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July 02, 2006 - July 08, 2006

News for Jul. 08, 2006

Middle Earth Idols Fan Film

7/08/06, 10:50 am EST - Xoanon

Gondolin writes: Is Gandalf the next Taylor Hicks? I admit it! I love the popular television show "American Idol." But, I am an even bigger LOTR fan. I have to share this with you and please pass it along to other LOTR fans. Those teenage filmmakers that just won the DOTR contest have a hilarious parody on their site called "Middle Earth Idols." Gandalf competes against six other top finalist. We see Denethor boogie to "Disco Inferno" and the ever dramatic Eowyn sings her heart out over lost love Aragorn. Speaking of Aragorn, a side of him is revealed that I was completely unaware of. I must say my favorite part of their "Middle Earth Idols" is the final song, which is a moving tribute to our favorite LOTR characters. I loved it! A must see! Check out "Middle Earth Idols" in 'films' at marsproductions.net

News for Jul. 07, 2006

'Dead Man's Chest' Released Today

7/07/06, 11:01 pm EST - Xoanon

For those living in a cave for the last little while, today marks the opening of 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest', the sequel to the amazingly popular 'Pirates' film from 2003. Orlando Bloom stars as Will Turner, blacksmith turned outlaw hero with Johnny Depp as the now infamous Captin Jack Sparrow. Click here for showtimes. [Showtimes USA] [Showtimes CAN] [Showtimes UK]

Branding and The Lord of the Rings

7/07/06, 10:27 pm EST - Xoanon

There’s a lesson to be learned from the “premature” closing of the Lord of the Rings stage musical in Toronto. It’s not an artistic lesson, although trying to compress three hefty books into one evening of theatre might not have been the wisest move. It isn’t a purely financial lesson, even though the show’s production costs were so high that every performance had to sell out for it to be a success. And it’s only partly connected to the political question of whether taxpayer money should be pumped into big-budget musical extravaganzas. No, this lesson has to do with something else — the power of brands. Or, more accurately, the impotence of some brands. [More]

Orlando Bloom embraces his inner pirate

7/07/06, 10:17 pm EST - Xoanon

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Since playing an aspiring pirate in 2003's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,"
Orlando Bloom has been an elf, a milkman, a shoe designer and a soldier. The 29-year-old British actor is back to his seafaring ways in the second "Pirates" film, "Dead Man's Chest," opening Friday. Bloom plays Will Turner, a blacksmith-turned-seaman who is set to marry the governor's daughter, Elizabeth Swann, played by Keira Knightley. Before they can wed, though, they are swept away with Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) on a wild adventure that takes them to a cannibal colony and into the watery underworld, where they meet the heartless Davy Jones. [More]

Movie Chat on Saturday: 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail!'

7/07/06, 4:16 pm EST - maegwen

Unpack your shrubberies, everyone! Movie Chat this weekend features none other than "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Join us Saturday on our IRC server at 5:30 pm EST when we pop our copies of the movie into the DVD player and begin shouting 'Ni!' We plan to take a break midway through the film, to allow for stretching of fingers and backs. Barliman will be on hand to serve drinks and snacks (and to enforce the house rules). Be there or we shall say 'ni' again to you if you do not appease us. [More]

Also, please check out our Summer Schedule, as voted on by the fine folks in Barliman's chat room. Upcoming featured films include: 'Galaxy Quest,' 'Ghostbusters,' and 'Princess Bride.' [The Schedule] [About IRC chat]

LOTR Online Developer Chat Monday July 10

7/07/06, 12:15 pm EST - Xoanon

We are very pleased to announce a chat with Jeffrey Steefel, executive producer of the Lord of the Rings Online game. Join us in #TheHallofFire Monday, July 10th at 5:30pm to find out more about this exciting game!

Jeffrey Steefel joined Turbine, Inc in early 2004 and is currently the Executive Producer in charge of the upcoming MMORPG The Lord of the Rings Online. LOTRO will be the first and only online persistent world based directly on the literary works of J.R.R Tolkien and will host a world-wide community of fans and gamers.

Jeffrey has been a professional in the Entertainment and Technology industries for almost 20 years, serving as Executive, Director, Head of Production, Principal Designer and Business Strategist for multiple new-media, entertainment and technology organizations ranging from young start-ups to media and technology giant, Sony. [More]

News for Jul. 06, 2006

SHOP: Sideshow Announces Morgul Lord Legendary Scale Bust

7/06/06, 10:16 pm EST - Celeborn

If you are a Lord of the Rings polystone addict like myself, you may be interested to know that Sideshow Collectibles has just announced a new line of Lord of the Rings collectibles: The Legendary Scale Busts. The first is the Morgul Lord. From the explanation, it sounds like the bust is approximately 1:2 scale! Check out their sneak peak. [ ]

News for Jul. 05, 2006

TV Watch: Bloom on 'Regis & Kelly'

7/05/06, 8:03 pm EST - Xoanon

Orlando Bloom is slated to be a guest on 'Live! with Regis & Kelly' tomorrow (I promise this time!). He will be there to promote 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'. Check your local listings for details.

