14 items from 2015
★★★☆☆ Thirteen years on from the release of The Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson completes his journey through Middle Earth with action-packed and satisfying finale, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014). Proceedings open in the depths of night in Lake Town in the midst of chaos; the town's inhabitants scream and panic as the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) looms overhead, belching fire. Jackson spends no time recapping the events of the previous chapter, preferring to get audiences' hearts racing with a sky-high duel between the barrel-toned fire-drake and Bard (Luke Evans) who, whilst doing his best Strider impression, stumbles through a plethora of dud lines.
- CineVue UK
Pim Razenberg on the future of franchising…
Around the start of the new millennium a change occurred in Hollywood; a change that had been brewing for a while. The production of cinematic sequels to popular movies proved to warrant a strong outcome at the box office and studios were looking for ways to exploit their sequels in a more effective manner.
Without further warning, 2001’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring broke all box office conventions. Due to their immense success, the concept of “media franchises” dawned on the world, giving new meaning to the business term “franchise”. Hollywood’s adaptation of the term – their substitution for the then more common term “(film) series” – indicated a fusion between media and merchandise aimed for longevity. Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings proved that producing movies and sequels »
- Gary Collinson
The Oscars are less than 96 hours away, so you only have a limited amount of time to brag about your insane knowledge of Academy Awards history. Ready for a brutal 21-question foray into Oscar's grisly past? Let's roll. (We give you the questions on the first page. Jot down your responses, then check the answers, along with the accompanying questions, on the next page. The videos embedded here aren't related to the questions. They're just fun!) 1. What ‘90s Best Actor winner gave the shortest onscreen performance ever nominated (and therefore awarded) in that category? This is measured by total minutes and seconds spent onscreen. 2. The first (and so far only) black female nominee in the Best Original Screenplay category was a co-writer of what biopic released in the 1970s? 3. From 1937 to 1945, the Academy guaranteed nominations in one particular category to any studio that submitted a qualifiable entry. What was the category? »
- Louis Virtel
The movies that stick with us are made up of so many things: great lines, beautiful actors, exciting scenes, and catchy scores to name but a few. Sometimes though, the great memories these films leave us with can come flooding back with one simple thing – a great shot.
This is especially true of the Oscar nominees for Best Picture throughout the years.
Just think of the fear that comes to mind whenever you see Hannibal Lecter glaring from his cell in The Silence of The Lambs, or the sweet sorrow seeing Jack and Rose on the bow of The Titanic. Odds are you won’t soon forget the tension you felt the first time you saw Sgt. James pull up five buried bombs in The Hurt Locker, or a brimming sense of adventure as The Fellowship of The Ring first gathered in Rivendale.
Whether it’s a tightly-cropped close-up of a key detail, »
- Ryan McNeil
By Anjelica Oswald
Birdman took home the Cinema Audio Society Award for sound mixing in a live action film on Saturday. The best picture-nominated film is also nominated for both of the sound Oscars (sound mixing and sound editing). The film lost the BAFTA Award for best sound to Whiplash, which is also nominated for both of the Oscars for sound.
Since the Cas Awards began in 1994, all 21 of the live action features that won for sound mixing have also been nominated for the sound mixing Oscar, and 12 have won. In contrast, four of the 14 best sound BAFTA winners — since the BAFTAs have taken place before the Oscars — didn’t win an Oscar for their sound. Of the 10 that did win, five won both of the Oscars for sound, four won the Oscar for sound mixing and one took home the Oscar for sound editing.
Seven of the »
- Anjelica Oswald
Have you read all of the Middle-earth books by J.R.R. Tolkien and watched all of the adaptations by Peter Jackson, yet still find yourself confused by exactly how The One Ring really works? Well, now we have this nifty new video to explain it all in understandable and deep detail paired with fun animation. Fans of The Lord of the Rings movies are likely well aware with the Galadriel-read prologue that begins The Fellowship of the Ring, which tells of how three rimgs were given to the Elves, seven to the Dwarf Lords, and nine to the race of Men, but this video does a really wonderful job of really breaking down that SparkNotes version and explain just how Sauron used little bands of metal to try and control Middle-earth. As the video from Cgp Grey points out, Sauron wasn't actually so big on trying to gain influence »
Over the past decade, the BAFTAs have become an increasingly accurate barometer for the eventual Oscar winners, with the last six Best Picture winners in a row being pre-empted by an identical BAFTA winner.
But there have been several memorable – and telling – instances in which the two awards bodies have diverged, and often not for the obvious cultural reasons you expect.
It's easy enough to see, for example, why Four Weddings and a Funeral took the top prize at 1995's BAFTAs while Forrest Gump triumphed across the pond, and ditto The Full Monty over Titanic three years later. But the explanation isn't always so clear, and the discrepancy often highlights intriguing differences between Academy and BAFTA members' sensibilities.
Digital Spy looks back on six notable times BAFTA diverged from the Academy path, either for better or for worse.
1. Brokeback Mountain wins Best Film (2006)
Almost a decade on, this still stands as BAFTA's crowning achievement. »
Walking spoiler Sean Bean has bitten the dust in film and television more than any other actor. But how well do you know his big-screen demises?
With Bean starring in this week's Jupiter Ascending, the film is naturally going to be loaded with tension over whether he makes it to the end credits in one piece. With that in mind, we've assembled a Sean Bean Death Quiz to test your knowledge on the many downfalls of Sheffield's favourite son.
1. Which on-screen death has Sean previously claimed is his favourite?
A) Boromir in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Correct! "It was a good, slow, heroic death," Bean told Digital Spy in a 2012 interview. Watch the entire 'Death Reel' chat below:
2. What were the final words of Sean's Bond villain Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye? »
By Anjelica Oswald
Chazelle’s Whiplash, about an aspiring jazz drummer and his sadistic instructor, is his second feature film and is adapted from a short film of the same name that he also wrote and directed. The short won the jury award for short films at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Whiplash was nominated for four other awards, including best picture.
Anderson received his second adapted screenplay nomination for Inherent Vice, based on Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same name. The film was also nominated for costume design. Anderson previously received an adapted screenplay nomination for 2007’s There Will Be Blood, which he also directed. He received a best director nomination, and the film was nominated for best picture.
If either wins, they will become the fifth adapted screenplay »
- Anjelica Oswald
Quick…name a favorable film where the landscape is run by (or at least partially include) the demographic of little people as part of the instrumental storyline? C’mon…it should not be that difficult, okay? If you want to mention say Darby O’Gill and the Little People then that would fine. How about Bad Santa or Poltergeist for that matter?
In That’s Good Enough, Short Stuff: Top Ten Films Featuring Little People we will take a look at some of the mini megastars that inhabited these movies and contributed their fair share of entertainment value to the on-screen proceedings. The debate as to whether some of these selected films featuring these pint-sized performers are considered positive, exploitative or dismissive are not up for discussion (although one of these considerations could apply in the minds of a few folks). Instead, we want to celebrate the inclusion of »
- Frank Ochieng
The epic conclusion to Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy – and his Middle-earth series – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has become just the second film of 2014 to cross $800 million at the global box office, with the fantasy epic pushing its global haul to $803.1 million this past weekend.
The Battle of the Five Armies remains the lowest-grossing instalment of the Middle-earth franchise behind The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ($869.3 million), and is the second-biggest movie of last year after Transformers: Age of Extinction, which sits on $1.087 billion.
See Also: Read our reviews of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies here and here
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies features a cast that includes Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, with Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom, »
- Gary Collinson
Update, Monday Jan. 5: And with the turn of the New Year, the domestic box office is up 6.5% for the first four days of 2015 with $210.2M versus the same period in 2014 which counted $197.4M according to Rentrak. The post-New Year’s Fss clocked in with $154.6M, down 26% from the post Christmas frame of $209M — but no one is sobbing. Why? Because this year’s post New Year’s frame was up a superb 10% from 2014’s $141.2M. Here’s the top 20 actuals– Apd:
Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five (WB), $21.7M, 3,875 locations, $5,608 average, Total cume: $220.6M, Wk 3 Into The Woods (Dis), $18.7M, 2,538 locations, $7,379 average, Total cume: $90.8M, Wk 2 Unbroken (Uni), $18.2M, 3,190 locations, $5,696 average, Total cume: $87.7M, Wk 2 The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death (Relativity), $15.M, 2,602 locations, $5,775 average, Total cume: $15.M, Wk 1 Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb (Fox), $14.5M, 3,802 locations, $3,819 average, Total cume: $89.8M , Wk 3 Annie (Sony), $11.3M, »
- Anthony D'Alessandro and Brian Brooks
Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has become the eighth movie of 2014 to cross $700 million at the global box office, with the epic conclusion to Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy pushing its worldwide haul to $722.9 million this weekend.
The Battle of the Five Armies is now the fifth-highest grossing movie of last year, and looks like it should go on to overtake X-Men: Days of Future Past ($746 million), Maleficent ($757.8 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($772.6 million), which would leave it trailing only Transformers: Age of Extinction, which pulled in $1.087 billion.
In terms of Jackson’s Middle-earth saga, the final Hobbit movie remains in sixth place and will need to reach $870 million if it is to overtake The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which earned $869.3 million back in 2001.
See Also: Read our reviews of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies here »
- Gary Collinson
The Lord of the Rings films are some of my favorite of all time. Peter Jackson and his team crafted a stunning trilogy of films that made me fall in love with Middle Earth and the work of J. R. R. Tolkien. (I was late to the party). While some take issue with the length of the films, I'm not one of them. I've watched the extended cuts more times than I can count and would welcome even longer editions so you could imagine my excitement when Warner Bros. invited me to the set of The Hobbit when the production was filming in New Zealand a few years ago. Besides getting to learn about the production (which you can read about here) and participate in great on-set interviews with the cast, I was able to fulfill another dream: I got to visit Hobbiton. For those unaware, Hobbiton is a real place. »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
14 items from 2015
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