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

     December 14, 2013

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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.

1. THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Interviews and Review

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For fans of Peter Jackson’s trips to Middle-earth, this weekend is a bit of an exciting one. Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hit theaters yesterday to a box office take of around $31.1 million and, in celebration of its release, we’ve got Matt’s review for your reading pleasure and Steve’s video interviews with Weta Digital’s Sr. Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri and cast members Aidan Turner (Kili) and Dean O’Gorman (Kili) for your viewing pleasure.

2. First Trailer for GODZILLA

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The first trailer for Godzilla landed online this week and opens with a halo jump that, in all honesty, kinda took my breath away (here’s a beautiful hi-res-image from the jump). As someone who doesn’t have a long-standing attachment to the timeless monster, I didn’t expect to be this captivated by my first look at the pic. Kudos to director Gareth Edwards and his team for pulling off some stunning imagery that has this relative Godzilla noob interested in what’s coming next.

3. POMPEII Set Visit

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It’s no secret that director Paul W.S. Anderson is known for creating over-the-top action with a unique sense of flair (my personal favorite being 1995’s Mortal Kombat). In his latest film, Pompeii, Anderson sets a love story within the ancient Roman city of the same name, with the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius lingering nearby. Whether you’re a fan of Anderson’s work or are a Roman history buff who is interested in seeing the destruction of Pompeii play out on the big screen, I think you’ll find something of interest in Steve’s set visit recap which includes 5 major takeaways and 65 things to know about the film as well as on-set interviews with cast Jared Harris, Kit Harington, Kiefer Sutherland, producer Jeremy Bolt, and the aforementioned Paul W.S. Anderson.

4. TERMINATOR Reboot Gets Title & Casting News

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I’ve loved the Terminator franchise since I was a kid and always try to keep tabs on it in spite of the fact that McG’s Terminator Salvation nearly lulled me to sleep in the theater. That in mind, this was a particularly big week for the sci-fi heavyweight as we learned that director Alan Taylor’s reboot will be titled Terminator: Genesis, that Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jason Clarke is in talks to take on the role of John Connor, and that Game of ThronesEmilia Clarke has landed the role of Sarah Connor.

5. First Trailer for The Wachowski Siblings’ JUPITER ASCENDING

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Speaking of sci-fi heavyweights, The Wachowski Siblings released the first trailer for their upcoming film Jupiter Ascending this week. While Channing Tatum’s makeup initially gave me a shuddering Battlefield Earth flashback, I quickly remembered the capable hands of the filmmakers and bought in wholeheartedly. The Wachowski’s are gifted at building cinematic worlds and that skill is as apparent as ever in this first look at Jupiter Ascending.

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