Tag Archives: Peter Jackson

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ Trailer Looks Epic

Almost exactly a year since the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the follow-up is set to debut. Once again directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug picks up immediately after its predecessor, continuing the journey of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, who reluctantly teams up with a group of Dwarves and the great wizard Gandalf to retrieve their gold from the vicious dragon Smaug.

The majority of the cast from the first film returns, Martin Freeman (Sherlock), Ian McKellen (X-Men), and Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) to name a few, but the more exciting news is the additions to the cast that include Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness, Sherlock), returning LOTR’s star Orlando Bloom, and Fast & Furious 6 villain Luke Evans. The trailer’s a bit long, coming in around 3 minutes, but it does a pretty stellar job of showcasing the scale of this film. While I wasn’t that excited before, this trailer’s finally convinced me. Check it out:

This trailer is pretty awesome, but what scares me is the trailer for the first Hobbit was pretty damn good too. Going into that knowing this series was set up for a trilogy, I found I was able to simply enjoy it and have fun, without looking for an actually fulfilling story. That worked cause it was simply setting up the characters, but at the same time, it led on that it’d be this epic journey, when in actuality it was a small adventure. This again looks to be an epic journey, and hopefully it can skip the exposition of teaching us the characters, and move past seceding the story to preserve for the third film. Also, the addition of Cumberbatch is always welcomed. Even in voice alone, he is a force to reckon with, and makes me that much more excited for the film.

The Hobbit Benedict Cumberbatch

Lastly, it’ll be interesting to see the ticket sales this time around for the HFR (48 Frames per a second) because last year people were selecting to see it that way to check out this “new form of cinema”, but this time they most likely have an opinion on it (and most likely negative). To me, I didn’t mind it too much, I thought the scenes of character’s faces and of the landscape were beautiful, but the special effects stood out like a sour thumb, and the majority of people I’ve talked to really disliked it.

The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Poster

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is due out December 13th.

‘The Hobbit’ Pictures (Including Elvish Fabulousness)

I’m sort of looking forwards to The Hobbit films – I’m not quite sure how it’s going to cope with being three films, but I liked The Lord of The Ring enough (and Peter Jacksons other stuff) to hold off on judgement until they are released.

And now we have some pictures! These are going to be published in a 2013 annual for the first film but they’ve already leaked out (messy) via Uproxx.

First up we have a great looking group shot of Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) and all the dwarves – all looking moody as they tramp off on their quest.

There are 13 dwarves in all and I’ve no idea what most of them are called. I do know that the lead dwarf is Thorin Oakenshield – played by Richard Armitage – seen her with Aidan Turner as Kili (the pretty dwarf) and…some other dwarf.

Here is Aidan Turner again looking all mean, moody and, dare I say, sexy. Surely dwarves should not look this hot.

Two more dwarves. I’m pretty sure the one on the right is Scottish actor Ken Stott, so that would make it Balin.

And here are three more battle ready dwarves (Happy, Bashful and Doc…maybe?)

They all look great but what we all want to see is Lee Pace as Elvenking Thranduil ( Legolas’ Dad). And here he is in all his camp, elvish glory.

Is that not the most fabulous crown you ever did? Coupled with the finest eyebrows in all of Middle Earth. No wonder he’s king.

So, anywho, the first film The Unexpected Journey is out in early December.

‘The Hobbit’ Confirmed As Trilogy. Also, Every Story Now Legally Required To Be Adapted Into Three Films.



A couple of years ago, some of you may remember that in a startlingly logical move, a studio decided to adapt and release The Lord Of The Rings as a trilogy of films, each as its own movie telling the story originally told in three parts in the novel. After those movies went on to make millions and millions of dollars at the box office, studios were looking to fast track the obvious follow-up to LOTR, which was Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The main difference between the two, being that The Hobbit was a significantly shorter, simpler, and far less densely written story, that was originally written as a children’s book.   And then it got shelved, re-planned, re-thought out, and finally years later picked back up again by Peter Jackson, who now, along with the money-grubbing studios that want another million dollar trilogy, is adapting The Hobbit into a movie of its own. Three of them, to be exact, as stated on Peter Jackson’s Facebook. Via [Chicago Tribune]

“We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance,” Jackson wrote.

“So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of ‘The Hobbit’ films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.”

Now while I’m not directly against an adaptation of The Hobbit itself, because it’s an amazing story, It is decidedly NOT enough story to adapt into 2 movies, and streeeettching it into 3 is downright frivolous.  It’s a pretty straightforward story. Hobbit joins up with dwarves for adventure. They fight trolls and spiders. They try to steal a dragons treasure. Dragon gets mad. They war against the dragon. War ends. The END. It’s enough story to make  a really badass 3 hour movie, with each act reflecting each part of the book. But since making money is paramount over making concise, unbloated, well paced adaptations, we’re going to get 2 unnecessary sequels so as much money as possible can be dragged out of our wallets as we’re forced to pay $16 dollars three times over the course of three years (at least!) , to see it in special LieMax 48fps 3D Digitial Surround sound with bonus cups and collectible glasses! Don’t forget the final showing of the third movie in 2014! Where you can buy a $50 dollar ticket to see all three in one sitting for 12 straight hours, and afterward you can go home and hang yourself because you’ve finally seen Peter Jackson’s ONE TRUE VISION brought to the silver screen.

So yeah. Not a fan of this being split up I guess, is what I’m saying.

CCI 2012: Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” Panel Creates Anticipation for December

Those Lord of the Rings fans who went there and back again to Comic-Con International were rewarded for their line-waiting devotion.

This past weekend Peter Jackson took to the Hall H stage with screenwriter Philippa Boyens and actors Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen (it should be noted he received a standing ovation), Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, and Elijah Wood, who was a surprise guest.  The panel started with a showing of the latest behind-the-scenes video blog that Jackson has been faithfully providing fans via the official Facebook fan page.  Then Jackson revealed a full 12 and a half minutes scenes from both parts of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey (out this December) and There and Back Again (December 2013).  A detailed description of each scene revealed can be found at Cinemablend.com or on Entertainment Weekly’s Inside Movies site.

Several seemingly minor yet key announcements and decisions rolled out during the panel.

First, Jackson chose to avoid screening his clips using 3D and 48 frames per second, a decision most likely based on the mixed reaction he received when he did this at Cinema-Con; this may have been in his best interest as the scenes were welcomed far more openly than they were at the previous convention.

Also, Jackson noted that he had shot enough footage to create extended editions of the films or possibly produce a third film.  The Internet has been filled with these speculations for the last few days, but Variety says otherwise.  A studio representative said there was no “planned surprise,” and that “The plan was always for two” (Variety.com).  Time will reveal how this pans out, but Jackson may have to just settle with some whopping extended editions.

A third announcement that should excite the women (or invoke the wrath of LotR die-hards) comes in the form of another female elf named Tauriel played by Evangeline Lilly.  Philippa Boyens wanted more “feminine energy” in the films: “We believe it’s completely within the spirit of Tolkien” (Wall Street Journal).  Come December, we’ll see whether or not this is true.

Finally, a fan questioned Jackson on his intentions for a Silmarillion movie.  Entertainment Weekly reported that Jackson said he wouldn’t live long enough to pull it off, and he hinted that the Tolkien estate, owning the rights to the Silmarillion, does not like his movies (Entertainment Weekly).  Despite being some of the biggest films of all time, The Lord of the Rings films do not always stay true to Tolkien’s books, and this has apparently been scorned by not only the books’ fans but also by the author’s estate itself.  Here, too, is a situation that will undoubtedly unfold more clearly the closer we get to December.

Despite my chagrin at the inclusion of a previously unwritten female character (yes, I did just say that, and I support strong women in movies and everything), and my distaste for Jackson’s occasional twisting of Tolkien’s stories, I feel that audiences will have a lot to look forward to in terms of cinematography, acting, and yes, even script adaptation for the two Hobbit installments.  The films previous to these have always provided pure entertainment, stunning visuals, powerful themes and messages, incredible scores, and unforgettable interpretations of long-loved characters (remember Ian McKellen’s standing ovation?).  I don’t doubt that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again will meet these expectations, and frankly, I just want to see Smaug interpreted on the big screen.

If this article wasn’t enough for you, you can view the majority of the panel on YouTube.  Though several users have already uploaded their videos, this one seems to be the best quality overall.  Don’t expect to see the clips from the upcoming films; Comic-Con is very strict about not allowing attendees to videotape or post film clips.  If you want to be that impatient, go google it yourself.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Comic Con coverage. Big shoutouts to all of you who read the articles. I know it sounds corny but you are the reason why we’re doing this. We don’t get paid. Please keep following us on Facebook or Twitter (or start now if you haven’t already done so) for more pop culture opinions.

