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Arguably new Hobbit trailer hits the ‘net

Hey guys! Come check this out! A brand new trailer for Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy tome The Hobbit appeared over the weekend! We’ve got it embedded below, but first we should probably cover the necessary disclaimer.

When we say “brand new trailer,” what we actually mean is “this trailer, which was hyped as new by other people long before we lazily deconstructed that phrase, contains about three seconds of never-before-seen footage from The Hobbit, while the rest of it has already appeared in the trailer for The Hobbit that was attached to theatrical screenings of Pixar’s Brave.” Yeah, we realize that’s something of a disappointment for all you Tolkien fans, but rest assured that we felt just as let down as you do now when we first came across this footage.

That said, there’s probably at least a few of you who never saw that last Hobbit trailer, so for that minority this should be something of a wonderful, geek-scented treat. Plus, let’s be honest, you hardcore Tolkien nerds (read: the sort who have that previous trailer seared into their memory) would watch this thing anyway, if only to comment on how little of the footage is novel. So let’s just watch the thing and whine about it afterwards, k?

With the disclaimer out of the way, what did you all think of the clip? We’re still very pleased with Peter Jackson’s vision of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, and while it’s impossible to replicate the minute details each individual reader imagined while poring through The Hobbit at age 12, Jackson’s vision is a pretty solid recreation of what we personally thought Bilbo, Gandalf and pals would look like. Granted, that has a lot to do with the phenomenal cast assembled for The Hobbit. While we all simply assumed that Ian McKellen would be great in his reprised role of the old wizard — we challenge you to find anything in which McKellen is less than awesome — we’re especially impressed by Martin Freeman.

You’re a cultured lot, so we’ll assume you know him best as Dr. Watson on BBC’s phenomenal Sherlock, though he also made an impression on American audiences when he played Arthur Dent in the 2005 film adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Point being: Freeman has a special knack for playing relatively unassuming, polite gentlemen who are unwittingly thrust into massive adventures. The consternation he exhibits at repeatedly being called to save London or Earth or some magical ring is always pitch-perfect and moreso than any modern actor we can recall, Freeman excels at giving viewers a character through whom they can experience the (quite often literally) magical worlds he’s cast in.

Speaking of Sherlock, our lone disappointment with the trailer is its notable lack of Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes, we realize that as the voice of Smaug his character won’t be appearing until the second film of the Hobbit trilogy, but that’s no reason to leave the man out of the trailer altogether. At the risk of sounding fanboyish, Cumberbatch is one of those actors who is entertaining by his very presence. The man could be leaning against a rock, smoking a cigarette and playing Cut The Rope and he’d still be our favorite part of this clip. Plus, his name is really, really fun to say. “Benedict Cumberbatch.” See? It’s like shorthand for the former glory of the British Empire. We’re convinced that if we said his name into a mirror three times the Queen Mum herself would appear with a cuppa tea and a plate of scones.