The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey exemplifies the difference between “disappointing” and “bad.” Director Peter Jackson created a modern classic with his Lord of the Rings trilogy, and fans had every right to expect the same genius from the prequel. Sadly, it was not to be: The Hobbit is too long, too bloated and too unsure of its ultimate purpose to rank alongside its fellows. That said, it still captures the essence of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imaginary world, as well as providing reliable entertainment in its own right. Hit the jump for my full review.
Last night, I managed to squeeze in a double feature of Dredd 3D and The Master. While I wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of not having a 2D showing available to choose from, I have to admit that director Pete Travis‘ film provided me with my first 3D screening since 2010′s Piranha 3D that actually felt worth the extra dimension and additional ticket price. As for The Master, it’s probably unfair to judge something so heavy after a single viewing. That said, my initial reaction is that I can’t remember watching a film where its individual parts so far exceed the sum the first time around. From top to bottom the pic’s technicality is superb. And yet, I don’t see myself in any hurry to revisit Paul Thomas Anderson‘s latest world.
Moving forward to the reason we’re all here, in this week’s episode of the Top 5, The Hobbit celebrates Tolkien Week in a big way with a new trailer and images, we get our first looks at a new suit from director Jose Padilha‘s Robocop reboot, Steve sits down to talk End of Watch with Jake Gyllenhaal, Anna Kendrick, and more, Kick-Ass 2 set images continue to roll out while Aaron Johnson talks about the film at TIFF, and Fantastic Fest 2012 kicks off. Continue reading for a brief recap and link to each.
In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the publishing of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Hobbit (coined “Tolkien Week”), a new trailer for Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will debut on Wednesday, September 19th. You’ll remember the film’s first trailer was released back in December with some new footage (a.k.a. The Hobbit 1.1) popping up online last month. In addition to the new trailer, Jackson also promises a week filled with “special content” so anyone and everyone interested in staying up to date on the pic will do well to reference the director’s Facebook page regularly.
Check out a video of Jackson’s announcement after the jump. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens later this year on December 14th and stars Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Evangeline Lilly just to name a few.
What would make The Hobbit a better novel? Aside from an editing of Tolkien’s long-winded description of every single thing, illustrations by Where the Wild Things Are creator Maurice Sendak would have been incredible. Hero Complex has the story how this possibly brilliant collaboration fell apart.
To celebrate The Hobbit‘s 30th anniversary, the book’s American publisher commissioned Sendak to provide illustrations. However, Tolkien still retained control over his material and asked Sendak to provide a couple of sample illustrations. Sendak begrudgingly obliged and provide two illustrations: “one of wood-elves dancing in the moonlight, and another of Bilbo relaxing outside his hobbit hole smoking his pipe beside Gandalf.” Hit the jump to see these illustrations and to find out why Tolkien was unhappy with them.