Benedict Cumberbatch, in addition to being one the finest actors working today, possesses THE most English of English names ever to be bestowed upon an Englishman. In case you doubted it was his real name, it’s actually shortened. His full name is Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch. He has, however, endeared himself to geeks and non-geeks alike by already indelibly visiting the worlds of Tolkien (Smaug and the Necromancer), Star Trek (nobody blames Into Darkness on him), and the MCU (where he is the resident Sorcerer Supreme: Dr. Stephen Strange). Cumberbatch, with his distinctive, mesmerizing voice and talent for squeezing his narrow frame into giant characters both fictional and real (Julian Assange, William Pitt, Alan Turing), has already made a lasting mark on the big screen and small, where he has achieved an impossible feat with Stephan Moffat and Martin Freeman in updating Sherlock Holmes for contemporary times, while still maintaining the spirit of Conan Doyle’s master detective better than any adaptation in my lifetime (if not period).
Continue reading Benedict Cumberbatch’s 10 Best Movies
Since we just took a look back at the very first film in The Middle-Earth Saga (click here if you missed our look back on The Fellowship of the Ring), it’s hard to leave Tolkien’s world. CLS Videos has put together this brilliant dual retrospective at the most beautiful sights, the most memorable moments, and the most beloved characters from Peter Jackson’s six films in Middle-Earth. Drink it all in, because as long as Christopher Tolkien is alive (and granted the man is in his eighties), there is literally no chance that the rights to The Silmarillion or any of the other Middle-Earth ephemera not covered under the current rights agreement.
There is enough material in The Silmarillion for an HBO show to run for a decade, with major stories, like The Children of Hurin, are deep enough for a featured film. It’s a little bigger than The Hobbit in size, but it’s probably the densest book in terms of amount of potential story threads per page that I’ve ever read. It’s really a brief overview of Middle-Earth from it’s creation to the end of The Second Age. That’s THOUSANDS of years of stories. It’s inevitable that the family will turn over enough members that they will relent and a return to Arda will be possible. However, to make it as special as these films were to Tolkienites, it will need the same commitment and stewardship that gave us these six films. Enjoy the video, and a Happy Labor Day weekend to those in the States.
This is just one of the scenes that will be added back into Peter Jackson’s middle chapter in The Hobbit Trilogy: The Desolation of Smaug. I’ve said since I left the theater that I wanted to see this cut because, in particular, Gandalf’s storyline and Dol Guldur have scenes, pivotal scenes, that I know were cut. Twenty-five minutes are being added back into the film this time. Nobody does special features like Jackson and company too so we’re in for another treat when this hits stores on November 4th. More details below Continue reading The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition Release Date, Details and a Deleted Scene
I eagerly await the arrival of the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, because – to me – the movie felt incomplete. For the first time in the five Middle-Earth films Peter Jackson has directed, I was unsatisfied by the theatrical cut. There are huge plot holes, most notably in Gandalf’s storyline to Dol Guldur. I’m sure I will love the film when I see the true version, but for me the highlight of the middle film in the trilogy was SMAUG!
Ever since I first read Tolkien, I’d envisioned the dragon, how he’d look, how he’d move and for having so much expectation and preconception, now my Smaug is this magnificent combination of CGI and mo-cap performance by Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch based the voice of Smaug on that of his father’s when he read The Hobbit to him as a child. Who could know that Mr. Cumberbatch’s storytelling abilities would pay off so well for fans decades later?
I wish there had been more give and take between Bilbo and Smaug, as in the book (perhaps an EE addition), but when Smaug gets fed up and you start to see him chase Bilbo around his hoard it’s pure movie gold (pun intended).
I first heard several weeks ago, rumblings that the title for the third Hobbit film was going to be changed. The film, originally entitled “There and Back Again”, is now “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”. I HAD heard that “Into the Fire” was also a candidate. I’m not a fan of this move. I think it’s 100% marketing driven and that’s not something that Jackson has cared much about in the past. Granted, the battle is the principal event of the crescendo of the book. However, There and Back Again bookends An Unexpected Journey so wonderfully, arrgh. This isn’t a horrible title and I do like it more than “Into the FIre” which would seem more of a fit for the second film. I think it explains why we’ve seen absolutely no promotional material for film three and why we’ll get a trailer probably with one of the May releases. I’ll let Peter Jackson lay out his case after the break, but what do you guys think? Which is the better title?
The other piece of news Peter drops is that 25 minutes is the amount being added to The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition. I was hoping for much more. These extensions, I hope, are mostly for Gandalf’s trip to the tomb of the Nazguls and his encounter at Dol Guldur, which were cut to the point of not making sense in the larger context of the film. As soon as I hear more on what’s being added back, I’ll update you. Peter Jackson’s statement:
Continue reading The Title to The Third Hobbit Film Has Been Changed! News on the Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition!