The Hobbit — The Desolation of Smaug: Desolate This!

by Ethan Alter December 13, 2013 6:00 am
<i>The Hobbit — The Desolation of Smaug</i>: Desolate This!

The interesting thing about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is that while it's ostensibly meant to continue the adventure that began in the previous installment An Unexpected Journey, it's equally concerned with setting up what's to come. And I'm not talking about the third and final installment in Peter Jackson's super-sized adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's slender fantasy tale There and Back Again (coming your way next December). I mean the original three films that started his soon-to-be-six-chapter Middle-earth opus, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's not just the extended re-appearance of Orlando Bloom's elfin archer Legolas that brings to minds buzzwords like Fellowship, Towers and returning Kings: Desolation of Smaug is filled with allusions to, in-jokes about and extensive set-up for the War of the Ring that rocks Middle-earth either 60-odd years from now (movie time) or 10 years in the past (real world time). A more accurate title for the movie might be: The Hobbit: The Lord of the Rings Begins… Oh Yeah, and There's Some Dragon Named Smaug Flying About, Too.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: On the Road Again

by Ethan Alter December 14, 2012 12:01 am
<i>The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey</i>: On the Road Again

It's been almost a decade since the One Ring was cast into the fires of Mount Doom, rescuing Middle-earth from the scourge of Sauron. In the wake of that triumph, Aragon reclaimed his throne, Frodo sailed off to the Grey Havens and Sam returned home to his wife and daughter with an earnest, "Well, I'm back." As for Peter Jackson -- the unlikely filmmaker who brought J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings to life onscreen in a trio of much-loved blockbusters -- he's gone from being a New Zealand-based cult favorite to a reigning master of Hollywood spectacle, alongside directors like James Cameron and Steven Spielberg.

Won't You Take Me To (doo doo doo) Hobbiton?

by Kasey McDonald August 21, 2008 11:49 am
Won't You Take Me To (doo doo doo) Hobbiton?

The fellowship that led to Middle Earth success is officially coming back to Hobbiton. No, that other fellowship. As Variety reports, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have signed on to collaborate on The Hobbit and its sequel with director and my favorite matador, Guillermo del Toro. The wonder-writers of the immensely successful (and totally awesome) The Lord of the Rings trilogy will finish telling the rest of J.R.R. Tolkien's story before del Toro takes the reigns on directing the two films back-to-back. (Filming starts next year.)

Sir Ian Takes Wiz in Hobbit Sequels

by Odie Henderson April 30, 2008 4:02 pm
Sir Ian Takes Wiz in Hobbit Sequels

Fanboys rejoice! Sir Ian McKellan (that's Magneto to you) is reprising his role as Gandalf in Guillermo Del Toro's Hobbit Part One and Hobbit Part Deux. Reuters quotes McKellan as saying " I spoke to Guillermo in the very room that Peter Jackson offered me the part and he confirmed that I would be reprising the role. Obviously, it's not a part that you turn down, I loved playing Gandalf." If memory serves me correctly, McKellan's Gandalf, Ian Holm's Bilbo Baggins and Andy Serkis' CGI Gollum characters are the only ones that overlap with the Lord of the Rings. This means those of you waiting for that super hot liquor-filled love scene between Samwise and Frodo will have to instead scour the Internet for that fanboy fiction that turns Mount Doom into Brokeback Mountain. Those Hobbits, they know how to par-tay!

Hopefully, del Toro will do a better job than Rankin and Bass with the material. Their animated Hobbit, which far too many of my schoolmates watched in lieu of reading the assigned book, isn't exactly terrible. It's what you'd expect from the guys who gave us a Baby New Year whose big ears rival Will Smith's and Barack Obama's. But if del Toro is so dedicated that he's moving to New Zealand for four years to work on the films with producer Peter Jackson, one can hope that level of dedication equals quality filmmaking. We'll know in 2010 when the first film comes out.

Speaking of which, why are there two movies in the first place? The Hobbit isn't that big a book, and its story doesn't seem equipped to be spread over two films. Is this greed on the part of the filmmakers? Perhaps New Line can do a cross-pollination of Warner Bros. franchises, and reveal in the two part film version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that Gandalf and Dumbledore knew each other in the Biblical sense. I'm being facetious and silly, but I really do mean the next line you're about to read. If they don't include Leonard Nimoy's horrific "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" on the Hobbit soundtrack, I ain't going to see it.

Del Toro Already Caught Up In Hobbit Windstorm

by DeAnn Welker April 28, 2008 4:47 pm
Del Toro Already Caught Up In <i>Hobbit</i> Windstorm

Most Tolkien fans breathed a sigh of relief last week when it was announced that Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy director Guillermo Del Toro would direct The Hobbit. There were notable exceptions, but it was mostly a fanboy's or fangirl's dream come true.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 5, 2013

by Ethan Alter November 5, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Channing Tatum's attempt to be the next John McClane goes down.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 19, 2013

by Ethan Alter March 19, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hey guys, wait for me! We forgot to sing "On the Road Again!"

Oscars 2013: Our Gut Reaction to the Nominations

by Ethan Alter January 10, 2013 10:26 am
Oscars 2013: Our Gut Reaction to the Nominations

We reflect on the just-announced 2013 Oscar nominations. Sorry DC Nation... Marvel Studios has kicked your butt one more time.

The Top Ten Movies of 2012

by Ethan Alter December 27, 2012 9:56 am
The Top Ten Movies of 2012

The Moviefile puts a bow on 2012 with our official Top Ten list, plus a bunch of honorable mentions.

Casting Cornucopia

by Tippi Blevins June 13, 2008 11:19 am
Casting Cornucopia Lots of casting goodies have come out since yesterday. Like Oliver Twist looking for another helping of sweet, sweet gruel, step on up with your bowl in hand and get ready to feast on these:

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Amanda Peet has joined the cast of Roland Emmerich's 2012. She'll play the ex-wife to John Cusack's struggling writer. They, along with a few other survivors, will face the end of the world together--she with her new rich husband, he with a particularly chilly rejection letter from The New Yorker. Peet should feel right at home in this one, as there were probably many times during her stint on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip when she felt like she was waiting for the apocalypse.

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