Ian McKellen wanted to respect Richard Harris by turning down Harry Potter role.
Fans of both Harry Potter and Ian McKellen will be aggrieved to learn that the actor was actually considered for the role of Professor Dumbledore following the death of Richard Harris, but he turned it down because the latter didn't like him very much.
Ian McKellen waves at 'Beauty and the Beast' premiere
Despite the fact that we can't understand why anyone wouldn't adore Sir Ian McKellen, it seems that his late contemporary Richard Harris wasn't his biggest fan. In an interview on the BBC program 'HARDtalk', he spoke about the situation in front of an audience at the BBC Radio Theatre.
Continue reading: Why Did Ian McKellen Decline The Invitation To Play Dumbledore?
This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to give the story a photo-realistic sheen. The addition of more songs makes it feel much more like a big movie musical. And the use of real actors adds quite a lot of detail and subtext in the character interaction. But basically, this is still the same romantic fairy tale: lovely to look as it makes the audience swoon and sigh.
It's set in a French village, where Belle (Emma Watson) is looked at with suspicion by her neighbours for her empowered-female ways, reading books, expressing her opinions and running the farm where she lives with her single dad Maurice (Kevin Kline). It's no wonder that the vain soldier Gaston (Luke Evans) pursues her, since she's the only girl who isn't chasing him. Then one day Maurice and Belle have a fateful encounter with a castle hidden in a deep woods under a curse. Imprisoned by its beastly master (Dan Stevens), Belle befriends the staff, who have been transformed into household objects like a lampstand (Ewan McGregor), clock (Ian McKellen), teapot (Emma Thompson), harpsichord (Stanley Tucci) and feather duster (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). All of them conspire to help Belle fall in love with the Beast, which would break the spell.
Director Bill Condon (who made Dreamgirls and the final Twilight movies) makes the most of the live-action cast, allowing them to stir all kinds of undercurrents into their roles, which adds weight and interest to the rather predictable storyline. The film still looks largely animated thanks to an extensive use of digital backgrounds and characters, but the actors add an earthy tone that breaks the surface, bringing in some more textured emotions and sharper humour. The whole cast is excellent, with particular scene-stealing energy coming from Evans and Josh Gad (as his super-faithful sidekick LeFou), who are both funny and villainous at the same time. And Kline is also a standout for a surprisingly thoughtful performance.
Continue reading: Beauty And The Beast Review
Take a closer look at the cast of 'Beauty and the Beast' in the final trailer for the forthcoming live-action Disney re-boot. Gaston loves himself more than Belle, Belle loves books more than boys, and Maurice loves his daughter more than anybody else. Meanwhile, the Beast hates everything and everyone equally, but that's about to change when Belle volunteers herself as his prisoner in exchange for her father's freedom. She has much pity for the Beast and wants to make the best out of a terrible situation, especially when he presents her with the library of her dreams. He's relying on her love to rescue him from the curse that binds him in his monstrous form, and to rescue his friends and servants from their furnitural guises. But together they have an important lesson to learn about love and companionship.
Continue: Beauty And The Beast Trailer
The actor joined thousands of protestors in London who marched together against the presidency of Donald Trump.
The placard held by actor Ian McKellen as he joined the Women’s March in London has been declared the best sign of the day by the internet.
The sign featured a picture of McKellen’s pal Patrick Stewart as ‘Star Trek’s’ Captain Picard facepalming, and pretty much summed up many people’s feelings of frustration and anger towards the Trump presidency.
Continue reading: Ian McKellen's Sign At The Women's March In London Was The Best
To outsiders, the castle which sits on the outskirts of a small town is just another run down building soon to be turned into ruins but the secrets the beautiful building hold are some laced in magic.
The royal prince who lives in the castle hasn't been seen for years and no one but a witch knows the truth of what happened to him. When Prince Adam was young, he was confronted by a witch seeking shelter from the weather in return for a beautiful rose. The young prince had little time for beggars and dismissed the old woman without much of a thought. As punishment for his cruel arrogance and having seen the lack of love in his heart, the witch curses the prince and his castle.
Having been turned into an unsightly beast with horns and fur much like a goat, he now spends his life in a castle along with his bewitched staff - for they suffer the same curse as their master and have been turned into household objects. The witch didn't want to just punish the thoughtless Prince, she did give him a little hope - she left him with the rose he originally turned down; if he could find true love by the time the last petal fell from the rose on his 21st birthday, he and his castle would be free from the curse.
Continue: Beauty and the Beast Trailer
Disney have released the new teaser trailer for the remake of the much-loved animated film Beauty and the Beast. The 2017 version of this classic Disney film is a live-action movie and it is claimed that the Disney magic will not be lost as a result, but rather preserved and made even more magical. Emma Watson stars as the protagonist, Princess Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast.
The narrative follows Belle on her quest to find her father who has been captured and imprisoned in the Beasts castle, on arriving at the castle she finds herself becoming imprisoned as well. In order to free her father she agrees to stay in the Beasts castle as his prisoner. After spending time with the Beast she starts to see beyond his frightening exterior and into his kind heart and soul, which leads her to start falling in love with him.
However Belle soon finds herself caught in the middle between the two men who want her, the Beast and Gaston and it is in this climatic end that leads her to confess her love for one of them, but which one she chooses, you'll have to watch and see.
Sam Smith’s best original song win on Sunday has been overshadow by his speech, in which he mistakenly proclaimed himself the first openly gay Oscar winner.
It’s been quite the 48 hours for British singer Sam Smith. First he performed Bond theme ‘Writings on the Wall’ at the Oscars, then he took home the best original song award. But his big moment was quickly overshadowed by his speech, in which he mistakenly said he was the first openly gay Oscar winner. Then there was 2009 Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black, who called out the singer on twitter and accused him of texting his fiancé Tom Daley.
Sam Smith has apologised to Dustin Lance Black after his Oscars mix-up.
After Smith’s speech Black tweeted, ‘Hey @SamSmithWorld, if you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé.’ Backstage at the awards, Smith was told of his mistake and said: “Shit! Fuck that! Two’s my lucky number, so it’s all good. Who was the other person?”
Continue reading: Sam Smith Apologises To Dustin Lance Black After Oscars Faux Pas
McKellen will be imparting his knowledge as a tour bus takes fans around sites in London where his 1995 film 'Richard III' was filmed.
Sir Ian McKellen is to become a bus tour guide – not for a new film, but in real life, as he is set to boost public tours of London locations seen in the film in which he portrayed Richard III more than two decades ago.
The 76 year old actor, a legend of both screen and stage, has agreed to host the guided tours as part of the British Film Institute’s Shakespeare film season, for which he is the ambassador.
Set in an alternative fascist version of 1930s England, McKellen portrayed the English king in the 1995 film Richard III, directed by Richard Loncraine. Speaking to reporters at the BFI on Monday (January 25th), he said that he always thought a bus tour of the locations seen in the movie “might be fun” and was pleased that he had the opportunity to realise it.
Continue reading: Sir Ian McKellen To Become A London Bus Tour Guide
Chappie premieres just before it opens, while Cinderella hosts a lavish red carpet in L.A. Ethan Hawke and Greta Gerwig are spotted filming in New York, and trailers tease films about the Beach Boys, an ageing Sherlock Holmes, immortality and an old lady living in a van...
Neill Blomkamp's new film Chappie held its world premiere this week in New York, just a day before before it opened around the world. Blomkamp (who previously made District 9 and Elysium) was present along with stars Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley and Dev Patel.
Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Chappie And Cinderella Premiere In New York And L.A., Ethan Hawke Is Snapped On-Set, And New Trailers Arrive For Movies Starring Veterans Ian Mckellen, Ben Kingsley And Maggie Smith.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hits cinemas today
Two long years since the first instalment of the Hobbit trilogy whet audiences’ appetites with dwarfs, wizards, dragons, fighting and, of course, a hobbit, the concluding cinematic experience has finally arrived.
Sir Ian McKellen takes on the role of Gandalf for the final time
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hits cinema screens tonight and so does everyone’s favourite wizard, Gandalf the Grey.
Continue reading: Sir Ian McKellen Talks Gandalf As The Final Hobbit Is Released
The final Middle Earth trailer has rolled out online - and it's a good one.
A new trailer for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies has rolled out online at the end of the big week of hype for cinema. Christopher Nolan's Interstellar is doing huge business across the globe, while Disney announced the official title for Star Wars Episode VII, The Force Awakens, whilst confirming that Toy Story 4 is happening in 2017.
Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug is causing havov in 'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies'
So spare a thought for Lord of the Rings fans who are still busy sinking their teeth into a new trailer for the final instalment in the Hobbit adventure. We're now just six weeks from the global release on December 17, 2014 and the initial trailer released in July was heralded as one of the best teasers of the year. As Forbes put it, it evoked the "gloom and doom of the Return of the King teaser, eleven years ago."
With some criticising The Hobbit for spreading over three films, what other franchises have gone on for a long time?
The Hobbit trilogy has been criticised by some viewers for having too little content spread too thinly over the course of too many films. Originally, the idea was to split the 1937 J. R. R. Tolkien story over two films; however, in 2012, director Peter Jackson confirmed his plans for a third film; some six years after the two-film decision had been made.
Director of The Hobbit, Peter Jackson, originally thought the franchise would only spread across two films
Was this to enhance viewers’ experience of the story or was it because three films make more money than two? Audiences will never know. They will instead have to settle with a narrative with a lot less to say than The Lord of the Rings trilogy over the same number of motion pictures; with the final chapter in the piece, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, released in the UK on 12 December.
Continue reading: Film Franchises That Go On Forever
Scroll down for a look at the new picture
‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ won’t be out for another 6 months, which means it’s just the right time to start dripping teaser photos, trailer snippets and plot bytes to keep Tolkienites’ appetites whetted.
Ian McKellen‘s Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The latest tease comes in the form of a ‘first look’ style reveal on the film’s official Facebook page. In it, Ian McKellen‘s Gandalf and Luke Evans‘ Bard the Bowman are looking at something presumably ominous - let’s face it: they’re not laughing at Bilbo trying out Legolas’s bow, are they?
Continue reading: 'The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies' Gets A Facebook Photo Tease
X-Men: Days of Future Past is a serious critical hit.
The early reviews of X-Men: Days of Future Past were potentially damaging. There was talk of the narrative being far too complex for the average movie fan to enjoy and many were suggesting Bryan Singer had bitten off more than he could chew by having the beloved characters from the original X-Men trilogy joining forces with their younger selves.
Starring Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, X-Men: Days of Future Past is certainly a hotbed of serious acting talent, but very often, big names simply aren't enough to carry a poor script. Luckily, for 20th Century Fox, writers John Byrne, Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman haven't written a poor script. They haven't even written an overly complex script.
Continue reading: With 95%, 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Is The Best X-Men Movie. Period.
Ahead of its May 22 release, the critics have their say on the latest X-Men adventure
Professor X, Mystique, Magneto, Kitty Pryde and Wolverine are back, but this time the latter is trying to convince X-Men from the past to help stop a war that is going to occur in the future. It’s a complicated plot, by all accounts, but one that Bryan Singer and Matthew Vaughn have portrayed skilfully, with plenty of action in between.
Charles Xavier meets his past self
The critics have kicked off the ever fluctuating aggregate Rotten Tomato score with a very healthy 86%. “Not since 2003's "X2: X-Men United" has this filmmaker tapped so effortlessly into his talent for comicbook gravitas, his ability to mine emotional resonance, pop poetry and (crucially) sly humor…” wrote Variety’s Justin Chang.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is getting closer.
Fox has released the X-Men: Days of Future Past behind-the-scenes featurette as it prepares its promotional material ahead of the movie's release on May 23. Mainly featuring Bryan Singer explaining his reasons for getting back into the director's chair for the latest entry in the long-running superhero series, the new clip also features some pretty neat looking footage from the blockbuster.
