Unless you’ve been hiding out in a hobbit-hole or held captive by a cave troll, you’re undoubtedly aware that director Peter Jackson’s long-awaited return to Middle-earth, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is opening next week. And you’re probably also aware that Jackson shot the film in a new format, 48 frames per second, which has kicked up a fair bit of fuss among early reviewers, not all of it positive. But what does 48 frames per second even mean? Is it actually a better way to experience the film? Here are five things you should know before buying your ticket. READ FULL STORY
Tag: The Hobbit (11-20 of 55)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year — not just because the holidays are around the corner, but also because mid-season finales are at hand on TV, and a certain breed of small, fuzzy-footed creature is making its way back to the big screen. Check out our picks for the week below, including the all-star Hurricane Sandy benefit and the much-anticipated Homeland finale. Have a great week! READ FULL STORY
If you think all of the amped-up anticipation and feverish speculation surrounding Peter Jackson’s long-awaited return to Middle-earth with The Hobbit has been intense — well, just imagine being Martin Freeman. From the moment he was cast as the reluctant hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins in Jackson’s epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved children’s book, the British actor has been doing his best to shut out all of the noise for his sanity’s sake. Going on-line to eavesdrop on the fans’ expectations and armchair-quarterbacking of The Hobbit is “a suicide mission,” he tells EW. “If I read one bad thing about me — it can be one person’s opinion in Idaho — I’m like, ‘Jesus, why does everyone hate me?’ ” he says. “If you read four of those, you think, ‘Everyone in the solar system hates me!’ Then even if you read 80 people saying, ‘I think he’s wonderful and I really want to f— him,’ you’re still thinking, ‘But that person in Idaho…’ ” He pauses and adds drily, “In short, I don’t really seek out the Hobbit stuff.”
With the Dec. 14 release of the first installment, An Unexpected Journey, finally almost here, this week’s issue of EW goes deep into “the Hobbit stuff,” exploring the film’s long, difficult road to the big screen and the critical, sometimes controversial creative decisions Jackson has made along the way — most notably, his surprising decision to turn the planned two-film adaptation into a full trilogy. That decision took even Freeman aback at first. “At first, I must say, I was like, ‘Why?’ ” the actor says, adding that he quickly came around. “You kind of think, ‘I’ve already put this much of my life into two movies. What am I going to do now – not put it into three?’ In for a penny, in for a pound.” READ FULL STORY
Can every week be Hobbit Week on The Colbert Report?
Last night, Stephen Colbert launched a full week of episodes dedicated to dissecting Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — complete with a set elaborately decorated to look like The Shire, where Middle-earth’s most fuzzy-footed creatures make their home. The fake pundit — and real Tolkien superfan — welcomed as his first guest Sir Ian McKellen, a celebrated actor who’s best known in geek circles for playing Magneto in the X-Men movies and Gandalf in Jackson’s Tolkien adaptations.
Though he never broke character, Colbert was obviously psyched to share his second breakfast table with McKellen. After showing a clip from the new movie, the actor and the host chatted about everything from why Gandalf the Grey is more fun than Gandalf the White, whether Colbert or McKellen knows more about the character’s mythology, and McKellen’s work as a gay rights advocate. The highlight: McKellen quipped that a new Jackson sequel will star “Gandalf the Gay”: “And you get to find out who is his favorite dwarf.”
For all this, plus McKellen’s assessment of who would win in a fight between Magneto and the White Wizard, click below. READ FULL STORY
In a way, Batman is sort of like Santa Claus. He’s cloaked in mystery, sorts through the naughty and the nice at night, and has helpers who build his magnificent toys. Also — little known fact — the real Santa delivers his “Ho, ho, ho’s” in an Eastwoodian whisper. So it makes some sense that The Dark Knight Rises arrives on Blu-ray just in time for it to become the stocking stuffer of the holiday season. (Yeah, like you’re going to wait that long to watch it again.)
Check out what else this week has in store.
SUNDAY, Dec. 2
Boardwalk Empire season finale, HBO, 10 p.m.
Empire has demonstrated that it knows how to close. Every season, HBO’s gangster prohibition drama eases into the action, patiently setting up the game’s pieces during the first few episodes, before thundering towards an emotional climax. Expect more fireworks tonight. READ FULL STORY
With The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey landing on the big screen in less than two weeks, it’s little surprise a new Lord of the Rings videogame is also hitting the market. Rather than serving up the usual movie-tied mediocrity though, Guardians of Middle-earth is a complementary experience more focused on sword-swinging, spell-spitting action than frolicking through the Shire in short-pants.
