Bilbo Baggins has narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants and countless orcs alongside his faithful wizard partner Gandalf and the hardy Dwarves of Erebor as they passed through the treacherous Misty Mountains. Their quest to retrieve the dwarves' vast pile of treasure and the land that they once called their home is at a peak as they reach the Lonely Mountain. Guarded by a colossal dragon named Smaug, the Lonely Mountain proves to be even more perilous than where they had just been and armed only with elven swords and Bilbo's Ring, they must make the ultimate defeat while fighting giant spiders and more goblins along the way. More threats face them in the form of untrustworthy elves with intelligence that far surpasses any of the travellers' put together, and their chances of survival are becoming very slim indeed.
'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' is the second instalment of 'The Hobbit' movie trilogy directed by Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') and based on the novel by JRR Tolkien. Screenwriters Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro make their return as do much of the previous cast alongside some new faces. It is due to be released in the UK on December 13th 2013.
Monster Films weren't happy with the decision
A remake of Maniac – starring Hobbit actor Elijah Wood – has been banned in New Zealand after the censorship board decided it was too graphic and too disturbing. The film can now only be shown in the country for educational purposes, although we can’t think what they would be, and will not be available on DVD.
Wood's horror was too much for NZ
Ant Timpson, a programmer for the festival, said the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) was concerned that the movie was "injurious to the public good," adding: "It's saying that the POV [point of view] nature of the film mixed with the psychopathic behaviour of actor Elijah Wood is more than disturbing, that it's potentially dangerous in the hands of the wrong person." (Sky)
Continue reading: Elijah Wood's Horror Film 'Maniac' Too Hot For New Zealand
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and their company thirteen dwarves have managed to leave the Misty Mountains almost unscathed after a series of death-defying encounters with trolls, stone giants, goblins and orcs. Armed with the One Ring and an array of elven forged swords, Bilbo must now set out to help retrieve the mountain of treasure that once belonged to the dwarves under the Lonely Mountain that was usurped by the dragon Smaug. Unfortunately, it proves less then straight-forward as more threats lie in their way from giant spiders and yet more goblins to unforgiving elves and waterfalls. However, as they approach the dragon, they begin to feel that all their other deadly ventures were just the tip of the iceberg.
'The Hobbit' returns with the second part of the movie trilogy 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' which sees the return of director Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') following part one, 'An Unexpected Journey'. Writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro are also back, along with last year's star cast and many new faces. Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, this new fantasy adventure film is set to hit cinemas this winter on December 13th 2013.
Roger Ebert has died aged 70, just days after announcing his cancer had returned.
Roger Ebert, the esteemed American journalist, movie critic and screenwriter, has died aged 70 after a long battle with cancer. Ebert worked as a critic for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 right up until his death, making him one of the best known film critics in America. He was the first writer of his kind to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and had his columns syndicated to more than 200 newspapers in the United States and many abroad.
Many will remember Ebert for his barbed war with rival critic Gene Siskel, often verbally sparring whilst discussing films in public. The pair created the trademark 'Two Thumbs Up' when both hosts gave the same film a positive review. As a director, if you had the two thumbs up from either Ebert of Siskel, you were invariably onto a good thing. In 1999, Ebert launched his own annual film festival called Ebertfest and six years later became the first critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His colleague Neil Steinberg said Ebert was "was without question the nation's most prominent and influential film critic." A positive review from the Chicago native could boost a movie's box-office takings, though a mauling could ruin everything. Ebert gave out plenty of those during his long and distinguished career, though a few stick out:
Continue reading: Roger Ebert Dies Aged 70: The Five Movies He Hated The Most
Aside from being an exercise in point-of-view cinema, it's not clear why French filmmaker Khalfoun (P2) bothered to remake the notorious 1980 slasher horror. This version certainly doesn't include any of the subtext that made 80s horror so intriguing. Instead, it strings together a thin plotline as an excuse for extremely grisly violence and whizzy camerawork. That's enough to hold our interest, but it never gets under the skin.
It's set on the side-streets of Los Angeles, where Frank (Wood) lives in the family mannequin shop haunted by memories of his trashy mother (Olivo). A true psychopath, Frank prowls the streets at night attacking women and scalping them to create a sinister mannequin tableau back home. When he meets the French photographer Anna (Arnezeder), he decides to try and live a normal life. She is intrigued by his shop, and wants the mannequins for her gallery exhibition. But how long will it be before Frank snaps?
