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Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in…

I’ve decided to cut down on the ‘nuts’ regarding The Hobbit and focus on other things till mid December.

You might say I’ve put myself in a Thorin time out as it’s getting crazier by the day.

I started feeling a bit annoyed with all the merchandise on offer and the expectation that I’d want to spend any money before I know if the movie is any good.

Yes, I know the film will be amazing, but I’d like to be given a chance to make my own mind.

I really just want to see the film as oppose to reading about it and being teased with it.

Just when I thought I’d be keeping my cool, I came across the images from EMPIRE Magazine Cover.

They really aren’t making things easy on me 🙂

The images are mesmerizing and makes me think that Sir PJ is using some witchcraft to get us all hooked.

Stunning gifs!

By the way, I’ve come across my first Polish poster and it was extremely underwhelming and here’s why.

Firstly, the only image I’ve seen is of Gandalf.

It’s not that I don’t like the quirky wizard, but he’s no Thorin.

Secondly, check out what it says at the bottom of the poster.

It translates as:

In cinemas from 28th of December 2012.

How very dare they!!!

Thorin Likes It Hot and Steaming!

Jas has unearthed these bizarre Krßger /Hobbit products that can be purchased in Germany.

It was bound to happen that The Hobbit will inevitably go into The Spice Girls mode of the late 90s where ANYTHING  and EVERYTHING had their image on it.

I wonder if, due to image reasons, there will be less Hobbit products available in the US, whereas Europe and Asia will be snowed under by them.

I’m waiting for the fast food deal where kids can get a plastic Hobbit toy with their Happy Meal.

If they were giving away a Thorin, I’d feel compelled to try to get my hands on one.

I know Sir PJ has bills to pay and filming three Tolkien movies back to back doesn’t come cheap, so let’s see how far he pushes it.

I know he’ll be getting plenty of my money!

Another important  question is what’s next?

Product placement?

Will the dwarves run around with a can of Coke?

 I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loathe product placement in films and TV series.

It’s beyond tacky and always looks so artificial.

Back to the product that sparked this train of thought.

A Thorin Classico Cappucciono anyone?

Servetus translated the writing on the packaging as:

“Classically tasty and in the good Italian style — that’s how Thorin Oakenshield, the prince of the dwarves, who leads his followers in the struggle against the dragon, likes it. Assemble your companions around you and enjoy a delicious cup of classic cappuccino!”

So we know Thorin likes it hot, steaming and creamy 😉

Good for him!

I always knew there was something frothy about our darling Head Dwarf!

Here are a few other suggestions to bring in some more Hobbit dosh:

Introducing the Thorin Shoe Lifts!

Stop looking Tom Cruise in the eye and start looking down on him!

Perfect for all of those who are height challenged!

We know how Thorin likes it, but how about his pony?

Spoil your trusted companion with a My Little Pony Thorin Edition  Spa !

Thorin’s Pony, skinny and bony

Made out of plastic, like an elastic.

Travels so far, it needs a Spa

Thorin and his Pony, never get lonely…

Time to start saving your pennies Ladies!

Thorin Oakenshield’s Essential Tool, when being so short is a factor!

I decided to (or just happen to) take a few days break from our fandom, and wouldn’t you know it!

Hobbit Trailers galore come pouring  in!

The moral of this story is I should sacrifice myself for the good of the collective and go away more often!

There are some beautiful images of the majestic Thorin, regal and powerful.

He truly puts other dwarves and Hobbits to shame.

It’s only when I encountered the next picture was I reminded that Thorin Oakenshield is in fact very short.

Oh Dear!

We all knew it had to be so, but to be faced with such a height difference is quite a shock.

As Richard Armitage fans we are used to our eye candy shadowing over everyone else in the scene.

We’re used to seeing those familiar proportions of his slender body, even if it’s obstructed by debris.

This stocky short little fellow who happens to look like Thorin is a bit of a shock to me.

Call Tom Cruise, we need his shoe lifts asap!

Don’t worry Tom!

You are no longer the shortest being in Hollywood!

It make me realise that Oakensheild will have to be kitted out a tad if he wants to hang out with the likes of Gandalf or Elrond.

How could such a proud dwarf allow to be looked down upon?

That’s why I’ve come up with just the thing to level out the Human/Elf/Dwarf playing field 🙂

Introducing:

These fold and are easy to travel with, so never again will anyone look DOWN on Thorin Oakenshield (well, perhaps only a dragon…).

