Happy Birthday to one of my fave directors – Peter Jackson!

I know today’s Halloween but I really don’t care for this pagan holiday and horror flicks aren’t my forte, so I’d rather wish one of my fave directors, Peter Jackson, a happy 50th birthday instead.

It’s an interesting coincidence that the actress I featured yesterday made her debut in his film, Heavenly Creatures. I haven’t seen that one but it’s Jackson’s later films that really left a lasting impression for me.

I’ve updated my sidebar with Peter Jackson’s trivia today, who’s born as an only child in a small coastal town near Wellington, New Zealand. Apparently his love for film-making started out when he was only eight years old when a friend of his parents bought him a super 8mm movie camera. It reminds me of the Spielberg film Super 8 (perhaps Peter was the inspiration for the chubby kid Charles? :D)

I love a lot of Peter Jackson’s films, and I’m also thankful for his technological contribution to the film industry. His company Weta Digital is behind the technology that has created the new generation 3D special effects used in groundbreaking movies like his own Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as Avatar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. So here are five movies I’m thankful for having Peter Jackson’s involvement. There’s a reason why he’s one of my 15 favorite film directors ever!

The Lord of the Rings

I was gonna list one of the best scenes, but really, that’s impossible. Besides, I’ve kind of done it in Viggo’s post not too long ago. So instead, I thought it might be fun to post this one of PJ doing a cameo in one of the LOTR movies, dressed like someone out of Battlefield Earth? I didn’t notice him in the battle scenes, well there’s always a reason to re-watch those LOTR movies!

King Kong

It’s a bummer that this film wasn’t as commercially-successful as they had hoped. I saw this on the big screen and was blown away by it. It’s technically-impressive — the SFX, the art deco look & feel, and of course, with his muse Andy Serkis embodying the giant ape with even bigger heart, we’ve got quite a monstrous epic of a film. Anyone who did not at least get a lump on their throat watching this ending really need to check their pulse!

District 9

Ok so PJ didn’t direct this one but he was one of the executive producers. In fact, if it weren’t for Jackson giving newbie director Neill Blomkamp $30 mil to make the movie he wanted, this movie might not have seen the light of day. I saw this on the big screen and was utterly blown away by it. It’s a gritty sci-fi that stayed with me long afterwards (read my full review). I was impressed by Sharlto Copley’s performance and I look forward to him teaming up w/ Blomkamp again for Elysium. This is by far one of the most heart-wrenching scenes from the film:

The Adventures of Tintin

As a big fan of the comics, I’m thrilled to see two directing legends are adapting this to the big screen! Yes I have high expectations for this one, but I do hope Spielberg and PJ won’t disappoint! So far the film has been quite successful overseas, earning about $55 mil in its first week. I wish it’d open sooner here, you’d think sometime around Thanksgiving would be perfect as a family-friendly feature. In any case, though I’m not typically a big fan of mo-cap technology, what I’ve seen so far gives me hope that there won’t be any ‘dead eyes’ syndrome in this one.

And last but not least … to the most-anticipated movie of 2012:

The Hobbit

Really, the worst thing about this LOTR prequel is the long wait! But I reckon it’ll be worth every second as PJ will take us back to the journey to Middle Earth. Forget The Avengers, I’d say The Hobbit won best ensemble cast in my book, what with the mix of LOTR alums: Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis, Elijah Woods, etc. and new cast members that include some of my favorites: Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, and James Nesbitt. Oh man, I told my friend Claire that if I had all the money in the world, I might just move there for the entire time they’re filming The Hobbit. I’ll even work for free! 😀 These video journals definitely get me salivating even more!

So happy birthday Peter Jackson! What’s your fave film(s) from this directing genius?

34 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to one of my fave directors – Peter Jackson!

  1. Hmmm… I guess I’d have to say Heavenly Creatures. There’s really not another film out there like it. Also Forgotten Silver (New Zealand TV). For those who haven’t seen it I highly recommend NOT reading up on it until after you’ve seen it. Trust me. 😉 The lawnmower death scene in last twenty minutes of Dead Alive (aka Braindead) was delightfully over the top.


    1. Y’know, I’ve read quite a bit on Heavenly Creatures. I don’t think it’s for me at all. I had a friend in Jr High who’s obsessed like Pauline, it’ll just bring back too much bad memories. Plus what happened to her mom is just despicable.

  2. Happy Birthday Pete!!

    Love a lot of his movies too. Wasn’t a big fan of King Kong though. It was fine to see once on the big screen, but I regretted buying it and traded it in. ha! It just wasn’t the same off the big screen.

    1. Yeah well, of course it doesn’t compare to the big screen version, but I thought it was still good on BD. In fact I might try to watch it again pretty soon.

  3. I just recently saw Heavenly Creatures, and it is indeed awesome. Lord of the RIngs is one of the few trilogies to maintain its quality throughout all 3 movies, I also remember liking King Kong.

    And did you pass out candy to any Trick or Treaters at least?

  4. Great B-Day tribute to Mr. Jackson. I’m with you on King Kong. I adored the film!

    I was also extremely excited for Tin-Tin, but the previews just don’t do it for me. I hope I’m pleasantly surprised when it decides to premiere in the States.

