Watch Benedict Cumberbatch Pretend to Be a Dragon in THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Extended Edition Clip

by     Posted 16 hours ago

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One of the more impressive aspects of director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was the characterization of the titular dragon.  Benedict Cumberbatch not only provided the voice for the sleepy/cranky character, but he did performance capture as well that was then used to inform the animation of the dragon’s movements.  In anticipation of the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition on Blu-ray, a behind-the-scenes clip has been released that shows Cumberbatch performing as Smaug.  It’s a pretty fun watch, and you can definitely see how Cumberbatch’s movements influenced the finished product.  Additionally, Warner Bros. has released an assortment of other clips (both from the film and behind-the-scenes) from the EE release that are sure to pique interest, and we’ve included them as well.

Take a look at the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition clips after the jump.  The film will be available on Blu-ray 3D and DVD on November 3rd, and is currently available on Digital HD.

Comic-Con: Peter Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom Talk THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

by     Posted 83 days ago

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From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the third in a trilogy of films that bring the masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, to life.  It is an epic conclusion to the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves, who have reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, but have unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.  And there are even greater dangers ahead, as darkness converges on their escalating conflict, and the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must either unite or be destroyed while the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

While at Comic-Con for a presentation in Hall H, Peter Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom spoke to press at a conference, in which they talked about why the title of the third film changed, the progression of the tone, from the first film to this one, perfecting the voices of Smaug and Gollum, the creation of Tauriel, the experience of revisiting characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and how long it might be before any of the films get remade.  Peter Jackson also talked about why The Silmarillion will probably never get adapted for film, and how he feels about a new King Kong film.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

New THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Images: Luke Evans Prepares for War

by     Posted 85 days ago

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Fresh off yesterday’s teaser trailer debut, Warner Bros. has released a few new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies images for director Peter Jackson’s final installment in his J.R.R. Tolkein saga.  This third Hobbit film will obviously cover the concluding events of the book, but will also likely cover much more ground from Tolkein’s appendices, as we glimpsed some truly epic footage of Lee Pace’s Thranduil doing battle and Ian McKellen’s Gandalf in a rather precious position in yesterday’s trailer.  I still don’t think the Hobbit films are near the quality of Jackson’s masterful Lord of the Rings trilogy, but during the Hobbit panel at Comic-Con last weekend, I did get the sense that Jackson really aims to go out on a high note with this one.  Here’s hoping he succeeds.

Hit the jump to check out the new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies images.  The film also stars Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Evangeline Lilly, Stephen Fry, Hugo Weaving, and Benedict CumberbatchThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in theaters on December 17th.

Peter Jackson Could Work DOCTOR WHO Episode into His Schedule after THE HOBBIT Trilogy

by     Posted 90 days ago

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While Peter Jackson has a bit more to do this year to finish up his Hobbit trilogy with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, he might be taking a trip to the small screen in the near future.  Which TV show, you ask? Well, Jackson has expressed an interest in directing an episode of Doctor Who.  Jackson would have done the show already if it weren’t for his insane schedule over the last few years.  Perhaps things would go a little easier if the Good Doctor took a trip to New Zealand where Jackson spends much of his time.  I jest, but according to Steven Moffat, that’s not exactly out of the question.  Hit the jump for more.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Teaser Trailer Coming Soon; Peter Jackson Says to Expect Full Trailer in October

by     Posted 107 days ago

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While we will likely be able to enjoy a teaser trailer for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies relatively soon (like, probably Comic-Con soon), we won’t get a look at the full trailer until around October.  That’s still plenty of weeks ahead of the film’s December 17th release date, but too late to attach it to this summer’s big blockbuster films.  While that’s been the case for the last two trailers, Jackson was pretty forward about the reason we haven’t seen anything from the final film of the franchise just yet.

Hit the jump for his explanation and for more on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Viggo Mortensen Says Peter Jackson Sacrificed Subtlety for CGI with THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT

by     Posted 160 days ago

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It’s no secret that The Hobbit films haven’t been as universally praised as director Peter Jackson’s trilogy of Lord of the Rings films, with many pointing to The Hobbit’s propensity for CG over practical effects (and discarding of miniatures altogether) as distracting and, at times, downright ugly.  Though Jackson got his start with gore-filled, practical effects-based horror comedies like Bad Taste and Dead Alive, his recent work has leaned heavily on visual effects.  However, Jackson’s affinity for CG sequences didn’t simply begin with The Hobbit or even King Kong, but with the Lord of the Rings trilogy itself.  Rewatching the films, one can see a growing amount of CGI-enhanced sequences as the series moves on, with Return of the King concluding in the epic VFX-heavy battle of Minas Tirith.