Filmed completely through Frank's eyes, we only get glimpses of Wood in mirrors and in a couple of eerie out-of-body shots along the way. But Khalfoun stirs in fantasy sequences, memories and delusions as well, trying to get us into the mind of this mild-mannered killer. Much of this is bravura filmmaking, with long takes and complicated camera angles combining with above-average make-up effects. With all of the brutality aimed at women, the film definitely recaptures the misogynistic tone of those 1980s video-nasties.
Continue reading: Maniac Review
This first chapter of Peter Jackson's new Tolkien trilogy takes us back to the familiar settings and characters, inflating a simple journey into an epic adventure in the process. This film also looks strikingly different, shot both in 3D and 48 frames technology, double the definition of film. But it's the story we're really interested in.
The events take place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo (Freeman) is a younger Hobbit enjoying a quiet life. Then he meets the wizard Ganfolf (McKellen) and everything changes. Suddenly he's invaded by 13 riotous dwarves led by Thorin (Armitage), who has decided to lead an expedition to reclaim their homeland from the sleeping dragon Smaug. Bilbo reluctantly agrees to help them, and their journey kicks off with a series of adventures as they are chased by wolf-riding orcs, captured by greedy goblins and terrorised by gigantic mountain-monsters. They also call in for help from the elf leaders Elrond and Galadriel (Weaving and Blanchett), and try to convince the sceptical wizard Saruman (Lee) to back their quest.
The film opens with familiar characters as the older Bilbo (Holm) chats with Frodo (Wood) before we flash back to the start. And Jackson continues to link the two trilogies like this, with connective characters and events as well as developing the simple novel into a much bigger epic, complete with tenacious villains. All of this is hugely involving, with tense moments that are nerve-shredding as well as scenes of dark emotion and broad humour. The best sequence is Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, which vividly reveals the progress in performance-capture technology over the last decade. We can even more clearly see Serkis in Gollum this time, and it gives the film a real kick.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review
With its refusal to follow the usual romantic-comedy formula, this snappy and observant movie is a nice surprise. Not only does it keep us wondering about where it's heading, but it gives the likeable Jones and Samberg much more complex roles than they usually get to play. And the quirky approach combined with some darkly dramatic moments makes it more interesting to watch.
Jones and Samberg play the long-time couple Celeste and Jesse, who have been together since they were in school. Now married for six years, they're starting to wonder if maybe they're just best friends, rather than a couple. So they decide to separate. The main issue seems to be surfer-artist Jesse's lack of ambition but, when he begins to move on with his life, Celeste starts wondering if maybe she's the real problem. Even so, they're still completely involved in each others' lives, which is awkward for their friends Beth and Tucker (Graynor and Christian). Maybe they need some distance.
The film's perspective centres on Celeste's messy journey, which is a bumpy series of conflicting emotions. She works as a lifestyle critic, so her comments on pop culture are hilariously barbed, but as her personal life dissolves she retreats into annoying pot-fuelled wallowing. It's often not easy to watch her, but Jones gives a ruthlessly honest performance that's both funny and disturbing. Her sideplots with her gay boss (Wood), her low-life drug dealer (cowriter McCormack) and a bratty popstar client (Roberts) are nicely played but only tangentially developed.
Continue reading: Celeste And Jesse Forever Review
Celeste and Jesse have been best friends since high school and married each other very young. Many years later, they have reached their thirties and while Celeste is a successful business woman, Jesse has failed to mature with age and remains unemployed and unmotivated. Celeste believes the right thing to do is to file for a divorce as her life progresses away from him. He agrees, although he still loves her, but the pair remain inseparable friends as they begin to see other people. They are told that they should start dating again if they are unwilling to let each other go, however, Jesse soon finds another girl to fall in love with and Celeste's world comes crashing down around her as she realises she's made a huge mistake. As everything begins to warp and change in their lives, they start to learn that they may have to abandon their precious friendship in order for their hearts to heal.
Continue: Celeste and Jesse Forever Trailer
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, who lives a quiet life in The Shire. His peace is interrupted one day when Gandalf arrives on his doorstep, persuading Bilbo to hold a party in his home. Bilbo refuses but has no choice but to agree when Gandalf pesters him.
Mumble (Wood) thinks he's inadequate as a father since his non-dancing son Erik (Acres) feels like such an outsider. So when Erik runs off to visit the guru Lovelace (Williams) and meet flying penguin star Sven (Azaria), Mumble follows.
Meanwhile back home, an ice-shelf collapse has trapped the entire Emperor colony, so now Mumble, Erik and Lovelace's colony must find a solution. Perhaps some passing humans can help. Or a gang of tetchy sea elephants. Or maybe it'll be down to two renegade krills (Pitt and Damon) who are trying to find their individuality.