Ian McKellen in X-Men: Days of Future Past
Singer's first two movies starring Hugh Jackman paved the way for the younger cast (McAvoy, Fassbender, Lawrence etc) to take a hold of the franchise, though the filmmaker is delighted to be forging both teams together for Days of Future Past.
Once again, the reception has been mixed for 'The Hobbit,' but 'Desolation of Smaug' does show signs of improvement
Having narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants and an innumeral amount of orcs, Bilbo Baggins, still in the company of Gandalf and the Dwarves of Erebor, continues his adventure to return the dwarves to their rightful home, coming across their most difficult deeds yet this time around. They reach the Lonely Mountain, guarded by the colossal dragon Smaug, and must pit their wits against their greatest challenge yet, as well as yet more goblins, orcs, giant spiders and some very untrustworthy elves.
Bilbo gets serious this time around
The first time around, Biblo (Martin Freeman), the returning Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and our dwarf friends were met with a mix reception by a largely indifferent collection of critics. This time around, the overall view is still a relatively unconvinced one, but it does seem as though Peter Jackson's latest Tolkein epic has regained some of the vigor from the beloved Lord of the Rings trilogy and a number of notable critics were left impressed after watching the film.
Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart stun in a double bill of 'Waiting for Godot' and 'No Man's Land' on Broadway.
Ian McKellen has suggested that his current Broadway show - a double bill of Samuel Beckett'sWaiting for Godotand Harold Pinter'sNo Man's Landwith Patrick Stewart - could well be his last appearance on the famous stages of New York.
Sir Ian McKellen, On Broadway
McKellen, 74, said Gotham's famous theatre scene had "some of the brightest in the world, and certainly some of the most enthusiastic" audiences in the world.
Hugh Jackman should hand the Wolverine torch over to someone new
Many actors have roles that define their careers. So far, Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter is still his most recognisable work; Roger Moore will always be known as James Bond and Christopher Reeve just is Superman. Will Hugh Jackman always ben known as Wolverine?
Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in Days of Future Past
He certainly will be if talk of another film turns out to be true. Often maligned, Jackman’s career has been of the illustrious sort. He’s appeared in taut thrillers, elaborate musicals and epic battles. But his seminal career role is that of Wolverine, and subsequent turns in the X-Men movies that included the angry superhero.
Continue reading: Should Hugh Jackman Adopt His Wolverine Guise Yet Again?
Check out the extended, all-action Desolation of Smaug trailer.
Ahead of the second film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy’s release, an extended, for-the-fans trailer has been released, giving us a better look at the Desolation of Smaug, which will hit cinemas this December.
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'
The long trailer was shown at a fan event, which featured a Q&A with the film’s stars, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis, and, of course, the director Peter Jackson.
Continue reading: Hobbit Fans Get Treat As Extra Long 'Desolation Of Smaug' Trailer Hits
Check out the emotional trailer for 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' below.
Following a nastily short, nevertheless exciting, six-second teaser trailer released last week, we finally have a longer trailer to whet our comic book appetites. The emotive, epic trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past sets out the story, which sees two generations of X-Men required to stop a war before it begins.
Hugh Jackman's Wolverine faces a difficult task
Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen and Hugh Jackman reprise their roles; the latter being the conduit on which the film’s plot is based. He must wake up in his younger body, and find a young Professor Charles Xavier and “guide him, have patience with him.”
'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' trailer hits the web and features heroes and villains from the past and future as the 'X-Men' return to save the mutant race.
The official trailer for the sequel to the 2011 'X-Men First Class' has been released online. 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' sees the return of the film franchise's biggest characters and includes a few new faces as the ensemble cast combine to depict a time travelling story to save the mutants from their imminent destruction.
Logan (Jackman) travels back in time to meet a young Prof X (James McAvoy)
The sequel trailer already rises important questions that need to be addressed in the upcoming sequel. The 2 minute long clip heavily features the return of 'Professor Charles Xavier' (Patrick Stewart), a character presumed to be dead after being killed by Jean Grey in 2006's 'X-Men: The Last Stand'. A resurrection perhaps?
Uploaded earlier today, the trailer for the next X Men movie will blow you away
X-Men: Days of Future Past won't be out until May next year, but after you see the first trailer for it you'll wish that you could jump forward and dive right into it now. In it, we get our first real glimpse at our mutant heroes and villains, from past and future, who must bend the space time continuum to make the future a better day for mutants throughout the Marvel Universe.
The past (McAvoy) and present (Stewart) Xaviers meet face to face in the trailer
Based on the much lauded and incredibly popular (if you happen to be into comic books at least) 'Days of Future Past' storyline from the Uncanny X-Men, the move will unite the characters from the first X-Men movies with those from 2011's X-Men: First Class, with the present day X-Men having to go back in time to prevent the ongoing war against mutants, who are being hunted down by the robotic Sentinels. Are you still with us? Good, because it gets even more complicated.
The new trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is here.
The second film in The Hobbit franchise The Desolation of Smaug has a brand new trailer, which sees the Elves and the Dwarves reluctantly unite, Bilbo Baggins captured by The Ring's power and the terrifying Smaug breath fire. The action packed movie is set for for a Christmas time release but you can catch a glimpse of the fantasy epic right now.
Ian McKellen As Gandalf In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
In The Desolation of Smaug we re-join Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his trials & tribulations alongside the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on the marathon quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
Can Ian McKellen pull it off as the next Sherlock Holmes?
Sir Ian McKellen is due to star as an elderly Sherlock Holmes in the movie adaptation of 'A Slight Trick of the Mind', a 2005 novel by Mitch Cullin.
'The Hobbit' star has been signed on to portray the world famous sleuth which is set to be directed by Bill Condon, who he previously worked on in Oscar winning 1998 biography drama 'Gods and Monsters', with a screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher.
The Holmes film is about the detective as an old man, partially crippled and only able to walk with a cane, and with an increasingly poor memory. He must crack a case that has stumped him for 50 years before his almighty mind finally fails him.
Continue reading: Ian McKellen Goes From Sorcerer To Sleuth In Upcoming Sherlock Movie
The veteran actor will portray one of literature's most revered characters .
It’s official, screen legend Ian McKellen has signed on to play a retired Sherlock Holmes in Bill Condon's A Slight Trick of the Mind. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Mitch Cullin while the screenplay is being adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher. Anne Carey will produce.
The plot: a retired Holmes racks his brain for the answers to an unsolved case 50 years prior. His brilliant yet fading mind can’t handle the lack of closure, so, stripped of his once-impenetrable logic, he sets out on his hardest case yet.
It’s not often you can say this about a role – just ask the fans of 50 Shades of Grey – but McKellen is literally perfect to fill this role. Credits for that sentence go to the Oxford online dictionary for changing the meaning of “literally.” But, jokes aside, we can’t think of a better man to take on the part.
Superheroes turn out at San Diego Comic-Con, while Hugh Jackman makes a final push for The Wolverine. Jennifer Lawrence plugs her Hunger Games sequel, Steve Coogan premieres Alpha Papa in Norwich and Gravity continues to provide goosebumps...
Comic-Con in San Diego last weekend featured a staggering array of star power presenting their upcoming superhero movies. Chris Evans and Scarlett wound up the fans while talking about Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Benicio Del Toro and Djimon Hounsou were on hand to chat about Marvel's interstellar epic Guardians of the Galaxy. Tom Hiddleston talked up Thor: The Dark World. And the enormous cast of X-men: Days of Future Past turned up, including acting veterans Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. Watch Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson talk 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' at Comic-Con, or see Djimon Hounsou and Benicio Del Toro discuss 'Guardians of the Galaxy' at Comic-Con. Check out the video of Tom Hiddleston talking about 'Thor: The Dark World' at Comic-Con and see Ian Mckellen and Patrick Stewart getting a little sentimental during 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Comic-Con Q&A.
In addition, Hugh Jackman and James Mangold continued their globe-hopping press tour, arriving in San Diego to discuss their new X-men movie The Wolverine, the Japan-set adventure that arrives in US and UK cinemas this weekend. Watch 'The Wolverine Press conference here, click to view the 'The Wolverine' trailer or read our The Wolverine Review.
X-Men put on a huge panel at Comic-Con 2013 with each cast member and writer present to answer the burning questions of the franchise's fans.
The X-Men stars who were present at this year's monumental Comic-Con included writers Simon Kinberg and Omar Sy, as well as Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, director Bryan Singer, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicolas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Evan Peters, with producers Lauren Shula Donner and Hutch Parker.
Hugh Jackman: Always Ready To Break Into Song.
Hugh Jackman, AKA Wolverine, took centre stage as arguably the most memorable and distinctive character in the long-running franchise. Describing his role as Wolverine as "the job that has defined [his]career...every day [he's] grateful," he added "I thank my lucky stars" before he and X-Men director Bryan Singer engaged in a spot of snuggling.
The BBC decided Ben Elton's sitcom 'The Wright Way' would not be returning after universal panning by critics.
The BBC has dropped Ben Elton's sitcom The Wright Way. The sitcom ended in May 2013 and the BBC announced yesterday (Wednesday 10th July) that it would not be renewing the comedy for a second series.
Ben Elton at the 2010 Laurence Olivier Awards.
Independent critic Tom Sutcliffe described the sitcom as "groan-inducing". The sitcom was set around a health and safety department of a local council in which social stereotypes were actively encouraged but seemed cliché and "old fashioned" (according to Daily Mail reviewer Christopher Stevens).
Continue reading: BBC Cancels Ben Elton's Sitcom 'The Wright Way'
If you're going to San Diego's Comic-Con 2013 don't expect to see any trace of Peter Jackson's upcoming The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug after the director explains the film won't be making an appearance but debuts new teaser material in a vlog.
It wasn't really a diva-ruling that the sequel to 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey won't be holding a panel at this year's Comic-Con: in his vlog, Jackson acknowledges that fans attending Comic-Con will be let down but time constraints and a busy schedule mean it just won't be possible. However, the Kiwi director apologises with a special behind-the-scenes production video that gives Hobbit fans an exclusive look into the world of The One Ring.
Director Peter Jackson Has Good News & Bad News For Fans.
On his YouTube channel, Jackson introduces the production diary with some "disappointing" news: he announced that he "wasn't ready to present anything from the Desolation of Smaug at comic con this year" due to no available cast to attend and he himself working busy six day weeks in order to make the second and third Hobbit movies "as cool as they can possibly be." Jackson's "good news" is the new video blog: the 10 minute video shows behind-the-scenes production shots including the team goofing around and green screen scenes, that demonstrate the hard work and preparation that goes into producing such an intricately detailed fantasy blockbuster. The most exciting aspect of the video is seeing the gigantic sets that are built for the movie, such as Mirkwood forest and Lake-town, as well as the reunited cast back in costume and ready to film.
Time to say goodbye for these fantasy stalwarts
As filming for The Hobbit trilogy comes to an end, the franchise says goodbye to some of its most loved characters. The time has come for Legolas and Gandalf to put down their bow and staff respectively, as the actors that portray them leave behind a loved series.
Here's McKellen enjoying a smoke and some lines
Expected to feature heavily, as he did in The Lord Of The Rings, Orlando Bloom’s Legolas will enjoy his last outings in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is expected to hit cinemas this December, and the last film The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' appears to be a more engaging movie than 'An Unexpected Journey.'
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer is finally here, and with it, the first look at Benedict Cumberbatch's big scaly fire breathing dragon. The British actor voices Smaug in the second of Peter Jackson's trilogy, which appears for a couple of seconds at the end of the new trailer - however, we still haven't heard the beast's voice and really hope he utters something in the actual movie, or it could be a miserable pay-packet for our Benedict.
Martin Freeman as the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Mainly, it's the old characters that have been called upon to hype the latest film, with the dwarves playing a prominent role in the trailer and Bilbo looking a bit bewildered as usual. However, we are treated to the return of Orlando Bloom's Legolas - who literally slides into the trilogy - and Luke Evans' Bard the Bowman. The latter had a minor role in the previous film though is believed to be crucial to The Desolation of Smaug and There And Back Again. According to Yahoo Moves, the Bowman is tasked with stopping the terrifying dragon after warning the dwarves, "If you awaken that beast you will destroy us all."
