5 Great Places in Middle-earth You Can Actually Visit

The following is a guest post written by Kayla Robbins.

Many filming locations featured in the movies are open to tourists!

Are you looking for a unique vacation destination for your next trip? Why not stop by Middle-earth? It may sound too good to be true, but there are actually several places throughout New Zealand that were featured prominently in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films that are now open to tourists. Continue reading

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#LOTR15 -A Life-Changing Day …

The Lord of the Rings (on-screen logo)

It can often be frustrating trying to comprehend the impact of watching The Lord of the Rings for the first time.

How do you explain something as monumental, powerful, personal and life-changing as this to someone else? Continue reading

In Praise of Michael Pellerin

Michael Pellerin

I am a big fan of behind the scenes documentaries for films.

My passion started way back in 1994 when, just a few months after the release of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, a ‘making of’ feature was shown on TV. I was mesmerised to see what went on behind the camera lens: the writing of the script, the set design and, of course, the creation of the dinosaurs themselves.

Since then, I devoured any behind the scenes features I came across, no matter what film it was. This occurred well before the advent of DVDs and such instances showed up few and far between. Continue reading

The Gaffer’s Elite: The Films

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies (posters)

Ranking all things Middle-earth

It is useless trying to escape the unavoidable.

With this final post from The Gaffer’s Elite series, it is time to rank the Middle-earth films.

Yes, you heard that right: writing down, from 1 to 6, the best films from the good ones.

I’m sweating just typing that sentence; most fans can attest to the special viewing experience gained from every one of these six movies.

And yet, it is no use denying that there will always be that one film, from either of the two trilogies, that makes you feel geekier and more impressed whenever re-watching.

Do not hate me for the Herculean task I have had to complete in creating this list!

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Continue reading

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies arrives March 24!

HBT3_BD_3D SKEW (11-20)

“Frenetic, gripping, ridiculous and solemn at all the right places – the geek blockbuster of the year.”

— Michael Calia, The Wall Street Journal

 The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies

Arrives onto Blu-Ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-Ray Combo Pack, 2-Disc DVD Special Edition and Digital HD on March 24 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Continue reading

Travelling to New Zealand? Here’s a map and key…

New Zealand travel map

Don’t step onto the road without knowing where you might be swept off to…

I feel I’m playing the part of Gandalf here: advising all Thorin-like followers, who are embarking on an adventure to New Zealand, to utilise a most essential map on your travels.

Why you would be going to the Southern Hemisphere is anyone’s guess; but if you’re reading this particular post on this particular blog, chances are you’re doing your own Middle-earth pilgrimage. Continue reading

The Desolation of Smaug: Extended Edition Review

The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug logo (header)

The expanded vision of the second installment bolsters Middle-earth’s richness and reinstates Peter Jackson’s masterful filmmaking that spans a 6-film saga.

As a theatrical release, The Desolation of Smaug was a significant improvement from the occasionally slow-moving sequences (which I personally find no objection to) in An Unexpected Journey.The Desolation of Smaug EE DVD

But whilst the first Extended Edition release (with a total of 13 minutes of extra footage) felt more like a financial (as well as traditional) move for fans (though I find the Hobbiton sequences the most appropriate), The Desolation of Smaug’s 25 minutes of new scenes marks a massive improvement in the scope of the two Extended Editions.

I can here formally extend my gratitude to Peter Jackson for re-recognizing the meaning of an Extended Edition – following the success of the format with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Continue reading