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
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Hey, remember back when Bridesmaids came out, and everybody was all, “It’s your social responsibility to support female-driven comedy,” and then it was a hit, so yay for funny ladies? And then The Hunger Games came out, and everybody was all, “It’s your social responsibility to support a female-driven blockbuster,” and then it was a hit, so yay for lady ass-kickers? Well, as it turns out, none of that mattered a lick, because according to a study released yesterday by the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, female representation in popular films is at its lowest level in five years. So thanks for nothing, Hollywood.
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In perusing this year’s biggest movie controversies, we found ourselves discussing matters a good deal less trivial than last year. Make no mistake, there are some tempest-in-teapot situations here: ratings woes, questions of reappropriation and hagiography, and (god help us all) frame rates. But we also grappled with issues of artistic responsibility and racial representation, and with the ongoing question of the very health of the form itself. Join us after the jump for a stroll through the year’s memorable movie controversies, won’t you?
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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?
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Last month, we found out that deadpan funnyman Stephen Colbert would be making a cameo in the upcoming Peter Jackson adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. If you’ve followed the comedian for any length of time, then you probably know what a huge Tolkien geek Colbert is. He understands Elvish and isn’t above… Read More
1. People has named new mom Beyoncé the most beautiful woman in the world. “I feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt because I’ve given birth,” she says in a new interview with the magazine. “I have never felt so connected, never felt like I had such a purpose on this earth.”
2. In… Read More
Last week, your author was charged with working up our most anticipated movies of 2012, and I must confess, it’s an assignment I was dreading. Not because there weren’t movies in the upcoming year worth anticipating (as we saw, there are many), or that it would be difficult to explain why they were worth looking forward to. No, it was because I knew I was going to have to deal with The Hobbit.
I anticipated it, even, noting in the call for comments that there would certainly be hoots and catcalls for the exclusion of Peter Jackson’s return to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. And there were, sure enough. But here’s the problem, as briefly noted when discussing the release of they eagerly-greeted-by-everyone-but-yours-truly trailer: I don’t like The Lord of the Rings. I just don’t. It’s one of my pop culture “cold spots.” We’ve all got them. Right?
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The road to Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit has been a long and rocky one, with Guillermo del Toro once on board to direct, but passing on the project when MGM’s financial woes plagued the production. Some good did come out of the development delay, as Peter Jackson returned to Middle Earth to take the directorial reins. The trouble continued, however, when the filmmaker was admitted to a hospital for stomach ulcers, and union boycotts over contract mishaps loomed over the fantasy feature. Somehow the J.R.R. Tolkien adapted story rose from the ashes, and we (finally!) have the trailer to prove it.
The clip has the epic look of the Lord of the Rings movies, but also seems to capture the more lighthearted tone of The Hobbit novel. The dwarves help. Gollum appears all the way at the end, but we get tons of cool shots of Gandalf looking totally badass. Dig the song, too. Hit the jump to watch in full.
The Hobbit is the two-part prequel — shot back to back — to Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Several actors will reprise their roles, including Elijah Wood as Frodo, Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis as Gandalf and Gollum, respectively. Martin Freeman from BBC’s The Office will star as the reluctant hero Bilbo Baggins, who is swept up in a quest to reclaim a lost treasure from the dreaded dragon Smaug. An Unexpected Journey hits theaters on December 14, 2012, while The Hobbit: There and Back Again arrives December 2013. Keep an eye out for the trailer in theaters too, where it’s supposed to make an appearance before the Peter Jackson-produced Adventures of Tintin releasing tomorrow.
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