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.
It's Here. The first trailer for the second of Peter Jackson's Hobbit films, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, debuted at 6pm on Warner Brothers' YouTube channel.
Following last Christmas' first instalment that kicked off the trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the new episode of adventures in Middle Earth will take Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the band of aggrieved-yet-upbeat dwarves further into their quest to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor; stolen from them by the evil dragon, Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).
Now, Bilbo has gained The One Ring after his life-changing meeting with the wretched Gollum (Andy Serkis) and the brave group have escaped the Goblin Kingdom to start the next leg of their quest to reclaim their kingdom and riches from Smaug, travelling through the Misty Mountains.
Based on the novel that preceded J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit was one book that has been turned into three films. Sure, this is probably to rake in maximum profits, but at least three 3 hour films will allow Jackson to deliver close interpretations and stretch out the franchise for another few years.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Trailer - First Look
Are British audiences ready to hark back to traditional sitcoms like 'I Love Lucy?'
Sir Ian McKellen says his new ITV sitcom with theatre legend Sir Derek Jacobi will not be an "expose on gay life," and more of a traditional show such as The Golden Girls. Sir Ian plays one half of a gay couple in the sitcom which starts on ITV next Monday (April 29, 2013).
McKellen, one of the world's respected actors, raised eyebrows when signing up for the ITV sitcom, though the actor says he wanted to change the way in which gay characters are often portrayed in sitcoms (think, Little Britain.) "It's a fairly traditional sitcom which reminds me of The Golden Girls or I Love Lucy. It's not aiming to shock people. It won't alarm anyone. It isn't a satire or an exposé of gay life. These characters just happen to be gay. For me, it is as if TV has grown up," he told The Sun.
The TV spots in recent weeks suggest Vicious probably isn't going to be belly-laughing territory, though perhaps British audiences need to recapture their love for a traditional, inoffensive sitcom. "It's a family show that will get the broadest possible demographic. Everyone will be able to relate to the characters," sir Sir Ian.
Continue reading: Sir Ian McKellen's Sitcom 'Vicious' May Be Refreshing, But Is It Funny?
Lord of the Rings star reveals he'll be officiating Patrick Stewart's forthcoming wedding, in America
Sir Ian McKellen is going to be marrying Patrick Stewart! No! Wait! Hold up! Not THAT kind of marrying. Patrick Stewart is going to be getting married – to the singer Sunny Ozell – and Sir Ian McKellen will be officiating the wedding. It’s not the first time that the Lord of the Rings star has overseen a friend’s wedding; he married two men in the UK as well, so he’s well-practised for the Star Trek actor’s nuptials, which are taking place “in the middle of America, somewhere.”
Speaking on the Jonathon Ross show, the presenter asked McKellen “how come you’re legally allowed to do that?” and the reply came, “well, I don’t know.” He went on to explain that the last time he officiated a wedding, for two men having a civil partnership, he was “crying his eyes out.”McKellen then moved on to the all-important sartorial decision of what to wear when officiating a wedding. “Last time I went with a gown, a sort of white gown, that I’d bought in India, it was rather fetching. But you mustn’t upstage the bride.”
McKellen was on the show to promote the new TV sitcom that he’ll be starring in, alongside Derek Jacobi. Entitled 'Vicious,' it follows the story of an ageing gay couple, who have lived very private lives and get through life by being rather vicious to each other. The ITV comedy has already been commissioned for a Christmas special, he revealed during the entertaining interview.
The Station Agent actor Peter Dinklage has joined the cast of the latest X-Men movie Days of Future Past. Director Bryan Singer announced the news on Wednesday (February 13, 2013), tweeting, "Officially like to welcome Peter Dinklage from Game Of Thrones to XMEN Days of Future Past. Very very excited!"
The casting of Dinklage is a strong move from Singer and the team - he won Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes in 2012 for his role as Tyrion Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones. It's yet to be determined which role he will play in the forthcoming X-Men movie, which is co-written by Matthew Vaughan, the director of the previous movie. The franchise has spawned five movies so far, including the 2009 Wolverine spin-off. A follow-up to that film, The Wolverine, is due out this summer with Hugh Jackman's character travelling to Japan to train with a Samurai warrior.
Continue reading: Peter Dinklage Signs On For X-Men Movie 'Days Of Future Past'
In New York, Leonardo Dicaprio, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson and a bald-shaven Christoph Waltz attended the premiere of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, joking with the photographers as they posed for them. And Tarantino even turned up with his Kill Bill star Uma Thurman on his arm.
Meanwhile in London, the first part in Peter Jackson's new trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, had its royal film performance this week with much of the cast in attendance, including Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen, who watched the film alongside Prince William. The film is in cinemas now, with the following chapters scheduled for next Christmas and the summer of 2014.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hit theatres this week with sold out seats and favorable reviews.
And with good reason – the Peter Jackson flick does a great job of retelling and expanding the story of young, happy-go-lucky hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is just enjoying life, until Gandalf (Ian McKellen) comes along to mess it all up. Bilbo crosses paths with three boisterous dwarves on a mission to reclaim their land and suddenly, the young hobbit is faced with the choice of sticking to his peaceful existence or going on an adventure. You can already guess where this is heading, can’t you?
The film, set before the events of Lord of the Rings, features some familiar characters, while also weaving in a lot of new (or rather, old) faces and plotlines. The visuals of the flick are also something to marvel at, shot at 48 frames per second and displayed in beautiful 3D. Because of the unusual frame rate, to the untrained eye, the detailed sets and complex CGI can sometimes look cheap and a bit garish, but whether you love it or hate it, there can be no question that Middle Earth has never looked more impressive. The beautiful setting provides a great backdrop for the cast to cut loose and have fun with acting out this much lighter and more frivolous chapter of the Middle Earth story.
Continue reading: A Look At The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
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
Prince William attended the London premiere of The Hobbit alone last night.