They fit easily on any pony, and will be the envy of every height-challenged being in Middle Earth!

By the way, here are the alternative endings of the Hobbit trailers, I’m sure you’re seen it, but you can never really get enough though 😉

Images from TORn FB

The Value of each page of a Tolkien Book

On hearing there was to be a third Hobbit movie, my best friend Max asked if we’ll have to fly to each premier.

I could see him calculate the costs, and the number he got wasn’t to his liking.

What can I say?

Sometimes admiring Richard Armitage doesn’t come cheap, especially if you add up the DVD Boxsets, Audiobooks  and such.

Over at Set Phasers to LOL, they’ve decided to estimate how much each page of a Tolkien book is worth.

According to them, it goes like this:

how much money is tolkien's writing worth per page

I’m crapaloo at numbers, and I never seem to have money, so I don’t really worry about figures, but this is how I see it:

The estimated cost of each Hobbit film:

Richard Armitage playing the sexiest dwarf in the history of Middle Earth in three 3D films:

Sir PJ’s Vlog #8. Pull out the umbrellas, put on your wellies! It’s RAining Thorin!

That Peter Jackson!

He really did deliver the RA hotness in Vlog 8!

The man took us to the edge of despair by hiding (for the most part) our precious from us in previous vlogs, but when he brings out the goodies, he doesn’t mess about 🙂

Here are a few shots from Heirs of Durin.

Sir Peter Jackson unveils the new Thorin waxwork at Madame Tussauds

Forget “Message in a bottle”

How about “Sexy in a Barrel”?

Richard Armitage discusses the intricacies of making papier-mâchÊ  trees.

Sometimes you just get that feeling like someone’s following you…

Peter Jackson has to explain to Sir Ian once again that he can’t read from the script while shooting a scene.

More images from RAConfessions:

Being sexy is like throwing fish out of a barrel for Thorin

You know what they say about men with large feet…

They need bloody enormous boots!

Now we know where that 0,5 inch came from!

Those heavy boots have stretched his legs out!

(For my Polish readers: To prędzej chyba Hobbut!)

sketchlavie:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>didsomeonesayguyofgisborne:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>suddenwaves:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>SHORTS!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>SHORTS!</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>this must be the best monday in the history of RArmy.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

.

Never took Armitage for a man who needed padding 😉

Gif: Yokisobaru

.

Armitage compares barrels and estimates his is waaaay bigger than the others…

From The One Ring

Who can spot our Precious?

My guess is this, but I may be wrong:

Another option, suggested by Crapitycrap 🙂

It makes sense, as the figure is standing in the background, but no one else is in character, so I’m not sure why RA would be wearing his Thorin wig.

What a lovely morning it is 😉

BTW:

Move over Vasey, there’s a new Sheriff in town!

Our Sebababy has a blog called Gisbornes Boy!

Make sure you stop by, the blog is as adorable as he is 🙂

The Casualties of The Hobbit Part 2. Richard Armitage in Strike Back

I’m continuing on the theme of the characters that have fallen victim to The Hobbit.

In part 1 I examined the exit of the vampire John Mitchell, played by Aidan Turner, from the show ‘Being Human’.

One of the most visible casualties, especially for Richard Armitage fans, was the rapid death of our beloved John Porter, in Strike Back.

The end of season 1 sees him driving into the sunset, with the promise of future adventures.

This by no means Porter was out of danger, as he heads to Iraq, and Delta force elimination team is given the green light to intercept him.

Fast forward, we have Strike Back: Project Dawn, meant as a continuation of the series.

It follows Section 20, a secret branch of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), which is trying to stop Latif, a Pakistani terrorist, who is plotting “Project Dawn”.

John Porter is captured by Latif’s men while trying to figure out Latif’s plan.

He is tortured, then shot.

The end.

And a very sad end to our beloved character it is!

Don’t get me wrong! Armitage nails the whole scene, but the he’s had plenty of practice of how to make death on-screen look believable.

It could have been worse.

Some actors are never given a chance to return and tie up their characters loose ends. They simply vanish, and there’s a mention, in passing, of what had happened to them.

Perhaps letting John simply fade away, gone on some undisclosed mission, would have been a more fitting end.

Having said that, the finality of the bullet in the head ends all speculation on whether Armitage would even consider returning.

