Martin Freeman (Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and BBC’s The Office) was the host of Saturday Night Live this past weekend. So naturally, the idea emerged of a Hobbit/Office mashup. If you’re familiar with both, you may find this humorous.
Ready for some new trailers? I knew you were!
Kenneth G. Bennett is the author of the new sci-fi thriller, EXODUS 2022 (Booktrope Publishing, 419pp.) as well as the young adult novels, THE GAIA WARS and BATTLE FOR CASCADIA. Kirkus Reviews recently said of EXODUS 2022: “Bennett, after a neat Dean Koontz-style curtain-raiser, keeps raising the stakes. Deft storytelling and a riptide of action.” A wilderness enthusiast who loves backpacking, skiing and kayaking, Ken enjoys science fiction, fantasy, action adventure stories, and novels that explore the relationship between humans and the wild. He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son and two hyperactive Australian Shepherds. Follow him on Twitter as @kennethgbennett.
I first read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings on my family’s fishing boat in Alaska, at age 14 (surrounded by mountains that reminded me of the Misty Mountains) and have read the books many times since. I admired Tolkien’s writing then and I admire it now, as an adult.
Over the years I’ve come to believe that the esteemed professor possessed another storytelling talent as vital as his facility with language. A gift that informed all of his work. A subtle skill few writers master and one that makes LOTR the epic fantasy ‘to rule them all.’
Even though some critics are Hobbit-bashing as of late, everyone has to agree that at least one thing cam out of the Peter Jackson adaptation: it gave us this video of the stars of The Hobbit reading the lyrics to Leonard Nimoy’s awesomely craptacular “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins”
REVIEW SYNOPSIS: Despite a relentless pace and impressive effects, most notably bringing to life the impressive dragon at the heart of the tale, part two of Peter Jackson’s adaptation seldom engages and often bores.
SYNOPSIS: The hobbit Bilbo Baggins and a pack of dwarves continue their quest to liberate dwarvish treasure hoarded in the Lonely Mountain by the dragon Smaug.
PROS: The dragon Smaug, arrestingly realized by CGI and voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch; well-realized renditions of the Elf Kingdom and Lake-town; winning if hammy performance by Stephen Fry as the Master of Lake-town; impressively staged action sequences…
CONS: …that go nowhere for most of the movie; needless chases that serve little purpose; blending of elements from both Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Silmarillion that fit together too unevenly; forced love story between elf Tauriel and the dwarf Kili; dialogue and character development that sit poorly with the action sequences.
In a niche in world letters there lived The Hobbit. Not an unknown, unobserved niche filled with the trite borrowings of second-rate hacks and uninspired tales palely reflecting J. R. R. Tolkien’s much-loved children’s book, nor yet a dry, bare, desiccated niche where fantasy fans sucked dry the marrow of their favorite genre: it was The Hobbit, a groundbreaking work that, despite countless imitators (and outright theft), still holds the power to enthrall readers of all ages today.
I found the first Hobbit film to be enjoyable, if a bit too long. After watching the trailer for part 2, I’m left to wonder what extra stuff Jackson has added to pad this out to get to film three. Sure it looks good, but I bet we get to Smaug at the end, right before the credits roll. I may or may not go see this in theater, thought I think it will look best on the big screen.
Posted without comment.
Came across these and wanted to share. Both are wonderful versions/interpretations of ‘Over The Misty Mountains Cold. by J R R Tolkien.
Check them out after the jump.
From the YouTube description:
When Tolkien visited a friend in August of 1952 to retrieve a manuscript of The Lord of the Rings, he was shown a “tape recorder”. Having never seen one before, he asked how it worked and was then delighted to have his voice recorded and hear himself played back for the first time. His friend then asked him to read from The Hobbit, and Tolkien did so in this one incredible take.
Loving the Gollum voice…
Through Sunday, the book Deconstructing Tolkien: A Fundamental Analysis of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit is available as a free Kindle download (for Kindle devices, Kindle smartphone apps and Kindle computer applications).
