On December 18, 2001, TheOneRing.net introduced a new feature on our site: Ringer Reviews – “A database of reviews from Tolkien fans all over the world, whether you loved, liked or hated the film this is where you can express your feelings in words and celebrate with your fellow fans the release of the first installment in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.” Twenty-four hours later, fans had posted 3,000 reviews. By Christmas the count was up to 6,700 and on January 19, 2002, a month after FOTR opened, over 10,000 reviews had been submitted.
Today the count stands at 15,084 reviews. Unfortunately, the individual reviews reside on our old site and have been archived. But, we thought it might be fun to revisit some of the overall results, more of which can be found at the Ringer Reviews link above.
A number of other sites around the internet are also celebrating the 15th anniversary of the opening of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring this week, and/or The Lord of the Rings movie franchise in general. For the convenience of our readers, we put together this one-stop shop for a stroll down memory lane. We’ll bring more to you during the week as we find them. Enjoy!
It’s that time of year again, when about half a million people converge on downtown Atlanta for the geekfest that is DragonCon. And TheOneRing.net will of course be there! We can’t wait to see all our friends and to enjoy Middle-earth fun together.
Some of the things which will be happening:
TheOneRing will have a ‘fan table’, as ever, where staffers deej and greendragon will be hard at work! We’ll be in our usual location in the Hyatt hotel, opposite the entrance to the Art Show. Come by and check out the new buttons and two new tshirt designs we’ll be unveiling this year!
Thanks to a tweet from Weta Workshop, we’re reminded that this infamous video of Legolas’ memorable line from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; “They’re taking the Hobbits to Isengard!” just passed the 10-year anniversary of its release on May 11, 2006. With over 21 million views, and 39,000 comments, this mash-up by Erwin Beekveld has attracted a lot of attention over the years. Speaking of years, if the fact that it’s been a decade since it was made makes you feel a bit old – join the club! In any case – it’s just as funny as it was 10 years ago, so enjoy!
TheOneRing.net’s table at the convention. Thanks to all who stopped by!
It’s hard to believe a week has passed already since HobbitCon Vier in Germany. Staffers deej and greendragon were delighted to be there, meeting fellow fans and sharing the fun. As promised, here are some tales of the weekend for those of you who couldn’t be there – or who were there and just want to look back!
HobbitCon was held in the Hotel Maritim in Bonn, April 1-3. Folks started arriving on the Wednesday before, and there was an atmosphere of anticipation as more and more people, often laden with suitcases full of costumes, showed up to be reunited with friends.
On Friday the con officially got underway, and the big ‘kick off’ was the Opening Ceremony that evening. All the guests were invited on stage – TORn’s staff had no idea they would have to speak, but greendragon dusted off her German to say a few words! Of course the crowd was really waiting to see the guest actors; in attendance this year were Mark Atkin, Dallas Barnett, John Bell, Billy Boyd, Jed Brophy, Sadwyn Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Lori Dungey, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Stephen Hunter,William Kircher, Craig Parker and John Tui. Mark Ferguson was a seemingly indefatigable host for the weekend! (You can read full details of all the guests at HobbitCon’s website, here.) (more…)
Born on February 25, 1971, Sean Astin turns 45 today!
Astin — actor, director, voice artist and producer — is, of course, best known to Tolkien fans as Sam Gamgee in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, but has also made his mark in a career spanning more than 70 films roles, including The Goonies, Toy Soldiers, 50 First Dates and as the indomitable, never-say-die working class hero of Rudy. (more…)
How time flies! Exactly a year ago today, February 21st 2015, many of us gathered in Hollywood for The One Last Party. Fans and TheOneRing.net staffers were joined by movie cast and crew members, brought together by a love of Tolkien and of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth trilogies. Many more fans around the world tuned in to watch TORn’s live stream coverage, led by staffers Quickbeam and Justin. Bruce Hopkins (Gamling) acted as MC for the night, PJ himself sent a special video greeting, and the Professor’s great-grandson Royd Tolkien came all the way from Britain for the celebration. Partygoers danced the night away to the music of Emerald Rose and William Kircher’s group The California Dreamers. It was indeed a night to remember!
Staffer Mithril posted recently about the beautiful Red Book she made, containing the names of all who contributed to the crowdfunding campaign to make The One Last Party happen; this lovely book was sent to Sir Peter as a ‘thank you’ from all of us to whom his movies have meant so much. In another look back to that wonderful night a year ago, here are just a few moments captured from that night, and put together by film maker and TORn friend Dan McBride. Let’s reminisce – and hope that it isn’t really the last such event. We may yet have an excuse, one day, for an unexpected party…
PARK CITY, UTAH — Viggo Mortensen is back to his ranging ways, living off the land and keeping an eye on trouble in his new film “Captain Fantastic.” TORn spoke with him on the red carpet at the film’s world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
Mortensen plays a father who, along with his wife, decided to raise his children off the grid — way off. He wants to raise his six children to be self reliant in a way that LOTR character Aragorn would be proud of. His offspring can stalk and kill deer with knives, they climb mountains, harvest edible food, learn to make their own clothes and are self reliant in every way. And along the way read the best books.
