Peter Jackson

The Hobbit

There have been exactly 4,593 editorials written about higher frame rates ever since Peter Jackson announced he’d be filming The Hobbit in 48FPS. Experts, semi-experts and barely-experts have weighed in with a range of responses that firmly cover “Who cares?” all the way to “Film is dead forever and ever so everyone stop making them.” But we want to know what you thought. If you went to a screening of The Hobbit that featured the higher frame rate, did you like what you saw? If not, is it the kind of thing you could get used to? Or is it terrible all around? Let us know in the comments section, and feel free to share your thoughts on the movie itself. Audiences and critics seem a bit divided on this one, so we won’t be surprised if you came to a different conclusion than Hunter and Neil did.

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Mondo LOTR

While some might think that the best way to celebrate the release of a new film is to perhaps craft some art based on said new film, the folks over at Mondo have decided to use their poster celebration (posterbration?) of Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to honor Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy instead. Sounds good to us! Everyone’s favorite poster shop (and the official collectible art division of the Alamo Drafthouse) will release the Olly Moss-made posters tomorrow, December 13. The posters each measure 15″ x 36″. The regular edition (as shown up top) is limited to 580 posters (priced at $50) and the variant edition is limited to just 285 (priced at $90). Make sure to follow @MondoNews on Twitter for the exact sale time for these Hobbit-celebrating LOTR posters. Check out the variant after the break!

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Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings

We can all hoist accolades on the filmmakers found in this series, but there are few who are as transparent about their process and actively engaging when it comes to including fans on set (at least via video) than Peter Jackson. Not just a minimal-effort chore for marketing, Jackson seems to relish with childlike abandon in making the Making Of videos and taking audiences behind the scenes of movies while they’re being made. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising for a details-oriented storyteller who has built entire worlds for us to visually visit. But he wasn’t always sitting on top of Middle-Earth. Before The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, it was more likely you’d catch him with a lawnmower in hand and a bucket of fake blood close by. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from someone who fought in the Battle of Helm’s Deep.

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Boiling Point

Yesterday on Twitter a minor spat broke out, as is often the case when people type things on the internet. Participants included our own @FakeRobHunter, FEARNet writer @ScottEWeinberg, Movies.com editor @PeterSHall, and many others who chimed in. What was the topic of the day? The Hobbit and its 48FPS presentation. Firstly, background: As you probably heard or just recently put together from the previous sentence, The Hobbit was filmed in and will be projected at 48 frames per second, which is something new for the big screen, at least on this scale. Movies generally run at 24FPS and have been running at that rate for the last 80 years (give or take). By doubling the frame rate, Peter Jackson hoped to eliminate a blurring effect that happens during quick movement and action at 24FPS, but in doing so, creates an unusual experience, one of super smooth motion that has been described as either looking “realistic” or “like shit.”

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The Hobbit

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) lives a quiet and comfortable life in his home in a hill in The Shire, but that life gets a wake up call one day in the form of a tall, bearded wizard named Gandalf (Ian McKellen). It seems Bilbo has been chosen to take part in an adventure, and before night falls his home is filled with a dozen dwarves emptying his pantry, singing songs and planning their great journey. After some consternation Bilbo agrees to join the troupe, and this baker’s dozen plus one head off towards The Lonely Mountain which was once homeland to the dwarves but is now the residence of one very large and very dangerous dragon, Smaug. The story is a familiar one thanks to a source novel from J.R.R. Tolkien that hasn’t left print since its publication in 1937 and continued success as one of literature’s finest fantasy adventures for young readers. It’s reached the screen previously in animated form, and its sequel, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, conquered multiplexes a decade ago with wondrous adaptations by director Peter Jackson. Jackson returns with co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens to bring The Hobbit to the big screen across two (or three) feature films. Why a 310 page novel needs more than one film when the trilogy’s 1571 collective pages worked beautifully across just three movies is anyone’s guess, but you can’t argue with accountants apparently. Also returning are a few cast members and characters from the trilogy, some […]

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The Hobbit: There and Back Again

The first film in Peter Jackson‘s new three-entry The Hobbit franchise, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is still a week away from release, but that hasn’t stopped the production from rolling out, wait, what? a picture from the third film in the series? Fortunately, this first look stars a fan favorite from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Orlando Bloom as Legolas. But, sorry, just what is Legolas doing in The Hobbit: There and Back Again? He’s not in J.R.R. Tolkien‘s book! As Jackson explains it: “He’s [elven king] Thranduil’s son, and Thranduil is one of the characters in The Hobbit, and because elves are immortal it makes sense Legolas would be part of the sequence in the Woodland Realm.” Fair enough. Alongside Bloom? That’s Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman, a Laketown warrior who will be getting a bit more attention in the film than he did in the series’ source material, with screenwriter and producer Philippa Boyens explaining, “We take more time introducing him. We know from what follows that he was a father, so we [explore] that. I don’t think we take liberties, because it’s all there in the storytelling.” The first film in the series, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will hit theaters next week in 2D, 3D, and IMAX on December 14. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released on December 13, 2013, and the final entry, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will be released on July 18, 2014. [EW]