CCI 2012: Neill Blomkamp Talks Elysium, District 10 & Something Called Chappie

First off let’s talk about Elysium a little bit since it’s the next of his films to come out and we will be hearing more about it soon. Also 6,000 fans were treated to a seven minute clip of Elysium at CCI (More on that later). The film stars Matt Damon as an Earth resident determined to infiltrate the secure space paradise, and Jodie Foster plays an Elysium leader determined to stop him. District 9 star Sharlto Copley returns, this time as a villain, which is very interesting.

The seven-minute clip shows Damon working to escape the filthy planet, enduring a mysterious mechanical brain-implant procedure that leaves him with machinery protruding from the back of his head and encasing his arms.

Previous articles on Elysium;

‘Elysium’ from the director of ‘District 9’: Plot & Images

So what about Neill Blomkamp sequels? Well he did talk a little about future District 9 sequels. Not a great deal given away but still we have hope he comes up with a great idea for a sequel.

“The obvious place to work with him [Peter Jackson] again,” Blomkamp said, “is on ‘District 10,’ or ‘District 8,‘ whatever you wanna call it, however, I’m not sure I’m making that film. It would be cool, but these films take two or three years to make, and the investments are so extreme, you can’t accurately predict where you’ll be a few years from now, I believe. If you’re not creatively invested in it, you’re making a mistake, and that creative investment happens day to day. So I don’t know when that feeling for a ‘District Whatever’ film happens.”

Finally something about a Sci-Fi comedy film Neill Blomkamp is making with Terri Tatchell which I have not heard about before but apparently is going to be his next project. It’s called ‘Chappie’ and Blomkamp spoke a little about it below:

“I wrote ‘Elysium’ on my own, but I wrote ‘Chappie’ with Terri [Tatchell], that was written at the same time. It’s like a fundamentally more simple story, a comedy, a heartfelt story, in a science fiction setting. And it’s f***ing hilarious, it’s a really cool film. I can say that with confidence … It’s a smaller film, a more esoteric one.  It may very well be my next project.  It probably will be. But A) I wanna take some time off, and B) you need to know for sure that that’s what you’re going to do for X number of years. I have another idea for a horror, and for a comedy, but they’re way less fleshed out than ‘Chappie.’ ‘Chappie”s ready to go, and I think ‘Chappie”s what I’m making. But I’m gonna take some time to make sure.”

Check out more Comic-Con coverage here, more pics on our Tumblr and follow the action at the Con over on our Twitter!

The Hobbit in 48fps Demos Film Evolution, Pissed Some People Off

As you can tell, we here at Grizzly Bomb take our snobbish film elitist roles very seriously (duh, we’re on the internet immediately judging and shoving our opinion into people’s throats because we’re empowered by the web). We are also major geeks/nerds that will drool at the prospect of seeing The Hobbit hit the screen in two films. Sometimes these two things do not work in harmony though. We have the capacity to geek out, but news has come out today that will definitely be a talking point until The Hobbit comes out in December. What’s the issue? Peter Jackson has embraced the ‘evolution’ of filmmaking and filmed in 48fps. He decided to screen 10 minutes of the film to various critics at CinemaCon 2012. The problem? Everyone thinks it looks like it was filmed for television. Not even like good television. Like the afternoon soap opera with the motionflow on 120hz TVs. This…is an issue.

According to EW and FilmDrunk, many critics have taken to twitter to give their thoughts on the change and it’s easy to say that most have been very mixed. Kind of like a good news, bad news deal. Here are some thoughts:

“Saw ten minutes of Hobbit in 48fps 3D. Very exciting, but I’m now very unsure about higher framerates #CinemaCon” -Peter Sciretta, SlashFilm

“Great Scott, THE HOBBIT in 48 frames-per-second is a thing to behold. Totally different experience. Not all will like the change” – Josh Dickey, Variety

“Saw 10 min of THE HOBBIT in 48fps. It’s def a drastic change from 24fps and many are not going to be on board with it. #thehobbit” -Steve Weintraub, Collider

“Oh no. Not a fan of 48fps. Oh no no no. […] Listening to Cinemacon people – theater owners – this 48fps demo sold NOBODY. […] THE HOBBIT, frankly, did not look cinematic.” “Here’s what The Hobbit looked like to me: a hi-def version of the 1970s I, Claudius. It is drenched in a TV-like — specifically ’70s-era BBC — video look. People on Twitter have asked if it has that soap opera look you get from badly calibrated TVs at Best Buy, and the answer is an emphatic YES,” -Devin Faraci, BadassDigest

