Hello, and first off a HUGE thank you to you folks for posting the link about the second show being added. I was lucky enough to catch it right away and get tickets online.

I won’t go into what has been already covered in previous posts. GB covered most details thoroughly and completely, although I must have missed any shot of the BALROG(?!) in the PJ promotion snippet. The main creature I saw featured was the cave troll as it went from skeleton (seen in the Internet trailer) to finished model (also seen in close-up in the Internet trailer being laser-scanned for CG modeling).

Then of course the five minute clip from Moria. I want to make a point which I hope won’t be seen as quibbling, but I feel is an important one: The main impact that struck home with me was that this is first and foremost, a movie. Not a religious experience, not a mind/life-altering event. But from what little I have seen, a sharp, well-crafted movie. Spy reports such as those from A.I.C.N. (which admittedly was shown much more footage than we saw last night) can, I feel, almost be a disservice to the project that Peter Jackson has undertaken. It is possible for expectations to be built to such a level that you can’t help but be disappointed.

The clip shown presented a range from laugh-out-loud humor (Pippin’s mistake, expanded from the book to good effect), a false sense of relief, immediately shifting to anxiety (hearing the distant sounds of orc cries), then finally erupting in full out gut churning action which had us all jumping in our seats. All in the space of five minutes. What more can you ask of a movie? Not much I think (though I could wish Gimli’s makeup wasn’t quite so heavy; I forgot that as I was quickly swept into the drama of the scene). The troll itself was state-of-the-art animation (much more menacing than you can see in the recent TV spot) but the camerawork is what will set this apart in people’s mind as breakthrough work: constantly in motion, visceral, jolting and gripping.

My own sense of excitement at having seen this brief preview, not to mention sitting about ten feet away from three of its stars make it admittedly hard to talk about all this without starting to over hype it. Will this film be worth the wait? Again, judging from what we were shown last night, I have almost no doubt in my mind. Clearly people (myself included) came away from the material shown with excitement and enthusiasm. Will it forever become the be-all and end-all of filmaking as we know it. Who can say at this point? It’s unfair to expect that it would. I do think the herculean efforts of Peter Jackson and the entire company will be evident in every scene. And I think its safe to say that if you enter this movie with a realistic set of expectations, you are sure to be entertained and delighted.

Thanks for reading and once again for your great coverage.

Laird Ogden