We’re taking a look at one of the first and most famous of all Fanzines, Famous Monsters of Filmland. Created by Mr. Science Fiction himself, Forrest J. Ackerman, both the man and the magazine have had an immense influence on generations of artists and industry vets, from Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson to Rick Baker and Dennis Muren.
Though many fans are still getting over the CG disappointment that was the Hobbit Trilogy, a recent announcement concerning the BluRay/ DVD release might just bring some back into the fold. The extended version of the epic finale, will include a R rated version of The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies.
Almost exactly a year since the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the follow-up is set to debut. Once again directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug picks up immediately after its predecessor, continuing the journey of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, who reluctantly teams up with a group of Dwarves and the great wizard Gandalf to retrieve their gold from the vicious dragon Smaug.
The majority of the cast from the first film returns, Martin Freeman (Sherlock), Ian McKellen (X-Men), and Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) to name a few, but the more exciting news is the additions to the cast that include Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness, Sherlock), returning LOTR’s star Orlando Bloom, and Fast & Furious 6 villain Luke Evans. The trailer’s a bit long, coming in around 3 minutes, but it does a pretty stellar job of showcasing the scale of this film. While I wasn’t that excited before, this trailer’s finally convinced me. Check it out:
This trailer is pretty awesome, but what scares me is the trailer for the first Hobbit was pretty damn good too. Going into that knowing this series was set up for a trilogy, I found I was able to simply enjoy it and have fun, without looking for an actually fulfilling story. That worked cause it was simply setting up the characters, but at the same time, it led on that it’d be this epic journey, when in actuality it was a small adventure. This again looks to be an epic journey, and hopefully it can skip the exposition of teaching us the characters, and move past seceding the story to preserve for the third film. Also, the addition of Cumberbatch is always welcomed. Even in voice alone, he is a force to reckon with, and makes me that much more excited for the film.
Lastly, it’ll be interesting to see the ticket sales this time around for the HFR (48 Frames per a second) because last year people were selecting to see it that way to check out this “new form of cinema”, but this time they most likely have an opinion on it (and most likely negative). To me, I didn’t mind it too much, I thought the scenes of character’s faces and of the landscape were beautiful, but the special effects stood out like a sour thumb, and the majority of people I’ve talked to really disliked it.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is due out December 13th.
I’m sort of looking forwards to The Hobbit films – I’m not quite sure how it’s going to cope with being three films, but I liked The Lord of The Ring enough (and Peter Jacksons other stuff) to hold off on judgement until they are released.
And now we have some pictures! These are going to be published in a 2013 annual for the first film but they’ve already leaked out (messy) via Uproxx.
First up we have a great looking group shot of Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) and all the dwarves – all looking moody as they tramp off on their quest.
There are 13 dwarves in all and I’ve no idea what most of them are called. I do know that the lead dwarf is Thorin Oakenshield – played by Richard Armitage – seen her with Aidan Turner as Kili (the pretty dwarf) and…some other dwarf.
Here is Aidan Turner again looking all mean, moody and, dare I say, sexy. Surely dwarves should not look this hot.
Two more dwarves. I’m pretty sure the one on the right is Scottish actor Ken Stott, so that would make it Balin.
And here are three more battle ready dwarves (Happy, Bashful and Doc…maybe?)
They all look great but what we all want to see is Lee Pace as Elvenking Thranduil ( Legolas’ Dad). And here he is in all his camp, elvish glory.
Is that not the most fabulous crown you ever did? Coupled with the finest eyebrows in all of Middle Earth. No wonder he’s king.
So, anywho, the first film The Unexpected Journey is out in early December.
A couple of years ago, some of you may remember that in a startlingly logical move, a studio decided to adapt and release The Lord Of The Rings as a trilogy of films, each as its own movie telling the story originally told in three parts in the novel. After those movies went on to make millions and millions of dollars at the box office, studios were looking to fast track the obvious follow-up to LOTR, which was Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The main difference between the two, being that The Hobbit was a significantly shorter, simpler, and far less densely written story, that was originally written as a children’s book. And then it got shelved, re-planned, re-thought out, and finally years later picked back up again by Peter Jackson, who now, along with the money-grubbing studios that want another million dollar trilogy, is adapting The Hobbit into a movie of its own. Three of them, to be exact, as stated on Peter Jackson’s Facebook. Via [Chicago Tribune]
“We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance,” Jackson wrote.
“So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of ‘The Hobbit’ films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.”
