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Every year Amazon puts the extended Blu-ray edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy on sale during Black Friday Deals Week and this year is no different in that respect, though it is a little different in that they are bundling it with even more J.R.R. Tolkien goodies for fans of Middle Earth. Along with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which includes the extended Blu-ray editions of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, you can buy bundles that also include all four books, including "The Hobbit" as well as either the PS4 or Xbox One edition of the Shadow of Mordor video game. I've included the links below along with a selection of other deals on more Blu-rays, Blu-ray players, televisions, soundbars and more! The »
- Brad Brevet
We’ve talked previously about movies that are better than their source material on the whole. Now let’s talk about movies that improve upon their source in a very specific way — the ending. A bad ending can ruin a perfectly good film (The Ninth Gate) and a good one can make an otherwise mediocre film shine (The Usual Suspects — Yeah, I said it, come at me). Even if the rest of the film was a complete dog turd, at least the creators got the ending right in movies like… 5. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Return of the King got a lot of guff for having like five different ending sequences, but it could have been oh-so-much worse. Tolkien was a historian foremost and a writer second. Thus, The Lord of the Rings books have a bit of a pacing problem. Greater thinkers than I have pointed out that “Fellowship of the Ring” is »
- Ashe Cantrell
By Anjelica Oswald
As we head into the final two months of the year, there are still a number of Oscar contenders that won’t be released — or even be seen — until December.
Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods will premiere on Christmas Day. Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper will have a limited release on Christmas before expanding to more theaters Jan 16.
Exodus: Gods and Kings, which is set for a Dec. 12 release, had a 37-minute press screening in September before the film was completed.
It was recently announced that a 30-minute first-look screening of Selma, the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic that centers on the Civil Rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, will take place at AFI Fest before its limited release on Dec. 25. But if Selma isn’t yet ready for it’s December release, it »
- Anjelica Oswald
<< Back to Holiday 2014 ForecastThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesRelease Date: December 17th (3D & IMAX)Studio: Warner Bros.Genre: FantasyDirector: Peter JacksonWriters: Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del ToroCast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitrage, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando BloomStudio Description: Bilbo and Company are forced to be embraced in a war against an armed flock of combatants and the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and incinerating all of Middle-Earth. Analysis: Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy concludes this December with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Advertisements promise that this will be "the defining chapter" of the franchise, and fans of the Middle Earth saga are surely excited to see the titular battle portrayed on the big screen. Outside of hardcore fans, though, it doesn't seem like there's much excitement surrounding this finale. »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
The mark of a great action director is often best indicated by how viscerally exciting and coherent he or she makes the large action set-pieces. A superb sequence of sound and fury relies on many elements to be exactly right. The editor is supposed to cut the sequence in a way that builds momentum while showing how all the separate parts in the scene fit together without it looking choppy. They must also keep the continuity. In order for this to happen, the cinematographer must get a lot of good angles on the scene, ensuring we come at the excitement from all angles to avoid further confusion. However, the director often has the final say on how these scenes are shot and subsequently put together.
Let’s just say that crafting a bravura action sequences is no easy task.
