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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – a ‘first thoughts’ review (spoiler free!)

HBFA_1sht_Main_INTLAnd so we come to it – the last Hobbit movie of our time…

Maybe not – but certainly this is the final film in what is now Peter Jackson’s sextuplet of Middle-earth movies. And I was lucky enough to see it today.

Here are some spoiler-free first impressions:

It is a beautiful film. So many lovely moments – great acting from our dwarf cast (who have very few lines amongst them, but who do wonderful, expressive things facially and with body language). Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Luke Evans and Richard Armitage are as fabulous as they have been throughout these films.

John Bell (Bain, son of Bard) is a stand out ‘supporting role’ in this film. There is a scene between him and his father Bard which is especially moving – it was the first scene in the film to make me cry! From the dwarves, Ken Stott (Balin) and Graham McTavish (Dwalin) both have well scripted, skilfully played scenes.

Christopher Lee is fantastic – Saruman is a force to be reckoned with in this film, even though he only appears briefly!

There are some typically over the top, ‘PJ’ moments – bits which made me roll my eyes, but which, on the whole, we’ve come to expect from this playful director. Legolas does more than shield-surfing in this movie… But when it comes to the quiet, downplayed moments, this stellar cast don’t let us down. I was moved to tears often; the scene when Bilbo takes his final leave from the company of dwarves is beautifully touching.

Howard Shore’s score is as effective as ever, and of course the production and costume design are wonderful. Is this the best of the three Hobbit movies? Maybe. I need to see it again to decide. Does it rise to the height of the Lord of the Rings movies? In places, yes. There are scenes of spectacular depth and emotion, as well as that incredible New Zealand scenery. There are CGI moments which, for me, are jarring – vast hordes of soldiers where it is all too obvious that the same CGI character is repeated multiple times – but on the whole, not so many in this film as there were in The Desolation of Smaug.

There are small things I might wish to change, but overall, this is a satisfying end to this trilogy – and a pleasing ‘lead in’ to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Tonight on the red carpet, Peter Jackson asked me who would be the first person to watch all six films in order. I can’t wait to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies again; and I can’t wait to watch this film ‘in situ’ with the other five movies. It’s a worthy, emotional part of our Middle-earth journey; a three tissue film for me! We went there; we’ve come back again; and the journey has been well worth it.

Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a final toast to all SIX movies, both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.

We’re inviting you to join us and make it happen through our Indiegogo campaign — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Visit our campaign page and find out how you can help!

Posted in Christopher Lee, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, John Bell, Ken Stott, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The One Last Party – tickets available NOW!

one last party logoThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has its world premiere in London today. The last of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth films is nearly here. And so begins the end of the epic journey – mission – quest – thing – we have all been on together.

But fear not! We have no intention of letting these films sail into the West without a fanfare!  So get ready to celebrate at The One Last Party – There and Back Again: a Party of Special Magnificence, a final toast to all SIX movies, both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.

This will be on Saturday 21st Feb 2015 – the day BEFORE the Oscars – at a venue in Los Angeles, TBA. There will be music, food, drink, entertainment (from William Kircher’s band The California Dreamers, celtic musicians Emerald Rose, and more) and all kinds of fun! But here’s the thing… (more…)

Posted in Adam Brown, Billy Boyd, Events, Fans, Graham McTavish, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Manu Bennett, Meet Ups, Oscar Parties, The Hobbit, The One Last Party, TheOneRing.net Announcements, William Kircher

Graham McTavish talks about being a Dwarf and ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’

BotFATrailer39Here’s the transcript of an interview with Graham McTavish conducted with TheOneRing.net and a handful of other reporters on the set of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

(more…)

Posted in Graham McTavish, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Premieres, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, TheOneRing.net Announcements

Four of The Hobbits’ dwarves go on Canadian breakfast telly

Just a week or so back Graham McTavish (Dwalin), William Kircher (Bifur), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), and Peter Hambleton (Gloin) went on Canadian breakfast telly to talk about their experiences on the set of The Hobbit in the lead-up to their appearance at the C4 Central Canada Comic Con over the weekend.

It’s a fun interview — made all-the-more amusing by the presenter mixing up who is which character right at the start. Have a watch and see if you pick it up right away. (more…)

Posted in Conventions, Dean O'Gorman, Events, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Peter Hambleton, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, William Kircher

It Comes in Print? I’m Getting One.

Middle-earth MadnessYou asked for it. We listened.

When TORn’s new book, Middle-earth Madness, came out last month for Kindle and Nook, some fans were delighted, like Elizabeth Trogden who gives the books five stars at Amazon saying, “Just as the movies led me to the books, TheOneRing.net informed me of the many fans and their activities. This book wonderfully complements all of them.”

But there were others lit up Facebook and message boards with a clear request: “We want a printed version!” As Ithilwen commented, “I hope for printed version as well, it just seems way more fitting to read about Middle-earth from a paper book. Or maybe I’m just a bit old fashioned.”

