A Very Unexpected Journey
How would you react to someone who has never seen the Lord of The Rings? Would you exile them as outcasts? Or would you wrap them up in a blanket and welcome them into a world of Tolkien mythology?
Don’t judge me too harshly. I haven’t been living under a rock for the past 20 years. But have I had the viewing pleasure of following Frodo as he journeys across Middle-earth? Not until very recently. And I have to admit, I do feel like I’ve missed out on a vital part of my childhood.
I still remember the buzz of the first film’s release back in 2001. The adaptation had been a huge success, raking in $870 million. It appeared, no matter where you turned you couldn’t escape the Fellowship. Perhaps that’s why I never gathered enough interest to watch it.
The problem with this came with a lack of understanding. Which first bubbled to the surface when I began studying for an English degree. Of course, I knew the name J. R.R. Tolkien well. In fact, I was well-rehearsed in his early life. Still, I persisted with my lack of knowledge of the books, maybe out of pure stubbornness… “Why should I watch or read them now when I’ve gotten through life fine without them so far?”
Taking the plunge
Well, my stubbornness finally dispelled, and I took the time to watch The Fellowship of the Ring. 3 hours and 48 whole minutes, to be exact. So, am I now a Tolkienite? Have I succumbed to the cultural revolution of Peter Jackson’s live-action movie? Do I wish I had a hobbit sitting in my pocket? The answer to the last question is a definite yes, but as for the others? Let’s have a look at my verdict.
To start with, the opening scenes confused me. Don’t get me wrong, the initial blackness and elvish whispers put me on the edge of my seat. But Sauron being defeated by dismembering his finger? It seems a little over-kill. Especially when hordes of armies take part in such a fierce battle. Still, the cinematography is pretty insane. And the opening does give a great back-story.
Next, my thoughts turn towards the rolling landscapes of Hobbiton. First, this corner of the Shire is exquisitely named. Second, I felt like I had stepped into a child’s fairy garden. Who wouldn’t want to roam the picturesque, small houses embedded into the hills? With round doors and each beautifully framed in forna. It’s no wonder fans flock to the New Zealand set every year to catch a glimpse of it.
Though, I do have a small issue with this onscreen perfect corner of Middle-earth. Tolkien seems to have gifted Hobbits with qualities that can’t be visualised. In my mind, hobbits are good-natured, busy little creatures who live in burrow-like houses. They dress like they have stepped off the set of Robin Hood as merry men extras, in mini size. They eat eight or nine times a day. Enjoy naps at short intervals, have never been far from home and have eyes that grow wide at the sounds of the night. They are like wildlife prey, it takes true heroism, for they are timid by nature and would rather avoid a fight. Though, this kind of timid-turns-hero innocence belongs to an earlier, gentler time. Perhaps this is why the portrayal of Hobbits seems to be missing something.
I also find myself contemplating how different The Fellowship would have been. Had it been adapted many years earlier, in a time such as the 1950s where movies began to branch out.
So, Frodo Baggins begins his journey to the fire of the Cracks of Doom… I admit I love nothing more than an underdog to hero epic. The minute Frodo set forth on his quest, I practically ‘whooped’ at my screen. And when one becomes nine to form a Company of the Ring? It’s almost like magic. I remember a similar feeling when watching Suicide Squad for the first time. Unexpected underdog becomes a hero – a storyline that will never grow old.
On a separate note. I would also like to point out, the sheer terror the Black Riders would have bestowed on me all those years ago. I found myself holding my breath with Frodo and his comrades as the Black Rider is almost upon them in the woods. That scene alone should count for a higher PG rating.
As members come together, it feels as though good will prevail over evil. That is, until the ring’s power becomes too much to contain. Que the fall of the Company of the Ring. Wait? The ring begins to corrupt members? The group splits? Surely even in Middle-earth the ‘safer together’ rule stands! The comradery was short-lived, leaving Frodo and Sam continue their journey to Mordor.
