Planet of the Apes Wins; CG Andy Serkis Can’t Lose

Posted by Gia Manry on Aug 8, 2011 in Cinema

110807 - caesar

Everybody cue the banana jokes: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the prequel to/reboot of 1968’s Charlton Heston flick Planet of the Apes handily beat out its competition at the box office this weekend. But there’s another, possibly more interesting story at work here than the tale of how humanity doomed itself by making super-intelligent simians: the tale of actor Andy Serkis, who has single-handedly become the go-to guy for awesome motion-capture CG acting. Read more…

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Two More of The Hobbit’s Dwarf Pals Revealed

Posted by Michael Sacco on Jul 10, 2011 in Cinema

Oin and Gloin

We recently got a glimpse of Dori, Nori, and Ori, three of Frodo’s dwarf companions in the upcoming Hobbit films. Today, we get to see two more, in the form of Oin and Gloin, cousins of Thorin Oakenshield. The name Gloin should sound familiar to those who’ve seen the original Lord of the Rings trilogy — he’s Gimli’s dad! There’s definitely some family resemblance there. I’m pretty happy with the dwarves we’ve been shown thus far; all of them have a unique look, thankfully giving us an ensemble filled with something more than just a dozen Gimlis. Read more…

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Go There and Back Again with New Hobbit Set Photos

Posted by Michael Sacco on Jun 24, 2011 in Cinema

The Hobbit

It’s almost hard to believe that The Fellowship of the Ring was released ten years ago, and even harder to believe that we’re actually getting two more films with Peter Jackson’s masterful take on Tolkien’s universe. We saw a video journal of the first day of filming for The Hobbit a while back, but all we’ve heard since then is casting news (a veritable who’s-who of BBC drama stars). Today, though, we received the first big payoff of the very long wait for The Hobbit — still photos from the set showing Martin Freeman in full Bilbo getup, Gandalf looking stoned, and Freeman and Jackson talking at a table. It all looks pretty much perfect, and totally in-universe for the original trilogy. Who else is excited to go back to Middle-Earth? Read more…

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Simply Walk Into Mordor One More Time

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Jun 16, 2011 in Cinema

Lord of the Rings Fathom Event

We found out about this a little late, but if you’re looking forward to Peter Jackson’s upcoming film The Hobbit, you might want a chance to catch the extended editions of Peter Jackson’s original Lord of the Rings trilogy on the big screen. Fathom Events has decided to host a special three night screening of the films at theaters around the nation. While we missed our chance to catch The Fellowship of the Ring on the 14th, you can still catch The Two Towers and The Return of the King on June 21st and 28 respectively at participating locations. Personally, I don’t recall ever catching the extended editions in the theater, but I can’t imagine spending 5 hours — at least, I seem to recall The Return of the King‘s extended cut being about that long — in a theater packed with fellow hobbit enthusiasts. In fact, I don’t think I’d be able to do that for any film, let alone that one. Still, it’s probably something I won’t get another chance to see in theaters anytime soon. For the full list of participating locations, or for more information, head over to Fathom’s event site.

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Familiar Ears Return to Middle-Earth

Posted by Michael Sacco on May 28, 2011 in Cinema


Peter Jackson’s in-production film adaptation of The Hobbit has a largely new cast, including Martin Freeman as a young Bilbo Baggins, but given the film’s nature as a prequel to the events of Lord of the Rings, there’s also a cadre of returning characters. And that means a cadre of returning actors, too! According to Peter Jackson’s Facebook page, you can now count on Orlando Bloom to return as Legolas, the fan-favorite elf from the original trilogy. Bloom joins Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, and Elijah Wood in reprising his role. Read more…

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The Old Bilbo’s Back for The Hobbit

Posted by Michael Sacco on Apr 23, 2011 in Cinema

Ian Holm as Bilbo

Well, specifically, Ian Holm is back as Bilbo in The Hobbit. Not for the whole movie, of course! That’s Martin Freeman’s job. But old-Bilbo will be there for bookend sequences, apparently reading his book to Frodo as a way of introducing/closing the story. Peter Jackson was happy to confirm this recently, a move that I’m sure will delight fans of the original trilogy. Heck, I’m all for it, so long as there are no weird, jarring mean-face Bilbo scenes to serve as reminders of what Peter Jackson used to do before Lord of the Rings. Read more…

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Maurice Sendak’s “The Hobbit”? It Almost Happened

Posted by Michael Sacco on Mar 26, 2011 in Animation

Sendak's Hobbit

One of the world’s most beloved children’s book artists and the world’s most beloved fantasy series? Sounds like the perfect team to me. Tony DiTerlizzi says that Maurice Sendak (“Where the Wild Things Are”) very nearly illustrated “The Hobbit” in the 70s, but a misunderstanding between J. R. R. Tolkien and Sendak led to the partnership falling through. Sendak created art that was whimsical but could also be twisted and dark, a lot like Arthur Rackham before him, so he would’ve been the perfect choice for a book like “The Hobbit.” It’s a shame that a silly misunderstanding prevented what would’ve been beautiful work. Check out the whole story at Hero Complex.

