The Best Performances of 2014

Selma trailer

The right director and the right script don’t mean anything without the right actor. Performers are the ones who bridge the gap between the minds behind the camera and the ones in front of the screen. It is their personalities that draw us in, their expressions that tell the story, and their faces that we remember.

There were no shortage of great performances this year, across all genres and all budgets. Inevitably, a few stood out above the rest. See our list of the best performances of 2014 after the jump. Read More »

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Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies review

Note: This review originally ran on December 9. We’ve republished now that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is in theaters.

Every time Peter Jackson returns to Middle Earth, we expect something special. All of his Lord of the Rings films got Best Picture nominations and while The Hobbit films haven’t lived up to the achievement of the first three movies, they’ve had their moments. In my reviews of An Unexpected Journey, and The Desolation of Smaug I found things to like about each film, despite their flaws.

So, following the trajectory of the first trilogy, I hoped The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies would be the best of the bunch. Imagine my disappointment to find out it was the opposite. Below, read our Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies review. Read More »

YouTube Most Watched Trailers Of 2014

We saw some pretty major trailers in 2014. There were trailers for sequels 10, 20, even 30 years in the making; ones for mysterious passion projects; and trailers for adaptations of beloved books. But only one trailer gets to be the most major trailer of 2014. And it’s probably not the one you think it is.

The top movie might surprise you because its not Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Which movie trailer tops the YouTube Most Watched Trailers Of 2014 list? Find out after the jump.

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IMDb’s Highest Rated Movies of 2014

Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy

Every year around this time we take a look at the highest rated movies on IMDb. The movies are rated year round by IMDb users, and provides one of the largest sampling of mainstream public opinion on films. Find out the 40 top films on the IMDB best movies of 2014 list, after the jump.

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VOTD: Stephen Colbert Interviews Smaug

Colbert interviews Smaug

Stephen Colbert is finishing up his long run on The Colbert Report, and the guy is going out with a bang. Colbert is a tolkien super-fan — his enthusiasm for Tolkien got him a role in The Hobbit, and has seen him grace the cover of Entertainment Weekly in costume as several Hobbit characters. One of his last interviews is among his biggest, as he got the dragon Smaug to show up for a chat. To the credit of everyone involved, from the WETA animation team to Smaug mo-cap and voice actor Benedict Cumberbatch, this goes all the way. A couple jokes edge toward serious territory, but they play right into Colbert’s long-standing conservative character. And Cumberbatch, er, Smaug, gets in a few choice lines at the expense of his Hobbit co-stars. Below, check out the video in which Colbert interviews Smaug.

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final hobbit trailer

Peter Jackson has spent about fifteen years all told in Middle-Earth, and his dual set of massive Tolkien adaptations is coming to an end in just a couple weeks with the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Well, almost an end, as there will still be the inevitable extended edition blu-ray release. The end of the series is protracted enough at this point that what was once billed as the final Hobbit trailer really was not, in fact, the last one. This UK trailer is (maybe) truly the final Hobbit trailer, and (much like the recent fan-made effort) it offers a sweeping overview of the whole Hobbit series so far.  Read More »

The Hobbit: The Complete Journey Trailer

Since the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I’ve been saying that once Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings prequel trilogy is released some fan will edit together an awesome epic three hour movie using all the footage. Well with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies gearing up for release, we are already beginning to see what this might look like.

Los Angeles-based editor Joel Walden has edited together a trailer for what he calls The Hobbit: The Complete Journey, which yes combines footage from all three films into one epic film. Watch the trailer embedded after the jump.

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Peter Jackson in The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug Production Diary 14

Peter Jackson has never quite been sure how many movies based on the world of J.R.R. Tolkien he was going to make. In his initial pitch, he combined the three Lord of the Rings novels into two movies. He then ended up making three. And even though those movies were long, he released extended editions of each. He then decided he didn’t want to tackle The Hobbit, and passed the job to Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro dropped though and Jackson jumped back into the directors chair to make two movies based on the one book. As he was shooting though, he realized he had enough for three movies, and now we have both a Lord of the Rings Trilogy and a Hobbit Trilogy.

Both of those trilogies used information from Appendices Tolkien wrote later to add meat to the bone and that begs the question, is he really done? Well, at the press junket for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies that point was discussed. One actor seems to think more Lord of the Rings movies are possible but logistically, it’s probably not. Read the quotes below. Read More »

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