The Greatest Adventure Is What Lies Ahead

Fuck. Yes.

Ten years ago, the “Lord of The Rings” movies stepped into both a blockbuster-filmmaking realm and a movie-geek culture realm – both of which hurting in the wake of “The Phantom Menace” debacle – and completely rewrote the book. I don’t think that’s exaggerating – I firmly believe that the “21st Century Model” of film-geekdom begins with this series, which took every concievable creative and financial risk and paid them off with a singular filmmaking achievement that in my mind has yet to be equalled.

…and now we get to go back.

Ye gods… hearing that Howard Shore score kick back up on the soundtrack… seeing The Shire again… it feels like coming home. This is, literally, the LEAST stressed I have felt all December.

This, my friends, is THE movie of 2012 as far as I’m concerned. Batman? Small potatoes. Avengers? Slightly-prettier small potatoes. Spider-Man? Don’t even start.

31 thoughts on “The Greatest Adventure Is What Lies Ahead

  1. Reneiw says:

    They're putting it in December specifically because NOBODY in “the biz” has Oscar bait lined up yet, and it'll make gangbusters for WEEKS.

    People thought Harry Potter and Avatar made money, just wait.


  2. Reneiw says:

    Also completely blew the Dark Knight Rises trailer from earlier this week out of the water.

    DKR marketing walks over to Hobbit marketing and yells “What the fuck I thought you said next week!” and the Hobbit marketing said “Jackson said this week you idiot!”


  3. Uncle Tim says:

    So much goodness here…

    hearing the orchestration of the original dwarven song from the text (and if that's one of the films' main themes, fantastic!)…

    seeing Ian Holm back in Bag End…

    seeing Martin Freeman as his pitch perfect younger self…

    Richard Armitage as an intense Thorin…

    and the first meeting of Gollum and a Baggins…

    My God, assuming the world doesn't end, 2012 is going to be a great film year.


  4. motyr says:

    This trailer is a big “meh” all around, and saying it's nearly as good as TDKR trailer is absolutely false and stems directly from you thinking “dudes I hated in school LOVE the DKR trailer, DAMN IT TO HELL.”

    Yes, The Hobbit looks colourful. It also looks incredibly, incredibly lame. Congrats, Bob, you're officially a contrarian.


  5. pigmy wurm says:

    I can't wait!

    I love the casting on the dwarves too often people make all dwarves look exactly the same while these ones actually look really distinct.


  6. Jacob says:

    Sorry Del Torro fans, but anyone who HONESTLY thought that replacing Jackson would be just as good should be eating their words now.
    Sure it would have been fascinating to see what he came up with. But it sure as SHIT wouldn't have been THAT!


  7. Anonymous says:

    Hmm…I love the LOTR films as much as the next guy. Hell, ROTK even made me cry (yeah, go ahead and laugh). However even though I'm very much looking forward to The Hobbit films, this trailer didn't do much for me. I don't doubt the film will be great…just aside from the last 5 seconds the trailer was pretty underwhelming.


  8. Turiel says:

    Aah it is just fantastic. Every single aspect.
    The dwarves are all individually distinct, and just exude that same level of silliness and fun that Gimli did in LotR… and then it starts into Thorin's seriousness, with that dirge-like and incredibly 'dwarfy' singing, intercut with alternating tension buildup scenes, recognition points like the shards of Narsil and of course the map/credits.
    It's all tuned to let us relive watching the Fellowship of the Ring over again, a gentle start, some foreshadowing, then on to action.
    A masterpiece of trailer direction and editing in my opinion… Heck Bob, couldn't you do an episode about this alone? 😀


  9. akkuma420 says:

    There are no words to describe how happy this makes me.
    I remember the first time I read The Hobbit was when I was 11. As soon as I finished The Hobbit I had to read LOTR. A bit more difficult of a read, but amazing none the less.
    Then some years later I remember hearing about the movie. I was excited but nervous at the same time.
    Long story short I ended up watching The Fellowship of The Ring in Theaters 7 times.
    When I see this trailer it takes me right back to Middle Earth all over again. It has the same look and feel as the LOTR Trilogy and seems to be incredibly loyal to the source material from what I'm reading and seeing.
    I'm so glad Peter Jackson decided to take on The Hobbit. I know he's all “Tolken'd out”, but no one else could have done it and make it as perfect as he did.
    This trailer looks absolutely perfect and is everything I was hoping it would be and more.
    I haven't been this excited for a movie since “The Fellowship of The Ring”.
    I'm gonna go cry tears of joy and see when I can buy my midnight showing ticket.


