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Archive for December, 2008

A Look At the Growth of MMOs In 2008

From Zonk writes with news of a collaboration between Massively and GamerDNA to analyze the state of MMO player bases for 2008. Sifting through the data brought out several interesting trends. For example, Age of Conan took a substantial hit when Warhammer arrived on the scene, but none of the other major MMOs were significantly affected. Also, it seems Lord of the Rings: Online got a big shot in the arm from its Mines of Moria expansion — even moreso than World of Warcraft from Wrath of the Lich King, relatively speaking. The article also asserts the following about the recently-canceled Tabula Rasa: “… until the cancellation announcement in November, numbers were trending in the right direction, however slightly. Players were growing more interested in the sci fi MMO shooter, and logins were on the rise. If its development had not been so long, so expensive, and so vastly overhyped and mismarketed, this title could have been left alone to find its legs and found some small measure of success in a long tail environment akin to the Sony Station Pass.” A Look At the Growth of MMOs In 2008

Posted in Gaming

“The Hobbit” on the Cinematical’s 25 Hottest of 2008

From Cinematical: What do you do when your geek base demands a prequel to one of their biggest fantasy trilogies, and that it be done right? You hire Guillermo bleepin’ del Toro to get around to it, as soon as he’s done with eighteen other projects. Two things are sure: he’ll find a place for Doug Jones, which is always welcome, and the thing can’t help but end less times than Return of the King did. Cinematical’s 25 Hottest of 2008

Posted in Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit

Q&A with Viggo Mortensen

SARA STEWART writes: You have to wonder where Viggo Mortensen finds the time to act. In between gigs like the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and David Cronenberg’s movies (most recently “Eastern Promises”), the 50-year-old star is also a photographer, poet, musician, painter, publisher, activist and avid traveler. He’s fluent in Spanish, Danish, French and possibly Elvish. When we caught up with him, though, he kindly stuck to English, and to the projects at hand: first, “Good,” opening Wednesday, about a German professor who, through his passivity, unwittingly ends up a high-ranking member of the Nazi party. Early next year comes “The Road,” the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel about a father and son traveling in post-apocalyptic America. Q&A with Viggo Mortensen

Posted in Viggo Mortensen

MSN Travel Reveals the Hobbit House

Tedster88 let us in on this MSN article about some of the most individual inns on the planet. This one is located in Manila, the Philippines. From MSN: Anyone who says they don’t fancy a jar or two in this one is a complete liar … Hobbit House (1212 MH del Pilar) is staffed entirely by midgets. Just in case your conscience is twanging at that idea, don’t fret – this is not some kind of exploitative venture. Hobbit House was set up by the little people themselves to give them work, and it’s proved incredibly popular. As well as being a (still) somewhat smoky drinking den, regular live music performances see it packed out. World’s strangest bars

Posted in Uncategorized

The ‘HOBBIT TOUR’ Register

Red Carpet Tours

Red Carpet Tours

Vic & Raewyn James from Red Carpet Tours, send this along: Red Carpet Tours is pleased to announce that it has opened a register for LOTR fans wanting to tour at the time of the New Zealand Premiere of “The Hobbit”. We are ‘guesstimating’ that this will probably happen in December, 2011. For the Premiere of “The Return of the King” in December, 2003, 160 fans toured with Red Carpet. If you wish to add your name to ‘The Hobbit Tour 2011’ register, you can email Vic James directly. Meanwhile, Red Carpet Tours’ monthly 12 day LOTR tours continue. The New Zealand dollar is currently @ 57 cents against the U.S. dollar, which makes this a great time to visit Middle Earth!

Posted in Events, New Zealand, Tours

Sir Ian McKellen to revisit role of Walter for BBC Radio 4 play

Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen is to return to the role of Walter, which he played in the eponymously-titled Film Four production on Channel 4’s opening night more than 25 years ago, in a new play for BBC Radio 4. The new play, called Walter Now, will reveal what has happened to McKellen’s character, who has learning difficulties and is now a pensioner living in a hostel after many years in a psychiatric hospital. Writer David Cook, who wrote the original Walter and its 1983 sequel Walter and June, both directed by Stephen Frears, has also written the latest instalment for Radio 4. He began writing it as a screenplay before adapting it for radio. Sir Ian McKellen to revisit role of Walter for BBC Radio 4 play

Posted in Ian McKellen, Stage Productions

Reclaiming the Blade Out in 2009

Reclaiming the Blade

Reclaiming the Blade

Writer/Director Daniel McNicoll sends along word that his film ‘Reclaiming the Blade’ will finally be coming out in 2009. From the website: Reclaiming the Blade explores both European and Asian historic swordplay and offers an in-depth look at the fascinating world of stage combat on the silver screen. Visit

Posted in Events, Film Screenings, John Howe, John Rhys-Davies, Karl Urban, Props, Richard Taylor, Viggo Mortensen

Hollywood composers tune in for rare gathering

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Film composers aren’t exactly the most social creatures in Hollywood. But when five of this year’s Oscar front-runners — A.R. Rahman (“Slumdog Millionaire”), Howard Shore (“Doubt”), Danny Elfman (“Milk”), Alexandre Desplat (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) and Jan Kaczmarek (“The Visitor”) — sat down recently with The Hollywood Reporter, they seized the opportunity for a frank, passionate discussion of the past, present and future of film music. Hollywood composers tune in for rare gathering

Posted in Howard Shore, Music

‘The Hunt for Gollum’ Fan Trailer Hits

The Hunt for Gollum

The Hunt for Gollum

Chris Bouchard, director of ‘The Hunt for Gollum’ dropped me a line to let me know that the first ever full length trailer for the film is now online. The trailer features several favourite characters and a fuller impression of this 30 minute film.

Check out the trailer here and be sure to visit

Posted in Fans, Uncategorized

Fictional Frontiers Radio Transcript

Kristin Thompson, author of the very successful Frodo Franchise was a guest on last Sunday’s broadcast of ‘Fictional Frontiers with Sohaib,’ on WNJC 1360 AM, Philadelphia at 11AM ET. As always, it was broadcast live via the internet via the WNJC website. A full transcript of the radio segment can be found below (thanks to Deleece Cook!). is featured every other week on Fictional Frontiers. (more…)

Posted in Books Publications, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Tolkien

Sir Ian McKellen: The Bard and me

From At first, I don’t notice the figure hunched over the computer in the corner. It’s only when I hear the voice – resonant, commanding, with a trace of a Lancashire accent – that I realise that this grey-haired creature, unprepossessing, at least from behind, is Lear and Gandalf and Vanya and Magneto. Is, in other words, Sir Ian McKellen. And when he turns round, he’s not unprepossessing at all. His face is lined, but amazingly handsome. His body, in super-hip jeans, turquoise T-shirt and chic little jacket, is athletic and lithe. Mature but modern is the overall impression. Gravitas with a funky twist. Sir Ian McKellen: The Bard and me

Posted in Ian McKellen

Eno signs up to write music for Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

He has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, including U2, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Paul Simon and Coldplay. Now English musician and producer Brian Eno is to work with Peter Jackson. Eno, who co-founded Roxy Music with Bryan Ferry, will write original music for Jackson’s next film, The Lovely Bones, due for release next December. While Eno, 60, is not as widely known as the bands and artists he has produced and collaborated with over the years, he is one of the world’s most widely respected and influential musicians and album producers. Eno signs up to write music for Lovely Bones

Posted in Peter Jackson, PJ's Other Films