Go back to Spy Reports Archives

November 12, 2003 - December 04, 2003


'Return of the King' Review!
maegwen @ 1:01 pm EST
Hi - I am ringer 'Hornhead'. Thought you might want to post this review

All is well that ends well? If so, Peter Jackson’s “The Lord Of The Rings” trilogy has established itself in cinematic history. It ends very well. This is true for the trilogy as a whole with the third installment, “Return Of The King” but it is especially true for the final film - it ends very well.

The movie is grand. The movie is epic. The movie is historic. The movie is a spectacle. The movie is satisfying. None of those attributes matter a whit however unless the movie is personal and emotional and intimate as well. None of those things matter if a member of the audience doesn’t invest herself in the characters. ROTK’s greatest strength, by far, is the way that it gently emotes. Sure the battles are edge-of-the-seat, the heros are heroic, the bad-guys are powerful and despicable and grimy and misshapen inside and out, but the entire success of this film hinges on the wrap up.

Modern audiences are savvy and intelligent and they have traveled the road of good vs. evil plenty of times before and they realize that mostly good wins. So while there is danger and some apprehension, and the end of the day, all will be well.

Jackson, in ROTK, has delivered an emotional experience beyond the victory. He has given us characters - in two films of build up and this film of delivery - who don’t exist simply in the messy parameters of the battle-field but who exist in the battle at all because they belong to cultures and societies and communities stretch far beyond the conflict of swords and arrows. Jackson then gives us not only the exhilaration of physical victory but the emotional fallout of friendships, fears, loyally, courage, platonic love, sacrifice, romantic love, greed, jealously, hate, suspicion, nobility, despair and the occasional Gimli giggle.

Now, those are my impressions but there is a lot of detail yet. Spoilers lurk ahead and as for me, I suggest not reading them. But I know many of you will.
I was lucky enough to have a screening with no previews. We just jumped into the spooky New Line logo and then Wingnut Films and off we go. The film opens with a worm. What hopes to be the grandest movie of our time opens with a worm? Indeed, and appropriately so. It should be noted that I went in as spoiler free as humanly possible and I think that was the right choice. STOP NOW!
Okay, so anybody still reading probably already knows we get a Gollum flashback to start the film. This accomplishes two things: We gain some sympathy for the character who is about to turn up the nasty meter to “11.” (Nastier than 10..old movie reference) It also really drives home the fact that our creature Gollum used to be hobbitish Gollum and Andy Serkis, which increases the peril for our Frodo. WETA’s decision to make Gollum look a little Andyish was brilliant and pays off here. Great decision. Finally after the Gollum prologue, we get our title “Return Of The King” and it is full speed ahead.

The film, a bit like Two Towers, shifts character focus. This cannot be helped of course because folks are all over the place but unlike Two Towers, the changes seem less frequent and the story will linger with a particular group longer. Now, I didn’t have a stopwatch to time this, but this is how it felt to me. TTT was appropriately fractured while ROTK seems appropriately blended.

Pippin gets his palantir which was handled okay and worked inside the film as the plot progresses, but I personally did pine for Christopher Lee. Jackson made the right decision for this film, but I think the winding up with Grima and the evil wizard should have been part of the previous film. However, there really isn’t room for it here. I cannot fathom losing minutes of this film, let alone seven to accommodate the old wizard. Treebeard’s dialog does indeed leave the audience with an answer and even at this early point in the film there are far bigger things to think about. When Gandalf says that his threat is gone, we believe him. I really couldn’t help but notice a GIANT SPIKY WHEEL on set however. It looked profoundly familiar. I hope somebody we get the full story that Rings fanatics read about way back in “the day” with that TheOneRing.net spy picture from New Zealand.

So, I don’t want to rehash the movie but there were some things that surprised me a little which will not be possible if you read the next part. Turn back before it is too late!

I was surprised that Merry and Pippin were quite central to the major events of the film. They have been along for the ride in the two previous chapters and they have lightened the mood a bit, but this time they are dramatic and important, more important than I suspected. In this regard, the book is followed quite closely, which is happy news - or at least to me.