TV Watch: Bloom on 'Good Morning America' NOT

7/05/06, 7:37 pm EST - Xoanon

Apologies to all fans who taped, TiVoed or even watched ABC's 'Good Morning America' this morning waiting for a glimpse of Orlando Bloom, he was not on. A late minute schedule change or faulty information led to Johnny Depp taking his place, not a bad swap if you have one! Pirates is out this Friday.

Bernard Hill to receive Honorary Doctorate

7/05/06, 7:24 pm EST - Xoanon

Lion2b writes: It was recently announced (by the Bolton Evening News) that Bernard Hill will be among the honorees to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton for his contributions to the performing arts. The honorary doctorates will be bestowed on Thursday, July 13, and Friday, July 14, by the University Vice Chancellor, Dr George Homes. [More]

EA Ships The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360

7/05/06, 7:22 pm EST - Xoanon

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 5, 2006--Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS - News) announced that the award-winning The Lord of the Rings(TM), The Battle for Middle-earth(TM) II for the Xbox 360(TM) shipped to stores nationwide today and will hit store shelves July 7, 2006. This marks the debut of a strategy game available for the Xbox 360 system, boasting a new and innovative console-specific control scheme that allows novice players to enjoy the game's signature strategy gameplay while giving expert strategy players the flexibility needed to engage in deeply complex battles. [More]

Orlando basks in Bloom of youth

7/05/06, 7:13 pm EST - Xoanon

LOS ANGELES — Can a bunch of rowdy pirates slay a corn-fed superhero? Real-life lovers Orlando Bloom and Kate Bosworth are not really in a contest to see who has the biggest hit of the summer, according to Bloom. But it is still intriguing to see which one of them will come out on top. Superman Returns opened last week, generating a five-day, $84 million box-office bonanza with Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel and Bosworth as his Lois Lane. On Friday, Bloom’s modest little adventure flick, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, is preparing to blow the doors off a few thousand theatres across North America. The original Pirates movie made $654 million worldwide in 2003. [More]

News for Jul. 04, 2006

TV Watch: Bloom on 'Good Morning America'

7/04/06, 9:37 pm EST - Xoanon

Orlando Bloom is slated to be a guest on 'Good Morning America' tomorrow (July 5th). He is there to promote his latest film 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'. 'Good Morning America' airs on ABC early every morning, be sure to set those TiVos!

Kiwis fight for equal rights on the set

7/04/06, 9:25 pm EST - Xoanon

The Box Office triumphs of movies like The Lord of the Rings, King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia have helped New Zealand develop an international reputation for filmmaking. But it seems these highly bankable blockbusters, and a host of more modest but critically acclaimed films, came at a price. Kiwi actors and technicians have been paid less than the Australians working on the same productions, and that pay disparity has angered union members on both sides of the Tasman, as New Zealand Correspondent Peter Lewis reports. [More]

News for Jul. 03, 2006

Director angry over Lord of the Rings cuts

7/03/06, 9:09 pm EST - Xoanon

The director of three new "warts-and-all" documentaries set to be released with the new editions of Lord of the Rings on DVD this autumn says he was not consulted over cuts made by studio New Line. Wellington film-maker Costa Botes was given full access to the set of Peter Jackson's fantasy triptych and his work is said to take a more critical approach in comparison to the original documentaries that appeared with the films the first time they were released on DVD. He shot about 800 hours of footage, starting work a year before the cameras rolled with Jackson's full blessing. Botes told New Zealand website Stuff that he is pleased the films are coming out, even though his deal with the studio means he will see no royalties from DVD sales, but is disappointed that he has not been consulted about cuts. [More]

The Somme and Tolkien

7/03/06, 9:08 pm EST - Xoanon

Ninety years ago, Allied commanders launched the World War I offensive lastingly remembered as the Battle of the Somme. At 7.30am on 1 July 1916, officers blew their whistles to signal the start of the attack. As 11 British divisions clambered out of their trenches and walked slowly towards the enemy lines, German machine guns opened fire, causing wholesale carnage. The first day of that battle was the bloodiest in the whole history of the British Army. By the end of the day, the British had suffered 60,000 casualties; almost 20,000 were dead, including 60% of all the officers involved. [More]

LOTR Opera Review

7/03/06, 9:06 pm EST - Xoanon

Lesley writes: On July 1st, I attended what is, I suspect, a mostly unknown and unheralded opera called Leithian, the tale of Beren and Lúthien. It was held at the Liederkranz Hall, a small venue near Central Park on E. 87th in New York City. The composer and Metropolitan Opera singer, Adam Klein, also performed the lead role of Beren. Approximately 20 musicians and singers contributed, some singers trading off to play instruments from time to time. [More]

DVD Tuesday: The Libertine & The Matador!