“It’s literally like being on the set next to the actors as they’re performing. […] Once audiences get to seeThe Hobbit screened at the 48 frames per second rate when it’s released in theaters on December 14, 2012, I can guarantee moviegoers are going to demand all films be presented at 48 fps.”- Rebecca Murray, About.com

“Saw the 10 minutes of raw The Hobbit footage in 48FPS 3D. Intriguing, the footage looks amazing, but the 48FPS experience is an odd change” – Alex Billington, Firstshowing.com

Soooo yeah. Let’s tackle the apparent good first. This is huge for film because this was done to make the picture as crisp and realistic as possible and from all apparent signs, it has accomplished that. Film is usually filmed in 24fps so it has a certain look to it where it does not look real life in terms of movements with the camera and the action. Everyone says it is the sharpest picture they have ever seen. However, you are also undoing the look of film over the last several decades. Film has a certain quality to it and to change that look completely is completely jarring. So much so that Peter Jackson himself said he screened 10 minutes because it takes the eyes awhile to adjust to the new look.

Now let me add, I have not seen the footage and can only judge on my experience on watching movies with the motionflow feature. If it is anything like that, which some people on twitter have compared it to, I will have a conniption. Motionflow is great for smoothing out high movement shows like sports. It is terrific for hockey and basketball in my opinion because you want to feel like you are there in the bleachers without having any artifacting or stutters on the screen. However, watching Saving Private Ryan or Thor with this feature on feels…off. It does have a soap opera feel and takes you out of the experience. Storming the beach at Normandy felt like it was filled on a flip cam. It did not feel like a movie. Again, I do not doubt that this will look beautiful, or that this is probably the way filmmaking may go. But we are so used to having one thing and we all know how we all react to change. It is going to divide people and that is good. Filmmaking will always be debated down to the details and it will help “evolve” film whether by frames per second or certain details like film vs digital. I look forward to witnessing this for myself as will the rest of you. I also look forward to the debate at Dennys with Dr. Kronner after the midnight showing on whether it looked great, looked like garbage, and whether films should move in that direction or not. As it should be. Then we will probably get in a fight with someone at Dennys too. Because that’s how we roll at Grizzly Bomb.

Dr. Sleep: Stephen King Writes Sequel to ‘The Shining’

The Shining is a classic movie by all accounts, and bridges the gap between horror and thriller genres allowing it to be heralded by geeks, fiends and “the thinking man” alike.  It’s a movie that is extremely quotable and therefore quite often lampooned and even though it was a product of the 80’s it is still watchable and relevant today. The Shining came in at #29 on AFI’s “Top 100 Thrills” list and more importantly is #2 on The Grizzly Bomb’s list of “Top Horror Movies of the 1980’s”.

The Shining was of course based on Stephen King’s book of the same name and it seems that King has finally returned to the Torrance family with the announcement of his new book Dr. Sleep. According to Wikipedia and other online rumor millings Dr. Sleep follows a grown up Danny Torrance who is using his mental powers to help terminally ill patients move to the beyond. On his current promotional tours Stephen King has been reading the first chapter of Dr. Sleep which catches up to an 8-year old Danny Torrance. Danny and his Mom have moved to Florida where they keep in touch with fellow Overlook survivor Dick Hallorann {he doesn’t get axed in the back in the book} and, as we soon find out, the woman from room 217 haunts more than one bathroom in the world. By doing some quick math we can extrapolate that Dr. Sleep will likely be a modern tale. The Shining takes place in 1977 and Danny is four and if Dr. Sleep follows him at age forty, as rumored, that would set the tale in 2013.

Continue reading Dr. Sleep: Stephen King Writes Sequel to ‘The Shining’

Peter Jackson and His ‘Hobbit’ Video Blogs

Just watched another riveting behind the scenes video of The Hobbit franchise as Peter Jackson gave us his 6th installment, and the first we’ve seen in quite some time.  After the longest 12 minutes I’ve experienced since right before I walked out of Star Wars: Episode One, I learned virtually nothing about the film, but a lot about New Zealand.  Like they have thorn bushes.  And floods.  And everything is pretty.  It kind of felt like I was watching a really boring old dude’s vacation with his family Dungeons and Dragons buddies.

There are so many dwarves I felt like I was manning Snow White’s peephole.  They weren’t really doing anything, just standing around talking; although I did like the look of the scene with them floating down the river in barrels. Also, Andy Serkis needs a haircut.  Yikes.  Maybe Hobbit Gollum will have a mullet.

