Tag Archives: The Hobbit

The Best of The Middle-Earth Saga

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.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Smaug, Benedict Cumberbatch

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.

My Favorite Scene: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) “Dol Guldur”

First, a thanks to JaidynLuke Studios for cutting together this entire epic scene from the extended version of the film into a two-parter.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this site, that I am an enormous geek.  My Star Wars geek creds go back to practically the cradle, but around middle school, I became a hardcore Tolkienite.  I read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Book of Unfinished Tales.  I own the 12 volume literary examination of Tolkien’s entire body of work that his son, Christopher, edited together.  I mean, it got to the point where I not only knew what Quenya was, but nearly listed it as a second language on job applications.  No, actually I didn’t date much during high school come to think of it, why do you ask? Continue reading My Favorite Scene: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) “Dol Guldur”

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies EXTENDED Edition Blu Ray Date and Details

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has officially announced the Extended Edition Blu-ray release of filmmaker Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The extended edition of the third film in Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy features twenty additional minutes of scenes and is accompanied by more than nine hours of new special features. The R-rated Extended Edition arrives via 2D and 3D Blu-ray/Digital HD combo packs on November 17th.

Synopsis: The Battle of the Five Armies is the epic conclusion of the adventure of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the Company of Dwarves. The Dwarves of Erebor have reclaimed the vast wealth of their homeland, but now must face the consequences of having unleashed the terrifying Dragon, Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. As he succumbs to dragon-sickness, the King Under the Mountain, Thorin Oakenshield, sacrifices friendship and honor in search for the legendary Arkenstone. Unable to help Thorin see reason, Bilbo is driven to make a desperate and dangerous choice, not knowing that even greater perils lie ahead. An ancient enemy has returned to Middle-earth. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends as five great armies go to war.


Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Billy Connolly, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Stephen Fry and Ryan Cage. The film also stars Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom, Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Adam Brown, John Bell, Manu Bennett and John Tui.

The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies, Smaug, Benedict Cumberbatch

The creative behind-the-scenes team is led by director of photography, the late Andrew Lesnie, production designer Dan Hennah, editor Jabez Olssen and composer Howard Shore. The costumes are designed by Richard Taylor, Bob Buck and Ann Maskrey. Taylor is also overseeing the design and production of armour, weapons, creatures and special makeup, which are once again being made by the award-winning Weta Workshop. Oscar-winning visual effects studio Weta Digital is again handling the visual effects for the film, led by senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri. The hair and makeup designer is Peter Swords King. The conceptual designers are John Howe and Alan Lee. Eric Saindon is the visual effects supervisor, with David Clayton serving as animation supervisor.

The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies, Bard the Bowman, Luke Evans

The R-rated 174-minute Extended Edition cut of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is presented in 1080p with DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround. Special features include:

  • Commentary with director/producer/writer Peter Jackson and co-producer/writer Philippa Boyens
  • The Appendices – The Appendices Parts XI and XII showcase a chronological history of the filming of The Battle of the Five Armies, documenting the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects.
  • New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth – Part 3
    The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

Movie Review: Into the Storm (2014)

Where’s a fricking shark when you need one?

Sneaking into early-August and steamrolled by Guardians of the Galaxy is Into the Storm.  Is it as bad as the inexplicably horrid Sharknado phenomenon?  No.  But then, at least you can laugh at Sharknado.

Bereft of the other 13 members of his company, Thorin Oakenshield…er…Richard Armitage is the father two high-school boys and a teacher at a school in Silverton, OK.  Don’t look for it on a map.  By film’s end there isn’t enough to put together a decent trailer park.  The only other recognizable face in the cast is The Walking Dead’s Sarah Wayne Callies.

The film is neatly divided into several sections, befitting as it purports to be a documentary of the event.  The first third of the movie shows us who and what will absolutely be hit by the tornado(s).  The second third of the movie heralds the arrival of the funneled menaces and stuff ‘splodes.  The last third of the film our survivors run from a tornado that is so large that it eats Silverton whole.

The script is amateurish, filled with “Look at that!” and “It’s coming this way!”, etc..  Production values on the F/X vary wildly.  The production budget was clearly spent on a few shots, most of which you probably saw in the trailer, and others look sub-TV quality.

Essentially, what I’m saying here is that Into the Storm makes Twister the Citizen Kane of tornado movies.


Movie Review: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) *MAJOR SPOILER WARNING*

Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson has completed his full six-film Middle-Earth epic over the course of nearly 20 years of work on and off again on the two trilogies that make up the project.  That The Lord of the Rings is pretty much flawless (and, oh yes, we can throw down over that), universal consensus on The Hobbit trilogy is much more mixed; the overall feeling seeming to be that the trilogy’s glacially-paced start can be forgiven (if we all agree the Goblin King song never happened) by the action that took the dwarves to The Lonely Mountain and the tragic battle spawned by the greed for the riches that is the equal of any battle in any film ever made. Continue reading Movie Review: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) *MAJOR SPOILER WARNING*