All great movies in their own way for certain...amazing, visually stunning, fantastic cinema (and home cinema) experiences. People are really starting to throw down when it comes to the film medium.
Of course, I'm a movie guy, so I'd watch 'em anyway even without all the fancy-shmancy F/X (saw Up in the Air as well); I like to watch old movies and re-watch movies (even old ones...saw Lost Horizon again and it's still great).
Anyway, I know there's been snarky talk on the blogs lately about all the poorly done pulp getting ready to hit the celluloid: Solomon Kane, Burroughs, new Conan. However, I'm more excited about a NON-pulp fantasy movie already in the works: The Hobbit.
Yes, I realize I have written some less-than-kind words about Bilbo Baggins in the past, but that was specific to some of the impact on the RPG industry. I love The Hobbit; I've read it at least 3-5 times, and have watched the Bakshi film at least as many (probably more). In fact, I saw the film before I ever picked up my first D&D game, or even the Dungeon! board game. The Hobbit may not be the main basis for fantasy role-playing but it was certainly MY first inspiration.
Anyway, Peter Jackson is producing and Guillermo del Toro is directing. I think del Toro is awesome. My wife introduced me to del Toro with his film Cronos (she's been a fan for awhile) and Pan's Labyrinth is one of my favorite films of the last five years. His ability to tell the dark fairy tale is something I really appreciate...I like the grim Grimms' tale, much moreso than the Disney-fied versions.
So I've been excited ever since I heard he'd signed onto the project: and one thing I've been telling anyone who will listen is I sure hope he takes a look at Dragonslayer before throwing together some lame-ass CGI critter for Smaug. You have JB? Yeah, I have. In fact, I was just saying it over brunch yesterday when discussing the upcoming film with some friends.
So now check out THIS quote I found today:
"One of the best and one of the strongest landmarks that almost nobody can overcome is Dragonslayer [a 1981 movie]. The design of the Vermithrax Pejorative is perhaps one of the most perfect creature designs ever made..."
As well as this on-line conversation with Jackson and del Toro. I won't bother quoting it here, but frankly I can't help but think one of my favorite novels of childhood is in truly excellent hands.
It's too bad the film isn't scheduled for release till 2011 (I do hate waiting), but at least we'll be able to see it before 2012 (when the world goes up in flames). Woo-hoo!