His wife, Kate Middleton, was due to attend but was prevented from joining her husband by the pregnancy sickness that kept her in hospital for much of last week. The Duke of Cambridge was the guest of honour at last night’s glittering event at London’s Leicester Square and told the press “She would have loved to have been here if she could.” Typical, isn’t it? You’re stuck at home, pregnant and sick and hubby deserts you for the night to go to Middle Earth for the evening.
Not only did Kate miss out on watching the new film, but she also missed out on hanging out with all the A-list celebrities in attendance, such as Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellan, Peter Jackson. James Nesbitt and – of course – the star of the film, Martin Freeman. Oh and Nick Cave was there! Who wouldn’t want to hang out with Nick Cave in Middle Earth?
By the gusto of his performances and larger than life energy in interviews, you'd never guess that star of the stage and screen, Sir Ian McKellan, had been battling prostate cancer for over 6 years.
In an interview with the Mirror he spoke of his health problems with humour. "You are going to write 'Ian McKellen is decrepit. He can't see, he can't hear he can't pee, he's having his teeth done'," he said, before explaining: "I've had prostate cancer for six or seven years. When you have got it you monitor it and you have to be careful it doesn't spread. But if it is contained in the prostate it's no big deal."
Sir McKellan's honesty is bound to give hope to many other sufferers around the world. He admits to a mixture of emotions, beginning with fear, but that it has been 'totally treatable' and also gave a few tips about healthy living including lots of exercise. "I am lucky," he said. "I don't have aches and pains. I do pilates regularly... and I recommend it to anyone. I always walk up the escalator on the tube and I live in a house with a lot of stairs." Adding "The wonderful thing about modern medicine is that so many of these complaints that used to signify old age and decline can be coped with." His main piece of advice though is to get tested and to keep getting tested.
In the wake of The Hobbit premiere, Sir Ian McKellen opened up about his struggle with prostate cancer for the past six or seven years. The actor, who has reprised his role as Gandalf in the Peter Jackson film, talked about the initial scare that he experienced with the disease and how things gradually got back to normal for him.
"You do gulp when you hear the news. It's like when you go for an HIV test, you go 'Arghhh, is this the end of the road?” McKellen told The Daily Mirror. He went on to explain how he eventually came to terms with the diagnosis.
"When you have got it you monitor it and you have to be careful it doesn't spread. But if it is contained in the prostate it's no big deal.”
Continue reading: Sir Ian McKellen Talks About His Cancer, His Age And Dealing With It All
With Sir Ian McKellen becoming Gandalf again in the upcoming The Hobbit trilogy and watching him defeat the evils of Middle Earth, you wouldn't guess that the star had any health complications.
However, the Oscar-nominated actor has revealed to The Mirror that he has in fact been suffering from prostate cancer for several years but has never had any treatment because of its containment. 'I've had prostate cancer for six or seven years', he explained. 'When you have got it you monitor it and you have to be careful it doesn't spread. But if it is contained in the prostate it's no big deal.' But don't worry too much, McKellan fans. Despite refusing treatment, he insists that he is 'examined regularly' and that it is so far 'not spreading'.
On the other hand, he admits that finding out the news was scary. 'You do gulp when you hear the news', he confessed. 'It's like when you go for an HIV test. You go 'Aargh! Is this the end of the road?' And it is no wonder because, like Ian went on to say, "many, many men die from it." Other than that though he considers himself perfectly healthy and encourages all people his age to continue to exercise. 'I recommend it to anyone of my age because the temptation is not to exercise as you get older. Well you should', he said.
Hollywood star Liv Tyler returned to the limelight at The Hobbit premiere in New York on Thursday evening (December 6, 2012). The Armageddon actress - who played Arwen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy - turned up for a reunion of sorts with her former co-stars, wearing a short dress with matching blazer. Tyler also donned a pair of scarlet shoes, which matched her staple ruby-red lipstick.
The 35-year-old met with former co-stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis, who star in Peter Jackson's new movie, with Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. It's been a quiet couple of years for Tyler, who starred in the indie-comedy Super with Rainn Wilson and Ellen Paige in 2010, before appearing in drama-thriller The Ledge in 2011. She does also appear in the comedy-drama Robot & Frank, in which Frank Langella was lauded for his performance as an ex-jewel thief who receives a robot butler from his son. Tyler has signed on for Ti West's forthcoming horror flick The Side Effect about pharmaceutical medicines tested in outer space, though as yet, there is no scheduled release date.
Continue reading: Pictures: Liv Tyler Returns To The Limelight At The Hobbit Premiere
A specially painted Air New Zealand plane jetted around the world this week, collecting cast and crew to attend the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Wednesday. Wellington was renamed "The Middle of Middle-Earth" for the day, and the red carpet event was attended by Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman, franchise guru Peter Jackson and more than 100,000 fans.
Peter Jackson and his team repaid New Zealand for its hospitality this week, by hosting the world premiere of the new Lord of the Rings film The Hobbit in central Wellington. The country has played host to some of the biggest movie stars on the planet for the past year while Jackson shot the film on its rolling green hills.
More than 100,000 turned out for the premiere of the movie, which has sparked Middle Earth mania in New Zealand. According to The Telegraph, presenters on national radio greeted listeners in fictional elvish language, while newspapers came equipped with complimentary Hobbit posters. Thousands of fans turned out for the premiere at the Embassy Theatre in full Lord of the Rings garb, delighting stars including Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman and Elijah Wood who walked the red-carpet. Wellington actually renamed itself 'The Middle of Middle Earth' for the event, which has been regarded as a godsend for the country's tourism industry. Delays and union disputes have disrupted the production of The Hobbit, though despite wrapping up the hugely anticipated movie, director Peter Jackson admits he is still nervous about the critical reception. "Nothing's ever perfect and it never will be, it's a real mistake if you say we're stopping now because we've made the perfect film," he told Radio New Zealand. "You never have and you never will.I've got severe fatigue right now, but only because I've just finished the film. There's been all sorts of obstacles"
Sir Ian McKellan has been enjoying some serious longevity with his career. It began on stage in 1959, and now more than 50 years later he is one of the most famous and beloved actors in the English speaking world. He's best known for his role as Gandalf, which for many Shakespearean actors may seem to be a sell-out, but for Ian McKellan, as he told Vanity Fair, he's more than proud of his involvement with Lord of the Rings.