They are, in short, philosopher kings.
So the actor did look back at that character and filming experience on “Lord of the Rings,” with Peter Jackson?
“I thought of it,” he said. “But I also thought of my time as a father in Idaho.”
He spent time with his son there and in the film he has more, but in both he said he was teaching to be aware of nature.
Viggo Mortensen in new film Captain Fantastic
“You are only as good as the team you are working with,” said Mortensen. “It is about a family. And made by a family.”
He said the cast spent time before filming getting to know each other and learning the skills needed to be authentic on screen. They camped and learned how to grow food and skin a deer and learned to play music together, all of which were important to the film.
The children’s performances are all excellent, as is Mortensen’s. The film captivated Sundance audiences and good news for Mortensen and film fans, it was also picked up for distribution by Bleeker Street. It specializing in specialty cinema and has this year’s “Trumbo” (Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame as lead actor) and should hit audiences in July. UPDATE: The film is slowly rolling out in theaters across the U.S. in July.
The audience at its premiere at the Eccles Theater, the largest venue Sundance offers with over 1,300 seats, responded mightily the film’s opening night. Director and writer Matt Ross, who you might know as Alby Grant from HBO’s “Big Love,” received a standing ovation, as did the children. But it was Moretensen who received the hottest reception. He is a pillar of the film. His character is sympathetic and yet outside societal norms.
Mortensen is perfect for the part and it is difficult to imagine the film working as well without him.
“Good movies ask a lot of questions but don’t necessarily answer them,” Ross told TORn just before the premiere.
In “Captain Fantastic,” Mortensen’s family must leave its forest paradise and journey into the highly-populated world with all its social expectations and demands. They all must face traditional society and family bonds and the children’s unconventional education are tested — to the limit.
“I am a dad and there is no such thing as a perfect father and mother. This character is doing the best he can,” Mortensen said.
The film wasn’t rated at Sundance but the unconventional cast isn’t afraid to use unconventional language that may earn it an R rating. And, Mortensen having a cup of coffee in his birthday suit probably erases any chance of it being anything else. Yes, Mortensen gives the film everything he has to offer.
“Captain Fantastic” is full of ideas, exploring family and fatherhood. Some parents will leaving feeling horribly inadequate but audiences will be fulfilled by the intelligent ideas and questions the film asks.
Fans of Mortensen will not want to miss yet another fascinating role in a fascinating film.
We all love to love the male characters of the Lord of the Rings movies. Who’s heart doesn’t go out to Frodo and Sam? Who doesn’t cheer at Gandalf and Aragorn’s strength or cringe at the sheer evilness of Saruman and the Witch King? These and other male characters are front and center in terms of movie screen-time, and rightly so, but it also makes the appearance of the women of the movies that much more special.
Over at Bustle, the women of The Lord of the Rings movies get the limelight in this article that ranks nine of The Lord of the Rings women in terms of character development. Rosie Cotton, Galadriel and even Shelob get a mention! Read more…
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.
It’s almost time to gather in the Big Apple and enjoy all that New York ComicCon has to offer. As ever, TheOneRing.net will be there! Here are a few details for you:
We’ll be at Booth 3040, which – to make life simple! – is the same location as last year! We’ll have all the usual goodies for sale – plus this year we’ll have hoodies from our friends at LotH Hoodies! Of course we’ll have many fabulous things you could win! And we’ll be ready just to chat and geek out with our fellow fans.
Talking of which – if you want to chat in a quieter location than the convention floor, this year we’re leading a ‘Fan Forum’ discussion group! Basically it’s a chance to join us to reminisce about the past seventeen years – since TheOneRing.net was founded and since Peter Jackson began pre-production in earnest on his Lord of the Rings trilogy. What a journey it’s been! Come and share memories with us – and maybe hear a bit about what we may see in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition (which, as you know, screens in cinemas on October 13th!) Find the Forum in room 1E03, Friday 4pm. Click here for details!
And don’t forget about our PARTY! Thursday 8th October 8-11pm at The East Wing – a few tickets remain! Click here to buy. WETA will be co-hosting with us, and as usual your ticket includes the buffet, your first drink, a goody bag and two raffle tickets – all in a wonderful, private venue in Manhattan. Hope to see you there!
You’ll find our WETA friends at Booth 622. Middle-earth guests at the convention this year include Sean Bean, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies and Elijah Wood!
As ever, we have a host of folks supporting us to make it possible for us to be at New York ComicCon. Many thanks to them all:
ROW NYC – making sure hard-working TORn staffers have somewhere to sleep. A great place to stay in Manhattan!
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