20 July 2014

Rankin/Bass "The Hobbit" and "The Return of the King" Remastered Deluxe Edition (Review)

Despite the success of Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" films, many Tolkien fans have been left yearning for a more accurate portrayal of his classic novels. Those who grew up in the 70s and 80s may recall the Rankin/Bass television specials "The Hobbit" (1977) and "The Return of the King" (1980), which by now have become "classics" in their own right. This Tuesday, Warner Bros. will be releasing remastered deluxe editions of both specials.

"The Hobbit" (1977). Photo: Warner Bros.
Although I was not yet born when these films first came out, I have seen them numerous times and am very fond of them, especially "The Hobbit". Contrary to Jackson's "Hobbit" films, the Rankin/Bass special maintains the spirit of being a children's tale. The whimsical illustrations, the impeccable cast of voice actors, and an catchy soundtrack reminiscent of some of the company's other specials ("Frosty the Snowman", "The Year Without a Santa Claus", and so on) make for a film that is great fun for the whole family. 

As an adaptation, "The Hobbit" manages to find an equal balance between appealing to longtime Tolkien fans as well as those experiencing the story for the first time. There are some omissions to the story – Beorn, for example, has been completely left out – which are clearly done to save time and avoid complicating the story with too many characters or plot points. Such omissions do not detract from Tolkien's original story, but instead help to advance the film in a way that is easy for audiences unfamiliar with Middle-earth to follow; Tolkien fans will find the lack of new characters, subplots, and drawn out action scenes to be very refreshing. While the film is by no means a perfect adaptation of The Hobbit, it captures most of the essence of the original story and is a great venture into Middle-earth.

18 July 2014

LOTRO Weekly Store Sales July 18th–24th

25% off the following:
  • Quest Packs (595-795 446-596 TP)
  • Mithril Coins (50-2000 38-1500 TP)
  • 100% XP Boost (1 hour) (150-600 113-450 TP) 
  • Max Morale & Power Scroll (15-225 11-169 TP) 
Free Sample of the Week:
  • Skill and Slayer Deed Boost (x1)
  • Use coupon code: STA7 (x1/account)
For more sales and updates, visit the LOTRO Store

17 July 2014

Chance Thomas' "Theme for Rohan" to be Performed by the Utah Symphony

Composer Chance Thomas, who has contributed numerous themes to The Lord of the Rings Online score, has announced via his Facebook page that his piece Theme for Rohan will be performed by the Utah Symphony on September 6:
I am happy to announce the symphonic premiere of my original composition, THEME FOR ROHAN, to be performed by the Utah Symphony on September 6, 2014 at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. They have invited me to guest conduct at the concert. Tickets are already going fast! Click the image below for ticket information. 

THEME FOR ROHAN will be showcased as part of the Utah Symphony’s Video Games Live concert series. Video Games Live offers terrific family-friendly entertainment bursting at the seams with lazer lights, popular video game footage on a massive screen, good humor, excitement and of course, lots of beautiful music.

You can find more of Chance Thomas' themes on LOTRO's YouTube channel!

For more information regarding the event – which will include segments from other games, including Final Fantasy, Warcraft, Skyrim, Mass Effect, and more – be sure to visit the Utah Symphony's website!
Final Fantasy, Warcraft, Skyrim, Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, Tetris, Mass Effect, Mega Man - See more at: http://www.utahsymphony.org/concerts/962-video-games-live#sthash.4ReNttLC.dpuf
Final Fantasy, Warcraft, Skyrim, Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, Tetris, Mass Effect, Mega Man - See more at: http://www.utahsymphony.org/concerts/962-video-games-live#sthash.4ReNttLC.dpuf

10 July 2014

Sociedad Tolkien Española's Ælfwine Awards 2014

The Sociedad Tolkien Española (Spanish Tolkien Society) has announced its 10th edition of the Essay Awards "Ælfwine Awards 2014".

Original essays, written in English or Spanish and relating to the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien, should be submitted to premiosaelfwine@sociedadtolkien.org by October 1, 2014 for consideration.

Before submitting an essay, please be sure to read and adhere to the official rules, which can be found on the STE webpage (English | Spanish).