Well, here it is. Real pages packed with hobbity goodness for you to hold in your hand and set on the shelf with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies the book is all about. It’s a little piece of TORn you can keep as a collector’s item and look back on as the years go by.

Get yours today to find out…

Middle-earth Madness- Which creature design in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey the filmmakers weren’t satisfied with and secretly changed for the extended edition DVD
– Which Hobbit movie includes an item with J.R.R. Tolkien’s name written on it
– Which item Bilbo takes from Beorn’s house and takes home
– How Peter Jackson could make an adaptation of The Silmarillion without obtaining the rights from the Tolkien Estate
– and lots more, including interviews with Richard Armitage (Thorin), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), Richard Taylor (Weta Workshop), Mark Ordesky (LOTR Exec) and many more of your favorites.

Want to read a sample chapter and see what all the fuss is about? Here you go!

Update: thanks to DanielLB on our discussion boards for pointing out that the book is also available on some Amazon sites for countries other than the U.S. (amazon.uk, amazon.fr). So check out your country’s site in case you can save on some shipping.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Collectibles, Graham McTavish, Happy Hobbit, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie FAQ, Lord of the Rings, Richard Armitage, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, William Kircher

The Hobbit totally won San Diego Comic-Con. Here are just eight reasons why.

The annual tradition of determining who won or lost at San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing across the blogosphere. The all-volunteer staff of TheOneRing.net (who always attend on their own accord and dime) experienced all the booths, panels and exclusive lines at SDCC 2014.

After taking it all in, here are just a few reasons we think 2014 SDCC belonged to The Hobbit. (more…)

Posted in Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Fans, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Meet Ups, WETA Workshop

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Panel, SDCC 2014

Many thanks to Ringer Piet for bringing this video of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Panel to our attention.  Before you get your hopes too high, the teaser trailer has been excised from the video, so it only shows the Panel, but it’s still worth watching for that.  Meanwhile we’ll all keep hoping they’ll release the trailer online soon.

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Posted in Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, ComicCon, Conventions, Crew News, Director news, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Studios, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.

Graham McTavish headed to Armageddon Expo NZ

Graham McTavish News in brief: Ringer Emma tells us that Graham McTavish will be making an appearance at Armageddon Expo in Auckland in October. (more…)

Posted in Conventions, Events, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Cast News

Film ‘REALITi’ with Graham McTavish to screen at Auckland and Wellington film festivals

Poster OnlineDirector Jonathan King’s new film Realiti, featuring Graham McTavish among the cast, will have its world premiere in Wellington on July 31st, with further screenings there and in Auckland in early August. Written by Chad Taylor, the film was made whilst McTavish was also busy with pickups for a certain trilogy; the director says:

“The Hobbit’s Graham McTavish plays a featured (non prosthetic  – or kilt!) role in the film, and he’s really great in it: a different tone to his fantasy-related work, but a part that really suits his authority and charisma. Graham worked on the film at the same time as he was shooting The Hobbit here and it was a thrill for us how much attention he gave to our small film at the same time as he was involved in such a big one! I think it will be great for fans to see Graham in a different kind of role.”

(more…)

Posted in Events, Film Screenings, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit

FantasyCon 2014 Full Recap!

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Fantasy-Con’s official mascot!

dwarves and dragon

These dwarves aren’t afraid of Smaug!

The first annual FantasyCon was an amazing weekend! Tens of thousands of fans from around the country and many actors from around the world traveled to beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah for an engagingly fun weekend of group panels, signings, photo ops and fireside chats. Here is a recap of some of the fun from several TheOneRing.net staff members who made the journey there.

Elijah Wood Hosts Kickoff Party

Starting off the week was an amazing dance night hosted by Frodo himself DJ ElWood!

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Elijah Wood is on the right in the center of the stage. Frodo has some groovy tunes!

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Official Fantasy-Con photographers got better shots than we did ;)

Middle-earth Kick-Off!

To start FantasyCon with a celebrity blast, an all-star group of Tolkien guests took the stage including:

  • Sean Astin (Samwise)
  • Adam Brown (Ori)
  • Billy Boyd (Pippin)
  • Jed Brophy (Nori)
  • John Callen (Óin)
  • Peter Hambleton (Glóin)
  • William Kircher (Bifur)
  • Sylvester McCoy (Radagast)
  • Graham McTavish (Dwalin)
  • Mark Ordesky (Executive Producer LOTR)
  • John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)
  • Ken Stott (Balin)
  • author Doug Adams (‘The Music of The Lord of the Rings’)
  • artist Donato Giancola
  • Badali Jewelry
  • …and the staff of TheOneRing.net!

dwarves and staf 2 dwarves and staff dwarves staff 2 staff

(more…)

Posted in Adam Brown, Conventions, Elijah Wood, Events, FantasyCon, Graham McTavish, Happy Hobbit, Jed Brophy, John Callen, John Rhys-Davies, Ken Stott, Meet Ups, Peter Hambleton, Sylvester McCoy, TORn TUESDAYS Live!, William Kircher

All things TORn at San Diego Comic Con 2014

sdcc-logoIt is now just a little over 2 weeks from the start of San Diego Comic Con International, the biggest and most talked about Scifi/Fantasy convention on the geek calendar. We at TheOneRing.net have been busily planning for an epic week of Hobbity goodness to share with all of you, attendee and stay-at-home fans alike. This is your handy dandy little guide to when and where you can find us throughout the convention.

This year we will only be at one location on the Exhibit Hall floor, sharing space at the WETA booth #3613. We won’t have a huge amount of room in this booth, but then that is because WETA is pulling out all the stops for the final Hobbit film and ‘Bringing It’. You will want to make Booth #3613 a ‘must see’ location, even your non-Tolkien fan friends will want to visit WETA. So stop by the booth, say hello to TORn and WETA folks alike, buy some stuff, have your camera ready and enjoy the geekiness of all things Hobbit.

The full SDCC panel schedule will officially be announced beginning this Thursday, but here is advance notice of when our panel will take place.

An Unofficial look at the final Middle-Earth Film “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” Thursday, 7/24/14, 5:00p.m. – 6:00p.m., Room: Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton Bayfront

The Hilton Bayfront is next to the Convention Center down near Hall H, and the Indigo Ballroom is probably the biggest room we have yet had at SDCC, so don’t be late and risk missing our sneak peek at the final film in the series.

Edited to Add 7/8/14:  Warner Bros. has announced their slate of films for SDCC and The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies will be among them. Their panel will be at 10am on Saturday, July 26 in Hall H. Peter Jackson was confirmed to be attending, and will be joined by Director George Miller with Mad Max Fury Road. Also mentioned was Jupiter Ascending and there will be a sneak peek screening of Richard Armitage’s Into the Storm on Wednesday, July 23 at 10pm at the Reading Gaslamp Theater, but no word yet on how to snag tickets for that. 

Throughout the weekend TORn staffers will be tweeting, posting pics and videos to Facebook, posting stories here, live streaming, and giving you as much Hobbit news as we possibly can. This will include some of the new projects the actors are working on that are also at SDCC, such as “The Strain” with Sean Astin, “Legends” with Sean Bean and “Outlander” starring Graham McTavish. See the video below for a message from Graham regarding SDCC:

Graham McTavish has confirmed he will be at SDCC, so consider this your official invite to our Laketown Luau on Friday night, beginning at 7pm at the Kona Kai resort on Shelter Island. The SDCC website has finally posted the shuttle routes and we can now announce that the Kona Kai is on the Teal shuttle route. You can find the shuttle schedule here and remember to click on the PDF link at the bottom for the map of the hotels and route information. The Teal route is set to take about 30 minutes to get you between the convention center and the hotel, but if you have a car, the distance is only 6 miles away.  Lake-town Luau

You can only attend the Laketown Luau by purchasing a ticket at our Eventbrite page. With loads of games and a relaxed, outdoor environment, this will be a family friendly party, so bring the kids.

We will update this post or make a new one as soon as we have confirmation of what Warner Bros. might be doing for film previews, including “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies” and whether PJ will put in an appearance. Same goes for confirmation on other film projects, such as Richard Armitage’s ‘Into the Storm” and Luke Evans’ “Dracula Untold”. We already know Outlander will have a premiere event during SDCC.

Posted in Characters, Comic Rumors, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Fans, Graham McTavish, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Luke Evans, Meet Ups, Other Events, Richard Armitage, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, Tolkien

Middle-earth kickoff panel at Fantasy Con

Fili barrelThe Official Day 1 of FantasyCon was yesterday, July 3 and was filled with cosplay, LARPing, music and heraldry. A few awesome Middle-earth costumers visited our booth, and we even had a Dwarf in a Barrel. The barrel and the 4 Hobbits standee proved to be quite popular with those holding a camera, especially the children.

At 11am TheOneRing.net hosted their first panel at the convention with the Preview of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies to an enthusiastic crowd. We fully expect that the trailer will be out by the time San Diego Comic Con rolls around in a few weeks, at which point our Preview panel will be dramatically updated.

Near the end of the day, the entirety of the Tolkien programming track was introduced on stage at the Middle-earth kickoff party. Artists, musicians, writers and TheOneRing.net staff on hand, plus an Avalanche of Dwarves, as John Rhys-Davies put it, a Wizard and a pair of Hobbits converged on the Main Ballroom stage to thunderous applause. Moments later, the entire room went silent, you could almost hear a pin drop, along with one wee Hobbit singing his heart out.

During the panel, numerous questions were asked of many Dwarves, Hobbits and a Wizard, but none were handled with quite so much originality as the one about the Dwarven prosthetics.

The day ended with the Red Party, a less bloody affair than the Red Wedding. Costumed denizens of Westeros and many other realms all danced the night away.

 

Posted in Adam Brown, Billy Boyd, Conventions, Events, Fans, FantasyCon, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jed Brophy, John Callen, John Rhys-Davies, Ken Stott, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Peter Hambleton, Sean Astin, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, William Kircher