On a similar note, I was surprised how effective Shelob was in being creepy and scary and how correctly all the events surrounding Frodo, Sam, Orcs and Shelob were. Kudos to the writers in these efforts. I also feel strongly that saving this for ROTK was much better than putting in TTT. The women next two me, one familiar with the books and the other completely clueless, were both squirming around and covering eyes. Once again, this followed the text in most points. And, Shelob IS big enough. After the show a friend questioned me about the effects which I reported were very good. Then he narrowed his focus to Shelob, which stunned me because I didn't even consider her an effect. She was so well done and so agile and real, that in my mind she was like one of those Hollywood grizzlies that live in Colorado and work in movies. It is easier for me to think of her returning to her spider cage than to think of her being animated by a computer and some fellow monster-loving geeks.

Our attention is divided into lots of groups. Frodo, Sam and Gollum are together. Gandalf and Pip on another. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli make another. Rohan and its cast is yet another and let me pause to commend Bernard Hill as the man who did the most with a modest part. He was fantastic. Unlike TTT, these stories and events between the divided group have a lot of effect on each other. These characters are aware of each other and although apart, it feels that they are working together.

I fear going on much too long and I never intended to give a play-by-play of the film. Before I leave I must highlight the ever-so-slight tarnishing on the film. I felt that after the Pellenor fields (which wouldn't have suffered from being longer) the ride to the black gate and the events there felt rushed. No mouth of Sauron. Too rushed. The tension there just wasn't quite as palpable as one might hope. My real problem with the film is that in those spots it didn't get to breath properly. Already I am awaiting the extended edition!

Highlights: Witch king. Fell beasts. Miranda Otto's Eowyn. Howard Shore's best score of the films. Bernard Hill. Merry and Pippin becoming full characters. The last 20 minutes and woah is that Pete Jackson a tease with his conclusions.

The credits are much better this time around and you will understand when you see them.

And, before I go, since everybody talks about such things...will this film win Oscars?

Well, best director is locked I think. Best picture is a real possibility. Actors? I doubt it. There are too many excellent folks doing too much to get credit. Sean Astin has a real chance at a nomination and so who knows? If only somebody were an addict and mentally off...oh wait, Gollum and Frodo are. Technical awards are probably a slam dunk because Matrix fell so flat at the box office and therefore public/academy opinion. Nothing else, IMHO, can give it a run.

The closing hymn is great. The surest sign that I loved this film? I want to see it again, right now.


Warners Academy Screening Review!
Xoanon @ 4:14 pm EST
elanor writes:

As promised, here is my Academy screening NO SPOILERS review. This was at Time/Warner on 51st Street NYC.

I am so happy! Warmly happy, yes, and I'm also sad. Both at once. In fact I feel just like I feel when I get to the last pages of the book. I said to my still sniffling colleagues as we rode the elevator down, I forgot how sad it all is, and that watching this movie would make me feel bad at the end, not good. (I mean that in the best sense!) I spent the day so eager to get to the screening room and for the lights to dim, that I naturally expected to feel celebratory afterwards. Believe me, there is plenty to celebrate about this film, but at the moment I am still mourning for poor Frodo.

I loved it. Yes, wholeheartedly. I suppose I can't really say I m satisfied because what I mostly want, I can't have for more than two weeks: I WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN! Ah me, where to start. Well, at the important part. The ending. Yes, dear friends, they get it right. It's not the book but they get it right. Yes it has six endings and I love every one of them (I didn't really count them!). Every one is earned and every one works. I was hoping for a few more, to tell you the truth, I did NOT want it to be over. BTW, they also get the climax right!

The film is stunning. Amazing. Frightening. Breathtaking. Heartbreaking. Epic and intimate all at once. Elijah delivers every single solitary moment and will probably be overlooked for acting honors simply because he doesn't seem to be acting, he seems to be crawling to Mordor to destroy the One Ring. Astin is fantastic and so, so right. Viggo delivers. Bernard Hill, Liv and John Noble are all wonderful. But really, it's wrong to single anyone out since they are all so amazingly good. I want more of them all, of course.

Peter Jackson and his marvelous team make it all look so easy. He takes you so fully into Middle Earth that you forget you're watching made-up creatures and all you can do is react to them emotionally. The Nazgul, the Mumakil, the Orcs, the Trolls. You feel the weight of the odds against you. When you see, along with the Rohirrim, the heart-crushing view of Minas Tirith surrounded by the hordes of Mordor you want to find some place to hide to save your own skin, rather than rev yourself up for a death ride against them.

So many amazing moments. Smeagol and Deagol, Frodo's first moment with The Ring. Pippin and the Palantir, Eowyn and Merry, Gandalf and Pippin's arrival in Minas Tirith! Denethor sinking into madness. The Beacons of Gondor! What visual and emotional poetry is made of this! The muster of Rohan! Aragorn and Anduril! Shelob spinning Frodo! Sam charging up the stairs in Cirith Ungol, Naked Frodo! The arrival of the Corsairs. All of Mt. Doom and The Last Battle. And the eagles! The eagles! I think they have my favorite moment of all.

A word of warning to those who know the books, (no, don't be worried): You know how jarring it is to watch these films the first time through because it's so hard to put THE BOOK aside. Well, I had that feeling on and off for about the first hour and then it totally went away. The beginning has the most changes and feels the most awkwardly cut. I didn't miss Saruman at all, although I will be thrilled to see his scenes restored on the DVD. Purists will find plenty to complain of since there are missing words, scenes and beats and, frankly, several missing concepts, and believe me, I understand what Moriarity means by problematic and its not bad. I swear, I think there could have been six more movies made of just this material. What IS on screen is so fantastically realized that you just can't help wanting to see everything they left out. The changes in this third film are less on the invention side and more on the ramp up the tension side, and no doubt we will be arguing for many months whether some or any of it was justified or not. But for me it's just like taking a different path to get to the same beloved place.

Oh yes, my friends, all who love Tolkien's story and his grand masterpiece, you are going to need those Kleenex. Unless you never cry while reading the books. Come on Dec 17th!

Be strong and resist spoilers. You will love being surprised,


Trilogy Tuesday in Sweden
maegwen @ 11:25 pm EST
Don't know if you have posted it yet I somehow did miss it or such ...

Finally some information about Trilogy Tuesdays here in Sweden ... some BIG cinemas in Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö and to a much lesser extent Umeå WILL screen the two extended versions followed by ROTK, but MANY many smaller cinemas will also do a maraton with the shorter TEs.

The SEEs will screen in the mentioned cities for some week(s) and ticket sale for those did start 28/11 even if some are not bookable yet at their website. No general Trilogy Tuesday tickets - you have to buy them individually.

And the ticket for ROTK itself start selling the 8th of december, in most cities 08:00 it seems, the first day for us queuers only, from the 9th also via telephone and their internet site ...

-- Ioreth

the link: http://www.sf.se/sf/senaste_nytt/index.html#sagan2

all trilogy tuesday tickets (FOTR SEE/TE, TTT SEE/TE and ROTK) sell from the 8th of December ...

ROTK Premiere Report
maegwen @ 9:23 pm EST
Sara sends in this report from her fun day at the ROTK Red Carpet Parade in Wellington:

Hey to all the great folks at ToRN,

Just spent the entire day camped outside the Embassy Theatre to catch all the action at the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Premiere!
Wow, what a day!

The Sun was beating down relentlessly and I'm seriously feeling the burns now, but it was worth the wait! I made my way down to the Embassy Theatre at about 10 this morning, and there I was met by all the fans that were serious about getting an autograph, some had camped out all night, some came at six this morning, while I -- seeing as I was at the Return of the Ringers party last night -- slept in and came late, but none the less I got a good spot for star spotting! Right behind the press area.

They had the huge screen so we could all watch the parade as it wound its way from the houses of Parliment along Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Mercer, Wakefield Cuba, and Manners St. and finally where they joined the Red Carpet at Courtenay! It was fantastic to see, the reception they recived was something else! They were fanfared by Easterlings, Hobbits, Rohirrim and Elves all the way. The wait was a long one, but so worth it! They showed all the fans their appreciation by signing and taking pictures!!

Got some great pics, and all the stars were gracious enough to answer the fans calls and hoots and give us a wave! Liv passed by first and rather quickly. She walked the whole length of the red carpet in her bare feet so as to be able to talk with everyone she could! How sweet is that? Liv is followed by David Wenham, Billy and Sean, then Elijah, Bernard Hill, and John Noble, JRD, Bruce Hopkins and Peter Jackson, Andy and Viggo and lastly Hugo and Orlando, who as always got a warm welcome! I didn't see Dom, till he was on the stage! It just so happed I was behind ToRN's one and only Quickbeam, so all the stars made a great effort to talk with him and thanks to that I got some great photos! Thank you!!!!!

Alas no signatures and my ROTK book remains, sadly, empty! But there were some kindly news guys who took upclose photos with ppls cameras for them.

The stars were ushered to the podium and after some speeches by Barry Osbourne, the Mayor, and Prime Minister. Peter then took to the stage to say his thank yous. To the people of Wellinton and New Zealand, his partner Fran Walsh and to all the cast and Crew, Weta, Richard Taylor and Philippa Boyens.

The each cast member came to the mic and said their thank yous! And some, like Sean Astin's were very moving. They posed for several group shots and afterward were ushered away! The crowd loved every minute of it and at the end of the day I'll always be so pleased to say that I was here for this once in a lifetime event.

Slan and Merry Christmas to all!



ROTK Screening Report!
Xoanon @ 6:31 pm EST

I live in LA and work in the movie business, so I was able to go to the first Academy Awards screening of ROTK yesterday. Thanksgiving day, and they still filled a big theater - I think that says something about the enthusiasm of LOTR's many fans in the film industry!

What struck me most was how much ROTK really is the third act of one huge epic. All climax and payoff. I couldn't even begin to count the number of thrilling action sequences. And yet, even more than with the other movies, the emotional focus is tight on the characters.

The LOTR movies actually have less in common with fantasy like STAR WARS, and more in common with classic epics like LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and SPARTACUS. So in a fairly traditional sense, ROTK is an old fashioned War Movie. We get the incredible battles, but also the fear in anonymous soldiers' eyes, and our heroes desperately overcoming that fear to do what has to be done - which is of course what MAKES them heroes. Happily, ROTK doesn't glorify war, but rather the impulse for sacrifice, putting yourself on the line for a greater good.

But what all LOTR fans will be saying as they leave the theater is "I cried!" Don't bring a date if you don't want them to see you cry. Do bring Kleenex, whatever. If you love these characters, you're going to cry. Like nine times. Sad crying. Happy crying. Happy-sad crying. You get the picture.

Legolas does a stunt you will never forget, battling an Oliphaunt (Mumak, whatever). Sam is the bravest character in any movie, ever. Just the sequence of Pippin singing for Denethor while Faramir rides off on a suicide mission should net Peter Jackson a Best Director nomination. Eowyn ROCKS as action heroine. And you really DON'T want to know what comes through that gate when Minas Tirith is breached.

That being said, I bet this will be the LOTR pic that improves most on DVD. Obviously the Saruman sequence will be missed by fans. But some of the other character stories definitely seem truncated too.

Aragorn has great stuff to do, but we miss a couple of beats in his transformation. No Houses of Healing - in the book, a nice moment where he "proves" his Kingship in a non-warlike way, and where we see how much the people WANT a King. Same with Denethor - we never really get the sense that he is a good and noble man who has fallen low. He seems spiteful, rather than tragic. His sons are so noble, I found that incongruous. And Arwen is barely present, seeming more like she did in the book - a gift-wrapped prize for the King. Finally, though we spend lots of time with Frodo and Sam, even their trip through Mordor is somewhat ellipsed at the end. Jackson et al seemed mainly concerned with making it clear how the Minas Tirith battles are connected with Frodo's story. This was probably a wise choice, especially for the larger audience who may never have read the books.

But the bottom line is, this is a massive epic which even three LONG movies can barely contain, and Peter Jackson & Company did a great job of bringing it to an incredibly exciting climax and a VERY fulfilling ending. The last few scenes of the movie are particularly well crafted. There's a very subtle, understated scene after the Hobbits return to the Shire, with almost no dialogue. Everything is told by the looks on their faces. These are good actors! And then there's the Grey Havens. (See KLEENEX, above)

PrimeTime's ROTK Special Preview
Xoanon @ 5:14 pm EST
Antman writes: On PrimeTime thursday on ABC, thanksgiving night they had a preview of next week's show that will be all Return of the King. They showed some clips of stuff from ROTK, if this is news you might like to know.

Aragorn and Eowyn are loading horses to go somewhere, and Eowyn says something like "it is tradition for the women to see the men off" and aragorn looks on her horse and sees her sword and asks here why she's bringing it.

