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Hobbit spy shots from Wellington! You old school AICN readers ought to be feeling very nostalgic right about now!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. This year we celebrate the 15th anniversary of Ain't It Cool News. Can you believe it? It's really nice of Hollywood to play along with a slate of films that represent a kind of greatest hits of AICN. There's a Batman film in the works (the big twist here is that this time they're GOOD), we got an X-Men movie coming out this year and Peter Jackson is prepping The Hobbit in Wellington, NZ as we speak.

My reaction upon seeing TORn's gallery of spy shots from the Stone Street stages was a great wave of nostalgic emotion. I remember drooling along with the rest of you as long lens spy shots appeared on the net. The anticipation that built to The Fellowship of the Ring was bliss and the movie actually delivered! How about that!?!

Will The Hobbit deliver as well? I can only hope so. I know the passion of everyone involved is at the same level as it was during the filming of the original trilogy and I, for one, am getting excited to see what comes up.

The One Ring.Net's spy has some major balls on him for taking all these pics, and as close as he got to the sound stages. Methinks security might be a little tighter this coming week than it was last week...

Click on either of the images to visit TORN and scope them all out!






Holy shit! New Tolkien is happening! From the creative minds that brought us the LOTR trilogy!

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Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 21, 2011, 3:35 a.m. CST

    Can't wait!

    by Denty420

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 3:47 a.m. CST

    Such a huge fan....

    by Sadako

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 4:04 a.m. CST

    After such a promising beginning last time...

    by Bloodhound

    ... I wonder if Jackson will screw it up again. Or maybe his experience with King Kong has taught him something. Damn, I hope so. Still, with any number of really competent directors and writers out there, I would have been so much happier to see somebody else at the helm this time. By the time Jackson finished his dumbed-down mashup of ROTK (which often looked as washed out as one of Alan Lee's pen and ink sketches) he had really taken the shine off the Ring for me :(

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 4:05 a.m. CST

    After such a promising beginning last time...

    by Bloodhound

    ... I wonder if Jackson will screw it up again. Or maybe his experience with King Kong has taught him something. Damn, I hope so. Still, with any number of really competent directors and writers out there, I would have been so much happier to see somebody else at the helm this time. By the time Jackson finished his dumbed-down mashup of ROTK (which often looked as washed out as one of Alan Lee's pen and ink sketches) he had really taken the shine off the Ring for me :(

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 4:18 a.m. CST

    Spoiler does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Where's the spoiler warning? Now we know THE HOBBIT has stone columns in it!<p> Ruined the whole film for me. Now when I watch that bit with the stone columnns in all i'm going to be able to think of is them being in some modern day warehouse. It'll take me right out the movie.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 4:19 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    I'd like to find this spy 'Mr Anderson' and push a stone column over on top of him.<p> Y'know like what happened to that one dwarf in TIME BANDITS.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 4:26 a.m. CST

    let the magic begin...

    by AdzonVonMelk

    yes... i am excited. i really am... that´s how simple i am... i just do love me some good big-budget-fantasy-cinema. i cant wait to see this. ... hope, it gets done eventually. good luck down to new zealand. ... oh, and you all know: `16 blocks´ was the real `die hard 4´... you know it.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 5:14 a.m. CST

    Giant penis in the middle of the warehouse floor

    by Sigourneys_Beaver

    I see it.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 5:43 a.m. CST

    OMG There are buildings with trucks parked outside!

    by Cosmik


  • Feb. 21, 2011, 6:02 a.m. CST

    Fellowship of the Ring

    by elsewhere

    Is the best of the trilogy. It could almost serve as a stand alone. I often think Jackson gets to much hate. Sure the movies aren't 100% faithful to the books and the CGI can be dodgy at times, but overall I think he did an admirable job considering the scope of the material. I just hope The Hobbit doesn't detract too much from the LOTR trilogy in terms of style. I'd like it all to feel very much of the same world.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 6:24 a.m. CST