While the videos don’t really lend any new knowledge about the film, it’s always good to see Peter Jackson continuing his vision for the newest Middle Earth installments.  The man has imagination in spades; even though it appears he only owns one shirt…

Some Stills & Speculation on The Hobbit and Prometheus

Film Drunk dropped this still from Prometheus featuring Noomi Rapace gazing awestruck at something out of frame, which is interesting considering the most intriguing part of the photo is the pair of space jockeys behind her:

Here’s the photo again, lightened considerably to show the jockeys more clearly:

While the mysterious aliens and the tunnel surrounding them recapture H.R. Giger’s iconic style from the original Alien series, Rapace’s spacesuit looks wildly out of place in the gloomy environment. It could just be my obsessive love for Mass Effect talking, but I think the outfit’s looking very much like something Cerberus might design.

Update: Cinema Blend now reports that actress Kate Dickie supposedly spilled some mildly spoilerish plot details in a UK Tabloid, but as they mention, those types of magazines aren’t exactly the picture of accuracy. Keep that in mind while you read on, but remember there are potential spoilers:

Continue reading Some Stills & Speculation on The Hobbit and Prometheus

Benedict Cumberbatch on The Hobbit, Star Trek 2, and ‘Sherlock’ Season 3?

Benedict Cumberbatch is becoming quite the commodity. He just appeared in the acclaimed Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and he’s quickly becoming a phenomenon in the UK. with the success of Sherlock. In addition, he’ll show up later next year in the 2nd movie of The Hobbit series, which we’ll get back to in a minute. First let’s address the fact that it’s been recently reveled that he (along with Doctor Who’s Noel Clarke) will appear in J.J. Abrams’ next Star Trek movie.

Cumberbatch will play the villain in the much-anticipated sequel, and that’s about all we know. When he was asked about it by Collider at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, this is what he said:

There’s a lawyer standing here saying that I can’t say anything. I’m hugely, hugely excited and I’m very, very flattered. I’m very, very excited, but obviously I’m not here to talk about that. I will, in the future, I’m sure. I’m just getting my head around the fact that it’s happened. If you’ll forgive me, I’ll pass on that. But, my headline is that I’m over the moon.

Not a lot to go on there, but rumors have been flying for months that the secret villain will in fact be Kirk’s nemesis Kahn. This was compounded by all the previous casting news had revolved around Latino actors trying out for the part…

Concerning his involvement in The Hobbit (which stars his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman as the lead), Cumberbatch may have recently let something slip he wasn’t supossed to…

“I’m playing Smaug through motion-capture and voicing the Necromancer, which is a character in the Five Legions War or something which I’m meant to understand. He’s not actually in the original Hobbit. It’s something [Peter Jackson]’s taken from Lord Of The Rings that he wants to put in there.”

 

Now Empire had some thoughts on said quote, this is their theory…

Now those familiar with the book will notice immediately the big new piece of information here. Assuming that Cumberbatch does mean the Battle of Five Armies (which seems safe), then this points to one way that Peter Jackson and co. have expanded the book’s story to fill two films, and provide a more seamless link to The Lord Of The Rings.

Readers will know that the Necromancer is Sauron, and that Gandalf disappears halfway through (the book of) The Hobbit to lead a coalition force and drive the Necromancer out of his Mirkwood stronghold. But in the book they dispatch the Necromancer back to (as it turns out) Mordor well before the Battle of Five Armies. Here, however, it looks like he’s going to turn up to the finale in person, presumably at the head of the goblin and Warg army, and face Gandalf’s team there.

If that is the case, it’s a narratively neat way to combine the two story threads, that of Bilbo and the dwarves and the other following Gandalf and his team. It also gives the goblins a stronger motivation to suddenly turn up: in the book, they’re avenging the earlier death of one of their leaders and (like all the other armies present) hoping to get their grubby hands on the dragon’s hoard. If they’re incited or led by Sauron, however, their actions will hang more coherently with their behaviour later in Lord Of The Rings.

Interesting theory, and one I guess we will have confirmed or denied December 14th of this year. Anyhow, Benedict was also asked about a return for a 3rd Season of Sherlock, a question which he eluded and said only that he would ‘like’ to do another one, scared of what he could or could not confirm, but lucky for us one of his producers (Rebecca Eaton) stepped in and confirmed just moment later that we will get another dose of Holmes and Watson in the form of a 3rd season.

So appears to be good news all around as far as I’m concerned. Cumberbatch is owning…