Recently, We Got This Covered’s Tuomas Hakola shared 10 phenomenal action »
- Jordan Adler
Whether you’re in Florida, New York, or Los Angeles, there are casting notices for you. Here are seven from this week you might have missed. “The Infinite”Marc Rienzo, a director with a background in visual effects who has worked on “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” “Star Trek,” and “Spider-Man,” helms an epic sci-fi VFX-heavy short film shooting in the Southeast Florida area. “Landscapes Of Using”Casting the lead role for this film about a student filmmaker making a film about his own memories while struggling with depression and addiction, and trying to maintain his relationship with his live-in girlfriend. The production will shoot Nov. 2–12 in L.A. and pays $100/day. To apply, submit your headshot, a short paragraph about your acting experience, films you admire, and “how you relate to the character’s conservative Muslim upbringing.” “Geektopia”Imaginarium seeks an outgoing, experienced cosplayer to co-host »
Cling. Clang. Crash. Welcome to the category of Best Sound Editing, which awards the creation and integration of artificial sounds into a movie's soundtrack. This distinguishes this category from Best Sound Mixing, which awards the mixing of the film's overall soundtrack. Due to the emphasis on creating artificial sounds, action films and war films tend to do particularly well here. The branch is also not afraid to give a film a standalone nomination (this decade, that has included "All is Lost," "Tron: Legacy," "Drive" and "Unstoppable"). In the not-too-distant past, animated films were also practically annual staples, which is unsurprising given the need to manifest everything you hear in such productions. The sound branch has its favorite contenders who regularly return. Names like Richard Hymns and Wylie Stateman immediately jump to mind. This is likely the case to a greater extent in Sound Editing than Sound Mixing. But every year also sees new nominees. »
- Gerard Kennedy
30. No Country for Old Men (2007)
Scene: Coin Flip
There was a brief period of time from 2006-2009 when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made some more daring, but wholly deserved choices for Best Picture. It began in 2006, when Martin Scorsese finally won for The Departed which, while not his best and not nearly as dark as, say, Taxi Driver or Raging Bull, still leaned that direction. Three years later, they handed the Oscar to The Hurt Locker over the blockbuster Avatar, rewarding quality over audience love. But in between the two it was given to No Country for Old Men, an incredibly dark neo-Western based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. It’s still one of the Coen Brothers’ best films, an incredible cat-and-mouse journey through West Texas in the 1980′s. The film stars Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, »
- Joshua Gaul
For one family in England, a move to a new home in rural Somerset initially brings out the best in their treatment of each other, but the walls housing their newfound harmony have perilous plans in store. The house in Kim Newman’s new novel, An English Ghost Story, is not “home sweet home” material, and readers can experience moving day in the exclusive excerpt provided to us by Titan Books.
“A dysfunctional British nuclear family seek a new life away from the big city in the sleepy Somerset countryside. At first their new home, The Hollow, seems to embrace them, creating a rare peace and harmony within the family. But when the house turns on them, it seems to know just how to hurt them the most – threatening to destroy them from the inside out. A stand-alone novel from acclaimed author Kim Newman.
Kim Newman is a well known »
- Derek Anderson
Screenings of the Lord of the Rings trilogy accompanied by live performances of the films' scores will take place at New York's famed Lincoln Center in April 2015, The New York Times reports.
The 21st Century Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of Lucerne, Switzerland, conducted by Ludwig Wicki, will perform the trilogy twice, in order, between April 8th and 12th in the David H. Koch theater. One cycle will run over the course of three straight nights, while the other will take place over a weekend with performances in the afternoon and evening. »
Maybe you've been to a marathon screening of each Lord of the Rings movie. But you've never been to one like this. Lincoln Center in New York City has played host to stage productions, movie shoots, concerts and operas, but next spring, it's symphony space will be home to The Lord of the Rings in Concert for just five days. Gothamist tipped us to this extraordinary cinematic event. Taking place from April 8th through April 12th, 2015, The Lord of the Rings in Concert will screen The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers and Return of the King, twice over the course of the five days with a live orchestra performing Howard Shore's Academy Award-winning scores. The 250 musicians that make up the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus will perform these scores in time with the films. For them, it will be an endurance test. For their audience, it's a »
Throughout the summer, an admin on the r/movies subreddit has been leading Reddit users in a poll of the best movies from every year for the last 100 years called 100 Years of Yearly Cinema. The poll concluded three days ago, and the list of every movie from 1914 to 2013 has been published today.
Users were asked to nominate films from a given year and up-vote their favorite nominees. The full list includes the outright winner along with the first two runners-up from each year. The list is mostly a predictable assortment of IMDb favorites and certified classics, but a few surprise gems have also risen to the top of the crust, including the early experimental documentary Man With a Movie Camera in 1929, Abel Gance’s J’Accuse! in 1919, the Fred Astaire film Top Hat over Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in 1935, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing over John Ford’s »
- Brian Welk
Many film sequels latch onto one character who captures audiences’ imaginations, then mould subsequent stories around that character. There’s no doubt that the Pirates Of The Caribbean series existed because of Captain Jack Sparrow’s popularity, and audience’s desires to see more of the kooky rogue. Gollum’s popularity following The Two Towers surely had an effect in the editing room on Return Of The King, where he cemented himself as one of the most quotable and imitable characters of the decade.
When this happens, producers respond, and the character often becomes elevated to a mascot - or even a reason to make subsequent films. They can occasionally end up hogging the posters, »
Killing characters is hard. Creators have such a strong connection to the people they’ve brought to life that to heartlessly murder them is emotionally draining. Unless you’re George R.R. Martin, who can’t sleep unless he’s killed a fan favourite.
From an audience perspective it can all get a little predictable. Marvel keep coming under fire for their repeated plot trait of making us think a character’s dead before revealing it was all a trick. When they do finally bite the bullet and kill a hero audiences will be so jaded they’ll expect them to turn up again half an hour later. Although that’s nothing compared the comics, where big names are habitually written out then swiftly resurrected. It was for a long time the unwritten rule that the only two characters who would actually stay dead were Uncle Ben and Bucky Barnes, »
- Alex Leadbeater
The final chapter of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy has its first teaser trailer and it is fantastic. The Battle of Five Armies promises to be an epic conclusion to the story of The Hobbit, while also being a transition to Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, some of the greatest films of all time. Though the decision to split J.R.R. Tolkien’s 300-page novel into three movies was highly controversial for some, it happened and it is time to accept the films for what they are. Though The Hobbit was never going to reach the towering heights of The Lord of the Rings, it has been a fun and nostalgia filled return to Middle-earth. The trailer is haunting and emotional, with a fair share of beautiful imagery, and a rendition of “Steward of Gondor” from The Return of the King, as song by Billy Boyd’s Peregrin “Pippin” Took. »
- Max Molinaro
It's the 1969 Academy Awards, and Walter Matthau and a tuxedo-clad chimp present John Chambers with an honorary Oscar for his work on Planet of the Apes. Viewed in retrospect it's one of the more surreal presentations in the ceremony's history, but this was something of a landmark event for the industry. It was only the second time the Academy had dished out a prize to make-up artists (William J Tuttle won four years earlier for 7 Faces of Dr Lao), and it highlighted the growing importance of Hollywood's backstage creative artists.
Fast-forward 45 years and prosthetics are giving way to digital pixels - for characters that require a complexity of movement and expression, performance capture technology gives a director the scope to execute their vision by marrying an actor's performance with visual effects. In its basic form, the actor will strap on a bodysuit that's wired up to a computer. All their »
From Gollum, to King Kong, to Caesar, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes star Andy Serkis has mastered the art of performance-capture characters and taught the world that it is performance, not just visual effects. Here’s how he does it!
Serkis always does thorough research. For example, when playing King Kong he “went all out to play the psychology and the DNA of a pure gorilla,” studying the behaviour of real gorillas. For Caesar on Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, he closely looked at Oliver, the ‘humanzee’, a real-life chimpanzee with a rare genetic mutation that appeared to be a chimp-human hybrid
Finding The Physicality
Working closely with celebrated movement choreographer Terry Notary (who also plays chimp Rocket), Serkis made sure on both Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and Dawn that every gesture and movement would ring true as that of a real chimpanzee. »
- Dan Jolin
While Mark Ruffalo did some performance capture for his role as the Hulk in The Avengers, we knew that his work would be taken to the next level in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, as he's enlisted the help of veteran mo-cap performer Andy Serkis (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers). Presumably just there in a mentoring capacity, Mr. Serkis recently suggested that he might have a little more to do than just teach Mark Ruffalo the ropes. Regarding his talents »
- Sean Wist
The sound editing team of Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn had their work cut out for them on Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction with new characters including Dinobots, Protos and the bounty hunter Lockdown. The pair have been with the Transformers franchise since the first film. Van der Ryn, an Oscar winner for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and 2005's King Kong, was nominated for the first Transformers film and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The later nomination was shared with Aadahl. Photos: 'Transformers,' 'Battleship' and Barbie: The Highs and Lows of Toy-
- Carolyn Giardina
Yes, Rock & Shock, the legendary Worcester, Mass., horror and metal festival, is still four months away, but organizers have released a tiny taste of what festival-goers can expect this October 17-19. Read on to learn what celebrity guests and musical acts are already lined up for the show.
Rock and Shock is not only Doctor Gash's favorite weekend of the year, but it's one of the coolest and most intimate festivals one can attend. And the first wave of celebrities should have everyone marking their calendars and making plans to head to Worcester this October.
Brad Dourif, who's done everything from voicing Chucky in the Child's Play series to Lord of the Rings, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and "Deadwood" just to name a few, will be making a rare festival appearance. Additionally , Dourif's daughter, Fiona Dourif (Curse of Chucky, "True Blood") will be appearing as well.
Also on »
- Scott Hallam
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