  10. john says:

    Apparently someone opened a portal back in time and asked my eight-year-old self, after my dad first read the book to me, “What is the one thing in the world you would most like to see a movie of?”



  11. Kyle says:

    I dressed up as a hobbit to see The Lord of the Rings movies at midnight showings.

    Years later I would learn the word 'cosplay' and realize “Huh, I've done that.”


  12. Gojira007 says:

    Wow. I'll be honest, I'm actually very conflicted about this, because the very thing that makes it look pretty cool is the very thing I was afraid of when I heard Jackson would be taking over for Del Toro, and something I had really hoped the “Hobbit” film would avoid: it's being treated more as a prequel to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy than its own story.

    Like I said, on the one hand that's pretty awesome. The same clear sense of Epic grandeur Jackson brought to those movies is alive and well here, I like the look of the Dwarves more than I was expecting, lots of nice shout-outs to those movies.

    But for me, that also kind of goes against what a “Hobbit” film should be.

    Maybe it's because I was spoiled by the distinctive style of the Rankin-Bass TV Movie. Maybe I'm just too emotionally attached to “The Hobbit” as a book in its own right to feel comfortable with the way it's being treated here. But the truth is, “The Hobbit” wasn't written just to be a mere prelude to the “Lord of the Rings” movies; indeed, it wasn't even originally meant to be part of the same world, and even after much revision to make it fit more comfortably there, Tolkien was never quite able to mesh the two together seamlessly, as far as I'm concerned. Consequently, the style and feel of “The Hobbit” is distinctly different from the “Rings” books, and I feel like, for an adaptation of the book to be of any worth, it must respect that fact.

    I don't think Jackson really has done that here, from the look of it.

    But then, maybe that's OK, I don't know. I certainly don't want to be the grump who rains on everyone's parade (though even disregarding all that there are choices here that set off my red flag; are we really going to try and play up some sort of romance between Gandalf and Galadriel?), and as I said, there's cool-looking stuff in here. But I'm afraid I simply can't share the same level of enthusiasm everyone else is showing so far.


  13. Anonymous says:

    Bob do you truly believe the avengers looks better than the dark knight rises? Or is it just that you hope it is better because you prefer what a good avengers movie would mean for future films? From what I have seen and a large number of people on the net the avengers film so far has looked rather underwhelming… I would really like to hear your comment on those costumes. You throw a lot of heat towards the design in Batman and it is def somewhat deserved, but the new looks for the avengers look all around horrific.

    Anywho on topic. This looks amazing. My one complaint is I wish the vibe could have been a bit more like the original animated film and not so much like the LOTR movies. I always thought the aesthetics of the hobbit book were different from those in the trilogy and i would have liked to see that reflected here. That is the one reason i would have preferred del toro directing I think he could have captured that difference.

    Still though looks great.


  14. Sam Robards, Occasional Gamer says:

    This looks pretty good, but I don't know if it's THE movie of 2012.

    For one thing, it's been 10 years since Fellowship was released and eight years since Return of the King came out. In terms of pop culture relevance, that's forever and a half ago, and the mainstream Tolkien-mania that swept the nation when Fellowship was released has long since evaporated.

    I'll say again, it looks pretty good, but you have to admit that, based on the trailer, it feels like Lord of the Rings 0.5 instead of The Hobbit.

    This is where I feel losing Guillermo Del Toro really hurt. Del Toro's hand would have given the production a drastically different look, feel and tone than LOTR, which would have help, in my opinion, get some of the mainstream audience back.

    Of course, I could be wrong, and the movie could make gangbusters (there are going to be two of them, after all). I'm just afraid it's going to be a blip on the radar screen.

    Now, what do I think THE movie of 2012 is? Easy: The Avengers. Yeah, a part of that is bias (I LOOOOOOOOVE comic books, and Marvel in particular), but this just seems to be the big deal right now.

    The potential of mixing genres and inter-movie continuity is going to be a big deal in the American movie industry going forward if this works. Here's hoping!

    Oh, and my thoughts about The Dark Knight Rises are over in the trailer thread, FYI.


  15. john says:

    @Gojira007: Yeah, kinda. I'm going to reserve judgement on that aspect until I see the movie, though – I'm certain the trailer was specifically tailored to draw in the LOTR-movie audience, but there's two feature-length movies' worth of screentime here, of which we've seen two minutes.

