Tag Archives: New Zealand

New “Hobbit” video blog online – post-production…and beyond!

The world premiere of Peter Jackson‘s “The Hobbit” is in New Zealand on Wednesday and you’ll be delighted to know that the film is almost finished.

“Trust me – I know what I’m doing.”

Which is…nice?

Judging by the latest (#9) production blog uploaded by His Awesomeness, it’s a relief that the movie is this far along – these are phenomenally complex enterprises, undertaken by a brilliant collective of artisans, technicians and inspiringly creative individuals all united by delivering Jackson’s singular vision.  Just from watching the production blog, the thought is impossible to escape that just one person has to ultimately bring together multiple departments, disciplines and skill sets in a cohesive whole to  deliver three films.  I just don’t know if I could keep on top of that level of mind-smushing difficulty for as long as Jackson will have to.

There’s the usual jocular, collegiate, ‘man, this stuff is fun!’ tone running throughout the blog, but I’d hate to have to be the guy steering the ship.  But, at the same time, I love that he’s devoted himself to taking regular movie goers, genre nerds and devoted Tolkien fans alike back to Middle Earth for another couple of slices of prime fantasy fun.

Glowing blue swords? Nerdery? Does want!

There’s another blog due after the premiere this week – and those all-important first reviews to boot…




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“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” – new trailer unspools the awesome

I want to go to there…

Happy Wednesday, fellow nerds, geeks and devotees of pop cultural badassery – there’s a new “Hobbit” trailer online.  Fire up the download accelerator of your choice and get stuck in.

“Quick – look enigmatic, the camera’s on…”

I’m not sure that it will quell the grumpy dismissal of hardcore Tolkien scholars, but for those of us who just want to get lost in Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle Earth for a few more hours, this two minutes and 31 second trailer will fill your face with fantasy eye candy quite agreeably.

So, when do I get to on holiday to Rivendell, then?

Action, comedy, spectacle, short people, trolls, orc-type dudes, Andy Serkis‘ famous alter-ego and New Zealand will enthrall your eyes and make you count the days until the middle of December, when this first salvo in the new trilogy opens (and hopefully answers some questions about which sofa they’ve found the rest of the story down the back of…).

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“The Almighty Johnsons” – Kiwi fantasy with added hot blokes

Before January of this year, I had no clue that “The Almighty Johnsons” existed.

Handsome Gods doing normal things

It showed up in the e-mail that SyFy channel send me – I probably signed up to it at some point, can’t remember when – and prompted me to emit a mild ‘Huh?’ and move on with my life.  As I’m on the outs with SyFy over various things – not the least of which being the UK version of the channel failing to show 2011’s “Eureka” Christmas special – I filed this show firmly in my “I might watch this if there’s nothing else on” category and duly forgot about it.

But curiosity clearly got the better of me and I watched the first episode this Thursday – and it’s not half-bad.  Not extraordinary, not a show which is likely to change your life significantly, but certainly a fairly decent kick-off for a show which could be worth keeping up with.

The premise is simple – four brothers leading reasonably straightforward lives in present day New Zealand are actually reincarnated Norse gods with accompanying special powers.  The focus is very much on the comedic relationships and fraternal niggles rather than high-octane heroics and mythic wrangling.  Which isn’t to say that this show ignores the Norse aspects of its premise but focuses a little more on the everyday (and presumably budget-friendly) stuff before dropping in some well-executed effects to underpin the fantasy elements.

This show’s opening episode plowed a reasonably expected furrow – the youngest brother inherits his Norse persona on his 21st birthday and the brothers peaceful existence is threatened by a mysterious group of  women with similarly powerful abilities – but did so with wit and an on off-kilter sensibility.  It’s a show which is close in tone to “Being Human” (which I’ve never enjoyed) and “Misfits” (which I love) but has an identity of its own – there’s a nice juxtaposition of the ordinary and the mythical which is more than somewhat in my wheelhouse.  One issue which might put off some potential viewers is the show’s robust language – there’s lots of cursing and salty talk, but it’s never overdone.

If you like the presently popular literary genre of urban fantasy fiction – the Jim Butcher/Laurell K. Hamilton school of novelists, for example – then you’ll get a lot of this show’s blend of reality, myth and comedy.  There’s a lot of potential in it and I’ll certainly be checking out the next few episodes to see if it builds from this promising beginning to deliver a compelling take on Norse tropes or falls back on bloke humour and finding convenient excuses for it’s not entirely unattractive cast to suddenly lose their clothes (exhibit A – the business of becoming a Norse avatar requires one to be absolutely buff-assed nekkid.  Who’da thunk it?).

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