Indy and the Hobbit

In a land of rising ticket prices and diminishing entertainment returns…

In a time devoid of cool news about movies…

One man, bearded, and Hobbit-like, brings hope to the masses, while another, grizzled and hoary, tries to recapture the archaeological glory of days gone by…

Yes, Peter Jackson has finally ended his feud with New Line and agreed to produce The Hobbit movie. Or movies. Apparently Pete wants to do two films to cover the story, the second of which may provide a bridge between Tolkien’s first book and the LoTR trilogy. Hmm. Does that mean new original story material in Middle Earth? It’s interesting because Jackson and Co. did such a fine job abridging, editing, and translating the trilogy into film, mostly a task of scaling down the story. Now two movies from a shorter book, which could mean some narrative expansion.

Also, Sam Raimi thought to be front-runner for directing duties, as Jackson will produce and not direct. Let’s start the call for the Bruce Campbell cameo Hobbit appearance right now… Hell, put him in a beard and cast him as Thorin!

This is a story we will follow closely, from the casting, to the director, to the two-movie scenario. The Hobbit is the first book I can remember, from Mom reading it to me as a wee one, so my interest is officially vested.

Meanwhile, we all know Indiana Jones is back. Are we concerned about the legacy, about the possible pains of seeing geriatric Jones try to bust out the whip and the fedora again? Yeah, somewhat. I like what I’m hearing about the story, however.

Shia LeBeouf plays one of those greaser-kids from The Outsiders, who helps coax Jones out of professorial retirement. They head south to Mexico and South America in search of, naturally, the Crystal Skull. This time it’s the evil Soviets opposing our heroes–Cate Blanchett as KGB Ace Agent Spalko–it’s about time we started bagging on the commies again. The Skull has something to do with the ancient mystical powers of the Mayans. And what else do you need to know, really?

Let’s just hope ol’ Indy doesn’t look too slow and creaky to suspend disbelief. And I hope Spielberg and Lucas don’t wallow too much in nostalgic excess. That said, I’m sure most of us will get goosebumps the first time we get a dose of John Williams in the theater again.

And the poster is pretty sweet.

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