'Doctor Who' fans have been left salivating at the possibility of Peter Jackson directing an episode, thanks to a video featuring The Timelord visiting the director’s home.
If Peter Jackson hasn’t signed up to direct an episode of ‘Doctor Who’ then he’s just trolled the entire fanbase of the BBC sci-fi series. In a video posted to the director’s Facebook page on Monday, Jackson appears to tease the idea he could helm a ‘Doctor Who’ episode, when he receives a visit from the Doctor himself.
Could be Peter Jackson soon direct an episode of ‘Doctor Who’?
In the clip titled, ‘Home Invasion’, Jackson is seen sitting at a table with his daughter Katie surrounded by his Oscars. “Hey dad, Steven Moffat’s trying to email you,” Katie says. “He’s always emailing me,” Jackson responds.
Continue reading: Could Peter Jackson Be About To Direct An Episode Of 'Doctor Who'?
Peter Jackson's epic bow looks likely to take $1 billion at the box-office.
It was the result we all expected: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is No.1 at the Christmas box-office, but Peter Jackson's finale didn't have it all its own way on its second weekend, with Angelina Jolie's war drama Unbroken and, notably, Disney's Into the Woods both taking in excess of $40 million.
Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies looks set to take $1 billion worldwide after a strong showing at the U.S box office
Jackson's final trip to Middle Earth has grossed $170 million in the US and is poised to take $600 million worldwide. That means it will inevitably take over $1 billion.
Continue reading: 'The Hobbit' Just Edges Out 'Into The Woods' At U.S Box Office
Benedict Cumberbatch, who voices Smaug, insists second Tolkien trilogy conclusion is 'a celebration'.
Let's not deny it - since 'The Lord of the Rings' came out, it has been almost every film-goer's dream to be a part of Middle Earth. Furthermore, it must have been incredibly enticing for actors across the world to turn up and audition for 'The Hobbit' - a prequel trilogy set in the same universe, with the same director and some returning members of the cast. For actors like Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays both Smaug the dragon and The Necromancer, it must have been a dream come true.
Benedict Cumberbatch spoke about The Hobbit on the red carpet
"It's a privilege to be in these films," he explained at the premiere for the final part of Peter Jackson's epic saga, "let alone to be at the end of this entire journey; it's like another level really." But faced with the very obvious fact that this is the end of a series that reinvented the course of the cinematic landscape, Cumberbatch has a happier outlook, saying: "It's a celebration. It's a great send-off, really."
Continue reading: Benedict Cumberbatch Is Honoured To Be A Part Of 'The Hobbit' Send-Off
The final Middle Earth trailer has rolled out online - and it's a good one.
A new trailer for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies has rolled out online at the end of the big week of hype for cinema. Christopher Nolan's Interstellar is doing huge business across the globe, while Disney announced the official title for Star Wars Episode VII, The Force Awakens, whilst confirming that Toy Story 4 is happening in 2017.
Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug is causing havov in 'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies'
So spare a thought for Lord of the Rings fans who are still busy sinking their teeth into a new trailer for the final instalment in the Hobbit adventure. We're now just six weeks from the global release on December 17, 2014 and the initial trailer released in July was heralded as one of the best teasers of the year. As Forbes put it, it evoked the "gloom and doom of the Return of the King teaser, eleven years ago."
Benedict Cumberbatch wore a motion-capture suit for his role as Smaug in 'The Hobbit'.
The secrets to how Benedict Cumberbatch was transformed into the fearsome dragon Smaug in The Hobbit have been revealed in behind-the-scenes footage included on the Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition Blu-Ray, set for release on November 3. In the new clips, the British actor is seen donning a motion-capture suit, writhing around on the floor and speaking to Bilbo.
Benedict Cumberbatch starred alongside Martin Freeman (sort of) in The Desolation of Smaug
"We wanted someone who would something original, unexpected," director Peter Jackson says in the clip, "Something that was a surprise to us."
The 2012-2014 series is the most expensive franchise in movie history, but also one of the most lucrative.