Here’s the synopsis:
“DECONSTRUCTING TOLKIEN has something to offer just about everyone, no matter where your particular passions may lie. In this collection of essays, stories, discourses, and tributes, Ed McFadden has gathered together a wide range of topics, perspectives, and outlooks on some of the most intriguing factors concerning THE LORD OF THE RINGS. LORD OF THE RINGS is a masterpiece that can be examined and re-examined through the course of one’s life. The complex narrative, written with nonlinear gambits, plot-twists, stratagems, and a fusion of secondary stories, offer themselves up to continual review and analysis.” -from the introduction by Tom Piccirilli, author of Mean Sheep, The Night Class and Grave Men
This special e-book edition contains new analysis of The Hobbit not available in the print edition.
Praise for Deconstructing Tolkien: A Fundamental Analysis of The Lord of the Rings-
Nth Degree Magazine – “[DT] is one of the most approachable analyses of Tolkien that I’ve read. McFadden alternates between his own opinions on Tolkien and fiction from authors that he feels had some influence on The Lord of the Rings. I found myself disagreeing with McFadden’s points almost as often as I agreed with them but, most importantly, McFadden’s analysis always made me look deeper at a story that I thought I knew pretty well already. And isn’t that what all good analyses should do?”
YBFREE.com by Jennifer Walford. “Mcfadden’s choice of layout for this book using essays and short fiction is innovative and works quite well for the purposes of providing a rich understanding of the Tolkien phenomena. Blending essay with notable fiction, Mcfadden provides thought provoking evidence on Tolkien’s inspirations, especially from his contemporaries and friend C.S. Lewis, and the influence of writers like H.G. Wells. Even more impressive was the inclusion of a story by self-proclaimed protégé of the Tolkien school of style, Jane Yolen. This inclusion solidified McFadden’s arguments on how pervasive LOTR has been, and in light of the films, will continue to be for many generations.”
A meme going around recently in the genre blogosphere is to name the five most influential books in your life, and how they changed your life.
I can never resist a chance to talk about books, and so here are mine:
Funny how Serkis mentions how people have mimicked the voice back to him in the intervening years sine Lord of the Rings. There’s a certain someone I know (looks at Tim) who will do the Gollum voice on command. I think I will hand him my copy of The Hobbit and ask him to read the good parts.
A new trailer is out for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey!
“…far to the east, over ranges and rivers, lies a single, solitary peak…”
Check it out after the jump!
Before the 1977 Rankin And Bass production…there was this 1966 version by Gene Deitch. Originally planned as a full-length feature film before the Tolkien craze hit, a screenplay was written that took several heretical liberties with the story. Unfortunately the deal fell through with 20th Century Fox. But then, just one month before the rights were set to expire, the property value of Tolkien’s work skyrocketed and Gene put together the version you see here:
- The New Yorker chats with Ursula K. Le Guin about The Left Hand of Darkness. [via Locus Online]
- The Vietnam News interviews the head of the VFSF, biologist and SF writer Vu Kim Dung. [via The World SF News Blog]
- Locus Online has the Scribe Award Winners, honoring the best in media tie-in fiction.
- Peter V. Brett’s debut fantasy novel The Warded Man has been optioned for film by the people behind Resident Evil.
- Tolkien’s heirs want production of The Hobbit stopped. [via Locus Online]
- Sez Joe Abercrombie: “RPGs have nothing like the wide cultural purchase they used to…” as evidenced by his neighbor’s lack of knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons.
- @ThGalaxyExpress: How Science Fiction Romance Can Reinvent Penny Dreadfuls Into Something Wonderful.
- For the nightclubbing geek: Red Shirt Star Trek Cologne. Smell your best on your last away mission.
- Warren Ellis is Scripting King Arthur. “It’s NOT an Excalibur remake, ok?”
- MentatJack lists The Chocolate and Peanut Butter of Noir and Speculative Fiction.