Now while I’m not directly against an adaptation of The Hobbit itself, because it’s an amazing story, It is decidedly NOT enough story to adapt into 2 movies, and streeeettching it into 3 is downright frivolous. It’s a pretty straightforward story. Hobbit joins up with dwarves for adventure. They fight trolls and spiders. They try to steal a dragons treasure. Dragon gets mad. They war against the dragon. War ends. The END. It’s enough story to make a really badass 3 hour movie, with each act reflecting each part of the book. But since making money is paramount over making concise, unbloated, well paced adaptations, we’re going to get 2 unnecessary sequels so as much money as possible can be dragged out of our wallets as we’re forced to pay $16 dollars three times over the course of three years (at least!) , to see it in special LieMax 48fps 3D Digitial Surround sound with bonus cups and collectible glasses! Don’t forget the final showing of the third movie in 2014! Where you can buy a $50 dollar ticket to see all three in one sitting for 12 straight hours, and afterward you can go home and hang yourself because you’ve finally seen Peter Jackson’s ONE TRUE VISION brought to the silver screen.
So yeah. Not a fan of this being split up I guess, is what I’m saying.
Those Lord of the Rings fans who went there and back again to Comic-Con International were rewarded for their line-waiting devotion.
This past weekend Peter Jackson took to the Hall H stage with screenwriter Philippa Boyens and actors Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen (it should be noted he received a standing ovation), Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, and Elijah Wood, who was a surprise guest. The panel started with a showing of the latest behind-the-scenes video blog that Jackson has been faithfully providing fans via the official Facebook fan page. Then Jackson revealed a full 12 and a half minutes scenes from both parts of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey (out this December) and There and Back Again (December 2013). A detailed description of each scene revealed can be found at Cinemablend.com or on Entertainment Weekly’s Inside Movies site.
Several seemingly minor yet key announcements and decisions rolled out during the panel.
First, Jackson chose to avoid screening his clips using 3D and 48 frames per second, a decision most likely based on the mixed reaction he received when he did this at Cinema-Con; this may have been in his best interest as the scenes were welcomed far more openly than they were at the previous convention.
Also, Jackson noted that he had shot enough footage to create extended editions of the films or possibly produce a third film. The Internet has been filled with these speculations for the last few days, but Variety says otherwise. A studio representative said there was no “planned surprise,” and that “The plan was always for two” (Variety.com). Time will reveal how this pans out, but Jackson may have to just settle with some whopping extended editions.
A third announcement that should excite the women (or invoke the wrath of LotR die-hards) comes in the form of another female elf named Tauriel played by Evangeline Lilly. Philippa Boyens wanted more “feminine energy” in the films: “We believe it’s completely within the spirit of Tolkien” (Wall Street Journal). Come December, we’ll see whether or not this is true.
Finally, a fan questioned Jackson on his intentions for a Silmarillion movie. Entertainment Weekly reported that Jackson said he wouldn’t live long enough to pull it off, and he hinted that the Tolkien estate, owning the rights to the Silmarillion, does not like his movies (Entertainment Weekly). Despite being some of the biggest films of all time, The Lord of the Rings films do not always stay true to Tolkien’s books, and this has apparently been scorned by not only the books’ fans but also by the author’s estate itself. Here, too, is a situation that will undoubtedly unfold more clearly the closer we get to December.
Despite my chagrin at the inclusion of a previously unwritten female character (yes, I did just say that, and I support strong women in movies and everything), and my distaste for Jackson’s occasional twisting of Tolkien’s stories, I feel that audiences will have a lot to look forward to in terms of cinematography, acting, and yes, even script adaptation for the two Hobbit installments. The films previous to these have always provided pure entertainment, stunning visuals, powerful themes and messages, incredible scores, and unforgettable interpretations of long-loved characters (remember Ian McKellen’s standing ovation?). I don’t doubt that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again will meet these expectations, and frankly, I just want to see Smaug interpreted on the big screen.
If this article wasn’t enough for you, you can view the majority of the panel on YouTube. Though several users have already uploaded their videos, this one seems to be the best quality overall. Don’t expect to see the clips from the upcoming films; Comic-Con is very strict about not allowing attendees to videotape or post film clips. If you want to be that impatient, go google it yourself.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our Comic Con coverage. Big shoutouts to all of you who read the articles. I know it sounds corny but you are the reason why we’re doing this. We don’t get paid. Please keep following us on Facebook or Twitter (or start now if you haven’t already done so) for more pop culture opinions.