Oh Smaug, the Stupendous

Sherlock is in editing, school started, jobs started pouring in, work began, summer ended and I have had enough break from blogging. Here I am, breathing out like the dragons curling under piles of gold, coming back to the world.

Trailers are like adrenaline shots. They’re short, they slap you, they get the blood pumping and the mind at full capacity and, once the effect is done, you are left exhausted, bloody and depressed. But how can you not be, when we have finally heard Benedict Cumberbatch’s Smaug voice?!!!

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Sir Ian McKellen had announced last night that he, together with Orlando Bloom, shall announce a new trailer this morning. Well, I guess for some people, it was still AM, but here is was full afternoon when the fandoms and the internet came to life.

Audiomachine is blazing in the background, in a brilliant mix of “Land of Shadows” and “Destiny Awaits”. Taking us back through the breath-taking landscapes of New Zee… I mean, Middle-Earth, this short masterpiece was more centered on plot than on atmosphere. Though there was plenty of that as well. It is very different from the first Hobbit film however. I don’t know how obvious it is, but this trailer feels just so much more mature. Whether it is the appearance of Legolas and the much-needed romance with Tauriel (in which Lord of the Rings Appendix did she appear?) or Thorin’s ever more paranoid voice, his thirst for gold replacing that of vengeance, Bilbo’s fear, Thranduil’s words or just the pure majestic ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRR breaking our sound systems right at the end of it, we can see that the plot only now begins to reveal its complexities and beauty.

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Seeing the visual mastery that never ceases to surprise me, the nostalgia of the Lord of the Rings era is unmistakable. The new shots of Erebor and the beauty that is Mirkwood, dark and twisted as it is, call back to Helm’s Deep and Fangorn, while the whole Tauriel plot seems to lead to more than just a romantic involvement. It is obvious that she is a brilliant fighter, but to think that she is able to influence Legolas into choosing a side opposite to that of his father only makes her more (if you will allow the word) badass.

To quote the OneRing.net, it is clear how much Bilbo has grown in the dwarves’ eyes. Balin no longer looks at him as a burglar, but as a person, a companion worth dying for. He will definitely come into his own rights, now that he shall face the mighty Smaug, but I would like to take a moment to discuss Thorin. In the first Hobbit film, we see him as the heroic figure, as the Aragorn with short legs and better hair. Now, that he is only inches away from his homeland, something very dangerous happens to him. His vengeance is close at hand, his gold is back, his family is still dead. The readers will know what it is. I won’t spoil much, only that Smaug may not be the only villain by the end of this film.

1381523_331206910358659_1242832452_nAnd no, I’m not talking about Sauron. Oh yes, the one-eyed criminal has returned. Gandalf seems to foresee the events of Lord of the Rings when he says “We have been blinded. And in our blindness, the enemy has returned.” Palantiri, anyone? The Ring plot returns, the orcs return in their more mature form, the imminent downfall of life returns, in the idea of being expanded in the LotR trilogy. Humans finally return and it promises to be an epic fight (readers, hold your fangirling) for supremacy, especially since the skin-changer Beor and the Will-Turner look-alike Bard the Bowman were brilliant characters in the books.

But that is just momentary evil. At the very end, the darkness we have been begging for since June has decided to blast our ears and hearts out with the bass line. For the first time until December, Smaug has found his voice in Benedict’s interpretation, a breath-taking performance, reminiscent of Islington’s quiet menace. Here, it just explodes into fire and rage, a greedy creature of the dark that we love more than the heroes.

Since my Sherlock ringtones were extremely successful, here you have some eargasms with Smaug’s full speech:

If you just want bits and pieces of it for ringtones (as they have already become on my phone), here you have them all, including the full trailer if you want to listen to the brilliant score.

1379398_331206987025318_424788759_nI had fangirling attacks while watching the trailer. My parents wondered whether some guy had asked me out or something, but only winning a competition would have felt as exhilarating. That’s why fandoms are the fuel of teenage life. It’s the excitement, the expectation. You hold your breath with 20 million people, you cry with them, you laugh with them. It’s this huge collective that awaits the same thing and reacts in so many different ways.

Poor unimaginative people. They must lead such boring lives, away from our magic.

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Knowing vs Guessing

The Guardian is a brilliant newspaper. I deeply respect their writers, for giving me some of the most thought-provoking articles online. Being as big as they are, it was only natural that they would have representatives at the Toronto International Film Festival, which I have already covered, following Benedict’s movie premiere of The Fifth Estate.

While their article is professional and balanced, as all their work is, I am currently boiling due to the sheer idiocy streaming in the comments. For those who have read my work, you have noticed that I keep the fangirl in me at bay, because, like Lynnette Porter, I know that you need to see all sides of everything before sharing an opinion. She started a debate by presenting all the evidence and letting the fans and everyone else decide for themselves on what they believed.

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The Guardian did the same, but the comments section was flooded not by remarks or facts, but by people mocking the director’s work, Ben’s comments on Assange’s personality and even (that got me mad) his acting abilities. They mocked the Sherlock fans, they compared us to a certain type of fangirls that have a B-name and I find that to be quite offensive, considering the base material. We are psychotic, but that’s the joy of feeling. That’s the joy of being human and being young and being able to be happy about something with so many other people. We love such a smart series and we become, admit it or not, more and more like our best characters. I’m sorry if you have found our happiness annoying, but I’m sorry for your life being so dull.

You talk of a movie you never saw, of a man you never met, of a type of bravery you couldn’t even dream to have.

Another philosopher found himself sharing this piece of wisdom on Ben’s Khan. “Verging on not good in Star Trek”. Human, you name Meryl Streep a legend and therefore admire a good performance, but your defense against a fan’s reply only makes you sound like a snob. What do you think makes a good villain, Hugo Weaving with red paint on his face? Star Trek may not be a very good movie, but if there is one thing to save it, it’s Benedict’s performance. The phrase “I’ll see you try and do better” makes no sense, but I ask you again: what makes a villain perfect, since you are so much against a man who has portrayed a certain type of evil so ingeniously?

Ben did talk of Assange’s self-sacrifice and I do not believe that a guy sitting on his couch is in a position to just criticize the words said by a man that has studied Julian for months through every means possible. When you will have done the same, when you will have backed up your words with something little and interesting called “proof”, I shall take you into consideration.

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Those people talked of Assange and of his work for the world as if they had been brothers and had shared every feeling and every piece of knowledge since the beginning of time. They trivialized it, they made it look as if publishing 90,000 military documents is something that they would have done before their first cup of coffee. Who are we to curse a man for revealing the deepest secrets of the United States, when so few of us would have even dared to stand against NSA’s surveillance? You talk of Snowden for running away to stay alive and call him names when that man sacrificed all basic comforts, the first of which is safety, for your sake.

What is your goal?

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Yes, I am defending this whole business. I like being the lawyer when the prosecutors hid underneath the veil of the internet. You call men cowards and all you do is leave dark words by fake names. You are incognito and no man shall ever try to find you. Why should we? But if you are as smart as you think you are, if you are as smart as reading The Guardian or the Times implies you may be, do the world a favor and think before you write, read before you curse and just shut the hell up if you can’t do any of those things.

Thank you and get off the internet.

Toronto via Internet

I love film festivals, I would love to got to one. I couldn’t even go to the one 6 hours drive from me, but I would have flown for a day just to get to Canada.

TIFF has opened up last night, with the man of the moment, our Benedict Cumberbatch, and the film we are all craving to see, “The Fifth Estate”.

1235225_172906109559518_1986216670_nThe evening was starting nicely enough, celebrities and film directors and people of all ranges of importance in the biggest films that are to be released came and entered.

And then, Whoooosh! A wave of screaming, fangirling and screaming again ran through the crowd and made the voices of the photographers resemble the ones of birds in a thunderstorm.

Benedict made his way down the Red Carpet accompanied by his agent, I presume, and the chanting of his fans, all bent over the parapet, trying to convince him to give them an autograph. Pretty normal reaction, I would say. And since later on, the brilliant man actually stopped and signed books and posters and God knows what else and took pictures with his Cumberladies, I say I would have paid all it took just to be there. There was a girl with a huge banner behind here saying “I love BeN movies!” and the twitter account. How much did that girl pay to get that in?

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People around the world managed to see the Red Carpet walk live, thanks to various streaming websites. My time-zone (and family) forbade me however. 2AM here was more than I could manage, but thankfully, all my friends, Facebook admins, have kindly started TIFF spams early in the morning, so I was able to not miss a thing.

Ben was also accompanied by his fellow cast members, Daniel Bruhl, the brilliant German actor, and Carice van Houten, who is by this hour celebrating her birthday. Happy name day, Mellisandre!

Also joining on the Red Carpet was actress Glenn Close (I can’t believe that woman doesn’t have one Oscar already), Tom Berenger, Anton Yelchin (Chekov! Nice to see you here!), Mia Wasikowka and Tom Hiddleston. Yep, apparently the dashing man decided to meet Ben in Toronto as well.

1175663_160048947533633_712936693_nAlso movie director and Academy Award-winner Bill Condon also made an appearance in Toronto, alongside screenwriter Josh Singer. I’m sure Bill is used to the flashing and the extravaganza of film festivals, but I just can’t imagine how fantastic it must feel for him, for Ben, for everyone, to be the center of attention and to be a part of the movie that opens one of the biggest festivals in the world.

As I’m writing, a Fifth Estate featurette came out. I won’t dissect it again, I already did a full review. The Telegraph had people at the festival, watching the film and, while reviews on its integrity and accuracy may be mixed, Benedict performance has already received universal acclaim. From his accent to his manners, from his posture to his words, everything about Ben becomes Assange.

1278192_160030850868776_1300580063_nI had the weirdest moment watching Julian giving his real speech, looking and moving the exact same way Ben did in the trailer. I couldn’t believe how well it had been performed. And the beauty is Benedict made it look effortless. It didn’t look rehearsed, it didn’t look copied. It was just him.. Him and his power.

He just got a BAFTA, the Oscar is just one government approval away.