"I don't find anything odd at all in being known for playing Gandalf." He said, "I couldn't be happier about it. Other people tend to get snobbish on my behalf. 'It must be dreadful to always be thought of as Gandalf,' they say. Well, I can't always be thought of as Richard III!" Adding, that though he's not a snob about content, "[He's] a snob about standards."
Another colleague captured in a very similar bracket as him as Michael Gambon who has also found increased fame playing a Wizard in recent years, as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies. Apparently, they both get mistaken for each other "all the time!" So, how do they combat the confusion? For Gambon, he simply signs McKellan's name, perhaps so as not to cause disappointment, or more likely, to avoid the hassle of explanation. Well, being mistaken for either one of them is an enormous compliment in regard to talent!
Continue reading: Sir Ian McKellan On Snobbery And Standards
Sir Ian McKellen is going to be teaming up with fellow stalwart actor Sir Derek Jacobi to play a bickering gay couple in a new sitcom going out on British network ITV. According to the BBC, the show Vicious has been created by Will and Grace writer Gary Janetti and award-winning playwright Mark Ravenhill. In addition to the two gay actors, the show will feature Rising Damp actress Frances de la Tour as their best friend.
The plot will focus, though, on McKellen and Jacobi’s characters, with the pair having lived together for 50 years. The catalyst for the change in the couple’s equilibrium will come with the addition of a third, younger man, Ash, who moves in upstairs.
Janetti’s pedigree also extends to work on the US animated series Family Guy, but he confessed that he was “incredibly excited” to be involved in this new project – scheduled to air next year. ITV’s commissioning comedy editor Myfanwy Moore meanwhile added that he was "thrilled this exciting and bold sitcom, with stellar performers and writing talent is to join the increasing slate of new look comedy shows on the channel". All eyes are currently on McKellen as fans eagerly await the first of the three Hobbit films, out in cinemas in December.
Sir Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, two of Britains best loved, and most talented actors are to be star in a brand new ITV sitcom about an old couple, living together in Covent Garden, called 'Vicious'.
According to the Guardian, McKellen and Jacobi will be playing Freddie and Stuart, respectively, who have lived together for 50 years, first meeting when Freddie was an actor and Stuart a barman. Frances de la Tour also features, as the couple's best friend, Violet. Gary Janetti, who was the executive producer of US sitcome Will & Grace, is a co-producer of 'Vicious', and Ed Bye will be directing, although he's not a household name, he has directed some of the best loved British comedies, including episodes of French and Saunders, My Family and the film Kevin and Perry Go Large.
"ITV is thrilled this exciting and bold sitcom," said Myfanwy Moore, commissioning editor at ITV said, "with stellar performers and writing talent [joining] the increasing slate of new look comedy shows on the channel." It is not only the obvious talent involved with the project that makes it exciting, but the traditionally marginalized sects of society- the aged and the gay- being at the forefront of the new show makes it a show that has been a long time coming, and one not to miss. Quoted by the Telegraph, McKellen said being gay had made him better at his job; "I think that's why so many great British actors are gay - we spent so long pretending to be straight, to be someone else, that eventually we became very good it," he said. With the brilliant combination of two of the country's longest standing gay actor-vists, alongside Gary Janetti, expectations are high this unusual sitcom concept.
The countdown to Christmas, for a while at least, seemed to begin earlier every year. It now seems to have plateaued at around October 1st, however, the early countdown crown goes to The Hobbit, for which we've been waiting for nigh on 5 years, although the official countdown clock in Wellington NZ was only unveiled earlier this year.
Peter Jackson's fourth Tolkien, Middle-Earth adaptation, The Hobbit, has faced numerous setbacks mostly due to Jackson's epic imagination, which forced what was originally going to be just one movie, into three, spread over three years. The first in the trilogy, 'An Unexpected Journey' will be released on December 13th (UK, 14th rest of the world) and stars Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Benedict Cumberbatch, with a running time of just 2 hours and 40 minutes- coming in ten minutes shorter than any other Middle-Earth based movie yet.
In response to the movie, which will no doubt be one of the biggest grossers of the year (if not all time), and many companies have jumped on the bandwagon. American restaurant chain Denny's have released an entire menu dedicated to the hobbits and the Shire, reports the Huffington Post, and includes Pumpkin Patch Pancakes and 'The Ring Burger' which features three onion rings. Original.
Continue reading: Peter Jackson's The Hobbit Begins Its Takeover
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, is due for cinema release in December, but fans of the franchise have been given a sneak preview of the film by way of a trailer.
The trailer, which debuted on broadcast and online media, will be shown in cinemas around the world throughout Wednesday, to really up the hype for the much anticipated franchise, which comes from the same people that brought Lord of The Rings to the big screen. Fans of LOTR - The Oscar-winning trilogy that grossed almost $2.9 billion worldwide a decade ago – will be paying close attention to all Hobbit related news, as the upcoming fantasy drama looks set to build on the success of it’s ‘father films’. The Office star Martin Freeman plays Bilbo Baggins - the title character - and Sir Ian McKellen returns to his role as Gandalf.
Peter Jackson announced earlier this year that The Hobbit will be split into three films, all due to be released a year apart, saying "We know the strength of our cast and of the characters they have brought to life. We know creatively how compelling and engaging the story can be and - lastly, and most importantly - we know how much of the tale of Bilbo Baggins, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur would remain untold if we did not fully realise this complex and wonderful adventure."
With The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opening in December 14th Peter Jackson and co. have unveiled a new trailer as well as several new images ahead of the first of what has become a trilogy of movies - this in spite of the fact that The Hobbit in book form is but a mere fraction of its behemoth genuine three-part sequel The Lord Of The Rings.
