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.

Conan The Barbarian. Again.

by Odie Henderson August 13, 2008 3:49 pm
Conan The Barbarian. Again. Wasn't Lionsgate supposed to be revamping their image to be more Universal Pictures and less Dimension Films? Isn't that why they risked a visit from the Cenobites by mutilating the release of Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train? If so, then Lionsgate has a warped idea of what constitutes classy movies. They are currently in the process of dropping $100 million on a remake of Ah-nuld's gory 1982 showdown with a Darth Vader voice, Conan the Barbarian. The John Milius and Sandahl Bergman epic, written by Ollie Stone, was originally rewritten by the folks who did Sahara. That script was tossed, presumably because nobody would believe Matthew McConaughey was barbaric. At least not the way Conan is.

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.

The Adventures of Tintin: Raiders of the Lost Unicorn

by Ethan Alter December 21, 2011 6:00 am
<i>The Adventures of Tintin</i>: Raiders of the Lost Unicorn

There's a clever gag early on in The Adventures of Tintin that effectively passes the baton from the title character's comic-book origins in the 1930s to his 21st century incarnation as the hero of a lavish animated blockbuster. In the scene, investigative journalist/globetrotting adventurer Tintin (played here by Jamie Bell via the magic of motion capture technology) is sitting with his back to the audience, having his picture drawn by a flea market street artist. The illustrator puts the finishing touches on the portrait and hands it over to his subject, saying proudly, "I think I've captured your likeness." With that, Tintin turns towards the camera and we see the character's past and present in the same frame. On the canvas is a sketch of Tintin as Belgian artist Hergé first drew him all those years ago. Next to that is the version of the character the animators at Weta Digital -- the New Zealand effects house operated by Peter Jackson, one of the primary creative forces behind this new movie, along with its director Steven Spielberg -- have come up with. While these two faces aren't precisely mirror images of each other, the mo-cap figure is still recognizably Tintin. In a single shot, the filmmakers convincingly lift this iconic character off the two-dimensional comics page and turn him into a walking, talking movie star.

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