The Hobbit

‘The Battle of Five Armies': Finally, a Hobbit Film That Offers Fan Service and Thrilling Action

Given that I can recite almost all of the three Lord of the Rings films by heart, including much of the Elvish dialogue (Aragorn, nad no ennas! Don’t judge me), it’s a terrible sign that I’ve been unable to recall most details in either of its prequels, the first two Hobbit films. In fact, the book which was read aloud to me by my father when I was about seven has left more of an indelible print on my imagination than the hours and hours of films thus far. … Read More

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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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