MiddleEarthBlog: June 2012


Friday, June 29, 2012

Martin Freeman

 I can't quite remember when I first became aware of Martin Freeman as an actor, I believe most of his work has been in Britain and especially for the BBC. I believe I first saw him in the most excellent BBC series SHERLOCK playing the loyal but completely frustrated and bewildered Dr. John Watson to Benedict Cumberbatchs' Sherlock Holmes who is a total genius but also an abysmal human being. Anyhoo the question arises how did Mr. Freeman go from a relatively small time player to the star of probably the most anticipated movies of the next two years . Good question, anyways he is our Bilbo and Sir peter Jackson says that he was born to play the role and no other so thats good enough for me. There was a bit of a problem at first working out the scheduling conflict between the Hobbit and filming a new season of Sherlock but that was all ironed out, Mr. Freeman must be pretty exhausted by now e tween all the traveling and acting, from what i have seen in the videoblogs of the filming of the Hobbit they are very physically taxing shoots to say the least. At least for Mr. Freeman he doesn't have to go through as much with his make up as the poor Dwarves do so he caught a break there. I wish him the best and hope he is able to cope with the worldwide phenomena that The Hobbit will be nd all the ensuing fame and glory. I'm sure he will be able to suffer through it all with dignity and grace. I am hoping for a third season of Sherlock. i'll keep my fingers crossed.

       Next Up: Richard Armitage

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Coming Soon

 Coming soon to middleearthblog.blogspot.com. A presentation on each of the major cast members including all the Dwarfs, Please stay tune as I get them ready for your viewing pleasure. First up will be Bilbo himself Mr. martin Freeman.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Hobbit chapter #2 and #3

  This is the second part of my analysis of the Hobbit chapter by chapter. The chapters are titled Roast mutton and no it's not a cookbook and A short rest.. It should be called Took vs. Baggins two, as we again have the two halves of Bilbos parentage coming in conflict. Bilbo as you will remember had two sides to his personality, the Baggins side which was the practical comfort loving homebody type more inclined to roasting mutton and there was the Tookish side that was the adventurous, lets see whats over the next hill and I'm looking for a thrill or two side of him. These two sides always seem to be in conflict with one another with the Tookish side usually winning out and agreeing to push on but with the Baggins side ever trying to clean up the infernal messes that he and others create. In these chapters the Baggins side of Bilbo is in for a bit of a shock when the reality of the quest and its inherent discomforts not to speak of the dangers begin to reveal themselves. The chapters are really divided into two parts, part one = Trolls and a brush with death so we are dealing with the Tookish side here and then there is part two which involves Rivendell and Elrond  and the creature comforts that the Baggins side so desires.In chapter two the journey sets out pleasantly enough and seems more like a Sunay picnc then things begin to change, the weather turns foul and soon our hero ( Bilbo ) is cold,wet,hungry and miserable. All the things the Baggins side of him detests. Maybe he had made a terrible mistake coming  along on this quest but it was too late to back out now. Night comes on and our band of adventurers were in a rather grumpy mood when they spotted a fire off in the distance and they decided to send there burglar ( Bilbo ) off to investigate which he does and what does he find but three Trolls. Now these are not the mindless Troll types you met in The Lord Of The Rings movie , rather these three talk and whats stranger is that they speak with an English cockney accent definitely not the proper speech that Tolkien infuses his gallant hero types with.Could this be a bit of upper class Englishmen looking down at and poking fun at lower class Englishman? Who knows who cares. Anyhoo our poor hero ( Bilbo ) is in a bit of a pickle, he can turn and flee back to his compatriots and advise them to make tracks and seek safer climes but no the Tookish side decides to return with one of the Trolls wallets. Doesn't make much sense but I believe Bilbo is trying to prove that there is a bit more of the burglar in him than the Dwarves think so he goes for the wallet but unfortunately Trolls wallets can talk and this one sounds the alarm and woosh poor Bilbo finds himself picked up by one of the Trolls and dangling upside down. Now do these Trolls have harsh foul sounding names like Grishnak or the like, no they have quite recognizable names like Bert and William. Also they as stated previously are able to speak and are trying to decide to eat Bilbo or not when the Dwarves show up and get themselves caught too. The whole lot of them seem to be quite inept at this adventuring business and would all surely have been a snack for the Trolls except for Gandalf who shows up and doesn't cast any magic spells on them but tricks them into arguing with one another so intensely that they forget the time and the sun rises and turns them all to stone which happens if Trolls get caught in the sunlight. Why didn't the Trolls in The Lord Of The Rings movies turn to stone? You will have to contact a Tolkien scholar for that answer, of which I am not. While at the Troll site they enter the Trolls cave and there find two swords with one being taken by Gandalf and one by Thorin and this will come to play in the 4th chapter. It seems Mr. Baggins is endowed with a lot of something that any adventurer heading off through dangerous lands to kill a Dragon needs and that is Luck. Now we move on to the next chapter which appeals more to the Baggins side they are to visit Erond in Rivendell and there rest and seek his advice before continuing there adventure. They meet some Elves on the way who really sound quite foolish and sing a rather silly song about them but eventually they arrive in Rivendell and this is as close that Bilbo is going to get to a Hobbitish sort of home, of course it is much grander but it is also infinitely more relaxing and has plenty of good food which certainly appeals to Bilbo. While here Gandalf produces a map given to him by Thorins father and here it gets a little incredulous because they look at the map and Elrond announces that it is a map designed to be read by the light of a particular moon and at a certain day of the year and aren't they so lucky this is just the right moon and this is just the right day to read it on,wow what coincidences. Elrond tells them where to go o the mountain to find the secret door to the Dragons lair. He also tell Gandalf and Thorin that the two swords from the Trolls cave were made by Elfs ages past for use in the Goblins war. So between them they are carrinyg the two swords made that the Goblins both fear and retest. So it would behoove them to avoid Goblins at all cost. Whoops, not going to happen , which we will cover in our next installment, The Hobbit Chapter # 4

Thursday, June 14, 2012


   Yes congratulations are in store for everyone. Today is June 14th and you are halfway to the Hobbit starting December 14th. Have you preordered your tickets yet? Decided on 24 Frames per second or are you the adventurous type and are going to see it in 48 frames per second mode. Me. I am going to see it at the regular 24 FPS and then right after I am going to a second showing and watch the 48 FPS version, that way I feel i can make an objective decision on the matter and report back to you the viewer. So save me an aisle seat and I will report back my observations six months from today.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Movie Review- Prometheus

 From time to time I will give an honest review of a movie that I have recently viewed pertaining to the sci-fi/fantasy genre. This past Saturday I went to see Prometheus a prequel to Alien and I will give it an enthusiastic thumbs up, being a child of the 50s and 60s I am constantly amazed at the new technology in film making especially special effects and it is in special effects that this movie excels. The movie is directed by Ridley Scott the director of the original Alien and he is true to form in this prequel. THe film is based on a mission to find our creators. A team of two archeologists ( dude/chicky) have found the same art from 7 separate cultures spanning centuries who had no contact with one another each has a tall figure pointig to a cluster of stars the duo believes this to be an invitation to come and meet our creators and of course they are sadly mistaken and fun and frivolity soon ensues with lots of blood and gore and spooky alien types galore. There are several surprises in this film for the alien fan and several answers are given to decades old questions ( space jockey etc... ) The film revolves around the old plot of old age seeking a reprieve from death. Soon the cast find that they have been used but find out much too late. There is of course the ubiquotous evil cyborg/robot to contend with but is he really evil? That will be determined in the sequel because there will surely be one, just watch the ending to find out for yourself So all in all a pretty good flick with lts of scary moments and interesting characters and just enough humanity thrown in to make the movie more than an excursion into heavy duty special effects. Well thats a wrap, Seeya

Monday, June 4, 2012

Compare & Contrast

 In this article I will attempt to compare and contrast the two great Tolkien classics  The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings. Firstly let me say once again that I am not a Tolkien scholar and these are my own opinions. So let us begin. I guess the easiest comparison is the size of the novels, one book versus a three volume book why the difference? The Hobbit was meant as a childrens book and most children aren't at the stage where they are willing to invest their time on a work that long so the pace is much quicker, things happen at a more rapid pace, once again the Author is writing for chilldren, that is his intended audience. Now to the characters, mostly Dwarfs and a Wizard and a Hobbit, Fantastical beings that are immensely more interesting than some boring man.Maybe Tolkien put in these diminutive folk ( the Wizard excluded ) so they would be the size of children and thusly the children would feel a sort of bond, small people in a tall world, just a guess on my part here. They all had easliy spoken short names, two syllables a piece for each one of the adventurers ( Gandalf,Bilbo  Dwalin,Balin,Oin,Gloin, Fili,Kili,Bifur,Bofur,Bombur,Dori,Nori, Ori,Thorin) with Thorin given a surname of Oakenshield just to seperate him from the others and sound more important since he was the heir to the throne of Erebor. They are presented to the readers as rather a group of comical characters with voracious appetites and the love of a good song, poor Bilbo at first seems to be a bit of a very frightened old homemaker who almost faints at the thought of going off on an adventure especially one involving a Dragon. Gandalf is seen here as a rather bemused observer of this traveling circus and out front you learn he has more pressing business elsewhere. Gandalf always seemed to have more pressing business elsewhere. Let us compare and contrast the two different journeys made in these books. In the Lord Of The Rings there is a great sense of urgency, time is of the essence, in The Hobbit there is no such sense of desperate need for quick action, Smaug the Dragon has been setting on his pile of gold and jewels for around a century and is probably not leaving any time soon. The purpose of the mission on LOTR is to destroy the ring of power and end Saurons ambitions to rule MiddleEarth in The Hobbit it is to recover the Treasure by any means necesarry and really they had no plan of how to accomplish the mission and seemed to be winging it and hoping things would all work out in the end. So one mission was defined by sacrifice the other by greed and revenge. Sacrifice was rewarded with victory at a price and greed and revenge was rewarded with failed ambitions and death. Tolkien always liked to make a moral statement.Now to compare and contrast the two characters of the novels who would be Kings that is Thorin and Aragorn, Both set out to reclaim Thrones that others set on, one held by a Steward and one held by a Dragon. The end game was the same that is to reclaim those prospective thrones but the ambitions were different and this mostly laid in the one major cardinal sin that Tolkien effused in his tragic heroes and that was the sin of pride and I am of course speaking of Thorin, beyond even his lust for his lost treasurehe his overpowering sense of pride led him to his doom when he found that after reclaiming that treasure , he could not share it. it was his by rights and no others and of course others had a different view of that which led to a war that could have been avoided In Aragorns case that war was thrown at him and his desire in fighting it was to make things right and whole again. Of course he regained his throne but his joy was in sharing in the sacrifice of others and gaining from it a new age of peace for his people. In the end Thorins greed and pride led to his death while Aragorns sacrifice and compassion for the needs of all led him to his throne and happiness. Both are excellent books but different in fundamental ways, my advice is to read and enjoy them both.