Tag Archive | "Martin Freeman"

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New Releases: December 13, 2013

Posted on 12 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

MV5BMzU0NDY0NDEzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTIxNDU1MDE@._V1._SX640_SY947_1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Brothers, 3,903 Theaters, 161 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Okay, Peter Jackson has gotten a lot of flack for making three films out of one book. I mean, the Lord of the Rings was three volumes, so three films was understood. But the Hobbit was only one. I’m not going to comment on that. I will say that it does take skill that even after cutting that one book up into three films, the second installment is over two and a half hours long. That is a real accomplishment. There’s got to be a lot of auxiliary material to bump the run time up that far.   

Anyhow, we rejoin our merry band of adventurers as they reach the stronghold of the dragon Smaug. Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) finally has a chance to do what he was hired to do. But facing off against an angry dragon will be a lot harder when Gandalf (Ian McKellen) goes missing.

That doesn’t seem like a lot of plot for two and a half hours. Well, they are introducing Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) into the narrative, two characters that didn’t appear in the original book. That’s got to add at least an hour. I guess the rest of the time will be taken up by walking through the beautiful New Zealand countryside.

tyler-perrys-a-madea-christmas-poster12. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (Lionsgate, 2,194 Theaters,105 Minutes): Good lord.

Just when you thought the Madea movies, films built around the concept that a tall black man dressed up as a sassy female octogenarian is riotously funny, can’t get any worse, well, you get proven wrong. And all it took was four simple words: Larry the Cable Guy.

The plot…does anyone really need to know the plot? If you find Madea funny, two hours of her bagging groceries would be enough to get you into the theater. If you don’t, there’s no plot summary I could write that would get you into the theater.

Okay, here’s the plot. Madea joins her friend when she visits her daugher and her white relatives out in farm country. Cultures clash.

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Here’s A Scene From The HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Extended Edition

Posted on 01 August 2013 by Rich Drees

HobbitExtendedEditionBilbo

As expected, the Extended Edition DVD and blu-ray of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will feature a longer cut of the first part of his adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel. Approximately thirteen minutes worth of new footage. And here is just one minute of that new material, a scene between Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins and Hugo Weaving’s Elrond in which Bilbo pleasantly discovers that the elvish king might not be quite what he expected.

In addition to the extra footage, the Extended Edition will include nearly nine hours of new bonus features including a commentary track from Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens and a number of featurettes. The download will be available from October 22nd and the disc from November 5th.

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Run Time For First HOBBIT Movie Looks To Be Under 3 Hours, Barely

Posted on 25 October 2012 by Rich Drees

Ever since it was announced that Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit would be split into three parts rather than its initially planned two parts, there has been speculation as to how long each film will run and what story elements will be a part of each. Thanks to Empire Magazine (via Coming Soon.), we have a good idea how long the first installment, An Unexpected Journey, will run.

“It’s looking like it’s going to be about ten minutes shorter than Fellowship was,” said Jackson. “So it’s going to be officially our shortest Middle-earth yet. I mean, Fellowship was just under three hours and this is about 2 hours 40 minutes at the moment.”

(Note that this figure is probably before the final credits and some not-quite-finished visual effects shots have been added in, so add a few more minutes onto that figure.)

That’s a lot of time for only one-third of a rather short novel. But let’s take a look and see what there is Jackson can include in this first installment. (Warning: From here on out we will be dealing with story points that will be considered spoilerish by those who have not read The Hobbit and some of Tolkien’s additional writings on Middle-Earth.)

My suspicion is that the first film will only take us from the start of Bilbo’s adventures with the dwarves, through their passage under the Misty Mountains, during which Bilbo acquires his magic ring from Gollum, and end around where the company is attacked by the wargs when they enter the Mirkwood forest. This hunch is based on nothing more than an examination of the marketing materials we’ve seen so far and which images that have seemed to disappeared from the trailers and behind-the-scenes videos following the announcement of the third film. This point does fall at around page 98 of The Hobbit, a 272 page book. That is roughly just a little over a third of the way through, so in that respect the break in the storyline does line up.

But how can Jackson and company extend barely 100 pages into almost three hours of cinematic material? I would think that there are a few things that would play out on film longer than it takes to mention on the page. We know from behind-the-scenes footage that there will be a sequence involving young Bilbo (Martin Freeman) strolling through the Hobbiton marketplace, probably establishing his life as a typical, non-adventure prone hobbit. The songs that the dwarves sing during their dinner party with Bilbo at the beginning of the film easily could take more time to present on screen than it takes to read. Additionally, we know that the films will employ a flashback structure, with Old Bilbo (Ian Holm) telling his nephew Frodo (Elisha Wood) the story of how he found his magic ring.