    "a great wave of nostalgic emotion"

    by mrbong

    for fuck's sake! will you be having a sex wee in your pants when the "teaser poster" (which shall feature "the hobbit" in a 'Middle Earth' font against a black baground) gets relesed, then? i mean, great that they are making this film and that, and i am sure it will be great, but these pictures from the set are no more or no less exciting than those which "leaked" off the set of The Last Airbender, or any other film you care to name that featured columns.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Prequel does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Jackson's had Lucas on the phone offering advice on how to make prequels to a much-loved trilogy.<p> "Start by surrounding yourself with people who only say 'yes', and then ask the set-builders to knock you up a couple of planks for your two leads."<p> "Oh and blag freebies where you can. Pixar gave me one of their Monster Inc rejects for that Dexter guy in my diner scene."<p> "Oh, and the Emperor's make-up when you see him with his hood off? Some guy brought his lunch in a paper bag, and when he finished his cheese sandwich we just glued the bag on Ian McDiarmids head. It looked fine to me."<p>

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 6:29 a.m. CST


    by mrbong

    if we see some meaningless father-son relationship wedged in to this, we will know that you speak the truth!

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 6:29 a.m. CST

    need a flyover of that parking lot.

    by vulturess

    i would be more interested if del toro was directing.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 6:36 a.m. CST

    Oh, i'm sorry, are we hating on Jackson/LotR now?

    by Big_Bubbaloola

    I must have missed that memo. Silly me. /facepalm There really are some freaking idiots around here.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Didn't even know there was Jackson hate

    by Pigdog

    I thought he did pretty well with the whole LOTR trilogy and his subsequent films. Yes he did cut bits from the book like Tom Bombadil but from a pacing point of view it wouldn't have done Fellowship any favours. Yes he did put chapters slightly arse about face but he explained why in his documentaries that it wasn't chronologically correct; Shelob not in Two Towers but ROTK. The ending of ROTK was drawn out but hey it was a farewell to several years of making the films. I would even concede that the whole Sam/Frodo relationship was a bit gay but look what they went through together. The trilogy is epic and worthy of praise. This talkback may have some negativity against Jackson and his works but those people are a minority. Maybe it's cool to be differen't but not at the expense of common sense and good taste in film. Please see box office takings and critical acclaim to educate yourselves. Yours sincerly, Peter Jackson

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 6:54 a.m. CST

    big_bubbaloola - doubt it

    by mrbong

    nah, don't think it will be hate, just a backlash about over-excitement at pictures of pillars. the talkback on aintitcool is now for well balanced, rational and considered comments, doubt we shall see what you fear.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 7:05 a.m. CST

    Ohhhhh, spy shots!

    by D.Vader

    Just like in the glory days! Now I wonder what those old broken down ruins could be.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 7:30 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    damn_dirty_ape, oh. my. god.<p> "Gandalf never told you what happened to your father." Stone Column<p> "He told me enough. He told me he was one of the Time Bandits and you squashed him." Bilbo<p> "No Bilbo. 'I' am your father." Stone Column.<p> "That's not true... That's REALLY impossible. You're just a stone column." Bilbo<p> "Hmm, I was hoping you'd just believe me. The masonry is strong in this one."

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 7:47 a.m. CST

    But does Jackson care enough?

    by UGG

    I fear he's making these because he feel's he has to and not because he want's to.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 8:03 a.m. CST

    I would say the set material is from the

    by Ingeld

    Lonely Mountain scenes--part of the chambers and tunnels with Smaug. It doesn't look elven enough, even though Thranduil's hall is under a hill. It is too fine a work for the Goblin hall.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 8:07 a.m. CST

    ..."experience with King King taught him something"???

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    Uh, were you unfortunate enough to have seen The Lovely Bones by any chance? He's gotten WORSE! Total Lucasization in record time. He's totally crapped out at a faster rate than the Wachowski... uh...Siblings.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Meant "King Kong" obviously!