They showed a green screen shot of Aragorn standing at the black gate amidst the battle looking up at something with wind blowing agaist him.

They show Pippin (or merry i cant remember) screaming for help as he runs away from a dead oliphaunt.

Gollum climbing stairs to cirith ungol talking about how "we must climb the stairs".

Aragorn talking to theoden at the Dunharrow tents about how he is worried that there are not enough soldiers for something, and Theoden reassures him that "more" will come.

Then there was some stuff with Liv Tyler saying that she's sad its over, wardrobe/props people, and some candid shots of Viggo and Ian McKellen giving thumbs up to the camera.

[Click here to learn all about the PrimeTime Thursday ROTK Special]


Middle-earth Shuttle Closed Early
maegwen @ 7:48 pm EST
Indy writes: A friend and I had heard about the subway promotional event off this site, so we went to check it out, and I have to say it was handled appallingly. I suspected there would be giveaways, as there often are at such things (perhaps just paper bookmarks or stickers). But I never dreamed they'd give away the DVD itself, which is fine since I didn't get one anyway. They had DVD's and a medallion item to give away, but it was all handled so nastily that I, even as a huge fan, have to say it served to turn me off to the whole thing, rather than pique my interest.

I got there right about 11:20 AM, and a rather large, but tame crowd drew pretty quickly. They had a short train, on which one car had been lit green and decorated with leaf-patterned seats and ads for the DVD. There were Gollum figures (about 1/2 scale) on the end of each bench in the car (about 16 total). Some of the subway platform pillars were wrapped in straw. And the platform benches had two more of the same Gollum figures on logo platforms that had some crude little voice feature (like the toys have) that was totally drowned out and could not be heard. That was about it.

But what was really crummy was how once again New Line seems to have totally underestimated interest in LOTR and just not prepared for their own party. The giveaways were snapped up so quickly that a lot of people never seemed to know what was even being given away until it was all over, and then it quickly degenerated into a nasty "crowd dispersal" operation by cops and MTA workers who were screaming and yelling in everyone's faces to leave and that the train was "for the press only" and everyone had to leave the platform. They took what might have been a mildly interesting stunt that could have been worth a smirk on your lunch break and turned it into an opportunity to make regular people feel left out of something they never knew was even going on.

What was the worst was to see some of the younger fans, kids and teens, who seemed to have come knowing about the event (hoping to get a look at something fun), leave having been pushed and shoved around, screamed at and made to feel like they'd done something wrong for even being interested. It was nasty. I saw a group of kids skulk away with their chaperone, muttering how "Gollum sucks". I don't think that was the intended point of the event. It made me feel like telling those kids to just read the book and forget about the movie. Of course, all the press that was there seemed to be carting around their free DVD's. They got first crack it seemed. Good for them, like I'm sure they deserve free copies more than any fans (!). It wasn't any kind of special promotional disc used for media coverage, it just looked like the same new extended set that is now sold in stores - a straight-up swag bribe to members of the media. That's not so surprising, I suppose, but it didn't help that it was done right in the faces of the fans that were being actively screamed at and turned away at that same moment, two feet away.

Oh, and all of this was totally over by 12:15 PM, a full hour and 15 minutes before the event was supposed to end; it was a mere 45 minutes into the event by the time everything was totally over and the platform was completely cleared by the cops. It's interesting to see the speculation that this behavior regarding surprise giveaways may explain the lack of additional Trilogy Tuesday screenings. If that's the reason, I'll be livid. JUST SHOW MORE OF US THE MOVIES!, New Line! Here in NYC, it was IMPOSSIBLE to get tickets to Trilogy Tuesday, and I don't know a single ardent fan who got one despite going to great lengths try and order online that day or go to the theaters in person that day. After two spectacular experiences with FOTR and TTT, the leadup to ROTK has really been nothing but disappointment after disappointment for fans so far (in my own personal experience anyway), directly caused by the company, it seems. Too bad. Too bad indeed.

This LOTR train was "Out of Service".


* * *

Ringer Spy Lisa writes: I work a couple of blocks away from Grand Central, so, I decided to wander over there at lunchtime and check out the "Middle-earth shuttle."