But these examples will only add a few minutes at most to the run time. There also needs to be some major chunks of plot added to make up the difference. Jackson has stated that they are pulling material from various other things Tolkien has written about events in Middle Earth at the time of The Hobbit’s story to expand the narrative of the films as well as to help provide stronger links to the Lord Of The Rings films. Most likely, he will be drawing from the timeline found in Appendix B “The Tale Of Years” found in The Return Of The King and the essay “The Quest For Erebor” found in Unfinished Tales Of Numenor And Middle Earth.

Amongst this material is a storyline detailing how Gandalf came into possession of the map and key to the Lonely Mountain that motivates the dwarves’ quest. I would guess that some of this will be shown in flashback, probably during the aforementioned dinner party. Another flashback that we may or may not get would deal with the history of animosity between the dwarves and the goblins. This backstory, featuring such events as the Battle of Azanulbizar, plays into the some of the interactions between the dwarves and the goblins in the book and may be mentioned in some form or another in the film.

But happening concurrent with the main plot of the book is the story of what Gandalf gets up to when he slips away from Bilbo and the company of dwarves at various points during their journey. We know from Appendix B and “The Quest For Erebor,” that Gandalf, along with Saruman the White, Galadriel, Elrond, Radagast the Brown and others, drove Sauron, who was going by the pseudonym of The Necromancer at the time, out of his fortress of Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood. We’ve seen short glimpses of some of this already, specifically Radagast himself, Gandalf exploring some ruins, possibly Dol Guldur and Gandalf and Galadriel conferring. There is a lot of meat to this story here, though the assault on Dol Guldur happens at a point after where I believe the first movie ends, so we won’t see the culmination of this until the second movie next year. For the first film, we will see a meeting amongst these powerful characters as they debate about whether or not they should attack the necromancer’s stronghold. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is where we begin to see hints of the villain we know that Saruman will be by the time of The Lord Of The Rings.

Of course the question is how much of this new material will unbalance the film, taking away focus from the adventures of our titular character Bilbo? That danger is there and we will see how well Jackson handles it when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens on December 14.

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First look: Martin Freeman As Bilbo In THE HOBBIT

Posted on 23 June 2011 by Rich Drees

Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, today we’ve gotten our first look at Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s two-part The Hobbit.

Judging by the dwarfs in the background, this picture is from early in the first film where the dwarfs, on the suggestion of Gandlaf (Ian McKellen), hire Bilbo to be their professional burglar on their adventure.

EW also had two other photos, one featuring Jackson and Freeman on the set of Bilbo’s home in the Shire and one of McKellen as Gandalf reclining against a tree.

 

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Does Benedict Cumberbatch Have A Role In THE HOBBIT?

Posted on 23 May 2011 by Rich Drees

Although he’s been acting for the better part of a decade, Benedict Cumberbatch seems to have exploded to everyone’s attention last fall in the BBC Sherlock, as a modern day incarnation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous consulting detective Sherlock Holmes. Part of that show’s success is Cumberbatch’s on-screen chemistry with Martin Freeman, who plays Dr. James Watson. Freeman, as we know, is starring in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, though he is currently on a break from the film’s production in New Zealand to shoot the second season of Sherlock in England. And it looks as if the two may be reunited in The Hobbit.

Last night at the BAFTA TV awards in England, Freeman reportedly told reporters that Cumberbatchhad been cast in The Hobbit though he didn’t say in what role.

Brendon Connelly over at Bleeding Cool, who reported Freeman’s comment, seems to think it likely that Cumberbatch will be playing an elf, and I have to admit that he’s certainly got the look for one. However, I don’t believe that Jackson has cast someone to play Bard of Laketown, the archer who kills the dragon Smaug towards the end of the book. Cumberbatch might not strike anyone as the strong, strapping physical type for the role but I think he has a commanding presence that could carry him in it. And besides, how great would scenes be between him as Bard and the recently cast Stephen Fry as the Master of Laketown?

Cumberbatch has also filmed a role in the upcoming adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with Gary Oldman as spymaster George Smiley which should be out sometime next year.

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Hugo Weaving Confirmed For THE HOBBIT

Posted on 10 May 2011 by Rich Drees

Well, there was really very little doubt about this, but we now have confirmation that Hugo Weaving will be in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit reprising his Lord Of The Rings roll of the elven lord Elrond.

Gandalf himself, Ian McKellen, confirmed such today on his blog, while writing about the upcoming planned hiatus the production will be taking –

Martin Freeman has left The Hobbit.

This is not another April Fool, just a May Fact. Before signing as Bilbo, Martin had agreed to make three 90-minute TV films in London, again playing Dr Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes. No worries: he’ll be back in Middle Earth after our first hiatus, during which Peter Jackson will have spare time to edit the scenes already completed. The rest of the cast remains on duty for another few weeks, working on hobbit-less sections of the film. These involve dwarves of course but also elves, with Hugo Weaving back for a stretch as Lord Elrond.