The Hobbit trilogy is officially the most expensive movie series ever produced. New financial details reveal that the expenditure on the three films has totalled nearly three quarters of a billion dollars.
Martin Freeman, pictured here in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), will reprise his role as Bilbo Baggins
The details, courtesy of the Associated Press, show that the Peter Jackson-directed trilogy has received among the biggest budgetary layouts in movie history. Financial documents were filed earlier this month in New Zealand, where the films are shot, which state that production costs through to March 2014 have reached 934 million New Zealand Dollars, equivalent to $745 million in US currency.
Continue reading: Production Costs Of 'The Hobbit' Trilogy Revealed
With some criticising The Hobbit for spreading over three films, what other franchises have gone on for a long time?
The Hobbit trilogy has been criticised by some viewers for having too little content spread too thinly over the course of too many films. Originally, the idea was to split the 1937 J. R. R. Tolkien story over two films; however, in 2012, director Peter Jackson confirmed his plans for a third film; some six years after the two-film decision had been made.
Director of The Hobbit, Peter Jackson, originally thought the franchise would only spread across two films
Was this to enhance viewers’ experience of the story or was it because three films make more money than two? Audiences will never know. They will instead have to settle with a narrative with a lot less to say than The Lord of the Rings trilogy over the same number of motion pictures; with the final chapter in the piece, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, released in the UK on 12 December.
Continue reading: Film Franchises That Go On Forever
Here's a look at some of the best film trailers to come out of Comic-Con 2014
The San Diego Comic-Con may be over but the buzz surrounding its contents is only just beginning. Showing teasers left, right and centre, the convention has set the scene for an exciting year of film.
Here are some of the best trailers from the event.
Mad Max rides into town
Continue reading: The Best Movie Trailers To Emerge From Comic-Con 2014
The cast and director reminisced and let slip a few details about "There and Back Again".
If you were not at SDCC over the weekend, fret not, because some panels, like the one with the cast of The Hobbit and Stephen Colbert (what an inspired lineup) are already hitting youtube. One hour of Hobbit and Tolkien-related goodness, moderated by the biggest Tolkien nerd there is? Yes, please, that sounds absolutely amazing. And it was.
Think you know your Tolkien? Not as well as Colbert does.
Besides the absolutely obligatory trivia contest (which Colbert won, against one of the series writers, no less), the panel also included a very brief update from Peter Jackson on The Hobbit: There and Back Again. The director, who has spent almost two decades working on Tolkien adaptations, said about the journey: “It’s a commitment I’ve really enjoyed taking.”
Once 'Tolkien to cinema' duties are complete, Jackson might get in on some Doctor directing
Peter Jackson, whose big budget adaptations of the J.R.R Tolkien novels The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit have grossed almost $5billion worldwide, might be making a brief switch to small screen to direct an episode of Doctor Who for The BBC.
Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman film scenes for Doctor Who
That is if scheduling issues can be worked out – Jackson is still 6 months away from unleashing the third and final Hobbit film, The Battle Of The Five Armies, and will be embarking on a huge press push once the final tweaks are made.
Continue reading: Peter Jackson Still In Line To Direct An Episode Of 'Doctor Who'
Scroll down for a look at the new picture
‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ won’t be out for another 6 months, which means it’s just the right time to start dripping teaser photos, trailer snippets and plot bytes to keep Tolkienites’ appetites whetted.
Ian McKellen‘s Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The latest tease comes in the form of a ‘first look’ style reveal on the film’s official Facebook page. In it, Ian McKellen‘s Gandalf and Luke Evans‘ Bard the Bowman are looking at something presumably ominous - let’s face it: they’re not laughing at Bilbo trying out Legolas’s bow, are they?
Continue reading: 'The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies' Gets A Facebook Photo Tease
Viggo Mortensen on Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson, look away now.
Viggo Mortensen, the actor best known for playing Aragorn in the Lord Of The Rings movies, says the second and third films in the franchise were "sloppy" movies and would have been straight-to-video had the first instalment not received critical acclaim. Mortensen doesn't mince his words about the trilogy in a new interview with The Telegraph, claiming that director Peter Jackson was practically "finished" before the first movie got a good reception at Cannes.
