Thursday, April 14, 2011

Back to New Zealand, Back to the Beginning



Full circle. I'm back in the year 2000, I'm back in graduate school, I'm back before Bush v. Gore and before September 11th, I'm back to when it was just Melissa and me and a couple of tiny tykes, I'm back to working at Borders and riding the Metro. I'm back to when the only things on the future horizon that really seemed to matter at all were 1) finishing the dissertation, 2) finding a teaching job that could support the family, and 3) waiting for the most important Geek Film ever. Eleven years later, it looks like I'll be someday be able to at least do the last of those once again.

Look at them! Peter Jackson, no longer a fat scruffy hobbit, but still every bit the whimsical, grown-up wunderkind of New Zealand. Look close at the crowds and backgrounds, and spot storyboard artists and make-up folks which the more obsessive among us can remember from all the bonus features on the extended editions, years ago. Look at Richard Armitage, and see the good-hearted, formal pomposity of Thorin Oakenshield in his welcoming words; look at Martin Freeman, trooping along and taking his turn in a wonderfully dorky and Bilbo-ish suit jacket. And Ian McKellan, of course, taking it all in stride--after all, he's been here before. And so have we, haven't we?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

48 fps and 3D. The former is exciting. The latter less so.

Russell Arben Fox said...

Yeah, I could care less about the 3D; I continue to believe, like Ebert, that it's a pointless fad. But I presume there will still be theaters showing films in other than 3D in 2012.

Jacob T. Levy said...

Like.

Rob said...

Any reason why they have to take that story and make two movies out of it? I mean, other than to milk me for $18 instead of $9?

Russell Arben Fox said...

Rob,

My understanding from various online news and rumors sites is that the original plan was for them to draw upon a good deal of Silmarillion-type extraneous Tolkien material, and make two movies that both provide a backstory to the establishment of the Shire, and then show Gollum's quest and other events to link The Hobbit films together with the LOTR trilogy. I believe those plans have been abandoned, and now they're just planning on expanding The Hobbit's narrative itself. As a film-geek, I don't care for that; as much as I'd be happy to see what happens with Gandalf and the White Council, the fact remains that the story of The Hobbit simply isn't epic, and I fear for the harm that'll be done to the story in trying to make it that way, as opposed to weaving it as it stands alone into Tolkien's larger epic vision. But then, as a Tolkien-geek who is willing to give a chance to any effort to put any of his writings on a screen, those fears aren't going to stop me from getting hyped up by every leaked image of Rivendell.