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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles: Art & Design
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WATCH: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,’ clip with Bilbo, Gandalf and Thranduil

The final film from Middle-earth is out and making impressions world-wide but for the vast majority of fans, the wait is still ongoing. To tide us over and to whet our appetites, here is a clip of Thranduil, Gandalf and the title character, the Hobbit.

That is a different character entirely from the one who faints in his own home in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Enjoy your journey as we count down the days to the film hitting wide release. Thanks to spy theElf19101730 for the heads up.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lee Pace, Martin Freeman, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – a ‘first thoughts’ review (spoiler free!)

HBFA_1sht_Main_INTLAnd so we come to it – the last Hobbit movie of our time…

Maybe not – but certainly this is the final film in what is now Peter Jackson’s sextuplet of Middle-earth movies. And I was lucky enough to see it today.

Here are some spoiler-free first impressions:

It is a beautiful film. So many lovely moments – great acting from our dwarf cast (who have very few lines amongst them, but who do wonderful, expressive things facially and with body language). Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Luke Evans and Richard Armitage are as fabulous as they have been throughout these films.

John Bell (Bain, son of Bard) is a stand out ‘supporting role’ in this film. There is a scene between him and his father Bard which is especially moving – it was the first scene in the film to make me cry! From the dwarves, Ken Stott (Balin) and Graham McTavish (Dwalin) both have well scripted, skilfully played scenes.

Christopher Lee is fantastic – Saruman is a force to be reckoned with in this film, even though he only appears briefly!

There are some typically over the top, ‘PJ’ moments – bits which made me roll my eyes, but which, on the whole, we’ve come to expect from this playful director. Legolas does more than shield-surfing in this movie… But when it comes to the quiet, downplayed moments, this stellar cast don’t let us down. I was moved to tears often; the scene when Bilbo takes his final leave from the company of dwarves is beautifully touching.

Howard Shore’s score is as effective as ever, and of course the production and costume design are wonderful. Is this the best of the three Hobbit movies? Maybe. I need to see it again to decide. Does it rise to the height of the Lord of the Rings movies? In places, yes. There are scenes of spectacular depth and emotion, as well as that incredible New Zealand scenery. There are CGI moments which, for me, are jarring – vast hordes of soldiers where it is all too obvious that the same CGI character is repeated multiple times – but on the whole, not so many in this film as there were in The Desolation of Smaug.

There are small things I might wish to change, but overall, this is a satisfying end to this trilogy – and a pleasing ‘lead in’ to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Tonight on the red carpet, Peter Jackson asked me who would be the first person to watch all six films in order. I can’t wait to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies again; and I can’t wait to watch this film ‘in situ’ with the other five movies. It’s a worthy, emotional part of our Middle-earth journey; a three tissue film for me! We went there; we’ve come back again; and the journey has been well worth it.

Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a final toast to all SIX movies, both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.

We’re inviting you to join us and make it happen through our Indiegogo campaign — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Visit our campaign page and find out how you can help!

Posted in Christopher Lee, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, John Bell, Ken Stott, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Update: Variety, Empire and now Hollywood Reporter review ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’

BilboBOTFAPosterIt’s that time of the year again…

Following the World Premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, reviews have begun pouring in – and here we have two from Variety and Empire. (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Martin Freeman, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Warner Bros.

The One Last Party – tickets available NOW!

one last party logoThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has its world premiere in London today. The last of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth films is nearly here. And so begins the end of the epic journey – mission – quest – thing – we have all been on together.

But fear not! We have no intention of letting these films sail into the West without a fanfare!  So get ready to celebrate at The One Last Party – There and Back Again: a Party of Special Magnificence, a final toast to all SIX movies, both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.

This will be on Saturday 21st Feb 2015 – the day BEFORE the Oscars – at a venue in Los Angeles, TBA. There will be music, food, drink, entertainment (from William Kircher’s band The California Dreamers, celtic musicians Emerald Rose, and more) and all kinds of fun! But here’s the thing… (more…)

Posted in Adam Brown, Billy Boyd, Events, Fans, Graham McTavish, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Manu Bennett, Meet Ups, Oscar Parties, The Hobbit, The One Last Party, TheOneRing.net Announcements, William Kircher

Graham McTavish talks about being a Dwarf and ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’

BotFATrailer39Here’s the transcript of an interview with Graham McTavish conducted with TheOneRing.net and a handful of other reporters on the set of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

(more…)

Posted in Graham McTavish, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Premieres, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, TheOneRing.net Announcements

TheOneRing.net and Lee Pace on set to talk ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

Lee_PaceMIRAMAR, NEW ZEALAND — In the final few weeks of filming for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” a handful of journalists visited Peter Jackson’s set at Stone Street Studios near Wellington, New Zealand to do a final round of interviews during filming.

The invitation included TheOneRing.net. The pack of journos were given a lot of interviews in a short amount of time with the agreement with Warner Bros. to hold them until just before the final film. The veil is lifted and here is the interview, with minimal commentary. (Assume the less good questions aren’t from TORn!)

We met in the mess hall, empty except for us on a windy day. Pace is even more handsome in person than expected, dressed casually but smartly and he gave very thoughtful answers — as you will read — and appeared to be thinking while he spoke. In fact, at the time the interview seemed extraordinary, especially as he talked about his character. Some of these phrases could be engraved and hung somewhere. Reading through it more than a year later, I hope fans enjoy it as much as I do.

We were fresh from Weta Workshop, Academy Award winner Richard Taylor as well as interviewing Academy Award winner Dan Hennah and having a tour of the offices of the Art Department where we saw concept art and models and props of all kinds.

Here is the conversation: (more…)

Posted in Cate Blanchett, Dan Hennah, Fans, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hugo Weaving, Ian McKellen, Lee Pace, LotR Movies, MrCere in New Zealand, Orlando Bloom, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Ian McKellen talks on Gandalf’s last day

GandalfBOTFAPoster Here’s the transcript of a long but very interesting roundtable question and answer session that Ian McKellen conducted with a number of reporters just before his final day on the set of the Hobbit as Gandalf.

The transcript traverses not just his role — and legacy — as Gandalf, but also his Shakespearean endeavours, living in New Zealand, meeting Edmund Hillary, and the challenges that Sean Connery might have faced if he’d ever taken on the Gandalf role.

  (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Who voices the narration on the new Star Wars teaser?

star-wars-the-force-awakens-millennium-falcon-imaxBy now you have no doubt seen the new Star Wars teaser for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, and if not, it’s time to shake off that Turkey Coma from Thanksgiving yesterday and get thee to a theater, or you can find it here: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ The biggest question that has set off the inter webs since it’s debut is ‘Who is narrating this?’ It sounds like Smaug, er, that is, it sounds like Benedict Cumberbatch. He has not been officially attached to the film, but did visit the set and was extremely coy on a recent installment of the Graham Norton show about any possible involvement, which can be seen here: BC on Graham Norton. In a recent article today, Collider.com says the narration comes from confirmed cast member Andy Serkis, quoted below:

Contrary to rumors that began spreading right after the trailer hit, the actor providing the ominous voiceover narration is not Benedict Cumberbatch. It is in fact confirmed cast member Andy Serkis. With regards to his character’s allegiance, his words are rather ambiguous. It’s easy to imagine that voice belonging to either an old shaman-type Jedi or an age-old Sith. Which is it? We likely won’t find out for a very long time.
Read more at Collider.com’s Burning Questions answered

 

star-wars-the-force-awakens-lightsaberOf course, the narration could be anyone really, well, anyone with a nice, deep accented voice that could be equal parts menacing or world weary. As soon as we have a confirmation, we’ll pass it along. But in the mean time, what are your impressions of the new trailer? BTW, that new Sith Lightsaber is very cool with the feel of an old school broadsword.

Update: Hitfix has confirmed Collider’s story that the narration was performed by cast member Andy Serkis, but was unable to give any further details on what role he plays beyond being a pivotal character and not having much screen time. You can find more info at Hitfix story confirms Andy’s narration.

 

Posted in Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Fans

Adam Brown in ‘Saxon Court’, Southwark Playhouse – review

saxon courtWe mentioned last week that actor Adam Brown (aka Ori) is currently appearing in the new play Saxon Court, a production by Made by Brick at the Southwark Playhouse in London. Staffer greendragon went along to see the show in preview, and brings us this review:

Southwark Playhouse, just a few minutes’ walk from the Elephant and Castle tube station, is a fascinating place with a characterful, cosy lobby/bar, and two studio theatre performance spaces, known as ‘The Large’ and ‘The Little’. Emerging playwright Daniel Andersen’s Saxon Court is being presented in The Little. The production, directed by Melanie Spencer, makes skilful use of the intimate space, turning the black box into a workplace, with simply an area on the walls stage right and stage left painted grey to frame the stage. The show tells the tale of a typical London office, on the day of the Christmas party in 2011, at the height of the financial crisis. Things are not going well and someone is likely to get fired – but who will it be?

