Posted on Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 by Angie Han
It’s well established by now that studios are willing to pay a high premium for established brands — books, TV shows, board games, really anything that might sound remotely familiar to moviegoers. When the investment pays off, we get record-breaking gems like The Avengers. But when it doesn’t, studios and moviegoers lose hundreds of millions on stinkers like Battleship.
What if, then, you could capitalize on recognizable names without actually paying for any rights? That’s what an outfit called The Asylum is doing. Their newest direct-to-DVD “mockbuster” is Age of the Hobbits, a hilariously low-rent affair that has nothing whatsoever to do with Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Unfortunately for them, a court has now blocked Age of the Hobbits‘ planned December 11 release, citing the “likelihood” of consumer confusion. The trailer after the jump offers a peek at star Bai Ling and the other goofy delights we’ll be missing.
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Yesterday we saw an image billed as the first from The Hobbit: There and Back Again, which is the third film in Peter Jackson‘s trilogy adapting J.R.R. Tolkien‘s short novel The Hobbit. I wondered if that might have been a mistake in billing, and that the still might actually have been from the second film, The Desolation of Smaug. After all, we hadn’t seen anything from the second movie yet, and so to see a still from the third seemed odd.
But that was indeed from the third movie. And now we’ve got the first pic from The Desolation of Smaug, and the guess is that it comes from the very end of the film, just as Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is coming face to face with the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) for the first time. See that, and a new pic from the first Hobbit film, below. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2012 by Angie Han
Great as it was to finally get a glimpse of Star Trek Into Darkness that lasted more than 1/8 of a second, today’s one-minute “teaser announcement” really only served to whet our appetites, not satisfy them. Luckily, additional footage won’t be too hard to come by in the near future.
Recently, we learned that a nine-minute prologue would play before IMAX 3D screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey starting December 14. Now the studio has released more details on the preview, including exactly which domestic and international cinemas will play the clip. Hit the jump for more info.
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Things are going into overdrive for Peter Jackson‘s first film adapting The Hobbit, but before the film opens on December 14 we’ve got a great behind the scenes look at the production of the film. This 13-minute featurette features a lot of film footage you probably haven’t seen yet, and has some good interviews, to boot.
Plus, we’ve got the first official still from the second Hobbit movie (or is it from the third?) after the break.
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When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is good, it’s really good. Throughout Peter Jackson‘s first film in the Hobbit trilogy, his camera sweeps through an epic battle, and Howard Shore’s score crescendos through the speakers as thirteen dwarves, one wizard and a hobbit fight for their lives. That’s what most audiences are paying to see, and the film provides that on a grand scale, again and again.
“Again and again” is also the film’s biggest issue. On a consistent basis, it’s almost as if Jackson forgets he has two more films to release and is forced to pump the brakes. Tangents pop out of nowhere, dialogue scenes are stretched into infinity, and a familiar structure of capture followed by rousing escape, is consistently repeated. Much of the film feels like it’s purposely attempting to stall the dwarves’ quest from progressing.
What we’re left with is a huge, beautiful piece of entertainment, the lows of which are slightly outweighed by its adrenaline pumping highs. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey works, but feels bloated, derived from the fact that it’s based on a child’s book, only stuffed and stretched beyond the bounds of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s original narrative. Still, its flaws and fun work hand in hand to provide a suitably rousing first act to the Hobbit trilogy. Read More »
Just yesterday we passed on some quotes from Peter Jackson about the process of designing the dragon Smaug, aka the big villain of the book The Hobbit, and Jackson’s three films adapting it. At the time that interview was conducted, Smaug wasn’t quite done. But we know that he makes a very brief appearance in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which is starting to screen for press and has already had its world premiere in New Zealand.
Now a new TV spot features the first footage that gives any real glimpse of Smaug. But don’t expect too much. There’s a good bit of firey strafing from an object flying through the sky, but frankly the footage here almost looks as if it features a less than fully rendered shape. If nothing else, the shots used in this spot really don’t need to show the dragon in much detail, and indeed they don’t.
Check it out for yourself below, in both video and still form. Read More »
Not long ago we pointed you toward Rolling Stone for the premiere of Neil Finn‘s end credits song for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Now we can point you back to the site for a stream of the full score. If you’re ready to experience Howard Shore‘s music divorced from Peter Jackson‘s film, head right here and enable the player. I understand wanting to wait, however; I’m going to hold off listening to the score on its own until after I’ve seen the film.
But there’s a bit more, after the break, as Jackson recently had a few good things to say about the differences in effects approaches in this return to Middle-Earth. Advances in CG effects mean that Jackson can turn human actors into even more imposing Orcs and Goblins than was possible a decade ago. He also talks about the process of designing the dragon Smaug, who we might see very briefly in this first film. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. premiered The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey yesterday in New Zealand, but a review embargo was set in place to keep reviews from flooding the interwebs in advance of the first major US press screenings this weekend. But that embargo trick never really works, and so of course at least one outlet has broken out with a review (some might say “review”) in advance of the agreed-upon date. Get a few bits of reaction info below. Read More »