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    It's early here.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 8:10 a.m. CST

    "King King"! The sequel to "Tintin!

    by D.Vader

  • was released. Time Flies!

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 8:41 a.m. CST

    I've been having trouble sleeping

    by Nico Toscani

    So thank God Peter Jackson is making two more of these movies. They work better than Ny-Quil.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 8:58 a.m. CST

    having trouble sleeping?

    by elsewhere

    may i suggest the prequels

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 9:07 a.m. CST

    You can see PJ's decline with each LOTR film and beyond.

    by Atticus Finch

    Fellowship ruled. Two Towers was above average. Return of the King was below average. King Kong sucked. Lovely Bones was worse than Kong. I love The Hobbit, but the idea of two films for a director who loves to bloat things is worrisome.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 9:11 a.m. CST

    ROTK bashing??

    by kiwicanuck

    I realize it's rather sloppy with the oft-criticized multiple conclusions, but ROTK is still my favourite of the trilogy (followed by the Two Towers), with some of the best acting, gut-wrenching and heart-breaking moments of the series. I welled up like a little girl with a skinned knee at Frodo's departure at the Grey Havens - not something that happens that often - and Pippin's song, cut in with the doomed raid across the plains - was an incredible example of editing that resonated amazingly. Plus, Sean Astin should have been nominated for the Academy Award. How can you not be moved with his "I can carry you" line bolstered by that soaring score? The Fellowship of the Ring launched the films brilliantly, yes, but for my money the rest of the series far better captured my imagination and emotions. Although it was arguably the most beautiful film to look at, I felt strangely disengaged throughout a large part of Fellowship...although the fall of Gandalf (and the fellowship's reaction) was an emotional highpoint. In my mind, the Two Towers' superiority is probably in large part due to the Helm's Deep siege (from the accidental arrow-shot on), a sequence that would probably still get my vote for greatest battle sequence ever filmed.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 9:20 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    kiwicanuck, don't forget King Theoden's 'Red Dawn' speech and the last ride of the Rohirrim!<p> ps. The EE that shows the mountain of orc bodies piled against the Gondor gate before they bring up Grond is kinda awesome too!

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Decline??? hmmm no I don't think so, please explain.

    by Pigdog

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Ahhh, the "Red Dawn" speech by Theoden in ROTK

    by D.Vader

    Followed by the Last Ride of the Rohirrim. Great call, Cobra-Kai. One of the BEST moments in the entire trilogy, and one of my absolute favorite scenes (alongside their charge down the hill at the climax of Helm's Deep and Gandalf's battle with the Balrog). What a stirring moment that never ceases to get me pumped and ready to charge into battle screaming "DEATH! DEATH DEAAAAATH!" at the top of my lungs.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Braindead is a Masterpiece though

    by Jedibobster

    Personally I'm finding this online LOTR-bashing refreshing. It was the trilogy that could do no wrong a few years ago - certainly to online dwellers. Funnily enough I found plenty of regular people in the offline world that found the films to be overlong, dull and waaay too serious pieces of work. Now it seems we are seeing some of that opinion here today. It seems that FOTR gets a pass but the sequels are found to be wanting. I think, like the Harry Potter movies, they work for those that are fans of the books - as companions to the books. Otherwise you get lost in all the shenanigans and visuals and fail to connect with the characters much. I REALLY want Peter Jackson to return to low-horror budget - his King Kong, while not a complete failure, suffered immensely from being able to have whatever Jackson wanted. I've not seen Lovely Bones, and await Tintin with caution.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 9:58 a.m. CST

    rotk was fine

    by peschi

    considering the amount of material they had to cover. the battle of pellenor fields is awesome and brutal (specially in the EE, with Grond). The Grey Havens still gives me goosebumps. what gives me itches are the changes they made from the books and obviously didnt work, like the whole "frodo is a junkie of the ring" thing. Wich makes Frodo a feeble person most of Two Towers and ROTK wich he wasnt in the books. In the books he was still the leader of the group, only his behaviour became more erratic bordering on agressive. Listen to the BBC radio drama with Ian Holm's rendition of Frodo wich I believe is far superior to PJ's version. We have to to thank Philippa Boyens for that change btw.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 10:03 a.m. CST

    The Films are far from Perfect

    by Ingeld

    But they are very good. I agree that Fellowship is the best. ROTK is nect and the Two Towers is the least successful of the three. (Aragorn's near death scene was just unnecessary. ) In all, there are plusses and minus for the films, but there are more plusses than minuses. What will be crucial in the Hobbit is tone. It can't have the children's book tone found in the text, but it can't be the deadly serious tone of the LOTR. It needs to strike a balance between the two.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 10:41 a.m. CST


    by orschigh

    How familiar can you really be with the source material if you're making such comments? The two Hobbits films will incorporate parts of the mythology that were hinted at in the text of The Hobbit and expanded on later by Tolkien. We will see the white council as it deals with the growing problem of The Necromancer (who turns out to be Sauron). That will be a huge part of the film narrative, happening concurrently with the dwarves' adventure and cutting back and forth between the two, presumably, throughout both films. The Silmarillion could easily provide material for six or seven feature length films or several seasons of serial TV. If you think bundling that dense work with The Hobbit and making two films is remotely practical, you're out to lunch.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Wow, used to be a daily stop for me.

    by FlickaPoo

    Come to think of it, LOTR movie news is what got me hooked on this place in the first damn place. Truly, the evil of the ring never sleeps.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 10:58 a.m. CST

    The first time I read AICN...

    by MaliceHighload

    It was maybe my freshman year of college and the whole internet thing was so new. My friend introduced me to a primitive browser in a computer lab and gave me the url, which he said had movie gossip. I just remember it was a bunch of stories about James Cameron's Spider-Man project and the special cameras he was testing out for the web swinging sequences he had planned.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Speaking of old school AICN readers, can you pleaase fix talkback?

    by FlickaPoo

    It's still erratic, hard on the eyes, I hate having to open up comments again after every refresh, and the load time after 100 posts or so is shameful. Communication and back and forth in talkback is so inconvenient now, I'm starting to wonder if the changes are meant to have an intentional dampening effect. This old school reader misses old school talkback.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST

    EE ROTK and TT

    by kiwicanuck

    When I speak of the films, the extended editions are the only ones I think of now. There's so much more meat there, as opposed to just fluff that's self indulgent or unessecary. I saw the shorter edition of ROTK this Christmas for the first time in years, and it felt truncated and stunted. Oh, and agreed on King Kong - so much felt exactly what the EE's didn't: self indulgent. However I can't forget some great stuff there, including the scenes over New York, perched on the Empire State Building as dawn breaks. "Beautiful." Yep.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 11:54 a.m. CST


    by elsewhere

    Particularly the 'Path of the Dead' part, I'm glad it was trimmed down for the theatrical release. That's one part I'm not fond of in the ROTK EE. As for the trilogy as a whole, EE is definitely the way to go.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Flicka is right- this new talkback format SUCKS

    by D.Vader

    Its a shit idea to have to scroll back to the top of the page everytime one reloads to see new messages that have been posted.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 11:55 a.m. CST used to be a daily stop for me too

    by D.Vader

    As was and IMDB before they shot themselves in the foot with their horrible redesigns and jumbled "news" reports that came from everyone including MTV.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 11:56 a.m. CST

    More than a little worried

    by FrodoFraggins

    I think Jackson did a great job in adapting the LOTR movies. My main gripe with them is where Jackson felt the need to veer from Tolkien, such as turning Arwen into Xena, which would have been much worse if the fans hadn't seen the shots of her at helms deep and got him to remove that. Did the films really need to add a subplot of Aragorn falling off a cliff, or hell even add that whole scene where it happens? It's stupid crap like that which is worrying me. They are basically making up an entire movies worth of content to better bridge the story to the trilogy. I'm not sure that will work out well, and only see the choice as one of greed.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:01 p.m. CST

    TalkbackProblem does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Talkback Problem, for me at least is that none of the talkback comments expand to be readable when I try to open them on my internet phone.<p> And seeing as the talkback comments are usually a lot more entertaining than the articles themselves that's a problem...