A multiplayer online battle arena—or MOBA, as us game geeks call it—Guardians pits two teams of five against each other in epic melees that allow players to litter the cobblestones with corpses from behind class-specific weapons and powers. Those who found Lego Lord of the Rings too tame for their tastes should appreciate the opportunity to tear Gandalf a new one with Gollum’s “My Precious” power—something I’m pretty certain you won’t see in the forthcoming film. Check out the exclusive launch trailer below.
READ FULL STORY
Who’s a finer swordsman: Aragorn, son of Arathorn, or Kingslayer Jaime Lannister? Could red priestess Melisandre take on wicked wizard Saruman the White? Are creepy ringwraiths better suited for battle than creepy White Walkers? And which honor-bound nobleman would prevail in a duel to the death — brooding Boromir or brooding Eddard Stark?
Unfortunately, J.R.R. Tolkein isn’t around to answer these burning questions. (Also, he’d have no idea who half of the characters listed above are.) But George R. R. Martin — author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the series on which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based — is. Watch below to see who Martin would bet on in ten matches that pit his characters against Tolkien’s – though if you’ve only seen the TV show or read just the first two Song of Ice and Fire books, you might want to skip to 00:36 in order to avoid a major spoiler.
Forget giant eagles. Citizens of Middle Earth have stepped into the future and are now flying aboard 777s. Or at least they are in Air New Zealand’s new in-flight safety video, “An Unexpected Briefing.” The video, which was created in anticipation of the December release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, starts screening on Air New Zealand flights this week.
In the video, the elven flight attendant starts with a message we’re used to hearing in safety videos (“Even if you flight with us often, be sure to keep a sharp eye on the briefing”) but aren’t used to obeying. But this video is different — orcs, hobbits, Ringwraiths, dwarves, and elves have a way of boosting entertainment value.
Check out the video below to see Peter Jackson put on the one ring, some gorgeous Aragorn-like hair whip back in the breeze, a Gollum cameo courtesy of Weta, and an obligatory quoting of Gandalf’s most airplane-applicable line. Dean O’Gorman, who plays Fili in The Hobbit, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s great-grandsons Mike and Royd also make an appearance. READ FULL STORY
The first of Peter Jackson’s 75,000 Hobbit movies is nearly upon us and what better way to celebrate than to build a 43-foot sculpture of Gollum in your airport?
Wellington International Airport in New Zealand (where The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy were filmed), unveiled the awesome/nightmarish creation from Japanese artist Masayuki Ohashi on Friday. Made out of polystyrene and epoxy resin, the sculpture features three 13-foot fish suspended in front of Gollum’s head and single arm, along with some bubbles for good measure. It was designed by Weta Workshop, the special-effects company behind Jackson’s two trilogies. All in all, it took crews four months to assemble the entire piece.
Why the airport placement, you ask? Weta co-founder Richard Taylor explains: “Wellington Airport feels like the home of Gollum after spending so many months here during the last three films.” He went on to add that he hopes the sculpture will encourage more New Zealand filmmaking in the future. “We spend months out in the world championing what our industry can offer and this is a flagship of that to the world.” Watch a video of the installation below:
You have to admit, it is pretty amazing. And yet, there’s something undeniably creepy about a giant hand reaching out over your head while you wait at baggage claim. Couldn’t they have built an ent or something? In any case, if you want to check it out, be sure to visit New Zealand in the next few months.
Is this more or less over-the-top than Denny’s Hobbit tie-in menu?
Peter Jackson on a possible Stephen Colbert ‘Hobbit’ cameo: ‘I’ve never met a bigger Tolkien geek in my life’
‘The Hobbit’ poster: You like dwarves? We got dwarves!
‘The Hobbit’ trailer: A deep dive into the new clip
Gollum is alive and well and freaking out children in London! At least, his disembodied voice is. Which might be even creepier.
This Saturday, motion capture magician Andy Serkis appeared at an event celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Lord of the Rings books. And though the actor admitted that he had difficulty getting into character for Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit movies — “Twelve years later … I’ve heard that many impersonations [and] people ask me to do that many telephone messages for them. So the first days of getting back into the character are really hard” — Serkis had no trouble busting out his Gollum voice for an audience of rapt kids. Here’s him reading a selection from The Hobbit in that signature nasal rasp: