From The Shire To Bouldin Creek

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From The Shire To Bouldin Creek

I don’t think anyone can ever forget the youthful appearance of Elijah Wood who seems to be perfect for the role of a hobbit, considering his almost ageless looks and ability to put on the innocence of a lost and heartwarming puppy. Anyway, it seems that the actor has moved on to Bouldin Creek last year in a large Victorian home that seems to have cost up to at least a million US dollars which, while probably fairly affordable for such an affluent and quite famous celebrity, may be a bit too much for the more common citizen. Oh well, after Lord of the Rings, he did go on to state in one interview that he had already succeeded in being part of the century’s most epic fantasy flick and considers it one of his greatest achievements. No doubt the fandom agrees with him considering the success of said films and has even gotten him at least a cameo appearance in The Hobbit films.

Elijah Wood has been around for quite a while in the film industry with his beginnings somewhere in TV commercials. Later on, he played as an extra in Back to the Future and from there began to steadily grow popular. Due to his innocent appearance, as mentioned above, he went on to play the roles of troubled children like that of Mark Evans from The Good Son who finds himself at the mercy of a psychotic cousin/brother played by Macaulay Culkin and Mike from Radio Flyer where he must fight against an abusive father to protect his brother from harm. And then there was The War, a truly heart-wrenching story about the effects of the Vietnam War and how the pieces of a shattered family attempts to put itself back together.

Apparently, Elijah Wood, who seems to be in the process of filming Cooties, a horror comedy film about some strange virus hitting an elementary school where Clint Hadson (Elijah Wood’s character) happens to be a substitute teacher at.

A Long Journey

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A Long Journey

It seems that filming for The Hobbit has already ended and the cast and crew are going their separate ways. Ian McKellen seems to have left to continue with the long-awaited film franchise of X-Men with its latest installment, Days of Future Past where he shall be reprise his role as the rebellious mutant leader Magneto with a lot of the original members of the film franchise like Patrick Stewart and his awesome baldness to play as Professor X and the lovely Anna Paquin as Rogue. Orlando Bloom has also been noted to be interested in being part of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise again but so far, he seems to be content spending time with his son Flynn as he had been spotted with his beloved little boy in New York City Park. While Andy Serkis doesn’t seem to be finished with the series after he had been appointed as assistant director to Peter Jackson but it seems that he’s slated for projects of his own such as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes where he will once again take on the role of Caesar, the leader of the rebellious apes. Benedict Cumberbatch on the other hand has gone back to play the role of Sherlock Holmes in the TV series Sherlock with Martin Freeman also reprising his role as Dr. Watson.

All in all though, it’s been a great ride for everybody, from the cast, the crew and the audience who had never been more supportive. After all, a lot us have waited for the films to actually come out and while some may have complaints here and there, it has nonetheless been an epic journey for all of us. And take note to remember that the journey is far from over as we still have quite a ways to go before Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again.

A Long Awaited Winter

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A Long Awaited Winter

Desolation of Smaug is set to hit theaters this coming December and it seems that the fandom has never been more excited. As winter hits the region of Dale in Middle Earth, the effects of Smaug’s attack upon the surrounding towns and kingdoms. Among these devastated and barely surviving communities is Lake Town which, according to Evangeline Lilly who plays the role of Tauriel, might not have been all that different from a scenic town somewhere near the Mediterranean had Smaug not laid waste to it. Anyway, with its dilapidated structures and often squalid inhabitants, the town itself is run by the Master of Lake Town played by Stephen Fry and is protected by its town guard that includes Bard the Bowman who is portrayed by Luke Evans. In the trailer proper that was released over a month ago, it was revealed that the local residents of Lake Town are a bit less than enthusiastic about awakening Smaug who has now come to slumber in Erebor, surrounded by the treasures of the dwarves.

For people who have already read the book, what comes next probably won’t be too surprising but we can hope to expect that the following scenes may indeed be some of the most epic shots we’ll see this year considering the time and effort the cast and crew have been shown to be putting into the project. Of course, I’m sure everyone can remember the little exercise routine the dwarves have to keep shape through all the rigorous scenes they have to appear in for the films as well as some of the props prepared for a devastated Lake Town. Apparently there had even been a fire in one of the sets that had been allegedly caused by an unhappy Smaug which the local fire department luckily put out quite quickly.

Whatever the case, it’s not long now before Desolation of Smaug hits theaters and after that we can wait for There and Back Again which is due late next year and may hold some scenes such as the epic Battle of Five Armies.

All’s Well That Ends Well

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All’s Well That Ends Well

Filming for The Hobbit trilogy has ended and it seems that the cast and crew are now taking it easy as things run their course. For one thing, many of the films’ actors and actresses have moved on to other projects that are sure to draw even more fans to their performances. Ian McKellen for one has already moved on to be part of the next X-Men movie, Days of Future Past which is another long awaited film in the franchise as Ian McKellen’s version of Magneto, the rebellious mutant, had been absent from the films since it’s third (and allegedly believed last) installment The Last Stand. Orlando Bloom has also left and was said to have been interested in a possible role in The Pirates of the Caribbean films although nothing has yet to be confirmed. Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch have also left and intend to continue their roles in the British TV series Sherlock. The former also is also scheduled to appear in the upcoming film The World’s End along with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and is the third film in the Cornetto trilogy preceded by Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. The latter on the hand has stated in a Youtube video that he is quite tired of keeping secrets from fans like he did in Star Trek as well as The Hobbit and decided to reveal some rather confusing spoilers on how the Great Detective managed to survive his fall in the previous season finale.

All in all though, it seems that all of the cast and crew certainly had a blast launching the project and for some of them, like assistant producer Matt Dravitzki, it’s almost sad to say goodbye, citing the last remaining days of filming like “the last days of school” which is rather touching considering what they have all achieved over the years.

The Hobbit Blog: A Director’s Tale

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The Hobbit Blog: A Director’s Tale

If The Hobbit films and Lord of the Rings films can be thought of as one big franchise, one can note that it took Wingnut Films and its associates roughly 14 years to finish their project. Peter Jackson himself seems to have had a great time with the films and would probably make more or at least add more to the current films had he not been denied further license to use other sources made by J.R.R. Tolkien. Anyway, it seems that filming for the films have ended and we can only wait eagerly for the release of the second and third installment of the film series, Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again, respectively.

And it seems just to please fans, Peter Jackson has gone on to leave a video blog of all the activities involved in the making of the films proper and what it took to get the whole project into motion. So far, the blog has included a few scenes on how the film crew put life into the project such as the special effects used and how the props are made to look as realistic as possible. There is also the few little bits where the dwarves of the show are exercising for their part in the films (which only makes one wonder what orcs like Azog do to keep in shape) and where a drunken Legolas sings “They Have Taken The Hobbits To Isengard”.

The blogs are meant to provide fans of the franchise a good idea of what Peter Jackson and company had put into making the film. He has gone on to state how proud he is of the films and the blog should allow fans to see what he and his crew felt and did during the project.

New Zealand Tourism Reaches New Heights

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New Zealand Tourism Reaches New Heights

While Tolkien’s major inspiration for Middle Earth is none other than the peaceful towns of England, it seems that director Peter Jackson’s choice of venue to direct his films in his home country of New Zealand. Surprisingly enough, thanks to the rolling hills, the verdant grasslands, dense forests and sparsely populated rural areas make for the perfect substitute for J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world. One can even go on to note that one of the actors has outright stated that some of his family simply couldn’t believe that some of the shots that were taken from the film simply could not be anything natural and was simply a set of props on set.

Anyway, as winter approaches, it seems that more and more tourists are drawn to New Zealand to sample some of its skiing slopes, its prosperous yet cozy cities and, of course, its Hobbit-themed tourist spots. New Zealand has always been a popular tourist spot thanks to its pristine environment which gives it an almost mystical feel. Three of the most common tourists that come to New Zealand start with (surprisingly enough) China, which is followed by Australia and the third being the United States, two superpowers right there in one lineup. Perhaps a good reason why Russia isn’t involved is probably because they had their own The Hobbit sometime during the days of the Soviet Union and we can only imagine how that went down. Anyway, other nations that choose New Zealand as a vacation spot include Germany, Britain and Japan which are also powerhouse nations in their own right.

New Zealand is quite popular for skiing and is why the country attracts tourists from all corners of the globe. Also of note is the fact that its Hobbit-related tourist attraction is also quite famous throughout the world especially with the approach of its second installment in December of this year.

The Hobbit and It’s Issues

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The Hobbit and It’s Issues

The Hobbit film trilogy may very well be one of the more successful movie trilogies of the decade much the same way that Lord of the Rings became what it was during 2001-2003. It also took Peter Jackson quite a while before the thing could even be filmed because of a number of issues such as the available budget, his access to source materials leaving him only The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings to base his work on and, of course, his access to actors and actresses to do the parts he intended. All in all though, most of the project has already been finished and we are now eagerly awaiting the release of its second and third installments Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again respectively.

Anyway, asides from the apparent delay in the filming process, it seems that the films have also been suffering from a good number of criticisms against it such as the introduction of original characters like Tauriel, portrayed by Evangeline Lilly, whom many fans are outright enraged by thanks to the fact that she never existed in the original book and was said to have been created to appease feminists who took note of the lack of many main female characters in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Indeed, while there were a few here and there, they were mostly backstory characters that really had little to do with, say for instance, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Among other complaints include that of Azog the Defiler, played by Manu Bennett who has made a name for himself playing as Crixus in Spartacus, who was already dead when the novel of The Hobbit began and Bilbo and company only had to deal with Bolg which was only the latter’s son.

Hobbits in Portsmouth

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Hobbits in Portsmouth

Well, there’s little doubt that the works of Tolkien will always have a special place in our hearts even before Peter Jackson came out with Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. And while the films were all made in New Zealand, it should be noted that Tolkien’s main inspiration for Middle Earth was in fact the cozy little towns and forests of England which he had come to admire and love. And such is the case in the little town of Portsmouth where the populace have prepared a number of fantasy-themed events to celebrate the popularity of The Hobbit films and how they’ve become such a fad for children all over the world.

As the town of Portsmouth prepares to accept donations of school supplies for children, the school children of Portsmouth have prepared with their own activities such as putting on various costumes to best represent the characters of The Hobbit. These props include hairy feet to better emulate the thick-soled feet that have become iconic of the characters. Apparently all children five years old and above were invited to take part in the festivities and generally enjoy the experience of being part of Middle Earth.

Anyway, it seems that the anticipation for the second installment of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug is only rising as the months pass by. There have already been countless other events that have taken place in the past few months to commemorate The Hobbit novel by J.R.R. Tolkien and the movies that have been made in its honor over the years and not just the films made by Peter Jackson either. Nonetheless though it seems that even though there are many complaints lodged against the films that Peter Jackson has directed, it still seems that there are those who consider the films a good adaptation of Tolkien’s masterpiece despite its changes.

Benedict Cumberbatch: Returning as Sherlock

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Benedict Cumberbatch: Returning as Sherlock

As the filming of The Hobbit film series is coming to an end, many actors and actresses have already left to continue their careers elsewhere. Among these many talented performers is Benedict Cumberbatch who supplied the role of Smaug the Dragon and The Necromancer and is quite known in the movie industry for his deep and sexy voice that seems to permeate all his performances. Anyway, after his project with The Hobbit has ended, he has returned to once again fill the role of Sherlock Holmes in the British TV series Sherlock.

However, one of the biggest question was how the eponymous detective managed to survive the fall that seemingly killed the character in the second season of the ever popular TV series. Tired of having to keep so many secrets about the characters he portrays such as John Harrison in Star Trek: Into Darkness and what his characters in The Hobbit could possibly be up to, he has revealed some information on how he actually managed to survive his fall from a rooftop in the season finale. Of course, needless to say, the information presented wasn’t as forthcoming as expected due to technical issues. So far, all that was heard was that cabbages, helicopters, firearms of sorts and two plush monkeys all of which made very little sense although one could still assume them to be clues for whatever it is that really happened.

It was a very noble gesture from Benedict Cumberbatch seeing that viewers would definitely want spoilers for all their troubles. Unfortunately, few if any at all could make sense of what actually transpired based on Benedict Cumberbatch’s description. Nonetheless it was well appreciated and we will certainly look forward to more of Benedict Cumberbatch’s films since we already know just how spectacular an actor he can be.

But really? Cabbages…

The Hobbit and Other Features at Storybook Theater

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The Hobbit and Other Features at Storybook Theater

Storybook Theater presents us some noteworthy animation features for children to enjoy in the months to come. Surely a treat for those who have become long-time fans of fantasy and storybooks. Some of the features of course include that of The Hobbit in the 3rd of November in 2013 (not at all that far from the release of Desolation of Smaug which is in December) with the ever memorable Bilbo Baggins traveling the world of Middle Earth along with the stoic 13 dwarves led by the even more stoic and badass Thorin Oakenshield and their quest to reclaim the lost dwarven kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug.

Other attractions also include Chicken Little, the chick who seems to think that the sky is falling and somehow gets all the other animals around him in on the action and cause a panic as they make their way to the palace to speak of the impending doom on the 24th of November. There is also Goldilocks & The Three Bears whom I know we’re all familiar with and is set to be shown on the 16th of March in 2014 which is not too early and not too late and is just right. There is also Twas The Night… on November 22 which is not far from Christmas and is indeed a slightly more hilarious adaptation of the poem Twas The Night Before Christmas.

So if you’re looking for some quality entertainment for children and pre-schoolers, visiting some of the sights and sounds at Storybook Theater. Some of the features offered will even remind you of your own childhood memories and. All in all, this should be a great prelude as we wait for the up and coming Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again all of which are due pretty soon in a theater near you.