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:04 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    frodofraggins, that bit about Arwen at Helms Deep can be viewed both ways though.<p> You can call Jackson a plonker for initially thinking it might have been a good idea.<p> Or you can call him a clever clogs for realising it didn't work and completely excising it from (both versions) of the film.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    re: Frodofraggins

    by Ingeld

    I hear your concern and agree. I think the bridge stuff is just pandering to the audience of the movies who haven't read the books. They'll be the ones looking and needing the links between the two series of films. Jackson for some reason can't let the Hobbit stand on its own as a film connected to the trilogy but distinct from it. So, I am sure we will get plenty of Legolas as well as the White Council. Apparently, they will add in the story of an elf-maid--a love interest for Legolas?--as they have hired an actress for the part. While I think some humor will be good for the story, I hope they don't have more dwarf tossing jokes.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:24 p.m. CST

    LOTR has a better track record than all other franchises

    by spire_walk

    Okay, which other franchise has the most consistently solid installments? Star Wars? Star Trek? Terminator? Harry Potter? Highlander? Twilight? Aliens? Predator? The Matrix? Planet of the Apes? I never understood all the hate for LOTR when it's failed a whole lot less than any of the ones listed above.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:30 p.m. CST

    LOTR was already a well established trilogy

    by elsewhere

    long before any of those other franchises. Jackson couldn't really deter too much from the books without causing a shitstorm.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:37 p.m. CST


    by England's Finest

    Someone with the balls to film the scissor lift scene from The Hobbit. Seriously though, I'm really looking forward to going back to Middle Earth

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:39 p.m. CST

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PRECIOUSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by BilboRing

    Thank God! Hasn't been a great movie out there since Return of the King. And anyopne who has anything negative to say about the LOTR Trilogy is a fucking asshole liar whore! LIAR! WHORE! LIAR! WHORE!

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Speaking of Xena Arwen, how about Xena Maid Marian and...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...the ninja elven lost-boy urchin thieves that show up at the PRIVATE RYAN D-Day battle at the end of ROBIN HOOD? I was really liking that movie up till that point.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Will Grando Calrissian be in this?

    by SithMenace

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Mattman, I think Boromir's last stand is arguably the best...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...handled moment in the trilogy. Nailed the feel and mood perfectly.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 12:55 p.m. CST


    by FlickaPoo

    TWO TOWERS isn't your favorite.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 1:30 p.m. CST

    What is THIS Revisionist Bullshit?!

    by Pawprint

    The LOTR Trilogy is shit now? Fuck me, are people so desperate to appear so ball-achingly hip and indifferent about ANYTHING, that they'll tear LOTR apart? Yes, the trilogy is not perfect, but it's pretty fucking close given the source material. There are moments of emotion or sheer jaw-dropping awe and majesty that haven't been repeated on film since, and aren't likely to be. And as for the fucking retards whining about ROTK having too many endings, then you obviously aren't intelligent enough to have read the source material or you'd know that Jackson did an awesome job compressing the ending the way he did. As it stands, you have no basis to criticise anything. Some of you ADHD twitching mouthbreathers need your internet user licences revoking. Either that or you need to stop licking electric sockets for fun.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 2:20 p.m. CST

    "New Tolkien"

    by Rupee88

    He's been dead for quite some time, you know.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Bed frolicking

    by kiwicanuck

    Frick, I forgot about the bed frolicking in ROTK. If anything it added to my enjoyment of the movie though. Peter's use of slo-mo not only dragged out the gayness, but my laughter. Gaaaan-dalf????