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By now, you’ve probably already decided which format you’re going to see Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in, be it IMAX, 3D, 24 FPS, 48 FPS, 2D, PQUEZ (that one is a joke, you guys) or otherwise, but it looks like the marketing team behind the production just might have thrown a wrench into your decision. For those intrepid midnight movie-goers, Warner Bros. and IMAX have teamed up to put together a package of no less than four exclusive character posters for the film, posters that will only be given away to fans who come out to see the film for a 12:01AM 3D screening on December 14 at select IMAX theaters. While these posters should pretty much sell themselves, it is essential to note that these screenings will not be in 48 frames per second. But, hey, free posters. And Star Trek Into Darkness footage! Think you want to go? Check out this list of participating theaters that will all be doing the 12:01AM screenings with posters for giveaway (while supplies last, of course). Check out all four posters after the break.

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It just doesn’t stop, does it? Not only is one film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s “The Hobbit” not enough for movie fans (or director Peter Jackson? or his vast and very talented cast? or the country of New Zealand?), two film adaptations are also not enough, so you better believe that just one soundtrack isn’t even close to good enough for a production that has now ballooned to include three films based on one novel. WaterTower Music has just announced (via Fandango) the release of the official soundtrack to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and, shock of shocks, just one disc isn’t going to cut it. The Official Motion Picture Soundtrack will arrive in stores and online on December 11 as a two-disc set, with a Special Edition also available on that same day. The so-called Special Edition will include six exclusive bonus tracks, seven extended score cues, and deluxe liner notes. The soundtrack features an original score by Academy Award winner Howard Shore (who also did the score for Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy), along with a new original song by Crowded House’s Neil Finn. You can check out the full track listing for both editions of the soundtrack after the break, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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Reading J.R.R. Tolkien‘s “The Hobbit” and processing its myriad characters can be confusing enough for kid brains (I remember, quite vividly, making a cheat sheet of all the names within the book, a list that I stuck in the back of my paperback copy and would refer to frequently), and few of those names are more interchangeable (and confusing) than that of the thirteen dwarves who accompany Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf on their (unexpected) journey. I mean, the rhyming, while sweet, is just not helpful when trying to differentiate between Thorin and Gloin and Oin, but that’s just how things are in Middle-earth. Of course, now we have three whole films to look forward to, and a massive cast of talent to finally put faces to (a multitude of) names. So why not use a handy dandy banner to brush up on all the dwarves we will soon meet in Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? Heck, even Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Ian McKellan) are there! Take a look at the banner after the break. How many dwarves can you name before you look at it?

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Fans are undoubtedly ready for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with willing hearts, and the second trailer is a fantastic look at the action of the film as well as some of the humor. Without question, Peter Jackson has recreated the massive scale of Middle-Earth, and all signs point to another adventure into the realm of darkness with an excellent, ragtag band of characters. And then there’s Gollum. How they managed to get that possible Jar Jar right in the first trilogy is a mystery (the answer is probably mostly Andy Serkis), but he looks like he’ll play his usual important role here – dedicated to worshipping his Precious (based on the novel…you get it) and threatening hilarious bodily harm against far hobbits. December cannot get here fast enough. [Apple]

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Smaug the Dragon

So, yes, Peter Jackson and company have decided to extend their two-night Hobbit tour into an extra evening. Feel cynical about it or feel elated to have another trip into Middle-Earth, but know that it is coming with furious vengeance. According to Aint It Cool, the second second film in the newly minted trilogy will be called The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It should be due out December of 2013. The third film, There and Back Again – which was the first second film (for those keeping score) – will be out July, 2014. From the general darkness and devastation of the title, and the fact that this is Jackson’s second big opportunity with a fantasy trilogy of this type, it’s easy to speculate that he’ll bring down the fire, leaving the second film on the brink of the big gloom. That’s pure speculation, but wouldn’t it be awesome if he went full dark, Empire style? Hopefully he’ll keep the Ewoks away from the final installment, though.  

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The Hobbit

Many of us weren’t at Comic-Con this year, and many of us felt a range of emotions about it. Oddly enough, there were a lot of people in San Diego sharing that same exact range of emotions. For those who didn’t get to make the trip and sleep on a hotel floor just to wait on a grass lawn for 5 hours in order to see a few scraps of footage, we missed out on at least one amazing thing: work from The Hobbit lovingly displayed by Peter Jackson. But despair no longer! In his latest production blog (and, seriously, isn’t it amazing that he takes the time and energy to share the process so intimately with fans?), Jackson brings us all to San Diego with him and delivers the visual goods. That includes some behind-the-scenes greetings from a few soon-to-be-familiar faces. Check out the video for yourself:

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Are the eleven hours and twenty-two minutes of Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings series just not enough for you? Do you require (what will most likely end up being) another ten- or eleven-hour run of J.R.R. Tolkien cinematic adaptations? Don’t care about shelling out the cash for three movies dedicated to telling the story of, in case you’ve forgotten, just one book? Have we got news for you! Following last week’s rumors that Jackson would ultimately end up splitting his already two-part adaptation of The Hobbit into three films, the filmmaker himself has now confirmed the news on his Facebook page (via ComingSoon), saying: It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie – and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about… well, the title is pretty self explanatory, is it not? We begin this evening with a shot at some concept art for The Wolverine, the James Mangold directed, Hugh Jackman starring film that has some high hopes following the mess that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. We can see some Japanese prison things, some samurai stuff and all kinds of amber hues. So far, so good.

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Peter Jackon On Set The Hobbit

From his Facebook page, Peter Jackson has announced that principal photography is done for The Hobbit. “We made it! Shoot day 266 and the end of principal photography on The Hobbit. Thanks to our fantastic cast and crew for getting us this far, and to all of you for your support! Next stop, the cutting room. Oh, and Comic Con!” The first film in the 2-parter, An Unexpected Journey, is due in theaters December 14th, giving Jackson and company 161 days to finish the film. But first, crowds at Comic-Con will get what will most likely be an incredible look at what they’ve got so far.  

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Legolas Orlando Bloom

What’s striking about the newest production blog for The Hobbit is how many people it features – and even then, it’s probably 1% of the full crew. For anyone wondering what making a movie is really like, this is a nice primer (even if it’s staged). People living in a trailer village, shuffling paper from one office to the next, coordinating with the extensive costuming department. These are the tricks behind the magic. The dwarf noses are fake, but the fire is real. The video features Peter Jackson, many of the actors, and the badass taking over as Legolas while Orlando Bloom films the blog footage. It’s a cool tour through Stone Street Studios and the behind-the-scenes world of Gloin and Friends. Check it out for yourself:

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The flames are hot here in development hell, and there’s way too much cocaine. Way, way too much. So why wouldn’t we come back? When we first examined 8 Promised Movies That Still Haven’t Been Made, it was an exploration of the complex world of filmmaking where the smallest issue can derail an entire project potentially worth millions. Nervous executives, scheduling conflicts, hangnails. Getting a movie made is a miracle, and even those that get hailed in the press as moving forward are sometimes abandoned. Considering our national grand obsession with hypotheticals, here are 8 more movies we were told would happen that haven’t (including some that won’t).

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Alfred Hitchcock was born in the 19th century but gave birth in the 20th century to the age of modern filmmaking. Famous for his wit, inventive appreciation of the macabre, and a firm belief that suspense involves bringing a victim out from the shadows into the light he crafted the kinds of movies that made you care about characters even while reaching for your cholesterol medication. He also has a lot to teach. To fellow filmmakers and fans alike. Which is why we’ve chosen him as the first teacher in a new series of weekly articles where master movie-makers share their insights. Throughout his life, Hitchcock was candid about his methods and philosophies (amongst other things he flung around freely). Here’s a bit of free film school from a true visionary.

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Recently, Flavorwire got a kick out of a post from Slacktory where they used that ever-present man behind the curtain called Google to see what our internet age connects with celebrities. Then, we got a kick out of Flavorwire’s answer which involved 25 famous authors and what the search engine had to say. The experiment is simple. Type a name into Google Image Search, and the program automagically suggests more words to narrow down your search. Judging from entries like “white people problems” for J.D. Salinger and “death, oven, daddy” for Sylvia Plath, it seems like Google might be kinder to famous movie directors. Some of the responses fully encapsulate the person’s artistic output while others push toward the fringe, but all are shaped by what we’re searching for. Here’s a few things Google thinks you should add to the names of some of your favorite filmmakers.

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Boiling Point

John Carter lightly transported itself into theaters this past weekend, securing a relatively meager $30m opening domestically, though it managed to secure another $70m internationally. While I will eventually make a defense of the economics at play here, it is hard to argue that John Carter isn’t a domestic failure, considering it came in second to The Lorax, which debuted a full week earlier. On top of that, John Carter has a suspected $250m budget with marketing costs guestimated in the $100m range, for a total investment of around $350m. The critics have been somewhat kind to the civil war veteran’s debut – while the average review seems to be “it’s alright,” there have certainly been some hyperbolic highs and very few hyperbolic lows. Consensus is you’ll probably think the movie is okay, but you might want to wait for DVD. Scattered among those are bold claims that film will live on with your children as a classic, which are probably a bit off the reservation. There is little doubt that in at least several ways John Carter failed, ways that were easily avoidable and ways that make me fairly angry with the system.

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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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