John Porter is the combination of two of the most obvious themes in RA’s career:

playing a character whose name is ‘John’ (Porter, Thornton, Standring, Bates, Mulligan)

playing a character that is killed off ( Ultimate Force, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Robin Hood, Spooks, Captain America, Strike Back)

I could only hope that with the demise of poor John Porter, Armitage will experience a different type of character.

Of course, we know how Thorin Oakenshield’s story ends, so that is wishful thinking on my part.

Knowing Richard’s luck, Thorin’s middle name is probably John, too.

Poor Porter, another victim of the ruthless Hobbit machine 🙂

Here’s a promo for Strike Back: Project Dawn.

Like with Spooks series 10 and Being Human series 4, I won’t be going back.

A loss of a beloved character spoils the show for me.

Images: RANet

The Casualties of The Hobbit Part 1. Aidan Turner in Being Human

Word of warning: This post may contain spoilers about ‘Being Human’ series 1-3.

I finally finished season 3 of ‘Being Human’ yesterday.

To be honest, I still don’t really know what to think about it.

In some ways I wish they would have kept the atmosphere of the first season, where the aspect of a ghost, a werewolf, and a vampire living a normal human life was at the foreground.

Vampire politics were always in the background, but the character’s plight to appear ‘normal’, hold jobs, fall in love, form bonds with others, was the main theme.

By season 3, it’s just madness and mayhem.

Blood-spilling and bone-breaking galore.

The reason for such an evident turn is obvious.

Aidan Turner, who played the vampire John Mitchell was moving on to greener Kili pastures, and I’ll give it to the writers that they used the whole season to give him an exit worthy of his talent.

This, of course means plenty of torment for the character, moral dilemmas and difficult choices.

It’s a countdown the an inevitable end.

Long gone is that beautiful smile, expect it to be exchanged for a painful grimace.

This lead me to think about the other casualties of the Hobbit, which will be the theme of a series of posts titled: The Casualties of The Hobbit.

Just for the record, I’m writing about the characters that got left behind due to the commitments of the Peter Jackson project.

For obvious reasons, once an actor was cast for a part in Sir PJ’s double whammy, all other obligations had to be dropped.

Aidan Turner and ‘Being Human’

If you’ve seen the last episode with Mitchell the vampire, you will know that his exit is pretty much final.

Back in February 2011, Turner gave an interview to EW, where he talks about his plans for the future.

Here’s a fragment of the conversation:

*

After the premiere aired in the UK, and Mitchell found out about his imminent death, the Internet went wild with speculation that this was a set up for you to depart the show now that you’re starting a film career.

Well, that’s what the Internet does, isn’t it? It fuels gossip and stuff. It’s a long shoot over here for The Hobbit. It’s two movies. We haven’t talked yet about dates for series four of Being Human. It’s so up in the air and it’s so far away that I can’t really commit to anything. And they need to plot out storylines and see how long they need Mitchell for, so I guess we won’t know until a later date what’s going on.

So, you are planning on returning to the show.

Yeah, if it all works out. The BBC needs to talk to me about dates. All the boring stuff needs to be cleaned up, and then I guess we’ll see.

*

From this interview I gather that the biggest problem was scheduling.

I would imagine that Jackson’s Hobbit is a jealous and demanding mistress, so any other projects would have to adjust to the scheduled shooting in NZ.

The creator of the series, Toby Whithouse, who gives the full story of Turners departure:

*

From the first moment we met Aidan, we knew we were really only borrowing him from global super stardom. The same goes for all our cast. You can’t have actors as good as Aidan  and Russell and Lenora and Sinead and Jason, and not expect someone  else to notice.

I guess it really hit me back when we were doing series 2, and perhaps unconsciously I shifted the stories in a way that paved Mitchell’s exit. I thought it’d be better to have him go out in a scripted satisfying way, rather than lose him between series and open up with the rest of our heroes standing over a grave, with one of them saying “Wow, who’d have guessed Mitchell was SO allergic to bee stings…”

The consequences of the Box Tunnel Massacre were always going to be the cause of his demise, but whether that happened at the end of series 3 or series 33 was never defined. Contrary to a lot of the posts on the blog assuming that we’d chosen to kill him off, I didn’t want to write him out until I had to. And certainly right up until the shooting script of episode 8, Mitchell was still going to be undead and kicking when the credits rolled.

