Beorn will get to fight in the Battle of Five Armies?, etc. Depending on the timing of your chosen screening and the availability of late night dining in the area, you might also suggest a Post movie meal and discussion too.
Example of an active Line Party: Host a costume contest with prizes, and prepare some Trivia Questions, also with prizes. If you don’t have any real, tangible prizes, go buy a bag of candy or stickers at Staples and give those out in recognition of a job well done. But do ask your theater if they have a few extra posters you can use for prizes, you might be surprised at what that gets you. Trivia can come in many formats, from Fill in the Blank (name all the Dwarves) to simple Yes/No or True/False type questions. Also, you can make them from Book Canon or Movie Canon, your choice. Suggest a Canned Food collection or a Blood Drive, be creative and have fun with it. You could schedule a meal gathering before or after, or both for discussion purposes.
2) Should you get permission to host the Line Party from the theater manager? Yes and no, depending on what you wish to do and the idiosyncrasies of your chosen theater. Large theaters within shopping malls or entertainment complexes typically have a few rules about large events, which governs such mundane things as weapons, including costumed weapons. It is a good idea to ask to speak to a manager and explain what you plan to do. You can also tell them there is absolutely nothing they need to do other than actually run the film, which will ease their mind that you aren’t asking for promotion, man power or any effort at all on their part. Then again, some theaters might be eager to get involved in an event that turns the Passive nature of movie watching into an active event. Don’t be discouraged if a theater manager says no. You can choose a different theater, or you can still do a more low key event at that theater, and just not make a big deal out of it to the staff. But communication is never a bad thing, especially if you find out if the line will be indoors or outdoors and when the theater plans to start allowing people in to the theater. All of that is info you can pass along to your Line mates.
3) Now, how to go about actually forming a Line Party. Many moons ago during the LOTR films, we had some handy software that allowed us to create a Line Party description and keep track of members RSVPing to it so we could email or post details. Then the long wait between LOTR and the Hobbit set in and that software disappeared somewhere in the Dead Marshes, to be replaced by not entirely interactive mapping software. Since it allows a Line Party to start, but does not allow anyone to RSVP, we decided to MacGyver a solution by using Facebook. So, just take a look at our TORn Facebook Events page for ideas on how to announce a Line Party, and then send in an email to Garfeimao@TheOneRing.net with your parties statistics: Host name, Theater name, address, city and the start time of your event. Don’t fret if you don’t have all the info just yet, we can edit and change the screening info later on if need be, but let’s get some Line Parties posted and get talking to fellow fans in your area.
4) Why should you start a Line Party or Attend one? Why Not? You will have fun with your friends, and you stand a good chance to make some new friends. This may well be your last chance to really hang out with Tolkien fans and experience Middle-earth within a Fellowship of Fans, so step out of your comfort zone and start a line party or search for one to join.
Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Line Party, Meet Ups, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
We already know that the World Premiere for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” will be in London on December 1, and there was news several months back for the North American premiere in New York on December 8. Recently we learned that several of the Kiwi Dwarf actors will be at the Los Angeles premiere, but no further details were given at the time, until now. Maybe. A nearly blind Raven visited earlier today and croaked out some news that the Hollywood premiere will be on December 9 at the TCL Chinese theater on Hollywood Blvd. There has not been an official press release yet, so please consider this a rumor, a strong rumor, but a rumor nonetheless. After all, Roac is very old and nearly blind, but he’s never given bad advice before.
Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Premieres, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
This is just a friendly reminder that this Saturday will be your last chance to see TORn live at a con this year before “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is released. This is also the weekend before the Extended Edition of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” drops, so you can expect a lot of discussion of what will be seen in both releases. We will be talking about the entire Middle-earth saga on film from the past 15 years, as well as things to come for Tolkien fans. So join us on Saturday, November 1 at 4pm in room 304ABC for one last ‘Unofficial’ look at The Hobbit. After the convention ends at 7pm the fun continues as we head over to the Glance Lobby Bar at the JW Marriott at LA Live (other side of Staples Center) to hang out and chill. RSVP for the mini-moot. This is not a formal gathering, no fee required and no space is being reserved, but with all 3 home sports teams on the road, we will have less competition than usual. You can pick up tickets and see details for the con at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo.
Posted in Conventions, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Meet Ups, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Sir Ian McKellen starts this video introduction to announce the World Premiere date for the final chapter of Peter Jackson’s cinematic Middle-earth films. We now know for sure that the cast and crew from all six films will be walking through Leicester Square on December 1, 2014 in London. Sir Ian was joined by Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom and Bilbo Baggins himself, Martin Freeman. Check out the video below for more details and start making your plans accordingly. There is mention of a contest, so good luck to anyone who chooses to enter.
Posted in Contests, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Orlando Bloom, Production, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.
This adorable video makes an excellent addition to Air New Zealand’s more lighthearted and fun approach to safety videos shown at the beginning of every flight.
Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi has taken two Middle-earth fans and placed them in the middle of an Epic Journey, surrounded by Hobbits, Dwarves, Orcs and Elves, and some of them are the actual actors from the films. All the bases are covered, seat belts, electronic devices, life vests, etc, but there is a very definite Middle-earth vibe going on. (more…)
Posted in Dean O'Gorman, Elijah Wood, Fans, Locations Sets, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien