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There was once a time when going to the cinema and seeing an epic moment of CGI was a rarity, those blockbuster-exclusive scenes that were the cause of all the chatter as the screen emptied. Most of the time you were fully aware that it was CGI, but it was awesome anyway, like Legolas defying the laws of physics as he battles the mumakil, or the dinosaur stampede in King Kong.
Not that I have anything against films directed by Peter Jackson, on the contrary. Despite Lord Of The Rings (and, to some extent, The Hobbit franchise) containing moments of CGI that doesn’t really fool you for a second, Jackson’s original trilogy is quite rightfully hailed as one of the best ever, warts and all.
Nowadays, with game changing franchises like Transformers going so heavy on the computer imagery, CGI doesn’t really get the blood »
- Phil Archbold
It’s what most horror films are known for: the gore that splatters on the screen. But when done right, the flying viscera becomes more than just gallons of red stuff, it becomes a chilling reminder of the fragility of the human body and of the ingenuity of filmmakers in making our most twisted fears and fantasies into a stomach churning reality. Grab your barf bag!
Antichrist (2009)- His and her pain
As far as horror sub-genres go, torture porn is up there with found footage as the most understandably reviled by audiences. With Antichrist, Lars Von Trier attempted to write a film that dealt with his personal demons. Confessing that he had been suffering from depression while writing the screenplay, Trier ended up bringing torture porn to its logical conclusion by taking the title of the sub-genre all too literally and creating a macabre near-masterpiece out of trashy genre origins. »
In an outspoken interview, Erik Engelen, former director of acquisitions at Benelux distribution outfit A-Film (and still a consultant there), has given his views on what has brought one of the region’s most respected independent companies to its knees.
“The essence of the failure of A-Film lies in its past,” Engelen said. “I don’t want to make it into a mudfight between us (the current management) and the previous management but what people sometimes forget is that when the current shareholders took over the company eight or nine years ago, there was already at that point a serious deficit.”
One point that Engelen made forcefully is that A-Film did not benefit nearly as much from its release of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy as had commonly been presumed.
Commenting on how the deal for the Peter Jackson trilogy was structured, Engelen said: “Lord Of The Rings was an amazing success all over the world »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoffrey Macnab)
The most honest magicians never use the word “magic” – they’re illusionists; they make believable that which can’t possibly be, and that’s what Harryhausen was: a master illusionist who made us believe that his table-top constructions of fabric and clay and metal were massive, mighty creatures out of legend, out of fantasy, out of our nightmares. He was a master of stop-motion animation; moving his creations a fraction of an inch per frame to create the illusion of flying saucers toppling the Washington Monument (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, 1956), a tremendous octopus threatening the Golden Gate Bridge (It Came from Beneath the Sea, 1955), or an impossible prehistory of cave men battling dinosaurs (One Million Years B.C., 1966). When he passed, a generation of filmmakers who’d grown up watching his work at movie house matinees and Saturday night monster movie TV slots saluted him, acknowledging how his work had inspired them. »
- Bill Mesce
Read More: Watch: How Kate Winslet Warms Up 'Steve Jobs' (Exclusive Video) "Heavenly Creatures" (1995) Winslet's breakout role is still one of her best, a chilling and incisive performance that's all the more impressive when you consider that it marked her first foray in front of the camera (it was also the debut of her co-star Melanie Lynskey, and it's similarly one of the New Zealand actress' best performances to date). Based on the true story of the so-called Parker-Hulme murder, the Peter Jackson film explores the experiences and sentiments of two passionately bonded teens (Winslet and Lynskey) who ultimately hatch a plan to off one of their mothers when faced with a forced separation. It's one of the few films that accurately captures the depth of emotion (and, in this case, the madness) that fuel female friendships, and Winslet's work as the mysterious Juliet Hulme is enough to inspire, »
- Kate Erbland
The role of Aragorn in Peter Jackson's trilogy of Lord Of The Rings films was ultimately taken on by Viggo Mortensen. He was a late replacement for Stuart Townsend, who left the role four days into shooting, when Jackson felt that the actor was too young for the part.
However, had history taken a different turn, then Aragorn may well have been played by Nicolas Cage.
In a new interview with Newsweek, Cage has revealed that he was offered the part by Peter Jackson, but had to turn the role down.
"There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years", he explained. Although he can see the upside of not »
As in a great Halloween costume, makeup is an important aspect of film. Join us as we examine 10 films where makeup effects played a very large role.
Using Makeup to Create A Style
Example: Edward Scissorhands (1990)
While Edward Scissorhands may be one of Burton’s most beloved characters because of Johnny Depp’s performance, the character is also memorable for his looks. For starters, there is his birds-nest hair. The wispy cob-webb look not only reassured audiences of Edward’s sad, lonely and parentless existence, but it also became an easy identifier for Burton’s gothic style. Indeed, Edward’s wild, untamed yet solid hairstyle was similar to that of Beetlejuice, whose film came out two years prior, and would be similar to many other characters we would see in later Burton films.
Edward’s pasty white make-up helped audiences to understand that he was not just a normal man. »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
Nowadays, it's hard to image that Nicolas Cage would turn down any movie, let alone one guaranteed to be a massive blockbuster success. Especially when he's taking jobs in such dreck as Left Behind and Season of the Witch. But as it turns out, he passed up a key role in what is one of the biggest series of all time. Yes, he could have been Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
For the past few years, Nicolas Cage has had a rough go at choosing projects. He's appeared in one flop after the next, many of them going straight to VOD or home video (which isn't a bad thing in this day of streaming media, but in his case it has been). He won raves for his indie thriller Joe, and had a great cameo turn in Kick-Ass, but there hasn't been anything too memorable on his resume for sometime. »
Anghus Houvouras with this week’s disappointments from the entertainment world…
Makes perfect sense. You could feel the pulsing sexual tension emanating from the screen when he ripped the top off of the Batmobile. Matt Damon knows what I’m taking about.
“Matt Damon says ‘it must be really hard’ to be a gay actor”
It is. Real hard. And it only gets harder. Until eventually the gay actor has no choice but to sprinkle audiences with his white hot talent. Then it’s not so hard anymore.
“Nic Cage says he turned down the Aragorn role in The Lord of the Rings.”
“HBO and Zack Snyder »
- Anghus Houvouras
With Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy finished and Game Of Thrones unlikely to head to cinema screens any time soon, studios are naturally looking for fantasy source material to fuel the next big franchise. Lionsgate thinks it might be on to a winner, securing a big deal for Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle series.Rothfuss’ series, which kicked off in 2007, includes an anchor trilogy (with the third book likely next year) and three novellas set in the same world. The focus is told in three time streams: the present, in which the protagonist, Kvothe, is dictating his life’s story to a historian of sorts; the past, a first-person account of Kvothe’s life, and lastly, in chronologically cloudy parables and stories peppered throughout the books. It’s full of clever narrative tricks and meta subplots, and studios have been circling for a while, not least after Rothfuss took several meetings »
The Lord of the Rings movies aren’t perfect, and everyone who pretends they are is simply kidding themselves. Whilst it’s true that Peter Jackson’s films are to be treasured and praised ’til the cows come home (they are, for the most part, awesome works), there are a good number of issues inherent to all three films that lots of folk just try to ignore – issues that, approached head-on, show up the trilogy in a more candid and thus fallible light.
There is, after all, a kind of relentless positivity that surrounds Jackson’s trilogy, as though he managed to craft three lengthy, intricate motion pictures without putting a foot wrong. It’s safe to say that revisiting Middle-Earth in the present day shows up Jackson’s world as a flawed one; combing through the saga reveals a surprisingly high number of very questionable inclusions- everything from characterisation, »
- Sam Hill
The acting career of Nicholas Cage has been one characterized by peaks and valleys. Many of his movies have become modern classics, while others have not been received quite as well – if we are trying to be polite. Despite the sheer number of films the actor has appeared in, there are just as many big name movies that he turned down. One such project was Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings franchise, which Cage passed on for a fairly relatable reason. In a new interview with Newsweek, the actor spoke out about his career choices, as well as his rationale for turning down such a big role. He said: There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years. And I do mean it. I »
A Red Dwarf movie was announced in 2000, and news on it would follow for years afterwards. So: what happened?
When the eighth series of Red Dwarf left our screens in 1999, with the titular (nanobotically-reconstituted) mining vessel being devoured by a highly corrosive micro-organism, it left us with the words “The End” emblazoned over the image, before being replaced by “The Smeg It Is.”
And then, nothing.
It was ten years before the boys from the Dwarf were back on our screens, albeit for a three-episode run on Dave. But that lost decade was not spent watching re-runs of The Flintstones, nor was everyone trapped in a completely immersive video game indistinguishable from reality. Most of it involved co-creator Doug Naylor (his comedy partner Rob Grant left the show after season six), trying to get a movie off the ground.
This had not been the plan. But with the BBC rejecting »
My love for Doctor Who has been documented frequently here at Kasterborous. But if there is any one thing that may usurp that love, it’s the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Thus, when it was initially suggested during the Matt Smith era that Peter Jackson should helm an episode of the long running series, the thought and...
- Nick Kitchen
According to Deadline, John Goodman will join Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Mitchell and John C. Reilly in Kong: Skull Island - which is apparently still not the movie's official title. Goodman will play Randa, "a government official who leads an expedition", in the Jordan Vogt-Roberts-directed flick, which is believed to be set some years after Peter Jackson's 2005 reboot. We've had a few rumors here and there but nothing concrete about the plot of the film... until now. The site has also provided what appears to be the first synopsis. "The story is about a man (Hiddleston) who travels to the mythical island after his brother is stranded there trying to retrieve the mythical serum Titan which is believed to be the cure for all illnesses and diseases. The man must lead a rescue team to save his brother while confronting the creatures that inhabit the island. »
[Editor's Note: We also reviewed the Deathgasm positively out of Fantasia 2015]
If you're looking for a heavy metal love story full of rampaging demons, humour and the fun and vitality of early Sam Riami, Peter Jackson or Edgar Wright, look no further than Deathgasm, the hilarious and bloody first feature from writer/director and FX artist Jason Lei Howden.
Hailing from New Zealand, Howden cut his teeth working behind the scenes on films such as The Hobbit, The Avengers and The Great Gatsby and it seems as though he's picked up all the right things. Deathgasm may be lower budget than those mega-hits, but Howden infuses his film with [Continued ...] »
"Kindle Food" is an occasional column about the various books and other materials that made us reconsider our long-standing refusal to make the jump to the digital world with our books. It's safe to say Wednesday the 9th was not a great travel day. There's no point in running down the entire list of woes, but by the time I made it to Toronto, I was positively ruined. There's only one thing that made the day bearable. One of the things I love about the Kindle is pre-ordering books when they're super-cheap and then totally forgetting I did it. It's a genuine surprise to me when I open the Kindle and there's some new book that I am thrilled about reading. The most recent surprise was the new Jack Reacher novel, "Make Me," and I intentionally set it aside until I was on the plane and on my way to Toronto. »
- Drew McWeeny
Riding into battle armed with only a crossbow and a sword is a concept that is completely unimaginable to the majority of us. In fact, the concept of war is something that a lot of us cannot understand, but you know that if you were ever in a position where you had to fight for your country, you’d want either Aragorn, Legolas or Gimli standing by your side when it happened.
Maybe even Boromir because you know that he dies first anyway.
But Peter Jackson created cinematic history with his trilogy and it’s probably the best book-to-film adaptation to date; even if he does concentrate a little too much on the battle scenes. But those scenes are what made these films so entertaining and he wasn’t shy about leaving out the gory deaths either.
Unfortunately, you’ll only be able to see a few »
- Sara Weir
Elijah Wood on the horror-comedy Cooties While Elijah Wood may forever be thought of as Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” he clearly picked up the director’s love for indie horror having co-founded the production company Spectrevision with directors Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller. So far,…
- Edward Douglas
Empire has been blessed with some prestigious guest editors before – Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have both occupied the hot seat – and this month they’re joined by another filmmaking titan. Sam Mendes, director of Spectre, Skyfall and American Beauty, among others, is adding Empire’s guest editorship to his substantial honour roll. And with him comes the greatest Spectre coverage on the planet.When the November issue hits shelves next Thursday, within will be 38 pages of dedicated Spectre coverage, including first-looks, on-set reports and all the treasures afforded to a magazine whose editor actually made the movie.It's a truly unmissable event for fans of Empire, 007, the Bond franchise or Mendes' - can we just call him 'boss' now and be done with it? - filmmaking career, both within and without Eon's historic franchise. He's delved into his contacts book to quiz his peers (including fellow guest editor Steven Spielberg! »
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