Small Unlicensed Lord of the Rings Theme Park To Be Built In Spain

Posted by Ben Huber on Feb 28, 2015 in Cinema


There’s been news going around of the town Rincon de la Victoria in Spain announcing their intentions to build a “theme park” (although it sounds more like a plain old regular park with some minor themed elements) called La Comarca… aka, The Shire. It’s very clearly inspired by the Lord of the Rings, but lacks one key element: approval from the Tolkien Estate or Warner Bros. Whoops! Council representatives behind the park design claim “All the concepts will be original, they will not be able to be considered ‘copies’,” but yet “representatives from the council were accompanied during the presentation by an actor dressed up as Frodo.” Warner Bros. is currently investigating the project. I’m not so sure this park will happen in this form… Read more…

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A Fan Has Already Reedited The Hobbit Movies To Be Shorter

Posted by Bob Muir on Jan 21, 2015 in Cinema, Fandom

The Hobbit

Now that all three films are out, let’s just say what we all knew from the start: The Hobbit did not need to be stretched out over three movies. Not only is there so much filler and weaker subplots about ancillary characters, it all distracts from Bilbo’s charming tale of adventure. And just as was expected, fans are stepping in to fix the problems of the “trilogy.” The first new cut, The Hobbit: The Tolkien Edit, is from “tolkieneditor” and comes in at 4 hours (or 4.5 hours with the credits). His goal was to try to make the movie resemble J.R.R. Tolkien’s original book, so things like the investigation of Dol Guldor, the Tauriel-Legolas-Kili love triangle, a lot of filler moments or filler action scenes, and much of the Pale Orc (Azog) subplot and Laketown scenes are all gone. Read more…



Stephen Colbert Interviews Smaug The Dragon

Posted by Ben Huber on Dec 14, 2014 in Cinema


No, Colbert doesn’t interview Cumberbatch directly. He doesn’t interview a puppet, either. No, he’s interviewing the real live Samug. Er, well, as real as CGI is, anyway. Yes, they animated an entire sequence in which Stephen Colbert interviews Samug (who appropriately busts through the set), and he’s voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. You may know Colbert is a huge Tolkien fan, so this is probably an interview he put a lot of work into. They discuss making the movie, recent news topics, and even throw a Sherlock joke in there. It’s all very cute. Colbert seems to be ratcheting up the impressive guest list, first with the President and now with Samug. Who’s next? Read more…

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Official Trailer For The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Arrives

Posted by Ben Huber on Nov 7, 2014 in Cinema


The final Hobbit film is almost here: it jumps into theaters on December 17th. The trailer honestly looks pretty, but it’s not really grabbing me. I still feel that The Hobbit trilogy should have been just two films. But hey, everything has to be a trilogy or a multi-film universe these days, so I guess I’m not surprised. Looks like there’s lots of fighting between the five armies, which will satisfy most people. I’m also surprised that there’s no Smaug in this trailer! It’s almost like despite the cliffhanger ending of the second film, everyone knows what happens in the end… Hmm! Check out the trailer below. Read more…



Air New Zealand Premieres Hobbit-Themed Safety Video

Posted by Ben Huber on Oct 25, 2014 in Cinema


Air New Zealand is loving all the extra tourism due to the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, so what better way than to theme their entire new safety video around The Hobbit? It features Elijah Wood, Sylvester McCoy, and Peter Jackson himself. It’s pretty silly, and barely has any actual instructions in it, because hey — you guys already know what not to do in an airplane, don’t you? It’s pretty fun, although the actual title of the video is the most marketing-driven internet-speak possible: “The Most epic Safety Video Ever Made #airnzhobbit” Yeah, uh, no. Check it out below! Or, you know, fly Air New Zealand and watch it there. Read more…



First Trailer Released For The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

Posted by Bob Muir on Jul 29, 2014 in Cinema

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Sigh. Even when I heard that The Hobbit would be stretched out and expanded to two, then three films, I held out hope that it would capture my heart the way The Lord of the Rings films did. (After all, I actually liked the original book better than The Lord of the Rings books!) But the first two films have shown just how detrimental many modern filmmaking trends are. The story meanders, the visuals are compromised with excessive CG, and everything feels like a videogame — all setpieces and not enough to justify them. Oh well, let’s return to Middle-earth on the big screen one more time with this trailer for the final film, which has been retitled from The Hobbit: There and Back Again to the much more epic The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Hey Hollywood? Not everything in fantasy needs to set up massive battles to compete with The Lord of the Rings! And I doubt The Hobbit will somehow out-do the Battle of Helm’s Deep! Read more…

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The Third Hobbit Film Gets A New Title

Posted by Ben Huber on Apr 25, 2014 in Cinema


Peter Jackson is a fickle man, it seems. First The Hobbit changed from two films to three, then the titles got mixed around, and now the third film is getting a name change. Originally it was subtitled “There and Back Again,” but now it’ll be altered to a much more straightforward subtitle: “The Battle of the Five Armies.” I imagine this was mainly because it sounds more interesting and exciting (and promises plenty of battles to audiences), but Jackson also lays out other reasons on his Facebook post: “[…] with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived ‘there’ in the ‘Desolation of Smaug.'” You can read his full reasoning here, but he does mention that “There and Back Again” may return as a box set title in the future. Read more…

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The Hobbit Cast Reads The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins

Posted by Bob Muir on Dec 15, 2013 in Cinema

The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

If you’re a geek, chances are you’ve seen Leonard Nimoy singing “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.” Feeling that it needed an update, IGN has persuaded the cast of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to perform a dramatic reading of those silly lyrics. Everyone seems to take it with a good sense of humor, though as usual, Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice steals the show. It’s always good to see modern adaptations embrace the silliness of past adaptations. Read more…



Lego Hobbit Game Is Ready To Milk The Franchise More

Posted by Bob Muir on Nov 26, 2013 in Cinema, Videogames

Lego The Hobbit

Normally, I’d approve of more Lego videogames. It’s practically impossible to keep up with them all, but Traveller’s Tales makes solid games that aren’t just for kids. But the latest announcement out of Warner Brothers seems like one step too far because of the franchise it’s adapting. Lego The Hobbit will be out in Spring 2014 for (deep breath) PS4, Xbox One, PC/Mac, Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, Vita, and 3DS. That all sounds good, but the problem is what’s actually in the game. Because it’s coming out before the third installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit film trilogy, it will only include 2/3 of the story from the book. As if the book wasn’t being milked enough by being split into three movies, even the game can’t cover everything. Is Warner Brothers concerned about spoilers for a 75-year-old book? Read more…

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Latest Hobbit Production Video Highlights Summer Pickups

Posted by Bob Muir on Nov 6, 2013 in Cinema

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Have you been watching the production videos of The Hobbit film trilogy? Nothing will ever match the sheer quantity and quality of the bonus content for The Lord of the Rings, but these have been pretty interesting for fans of Middle-earth. The latest production video covers the ten-week summer pick-up shoot, when more footage was shot for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (coming soon on December 13) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (due out December 2014). Take a look and see the outtakes of a frustrated Ian McKellen trying to say his lines. Gandalf swore! Read more…

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Hear Smaug’s Voice In Latest Hobbit Trailer

Posted by Bob Muir on Oct 2, 2013 in Cinema


Benedict Cumberbatch is hot right now, and with good reason: he’s a fantastic actor, he’s got a great voice, he’s appearing in great productions like Sherlock, and his name is so charmingly British. I’ve been waiting to hear how he would sound as Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second Hobbit film due out on December 13. Sure, the Hobbit films seem really padded out and the CGI isn’t as endearing as the camera tricks Peter Jackson used in The Lord of the Rings. But Benedict Cumberbatch is a sly dragon, and that’s all I need. I hope the actual shots of Smaug are limited, but knowing how much additional content needed to be put in to make The Hobbit into three three-hour films, I have a feeling he’ll practically be dancing in front of the camera. Read more…

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Trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in LEGO Form

Posted by Ben Huber on Aug 23, 2013 in Cinema, Hobbies and Collections


Yes, the Brotherhood Workshop is at it again! They have LEGO-fied another movie trailer, and it’s more Lord of the Rings. This time it’s the recent trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which they have spent two months making. There’s a great mix of LEGO and visual effects here, but mostly it’s just fun to see little LEGO figures waddle across large landscapes. That, and that LEGO Smaug is pretty freaking awesome. If only the official LEGO model would be so detailed and impressive! Watch the video below and then grab you minifigures and reenact it yourself. Read more…

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Gollum Vs. Smeagol In Split-Personality Rap Battle

Posted by Bob Muir on Jan 1, 2013 in Cinema


With The Hobbit still fresh in everyone’s minds, there’s still plenty of time for fan parodies. In the vein of Epic Rap Battles of History, we see Smeagol taking on Gollum in a battle of words. If only things were this simple in all of Middle-Earth. While I won’t spoil who wins, they both receive a little help from a famous pop singer (not really).
Read more…

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The Hobbit Post-Production Video

Posted by Ben Huber on Nov 26, 2012 in Cinema


The amount of work that goes into feature-length films these days is really incredible – you only need to look at all the names in the credits to realize that. The series of videos that the documentary team has been putting together following the making of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey have been a great look into the whole creative process. This latest one focuses on post-production, and how the concept artists, audio tech, CGI artists, and all the other crew composite everything into the finished product. While it looks stressful (only 8 weeks left in the video) they also seem to be enjoying themselves. Watch the video below. Read more…

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Fans Recreate Movies And Games In Scribblenauts Unlimited

Posted by Bob Muir on Nov 22, 2012 in Cinema, Videogames

Scribblenauts Unlimited - Ghostbusters

Scribblenauts Unlimited is out, and if you’re unfamiliar with the series, it involves a boy solving simple puzzles by generating objects with his magic notepad. The dictionary includes a ton of nouns, so you can summon pretty much anything. What is new in Unlimited is the ability to create your own objects, and since the series typically avoids anything copyrighted (beyond some cameos like Mario in the Wii U and 3DS versions), gamers can now recreate their favorite characters and creatures in Scribblenauts‘ adorable style, as seen in the Ghostbusters screenshot above. Read more…

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Listen to The Hobbit’s Credits Song Now

Posted by Ben Huber on Nov 16, 2012 in Cinema


Interested in hearing the final song that’ll play over the credits for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? It’s better than you might expect, as it’s spun off of the dwarves’ song from the beginning of film. And, it’s done by New Zealand artist (surprise!) Neil Finn. Perhaps songs based off movies are a bit passé now, but something like this is always welcome in my book. If you want to take a listen, you’ll have to visit Rolling Stone’s site and use their music player. Take a moment and check it out!

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See Nines Minutes Of Star Trek Into Darkness With The Hobbit In IMAX

Posted by Bob Muir on Nov 15, 2012 in Cinema, Star Trek

Star Trek

It’s been done before with The Dark Knight and I Am Legend, and again with The Dark Knight Rises and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. So since it worked out so well for those films, it’s being done yet again with Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. What is it they’re doing, you ask? Giving a little preview of a movie when you see the other one in IMAX! Read more…

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A LEGO Hobbit Halloween Goes Terribly Wrong

Posted by Ben Huber on Oct 28, 2012 in Fandom


Merry and Pippin are always playing jokes and, obviously, always getting into trouble. This cute video from Brotherhood Workshop does an excellent job of bringing the LEGO Lord of the Rings sets to life in stop-motion. The two reckless Hobbits attempt to scare Frodo and Sam and end up getting burnt in the process – although what else would you expect? I’m continually impressed by the quality of these animations, especially with how smooth they are. I know CGI is being used for most of LEGO’s commercial work now, but some classic stop-motion would look even better if done like this! Read more…

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Andy Serkis Reads “The Hobbit” As Gollum

Posted by Bob Muir on Sep 26, 2012 in Cinema


The hype machine has started working in full force for The Hobbit, and despite my best efforts to remain cautiously optimistic about certain controversial decisions, I can’t help being swept up in the excitement. The trailer whet my appetite, but it’s seeing the fans get involved that really gets me going. In particular, a recent book reading grabbed my attention. Read more…



Check Out 4 Different Endings to the New Hobbit Trailer

Posted by Ben Huber on Sep 21, 2012 in Cinema


“I’m going on an adventure!” The new trailer for The Hobbit hit all the right notes for me: excitement, some epic scenery, fantasy characters, and a solid dose of humor and light-heartedness. I’m sure most of you have seen it by now, but what you might’ve missed is that this new trailer had 4 other endings different from the one featuring the dwarves in the main release. Appropriately called Gandalf, Bilbo, String, and Gollum, all of these alternate ends are quite funny, especially the clip with Gollum conversing with Bilbo. Watch them below! Read more…

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New Pictures From The Hobbit Celebrate The Book’s 75th Anniversary

Posted by Bob Muir on Sep 19, 2012 in Cinema

The Hobbit - Bilbo

I’m still quite wary of Peter Jackson’s decision to split The Hobbit into not just two, but three films. It seems like the pacing might move as fast as a glacier, with tons of details expanded upon that don’t need the additional exploration on film. However, I can’t deny that every other bit of PR is getting me really excited. This whole week is being called “Tolkien Week,” in honor of not only the book’s 75th anniversary on Friday, but both Bilbo and Frodo’s birthdays on September 22. First up on the celebration: new pictures! Read more…

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Movie News: Star Trek and The Hobbit

Posted by Ben Huber on Sep 9, 2012 in Cinema, Star Trek


Two bits of movie news popping up this weekend: first off, J.J. Abrams’ second Star Trek film is slowly coming together, and now we’ve got a solid idea of the title. Multiple sources have rumored that the film will be called Star Trek Into Darkness. No colon? What a bold prospect! With a teaser trailer on the horizon, we should find out for sure soon. On the other side of things – The Hobbit! New pictures of all the characters, mainly the dwarves. I’ve got to say, the costume design is outstanding. Read more…

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The Hobbit Films Get Some New Names and Rearranged

Posted by Ben Huber on Sep 3, 2012 in Cinema


You’ve probably heard that Warner Bros. loves money – er, I mean, Peter Jackson wanted to film more and expand the two Hobbit films into three. Well, they did, but that’s old news. What’s the new news? They’re moving thing around a bit in regards to naming the films: the second film will now be called The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and the third will take the old name, There And Back Again. Confusing? Probably, but it’ll be old hat by the time December rolls around. Also, after the break, take a first peek at Thranduil and the White Council! Read more…

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Hobbit’s High Frame-Rate May See Limited Release

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Aug 8, 2012 in Cinema

The Hobbit film logo

It seems a number of factors will play a role in limiting the release of Peter Jackson’s high-frame rate cut of The Hobbit. This version of the film will feature a full forty-eight frames per second, that’s twice the number of frames you’re used to seeing in theaters. While that sounds amazing, some of the footage shown at CinemaCon actually seemed a bit too realistic for many fans in attendance. That initial negative reaction, combined with the fact that many theaters may be lacking the technology to display the higher frame-rate, has caused the studio to consider limiting its release. Read more…



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