7/03/06, 10:10 am EST - Xoanon

It is a very slow holiday weekend in North America, with Canada Day & the Fourth of July only days apart. The studios are reluctant to release anything this time of year, let alone anything that may potentially be a big seller. This week we are thrown two box office bombs in the form of Johnny Depp's 'The Libertine' and former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan's 'The Matador'. [More]

New Billy's Loons Charities Auction

7/03/06, 8:56 am EST - Xoanon

Folks from Billy's Loons Charities write: We would like to announce an auction of a beautiful Caricature of Billy Boyd, drawn by So Cal Art Studios at the 2006 ORC in Pasadena. The So Cal Art Studios donated this 16" by 20" framed art to Billy's Loons Charities(BLC) and Billy Boyd signed it for this Auction at ORC. All proceeds will be donated to the Scottish Youth Theatre, where Billy Boyd is a patron and BLC is a sponsor. Many thanks to So Cal Art Studios and Billy Boyd! [More]

News for Jul. 02, 2006

TV Watch: Orlando Bloom on 'Conan' Clip

7/02/06, 5:28 pm EST - Xoanon

Orlando Bloom was a guest on 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien' last week. He was there to promote 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'. They spoke a bit about soccer, Johnny and Orlando getting drunk, and showed a great clip from the new film. Take a look! (41MB MOV)[More]

A ‘Pirates’ life: Orlando Bloom finds gem of a role in ‘Dead Man’s Chest’

7/02/06, 4:27 pm EST - Xoanon

What makes Orlando Bloom happy about reprising the role of Will Turner in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”? “Don’t you think he’s a bit more pirate and a bit less of a stick in the mud?” the actor wondered rhetorically. “I hope you do, because that was kind of the intention. There is a dark side to Will that I think sort of evolves a little bit because he starts to assume this pirate thing. It’s like, ‘Who is this pirate?’ ” And this time, he added, the footwear is much better. “I get a pair of boots instead of those little shoes and stockings - which weren’t cool at all.” For Bloom, a return to a hit franchise is familiar. His career was launched as Legolas, the archer in the Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. But “Pirates,” he pointed out, was never intended as a trilogy; the original movie had lowly origins, inspired not by a Tolkien classic but by the Disneyland amusement-park ride. [More]

Actor McKellen is Britain's most influential gay: newspaper

7/02/06, 4:24 pm EST - Xoanon

LONDON (AFP) - Actor Sir Ian McKellen has topped the "Pink List" of Britain's most influential homosexuals in a list to mark the end of one of Europe's largest gay pride festivals. Pop legend Sir Elton John came second in the weekly's annual list of gay men and women who are leaders in fields ranging from the arts and media to politics and business. European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson was fifth in the 100-strong list published in the Independent on Sunday newspaper. McKellen, 67, who played Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogy and starred in the movie "The Da Vinci Code" recently, is a highly acclaimed stage and screen actor. [More]

Unique Jens Hansen Gold & Silversmith LOTR Ring

7/02/06, 10:54 am EST - Xoanon

Halfdan Hansen writes: Here is a picture of Ring #24 from the Limited Edition of 100 faithful Sauron sized rings from Jens Hansen Gold & Silversmith - Creators of the World's Most Famous Ring. The Ben Franklin shows the scale of the ring and alludes to the fact that this is one 'precious' that only 100 people on the planet will ever have the pleasure of owning. But there's something else special in this photo. [More]

Ring Con UK

7/02/06, 10:47 am EST - Xoanon

Tookie writes: Showmasters have announced on their forum that they are teaming up with the organisers of Ring Con to bring us Ring Con UK!! There's no location information just yet, but we do have dates - April 13-15th 2007! Here's the link to the forum if anyone should want to take a look. [More]

Who's getting a call from Peter Jackson?

7/02/06, 10:41 am EST - Xoanon

While Peter Jackson remains tight-lipped about who he is casting in upcoming movies, there's a lot of people willing to spill the beans. Sightings of Hollywood star Denzel Washington in Wellington this week are a reminder of how much the city has changed. There was a time when the closest we got to big name movie stars was by going to the movies. But not now, when Wellington is home to Peter Jackson. One of the best rumours during the early days of Jackson's The Lord of the Rings were sightings of former James Bond Sean Connery, whom many people were convinced would play the good wizard Gandalf – a role later taken by Sir Ian McKellen. Everyone knew someone who knew someone who had seen Connery in the capital. People claimed to have spotted the Scottish actor eating at the humble Chocolate Fish Cafe in Wellington's Scorching Bay – not far from Jackson's home. [More]

LOTR Sweepstakes

7/02/06, 10:37 am EST - Xoanon

Hovey writes: There's a new sweepstakes back at the old official LOTR movie site. The prizes include an autographed Sam's Sword, a Sauron Polystone Collectible, an EA video game, a LOTR T-shirt, a LOTR keychain, a LOTR deck of cards, and finally all three LOTR Limited Edition DVDs that are coming out at the end of August. Also, the site hints that there will be an additional trailer, clips, and more. [More]

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