Sal A. Mander

Last Friday (the 13th), I was lucky enough to attend a TTT pre-release screening at a benefit for producer Barrie Osborne’s Alma Mater, on Friday the 13th. It was held at a brand new entertainment complex in downtown Minneapolis.

Mr. Osborne introduced the film by saying that Peter Jackson would have been there if he could, but the director was home in New Zealand to prepare for the release there. Barrie also announced, to much applause, that he would try to have a pre-release screening for The Return of the King, next year. The film was shown immediately after.

When it was over there was a party at Gameworks; which is a restaurant, bar, video game center and bowling alley that is set up like a nightclub. There were free appetizers, soda, and best of all, TTT movie posters.

During the party I had the opportunity to get several people’s reactions to the film. Everyone I talked to thought is was very good and they will see it again soon. (WARNING: Minor Spoilers Ahead) Specific positive comments were;

“The one thing I was worried about was the Treants, but they nailed him dead-on. It couldn’t have been done any better”.

“Gollum deserves a Best Actor Nomination”

“The battle of Helm’s Deep was amazing”

Among the things not so positive things that people said were;

“I like the first one better”

“Every time Gimli was on the screen it just for comic relief. How many short jokes can you fit into a movie”?

After the movie itself, the highlight of my evening was talking to Barrie Osborne. At the party I was lucky enough to get a few minutes with him to ask a few questions. Please note that his responses are paraphrased and not direct quotes.

Sal: The Lord of the Rings has unprecedented cooperation between the studio and the fan sites. Do you feel this has been a positive experience or is there anything that didn’t work out?

Barrie Osborne: it’s not an industry standard but Peter Jackson is a big fan of the Internet, as am I. Some sites took a while to get up to speed, but all in all it was a good experience.

S: Ian Mc Kellan has stated that he would be interested in playing Gandalf in a film adaptation of ‘The Hobbit’. Is this something you would be interested in producing?

BO: (Laughing) Well, after this is over, I am going to take a big break. But, there are so many Tolkien stories out there that could be made, that you never know what will be done.

S: What difficulties do you see in getting the cast back to New Zealand this summer to shoot additional footage?

BO: I’ve talked to most of the cast and we became such a family that I believe that we will be able to get it done. Of course, many of them have other things going on, but I believe we will be able to work around everyone’s schedules.

This was all the time I had to talk to Mr. Osborne or I would have asked him a lot more.

All in all it was worth the $50 per ticket. The movie was great, the party was fun, and Mr. Osborne was very Gracious. The biggest problem with seeing the move when I did is; I have to wait 5 days before I can see it again.

Sal A. Mander