Monday at the Movies – An Unexpected Journey

My memory of primary school isn’t great (for those not in Australia, Primary school is grades 3-6, so about ages 8-12). I can remember the day my Yr 3 teacher threw a chair out the window when a student upset her. I can rememeber the day my Yr 5 teacher slapped a student across the face. I can remember fainting in the middle of an assembly in Yr 6 and landing face-first on the ground. That is, mostly I remember the bad stuff! But, thankfully, I also remember a few of the highlights.

Amazingly, or perhaps not so amazingly, pretty much all of my primary school highlights happened in the one year. Yr 4. Perhaps it is also not so suprising to learn that my teacher that year was the best one I ever had. Mr Murray! He was a great teacher for alot of reasons (I won’t go through them all now) but the main reason I remember him as a teacher was that he fostered my love of books. He did something that no other teacher I have ever seen did – he sat the whole class down on the floor, every single day, and read to us (complete with funny voices and all). He probably only read for half an hour a day, but over the course of the year that adds up to alot of books.

It was during these story times that I discovered the amazing realm of the story – not the readers that you had to read for school, but proper stories that had amazing characters and complicated plots. Mr Murray introduced me to what would become some of my favourite authors – Roald Dahl and Judy Blume. But there was one story in particular that ignited my love of the written word. It was a book about a hobbit going on an adventure.

I can still remember hanging out each and everyday at school until ‘Storytime’ finally arrived and we could all sit down and find out whether Bilbo Baggins was ever going to make it all the way to the Lonely Mountain. And it is a testament to the story that I love it just as much at 33 as I did at 9.

So I am sure you can imagine that I could hardly contain my excitement a few months ago when I learned that principle photography had finally started on what will be two of the most anticipated movies of the decade. The Hobbit is being shot as two films. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. The first will be released Dec 2012 and the second Dec 2013 (13/14 Dec in North America; in Australia it will most likely be Boxing Day, following in the footsteps of its predecessors LOTR).

As a fan I am totally chuffed that Peter Jackson is the one in the director’s chair. I have no doubt that Guillermo del Toro would have done a fantastic job, but simply for the sake of continuity between the Hobbit and LOTR, in my humble opinion Peter needed to be the one calling the shots.

But that is enough with the chatter – here are some pics to sink your teeth into…


Aidan Turner as Kíli, Dean O'Gorman as Fíli (sourced from

Stephen Hunter as Bombur, James Nesbitt as Bofur, William Kircher as Bifur (sourced from

John Callen as Óin, Peter Hambleton as Glóin (sourced from

Jed Brophy as Nori, Adam Brown as Ori, Mark Hadlow as Dori (sourced from

Ken Stott as Balin, Graham McTavish as Dwalin (sourced from

For all you real nerds out there I recommend ‘liking’ the Peter Jackson page on Facebook, he is regularly updating it with new photos, and there are already three ‘production videos’ posted on there that you can view. Awesome stuff.

What about you. Do you remember any favourite teachers or favourite books from school? Was there one in particular that sparked your interest? Are you looking forward to the Hobbit films? Are you a fan like me?

Jody Moller