Now, despite my concerns over the on-screen adaptation. I have to admit that having read a great deal on Tolkien, he is a master at his craft. Watching the movie has opened my eyes to the sheer imagination of the author. The Fellowship is as much about war as it is about power and greed, innocence and enlightenment. Tolkien combined both his personal experiences of war and his passion for mythology. I do have to praise the production of the adaptation trying to do such an epic story justice. The scenery is fantastic, and the whole production screams ‘Epic’.
I have to conclude with the statement that after some deliberation. And many sleeping hours lost, I have read the first LOTR novel. Although it was a long, one-sided battle of wills, I have to state that for me, the book far outweighs the live-action. The detail in the writing is irreproducible.
It’s a journey
Reviewer and Lord of the Rings superfan, Roger Ebert put in beautifully. He said, “The written trilogy is about leaving places, going places, being places, and going to other places.” Which couldn’t sum up the first book better, it seems so much more visually aesthetic. Landscapes are described with the ever-faithful detail of a Victorian travel writer. Characters are given life through intricate specifics which don’t always seem that specific. You feel the realness through the art of imagination.
The journey becomes a quest, and the timid hobbit becomes the hero, but not until many, many hours later. If you haven’t yet taken yourself on this journey to Mordor, grab your espresso and snacks, it’s going to be a long ride!
Thanks for reading about what is was like for someone who had never seen Lord of the Rings to break that fact. Are there any famous flicks that have passed you by? Let us know in the comments below.
Read why Samwise Gamgee is the most underrated Lord of the Rings character HERE.
DC Fandome 2021 – Revelations, Trailers and the future
At the recent virtual DC Fandome 2021 over 66 million fans tuned in across 220 countries. They listened in 12 different languages. All to find out the scoop on what’s to come for the comic book franchise, new DC revelations and even watch trailers of soon to be released films and TV shows.
But, if you weren’t one of the millions to be watching from home, below is the Film, TV and Gaming announcements and revelations that would interest any DC fan.
DC Fandome 2021 started with a world exclusive trailer of Black Adam! The man himself Dwayne Johnson. Along with a host of the films other stars including Pierce Brosnan, Aldis Hodge, Quintessa Swindell and Noah Centineo. They introduce themselves and the exclusive trailer.
During the 4-minute intro below, you see Johnson excitably launch his passion project. He explains how much the Black Adam universe means to him. We are also told that the film is currently in post-production with the film being released on the 29th of July 2022.
We don’t get much information or storyline from the trailer. But Dwayne’s enthusiasm for the character and the gritty darkness of what we do get in the trailer is enough, for now, to keep us excited about this Movie.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
During the day’s events, Jason Momoa was on hand to give fans an in-depth dive into the world of Aquaman. Firstly, apologising for the four-year wait. However, Momoa and director James Wan appeased fans with a host of behind-the-scenes clips. Plus a glimpse of some unusual conceptual art. Which included quirky looking desert creatures and giant grasshoppers.
We have also been promised by Wan that we are going to be getting a film that’s more mature, giving the audience something new, exciting and an experience we haven’t seen before. The 2-and-a-half-minute look into the sequel, below, was enough to make any fan excited for its theatrical release in December 2022.
DC’s League of Super-Pets
A fun animated adventure was also announced. DC’s League of Super-Pets will bring super-pets like Krypto and Ace the Bat-Hound to life for the first time.
In an exclusive trailer, fans were introduced to the two pups, voiced by Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, in a light-hearted look into the film. The full movie voice by the comedy pairing along with some other famous names such as Keanu Reeves and Vanessa Bayer is set to be released next November.
Another film trailer to hit the DC Fandome 2021 screens was The Flash. Portrayed once again by Ezra Miller and directed by Andy Muschietti. Fans were introduced to the trailer and the concept of the film, where the Flash unlocks the DC cinematic universe. He time hops back to the ’90s where Michael Keaton, reprises his role, he originated in 1989’s ‘Batman’ and 1992’s ‘Batman Returns’.
We’re elated that we get another film with Michael Keaton as Batman. Even if the storyline does sound a little farfetched. We’re sure Muschietti will get the narrative across perfectly and the film will be an instant hit. The film is due to hit cinemas in November 2022.