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST

    The passion of everyone involved...

    by catlettuce4

    I thought PJ was avoiding directing this like it was the plague, until everyone else managed to leave the project essentially FORCING Jackson to direct it... sounds like his heart will really be into it! Yep.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 3:53 p.m. CST


    by catlettuce4

    The scouring of the Shire was the real conclusion, it was bringing it all back home for the Hobbits.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 4:02 p.m. CST


    by Der Aggravated Piscine

    The Scouring of the Shire was the whole POINT of the fucking story. Wars DO have a cost. You CAN'T just go home unchanged (and--in many cases--without your home changed forever). As an adult, the Scouring of the Shire has become one of my favorite chapters. How would he have had time to end with the Scouring as well as the Grey Havens? Well, for one thing, Jackson could've cut out the 15 minute long lighting of the fucking beacons and about 45 minutes of showing increasingly ugly orcs and trolls roaring menacingly. While he was at it, he could've cut 15 minutes of nonsensical, non-canonical Gollum/Smeagol setup of Sam. Most importantly, though, he could've put a kabosh on the redundant swelling end-music and fade out that he used over and fucking over again in the last 30 minutes of ROTK. THAT'S why the goddamned film was anti-climactic.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 4:26 p.m. CST

    The biggest LOTR Fail was...

    by mooseaka

    The biggest failure of the LOTR Trilogy was how they handled the end of the Saruman story in the theatrical editions. The guy was hands down the main bad guy in FOTR and TTT, and then at the beginning of ROTK, they ride up and Gandalf says, "Meh, it's cool, he's powerless. Let's go somewhere else." What exactly happened that let Gandalf say that? Sure, most of Saruman's uruk-hai were killed 25 miles away at Helms Deep and his backyard got flooded, but what happened to his powers as a wizard? What was stopping Saruman from coming down from his tower and causing more mischief? At a minimum they should have shot the scene from the book where Gandalf shatters Saruman's staff. Even if it wasn't clear what he was accomplishing, it would have given visual proof to the audience that Saruman was defeated and rendered powerless, and would have given the audience some closure. It would have been like if Return of the Jedi didn't have Darth Vader, but at the beginning of the movie Luke says "Uh, he doesn't have the force any more, let's focus on his boss." I thought I read once that the reason they did that was because they would not have to pay Christopher Lee to appear in a 3rd movie (even if they were filmed at the same time). That seems absurd given the money machine that the series was, but I can't think of a more plausible reason (and don't tell me they couldn't have squeezed in two more minutes of exposition to fix this). As much as I like the scouring of the shire chapter in the book, I would have even been happy to have had the Extended Edition spike fall. It would have given closure to both the Saruman and Wormtongue stories that had taken up so much of the 2nd movie.

  • Convince yourself all you want that if PJ cut the lighting of the beacons that there would be time enough for the Scouring. But the reality is, the audience that didn't read the books already felt that the (earned) endings were too much. Add the Scouring to that and they would leave the theater angry they had to watch so long of what is really just an epilogue in film language.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Hey look, its the Old Gaffer!

    by D.Vader

    Or maybe its just the set gaffer.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Time goes by fast...

    by EastcoastAvenger

    Doesn't seem all that long ago when I was turning to this site to find out anything on the new Star Wars movie. Back in 97/98 word was that the Millennium Falcon would play a prominent role. Oh, given how things turned out I guess it wouldn't have hurt it much if they did use it.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Most annoying critique quote: It's not perfect....."

    by Jack Kovack

    I hate when people critique a film, usually a very good film and say or write "it's not perfect" and then they go on to explain it's imperfections. Stop it. There's no such thing as a perfect film. One will never exist. So just stop comparing a film to a perfection that is not at all possible.