Viggo Mortensen at the premiere of 'The Two Faces of January'
"Anybody who says they knew it [Lord of the Rings] was going to be the success it was, I don't think it's really true," he said.
Perhaps the move is designed to draw attention to the third film in the franchise amidst what promises to be a busy winter for cinema-goers
Despite some early criticisms, Peter Jackson’s ‘Hobbit’ trilogy has provided some memorable moments in the ever-expanding Tolkien universe. With one film left, due to be released this December, a high profile name change has taken place, from “There and Back Again” to “The Battle of The Five Armies”. So what’s behind the change?
Evangeline Lily and Orlando Bloom will be back in the third film, which is now called "The Battle of The Five Armies"
Peter Jackson released a lengthy statement on his Facebook page, in which he attempts to explain the shift. “Our journey to make The Hobbit Trilogy has been in some ways like Bilbo’s own, with hidden paths revealing their secrets to us as we’ve gone along. “There and Back Again” felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo’s arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film,” he wrote.
The original name 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again' "felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor," according to the director, so a change was needed.
The last instalment in Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit' trilogy has had a title change.
The original name of the third film was thought to be 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again' but it will now be known as 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.'
The 52 year-old director made the announcement to fans on Thursday (April 24th) via his Facebook page.
Avril Lavigne went way down in our estimations this week whilst Marc Anthony made knees weak at the Billboard Latin Awards and Peaches Geldof was laid to rest.
People's "Most Beautiful": Lupita Nyong'o is beautiful? Tell us something we didn't know! The 12 Years a Slave star was honoured this week for her natural beauty and bang-on style with People magazine's "Most Beautiful" prize. Sure, the award isn't as special as say, her Academy Award but goes to show that 2014 is the year of the Lupita for sure with filmmakers, fashion houses and fans falling at her feet. Need inspiration? We've compiled a list of her top red carpet looks here. And what was that about a role in the new Jungle Book movie?
'The Hobbit' Name Change: It's a bold thing for a director to change the name of a movie but the third and final 'Hobbit' movie has received a make-over from 'There And Back Again' to 'The Battle of the Five Armies.' Find out Jackson's reasoning for the swap here. The grandiose new title brings visions of the predictably epic battle between the goblins and dwarves, elves, men, and the majestic giant eagles at the foot of the Lonely Mountain. Expect awesomeness: here are our three predictions for the new movie.
'The Hobbit: There And Back Again' receives a grandiose makeover.
The final Hobbit movie has received a new, grander and arguably better title: The Battle of the Five Armies, instead of There and Back Again. Director Peter Jackson shared the news today via his Facebook page, explaining why the decision to change the title was taken. "Our journey to make The Hobbit Trilogy has been in some ways like Bilbo's own, with hidden paths revealing their secrets to us as we've gone along," he said.
Peter Jackson Has Announced That The Third & Final Hobbit Film Will Now Be Called 'The Battle Of The Five Armies.'
""There and Back Again" felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo's arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced-after all, Bilbo has already arrived "there" in the "Desolation of Smaug"," Jackson explained.
Continue reading: The Hobbit Final Movie Retitled 'The Battle Of The Five Armies'
The DVD sales of 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' have got us totally psyched for the final film, 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again'. But what can we expect from the third installment of the trilogy?
Yesterday saw the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on DVD, which leaves us free to obsessively think about the final instalment of the trilogy! The Hobbit: There and Back Again is the third and last film based on JRR Tolkien’s 1937 book of the same name and will provide us with a conclusion to the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the band of dwarves. But what do we know about The Hobbit: There and Back Again, and what can we expect?
Will Bilbo play more of a backseat role in the upcoming movie?
The second film left us on a monumental cliffhanger. With Smaug finally sick of talking he makes his way towards Laketown, breathing “I am fire, I am death.” Cue credits. Thanks a lot, Peter Jackson! We’re guessing that Bard will be having none of Smaug’s home invasion, there were some hints dropped that he may be whipping out his black arrow (not a euphemism) and fighting back against the greedy guts who’s been hogging all that gold for years. Luke Evans, who plays the Bard, told MTV, “We’ve only just touched on Bard’s real storyline. It’s exciting. That’s why I’m so excited about it.” We’re pretty darn excited too!
