An often overlooked 80s classic is getting a slick HD makeover on the occasion of its 25th birthday: the George Lucas-produced and Ron Howard-directed fantasy film Willow comes to Blu-Ray on March 13. more »
The hero of Jean-Luc Godard's Le Petit Soldat declared “The cinema is truth, 24 times per second,” as The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw noted while pondering frame rates and cinematic standards last year. Peter Jackson insists that it’s closer to 48 frames per second, as demonstrated by the groundbreaking new frame rate he utilized for this weekend’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. But do scientific theories about the way our brains perceive images and reality — truth unfolding onscreen, in front of our eyes — support Jackson’s brave new vision for cinema, or undermine it?
You know who probably wishes he was a little bit taller, and wishes he was a baller? BILBO BAGGINS, that's who! Which is why it's so genius that the good folks over at NextMovie tapped rapper Skee-Lo to critique Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which incidentally now has the best pull-quote of the year: "The Hobbit," proclaims Skee-Lo, "is a G."
Standing well over 6' tall, with an athletic frame and impeccably coiffed hair, Richard Armitage the silhouette screams matinee idol, which makes it all the more impressive that Richard Armitage the person screams "Dwarf!"
But, then, this isn't your older brother's axe wielding, pipe smoking, occasionally tossed comic relief.
As Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of a band of not so merry dwarves looking to reclaim their ancestral homeland from the ravages of the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Armitage takes his first bold, steely-eyed, heroic steps into the world of Middle Earth, embodying with method exactness the badass anti-hero of J.R.R. Tolkien's original.
Before that, though… a little bit of fun. Armitage recently sat down with Movieline in New York City where he revealed the physicality of being a dwarf, his facility for speaking in tongues, his hard fought battle scars, and the number one reason you should always answer an interrupting telephone.
The camps are entrenched, the battle lines drawn, and the barbs and quips are flying like cannon shot across the divide. But as the debate rages on Movieline -- and on other sites across the web -- over Peter Jackson's directorial decision to film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 48 frames per second (as opposed to the more traditional 24), no single quip seems to draw the ire of the "traditionalists" more than this one, aimed square in the chest of the old timers: Resisting 48 frames is like resisting color.
As if an argument over aesthetic choice could be so absurdly reduced. Right, four time Academy Award winning legendary SFX master and Hobbit visual effects supervisor, Joe Letteri?
Why yes, there are musical numbers in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which hurtles into theaters this week. Alas, none of them are eligible for the Oscars' Best Song category, though I'd love to see Richard Armitage, AKA Thorin Oakenshield, face off against Katy Perry and Adele on that Academy Awards stage. Listen to Thorin and his not-so-merry band of dwarves prepare for peril with a solemn ditty in a clip from The Hobbit.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey held its THIRD global premiere on Thursday — this time stateside at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York. I was on the red carpet, and in light of the debate over Peter Jackson's decision to shoot the movie at a high 48 frames per second, I asked Warner Bros. Pictures President Jeff Robinov if the studio was getting behind the groundbreaking but controversial technique. more »
The biggest question surrounding Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, has nothing to do with its strength of story, its Oscar chances, or whether or not Tolkien fans will embrace yet another uber-ambitious adaptation of their beloved fantasy world, but rather: How does it look?
Specifically, how will Jackson's 48 frames-per-second gamble play after months of talk and one particularly disastrous Cinema Con debut? I'll tell you this: The grumblings and rumblings after my screening of The Hobbit - in bold, daring, frustrating 48 frames-per-second 3-D - were decidedly not raves. And that's a very bad sign for Jackson & Co.
As beloved and popular as J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit has been in the seventy plus years since its publication, the simple adventure story has never been much more than prologue, a light and sunny rain compared to the epic hurricane force of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, the transformative high fantasy quest narrative which C.S. Lewis once said contained "beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron."
The worst thing that could be said about Peter Jackson's fourth cinematic foray into Middle Earth, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is that it follows suit, being merely good when greatness was anticipated or expected. more »
In Friday's round-up of news briefs, Joss Whedon's follow-up to his box office splash The Avengers will be counter-programming next Summer. Also, Universal will sue the planned porn version of Fifty Shades. Stephen Colbert is going Hobbit next week. The Academy is accommodating its paper ballot-oriented members. And jailed Innocence of Muslims filmmaker gives his wishes for the controversial video.
Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing Set for June
The Avengers director's modern take on the play by William Shakespeare will hit theaters June 7th via Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate. The distributors call the pic a "dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love.
Fifty Shades of Grey Porn Rip-Off Spurs Lawsuit
Universal claims the upcoming porn Fifty Shades Of Grey: A XXX Adaptation is a "blatant trademark infringement" on its rights to the best selling novel of similar title, written by E.L. James. "The first XXX adaptation is not a parody, and it does not comment on, criticize, or ridicule the originals. It is a rip-off, plain and simple," Universal said. Universal and Focus picked up rights to the novels in March for $3 million, Deadline reports.
Stephen Colbert Unveils 'Hobbit Week'
A big fan of the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy series, Colbert said he will have stars from the big screen adaptation for an entire week on his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report. He will welcome as guests Sir Ian McKellan, who plays Gandalf, on Monday, December 3; Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, on Tuesday; director Peter Jackson on Wednesday; and Andy Serkis, who plays Gollum, on Friday, THR reports.
Innocence of Muslims Filmmaker Wants Video to Remain on YouTube
The jailed filmmaker of the controversial video which caused riots throughout the Islamic world wants it to remain on the online channel. Google's lawyers noted: "Mr. Youssef said he believes in the message contained in the film and he does not want the trailer to be removed from YouTube." An attorney for YouTube owners Google visited Youssef in his L.A. jail to obtain information related to actress Cindy Lee Garcia's legal attempts to have the vid removed from the internet, Deadline reports.
Academy Extends Paper Ballot
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will extend requests for a paper ballot for its members. The organization's members will have until December 14th to request paper ballots. The voting period for nominations begins December 17th and closes January 3rd. The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced Thursday, January 10th, Variety reports.
Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had its New Zealand premiere Wednesday, and although local press are still under embargo, the New York Daily News has burst out of the gate with the first published review of the anticipated Lord of the Rings follow-up. What's the early verdict on Jackson's groundbreaking 48 fps presentation, which was so publicly panned in previews?
Let us weep for Rainbow the miniature Hobbit pony, whom animal wranglers on Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy say was the first of 27 animals to die while being housed on a production farm filled with "death traps."
The Hobbit caught some negative reaction when 10 minutes of unfinished footage played at the CinemaCon convention earlier this year in Las Vegas. But Sir Ian McKellen, who stars in The Lord of the Rings prequel, has defended the anticipated film directed by Peter Jackson, after early criticism from fans flared over how it looks in 3-D.
Lord Of The Boarding Gates: New Zealand Wins Awesomest Airport Ever With Ginormous Gollum Installation
Talk about local flavor: Peter Jackson's WETA pals this week installed a giant Gollum statue inside Wellington, New Zealand's airport in celebration of the Lord of the Rings franchise's fruitful connection to the community (and, y'know, Jackson's upcoming The Hobbit). Now boarding: precious, MY PRECIOUS!