The highly anticipated, first installment of the feature film trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" hits theaters in the U.S. midnight Friday.
If you plan on waiting in lines or getting your seat well ahead of time, we've pulled together a few talking points about "The Hobbit" that you can whip out to keep those around you entertained until the show starts:
- 48-frames per second: We've reported on the high frame rate filmography used in "An Unexpected Journey" before, but it might help going into the flick keeping this new format in mind. Some critics have said the image is so crisp that some of the artifice of moviemaking becomes apparent. Others say it's so real, it's almost like watching live theater.
- Fantasy based on faith: TheBlaze has also recently reported about the Christian themes in Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" series. You might only notice though if you go into the film looking for it. Check out Billy Hallowell's full post about the connection between Christianity and Tolkien here.
TheBlaze reported on Devin Brown's new analysis of Tolkien's "The Hobbit" from a Christian perspective. (Image: Amazon)
- Gollum physics: You're probably wondering how Gollum, a creepy, brooding character with a voice that sounds as if he's choking on his own throat, and physics go together. But as Wired's Rhett Allain has showed us in his recent posts, it takes some interesting adaptations for the once human Smeagol to turn into the creature Gollum. For example, how did he adapt to see in the pitch black Misty Mountains where he and Bilbo have their first encounter? There are various adaptations (like the telescopic eyes of owls) that Allain discusses, but as for Tolkien's vision, Allain wrote based on textual evidence that Gollum's eyes might have given off some light themselves. If this isn't the case, Allain wrote that eyes with infrared capabilities or maybe even neutrino interactions in the lake where Gollum lives could have helped him see. Allain has also come up with a fascinating calculation to show, based on several assumptions, Gollum would need to 4.7 fish per day to sustain himself, if that was his only source of food.
Gollum (Photo: AP/Warner Bros.)
- Real-life hobbits?: Although some would say -- and most hobbits themselves would agree -- you won't find their kind outside of Middle Earth, a recent reconstruction of a Homo species shows a hobbit-like creature that might have lived 17,000 years ago. According to Scientific American, Homo floresiensis was about a meter in height and had a brain a third the size of modern humans.
Reconstruction of Homo floresiensis, dubbed the hobbit species. (Image: Susan Hayes via Scientific American)
- Real-life hobbit pub?: Although the debate over about a "hobbit" species has been going on since 2004, a real-life pub where such hobbits like those in Tolkien's adventure novels might have clinked glasses does exist in present day. According to Noosa News, the Green Dragon opened this week in "Hobbiton," a theme park area in New Zealand that is expected to bring in 100,000 guests in the next year. Second breakfast anyone?
Prime Minister John Key and some members of The Hobbit case cheers in the new pub. (Photo: Seanna Cronin/Noosa News)
- Bag End real estate value: If Bilbo Baggins was to put Bag End up for sale in today's real estate market, how much could it fetch? The folks at Movoto put together an infographic that shows, based on the Shire home's various amenities (including a variety of pantries and cellars), it would cost more than $1.3 million.
If you haven't seen the trailer yet -- maybe you've been living in Mordor -- check it out now:
- A Living Room Transformed Into a Balloon Hobbit House? There's a Time-Lapse Vid for That
- 'Only Hobbit Hole Company in the World': Husband-Wife Team Make Tolkien Homesteads
- Maybe You'd Watch Airplane Safety Presentations If They Were Hobbit-Themed Like This One
The Associated Press contributed to this report.