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Get ready to plunge into the fantastical realm of Middle-earth as Sky Movies brings you the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy - available on demand via your Sky+ HD box Now. All three films - The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King - will be showing on the Sky Movies channels as well as being available on demand, on Sky Go and Now TV. As an extra-precious bonus, you can also go behind the scenes of Peter Jackson's latest Tolkien adaptation with Sky Movies' The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Special - both on TV and on demand. »
Viewed as the extended second act of the larger three-act epic that will be The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is terrific, a dazzling, endlessly inventive adventure serial that is filled to burst with cinematic treats both large and small. Never anything less than intensely entertaining, and absent nearly every pacing issue that left its predecessor, An Unexpected Journey, a solid but uneven disappointment, Smaug is a treat, and will be a welcome breath of fresh air for fans of Peter Jackson’s cinematic Middle Earth.
Taken as a film, however – as the standalone, 161-minute entity that audiences will be watching this weekend – I find The Desolation of Smaug highly problematic, if not downright infuriating. With a cliffhanger ending that cuts things off mid-climax, the film is incomplete, a series of extremely tantalizing set-ups that has only the slightest of internal pay-offs, if even that. No matter »
- Jonathan R. Lack
Peter Jackson continues his lighter, more swashbuckling tone with the second Hobbit movie, "The Desolation of Smaug," which serves as a bridge to the much darker and apocalyptic "The Lord of the Rings." While total war mounts, there's still time for the rollicking action of the barrel flume ride (a theme park ride if ever there was one) and the much anticipated encounter with the menacing Smaug (deliciously voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), the greatest CG dragon ever created onscreen, thanks to the wizards of Weta.Like "The Two Towers," and in keeping with "The Godfather" and "Star Wars" trilogies, this middle movie might prove to be the most satisfying, freed from exposition and closure. And what a cliff hanger! Early reviews of the film are in agreement: "The Desolation of Smaug" is a vast improvement over last year's "An Unexpected Journey." A roundup below. We'll update as more reviews become available. »
- Bill Desowitz
Ten films including Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Pacific Rim, made the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences short list for the visual effects category. Joining these three films on the list are Elysium, Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, Oblivion, Star Trek Into Darkness, Thor: The Dark World and World War Z. Photos: Where No One Can Hear You Scream: 18 Big-Screen Space Disasters The slate includes several Oscar winners, including The Hobbit's senior VFX supervisor Joe Letteri from Weta, a four-time Oscar winner (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The
- Carolyn Giardina
They both allowed that there was more than a passing similarity to 2002′s “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” Both films were based on J.R.R. Tolkien novels and both were the middle films of a trilogy.
“I got a very similar feeling from watching this tonight as I did back then with ‘The Two Towers,’” Emmerich admittted. “There was a lot of action with a cliffhanger ending. It also reminded me a lot of ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ which was also a second film in a trilogy.”
During the after-party, Jackson confessed that he was somewhat relieved.
“This was the first time that I’d seen it with an audience, so it was great that the audience reacted the way they did, »
- Dave McNary
Well folks, the last chance to get major deals during Amazon's 2013 Black Friday deals week has led to this, today is Cyber Monday 2013 and I have the schedule of DVD and Blu-ray deals that will be going live throughout the day below along with the other deals that have been featured throughout the week. The deals today include some James Bond Blu-rays in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, a Blu-ray of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and the deals close out with the Rambo: The Complete Collector's Set Blu-ray collection. Other than that there are some television items, such as "The Tudors" complete series set, "Sherlock Holmes" complete collection, "Twin Peaks", "The Good Wife" and "Rome". Outside of what's below I am constantly updating my main page with the week's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals right here, and it will continue to update until the deals are done. Otherwise, start shopping. »
- Brad Brevet
Thanksgiving is a specifically and peculiarly American occasion and although we on this side of the pond are generally aware of it, either because of films like Free Birds, or because of a healthy interest in Us sports, or through the avalanche of Thanksgiving-themed tweets from those we follow within the Twittersphere, it tends to pass us by.
But in the interests of North Atlantic harmony and in order to try to extend an olive branch of fraternity and put all that Boston Tea Party business behind us, it seemed appropriate to acknowledge and even celebrate Thanksgiving by sharing a few things for which we can all be thankful – American, British and everything else besides.
We could list all of the films we are thankful for, but that would take a while. We could say we are grateful for certain actors or directors, but in such matters of taste and »
- Dave Roper
Every holiday season, Amazon starts offering some awesome DVD/Blu-ray deals. Below are the highlights with the newest deals up top. Look for constant updates over the next few weeks. Wreck-It Ralph (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) - $15.00 (62% off) Band of Brothers - $19.99 (67% off) The Dark Knight Trilogy (Batman Begins / The Dark Knight / The Dark Knight Rises) [Blu-ray] - $24.99 (53% off) Mad Men: Season Six DVD - $19.99 (60% off) Mad Men: Season Six [Blu-ray] - $19.99 (60% off) This Is 40 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) - $8.00 (77% off) Life of Pi (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - $8.99 (70% off) Les Miserables (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) - $9.99 (67% off) Epic (Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) - $9.99 (75% off) From Up on Poppy Hill (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack) - $11.99 (66% off) Terminator Anthology (The Terminator/Terminator 2: Judgment Day / Terminator 3 /Terminator Salvation Blu-rays - $19.99 (60% off) The Wire: The Complete Series - $89.99 (55% off) The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Every year, a little before Thanksgiving, Amazon starts offering some awesome DVD/Blu-ray deals. Below are the highlights with the newest deals up top. Look for constant updates over the next few weeks. Dredd [3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet] - $8.00 (68% off) Mad Men: Season Six DVD - $19.99 (60% off) Mad Men: Season Six [Blu-ray] - $19.99 (60% off) This Is 40 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) - $8.00 (77% off) Life of Pi (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) - $8.99 (70% off) Les Miserables (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) - $9.99 (67% off) Epic (Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) - $9.99 (75% off) From Up on Poppy Hill (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack) - $11.99 (66% off) Turbo (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack) - $15.00 (62% off) Terminator Anthology (The Terminator/Terminator 2: Judgment Day / Terminator 3 /Terminator Salvation Blu-rays - $19.99 (60% off) The Wire: The Complete Series - $89.99 (55% off) The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray] - $44.99 (63% off »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
And so it begins. Every year, a little before Thanksgiving, Amazon starts offering some awesome DVD/Blu-ray deals. Below is what they just started offering today. Look for constant updates over the next few weeks for the best home video deals and geek gifts. The Wire: The Complete Series - $69.99 (65% off) Sex & The City: The Complete Collection (Deluxe Edition) - $68.99 (61% off) The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray] - $44.99 (63% off) This is worth owning just for the packaging: Harry Potter Years 1-5 Limited Edition Gift Set (Sorcerers Stone/ Chamber of Secrets/ Prisoner of Azkaban/ Goblet of Fire/ Order of the Phoenix) [Blu-ray] - $34.99 (77% off) Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection [Blu-ray] - $47.99 (52% off) Homeland: Up to 64% off Homeland Season 1 and 2 on DVD/Blu-ray I Love Lucy: The Complete Series - $78.69 (67% off) The Brady Bunch »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
There was probably a time, circa Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, when New Zealand wanted to be known for something other than hobbits and wizards and preeeccciiiiooous rings. It is a beautiful, beautiful country after all. Now it seems they're like, "Screw it. Whatever gets people to visit here and not Australia." So in anticipation of The Hobbit sequel, Desolation of Smaug, Air New Zealand kicked off their new ad campaign, "Just Another Day in Middle-Earth," with this epic video: Eagle-eyed Ringies (Ringers? Lord of the Ringheads? What are LotR fans called?) may pick out Hobbit actors Dean O'Gorman (who plays Fili the dwarf) and Sylvester McCoy (who plays Radagast). The ad »
While Steven Price might have seemed to come out of nowhere this fall with his teeth-rattling, nerve-fraying score for Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity", it's actually the culmination of years in the industry. He spent a long time as a music editor, working on productions like Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins," Peter Jackson's "The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers" and "The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King" before he got first chance to step up into the big leagues by composing the score for 2011's "Attack The Block." And while this year Price also scored Edgar Wright's "The World's End" (he had previously done additional music on "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World") he will forever be remembered for his stunning work on "Gravity." And it has clearly gotten him noticed in the right places. Price's next gig will be composing the score for David Ayer »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson, visual effects artist Joe Letteri and Weta Digital will receive the Producers Guild’s 2014 Vanguard Award. The award will be presented to Jackson, Letteri and Weta Digital at the 25th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 19th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
Jackson and Letteri‘s Academy Award-winning visual effects powerhouse Weta Digital is a world leader in all areas of digital visual effects production, having created some of the most astounding effects ever seen onscreen. Their motion picture credits include such hits as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Avatar and King Kong, among many others.
The Producers Guild’s Vanguard Award recognizes achievements in new media and technology. Previous recipients include James Cameron, Stan Lee, George Lucas, John Lasseter, YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, »
- Michelle McCue
I’m having a real hard time staying positive about this movie.
I feel like I’m trapped into seeing it, because I was such a big fan of the first trilogy and a big fan of The Hobbit as a book back before I knew what Middle Earth looked like. I even like the animated version, well… I like certain parts of the animated version.
But – Hey! – The Two Towers was the best entry in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, so maybe the middle-story here has something worthwhile that I’m not seeing at first glance. Maybe what looks like a completely fabricated side story of Legolas being more important than I remember will shake out better than I think. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with a film without a climax.
Overall, I want The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to feel much more vital than the first »
We're a little over a month away from the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and the marketing continues to ramp up. On Monday, we got a new trailer along with a live fan Q&A with Peter Jackson and the cast. Yesterday, there was a new production blog, and today we have two more images along with the end credits theme, "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran. I presume that's an abbreviated version of the full title, "I See Fire because It's Coming out of the Mouth of the Giant Talking Dragon". Like a large portion of the marketing for Desolation of Smaug, these images highlight Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) because the characters are shiny and new. As for the song, it doesn't really do anything for me, but maybe it will work better after seeing the movie (I felt that way with Emiliana Torrini »
- Matt Goldberg
Hey, poster lovers, take a look at a new poster for Peter Jackson’s upcoming “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”, the second movie in his “Hobbit” trilogy, which focuses on the Elves in the movie. Like the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, it certainly looks like the second movie in the series will be even more action-packed than the first. Makes sense, since “The Two Towers” was almost one big battle scene from beginning to end. Not sure if “Smaug” will reach those heights, but this brand spanking new poster sure looks promising. Check it out, check it outers. The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). The Dwarfs, »
Dourif is a character actor who has popped up in genre fare such as Alien: Resurrection and was Billy Bibbit opposite Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He broke the story to reporters at New York's Comic Con at the weekend. Speaking at a Q&A to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original 1988 Child's Play horror flick, Dourif revealed that studio Warner Bros scuppered his chances to play The Joker despite Burton's efforts.
"Tim Burton saw me on a plane and »
- Ben Child
Artist Marko Manev’s beautiful The Lord Of The Rings triptych (a piece of art divided into three) is to go on sale today. Intended to feature in the Young Guns of Print show at the Hero Complex Gallery in La, the art wasn’t ready for the start of the show and is now being revealed with its closing.
The three sections of the triptych are each dedicated to one of the three movies in the trilogy. The first shows the fellowship with the backdrop of the Shire, the second depicts Frodo, Sam and Gollum with the towers of Orthanc and Barad-dûr in the background and the third has Aragorn and his army at the Black Gate of Mordor. The artwork is wonderful and definitely some of the best I have seen of the franchise, but it doesn’t end there. Hidden behind each image is a glow-in-the-dark layer »
- Tom Durbin
Happy New "Hobbit" Trailer Day!
Frankly, these days don't happen enough, but when they do they're always great at rousing our interest in the "Lord of the Rings" prequel trilogy from Peter Jackson and company. The latest trailer even gives us what the hordes on Tumblr have been dying for: a quick listen to Benedict Cumberbatch voicing Smaug the dragon!
The lengthy trailer is our best look yet at the second installment, which is only two months and two weeks away. (Yes, we're counting. What's it to you?) How are you feeling about "The Desolation of Smaug"? If you're old enough to remember 2002, how does this compare to your anticipation for "The Two Towers"?
Take a look at the new trailer, along with four more new banners, after the jump! And let us know your thoughts in the comments below and on Twitter.
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" opens »
- Kevin P. Sullivan
J.R.R. Tolkien descendant’s movie to be screened at Bel-Air Film Festival: Nicholas Tolkien’s Holocaust-themed drama ‘Terezin’ The 2013 Bel-Air Film Festival, to be held October 7-13 in the Los Angeles area, will present the World Premiere of 23-year-old British writer-director Nicholas Tolkien’s Terezin at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 13, at the UCLA James Bridges Theater in Westwood. (Photo: Terezin.) According to the Terezin press release, the film chronicles the travails of two Jewish sisters who are deported to the World War II concentration camp of Terezin, northwest of Prague. After losing their parents, they eventually manage to escape with the help of "a German man with Jewish sympathies." Some serious problems arise when "a psychotic Nazi" starts looking for the two fugitives. Terezin was co-written by Nicholas Tolkien, Anna Tolkien, Frances Rozhko, and Robert D. Steffen — the last three also have roles in the film. Other Terezin cast members include Cody Wood, »
- Anna Robinson
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