New releases were given no chance at the box-office.
With The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Disney's Frozen and Anchorman 2 continuing to dominate the box office chart in both the US and UK, new releases over the holidays had little chance of making much of a dent.
Keanu Reeves in 47 Ronin
Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty fared slightly better than Keanu Reeves' Japanese action movie 47 Ronin. In America, Mitty landed at number 7, with Ronin in 9th place. In the UK both charted a bit higher, with Mitty at 4 and Ronin at 5. It probably didn't help that 47 Ronin had far fewer press screenings so couldn't generate much buzz (Universal declined to let Contactmusic see the film). Check out our review of Walter Mitty here.
Continue reading: New Releases Fight For Box-Office Crumbs As 'The Hobbit' Marches On
After beating Will Ferrell this weekend, Peter Jackson's sequel looks set to reign supreme across Christmas.
It's official: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the film to see this year to top off what has hopefully been a great 2013. Peter Jackson's epic sequel took flight 10 days ago and has since swept to top box office lists worldwide.
Fans Worldwide Have Flocked To See The Second 'Hobbit' Movie.
Though Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was set for a strong start upon its release this weekend, the long-awaited sequel could still only muster second place in the rankings. Will Ferrell's comedy sequel, which sees news anchor Ron Burgundy return to make more mischief, had a strong performance with weekend takings estimated at $26.8 (£16.4) million according to box office mojo. Unfortunately for Burgundy and co., this wan't enough to overtake the storming Hobbit movie which managed $31.5 (£19.3) million.
The comedy sequel is predicted to make whopping $40.1 million this weekend, making it $61.3 million in five days
Anchorman 2: The Lengend Continues has been lighting up cinema screens since Wednesday (18 December) this week and looks set to continue its impressive run into next week and emerge as the top grossing film of the weekend. Having opened strongly mid-week, the reunited Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner have maintained their steady rise to the top.
All the gang, plus a secretary and some other guy, are back for the new Anchorman
In just five days since it was released, the film is estimated to have made $61.3 million already (via Box Office Mojo), with a massive $40.1 million coming in over the weekend period alone. Clearly people have recognised that Anchorman 2 is kind of a big deal, and they responded as expected.
Continue reading: 'Anchorman 2' Staying Classy To Top US Box Office This Weekend
In the run up to Christmas, the year's music and film winners emerge. But if there was ever a villain of the year, it would be Ian Watkins...
Beyoncé's Secret Album Breaks Records: Last week's biggest story was Beyoncé's unexpected and sudden album release, where she dropped Beyoncé with minimal farefare. Nevertheless, Queen Bey's fans were sent into a buying frenzy, pushing the singer to the top of the Billboard and iTunes charts and securing a fifth number one for the R&B megastar.
Ian Watkins Sent Down: Former Lostprophets singer and "committed" paedophile Ian Watkins has been jailed for 35 years at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday for a string of child sex offences. The judge said Watkins took "evident delight" in abusing children after the rocker pleaded guilty last month to 13 offences. Read about the full sentencing here.
Disney's 'Frozen' has been doing pretty well at the box office, could all that be about to change?
Disney's new animated musical, Frozen has had a merry time at the top of the box office, charming both small children, parents and critics alike across the Thanksgiving weekend and rustling up some genuine Oscars talk at the start of the awards season.
'Frozen' Has Charmed Its Way Up The Box Office Rankings, For How Much Longer Though?
The sweet and festive kids' movie managed to topple the former box office leviathan, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, from the top perch with $134,278,000 grossed to date, according to Box Office Mojo. The film, which tells the story of a fearless princess on an epic journey, did manage to sneak in at a prime time, capitalising on Catching Fire's waning interest and scooping up the family vote over the holiday.
'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' appears to be a more engaging movie than 'An Unexpected Journey.'