This is listed as a ’16+’ production, and deservedly so – the folks in this office are as raucous, vulgar and boozy as one might expect on party day! Joey and Nat are the older hands in the office, constantly teasing newcomer Noel; receptionist Tash has recently been off for some ‘surgery’ (and it’s fairly obvious from the moment she enters what her procedure might have been!); they all answer to boss Donna, who is harsh, driven and ruthless.

Adam Brown plays Mervyn (unfairly referred to throughout as ‘Ugly Mervyn’!), an employee from another office who is summoned to meet with Donna. Though Brown has the smallest role to play, his performance is one of the strongest. His Mervyn is funny, gauche, annoying (and, it turns out, as mean as everyone else!); and yet at the moment when he realizes he might be fired, we are given a glimpse of touching poignancy, before the comedy returns.

Actors John Pickard (Joey) and Debra Baker (Donna) also give strong performances. The play is very funny; the almost full house on the night I attended rang with loud and frequent laughter. Andersen clearly knows office worker ‘types’ – I’m pretty sure I’ve temped in this office, with the wine-swigging receptionist dressed up to the nines for the Christmas party. His characters are well-drawn, all hiding – and gradually revealing – insecurities, vulnerabilities and flaws.

My only criticism of the evening was that I was left somehow dissatisfied. We’d spent the past couple of hours watching these people be caustic and despicable; I would have liked to have seen some sense of a journey, of an imminent change or a lesson learned. Furthermore, the play looks at an office in crisis, but fails to give much insight into the wider city (and world) in financial crisis at that time. Instead, the script seems rather superficial; I felt that this office would continue much the same the next day, albeit minus an employee. But perhaps that is part of the point: life goes on, staff and crises come and go, but there will always be offices with snarky workers and drunken, regrettable Christmas parties.

Definitely not a family show – heed the 16+ guideline! But if you fancy a biting, funny antidote to Christmas schmaltz, then Saxon Court is well worth seeing. It runs at Southwark Playhouse until December 13th; click here for showtimes and tickets.

 

Posted in Adam Brown, Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Stage Productions, The Hobbit

‘Minister of Chance’ second series for 2015

MofCOur good friends over at The Minister of Chance have let us know that the second series of their popular podcast will be available to fans in 2015. Their press release tells us, ‘Radio Static, the company behind the groundbreaking Minister of Chance franchise, have delighted geekdom by announcing the production of a second season of the award-winning podcast series.’

There are also still plans in the works to create a film of the series, which would include actors Jed Brophy and Sylvester McCoy, reprising their roles from the first season; and we’re also told, ‘A Minister of Chance convention is now in the works for autumn 2015 which will also be held in the county [of Cheshire in the North West of England], and this is also expected to bring in a legion of fans to meet the famous names involved.’

Read more at the series’ website, here.

Posted in Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, Radio, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit

Peter Jackson to receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

peter-jacksonThe Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has announced that the 2,538th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will go to Peter Jackson in a ceremony to be held on Monday, December 8 at 11:30am. The star will be located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd in front of the Dolby Theater, with the ceremony taking place in that same location. Andy Serkis will be the guest speaker with additional celebrities in the form of Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Richard Armitage and Elijah Wood. With all these folks in Hollywood that day, it now seems pretty clear that the previously supposed New York premiere on the same date is no longer happening.

Everyone at TheOneRing.net would like to issue Sir Peter Jackson a heartfelt congratulations, you will always be welcome at any and all of our fan events. After all, you helped create this thriving community of fans we foster on TORn.

The complete press release can be read below.  (more…)

Posted in Andy Serkis, Director news, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lee Pace, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Orlando Bloom, Other Events, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Peter Jackson guest edits Empire Magazine plus a new behind-the-scenes still!

hobbit-subscribers-cover Peter Jackson is the editor for the new, upcoming issue of Empire which is being released next week.

“Empire likes movies, and for that reason I have always liked Empire. As Editor-In-Chief for this issue, it’s certainly been an interesting experience — signing off pages and approving photo shoots for Empire, at the same time as I’m signing off visual effects shots and approving sound mixes for The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies.

Coming to the end of such an unexpected, unforgettable journey fills me with a mixture of pride, relief, sadness, fun and satisfaction. Middle-earth is such a fascinating, rich world to explore and one that never leaves you, even if you leave it.”

(more…)

Posted in Books Publications, Collectibles, Director news, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies