New to Blu-ray: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Extended Edition, MALEFICENT, THE SOPRANOS Complete Series, and More

by     Posted 20 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include the Extended Edition of the second Hobbit movie, quite possibly the greatest TV series ever made in HD form, an Angelina Jolie-fronted Disney redo, one of the summer’s bigger bombs, one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performances, a twisty indie, and more.  Briefly:

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

by     Posted 35 days 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.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Extended Edition Adds 25 Minutes; Clip and Blu-ray Details Released

by     Posted 112 days ago

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition details have finally been released.  The extended version of Peter Jackson’s second film in his Hobbit trilogy adds 25 minutes to the running time, bringing the grand total up to 186 minutes.  That’s up from the 13 minutes added to An Unexpected Journey, but relatively tame compared to the Extended Editions of The Lord of the Rings, the shortest of which clocked in at 218 minutes.  In addition to the added footage, the Extended Edition of The Desolation of Smaug also includes nine hours of new special features, including audio commentary with Jackson and co-writer Philippa Boyens and The Appendicies, a multi-part documentary focusing on various aspects of the film and trilogy.

Hit the jump to watch a clip of an extended scene and to get a look at the Blu-ray and DVD artwork.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition arrives on shelves November 4th, while the concluding installment The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in theaters on December 17th.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 203 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.

New to Blu-ray: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES, A FIELD IN ENGLAND, and More

by     Posted 231 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include the second installment in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, a French New Wave classic, a very darkly comedic ensemble drama, the latest from filmmaker Ben Wheatley, and more.  Briefly:

Luke Evans Talks THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, THERE AND BACK AGAIN, His Desire to Direct, DRACULA: UNTOLD, THE CROW, and More

by     Posted 232 days ago

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With Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug arriving on Blu-ray tomorrow, I recently landed an exclusive interview with Luke Evans (he plays Bard the Bowman).   As most of you know, 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 other new characters like 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).

During the interview Evans talked about his experiences being part of The Hobbit movies, deleted scenes, doing additional photography for the Battle of the Five Armies (which takes place in The Hobbit: There and Back Again), having young fans recognize him, and more.  Evans also talked about Dracula: Untold, The Crow remake, his thoughts on an Immortals sequel, wanting to direct, and what props he’s kept.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 IMAX Poster; Plus Posters for 22 JUMP STREET, GOD’S POCKET, and THE HOBBIT Motion Posters

by     Posted 232 days ago

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A few posters to share tonight:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 IMAX poster will be handed out to those attending the first Thursday night IMAX screening.
  • 22 Jump Street - Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return for the sequel about the undercover cops transferring from high school to college.
  • God’s Pocket - Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, and Christina Hendricks star in John Slattery‘s feature directorial debut.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - As a bonus, we have motion posters for the Hobbit sequel as it gets released on Blu-ray.

Check out the posters after the jump.

Saturn Award Nominations Announced; GRAVITY and THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Lead with 8 Nominations Each

by     Posted 272 days ago

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Nominations have been announced for the 40th Annual Saturn Awards.  The nominees and winners are selected by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, which recognizes achievements in genre films, television and home video.  Another way to view them would be an academy that recognizes genre blockbusters and it’s the only way Jack the Giant Slayer could get nominated for anything ever.  But this year’s big nominees were Gravity and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which each racked up eight nominations.  To be fair, the Saturn Awards also have the room to take chances such as nominating Scarlett Johansson for Best Supporting Actress for Her…but then they turn right back around and nominate The Lone Ranger for Best Action/Adventure Movie.  On the TV side, Breaking Bad, Falling Skies, and Game of Thrones each picked up five nominations.

Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.  Winners will be announced in June.

Watch Benedict Cumberbatch Don a Mocap Suit in a Behind-the-Scenes Featurette for THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

by     Posted 277 days ago

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Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is due out on Blu-ray on April 8th, but you can get a sneak peek behind the scenes of the film with a look at a new featurette.  Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch in a mocap suit, this look at Weta’s movie magic shows Cumberbatch’s contributions to bringing Smaug to life.  While it’s certainly entertaining watching the actor writhe around in his goofy-looking suit, the real wonder is reserved for the attention to detail that went into every digital inch of the legendary dragon.  Hit the jump to watch the featurette.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Blu-ray Details Revealed; Set for April 8th Release in the U.S.

by     Posted 280 days ago

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Director Peter Jackson’s second installment in his The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, is poised to hit home video this spring, and now the first details regarding the Blu-ray release have landed online.  The physical copy of the film will be available in the U.S. on April 8th in four formats: a Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack ($105.42), a Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack ($44.95), a Blu-ray Combo Pack ($35.99), and a 2-Disc DVD Special Edition ($28.98).

Obviously the most fan-friendly (and most expensive) is the Limited Collector’s Edition, which includes two Gates of Erebor replica bookends from the Noble Collection.  This initial release is only the theatrical cut of the film, so the extended cut will likely hit stores this fall if the release strategy of An Unexpected Journey is any indication.  Hit the jump for more details, including worldwide release dates, special features, and box art.

2014 Oscar Nominations Announced; AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY Lead with 10 Nominations Each [Updated with Commentary]

by     Posted 313 days ago

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The nominations for the 86th Academy Awards have been announced. American Hustle and Gravity lead with 10 nominations each, while 12 Years a Slave isn’t too far behind with 9 nominations.  Looking over my predictions, there weren’t actually too many surprises this morning–at least no genuine “snubs” on the scale of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow last year.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale made the Best Actor cut over Robert Redford and Tom HanksHer, Dallas Buyers Club, and Philomena all got Best Picture nominations over Saving Mr. Banks, and Sally Hawkins landed a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Blue Jasmine, seemingly taking Oprah Winfrey‘s spot from Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  Also, the Academy apparently did not take a liking to Saving Mr. Banks, as the film missed out on a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actress nomination for Emma Thompson.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full nominations list.  The 86th Oscars will be broadcast March 2nd on ABC. [Update: I've added my commentary on some of the categories after the jump.]

3-Way Tie Leads to Seven Nominations from Cinematographers Society; Costume Designer Guild Nominates Braless Wonder AMERICAN HUSTLE

by     Posted 321 days ago

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The major guilds have all chimed in with their nominees, and as Adam has pointed out in his Oscar Beat column, this gives us a clearer picture of who might be getting Oscar nominations when they’re announced next week.  But it’s important to remember that guilds usually share members with the Academy, and now the American Society of Cinematographers and the Costume Designers Guild have chimed in with their nominees.

If you need proof that 2013 featured some beautifully shot pictures, the ASC ended up nominating seven films instead of five because there was a three-way tie.  As for the costume designers, the plunging necklines of American Hustle earned a nomination as did the also-glamorous The Great Gatsby.  I’m also pleased with the nomination for Her.  One of the things I noticed on my third viewing was the subtle way that designer Casey Storm provided a “futuristic” fashion by having the men wear high wool pants and button the top button of collared shirts.  It’s just another nice touch to a great movie.  Hit the jump for a full list of the nominees from both guilds.

Check out Stephen Colbert’s Cameo in THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

by     Posted 330 days ago

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Stephen Colbert is a die-hard J.R.R. Tolkien fan, and last fall we learned that he would have a cameo somewhere in The Hobbit trilogy.  Elf-eyed viewers may have spotted him in The Desolation of Smaug, but in case you missed it, a fan on reddit has screengrabbed and GIF’d the comedian’s cameo.  It’s really nice that not only Colbert but also his wife and two sons got to be in the movie.  The Colbert clan can be seen when Bard (Luke Evans) is sneaking into Laketown, and his son warns him about spies.  Congratulations, Laketown.  You’re now part of the Colbert Nation.

Hit the jump to check out images of Colbert’s cameo.

Weekend Box Office: THE HOBBIT 2 Back on Top on 2013′s Final Weekend

by     Posted 331 days ago

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug pulled off a narrow victory over Disney’s Frozen on 2013’s final frame, making it just the second title of the year to spend three weeks on top of the domestic box office.  Smaug now equals the Christmas run (by ranking at least) of An Unexpected Journey, the first installment in The Hobbit trilogy.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Hobbit 2 $29,850,000 $190.3
2.  Frozen $28,845,000 $248.3
3.  Anchorman 2 $20,150,000 $83.6
4.  American Hustle $19,550,000 $60
5.  The Wolf of Wall Street $18,510,000 $34.3
6.  Saving Mr. Banks $14,020,000 $37.8
7.  Secret Life of Walter Mitty $13,000,000 $25.5
8.  Catching Fire $10,200,000 $391.1
9.  47 Ronin $9,870,000 $20.5
10.  A Madea Christmas $7,400,000 $43.7

Weekend Box Office: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Stays on Top with $31.4 Million; ANCHORMAN 2 in Second with $26.7 Million

by     Posted 338 days ago

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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues may have pulled off a (very narrow) victory on Friday, but the weekend treasure remained in Bilbo’s hands.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was down 57% from its debut, earning an estimated $31.4 million and a second frame on top of the domestic box office.  Anchorman 2 came in second with $26.7 million: a softer launch than the sequel’s omnipresent marketing suggested.  Meanwhile, American Hustle and Saving Mr. Banks made their first appearances in the top ten, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Thor: The Dark World hit important milestones.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Hobbit 2 $31,455,000 $127.5
2.  Anchorman 2 $26,776,000 $40
3.  Frozen $19,163,000 $191.5
4.  American Hustle $19,100,000 $20.2
5.  Saving Mr. Banks $9,321,000 $9.9
6.  Catching Fire $8,750,000 $371.7
7.  A Madea Christmas $8,500,000 $28.3
8.  Walking With Dinosaurs $7,300,000 $7.3
9.  Dhoom 3 $3,305,000 $3.3
10.  Thor: The Dark World $1,328,000 $200.7

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