Guillermo Del Toro

Promo image from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"

How Did the ‘Hobbit’ Movies Go So Horribly Awry?

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Hello there, fantasy fans! As you may or may not know, this December 17th will bring us the release of the third and (hopefully!) final Hobbit film, The Hobbit: Can You Believe They’re Still Making These Fucking Things? The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies — and just in case you were planning on sitting this one out (and seriously, who could blame you?), distributor Warner Brothers has a couple of strategically timed information leaks to lure you in. First, they’ve engaged fellow Time Warner subsidiary Entertainment Weekly to run an early feature on director Peter Jackson’s “battle plans,” trumpeting the film’s climactic, 45-minute battle sequence. And secondly, the studio has told Forbes that the film will be preceded by the first teaser trailer for Batman v Superman. Put together, these two announcements smack mostly of desperation — a quality that has come to overwhelm this increasingly irrelevant… Read More

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FX’s ‘The Strain’ Uses New Vampires to Tell Old, Tired Stories

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I suppose I should say this upfront: vampires are not for me. I’m not against them — there are a handful of vampire movies (The Lost BoysNosferatu) and books (er, the Bunnicula series) that I do enjoy — but I generally don’t seek out vampire narratives. Still, I was excited for The Strain, to see how Guillermo del Toro’s creative brilliance translates to the small screen and because FX is a network that I find increasingly interesting. But The Strain isn’t interesting. The vampires are different from the creatures we know, the story is packed, and there is an emphasis on epidemiology and history throughout. But at its core, The Strain just bored me.
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