Though some are fans of what Jackson has been doing with cutting-edge technology, others are disappointed in the shift.  A principal castmember from The Lord of the Rings counts himself in the latter group, as Viggo Mortensen recently spoke extensively about what he sees as Jackson sacrificing subtlety for CGI, specifically pointing to the later Lord of the Rings films and The Hobbit.  Hit the jump to read on.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 169 days ago

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The prospect of Peter Jackson directing an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit was an exciting one.  After all, this was the guy behind the brilliant Lord of the Rings trilogy, and now he had even more advanced technology at his fingertips to bring Tolkein’s world to life.  That excitement, however, was dampened by the release of the first film in Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, as the result was a bloated, CG-filled disappointment that seemed to relish in meandering instead of advancing the plot.  The sequel, then, was released to significantly lowered expectations, and while Jackson’s second film is an improvement over An Unexpected Journey, it still carries many of the same faults.  Hit the jump for my The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Blu-ray review.

THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN Retitled THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

by     Posted 181 days ago

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Last week, we reported that The Hobbit: There and Back Again might be retitled “The Hobbit: Into the Fire“, a subtitle taken from one of the chapters in the book.  The subtitle “There and Back Again” was from when there were only two Hobbit movies, and it provided a nice connective tissue to when Bilbo (Ian Holm) hands over “There and Back Again: A Hobbit’s Tale” over to Frodo (Elijah Wood) in The Fellowship of the Ring.  But connective tissue doesn’t sell movies, and a soft title like “There and Back Again” doesn’t have the active verbs required to sell tickets.  The third and final Hobbit movie will now be titled, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies“, which is a pretty self-explanatory title.  There will be five armies and a big battle.  For those who haven’t read the book, I shall say no more.  As far as a title, I like it more than Into the Fire, which sounded kind of generic.

Hit the jump for a statement from Peter Jackson on The Hobbit 3 title change.  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in 2D, 3D, HFR 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 17th.

Peter Jackson Masters the Art of Multitasking in New THE HOBBIT Production Video Blog

by     Posted 306 days ago

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has been in theaters for a couple of weeks now, but director Peter Jackson has one last production video diary to share before 2013 comes to a close.  This latest video focuses on the music of Desolation of Smaug, as we see composer Howard Shore discuss the litany of themes that he wrote for the film.  Interestingly, Jackson opted to record the score for the film down in New Zealand at the Wellington Town Hall, where Shore handed the reigns to someone else to conduct the orchestration.  We see in the video that Jackson actually constructed a mini post-production studio in the town hall so he could perform the editing of There and Back Again at the same time that he was overseeing the orchestration of the Smaug score.

Hit the jump to watch the latest video.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is in theaters now, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again will open in theaters on December 17, 2014.

Weekend Box Office: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Claims $73.7 Million in US and $205 Million Worldwide

by     Posted 311 days ago

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One year after The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey set new records for a December release, The Desolation of Smaug is opening in line with expectations – without setting a new record, in other words.  The second chapter in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy earned an estimated $73.7 million from 3,903 locations, or the fourth-highest December debut of all time.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $73,675,000 $73.7
2.  Frozen $22,184,000 $164.3
3.  Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas $16,000,000 $16
4.  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $13,150,000 $356.9
5.  Thor: The Dark World $2,700,000 $198.1
6.  Out of the Furnace $2,320,000 $9.4
7.  Delivery Man $1,872,000 $27.9
8.  Philomena $1,756,000 $11
9.  The Book Thief $1,675,000 $14.8
10.  Homefront $1,637,000 $18.4

TOP 5: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, First Trailer for GODZILLA, POMPEII Set Visit, TERMINATOR Reboot News, JUPITER ASCENDING Trailer

by     Posted 312 days ago

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What began as a way to keep my mind off of my upcoming fantasy football playoff matchup has blossomed into a full-on love affair. Over the past week I’ve watched a considerable amount of Parks and Recreation via Netflix and I couldn’t be happier with my time killer of choice. I’ve made it through the first three seasons, all of which have delivered consistent laughs and excellent character moments (Ron’s inability to resist his ex-wife and Leslie’s attempt to stay awake during Pawnee Cares’ diabetes telethon come to mind). I’ll admit that my television viewing is often marred by my own skepticism. When Parks debuted, I watched the first few episodes and wrote it off as cutting and pasting The Office‘s format into a small town, local government setting. These last few days I’ve realized that’s almost exactly what Parks is and yet I couldn’t care less because it’s smart, funny, and endearing at nearly every turn.

