Tolkien Supernerd Stephen Colbert Gets His Dream Cameo in New ‘Hobbit’ Flick

- 12-30-13Cool Stuff, Film, Nerd Culture Posted by James Daniels

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Comedy Central‘s Stephen Colbert may be satirizing right-wing pundits on his popular talk show, but his nerdity is by no means fictional–particularly where the works of J.R.R. Tolkien are concerned. Indeed, LOTR/Hobbit director Peter Jackson even declared the writer-comedian the biggest “Tolkien Geek” he’d ever met.

THR and Playboy had previously indicated that Colbert might make an appearance in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug….Today, we have visual confirmation from a sharp-eyed Redditor in GIF and screencap form (after the jump).  (more…)

What Was Evangeline Lilly’s One Condition for ‘Hobbit’ Appearance?

- 12-17-13Film Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

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Evangeline Lilly plays a character never created by J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugConsidering that the elf warrior Tauriel has created by Peter Jackson and his collaborators from scratch, it would make sense that the actress asked to play her would have some kind of input into making her character. As it turned out, Lilly had only one caveat for playing Tauriel, and it was a promise that eventually had to be broke when the Hobbit trilogy went into reshoots last year. So what was the promise, and how was it broke? (more…)

Geeks Rejoice! J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic in the Works

- 11-21-13Cool Stuff, Film Posted by Jason McAnelly

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Seeing as how his books have been turned into billions of dollars in profits via the magic of moving pictures, it’s about damn time that J.R.R. Tolkien gets more than a byline and a few extra book sales.  Now, the folks over at Fox are looking to put together a biopic on the famous author, giving all us geeks that are too lazy to do the research a chance to learn all about the man himself. (more…)

They Arrived Precisely When They Meant To: 7 New Character Posters for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’

- 11-04-13Film Posted by Luke Gallagher

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I never understood the thought process of releasing  “character” posters for a film after trailers and teasers have been released. Seems to me, it should be in reverse order. Posters have been and should always be the promotional tools teasing what’s to come. Releasing posters post footage seems rather moot. Don’t get me wrong, posters can be nifty looking pieces of art, but it’s like, why do I wanna stare at a static image when I could just replay the trailer a dozen times?  Anyway, The official Facebook page for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has revealed seven new character posters which you can view below:

(more…)

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’–New Banner Today, New Trailer Tomorrow

- 09-30-13Film Posted by James Daniels

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Above you see the new banner for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug–it was released today by Warner Bros. in anticipation of the film’s new trailer, due out at 9:00 am EST tomorrow.

The film, the follow-up to 2011′s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is second in a trilogy of films directed by Peter Jackson based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

The Hobbit is best known as the precursor to the Lord of The Rings novels and the book that introduced readers to the fictional universe of Middle Earth.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is scheduled to hit theaters on December 13.

Source: /Film

‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Extended Edition Blu-ray – AKA “The Desolation Of Wallets”

- 07-31-13Cool Stuff, Film Posted by James Daniels

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I can’t be the only one who’s now wishing they waited before buying the first Blu-ray iteration of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Unfortunately, I don’t get to movies much, home video is my bread and butter, and I NEEDED to see this sumbitch!

Here’s what Hobbit and LOTR director Peter Jackson had to say when the U.S. release of this extended edition was announced:

I’m thrilled that the Extended Edition will give fans the opportunity to experience certain key scenes in the film as they were originally shot, as well as an abundance of special features. It’s exciting to present this expanded and enriched version of An Unexpected Journey to allow fans to fully immerse themselves in the movie, before seeing the second part of the trilogy.

Apparently the Extended Edition will feature nearly 9 hours of bonus material, including commentaries by Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens; a featurette on the awesomeness of New Zealand (which may be identical to this one, already available online), and five-odd hours of behind-the-scenes “Appendices”.

As for the new footage, little is known… Oh, apparently there’ll be some nekkid people, and the scene below between Bilbo and Elrond (courtesy of Comic Book Movie), but other than that, they’re keeping quiet about what’s been added to the film itself.

The full Blu-ray set will run you $54.98, and be available for purchase on November 5th. The Extended Edition will be available as a download starting October 22nd.

Source: Bleeding Cool

 

And Now Gary Busey Explains Hobbits (Spoilers)

- 01-14-13Film, Funny Videos, WTF? Posted by Jeremy R! Hudson


The modern world can be a scary and confusing place. I imagine its quite the same in Middle Earth, the magical land of the Hobbit. Luckily Academy Award nominated Gary Busey is on YouTube to guide us through lands both real and imagined. Clocking in at just over two minutes, Gary unravels the habits and happenings of the J. R. R. Tolkien creations. Did you know that hobbits wear cockroaches in their hair and fashion necklaces out of them to be ‘closer to nature’ or that they travel in packs of four so they may complete tasks ‘efficiently and quickly?’ How about the fact that you can’t tell a boy hobbit from a girl hobbit?

Dude. Spoiler alert that s#!t, some of us haven’t seen the movie yet!

Mr. Busey would also like to know if any of you believe you may have been a hobbit in a past life, if so he welcomes you to talk with him about Hobbitism which I can only assume is the religion that shall spring forth from this clip.

Source: The Busey Zone via The Mary Sue

OUCH! Tolkien’s Son Says Peter Jackson “Eviscerated” His Father’s Work

- 01-09-13Film Posted by Sarah Moran

It’s no secret the family of J.R.R. Tolkien think very little of Peter Jackson‘s films based on the Lord of the Rings series. What has been secret is how much and why son, Christopher Tolkien, despises Jackson’s adaptation. In his first ever press interview, Christopher doesn’t mince words when it comes to what he thinks of Jackson’s films. Here’s an excerpt,

“I could write a book on the idiotic requests I have received,” sighs Christopher Tolkien. He is trying to protect the literary work from the three-ring circus that has developed around it. In general, the Tolkien Estate refuses almost all requests. “Normally, the executors of the estate want to promote a work as much as they can,” notes Adam Tolkien, the son of Christopher and Baillie. “But we are just the opposite. We want to put the spotlight on that which is not Lord of the Rings.”

Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? “They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25,” Christopher says regretfully. “And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film.”

This divorce has been systematically driven by the logic of Hollywood. “Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time,” Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. “The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away.”

It seems the Tolkien estate, of which Christopher is the official executor, doesn’t like anything to do with the Lords of the Rings unless it’s simply the books themselves. Kind of makes me wonder how New Line Cinema and Jackson made those movies happen at all. Read the entirety of World Crunch’s interview as it has more from Christopher about his father’s work than how much he hates the movies.

Personally, I haven’t actually read the entire Lord of the Rings series – I know, many, many nerd demerits to me – but for those who have, what did you think of Jackson’s films? Did he eviscerate Tolkien’s books?

Source: CBM

Could a Tolkien LOTR Theme Park be in Your Future Vacation Plans?

- 01-03-13Cool Stuff, Film Posted by Mark Poynter

Rumor has it that Universal Studios is planning a Tolkien Middle-Earth theme park much like the Warner Brothers The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. At this stage the word is that Universal, Warner Brothers and the Tolkien estate are in the beginning stages of talks. /Film reports:

Hypable picked up a post on the Orlando United forum from a reputable user, who claims that Universal Studios asked Warner Bros. to raise the topic with the Tolkien estate.

The Tolkien estate has always carefully guarded the LOTR rights and it is interesting that it is also being reported that the Tolkien estate representatives spoke with J.K. Rowling herself about the Warner Brothers theme park creation and her experiences protecting her vision for the project, and apparently liked what they heard. Universal then got in contact with the Tolkiens to discuss their ideas.

That’s pretty exciting news if accurate. Fans wouldn’t have to travel half way across the world to get that Tolkien itch scratched. What do you think, would a LOTR themed park work? Is it just a much more expensive Medieval Times Diner theater?

Via: /Film

REVIEW: Does ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Live Up to Expectations?

- 12-13-12Featured, Film, reviews Posted by Mel Valentin

The first, second, and probably eighth word that comes to mind when thinking about, discussing, or writing about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson‘s long-awaited return to the Middle Earth, is, to put it bluntly, “bloat.” Clocking in at two hours and fifty minutes, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey suffers from an under-motivated central character, poorly defined supporting characters, a meandering, unfocused first hour, and a sporadically engaging quest narrative in the second and third hours. The visual effects are variable and occasionally cheap-looking and they are made all the worse when viewed in Jackson’s preferred format of 48 FPS (frames per second), which is less a technological leap forward than it is a probable dead end.

Warning: Possible spoilers ahead. 

Jackson gives us not one, not two, but three prologues, beginning with an elderly Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm), recounting the events that led to the fall of the dwarf kingdom at the center of the film before segueing to a pre-Lord of the Rings encounter between Bilbo and his nephew, Frodo (Elijah Wood), before segueing again to a younger Bilbo (the wisely chosen Martin Freeman).

The Bilbo we meet has little taste for adventure or risk. He prefers his materially comfortable life in Bag-End to the potential dangers of the outside world. It takes Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), an itinerant wizard primarily known for his fireworks displays, to spur Bilbo from his provincial complacency by forcefully introducing him to a company of twelve dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), the deposed heir of the dwarf kingdom. Thorin, of course, wants to reclaim his kingdom, but a dragon by the name of Smaug stands in his way.

Even after a reluctant Bilbo decides to join Gandalf, Thorin, and the other dwarves, the narrative pace doesn’t so much pick up as go sideways, filling the next hour with episodic encounters with, among others, Radegast the Brown, (Sylvester McCoy), a minor, forest- dwelling wizard who plays a marginal, tangential role. Naturally, he also encounters orcs, man-eating trolls, stone giants, and goblins — including a grotesque, repellent Goblin King whose singular design reflects Guillermo del Toro’s involvement in pre-production.

Familiar faces makes an appearance in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey thanks to a side trip (they’re all, ultimately, side trips) to Rivendell, the elf kingdom home to Elrond (Hugo Weaving) and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), along with Saruman (Christopher Lee). familiar faces three, before not one, but two extended battles, one below ground and another above. Another familiar face, Gollum (Andy Serkis), appears as well. With more than a decade’s worth of motion-capture developments to draw from, the Gollum in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is noticeably more expressive than the Gollum moviegoers met eleven years ago. He’s also less the wretched, woeful creature we met a decade ago. He’s far more dangerous, far more treacherous, and far more unpredictable. This Gollum is a cunning, conflicted sociopath willing to bet his life against Bilbo’s in a game of riddles. The encounter, of course, proves key for another reason: Gollum loses and Bilbo gains the ring (and object of desire) at the center of The Lord of the Rings.

Unfortunately, Gollum’s appearance proves to be short-lived. Once Bilbo and Gollum part company on less than friendly terms, the CG monsters, CG backgrounds, and CG- heavy set pieces take over, to increasingly mind- and body-numbing effect. By the time the characters in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey near the end of the first part of their destination audiences will be just as exhausted as the characters onscreen. The promise of two more films to round out another trilogy doesn’t feel like a promise at all. At best, it feels like a challenge. At worst, it feels like a chore. It’s probably more of the latter than the former.

Mel Valentin is a prominent film critic based out of Northern California. You can find his film reviews on NextProjection.com, SFStation.com, and VeryAware.com.