In addition to the many fans that posted their reviews on TORn (see yesterday’s article: 15,084 Reviews and Counting), many of our core staff chimed in with reviews soon after FOTR opened. In this article, we bring you reviews by such well-known names as Xoanon, Tehanu, Quickbeam and Ostadan. All of them capture the magic and excitement that we all experienced 15 years ago.
To begin, one lucky staffer, Tehanu, the envy of all of us, was lucky enough to attend the film’s premier in Wellington, New Zealand. Of course, Tehanu (a.k.a. Erica Challis) is one of TORn’s founders and served as our ‘feet on the ground’ and number one Ringer Spy during filming. Here are some of her impressions from the day:
“I’ve been in Wellington for a day or two and I have to tell you, the town is in a Rings uproar. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. The streets are hung with LOTR banners, everything from the Town Hall to the Evening Post’s headquarters is renamed ‘Middle Earth’ (as is the airport, I believe, though I haven’t seen that myself.) The Rings is on every newspaper, every phone bill, every electricity company billboard, on the ads for Mastercard. There are funny billboards harping on LOTR themes everywhere (“Wellington: Full of orcs, hobbits and elves. …But enough about Parliament…..”). The monster cave troll dominates Courtenay Place from its perch on the awning of the Embassy Theatre, where the plasterers are working round the clock to finish the theatre in time for the Premiere.”
Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” turns 15 years old this year and the Newport Beach Film Festival in Southern California is planning a fun little celebration next week. In fact, I’m quite sure TheOneRing.net will be celebrating this fact all year long at various events. Anyhow, if the FOTR Anniversary screening goes well, the Festival will host one for The Two Towers next year, and again in 2018 for The Return of the King.
On Sunday, April 24 there will be a full afternoon of Tolkien fun, starting first with a lunchtime Moot at the Corner Bakery Cafe at 1621 W. Sunflower Ave in Santa Ana. This is in a little shopping center across the street from the theater and very near to the South Coast Plaza. There will be some opportunity for fun and games at 2pm over at the theater where we plan on having our Barrel and backdrop for photo ops, some trivia and most importantly, a costume contest. Below is a little timeline to help you organize your day.
*Moot – Noontime till 2pm at the Corner Bakery Cafe
*Line Party fun – 2pm till 3pm – Regency South Coast Village theater
*Film – 3pm start, should finish around 6:30pm or so
Normally, a retrospective film like this only costs $5 per person and tickets can be purchased at the Film Festival website, but TheOneRing.net has secured a Barrel full of Tickets to share with local fans, especially those in costume.
All you have to do to secure a pair of tickets is email me at garfeimao@TheOneRing.net and tell me what costume you plan to wear. It can be a full on fancy costume with prosthetics, or a costume lite variation, or even a mash-up or gender bender, anything even remotely Tolkien related, including Tolkien himself. After all, not only will there will be a costume contest, but really, who needs an excuse like a free ticket or prize to wear a costume, don’t we all live for this?
One note, for those of you with costumes that have weaponry or large accessories, you can wear that for the contest, and then it must be returned to your car before entering the theater for the film.
Costumed attendees, or those with a companion in costume should RSVP to me by Monday at noon. If we still have tickets left after that, I will open it up to those who do not wish to wear a costume. All updates and announcements will be made on our Facebook Event page.
So come join TheOneRing.net and a load of local Tolkien fans at what should be a lovely day at the theater.
Wellington’s Tolkien Society, Welly-moot, have been in touch to let us know that they are hosting the ULTIMATE Middle-earth Marathon at the Roxy in ‘Wellywood’ over 24 hours, Thursday 24th to Friday 25th March. That’s all SIX of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies, Extended Editions, over one day!
Calling all Ringers in New Zealand and those planning on heading to New Zealand in March 2016. The team over at Welly-moot are arranging an event of special magnificence, assisted by the lovely crew at Roxy Theatre Wellington.
You know what Bilbo had to say about adventures: ‘Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!’ But Professor Tolkien’s own great-grandson, Royd Tolkien, is ignoring all that Bilbo had to say and taking the plunge into a significant adventure of his own!
Royd very sadly lost his younger brother, Mike, earlier this year. Mike had ALS, also known as Motor Neurone Disease, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Royd had to watch his active, thrill-seeking brother succumb to a terrible disease, for which there is currently no cure.
But Mike left Royd a legacy – a ‘bucket list’ of fifty challenges for the much more Bilbo-like (ie less thrill-seeking, more cake-and-tea-enjoying!) older brother Royd to undertake. And Royd is going to fulfil that list, with the help of none other than actor Jed Brophy, surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Middle-earth – by which I mean, of course, New Zealand.