My new found love of Parks and Recreation now officially on the record, this week’s Top 5 includes The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug interviews and review, the first trailer for director Gareth EdwardsGodzilla, a recap of Steve’s visit to the set of Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Pompeii, several bits of news out of the Terminator reboot camp, and the first trailer for The Wachowski Siblings‘ latest Jupiter Ascending. What comes next is a brief recap and link to each of the above.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Review

by     Posted 314 days ago

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After the disappointing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, director Peter Jackson has found his way back to ruling in Middle-earth with the sequel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugUnexpected Journey gave us the comfort food of familiar locales, but the story lacked urgency.  Desolation of Smaug reveals that while Unexpected Journey may have been a somewhat tedious set-up, the payoff is a fleet-footed, thrilling second chapter that confidently expands the world instead of creeping around the one Jackson previously created in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Peter Jackson Says He’ll Make the TINTIN Sequel After He Finishes THE HOBBIT Trilogy

by     Posted 315 days ago

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When director Steven Spielberg’s animated pic The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn was first announced, Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson made it clear that their intention was to switch roles on a proposed sequel, with Jackson then taking the helm as director and Spielberg assuming the role of producer.  Though not a massive success domestically, Tintin did swell business overseas, raking in a worldwide total of $373.9 million.  We’ve been hearing from both Spielberg and Jackson that they still plan on making the Tintin sequel for the past couple of years now, but production has yet to begin.  The latest we heard was from Spielberg earlier this year, who said they were hoping to have the follow-up ready for a 2015 release.

So what’s the holdup?  Well you can chalk it up to Jackson expanding his The Hobbit adaptation to three films.  The director recently provided an update on Tintin, revealing that he plans on moving back on to Tintin once he’s finished with The Hobbit.  Hit the jump to read on.

Watch 5 Clips and 14 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage from THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

by     Posted 320 days ago

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With director Peter Jackson’s second film in his The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, opening in a week, Warner Bros. has provided us with five clips and fourteen minutes of behind-the-scenes footage.  The film continues the adventures of Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the band of dwarves as they move forward on their quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, all the while Gandalf (Ian McKellen) investigates a disturbing presence that may be returning to Middle Earth.  Smaug introduces a host of new characters like Bard (Luke Evans), the Master of Lake-town (Stephen Fry), and the elves Thranduil (Lee Pace) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lily), but the film also sees the return of Lord of the Rings favorite Legolas (Orlando Bloom).  Moreover, Benedict Cumberbatch brings to life the dragon Smaug and he delivers a great performance.

I saw a screening a few days ago and am happy to report it’s fantastic.  The film is almost non-stop action and I think the people that had issues with first film are going to love this one.  In addition, the film features some unbelievable set pieces, with one sequence causing my theater to erupt in applause when it ended.  Get ready for a great ride that you should definitely see in 3D.  Hit the jump to watch the clips and behind-the-scenes footage.

Latest THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Production Blog Focuses on Filming the Dragon Scenes

by     Posted 321 days ago

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With a little over a week to go before the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, director Peter Jackson has unveiled one last production blog to take fans behind the scenes of the second installment of his The Hobbit trilogy (though Jackson notes there will be one more blog before the end of the year).  The beginning of the video gives a peek into the filming of the scenes featuring the titular dragon, and it’s interesting to see that during principal photography, Jackson still hadn’t settled on a final design for Smaug.  Nevertheless, we get to see Martin Freeman reacting to the intimidating voice of Benedict Cumberbatch, who makes a cameo in the video.  We also get a look at the goings-on in Lake-Town featuring Stephen Fry, and the process by which Jackson “shot” many of the digitally enhanced Smaug sequences.

Hit the jump to take a look at the production blog, and click here to peruse a large batch of high-resolution images from the film.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in 2D, 3D, HFR 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 13th.

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