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Guess Who’s Returning in The Hobbit?

Posted by Michael Sacco on Jan 9, 2011 in Cinema

Frodo's Back!

Yeah, he looks as surprised as we do up there, but Elijah Wood’s reps have confirmed that he’ll be making a return as Frodo Baggins in the upcoming Hobbit films. Now, bear in mind here that Frodo isn’t actually in The Hobbit (the book) in any capacity; it’s been indicated that he’ll be used as a kind of framing device to introduce Bilbo’s story in the film. If it all pans out, we’ll probably see Frodo and Sam hearing Bilbo’s account from Bilbo himself. I was a little leery about the announcement at first, but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of seeing the band back together, you know? Read more…

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Out of Many Rings, One

Posted by Michael Sacco on Dec 12, 2010 in Cinema

The All Seeing Eye

U.S. currency is full of references to the Freemasons, the so-called secret brotherhood that oversaw and controlled the burgeoning nation (and, some people say, still does). That sounds an awful lot like a certain evil overlord who dwells in the scarred land of Mordor, doesn’t it? It looks like dschwen on Threadless had the same idea, and he turned into a shirt pitch. It’s a fantastic mashup of the famous “e pluribus unum” Masonic pyramid and the Eye of Sauron. Let’s hope this one makes it to the printing phase. Read more…



And the Cast of The Hobbit is…

Posted by Michael Sacco on Oct 23, 2010 in Cinema

The Hobbit

Peter Jackson officially announced casting for The Hobbit today, with the title role going to Martin Freeman, as was previously rumored. Richard Armitage will play Thorin Oakenshield, and Aidin Turner and Rob Kazinsky will play the brothers Kili and Fili. Other possibilities (as in not-yet-confirmed) include fan favorite David Tennant, Stephen Fry, Saoirse Ronan. Nice to see this film finally going somewhere, though where it appears to going is “not New Zealand” due to union issues. Read more…

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The Hobbit Movie is Finally Happening

Posted by Michael Sacco on Oct 16, 2010 in Cinema

Lord of the Rings hobbits

Bilbo Baggins famously said “Not all who wander are lost,” and the axiom appears to be true even where movies are concerned. The two films based on The Hobbit, considered to be the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, are now finally greenlit despite what appeared to be insurmountable issues with nearly every facet of production. Peter Jackson is set to direct both films (replacing a frustrated Guillermo Del Toro), which will start preliminary filming back-to-back in February of 2011.

As for casting, Ian McKellen is set to return as the wizard Gandalf, and Martin Freeman is rumored to be playing Bilbo Baggins. We should expect to hear more casting news now that the film finally has its greenlight. Read more…

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Keep It Secret. Keep It Safe. And Keep It Very Cute!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jun 16, 2010 in Cinema, Hobbies and Collections

Lord Of The Rings Plushes

I really feel for Lord Of The Rings, here they are waiting for the Hobbit film to come out in 2012 and the director then quits! That means that if Tolkien fanboys (and fangurls!) are lucky they will only have waited nine years since The Return of the King came out in 2003. Well if it’s any consolation prize sad Rings enthusiasts can cuddle up with these official Lord of the Rings plushies which are now available for pre-order: Included are Frodo, Gandalf, Legolas and Orc. Read more…



Skippy Explains Star Wars

Posted by Michael Pinto on Apr 20, 2009 in Star Wars

Skippy ShortsSkippy is the clever creation of NearFar Productions in California, in this video he tries to explain the entire plot of Star Wars in under one minute (while he may not have succeeded I had a fun time watching him try). What I love about good comedy is that it’s all about the timing and Skippy nails that — I also liked his explanation of Lord of the Rings: Read more…

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The Latest Look at The Lord of the Rings Conquest Game

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 4, 2008 in Videogames

This is the latest trailer for the The Lord of the Rings Conquest game from Electronic Arts which is due to come out in January 2009 for the Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Nintendo DS. This game looks like everything that a J.R.R. Tolkien fanboy would want from getting to do battle with everyone from Cave-trolls to Oliphaunts.

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