This is a remarkable quest, and one which you will be able to see – because Royd is going to make a film of his adventures! Read more about the amazing journey the Professor’s great-grandson has ahead of him at Royd’s website, here. You can also get involved, support Royd on his odyssey, and maybe grab yourself a pretty amazing perk with some Middle-earth cast or crew (including Richard Taylor and folks at Weta!) – learn more here.
It’s a dangerous business, going out your front door – especially when you have no idea what challenges your little brother has left, to test, stretch and possibly humiliate you! Here at TORn we wish Royd every success, and joyful travels; and we honour the memory of Mike, of TORn’s friend Mel, who also sailed into the West far too early, and to all who battle ALS.
As you know, last week a select group of fans in London were treated to a screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition. Some pretty special guests were in attendance – we hope many of you were able to watch via the live stream!
The organisers behind the event have sent us along this report:
“On Saturday, 7th November 2015, a number of the world’s biggest and most passionate fans of TheHobbitfilm trilogy assembled in London for a very special screening event, where they were joined by a host of special guests, to celebrate the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital release, and to commemorate the one-year anniversary of last year’s incredible The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest competition. The Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release is the final film in the globally popular The Hobbit Trilogy, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
Kyle Pedley of (A)musings Media, who was among the UK-based winners of the global fan competition, organised and hosted the event along with fellow members of The Hobbit Fan Fellowship, with help from Warner Bros. Pictures UK and Tourism New Zealand. International winners flew in from all over the globe – from as far afield as the United States, Mexico and Eastern Europe – to take part in an evening full of surprises and special appearances.
Guests were not only treated to an exclusive UK screening of the Extended Edition of The Hobbit Trilogy’s epic conclusion at Warner Bros. Pictures’ own private screening theatre ahead of its home entertainment release, but were also treated to surprises including a video message from director Sir Peter Jackson all the way from New Zealand, and a Q&A session with a panel of distinguished guests.
These included Royd Tolkien, great-grandson of author J.R.R. Tolkien and long-time advocate and supporter of the film adaptations (who made a cameo appearance in 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), and writer / broadcaster Brian Sibley, who has long been involved in the community celebrating the author’s legacy, having been jointly responsible for the acclaimed 1981 BBC Radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and penning a number of official behind-the-scenes books and guides for both of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth trilogies. Finally, to the excitement and disbelief of fans – met with an uproarious standing ovation – came the surprise appearance of film, theatre and television icon Sir Ian McKellen, known and beloved around the world for his defining portrayal of the Wizard Gandalf in Jackson’s Middle-earth and the only principle cast member to appear in all six films across both celebrated film trilogies.
Other special guests in attendance included a contingent of Middle-earth ‘cosplayers’ – The Galactic Knights, who showcased some of their terrific Hobbit- and Rings-inspired costumes and replicas; Chairman of The Tolkien Society, Shaun Gunner; and Rachel Sprackett of Tourism New Zealand.
Kyle Pedley, The Hobbit Fan Fellowship member and host of the event, said:
“This was an incredible, unprecedented celebration of the impact both these films and also last year’s incredible competition have had on people from all corners of the globe. To have such a dedicated group of fans, who last year formed their own genuine fellowship over the course of a magical week in New Zealand, reunite for this special occasion was just an absolute joy to behold and be part of. To be joined by the likes of Royd Tolkien, Brian Sibley and Sir Ian McKellen, and have such a fantastic personal video message from Sir Peter Jackson over in New Zealand, was an absolute thrill and honour. The guests were not aware or expecting any of it, and their reactions to not only the surprises, but also getting to see one another again, were a moving reminder of how indelible and genuine the bonds of fellowship formed in New Zealand really were.”
The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest was an international search conducted in 2014 by Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and Warner Bros. to find 75 of the world’s biggest Hobbit fans. Over 140,000 people registered for the competition, and over a two month period were required to complete a series of tasks and challenges, including testing their knowledge of New Zealand as the cinematic Middle-earth, designing a postcard for Peter Jackson, and also producing their own two-minute videos detailing their favourite memories of Middle-earth and demonstrating why they were the biggest fans of the franchise.
The winners and their +1s were then flown to New Zealand for an incredible, all-expenses paid trip which spanned both Islands and included visits to the actual filming locations from the movies, a special tour of the Hobbiton Set itself in Matamata, a special Maori Cultural welcome ceremony and Hangi Banquet, a visit to Weta Workshop where all of the creatures, costumes, weapons and special effects of the Middle Earth films were made, and finally a private screening of the final film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, in the company of Peter Jackson himself, over a month before its theatrical release.”
Earlier this week, we told you about a special event happening this weekend, Saturday 7th November, in London (UK), when The Hobbit Fan Fellowship and Warner Bros. are hosting a special screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition. A little bird has told us there are going to be some pretty great surprises at this invitation-only gathering!
Fortunately, even if you can’t be in London or didn’t win an invitation, you can still join in! The event will be LIVE STREAMED, and we’re told that those watching over the internet will even be able to join in and interact.
We can’t share any more details of exactly what will be happening in London – we’re keeping it secret and safe! – but we suggest you join the live stream on Saturday if you can. Here are the details:
[Please note, TheOneRing.net is not in any way involved with the planning and streaming of this event. We can’t help fix it if the stream doesn’t work for you! We’re just sharing the news so fans around the world are aware of this fun happening.]
This weekend, Saturday 7th November, in London (UK), The Hobbit Fan Fellowship and Warner Bros. are hosting a special screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition. And YOU could join them!
We’re told that the evening will include ‘a couple of surprises’ – and of course it’s a chance to see the final Hobbit movie, in its full extended version, on the big screen; as well as spending time with fellow fans. The competition is open worldwide, but in order to take advantage of the prize, you’d have be to sure you – and a friend! – can get to London this coming weekend!
You can find more information about the competition here; and click here to enter. The contest closes on Thursday at 12noonGMT – so get on over there and sign up! We look forward to hearing about another splendid Fan Moot!
Those of you lucky enough to live in the L.A. area can catch an appearance by Sir Ian McKellen at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica on Tuesday, November 17th at 7:30 p.m. He will be appearing before a special showing of Mr Holmes, in which he portrays an aging Sherlock Holmes struggling to put closure on his last case from thirty years earlier. As we all know, our favorite wizard from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies is always entertaining and gracious to his fans, and may even discuss or take questions on his role as Gandalf, so get thee to the Aero on November 17th if you can! Tickets can be purchased here.
The day has finally come and gone when many of you were lucky enough to view The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies in theaters. TORn’s facebook page, the discussion boards and Barli’s chat are all buzzing with excited observations! Many of our staffers saw it too and, as it TORn tradition, we’ll be featuring their comments and insights here, as well as a spoilery picture or two. Speaking of spoilers, they abound in the rest of this article, so read no further if you haven’t seen the EE yet and don’t want to be spoiled until you do!
Here it comes – the final release from Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth!
Many fans gathered in cinemas this week, on Monday and Wednesday, to watch The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, both Extended Editions, on the big screen. Staffers greendragon, deej and CAhobbit went along to the Empire 25 cinema in Times Square on Wednesday night; it was a joy to see these films in theatres again. Nothing beats being able to see every beautiful detail of the set, props, costumes and locations, and every wonderful expression from the cast – some of which is lost when enjoying the movies at home.
On Tuesday of next week, October 13th, fans will finally get to see the final Hobbit film in the cut which Peter Jackson wanted. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition is screening in theatres next week – and thanks to our friends at Fathom Events, YOU can win passes to a cinema near you!
Simply click here to find a cinema location where you would like to see the movie – click ‘buy tickets’ and then enter your zipcode to see where the movie is showing. Next, complete the contest entry form, indicating in the ‘Special Notes’ box the cinema of your choice. Hit ‘Enter Now!’ to submit the form, and you are in with a chance to win!
The contest will run until 11.59pm EST on Sunday 11th October. Two winners will be selected at random on Monday 12th, and Fathom Events will email those winners FOUR passes for their chosen cinema, for Tuesday evening.
These lucky winners will ALSO receive two Lord of the Rings figurines, chosen at random from Aragorn, Saruman, Sauron and Orc figures.
The bad news – alas, this contest is only open to residents of the US, as that is where Fathom Events are screening the movie. Sorry, fans in the rest of the world – you’ll have to wait until the movie is available online, from October 20th.
A reminder that the extended edition of The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey, will be airing tonight across the U.S.. As we reported back in early August, this is the first in a series of live showings of all three extended editions of The Hobbit movies sponsored by Fathom Events and Warner Bros. AUJ will air tonight at 7:30 local time. Many local theaters are carrying it, so if you don’t have tickets, and feel like having a last minute visit with some of your favorite characters such as Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, Saruman, etc., check your local theater!
Also remember that the EE of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will air at the same time and same theaters this Wednesday, October 7th, with the big wrap-up occurring a week from tomorrow, Tuesday, October 13th with the first public showing of the EE of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, with a special introductory message from Peter Jackson.
Those of you lucky enough to see one, or all three, be sure to leave comments below letting us all know how it was!
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