Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy says "it's a bit of a slog" but quite likes the overall tone of the picture:
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There are elements in this new film that are as spectacular as much of the Rings trilogy was, but there is much that is flat-footed and tedious as well, especially in the early going. This might be one venture where, rather than DVDs offering an “Expanded Director's Version,” there might be an appetite for a “Condensed Director's Cut” in a single normal-length film.
To celebrate the release of The Hobbit, Stephen Colbert will have a full week of Hobbit shows on The Colbert Report starting this coming Monday, December 3 on Comedy Central. A die-hard fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, his guest lineup will consist of Sir Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, and Andy Serkis. Other Hobbit-related segments or plans have not been revealed yet, but I'm going to guess that Colbert (who speaks some Elvish and filmed a cameo for one of the latter two movies in New Zealand) will walk away with some sweet swag. Like swords or a free elf!
Photo credit: The Colbert Report on Twitter
Accusations are flying that 27 animals died of mistreatment on the set of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, causing PETA to get up in arms and protest the movie. PETA will protest just about anything, but is there some truth to this story? Jackson and his fellow producers have responded (through an official representative), saying that the 150 animals at the New Zealand location were treated well, and that the vast percentage of deaths that did occur were due to natural causes. But were there any deaths that could have been prevented? Or is this a case of disgruntled former wranglers? Jackson's rep says the animals were overseen by the American Humane Association after two "avoidable" incidents (including a horse found dead after falling over a bluff), and hundreds of thousands of dollars went into improving the animals' living conditions. Here is the full statement, via The Hollywood Reporter: Read the rest
When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theaters on December 14, moviegoers will be treated to an unexpected preview. (Well, I guess it's not unexpected anymore, what with it being...announced.) Paramount broke the news this morning that the first nine minute of the highly-anticipated, stupidly-titled Star Trek Into Darkness will be shown on around 500 IMAX 3D screens across the United States. That makes it the first preview footage to ever be screened in IMAX 3D, and it almost makes up for the dumbass title! (I'm kidding. It doesn't.) But it is said to be "absolutely incredible," according to IMAX chairman and president Greg Foster, and it is nine brand new fancy minutes of J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek movie that we get to see before it comes out next May. So, get ready to head to the Shire, fellow Trekkies! (via Deadline)
Don't get too excited yet, but Peter Jackson is talking about possibly turning the two Hobbit movies he just completed filming -- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again -- into a trilogy. Why? Because 1. Warner Bros. has the rights to the additional notes from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, which has all this groovy stuff in it that relates to The Hobbit, and 2. Jackson has all this extra footage lying around, just waiting to be seen. He spoke with Collider, warning that all of this is only in the earliest of stages:
Well, it’s very, very premature. We have got incredible source material with the appendices. There’s the novel, but then we also have the rights to use the 125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of The Hobbit. We’ve used some of that so far, and just in the last few weeks, as we’ve been wrapping up the shooting and thinking about the shape of the story, Philippa [Boyens], Fran [Walsh] and I have been talking to the studio about other things that we haven’t been able to shoot and seeing if we could possibly persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting. We’d probably need more than a few weeks, actually, next year. The discussions are pretty early, so there isn’t anything to report, but there are other parts of the story that we’d like to tell, that we haven’t had the chance to tell yet.Read the rest