But then Peter Jackson came along. And it turns out he’s a fan of the show. Oh Irony, I could punch you in the neck.

Once we’d all stopped congratulating Aidan and envying him we had to decide what to do with our favourite vampire. Despite his commitments to Middle Earth, we were still planning to keep Mitchell ‘alive’. Perhaps, we thought, Wyndham could dispatch him back to Bolivia and maybe (though we had to concede it was pretty unlikely given what Aidan’s schedule would be for the next 3 years) we could get Mitchell back for an episode of series 7…?

But y’see, that Turner fella is smart. He knew that ending, while leaving the door open for him to return one day, would be ultimately unsatisfying. And so it was his decision – and with his encouragement – that we ended Mitchell’s story there.

It was like one of your children leaving home. You’re excited for them and wish them all the best… even though you really want them to stay with you forever. But like I said, with actors of that quality, it’s inevitable that they’re going to be offered other extraordinary opportunities.

Nonetheless, we shouldn’t let the end of Mitchell’s story define all that’s gone before. For me it’s been an honour to work with Aidan over the last 3 years. Watching him mature as an actor has been one of the great pleasures of working on this show. And aside from his skill and professionalism and talent, he’s also a ridiculously nice and funny guy, and…

Actually, damn him. Seriously. I’m glad he’s dead.

So let’s raise a glass to Aidan Turner. It’s been a blast. You appallingly talented man.

*

Losing an actor like Aidan Turner must be difficult for a show. I’m not sure if I’ll be moving on to season 4 of Being Human.

I think the nasty experience of episode 1 of Spooks season 10 has taught me that even the best series can suffer from the departure of a beloved character.

File:BeingHumanPilot.jpg

If you’re a fan of the show, I encourage you to watch the pilot episode of Being Himan, where the part of John Mitchell is played by Guy Flanagan, and Annie the ghost is played by Andrea Riseborough. As much as the latter casting was, in my opinion, much better than Lenora Crichlow, Flanagan’s vampire didn’t work for me.

There was a strange ‘blokey’ feel to the character, and it lacked any sort of sex appeal.

What was supposed to be an air of vampire mystery, actually came off as a poor man with constant constipation.

No offence but he seemed like the third Gallagher brother, of Oasis fame.

Russell Tovey as George the werewolf, was the only character to remain from the original casting.

  Adrian Lester plays Herrick, the vampire leader and main antagonist of the first season and returning for the third. Dominique McElligott plays the recent vampire convert Lauren, made into a vampire by Mitchell.

 Except for the character of George, all these parts were recast when the series went into full production.

In my opinion, the casting revolution worked out for the best.

Love is in the Air in Middle Earth

Love is in the air, and I’m not just referring to our adoration for the dashing Thorin!

It seems that the character of Tauriel (played by Evangeline Lilly), a sword-wielding warrioress elf, may well be romancing the lovely Kili (Aidan Turner) in the Hobbit movie.

This spoiler comes courtesy of Mr Turner himself.

I simply love a man with loose lips 🙂

Tauriel plays a small part in the original novel, but she seems to have hit the jackpot in Dwarf loving.

By the way, for those who hold out hope that Thorin might get some sweet lovin’ elvish-style, may I remind you that he is Kili’s uncle, and the Hobbit is not a Greek Tragedy, or a Brazilian telenovela!

We are yet to catch a glimpse of Evangeline Lilly’s character (am I the only one who thinks the actress has the coolest name ever?), although knowing my luck it’ll be out by the time this post is published.

I’ll keep abreast and update.

By the way, if you’ve read the Hobbit book, you will have noticed that it is a boys club.

As in almost ‘no girls allowed’.

It’s interesting that Sir PJ has decided to expand the part of Tauriel, and yet, he’s not using the actress to promote the film, for the time being anyway.

 I’m sure there are more than a few geek boys who would appreciate her presence.

Here is a scan from the Total Film article:

Christopher Tolkien comments on Peter Jackson movies

A change of pace here today.

All the Hobbit-Con news has been wonderful, but I could do with a breather!

By the time December, and the Hobbit, comes around, I will have worn out the keys used to type in The One Ring and Heir Of Durin.

TOR mentions an interesting interview in Le Monde with Christopher Tolkien, son of the author JRR Tolkien.

I found some parts extremely thought-provoking.

“But none of this bothered the family until Peter Jackson’s films. It was the release of the first film of the trilogy, in 2001, that changed the nature of things. First, it had a prodigious effect on book sales. “In three years, from 2001 to 2003, 25 million copies of Lord of the Rings were sold– 15 million in English and 10 million in other languages. In the United Kingdom, sales went up by 1000% after the release of the first movie in the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring,” says David Brawn, Tolkien’s publisher at HarperCollins, which retains the English-speaking rights except for the United States.

Rather quickly, however, the film’s vision, conceived in New Zealand by well-known illustrators Alan Lee and John Howe, threatened to engulf the literary work. Their iconography inspires most of the video games and merchandising. Soon, by a contagion effect, the book itself became less of a source of inspiration for the authors of fantasy than the film of the book, then the games inspired by the film, and so on.”

*

Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed by the absurdity of our time,” Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. “The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has gone too far for me. Such commercialisation has reduced the esthetic and philosophical impact of this creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: turning my head away.”

*

I found these parts of the article quite sad. I can understand how hard it is to lose control over such a legacy.

The truth is, though, that if it wasn’t for the Peter Jackson movies, I probably wouldn’t have read the Tolkien books.

The first time I had heard about Lord of the Rings was from an American bartender in Warsaw.

This was the late 90s, and I was visiting a bar with friends, probably for a quick underaged drink, and I got to talking to him about Tolkien.

When he referenced Gandalf, and saw my blank expression, he was quite surprised that someone in their late teens had never heard of hobbits, wizards and dwarves in Middle Earth.

The truth is, quite different from American and British readers, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings wasn’t a popular book in Poland before Peter Jackson came along.

I’m sure many from around the world share my experience.

It was the anticipation of the first movie of the LOTR trilogy that made me purchase and read the books.

Just as the Harry Potter series and The Da Vinci Code got people reading again, I think Sir PJ is responsible for introducing a whole new legion of people to Middle Earth, turning many into diehard fans.

As much as I sympathise with Christopher Tolkien, I can never be sorry for that.

The second aspect of the interview I found interesting is how much it may mirror what some believe has happened / is happening to Richard Armitage.

Some feel it is vital to protect him (from the press, from crazy fans) at a time when his career is skyrocketing.

I find most of these attempts quite misguided, although I’d like to believe the intentions are good.

It could also read as a commentary on what, in some people’s opinion, has happened to our fandom.

“The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has gone too far for me…”

For those people I would say, in the words of Christopher Tolkien:

“There is only one solution for me: turning my head away”.

Like it or not, things have been undergoing a change for some time now.

We cannot control all events and people.

There’s no point in trying , or no reason, to influence what someone thinks, says, and writes.

You may not agree with the actions of some members of RArmy, but that’s not to say, just like the Peter Jackson films, they don’t have merit.

It all depends on your point of view.

Be respectful of the opinions of others, or simply be able to turn around and walk away.

The boys are going to Comic-Con!

The search for Richard Armitage is well and truly over!

The One Ring has confirmed that our precious will take part in the Hobbit panel at Comic-Con in San Diego on the 14th of July. Joining him will be Martin Freedman, Andy Serkis, Sir Ian McKeller, Philippa Boyens,  and Sir PJ himself.

Is it just me, or does this seem like quite the honour?

I don’t want to read into this too much, but if three actors are chosen to represent the film, and it’s Sir Ian, Freedman and Armitage, that’s quite a distinguished group of actors, right?

This is how I think it all came about:

RA: Alright there, Sir PJ?

PJ: Yeah, good. You?

RA: Not bad, thanks.

PJ: So, a bunch of us are going over to San Diego for the weekend in July. Wanna come?

RA: Sure, yeah, nothing planned apart from tearing down ivy at my house in London. Who’s going?

PJ: Ya know, Gandalf, Smeagol, Bilbo, some other guys.  We’ll kick back a few Buds, have a laugh, give a few interviews. It’ll be cool. You interested?

RA  (scratches beard): Yeah, cool. Can I travel with my sword?

PJ: Should be OK. Let me get my assistant to make a few calls, I guess we could book the seat next to you on the plane…

RA: First class though, right? Me and my sword, we only travel first class!

PJ: Sure, I’ll see what I can do… Don’t worry, Sir Ian travelled with that Gandalf staff for years after we shot LOTR…

My only regret?

I didn’t hear the name ‘Aidan Turner’ thrown into the mix.

I think I’m just too eye-candy greedy, though…

 

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