Continue reading: Happy Feet Two Review
While the Emperor penguins of Antarctica find their mate by singing their 'heartsong', Mumble is different. Instead of singing, he has a talent for tap-dancing and it was this that won the affections of his old friend Gloria. His unique gift also helped ban overfishing in Antarctica which saved the fish population from extinction.
Continue: Happy Feet 2 - Trailer & Featurette
Lila and Laura were best friends through college, they were always close and their extended set of friends were almost as close as they were. Named 'The Romantics' by other college mates for their almost incestuous dating history the group of seven reunite for the marriage of Lila and Tom. Lila and Laura have both got their history with the groomsman and seeing Laura again appears to have flustered the groom and begins to question his feelings for both women.
Continue: The Romantics Trailer
Number 9 (Wood) is a brave little creature who wakes up into a decimated city where meets the inventive 2 (Landau), who's promptly captured by a scary monster. Soon 9 finds a community led by conservative leader 1 (Plummer) with his muscly/dim bodyguard 8 (Tatasciore) and obsessive sketch artist 6 (Glover).
It's the friendly 5 (Reilly) who accompanies 9 to rescue 2, and along the way they meet swashbuckling 7 (Connolly) and bookish twins 3 and 4. Together they need to figure out how to stop a voracious soul-sucking machine.
Continue reading: 9 Review
You won't find any sort of rabblerousing or sense of time in Emilio Estevez's Bobby, his account of the people that were in attendance when Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel. Estevez tosses together close to two dozen major characters and storylines along with footage of RFK campaigning against racism, America's poverty, and unlawful McCarthy tactics. The stories run the gamut from a young couple (Elijah Wood and Lindsay Lohan) getting hitched to keep the groom out of the war to an alcoholic diva (Demi Moore) and her forgotten husband (Estevez himself) to a philandering hotel manager (William H. Macy) who must keep his affair with a switchboard operator (Heather Graham) from his wife (Sharon Stone) and from an infuriated ex-employee (Christian Slater). There's also a pack of poll campaigners (Nick Cannon, Joshua Jackson, Shia Labeouf, and Brian Geraghty) who must deal with an acid freak out facilitated by a hippie (Ashton Kutcher), a pushy Czech journalist (Svetlana Metkina), and a flirty waitress at the hotel restaurant (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Sounds like the makings of an ensemble comedy, no?
Continue reading: Bobby Review
And it's expectations that director Peter Jackson has clearly found himself having to address in this movie. Given that all three films in the series were shot simultaneously, Jackson doesn't have much opportunity to introduce new stuff with each movie. We're well familiarized with the main characters and the primary settings, so much of the weight falls on the new people and creatures introduced in this episode to carry the story.
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers Review
The hardest thing about an outsider trying to infiltrate a subculture and explain it to the masses is that the truth is often lost in the translation. Toback throws together a huge canvas of characters and actors in attempt to create a clear picture of why white kids are motivated to impersonate black rappers' lifestyles and why rich whit guys treat black rappers like Arnold and Willis from Diff'rent Strokes.
Continue reading: Black And White (1999) Review
How do you satisfy a legion of fans, some of whom have been waiting almost 65 years to see their absolute favorite work of literature put to film? More often than not, you don't, and though Peter Jackson's production of The Lord of the Rings is painstakingly faithful and earnest, it is almost a foregone conclusion that the movie will never quite be good enough for the obsessed fans (see also the 1978 animated Lord), just is it will be far too obtuse for those who haven't read the books.
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Review
Surprise! Sin City is a mega-violent, highly potent vial of noir crack. And judging from the riotous burst of applause at the end of our screening, one that's destined to be a Matrix-style mass-cult classic.
Continue reading: Sin City Review
Easily the biggest problem with this movie is in the marketing. I can only imagine how pissed off Williamson, Rodriguez, and everyone else involved in the movie must have been to see the film marketed as just another schlocky entry into the horror genre, which generally takes the words aliens; teenagers; battle; suspicious; killer; small town; etc. and jumble them up to come up with a concept (to wit, this time: suspicious small town teenagers battle killer aliens). Now if you are already a big 80s horror fan, just skip this review, because you already saw the movie, but this review is for people who are highly suspicious of shelling out eight bucks to see a horror flick. The only reason I actually saw The Faculty was because my little sister begged me to. But now I'm trying to convince you to.
Continue reading: The Faculty Review
Date of birth
28th January, 1981
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