The Hobbit

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

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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This ‘LOTR’-Themed In-Flight Safety Video Starring Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson Will Quell Your Fear of Flying

So, if you were 30,000 feet above the ground and started feeling some bumps that seemed a little more worrisome… Read More

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Watch Distinguished British Actor Benedict Cumberbatch Sneer While Wearing a Motion Capture Suit

Benedict Cumberbatch, who has played Sherlock Holmes, Julian Assange, Alan Turing, and John Ford, has also played Smaug, the… Read More

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‘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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