    1. Yay, another fan for King Kong! I’m anxiously anticipating Tin-Tin… I so adore the comics but it remains to be seen if I’ll love the big screen treatment. The thing is w/ Tintin, I read it in my native language so it’ll be a bit strange to hear him speaking English, ahah.

  5. It’s hard not to like Peter Jackson. I’ve liked his big budget stuff, I’ve liked his small budget stuff, I’ve liked everything he’s done.

    For any of you who do like PJ and enjoy horror, all of his earliest films are a total blast- Dead Alive, Bad Taste, and Meet the Feebles are all so much fun.

    1. He’s such an affable fella, too. He was on the Tintin panel at Comic-con and he was so cute when he tried to direct Spielberg to take a photo with this kid wearing a Spielberg t-shirt. I’m not a horror fan so I’m glad his upcoming movies are more of a fantasy genre.

  6. Ted S.

    Wow can’t believe he’s 50 years old! He’s been in the industry for a long but not until The Lord of The Rings films that he became a household name just like Cameron and Spielberg. I do like a lot of his earlier work, I agree with Rich you have to check out The Frighteners, it’s a fun “horror” comedy. Jackson wasn’t too happy that the Universal released the film in the summer of 1996 instead of Halloween that year. The film failed miserably at the box office and it’s the reason he didn’t get to make King Kong back in the late 90s.

    Speaking of King Kong, I’m not a big fan of the film myself. I appreciate the special effects and film looked great, but I wish Jackson had cut out a lot of useless storyline from the film. It was just too darn long, the T-Rex vs. King Kong fight just went on and on and on. I wanted to yell to the screen, enough already!

    1. I wasn’t huge on King Kong, but I will say this… If I had been an 8 year old boy when I saw that movie, I would’ve thought it was the best movie ever made. 15 minutes or whatever of a giant gorilla fighting a dinosaur? What little boy wouldn’t think that’s a lot of fun?

    2. Ha..ha.. you’re right Ted, the T-Rex vs. King Kong scene isn’t my favorite. To me, the best parts are between Ann and Kong. The flesh-eating insects are gross as well.

  7. great tribute Ruth!! I like him too…lord of the rings and district9 will forever be in my all time fav movies.

    tho I dont like kingkong. I hope tintin gets here soon

  8. I will have to agree that Tintin in english is bizarre as all the cartoons are in french. I grew up with Tintin and Asterix and Beano so I found it interesting that Jackson had taken on Hobbit after Guillermos opted out. Victim of a credit card scam as well as health issues he has had a not so great year. But I will see Hobbit and Tintin as I did see King Kong and despite the weirdness and gore I did like it.

    1. Ahah, well glad I’m not the only one. I actually never read Asterix growing up, there was a graphic novel called Danny & Katia that I LOVE, as well as Dutch comic series NINA, I’d love to see both of them adapted to the big screen.

  9. There was something in King Kong that could have a really good movie had it been condensed down to 2 hours or so. As is, it’s just a marathon to get through it. I’m ambivalent about Peter Jackson, he seems to be a lot better adapting literary material than starting from scratch. Hopefully, The Hobbit will live up to LOTR! 🙂

  10. Thank you for such a lovely birthday tribute for Peter Jackson.
    I also admire him as a director, especially for LOTR! Certainly difficult material to adapt to the screen, and also difficult to please so many audiences from Tolkien experts to fantasy fans!

    But I have to admit that he has a special place in my heart as well, now more than ever, and excellent taste and judgement in the actors he casts for his films 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading Fabby. LOTR were amazing, and you’re absolutely right I LOVE the actors he cast in his films. Whoever work as the casting director for his films have the best job in the whole world!!

  11. I think a part of me dies every time you say you haven’t watched HEAVENLY CREATURES, Flixy 🙂 It is one of my ten most favourite films ever, and my fav childhood film, even though it’s not for the kids.
    I didn’t like any of his other films, beside that one and LORD OF THE RINGS, so I expect a lot from THE HOBBIT, especially since TINTIN seems like a huge disappointment too. But giving us LOTR is one of the biggest cinematic presents in history. If not THE biggest one.
    And he gave us Karl Urban …. priceless 🙂

  12. Oh no, don’t die on that account, Dezzy 🙂 As I said before, there was a friend back in school who’s obsessive like Pauline so it’ll bring back too much bad memories for me. You’re right though, even if he just did LOTR and retire, he still made a huge contribution to the film industry. And Karl Urban, yes absolutely… and now he’s also hired our other fave Lee Pace. Thank you Mr. Jackson!

  13. Yippee, I’ve finally got time to comment – sorry, it’s been one of those weeks.

    Thanks for the shout out! Peter Jackson is a very creative, talented man and I am very glad that he is at the helm of The Hobbit films. For me, The Lord of the Rings trilogy was as close to perfect as you can hope to get. PJ, along with his production and cast, did a wonderful job. It was The Lord of the Rings that really got me into cinema 😀

    Apart from District 9 and King Kong – I totally got a lump in my throat! – I haven’t seen many of PJ’s films. I’ve added a few to my rental list, and hopefully I’ll see Heavenly Creatures soon.

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