The DC Fandome 2021 team knew exactly what they were doing when they left the release of the second Batman trailer to the very end of the day. Like fans around the world, we also couldn’t wait to see more of Patterson, fully suited up, showcasing his gritty take on the hero. Director Matt Reeves, Robert Pattinson (Batman) and Zoe Kravitz (Selina Kyle/ cat woman) were there to lead the trailers release.
Granted the jury is still out if Patterson can pull of the dark knight or not but we have to admit we are excited to see him in action. We also have a sneaky suspicion that for the first time in a film setting since Michelle Pfeifferthey may have nailed the casting for Selina Kyle with Zoe Kravitz. We don’t have long left to find all this out though, as after a few Covid related interruptions Batman is now set to be released in theatres on March 4th, 2022.
Injustice and Catwoman: Hunted
If some of these DC film releases seem a little far away, fear not because we were also made aware that two animated films will be released quite soon. With Injustice’s release this October and an anime-inspired animated DC offering in the form of Catwoman on February the 8th 2022, both the feature-length animations will be available on digital, 4K and Blu-ray. To take a sneak peak of Catwoman: Hunted you can watch the trailer below.
When it came to the TV side of the DC world there were a lot of announcements and trailers mainly around continuing shows such as, Titans, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Stargirl along with the more anticipated trailers for:
Has been renewed for another season, despite the departure of Ruby Rose. The new trailer showcased its new Batwoman – Ryan Wilder played by Javicia Leslie.
Is set to be returning for a fourth season. During the announcement followers of the show were treated to a wonderfully odd and endearing mid-season trailer.
Is set for yet another inter-universe team up as The Flash team takes on a deadly mission against the ‘Armageddon’ villains. Which could decide the fate of humankind. The villainous gang is headed up by Tony Cuttan as Despero, Arrowverse’s Tom Cavanagh as Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash and Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk.
First seen in this summer’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ Movie, John Cena’s comedic take of the Peacemaker is set to have its own HBO Max show. The fun and quirky trailer to the first series premiered at the event. Along with a behind the scenes look at the making of the series. It shows that director James Gunn is staying true to his unique, comedic style. The Trailer also shows the other great actors involved in the series including the hilarious ‘Orange is the New Black’ star Danielle Brooks, Christopher Heyerdahl, Robert Patrick and Jennifer Holland. This eight-episode series is set to be released on 13 January.
Viewers of the event didn’t find out much about this Netflix offering. But we did get glimpses of Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar. Wwhich let’s be honest along with the announcement that this is actually happening, is enough to get most of us DC fans excited about its release. There is no release date yet but I’m sure over the coming months there will be more announcements about this extraordinarily dark and forbidding series.
Based on the comic book series of the same name created by Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker and Jamal Campbell. The TV adaptation of the story was announced with a one-minute ten-second trailer. This superhero drama is based around a comic book-loving teenager who discovers she has superpowers. Her curiosity leads her onto a journey into the Multiverse in search of answers. We haven’t got a definitive release date yet, but we have been promised it will be in 2022.
Suicide squad: Kill the Justice League
Since the announcement of this game at last year’s Fandome we haven’t had much information or even any gameplay footage. However, at this year’s event, we did get quite an in-depth trailer and a little look at the storyline. In this game, the player gets a choice of playing Harley Quinn, King Shark, Captain Boomerang or Deadshot. As they take on a new mission against an alien threat that has brainwashed the Justice League. There is still no hint to a release date or even a gameplay trailer, but we have been assured 2022 will be full of hints about the game and hopefully a conclusive release date.
Another game trailer that was released at the Fandome, that excited fans across the world was Gotham Knights. Continuing its Arkham-style adventures, Games Montreal has been working hard on the narrative and gameplay functions of this game. This game, in particular, was supposed to be released sometime in 2021 but it was delayed and we have now got a 2022 release time frame.
In this game you get to play a number of characters including Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin, and Red Hood in an open-world action online RPG in order to uncover secrets and take down the Court of Owls.
So there you have it, some of the top DC new from the Fandome 2021. What do you think about all the new announcements? What are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below..
Read our review of DC’s The Suicide Squad HERE.
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