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer is finally here, and with it, the first look at Benedict Cumberbatch's big scaly fire breathing dragon. The British actor voices Smaug in the second of Peter Jackson's trilogy, which appears for a couple of seconds at the end of the new trailer - however, we still haven't heard the beast's voice and really hope he utters something in the actual movie, or it could be a miserable pay-packet for our Benedict.
Martin Freeman as the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Mainly, it's the old characters that have been called upon to hype the latest film, with the dwarves playing a prominent role in the trailer and Bilbo looking a bit bewildered as usual. However, we are treated to the return of Orlando Bloom's Legolas - who literally slides into the trilogy - and Luke Evans' Bard the Bowman. The latter had a minor role in the previous film though is believed to be crucial to The Desolation of Smaug and There And Back Again. According to Yahoo Moves, the Bowman is tasked with stopping the terrifying dragon after warning the dwarves, "If you awaken that beast you will destroy us all."
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and their company thirteen dwarves have managed to leave the Misty Mountains almost unscathed after a series of death-defying encounters with trolls, stone giants, goblins and orcs. Armed with the One Ring and an array of elven forged swords, Bilbo must now set out to help retrieve the mountain of treasure that once belonged to the dwarves under the Lonely Mountain that was usurped by the dragon Smaug. Unfortunately, it proves less then straight-forward as more threats lie in their way from giant spiders and yet more goblins to unforgiving elves and waterfalls. However, as they approach the dragon, they begin to feel that all their other deadly ventures were just the tip of the iceberg.
'The Hobbit' returns with the second part of the movie trilogy 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' which sees the return of director Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') following part one, 'An Unexpected Journey'. Writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro are also back, along with last year's star cast and many new faces. Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, this new fantasy adventure film is set to hit cinemas this winter on December 13th 2013.
It's Here. The first trailer for the second of Peter Jackson's Hobbit films, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, debuted at 6pm on Warner Brothers' YouTube channel.
Following last Christmas' first instalment that kicked off the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the new episode of adventures in Middle Earth will take Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the band of aggrieved-yet-upbeat dwarves further into their quest to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor; stolen from them by the evil dragon, Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).
Now, Bilbo has gained The One Ring after his life-changing meeting with the wretched Gollum (Andy Serkis) and the brave group have escaped the Goblin Kingdom to start the next leg of their quest to reclaim their kingdom and riches from Smaug, travelling through the Misty Mountains.
Based on the novel that preceded J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit was one book that has been turned into three films. Sure, this is probably to rake in maximum profits, but at least three 3 hour films will allow Jackson to deliver close interpretations and stretch out the franchise for another few years.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Trailer - First Look
Universal's Dracula film is 100% going ahead... we think
Luke Evans is quickly moving from rising star to, well… star. He’s been a Greek god in The Immortals, and again in Clash of The Titans. He’s been a heroic police man and one of the Three Musketeers.
Now he’s set to play the legendary character of Dracula in Universal’s upcoming reboot. Originally titled Dracula Year Zero, the project has been in doubt for some time; sometimes it’s going ahead, other times it’s been canned. But the announcement of the casting of the film’s lead should be the confirmation fans were looking for. Michael De Luca is producing the project, which quietly has been greenlighted and hopes to start shooting later this year. Gary Shore is making his directorial debut on the picture. Universal is already the home of the most prominent cinematic visions of Dracula. And in Evans, Universal are in familiar territory. The welsh star plays the villain in their Fast & Furious 6 movie. Familiar, too, are big budget films for Evans. He’s also due to play Bard the Bowman in the upcoming installments of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies.
The next Hobbit film, again helmed by Jackson and again starring Martin Freeman, is called The Desolation of Smaug and is heading for a Christmas release this year. The first film, An Unexpected Journey, received a mixed reaction from the critics, but performed well financially.
Continue reading: The Hobbit's Luke Evans To Play Dracula - What Else Can This Guy Do!?
