“The Hunt For Gollum”: Impressive

gandalf‘I have no clue how “The Hunt for Gollum” has gotten past New Line Cinema and the J.R.R. Tolkien estate’s intellectual property lawyers. Nor do I care, because this “by fans, for fans” non-profit 40-minute “Lord of the Rings” tribute film looks awesome. As far as I can tell from the trailers, the plot, adapted from part of Tolkien’s voluminous appendices, is supposed to take place some time between “The Hobbit” and “The Fellowship of the Ring.” The filmmakers aren’t kidding around: They’ve cast Viggo Mortensen and Ian McKellen lookalikes (real McKellen pictured) in the starring roles of Aragorn and Gandalf, and they seem to have nailed a passable low-budget version of Peter Jackson’s best-epic-movie-ever visuals. Of course, the most recent trailer (below) doesn’t actually show Gollum himself, undoubtedly the hardest part of Jackson’s technical wizardry to replicate on a shoestring. Whatever! I will still totally spend 40 minutes on this when it debuts online on May 3. I’m an LotR nerd that way — yes, that is a framed map of Middle-Earth hanging on my living-room wall — and I will take any excuse I can to see that world again during the interminable wait for the real Hobbit films. How about you?’

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