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

by     Posted 28 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.

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 33 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 35 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.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Trailer and Poster: Peter Jackson’s Trilogy Concludes in Epic Fashion

by     Posted 36 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer for the final chapter in Peter Jackson‘s Hobbit trilogy.  This is the trailer they showed us at Comic-Con on Saturday, and it’s interesting to see how the prequel trilogy is trying to pull into The Lord of the Rings by using “The Steward of Gondor”, which was sung by Pippin (Billy Boyd) in The Return of the King.  The song still works here because it’s sad and somber, but the line that sticks with me from this trailer is when Thorin asks his company, “Will you follow me one last time?”  It’s a line that’s really directed towards the audience, but there’s a weariness to it that’s surprising.  It’s almost like saying, “Well, we’ve already come this far.  May as well finish it out.”

Check out the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer and new poster after the jump, and click here to read our full Comic-Con panel recap.  The film stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando BloomThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in theaters on December 17th.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Comic-Con Panel Recap: Peter Jackson and Cast Look Back on the Entire Tolkein Saga and Tease Conclusion

by     Posted 38 days ago

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There’s no mistaking the fact that director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy adaptation is a true classic and will be a touchtone for many generations to come.  He’s recently returned to complete the J.R.R. Tolkein saga with a three-film adaptation of The Hobbit, and while the response from some fans hasn’t been as enthusiastic, the passion for the series remains.  At the Comic-Con panel for the final Hobbit installment, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Jackson took the stage earlier today along with screenwriter Philipa Boyens and cast members Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, and Graham McTavish.

Since this is (probably) the last time that Jackson will be presenting a Tolkein adaptation at Comic-Con, this panel was a mix between a look back at the entire LOTR saga and a tease of the new film, complete with the premiere of the first trailer and an excellent appearance by Stephen Colbert as the moderator.  Read my full The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Comic-Con panel recap after the jump.

First THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Poster Reveals a Dragon Standoff

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Ahead of the film’s Comic-Con panel this coming Saturday, Warner Bros. has released the first The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies for director Peter Jackson’s concluding installment in his Hobbit trilogy.  This poster officially bills the film as “The Defining Chapter”, as the title tells us we’ll be privy to a pivotal battle that sets the Middle-earth stage for the events of The Lord of the Rings saga.  Though I’ve been a bit disappointed with the Hobbit films themselves, there’s no denying that this debut Battle of the Five Armies poster is pretty swell.  It depicts a fiery standoff between the nefarious dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) and Luke Evans’ Bard the Bowman, and things do not look to be going great in Lake-Town.

Hit the jump to check out the first The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies poster in all its glory, and come back to Collider on Saturday for our full Comic-Con panel recap.  The film opens in theaters on December 17th.

New THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Image Featuring Ian McKellen and Luke Evans

by     Posted 47 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies image ahead of the film’s big presentation at Comic-Con next week.  In the conclusion to the trilogy, Smaug and an army of Orcs descend on the Lonely Mountain, and elves, men, and dwarves must unite to save Middle-earth.  Since Smaug and the orcs are all CGI, this image focuses on the flesh-and-blood characters of Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and Bard (Luke Evans) whose stunned faces are presumably looking at things that are still in post-production.

Hit the jump to check out the image.  The film also stars Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Graham McTavish, Michael Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Ken Stott, and Aidan Turner.  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in 2D, 3D, HFR 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 17th.

Comic-Con 2014: Warner Bros. Bringing THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, and JUPITER ASCENDING to Hall H

by     Posted 56 days ago

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We should be getting the schedule for Comic-Con 2014 later this week, but studios are already jumping out ahead with what they’re planning to bring to the biggest geek convention of the year.  Warner Bros. has announced that on Saturday, July 26th at 10:00am, they’ll have presentations for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Jupiter Ascending.  Of these three, I’m incredibly excited to get a look at Mad Max since it looks kind of insane.  Warner Bros.’ panels have been huge in the past, and the smaller lineup is presumably due to the studio’s recent breakup with Legendary Pictures, which has now teamed-up with Universal.

Also, the press release makes no mention of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and while I don’t expect a full presentation, I wouldn’t be surprised by a powerhouse closer like having the full cast assemble on stage and/or showing a very brief teaser.  Hit the jump for more on the loads of stuff WB is bringing to this year’s con including their TV and video game presentations.  The 2014 San Diego Comic-Con will run from July 23rd – 27th.

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

by     Posted 57 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.

Weta Digital’s Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon Talk Building to LOTR with THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES; Confirm They’re Working on BATMAN V SUPERMAN

by     Posted 65 days ago

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The visual effects company Weta Digital became a household name following their groundbreaking work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and they’ve worked on a number of other impressive films in the interim, ranging from District 9 to Avatar to The Avengers.  With Rise of the Planet of the Apes, however, the company built upon the technology used to bring Gollum to life in Lord of the Rings to create phenomenal motion-capture apes.  That technology has advanced even further for the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Steve recently got a chance to speak with senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri and visual effects supervisor Dan Lemmon about their work on the film.

During the course of the interview, Steve also asked Letteri and Lemmon about Weta’s progress on The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.  They talked about ensuring that the titular battle has massive stakes and builds a bridge to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Additionally, Letteri confirmed that Weta is also working on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  More after the jump.

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

by     Posted 110 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 119 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 131 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.

Richard Armitage and Max Deacon Talk INTO THE STORM, the Tornado Sequences, Practical Effects, THE HOBBIT, and More at WonderCon

by     Posted 135 days ago

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Shortly before taking the WonderCon stage yesterday to promote their tornadic thriller Into the Storm, I landed an exclusive video interview with Richard Armitage and Max Deacon on the red carpet.  Directed by Steven Quale (Final Destination 5), Into the Storm aims to take audiences directly into the storm of the century when it opens August 8th.  The film also stars  Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Arlen Escarpeta, Nathan Kress, Jeremy Sumpter, Kyle Davis, Jon Reep, and Scott Lawrence.  For more on the film, read our recap of the panel.

During the interview Armitage and Deacon talked about who they play, the tornado sequences, practical effects, bone structure, and more.  In addition, Armitage revealed he’s yet to see any footage from The Hobbit: There and Back Again and how he’s recording his ADR this summer.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE HOBBIT 3 May Be Retitled THE HOBBIT: INTO THE FIRE

by     Posted 139 days ago

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The final installment in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy may be getting a title change.  When the J.R.R. Tolkein adaptation was initially planned (and shot) as two films, the title of the final installment was The Hobbit: There and Back Again.  When Jackson decided to expand the adaptation to three films, he dubbed the second film The Desolation of Smaug but maintained the There and Back Again subtitle for the third feature.  Well now it appears that New Line Cinema has registered the title The Hobbit: Into the Fire, signaling a possible title change for The Hobbit 3.  More after the jump.

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