STL Ocarina Reminds You That Tauriel Is a LOT Cooler Than Zamfir Will EVER Be…

So, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in theaters today and yes indeed, STL Ocarina wants to get you in the mood for the film with a lovely little tune played by an actual elf. Okay, so it’s NOT an elf, actually… but hey, that video and tune make you BELIEVE there are and that’s all that counts, correct? And yes, you can still snap up that 6 Hole Lord of the Rings Ocarina you’ve been eyeballing. Did you know that people who play any type of musical instrument over time tend to be sharper when it comes to picking up on mistakes? Well, there’s a University of St. Andrews study that says it’s all due to learning how to play an instrument and sticking with it. Who says you can’t learn anything new these days? Now go get yourself or someone else a nice playable gift this year!

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Sneek Peek: Second Verse, Not Quite Same As The First…

So, now that this two-parter is a three-parter, I have to ask if it still draw in the millions of fans the original The Lord of the Rings trilogy did. Granted, a third part means MORE of the book on board and hopefully an even closer to Tolkien film. On the other hand, I know the book loyalists have been shaking their fists at the screen or in Peter Jackson’s general direction since the first Rings film hit theaters and I don’t think they plan to stop any time soon. Granted, these films do a bit of public service by giving the truly lazy a chance to see what they won’t read (and thus fail any real life book reports they need to write in the future – lesson NEVER write a book report from any movie – your teachers who’ve read those books WILL know). But then again, if you’re THAT shiftless, you’ll probably be snoozing in your seat before the first half hour is over and done.

Hey, I’ve been in theaters many times over the years and have sat close to young people who thought they could actually get away with that trickery and I’ve always laughed a bit at what I know the results will be. Hell, chances are that teacher is in a different theater (or worse, the same one) taking mental notes on exactly what to look out for in those shorthanded reports. So yeah, kids… READ MORE BOOKS! There’s nothing wrong with a grand epic at all mind you… unless you’re planning to play it off as actual studying and not supplemental material once you’ve done the work. That’s your life lesson for the day…

The Hobbit: The Desplation of Smaug TV Spot 3: This One Better Not Be Draggin’…

Okay, so I finally caught The Hobbit on HBO when it premiered on Saturday and yes, I fell asleep about 25 minutes in. That was bad, however I did wake up about 25 or so minutes later and sat through the rest of the film, save for a quick break to boil some water for tea. Granted, I was a bit sick and a little bit tired from the cold that was knocking me around, but still… the film did drag-on a bit (yeah, that’s supposed to be a pun). I liked it overall, but after that blazing opening sequence it took a while to get going again then between jokes it’s pretty much a non-interactive CG movie that winds its way up, down and all around to that ending where you just so happen to look at your watch and realize as Smaug’s eye opens and the credits roll that you’ll need to come back to that theater to see what happens thanks to that big dragon not quite revealing himself. I’m gathering this sequel will have TOO much of Smaug for some tastes… but in my opinion there’s no such thing as too much of any dragon (unless it’s that damn purple dinosaur Barney trying to pretend he’s one)…

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug TV Spots 1 & 2: Only A Year (Or Less) ‘Til Cable!

OK, don’t shoot me, movie people. I’ve decided to wait until this one pops up on cable TV, as the first film is (not so surprisingly) premiering later this month (on HBO, I think). So much for the normal waiting time that used to be at least a year or so after a major film hit theaters. At this point, it’ll seem to some as if the only reason to go to the movies is just to get out of the house and see a flick on something larger than that already too large HDTV you may own (or the big wall you project movies on). OK, widescreen is also a good reason, but most new films are ending up premiering in that theatrical format to the point that I get annoyed when I see a recent or older film that SHOULD be in that aspect ratio run as a crappy pan & scan version. B to the O to the O, cable and movie people who still do that crap. Even an old analog set can play a widescreen movie in letterbox format, so enough with the old versions already, I say. The ONLY films that need to fill up my screen like that are the classics TCM shows that weren’t originally shot that way. OK, old cartoons and classic TV get a pass as well.

Of course, if you’re impatient or just love seeing films on a big screen with hordes of smelly humans around you, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in theaters on December 13, 2013. Everyone else, set your clocks…

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Main Trailer: The Little People, Back At Work Again…

Er, NO… that’s not what the idiots who look down on us from D.C. will be thinking once they come to some of their senses and stop scaring the hell out of half the country with their needless grade school tantrum antics. It’s the official trailer to the second part of Peter Jackson’s latest Middle-Earth saga. I still need to see the first one (and thankfully, cable will be taking care of that soon enough), and I don’t plan to pay to see this one in a theater at all, but I’ll shoot over to a screening if I can get a pass. Speaking of getting a pass, I’m kind of burned out on these literary epics anyway, but I’d LOVE it if someone were to challenge making a great film our of something like Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination, Stanislaw Lem’s Eden, something from an Asimov or Bradbury WITHOUT messing it up with stupid action scenes and terrifically inappropriate casting decisions. Hell, make a serious animated flick for the cost of some overpaid superstar and I’m a happy camper.

Granted, SELLING that sort of creative film project to an challenged audience who wants to see those star faces and CG explosions is the real rub to deal with…