Mr Bilbo Blackadder

WETA Workshop, the effects studio behind the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, also produces a series of collectibles based on the films. This is the Bilbo Baggins Mini Epic Vinyl Figure, coming out in a few months. Ah, Bilbo Baggins, reviewing the Dwarves’ contract for his services… Wait. Bilbo Baggins? This figure doesn’tContinue reading “Mr Bilbo Blackadder”

Christmas in the Shire

Last night, for no particular reason, I watched the first of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  (Thoughts on the trilogy as a whole here.)  Watching it brought to mind a satirical video I’d seen years ago of the Rankin-Bass Hobbit Christmas special that should have been.  Was it still online?  AContinue reading “Christmas in the Shire”

On a Dream About The Hobbit

I had a dream last night that I saw an advance screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. And I was blown away by it. Not because it returned me to Peter Jackson’s version of Middle-Earth is awesomely spectacular fashion, but because there was something about the film and its narrative style that Jackson hadContinue reading “On a Dream About The Hobbit”

On Kirill Yeskov’s The Last Ringbearer

A few months ago on a bulletin board I was drawn into a somewhat tedious argument over what, exactly, pipeweed is in The Lord of the Rings. My sparring partner argued that pipeweed was clearly tobacco, Tolkien said so, and that, clearly, was that. The problem with the identification of pipeweed with tobacco, I said,Continue reading “On Kirill Yeskov’s The Last Ringbearer”

On The Hobbit’s Casting Choices

Today I read an interesting criticism from Ben Child of Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit films — the films will be an extended exercise in stunt casting: With the news that Billy Connolly is to take the role of dwarf king Dain Ironfoot in his adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s debut Middle-earth-set novel, Jackson appears to beContinue reading “On The Hobbit’s Casting Choices”

On Apocalyptic Thinking

People are preparing for the Apocalypse. For instance, there are Christians who believe the Rapture will happen tomorrow. Or the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta offered advice for surviving the zombie apocalypse. NASA is even prepared for Viking raids. I’m sure there are pagans who are anxiously awaiting Ragnarok, and some Reformed Gallifreyists mayContinue reading “On Apocalyptic Thinking”

On NPR’s Lord of the Rings Audio Drama

When I was younger, in those days before the Internet made mail order shopping so ridiculously easy, my family used to receive the NPR Shop catalog. And the Barnes & Noble catalog. I don’t know which catalog I saw it in, but I’m sure it was one of those two — the NPR radio dramatizationContinue reading “On NPR’s Lord of the Rings Audio Drama”