Warner Bros have announced a December 2014 release date for the final Hobbit movie
The final instalment in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy has been pushed back so that it’s in line with the preceding two movies (and keeping with the tradition of the Lord of the Rings movies, which were all released in time for the holiday season). The final release of The Hobbit, entitled The Hobbit: There And Back Again will now be scheduled for release on December 17, 2014, to follow last December’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and this coming December’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Warner Bros, who are co-financing the movie with MGM revealed the news in a statement, with the company’s distribution president Dan Fellman explaining “We're excited to complete the trilogy the same way we started it, as a holiday treat for moviegoers everywhere,” The Guardian reports. The first of The Hobbit trilogy became Peter Jackson’s second highest grossing movie, behind Lord Of The Rings: The Return of The King. The Hobbit raked in $981million worldwide, behind a top-grossing figure of $1.119 billion worldwide.
Corruption, self-interest and rampant bigotry are so clearly portrayed in this riveting documentary that if it doesn't make you angry, maybe there's something wrong with you. As filmmaker Amy Berg explores a shocking case from Arkansas, the intractability of the American legal system is highlighted with a lucid and engaging account of the facts. And it's such a skilfully shot and edited film that it leaves us in no doubt about the truth.
At the centre is a multiple murder in May 1993, which the police claimed was the result of a satanic ritual. So they arrested three goth teens whose counter-culture lifestyle made them seem like the logical suspects. After the trial, Echols was sentenced to death, while Baldwin and Misskelley received life sentences. But observers noticed a string of anomalies in the case: the three 8-year-old victims were not acually killed in an occultic way, and there was plenty of proof that the three teen convicts were innocent. For nearly 20 years the cause of the "West Memphis Three" was taken up by lawyers and celebrities around the world. But the Arkansas court has refused to examine new DNA evidence and would only let the three now-men out of prison if they acknowledged their guilt.
Filmmaker Berg has a huge archive of material at her disposal, including footage from the original police investigation, press coverage, video of the trials and extensive interviews with everyone involved. Assembled together this gives us a remarkable big picture of the chain of events, not only letting us see that these three convicted murderers are innocent but hinting at who the real killer might be. The fact that the court still won't hear the facts is so mind-boggling that we begin to worry if the system in West Memphis is capable of justice at all. Especially when police and prosecutors so obviously twist the evidence away from the facts.
Continue reading: West Of Memphis Review
Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy are all in the top twenty of the world's most successful films. The Hobbit has also now been made into a trilogy by the same team which, despite mixed reviews, is unlikely to be anything other than a huge financial success again. It's clear, therefore, that not only is Peter Jackson a great film maker, but he's working with some of the best literary material available: J.R.R. Tolkien is a wonderful story teller. So, having exhausted four novels of Tolkien's almost in-exhaustive bibliography (material of his is still being published for the first time), what should be made next?
Our first suggestion is Letters From Father Christmas. A very far cry from Middle Earth, this suggestion is probably induced by the festive season, but a television series adaptation would be an amazing addition to Christmas viewing. Tolkien wrote letters to his children, posing as father Christmas, throughout their childhood and in 1976, when they were all grown up, a book of them was published. They are all truly beautiful, hand illustrated stories about Father Christmas and the misadventures of the Northern Polar Bear. They are a really wonderful read and it would be great to watch as well.
The other, more obvious appeal to be made is for The Silmarillion. It's one book with five inner books, that delves deeper and deeper into Earth's past, full of smaller stories and fables from the fictional universe of LOTR/The Hobbit which Tolkien created. The second book in particular 'Quenta Silmarillion' is all about Elves, Men, Jewels, and darkness and light. It's brilliant.
This first chapter of Peter Jackson's new Tolkien trilogy takes us back to the familiar settings and characters, inflating a simple journey into an epic adventure in the process. This film also looks strikingly different, shot both in 3D and 48 frames technology, double the definition of film. But it's the story we're really interested in.