Got on the thankfully-not-too-long line at about 12:30 and waited patiently behind a chain across the platform. There were people milling about the platform and then, finally, about 10 minutes later, the train took off for Times Square. And that's when the cops told us it was all over. At 12:45. Not 1:30. 12:45. Because all the DVDs and medallions were gone and they didn't want anybody else on the platform.


It seems to me that New Line has a misguided perception of what fans want. Nowhere in the announcement about the shuttle did it say that there would be giveaways... but people showed up. So why would you end it when the giveaways that nobody knew about anyway are gone?

It's interesting hearing this on the heels of some speculation I've seen that part of the reason why New Line hasn't opened up Trilogy Tuesday to additional screens is that they have something they're giving away and don't want to have to produce more.

Again... nowhere in the press or announcements did it intimate that ticket buyers would get anything but the chance to see the movies... and yet, there is the possibility (though, of course, I only read that on the internet, so, who knows? :)), that the limited availability of non-promoted giveaways is stopping them from expanding the release. If this is true, it seems they are definitely uncelar about what makes fans show up for this kind of thing.

Next time something like this comes up, remind me to take my magic watch that tells me that 12:45 is actually 1:30. :P

So frustrating.


Middle-earth Shuttle Report
maegwen @ 5:24 pm EST
Ringer Spy Bucky Underbelly writes: Just got back from Grand Central Station in New York City where the TTT:EE DVD launch was supposed to be celebrated with a special theme subway car (made up Fangorn-style with leaves and vines and such) between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. ... but they shut it down early! By almost 45 minutes!

So a whole bunch of people didn't get to see it! There were lots of cops and transit folks around, so I wonder if it was New Line that shut it early or the cops. I hope things didn't get out of hand. From what we could see, however, one of the subway cars seemed to have its seats painted like leaves and there were a number of the big Gollum statues on the subway platform. Man, I would have liked to taken a ride, though!

ROTK Soundtrack Broadcast
maegwen @ 5:15 pm EST
Ringer Spy Joseph writes:

I've recently noticed that some Return of the King music has already started to be played on Classic FM. Here's the schedule of what has been played and what will be played:

14/11/03 11:46:34 The Two Towers - Forth Eorlingas Howard Shore

15/11/03 09:41:55 The Two Towers - the White Rider Howard Shore

16/11/03 11:19:16 The Two Towers - Forth Eorlingas Howard Shore

17/11/03 11:48:26 The Return of the King - The White Tree Howard Shore

18/11/03 12:22:17 The Return of the King - Twilight and Shadow Howard Shore

22/11/03 09:24:17 Lord of the Rings - Many meetings Howard Shore

22/11/03 10:43:33 The Return of the King - The End of All Things Howard Shore

Note, all of these times are based in Britain, so subtract 5 hours if you're in Eastern Standard Time- US. Of course all of this can be accessed through http://www.classicfm.com.


Viggo at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA
maegwen @ 10:41 am EST
Victoria sends in this spy report from Viggo Mortensen's poetry reading.

* * *

Just wanted to share that I was at the benefit poetry reading for Midnight Special that was held at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA last night. After a fun musical opening from John Condron, Viggo made a nice speech about the purpose of the benefit reading, and how it was to raise funds for the Midnight Special bookstore, which is closing and moving to a new location in Santa Monica. Then one of the Beyond Baroque staff members reminded him to tell the audience that the authors/poets would be signing books afterwards, and Viggo quipped that he knew he would "f**k it up" ;)

Later in the program, Viggo came back to do his set. He was very charming and funny; he was carrying with him a small stack of books and papers and made comments about how his stuff was a mess, that basically his poetry was disorganized as much of his life was. But he was saying it in such a way that the audience forgave him his bumbling and disorganization. He also made several comments during his poetry readings about his poetry being sad - which is true, as most of his writing is delicate, melancholic, and dreamlike. The audience lapped up his self-deprecation like milk, and laughed when it was appropriate because, let's face it, Viggo is one charming man.