The trailer shows Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit whose quiet life in Middle Earth is disturbed by the arrival of the wizard Gandalf - played once again by Sir Ian McKellen. Meeting the dwarves in his home, he's soon shown setting off on the adventure where he meets characters recognisable from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, including Elrond of the elves and the elf lady Galadriel (once again played by Cate Blanchett.) Gollum also makes an appearance and the film looks like it's going to have all of the visual wonderment of the three films in the series previously directed by Jackson.
The trilogy is going to have go some way to topping the Lord Of The Rings three, with the Daily Telegraph pointing out that they grossed a combined $2.9 billion a decade ago. Nevertheless, anticipation has been huge for these new films, so you'd have to say it has every chance.
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.
Without too much regret, I can say that X-Men will be palatable to fans and newbies alike. It's not a great film, but it will probably follow the arc of the Superman and Batman movies -- tons of sequels of variable quality until an abrupt and dismal end a decade later.
Continue reading: X-Men Review
Flushed Away is a prototypical anthropomorphic-fish-out-of-water tale, about a pampered pet rat named Roddy St. James (voiced by Hugh Jackman) who gets accidentally flushed down the toilet of his owners' posh Kensington flat and ends up out of his element in a rat-sized version of London down in the sewers. His attempts to make his way back up top get him mixed up with a sassy lass, Rita (Kate Winslet), who is on the run from a local crime boss and his thugs. Of course, because this is an animated family film, the boss is an ill-tempered toad and one of the henchmen is an albino former lab rat, but the ideas are universal.
Continue reading: Flushed Away Review
Turns out Doogal (Daniel Tay) is actually a dog. His best friend is Florence (Kylie Minogue), as well as a cow (Whoopi Goldberg), a train (Chevy Chase), and a flatulent moose (Kevin Smith). Their adventure, and you'll need to hang in there for this, involves magic diamonds that can freeze the sun. There's of course a bad guy with a plan to do just that: He's a kind of alien with a spring for the lower half of his body (voiced by an audibly bored Jon Stewart). Their adventure to stop her takes them across the countryside and, er, into, like, a magic land, or, something, I think.
Continue reading: Doogal 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
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
Unless you're a "Lord of the Rings" superfan, you'd better brush up on "Fellowship of the Ring" before seeing the sequel "The Two Towers," because director Peter Jackson just jumps right in to the middle of the story without much in the way of introductions or explanations.
He assumes you know who Hobbits Merry and Pippin are and why they've been abducted by the Uruk-Hai, the beastly minions of unseen supernatural villain Sauron (you know all about them, right?). He assumes you recall where "Fellowship" left off with human warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Elfin archer Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and why they're trying to rescue Merry and Pippin.
He also assumes you know that hero Hobbits Frodo and Sam (Elijah Wood and Sean Austin) are still trying to reach the kingdom of Mordor, where they are to cast the dangerously omnipotent Ring into the volcanic fires of Mount Doom, thus keeping it out of the hands Sauron, who would use its dark psychic powers to lay waste to the world.
Continue reading: Lord Of The Rings:
the Two Towers Review
In the entire three hours of the audacious, transporting, spectacularly cinematic first "Lord of the Rings" installment, there are only two very brief moments that don't come across as being 100-percent a part of the mystical, dark and magical realm of Middle Earth.
These moments are not because of bad performances (there aren't any), negligent directing or special effects gaffes. In fact, from the digitally dialed-down stature of the actors playing hobbits to the frightfully demonic hoards of living-dead orcs (minions of the supernaturally evil antagonist), the effects are seamless.
These moments of doubt are merely scenes that take place in such plain locations (e.g. a non-descript river bed) that they seem far too familiar and Earthly in a movie of underground troll cities, ominous mountains called Doom, idyllic ancient forest hamlets of immortal elves, and hobbit's homes burrowed into impossibly green hillsides.
Continue reading: Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring Review
By the time hobbit hero Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) finally -- finally! -- struggles to the top of Mount Doom, where at the climax of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" he must cast into its volcanic fires the malevolently omnipotent Ring that has been slowly consuming his psyche for three movies now, many of the nit-picky things that have gotten on my nerves throughout all the "Lord of the Rings" flicks had come to a head.
So many times now has Frodo's whiney, obsequious traveling companion Samwise Gamgee (Sean Austin) begun boo-hoo-hooing that I started rooting for him to be chucked into the lava along with the jewelry. One too many times has a lucky coincidence saved our hero, as when in this picture he's captured by the demonic, bad-tempered Orcs, only to be rescued moments later when his two guards -- the only two guards in an entire tower it seems -- are conveniently distracted by fighting with each other.
And once too often has director Peter Jackson assumed that the previous installments will be fresh in minds of the audience. That's a pretty safe bet for his fan base, but for the unobsessed, "Return of the King" -- like "The Two Towers" before it -- has many what-did-I-miss? moments. For example, in one of two climactic battle scenes, a never-identified army of fearsome face-painted foes riding atop gigantic elephants appears on the flank of the protagonists' battalion, prompting the question, "Who the heck are these guys?" (Apparently they were in the second movie too, but pardon me for not having seen it since last year.)
Continue reading: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King Review
Fans of 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Harry Potter' have often debated what a fight between Gandalf and Dumbledore would look like, but it turns out it isn't as interesting as you might think.
Legendary thespian and film star, Sir Ian McKellen, came under fire from the late Richard Harris several years ago when he landed the role of the wise but mischievous Gandalf in 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. McKellen claims that Harris was furious for not being cast in Peter Jackson's fantasy epic, and this was exacerbated by McKellen being chosen over him.
Harris reportedly exploded at the rumour that McKellen would then take the role of Dumbledore as well in 2002 when Harris' health steadily began to fail. The actor explained: "Before Richard Harris died, there was an enquiry: would I be interested in playing in Harry Potter? And I said, 'Yes, certainly'. But I've not heard anything since."
Date of birth
25th May, 1939
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There's much to do when in Windsor, so make a day (and evening) of it. Soon the Theatre Royal will be open again. H… https://t.co/soRgDIJKng
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