The Hobbit

‘Mad Men’s’ Split Season 7: You’re Killing Me, AMC

Here in the “responsive commentary” racket, the only thing that rivals writing something too late is writing something too early. Last week, this site looked at the dire-sounding Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, surveyed the less-than-promising post-BrBa/Mad Men AMC line-up, and asked the question, “Is the golden age of AMC over?” For asking said question, I was branded with both the “e-word” (elitist) and the “h-world” (hipster). Such accusations prompted, as usual, a worried removal of my artisan organic wire-rimmed glasses, a long pull off my home-brewed stout, and a few heartfelt spins of Animal Collective on vinyl. And then AMC announced that their solutions to filling the original programming holes in their schedule are a) a Walking Dead spin-off and b) splitting the final season of Mad Men into two seven-episode halves. Can I say “told you so” yet? … Read More

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10 Famous Films That Were Abandoned by Their Directors

Lynne Ramsay is a tremendously talented director, as anyone who has seen her films We Need to Talk About Kevin and Ratcatcher can tell you, which makes the latest ripple in her career quite a bummer: when production began Monday on her latest film, the Natalie Portman-fronted Western Jane Got a Gun, Ramsay was nowhere to be found. Deadline broke the story (so beware; that site is notoriously cozy with studio types who might have it in their interest to paint Ramsay as wildly — and litigiously — irresponsible), reporting trouble right up to the start date. Ramsay still hasn’t issued comment on the matter, but the film’s producers have already lined up a replacement in the form of Gavin O’Connor, director of Warrior and Tumbleweeds (and the pilot of The Americans). Deadline branded Ramsay’s departure a “SHOCKER,” but it’s not as rare as you’d think; despite the intense work of developing a picture and preparing it, filmmakers have frequently walked away from pictures before — or even during — production. We’ve got a few examples for you after the jump. … Read More

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10 Heavenly Hobbit Holes We'd Like to Call Home

Over the weekend, The Hobbit, Peter Jackson’s much-anticipated prequel adaptation of the most epic story about a heroic hole-builder ever written, landed in theaters and set box office records. According to the world’s communal encyclopedia, most of Tolkien’s humble hobbits lived in “hobbit-holes” or Smials, traditional underground homes found in hillsides, downs, and banks identified by charming little round doors and windows. Proof that the Shire’s simple, bucolic way of life isn’t just fantasy, we’ve rounded up some of the best real-life hobbit homes on the planet. From underground earth house estates in Switzerland to a grand tree house in Oregon fit for Frodo, click through to check out the very best of hobbit havens. … Read More

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20 Amazing J.R.R. Tolkien-Inspired Tattoos

If tried to sweet talk your way into a sold-out screening of The Hobbit over the weekend, then you might not be surprised to hear that there are a ton of hardcore J.R.R. Tolkien fans out there. What we imagine might surprise you is how many of those fans, secretly tucked away under all of those layers of winter clothing, have inked permanent tributes to the beloved author on their skin. We’ve scoured the Internet for some of the the most impressive Tolkien-inspired tattoos we could find — not counting the scores of designs that are people’s names or favorite sayings written in Elvish — and picked out 20 of our favorite tributes to Middle Earth for you to peruse after the jump. What do you think Gandalf the White would make of all this? … Read More

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The Best Pickup Lines for a Midnight Screening of ‘The Hobbit’

Attention hobbits and elvish princessess: the day has arrived. Peter Jackson’s first installment of The Hobbit opens tomorrow, and many theaters are holding midnight screenings this very night. Now, there’s no better place to meet a fellow geek than at a midnight screening for a nerdy movie (we hope your costume is spot on), but in our experience, it can sometimes be a little difficult to break the ice — even when you know you’ve got something in common. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy list of pickup lines for both guys and girls to use while striking up a conversation in line for the show — or any time thereafter. Yes, most of them are completely groan-worthy, but isn’t that the point of a pickup line? Click through to get a few ideas on how to nab your own precious tonight, and add to our list in the comments! … Read More

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What You Need to Know Before You See ‘The Hobbit’

As you probably know — whether out of personal interest, interaction with your favorite geek, or a glance at any delivery device for mass marketing — the first of Peter Jackson’s three-part (!) Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is out in theaters this Friday. What may be less clear, at least to the casual observer, is what all this chatter is about “frame rate” and “48 fps” and other blather that have been floating around since the films went into production. So here’s a quick breakdown, to help communicate with the LOTR geek in your life (we’re a service-oriented site, after all!): what is all this talk about “frame rate,” and what does it mean to you? … Read More

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