The second of Peter Jackson‘s trilogy of films adapting The Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug, both improves on the previous film, and regresses from some of its achievements. In 2012′s An Unexpected Journey, Jackson stretched the story of The Hobbit to a breaking point. Sequences that were mere blips in the book became much longer, hurting the pacing immensely. At the start of this second film, Jackson picks up the pace considerably and, in just over an hour, our characters are at their final destination: The Lonely Mountain. Unfortunately, there’s still an hour and a half to go (plus another movie) which means that briefly improved, upbeat pace comes to a screeching halt. Plus that rushed first hour glosses over some of the most famous scenes in J.R.R. Tolkien‘s book.
Besides the major pacing problems, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has lots of good things going for it, including more rousing action, great performances by new characters, and several beautiful new settings. But all of those don’t save the film from being considerably divisive.
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Scott Cooper isn’t a director with mainstream interests. His first film, Crazy Heart, was about a grizzled old musician; it won an Oscar for Jeff Bridges. His second film, Out of the Furnace, tells a methodical story of crime and revenge set in and around a blue collar Pennsylvania town during 2008, just as the American economy began to crap the bed. Christian Bale stars at Russ, a man with plenty of hardship in his life, who is forced to deal with even more problems when his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) disappears. Throughout, Cooper is interested in the setting and characters, and subtly suggesting information to an audience, instead of huge setpieces and obvious reveals.
We spoke to Cooper about the difficulties of bringing a smaller story like this to the big screen. We also talked about how he changed the original screenplay, the rising trend of rural noir, some of the film’s questionable decisions and ultimately why he decided not to make The Stand. Read the full interview below. Read More »
Considering there’s another film set for release in 2014, it’s no spoiler to reveal The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ends on a massive cliffhanger. It also ends very close to the end of J.R.R. Tolkien’s narrative of The Hobbit, which means unless There And Back Again is 20 minutes long, it’ll be stuffed with new narrative linking Peter Jackson‘s current trilogy with the Lord of the Rings.
Recently, one of the film’s stars teased the press by saying the character of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) would be the main link between the trilogies. Jackson also explained how he justified putting that character, which isn’t in The Hobbit novel, into the film by giving a brief Tolkien history lesson. Read More »
Posted on Monday, December 9th, 2013 by David Chen
Dave and Devindra discuss some messed up Korean thrillers, praise the sci-fi trappings of Almost Human, debate how well Spike Lee treats his poster artists, and mourn the loss of Paul Walker. Writer/director Vincenzo Natali joins us. Be sure to check out Vincenzo’s latest work at The Darknet Files.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we land on the unfriendly side of the Berlin Wall, consider the more meaningful side of the movies, witness one of the most truly horrible trailers I’ve seen all year, revisit the JFK assassination, and get wowed by a desert.
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Which milestone did Thor: The Dark World just cross? How will X-Men: Apocalypse tie in with X-Men: Days of Future Past? Want to see an alternate opening to Kick-Ass 2? Who is B.J. Novak playing The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Have producers decided on the title of Batman vs. Superman? How can you learn more about Jessica Jones? Why did Deadpool look the way he did in X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits.
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Before Ben Affleck becomes Batman, he’s getting his own Mondo poster series. The company just revealed they’ve got a new series of limited edition prints coming up, based on the director’s previous films Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo. Here’s what the actor/director said about the company:
I’ve always loved Mondo and their passion for film, as well as their talented stable of artists. I was initially drawn by their ability to offer a unique perspective on so many beloved films and am thrilled to see my films become the newest additions to their work.
While we love the blockbuster and cult films the company usually targets, immortalizing Affleck’s small dramas feels likes a smart, surprising departure. Check out the images below. Read More »
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Things are ever-changing in the X-Men movie universe at 20th Century Fox. First, it was revealed James Mangold is developing a sequel to this year’s hit The Wolverine. Next, Bryan Singer revealed a sixth X-Men film is in the works for 2016, just as Simon Kinberg officially came on board to further develop the franchise. All that seems very encouraging except one of the biggest pieces isn’t 100% sold yet: Hugh Jackman.
In a recent interview, Jackman admitted he’s “excited” to develop the new Wolverine film but his expectations are so high, if the script doesn’t meet them, he won’t do it. Read his quote below. Read More »