The events take place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo (Freeman) is a younger Hobbit enjoying a quiet life. Then he meets the wizard Ganfolf (McKellen) and everything changes. Suddenly he's invaded by 13 riotous dwarves led by Thorin (Armitage), who has decided to lead an expedition to reclaim their homeland from the sleeping dragon Smaug. Bilbo reluctantly agrees to help them, and their journey kicks off with a series of adventures as they are chased by wolf-riding orcs, captured by greedy goblins and terrorised by gigantic mountain-monsters. They also call in for help from the elf leaders Elrond and Galadriel (Weaving and Blanchett), and try to convince the sceptical wizard Saruman (Lee) to back their quest.
The film opens with familiar characters as the older Bilbo (Holm) chats with Frodo (Wood) before we flash back to the start. And Jackson continues to link the two trilogies like this, with connective characters and events as well as developing the simple novel into a much bigger epic, complete with tenacious villains. All of this is hugely involving, with tense moments that are nerve-shredding as well as scenes of dark emotion and broad humour. The best sequence is Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, which vividly reveals the progress in performance-capture technology over the last decade. We can even more clearly see Serkis in Gollum this time, and it gives the film a real kick.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review
Philippa Boyens, the screenwriter on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the new Hobbit movie, says she would have loved to have seen Guillermo Del Toro's version of the film.
New Line and Warner Bros initially hired the Pans Labyrinth director to adapt Tolkien's first book, though after waiting almost two years for legal issues to be resolved, Del Toro left the project. Original director Peter Jackson eventually accepted the role, though Boyens can't help but think what could have been.
"I would love to have seen the films Guillermo would have made" the writer told the Los Angeles Times, "It would have been amazing. And he certainly helped us by bringing fresh eyes to the Middle Earth because, of course, the biggest issue was making sure we weren't remaking 'Lord of the Rings.' In some ways it was easier, though, starting again for Pete. We work in a different way, very fluid, very flexible."
The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as a franchise, is one of the highest grossing movie productions in history, taking 6th, 20th, and 29th in that list, so it's no wonder that the first of the prequel trilogy, by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, almost makes its audience quiver with anticipation. However, intial reviews have been distinctly lukewarm.
Variety's verdict is that "it doesn't offer nearly enough novelty to justify the three-film, nine-hour treatment," adding "The primary advance here is technical, as Jackson shoots in high-frame-rate 3D, an innovation that improves motion at the expense of visual elegance." Apparently, the movie starts incredibly slowly- which isn't really surprising given that Jackson is making a full three films out of just one novel. The reviewer remains intrigued about what could have been, saying "it would have been fascinating to see del Toro's take on The Hobbit."
Likewise, The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy was really unimpressed, summing up his review by saying "More is less in Peter Jackson's gargantuan first instalment of his second J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy." He also comments on the time it takes for the story to take off, but praises Martin Sheen for his role as the young Bilbo Baggins, saying that he "grows into the part, giving hope that the character will continue to blossom in the two forthcoming instalments."
Continue reading: Initial Hobbit Reviews Prove To Be Lukewarm
Fans of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings franchise will get an extra special treat should they head to their nearest IMAX 3-D cinemas to watch The Hobbit this festive season. Paramount Pictures has announced it will release the first nine minutes of J.J Abrams new Star Trek movie Into Darkness immediately before Jackson's new epic.
Nine minutes is a considerable sneak peek of a movie not set for release until May 2013. It also represents the first time that exclusive footage has played on IMAX 3-D screens. "Our longtime partners J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and the Bad Robot team have really hit it out of the park," said Imax Filmed Entertainment president Greg Foster in a statement on The Hollywood Reporter, "The footage is absolutely incredible." Abrams new movie welcomes back Chris Pine as a young Captain Kirk while Zachary Quinto plays Mr Spock, as he did in the 2009 original. Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch will star as the villain, though the specifics of his role have been kept safely under wraps. The British actor has remained coy on the issue, though did tell Shortlist, "I'll tell you this - it's iconic and it's exciting. I'm bored of denying that it's Khan now, because people keep saying it. It's a great part and it's really well written. I enjoyed the fights and the stunts, there's lots of that and it really is properaction movie territory."
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits cinemas in the U.S. on December 14, 2012. Star Trek Into Darkness hits on May 17, 2013.