  • Feb. 21, 2011, 8:24 p.m. CST

    6.0 Earhtquake just hit New Zealand...

    by Jobacca


  • Feb. 21, 2011, 8:51 p.m. CST

    A Perfect Film

    by PinkFloyd7

    The Godfather and The Shawshank Redemption Two examples of "perfect" films.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 12:27 a.m. CST


    by Jack Kovack

    Shawshank: The characters never noticeably age. Godfather: Sicilians don't have curly hair. Perfection is in then eye of the individual viewer. It's all a matter of personal taste.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 1:42 a.m. CST

    I hope the earthquake didn't damage the sets

    by Teddy Artery

    and good luck to all there.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 2:38 a.m. CST


    by mrbong

    good points, even though i didn't really like LotR at the time; them being not much more than exceptional adaptations of books that i did not enjoy. however, your argument is undermined by your idea that you need a licence to use the internet! you don't, mother fucker! has someone conned you into buying one? how much did they make you spunk up for one?

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 2:58 a.m. CST

    Hey... some actual insider stuff!!

    by sns


  • Feb. 22, 2011, 7:57 a.m. CST


    by Der Aggravated Piscine

    You're alive--my old friend! You're wrong on this one. Brisker pacing and cutting out dead weight would make an abbreviated Scouring work in ROTK. The editing in ROTK was shamefully bad. It's funny that Jackson complained that "you can't have two endings" and then cut the film to seem like it had four. In fact, just about any time Jackson complained that "you can't do that" in a movie via interviews or commentary, he was wrong. Fact is, Jackson's just not a terrific director or writer. He's talented but limited. Thanks be to the powers below that LOTR cast members were constantly challenging the absurd changes and additions in the film trilogy.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 8:16 a.m. CST

    I really don't think so, angry piscine

    by D.Vader

    Hey, good to see you too! Now the topic at hand: Once the Ring is destroyed I can't see the audience getting invested in and worked up over some more rising action and a little climax (boy that sounds dirty) in the Shire. Even if the movie was essentially the same length at this point, I don't see the regular joes enjoying it. Plus in my mind, it goes like this: The Hobbits reach the Shire and see it's dirty and they get arrested by the Shirrifs. They're taken to the new leader- it's Saruman! After some words, the Hobbits draw their swords and instantly the rest of thr village takes up arms, following their lead. Saruman sulks away, belittling and beating Wormtongue who then stabs him to death. Wormtongue is killed by arrowfire. The Shire rejoices. Frodo feels pain in his shoulder. Cut to: a year later as he's writing the Red Book. It'd be great in an Extended Edition, but I feel it would just feel out of place theatrically and would end up being undercut thematically by a rush job to get to the real end and not annoy the regular folk who don't understand why they're watching more story without Gandalf and Aragorn even though the Ring is destroyed.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Hey...this is gonna be kickass

    by I. B. Proxy

    I can tell by these shots alone. If I squint my eyes real hard, I can see Bilbo smoking a reefer with Smaug.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Condolencies from AICN readers...

    by workshed all those in New Zealand suffering the after-effects of the earthquake. When people are killed it doesn't matter if the film is delayed as long as people are safe. It seems like many have been killed on the South Island.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Nostalgic indeed Harry m'lad!