He opened with "Song", a poem by Edward Hirsch - a curious choice as someone else had read the same exact poem earlier that night (so maybe Viggo wasn't paying attention or just felt like repeating the poem - who knows?). Then he read some of his own poetry, like "Hillside" and "First Light" (as I think it was called (?) - he said he thought about it in NZ while he was driving, and he had to stop at the side of the road to finish writing the poem). Viggo then read some poetry from NZ poets - he commented that the one thing that surprised him about NZ (besides the fact that in NZ, people are genuinely nice and put the community first, the individual second) was that there were a lot of good poets in NZ. Then he read a poem in Spanish, which I didn't understand, but it was lovely hearing him speak Spanish. Finally, he closed with Back To Babylon (which he also read at the Rally Against US Iraq Policy in October).

Later on that night, he stayed afterwards to sign copies of The Spoken Word Revolution (Slam, Hip Hop & the Poetry of a New Generation), which contains a few of his poems in the book and on the CD. We weren't allowed to take pictures during the reading, and when it was my turn to get my book signed, the Beyond Baroque people said that from now on we couldn't take pictures because it was taking too long (it was about 1:20 AM), so I wasn't able to snap a close-up shot of him *sigh*

All in all, it was a really cool night. Seeing Viggo was just the icing on the cake, because the other performers were completely amazing.

Cheers, Victoria


Extended Edition Showings in Japan
maegwen @ 9:21 pm EST
Dear TheOneRing.Net

I received the latest LOTR newsletter from Japan Herald, the distributor of LOTR movies in Japan. They officially announced they will have special showing of "FOTR" and "TTT" Special Extended Edition at limited movie theaters.

The Fellowship of The Ring
01/10/04 (Sat.) - 01/23/04 (Fri.)

The Two Towers
01/24/04 (Sat.) - 02/06/04 (Fri.)

TOKYO: TouGeki
OSAKA: Paradise Square
NAGOYA: Virgin Cinemas Nagoya Bay City
SAPPORO: Cinema Frontier
KYUSHU: United Cinema Fukuoka

Adults: 1800 yen
Students (College or High School): 1500 yen
Students (Junior High or younger): 1000 yen
Seniors: 1000 yen



By the way, it seems like Japan will not have "Trilogy" event after all (or so far?), but will hold special showing of "FOTR - TTT SEE" only for 200 very lucky Passport Members who will receive the invitation soon by random drawing.

DATE and TIME: 11/29/03 22:00PM-7:00AM
PLACE: Takayama Asahi-za (Takayama city, Gifu)

This event will be hold at Hida-Takayama, the winner of "Where's the Middle-Earth in Japan" poll. Many of LOTR fans voted for this place because Hida-Takayama has the image, and in fact, Hida-Takayama is geographically located on (or really close to) the center of Japan.

BIG Drawing for LOTR goods and special guests are scheduled.

REPEAT: This event is "invitation only" There's no way to get in unless you have the invitation.


Trilogy Tuesday: Vancouver
maegwen @ 8:16 pm EST
Linda writes: Apparently the online sales problem at Famous Players Capitol 6 has been resolved. I spoke with someone at the theatre this morning and there are still lots of tickets available and you do not have to wait until Dec 16 to buy them. Just go online to www.Famousplayers.com.

He says their ticket situation is ‘unique’ but you can pre-order. They will likely cut off sales December 14 (I assume unless sold out before that) and then print the tickets sold for pickup Dec 14 or 15 as well as on Dec 16 (the day of the showing).

You will need to bring your online confirmation form to claim your tickets so don’t forget to print it! There will also be intermissions between the films to attend to personal necessities.

Marathon ROTK Reading in Greece
maegwen @ 6:22 pm EST
We are very happy to announce the first major event organized by our young society.

On the weekend of 29-30 November, a Marathon reading of "Return of the King" will take place in the hospitable premices of "SoulTwinkles", a small gaming and books haven, where also the Quenya is being tought. Each day, from 11.00 to 18.00, 10 voluntiers will interchange in reading from the Greek translation of the book. Certain important passages will also be heard in English, so that Tolkien's wonderous cadences may be experienced. There will also be visual and audio support, such as a slide show of related fan art and Tolkien inspired music. To sustain both readers and listeners through the long hours, coffe/tea, refreshments and snacks will be offered. Everything free of charge!

If any of you happen to be in Athens during this time, you are most welcome to attend.

Best regards
Kate Karageorgi aka circi
President Greek Tolkien Society-The Prancing Pony
e-mail: greektolkiensociety@lordoftherings.gr

Go back to Spy Reports Archives