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, who lives a quiet life in The Shire. His peace is interrupted one day when Gandalf arrives on his doorstep, persuading Bilbo to hold a party in his home. Bilbo refuses but has no choice but to agree when Gandalf pesters him.
This film is packed with involving performances, even though Jackson takes a bloated approach to what should be a quietly emotional drama. And in the end, the production design is so lush that it swamps the story's themes.
In 1973, Susie (Ronan) is a happy 14-year-old just beginning to blossom. Her crush on a fellow student (Ritchie) is about to culminate in her first kiss, but she's instead brutally murdered by a creepy neighbour (Tucci). Her parents (Wahlberg and Weisz) are distraught, and Grandma (Sarandon) needs to come help care for Susie's younger siblings (McIver and Christian Thomas Ashdale). Susie watches all of this from "my heaven", longing for her parents to recover their balance and aching for some form of revenge.
The central theme is that Susie's yearning for vengeance is preventing her parents from moving on, and it's also keeping her from resting in peace. As the months and years pass, she struggles to let go of her connections to her family and also to dislodge her killer's hold on her. This intriguing idea is more suited to a small-budget filmmaker forced to find subtle, creative ways to depict the interaction between the afterlife and the living world.
Jackson, of course, has no budgetary constraints, and indulges in constant eye-catching effects that are drenched in colour and symbolism. This luxuriant approach seems odd for a story this fatalistic; it's not likely to be a commercial hit no matter how glorious the digital artistry is. While some viewers will connect with the raw emotional tone, concepts of the cruelty of fate and the fragility of life are lost.
Even so, Ronan delivers another knock-out performance packed with nuance and meaning even though many of her scenes only require reaction shots. It's in her eyes that the film comes truly to life, as it were. The other standouts are Sarandon, who brazenly steals scenes in what's essentially a thankless role, and Tucci, who never resorts to stereotype in his portrayal of a sinister loner. Jackson, on the other hand, continually applies cliches around him, from shadowy angles that generate palpable suspense to a ludicrously over-the-top coda that erases any subtlety the film might have.
In the mid-1980s, a giant spaceship stalled in the sky over Johannesburg, leaving its crustacean-like crew members, nicknamed "prawns", at the mercy of the South African government. Moved them into the city's 9th district, they live in squalor for 20 years. Now the city wants them out, hiring a mega-corporation to relocate all 1.8 million of them. The job goes to Wikus (Copley), son-in-law of the company boss (Minnaar), but just as he begins his work, an accident changes everything. And he turns to a prawn named Christopher Johnson (Cope) for help.
Continue reading: District 9 Review
And it's expectations that director Peter Jackson has clearly found himself having to address in this movie. Given that all three films in the series were shot simultaneously, Jackson doesn't have much opportunity to introduce new stuff with each movie. We're well familiarized with the main characters and the primary settings, so much of the weight falls on the new people and creatures introduced in this episode to carry the story.
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers Review
How do you satisfy a legion of fans, some of whom have been waiting almost 65 years to see their absolute favorite work of literature put to film? More often than not, you don't, and though Peter Jackson's production of The Lord of the Rings is painstakingly faithful and earnest, it is almost a foregone conclusion that the movie will never quite be good enough for the obsessed fans (see also the 1978 animated Lord), just is it will be far too obtuse for those who haven't read the books.
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Review
Fans of 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Harry Potter' have often debated what a fight between Gandalf and Dumbledore would look like, but it turns out it isn't as interesting as you might think.
Legendary thespian and film star, Sir Ian McKellen, came under fire from the late Richard Harris several years ago when he landed the role of the wise but mischievous Gandalf in 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. McKellen claims that Harris was furious for not being cast in Peter Jackson's fantasy epic, and this was exacerbated by McKellen being chosen over him.
Harris reportedly exploded at the rumour that McKellen would then take the role of Dumbledore as well in 2002 when Harris' health steadily began to fail. The actor explained: "Before Richard Harris died, there was an enquiry: would I be interested in playing in Harry Potter? And I said, 'Yes, certainly'. But I've not heard anything since."
Date of birth
31st October, 1961
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