The adventure begins… The first Hobbit trailer

I’ve been looking forward to this movie for years. And years. And probably some more years on top of that. I read JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit as a child, and it’s remained one of my favourite novels since.

I was also, at some point in my teens, obsessed with Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Obsessed. I’ve seen the movies so often that I can definitely recite most of The Fellowship of the Ring as it plays. And probably a large chunk of The Return of the King too.

Anyway, you don’t care about my slightly unhealthy relationship with The Lord of the Rings. You’re here to see the trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I got chills, then squealed.

Watch here.

Firstly, Martin Freeman completely exceeded my expectations. Sir Ian McKellen (who returns as Gandalf) was right about one thing – he is Bilbo. (In my mind, at least.)

I do love the hark back to The Lord of the Rings – those people whose entire experience of Tolkien is centered in Jackson’s film will find this familiar and comforting, and the rabid fans of the books will be pretty much rabid no matter what. The inclusion of Howard Shore’s main Lord of the Rings Theme gives it a wonderful, nostalgic feel.

And while we don’t get to see as much of the dwarves as I would have liked, I suppose we’ve got a full year of promotional material to go to get to know them.

Bring on part one of The Hobbit. 

Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”

The music world has been talking about this for months – from the moment she first belted out a few lyrics at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards to her “New Year’s announcement on Twitter”… Let’s be honest, nobody knows how to hype up her fanbase like Lady Gaga.

And now it’s finally here – the first single off her highly, highly anticipated album of the same name. It’s Born This Way.

Listen to it below, then I’ll have my ten cents.

The danger of over-hyping a song is obvious. When it drops, it’s going to be scrutinised to the absolute last. And it’s happened here with Gaga. Born This Way will undoubtedly be one of the big club anthems of 2011 – but real-life music critics (a) Not the drunken crowd at a bar at 3am or b) myself) are divided.

On first listen, it seemed a little average to me – well, average for Gaga but miles and miles above the over-produced Britney single Hold It Against Me – but on a second listen, the song clicked. Yes, it could come across as a little preachy but my god, is she sincere about what she’s singing. She truly writes from the heart, and even though they may get lost in the thumping dance beats, the lyrics are hands-down the strong point of the single.

And of course, the inevitable Madonna comparisons. It draws inspiration from the spoken-word segments of Vogue, sounds very much like Express Yourself and even has a bit of a Like a Prayer mixed in at times. And in an artist who is constantly trying to outdo the crowd and prove she’s wildly original, it seems to be a bit of a slip. Gaga and her team definitely knew what they were doing – Gaga repeatedly refers to Madonna as one of her icons, and she’s no idiot – she would have seen the similarities. So no, I don’t think it’s a “rip off”, no matter how much the Twitter-sphere got their panties in a bunch. It’s a tribute in the purest form, and entrenches Gaga as the Madonna of this generation.

And now I’m dying to see the actual video – because I reckon we’re going to be blown out of the water.