Nerds of Edmonton love new trailer for The Hobbit

The Edmonton geek-o-verse has given a guarded thumbs-up to the new trailer for The Hobbit. The Peter Jackson film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s first successful novel comes to theatres Dec. 14, 2012.

Kris Hansen, who says he has the word “geek” tattooed on the back of his neck and is manager of Warp 1 Comics and Games, considered the heart of Edmonton Nerd-dom, says this: “I speak for all nerds everywhere when I say that The Hobbit is highly anticipated. The trailer is solid. It got my imagination going.”

He adds that they maybe spent a little too much time naming all the dwarves (13 in all!) that accompany the young Bilbo (Martin Freeman) on An Unexpected Journey, but is pumped about the film, based on the story he says is even better than The Lord of the Rings trilogy – and “here I am not speaking for all nerds.”

Megan C. Engel, president of The Last Alliance: The University of Alberta Tolkien Society, has this to say: “The music is the perfection I have come to expect from Howard Shore; I am so pleased with the haunting melody and the use of Tolkien’s original lyrics. I am puzzled, however, by Thorin’s meagre beard! In dwarf culture, the grandeur of one’s beard is of utmost importance, and in fact a common ‘farewell’ is ‘may your beard grow ever longer.’ As rightful King Under the Mountain, I expected Thorin’s beard to be a sight to behold! Ian McKellen is magnificent, as always, and a perfect Gandalf. As a final comment, a few of our members have found noteworthy the drastic departure in tone from that of the original work, which is itself quite whimsical and comedic, at least initially. We expected, however, that the movie would be rather more dark and serious.”

What do actual film experts think? One seemed to take umbrage at the question, saying “It’s just a trailer.” We thought of local filmmaker Josh Miller because he was peripherally involved in a Hobbit hoax earlier this year. Some merry environmentalist pranksters released a bogus Hobbit promo video that claimed oilsands sites were being used in the depiction of Mordor – of course there is no Mordor in The Hobbit – giving the name of the contact as “Joshua Miller.” He was not amused, but had forgotten all about the incident until approached for a comment about the new Hobbit trailer. He offers this blurb-ready quote: “This film looks likely to dwarf all of the previous films in the series.”

Do you see what he did there? Dwarf? Dwarfs? What is the proper plural of dwarf, anyway? They the real stars of the Hobbit – starring Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. Also, there’s a dragon, Smaug, which we don’t see at all in the trailer.

There is a whiff of criticism here and there, more “mixed feelings.” Some people don’t seem too keen on director Peter Jackson no matter what he does. Area artist and Lord of the Rings fan Fish Griwkowsky, meanwhile, takes issue with Jackson’s obvious effort – obvious even in a two-and-a-half minute trailer – that The Hobbit is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings when “it’s not actually a prequel at all.” No, the novel stands on its own. The singing, however, is much appreciated, Griwkowsky adds. Whatever you think of the dwarven poesy strewn throughout the book, the songs are a big part of the original story.

“I would’ve liked more dragons, less dwarves,” says Kris Hansen. “But I’m still pretty damned excited.”

Only a year to go.