Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Hobbits and Middle-earthers - and Peter Jackson and Gollum - fasten their seat belts

New in-flight safety video for Air New Zealand features a planeload of furry-footed Hobbits and other Middle-earthlings.

Hobbits and Middle-earthers - and Peter Jackson and Gollum - fasten their seat belts

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey doesn't open until December 14, but if you want a close-up sneak-peek at some of its cast members -- and others sporting the Middle-earth makeup effects that turn lowly human actors into hobbits, wizards, maidens and warriors, Air New Zealand's new in-flight video, "An Unexpected Briefing," is a must-see.

The video is a shamelessly merry cross-promotion between the Kiwi airline, and The Hobbit movie, which, of course, was shot in New Zealand -- our planet's closest approximation to J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginary land, Middle-earth. Scan the aisles of the Boeing 777 for cameos by Dean O’Corman (the actor who plays Fili in The Hobbit), Mike and Royd Tolkien (great-grandsons of The Lord of the Rings author), Larry Curtis and Cliff Broadway from The One Ring (the world's largest Tolkien fan site), Hobbit and LOTR auteur Jackson himself, and that slinking, slimy ring-thief, Gollum.

The new "Air Middle-earth" in-flight safety vid and Air New Zealand/Hobbit campaign is accompanied by a contest to win a trip to New Zealand. Details of that here. Fasten your seat belt, quick smart!

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays, and his blog, On Movies Online, can be found here. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Steven Rea's previous blog posts can be found here. Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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