Richard Armitage

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens where The Desolation of Smaug left off, as the powerful dragon of the Lonely Mountain (still voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) descends on Lake-town for payback. To say that Peter Jackson captures the full horror and insanity of a dragon attack on a compact and inclosed area is something of an understatement, and you practically feel the pain and panic as Smaug’s attack lights up the entire town in seconds and doesn’t let up. But then, Bard (Luke Evans) heroically slays the dragon using the final black arrow, and Smaug is defeated. Ten minutes into the movie.

Pacing has always been a problem for The Hobbit movies, as you can well imagine if you’re creating an expansive seven-and-a-half hour movie trilogy based on a single 300-page book and some supplementary material. The previous film ended with a powerful “Oh $#!%” moment went Smaug leaves Bilbo (Martin Freeman) in the mountain to attack the people of Lake-town in retaliation for them giving aid to the Company of 13 Dwarves and their quest to take back Erebor. Dramatically, it was sound, but to use a comparison to The Lord of the Rings it would be as if The Two Towers were to end right before Aragorn and the others at Helms Deep ride out to meet the Orcs in battle for a last stand. It’s evidence of the fact that while Jackson has grown to handle well the overwhelming technical demands of the project, he’s lost sight of the best way to tell the story he wants to tell. (more…)

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And I always thought hobbits were meant to be cheerful, delightful little fellas. Guess Martin Freeman has a different opinion of adventuring across Middle Earth with a bunch a stinkin’ dwarves and wizard baked out of his mind. For more – oh yes, there’s plenty more – of Freeman flipping the bird head over to The Mary Sue where they’ve amassed an amusing gallery of just that. But first, hit the jump for more Hobbit News! (more…)

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With people losing their minds these last few weeks over the announced Batman vs. Superman movie, the real question isn’t how the movie will do, but rather who is going to be Batman. Man of Steel star Henry Cavill is set to return, but former Batman Christian Bale has decided on a more permanent “eight year break” leaving the cowl open to a new dark knight. Let fly the Hollywood rumor mill!

Last week the L.A. Times posted a popularity contest of stars, each of who have the potential to be the next Batman. The list included actors like Jensen Ackles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It appears, though, a young squirt isn’t quite what Warner Bros. and DC are looking for. Sources say the script, which is in way early development, will be inspired from Frank Miller’s 1980s ground-breaking mini-series The Dark Knight Returns. The Batman featured is older and more rugged. A battle hardened hero.

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The Hollywood Reporter has revealed some top names that are being thrown around to play the tough old bats.  Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Joe Manganiello, Richard Armitage, Max Martini and Matthew Goode are the front-runners.

Alright, Brolin… now that’s a good pick! Regardless of who’s names are surfacing, we’re still in the early stages of development. The script is still being written. There’s no way the casting process has even remotely started. So, take all of this as hearsay. Theoretical casting stories to get your nerd gears moving.

Would do you think would be a good fit to replace Bale as the new Batman? Let’s hear what you think in the comment section below.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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It’s confirmed, my friends:

The Holy Grail of Nerd Cinema….the team-up we always thought would remain the province of comics, cartoons, and video games–but would NEVER actually happen in the movies–is upon us!

There will be a Superman/Batman movie in 2015! Creatively titled: Batman Vs. Superman, it’s apparently the sequel to the recently released Supes reboot Man Of Steel. That means Henry Cavil will once again be donning the red and blue super-suit….

But what of the Dark Knight?

With Christian Bale out of the Bat-Business, who will take up the cowl and cape of Gotham City’s shadowy protector?

So far, the rumor mill has come up with only one name: Tyler Hoechlin (below)

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If you’ve never heard of him, don’t worry–it just means you have enough self-respect to avoid MTV’s Teen Wolf series.

I honestly don’t know jack about this guy….maybe he’s brilliant–maybe he’ll be the best Batman since Michael Keaton. Anything’s possible….

BUT.

Until an actor is officially announced, we will continue to do what nerds always do, and yammer on about our dream choices to portray the “World’s Greatest Detective”.

Here’s ten we think would do nicely:

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Or, rather, I should say he Facebook-ed it all because all day yesterday Peter Jackson was updating his Facebook page with reports from the set on the final day of filming for The Hobbit trilogy. Above is a photo he posted with the caption, “Big Richard, Medium Richard and Little Richard,” referring to Richard Armitage who plays Thorin pictured along with two of his dwarven-size doubles. It’s up to you to figure out which is which. “One of these is Richard Armitage, and two of them are not. It’s your guess,” says Jackson.

Directors utilizing social media is nothing new. I mean, doesn’t Bryan Singer tweet a picture from the set of Days of Future Past like every hour? But I don’t believe anyone’s done it better than Jackson. His video blogs and Facebook updates have provided fans an inside look at the filmmaking process that often even Blu-ray extras can’t compete with. And this particular day of Facebook updates is the best yet. You’ll marvel at how much stuff the man must manage in one day. It’s amazing! From 8:30 in the morning until 7:30 at night Jackson posted about filming stunts, fights scenes with Dwalin (Graham McTavish), Fili (Dean O’Gorman), and Kili (Aidan Turner), music spotting with Howard Shore, and Mr. Smudge, his cat, who sees him off every morning and welcomes him home in the evening.

Oh! And these two,

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What’s happening here, I have no idea, but Jackson assures us this was filmed. For the movie, not simply shits and giggles, though I can’t imagine anyone keeping a straight face while whatever this is happens.

Do go scroll through Jackson’s Facebook for all the updates as they’re a fascinating look at the final filming day for one monumental movie undertaking. The only bummer is, if we’re to get any more of his video blogs, they’ll be coming from post-production. Still looking forward to them, though, so hurry up Peter!

Source: Cinema Blend

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Earlier today we were treated to the first trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and it melted our collective minds. Well, it melted my mind, I may be speaking too strongly for you. What I’m getting at is that in the middle of this E3 and summer blockbuster madness, I’d almost forgotten about that little hobbit and all his dwarf buddies and now I’m stoked to continue their adventure.

Along with the first teaser are these eight images, all taken from said teaser, but they’re pretty and offer great looks at franchise newcomers Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Beorn the Bard (Luke Evans), take a look,

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens this December 13th.

Source: CBM

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.

To someone who’s hardcore into all the various technical aspects their movies, a “cinefile” by definition, any new technology or filming technique is just a fad, until it is used enough times to make it the new standard in the industry.

So when Peter Jackson announced that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and it’s subsequent sequels, would be shot in High Frame Rate 3D regular moviegoers (non cinefiles) shouted a collective “What the hell is High Frame Rate 3D?”

HFR 3D is a process where by shooting a movie in 48 frames per second rather than the film industry standard 24, a movie using HFR has less motion blur and increased clarity, much like a new television with a high refresh rate. This may still have you scratching your head at a the mere thought, but Warner Bros, MGM, and New Line crafted a neat little “cheat sheet” to any questions you might have about HFR 3D.

Check out the full guide in following the jump:
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New Line Cinema certainly loves their Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie posters lately. They just released  one featuring all 13 dwarvin characters and now they’re at it again. The studio has released a gigantic panoramic character scroll for the first part of the Peter Jackson two part-er turned trilogy.

Based on the J. R. R. Tolkien fantasy novel of the same name, The Hobbit isn’t shy when it comes to showing off the talent behind the big-budget picture. The studio has been leaking shots of the movie, as well as awesome close up posters – called “one-sheets” – featuring Hobbit stars Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage to name a few. Marketing machines, they are.

This newer, larger then life sized poster features several of the main cast in full profile before traveling on their adventure which eventually leads to Bilbo’s to discovery of the fabled One Ring.

Click on the image below for a larger, more high definition look.

Here’s the official synopsis via IMDB:

A curious Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, journeys to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of Dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arriaves in theaters everywhere December 14th.

Source: Geek Tyrant