    by Michael Tyree

    Heh, I remember much discussion about "the spikey wheel of death" and what it was for. I agree, in hindsight, that it would've been better to have shown Saruman's (and Wormtongue) death at the beginning of RotK. Better in that it would've made Lee happier and answered the "What happened to Saruman?" question. The question that, evidently, a few of you STILL missed having answered in the theatrical edition of Two Towers. Gandalf plainly states that Treebeard has him (Saruman) locked up in Orthanc for good. However, PJ (I'm looking at you, yeah you PJ!) by adding it into the EE, you completely changed part of the story from Saruman still being alive and well to, "Wow! Saruman AND Wormtongue killed in one scene!" This is in the movie context only, of course. But then again, I don't know of too many folk who suffered through (I say suffered because anything over ONE, one hour-and-a-half movie was too much for them) the theatrical editions who wanted to endure the EE's as well. So, didn't make a bit of difference, except to fan-boys, either way. PJ will do a fantastic effort on the Hobbit movies and those who hated (yes, hated) on LotR will be the same people who already hate The Hobbit. As for "The Major Theme" of Tolkien's LotR being hit by Jackson and crew...well, there isn't just one but Tolkien himself said the biggie (at the time of that interview) theme was the elevation of the low and humble to a position of esteem and high place. This was amply and clearly shown in the movie scene (RotK)where all the congration atop The Citadel bowed down to the four Hobbits. Wonderful scene and thank you once again to Peter Jackson for making LotR a fantastic success by any measure. And they said it couldn't be done!

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 11:32 a.m. CST

    My kingdom for an edit feature!

    by Michael Tyree

    I meant "congregation" of course. I'm nowt but a ninnyhammer!

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 2:49 p.m. CST

    The Mouth Of Sauron in the ROTK EE was fantastic

    by SithMenace

    I understand why they dropped it from the theatrical release, but that character is one of the most creepily designed creatures in the entire trilogy. I think what makes him interesting is how he's being devious and evil in a civilized way. Very cool character.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST

    WOO HOO!!!!

    by sweeneydave


  • Feb. 22, 2011, 2:54 p.m. CST

    If you think the LOTR trilogy wasn't done well

    by SithMenace

    check out the animated Bakshi version to see just how badly those films could have been fucked up. Jackson and co. did a great job.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Been reading since Sept. 1996

    by Dan Halen

    My freshman year at college. First time I ever used the internet! How's that for dating one's self? I remember linking to the trailers for the star wars special editions through the site I think. Some other memorable 'moments'... the casting of both young vader's... the aragorn casting drama... and my favorite... the 'blurry' footage of episode 2 nonsense.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Bakshi version

    by Dan Halen

    while making a complete mess of the story did capture the tone of the books better than the Jackson films. Bakshi planned on making two films however and it shows.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Jackson's Rings films are greatness

    by shran

    And that is a fact. Visually you can pause the DVD at just about any moment and have an absolutely gorgeous image to look at. Tolkien's story is notoriously non-linear which makes filming the trilogy near impossible without concessions made to continuity and for just basically keeping the audience in the "flow". Really, the intelligent people here must surely know that "films are not the same as books and books are not the same as film". As an adaptation of a classic piece of literature the trilogy is truly a marvel. Jackson did this with great care and obvious love for the source material. As a great general he rallied his troops to love it just as much as he did. When people around here start to whine about LOTR they start to sound like impossible to please morons who don't actually like movies.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Cure for nostalgia

    by matt

    The Hobbit in 3d.

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Yes, i always get nostalgic when i see pictures of warehouses.

    by AsimovLives

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 4:24 p.m. CST

    shran, i agree about the first two. The 3rd, not so much.

    by AsimovLives

  • Feb. 22, 2011, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Return of the King Sucked hard

    by frankenstone

    I really enjoyed the first two films but the third was just awful. From not explaining why Denethor went mad, to the Ghostbusters green ghost army saving the day, to the awful slow motion sappiness, the movie just plain sucked. The editing was poor, the music was inferior to the soundtracks for the first two films, etc. I could go on and on...

  • Feb. 23, 2011, 7:29 a.m. CST

    Wonder if the quake will cause a problem.

    by HughHoyland

    Not that filming a movie is anywhere near as important as whats happened with that earthquake, but it makes me wonder if this will cause a delay in the start date for shooting. Terrible whats going on in NZ right now.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 9:33 a.m. CST

    In honor of nostalgia...

    by PickingNits

    ...I'll plant the TE's flag on this historical first Hobbit spy report. <P>LAST! muthafuckas