    Either way I'm going to enjoy it, but I do agree that I'm hoping for more of a “related story” than a prequel.


  16. Anonymous says:

    @atomic skull… really? really? Have you ever seen Pan's Labyrinth? Wait don't answer that question, because if you have and despite that you are saying that he doesnt do good villains I may cry. If you read this just go and see that movie immediately. That is all.


  17. Joe says:

    Gee, naysayers, can you back it up just a tad, please?

    This film is not coming out until next December. That means almost a year of postproduction yet.

    Considering the story of The Hobbit involves trolls, a werebear, giant wolves, giant spiders, giant birds, the meeting of five armies in battle and oh yeah, a dragon, most of the CGI probably isn't done yet. That's why this trailer is almost all principal photography.

    And this trailer basically paused itself in the middle…for a chant. A chant!

    Now I'm stoked.


  18. Hyrabethian says:

    I agree completely Moviebob, although part of me remembers the whole prequels vs. LOTR scene from Clerks 2 where Randal had to degrade to juvenile tasteless ridicule and just made the whole “how far SW had fallen” seem even more bitter and sad.


  19. john says:

    @Joe: No kidding. I think the fact that not only do they have a song in the movie, but they put it in the trailer is the most encouraging aspect of this. Not so much because I'm enamoured of Tolkien's songs (well, okay, I like that one a lot,) but it's a good sign that they haven't decided to stick strictly to their formula for the LOTR films, or worry about whether audiences can take it seriously. I like it when moviemakers don't feel the need to pander to some notional amalgamic movie-goer who “can't handle” anything not immediately familiar from every other blockbuster.


  20. Anonymous says:

    The problem I have with this trailer is that its looking like its going to be a pg 13 movie, but it should at owrst be PG.

    the hobbit is and always will be a children's tale, a story you read to your kids a chapter a night before they go to sleep while trying to croak out the tunes. The tone is untterly and completely different in the hobbit then it was the LOTR, and it looks like peter jackson is trying to make the hobbit into something its not.

    If a five year old cant see this movie without getting scared, they screwed it up.


  21. sbo says:

    Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks.sbobet


  22. SLH says:

    There are a lot of people here who're lamenting over the feeling that Peter Jackson's take on this looks like it won't reflect their view of The Hobbit as informed by the animated film/their understanding of it as a children's story. How much that will be true, none of us can say at the moment, but to be honest, not only is that likely to be somewhat the case, I think it's the right, and the only, move for this situation.

    Having recently re-read the Hobbit and re-watched the Lord of the Rings, one of the first things that struck me, other than 'These are awesome', was 'wow, there really is a stylistic difference here'. The Hobbit is interspersed with upbeat rhyming songs, and the troop going place to place to place and being consistently saved by Gandalf, until he disappears in the second half. Very little is said about most of the characters, save Bilbo and Gollum, apart from painting them as caricatures, and most of the dialogue, rather than appearing, is mentioned as having happened. And it's SHORT. The Lord of the Rings films, on the other hand, are LONG, with a striking, definitive style and much, much more going on than happens in the Hobbit.

    Now, to get back to what I was saying, a lot of people are concerned that Peter Jackson is going to have to change their vision of the Hobbit to fit it into this framework, to which I say, 'Well, he'd better', because while a musical romp through Middle Earth (Goblins singing? Really?) with Gandalf saving the day all the time might be more faithful to the source material, it would be a terrible movie. On the other hand, making 'Lord of the Rings 0.5' may be a bit of a change, but:
    1. It's more appropriate for movie format – I know some people want the kids movie, but it just would not work with the established style, and

    2. Is anything so wrong with that idea?

    I mean, a faithful adaptation would make a good kids movie, but given a choice between that (and I do love kids movies, PIXAR especially, but I just find the idea bad) and another Lord of the Rings film that retains the style, score, acting, and effects that made the previous ones awesome, while maintaining the characterization and events occuring within the more general Middle Earth framework would, and will, be BETTER. And if they have to add stuff to make it work, will it make the film any worse than the original films were worsened by having things cut? I mean, I don't see Tom Bombadil in the films, but does that make them not-AWESOME? No.

    So yes, some people want their stylistically stand-alone Hobbit, but that doesn't invalidate, or even trump, the merits that a Lord of the Rings prequel would, and hopefully will, have. And since those people are touting the animated version so much, why deny the rest of us something we want?


Leave a Reply to BJames Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s