McKellan also mentions that Sylvester McCoy and Flight Of The Concords star Bret McKenzie are preparing to film their own portions of the film. After so many set backs its nice to know that now that cameras have started things are progressing smoothly.

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HOBBIT News Roundup: Jackson Talks Script And Ian Holmes Confirmed

Posted on 22 April 2011 by Rich Drees

It appears that if you want the scoop on what’s going on with the production of Peter Jackson’s adaption of The Hobbit, you better be monitoring his Facebook page. In the last 24 hours the director has made two posts about the film – one discussing the writing process he uses for a film like this and a second one clarifying a bit of casting.

Let’s take the second, and shorter, of the two first. Last week, Jackson posted a ten minute video detailing the days leading up to the commencement of filming and the first few days of shooting. It turns out that there was some confusion as to who was reading he opening lines from J R R Tolkien’s original novel at the end of the piece. Jackson clears that up by saying –

One comment that came up from the recent video blog was the Bilbo voice at the end—many of you assumed it was Sir Ian Holm. Whilst Ian will be returning as the older Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, that recording was actually Martin Freeman’s voice, taken from a script read through we recorded when the cast first arrived. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure who it was when I first heard it, either. Cheers, Peter J

And in the process he manages to confirm that Ian Holm will be back to reprise his role of the older Bilbo Baggins that he played in Lord Of The Rings. Presumably he’ll be appearing in scenes with Elijah Wood, who is returning to play Bilbo’s nephew Frodo. Speculation is that their scenes will be part of a framing device in which Bilbo tells Frodo of his adventures which make up the main part of the film.

Jackson’s longer post sees him discussing the stages a film’s script goes through before and during production. It’s an interesting read and we present to you in its entirety for those who aren’t on Facebook.

Just arrived at our four-day Easter break, which will be a nice time to recharge batteries and do a few script tweaks for future scenes.

We always find there are three distinct phases in the life of a film script. First, it exists before the film starts shooting. In this period, which can last from months to years, the script is a theoretical document—an imaginative version of the movie.

Then you start shooting and things come much more into focus—usually in a very positive way. We now have actors who bring their skill to the roles and suddenly we see the characters in a more vivid and tangible way. This is both fun and satisfying, and always inspires us to embark on constant script revisions to meet the renewed potential these characters now have. I feel that much of the best writing happens during this period, but it does make a very busy time—very, very busy! Sometimes we have gotten these revisions to the actors a little late. We constantly joke to Ian McKellen that tomorrow’s script pages will be slid under his door sometime the night before… and sometimes that has been true.

The worst case of this came during The Fellowship of the Ring, when we revised Boromir’s long speech about Mordor at the last minute and only got it to Sean Bean on the day it was being shot. Sean handled it very cleverly—if you look at the movie, you’ll see he occasionally has his head bowed, as if dealing with the emotional weight of the horrors of Mordor. In actual fact, the new script page had been taped to his knee! By the time we were done with several takes and a few different camera angles, Sean had the speech down pat, and it was mainly those takes that were used in the final cut.

The final writing phase comes in post-production, when you edit the movie. No matter what you were imagining when you wrote the script, and what you imagined during the shoot, nothing now matters beyond the actual cut film. We often find that script work continues during post, including writing and shooting new scenes, reorganising the order of scenes, or recording additional dialogue to slip into shots. We do all of these things, and the writing only stops when the film is finally finished.

Many thanks for all the comments about the first posts. A few common questions have come up and I’ll answer some of those over the break. Now to get back to the script for those Rivendell scenes we have coming up…

Cheers,

Peter J

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Elijah Wood Confirmed For HOBBIT Negotiations

Posted on 08 January 2011 by Rich Drees

On Thursday, word started to spread that Elijah Wood was possibly going to be in Peter Jackson’s two-part The Hobbit even though his Lord Of The Rings character of Frodo Baggins hadn’t even been born at the time of the action of The Hobbit.

Yesterday, Wood’s representatives confirmed that he is indeed going to be part of The Hobbit in a statement that also mentioned other projects that the actor has upcoming –

Wood is confirmed to star in Peter Jackson’s “THE HOBBIT” to be shot in New Zealand. In addition, he has signed on to play “Ben Gunn” in Stewart Harcourt’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s TREASURE ISLAND along side Eddie Izzard. The 2 part/ 4 hour miniseries will be airing on SKY TV in the UK. Alan Moloney is producing with Steve Barron directing.

Wood will next be seen this summer in FX’s new series “Wilfred”, as well as lending his voice to Warner Bros. “Happy Feet 2” set for release November 18th as well as Disney XD’s “Tron: Uprising” (2012), In addition, he is starring in the Sundance short “Fight for your Right Revisited” directed by Adam Yauch and starring John C. Reilly and Seth Rogen.

Wood is repped by Nicole David at WME and Joanne Colonna at Brillstein Partners.

Of course, this still doesn’t explains exactly how his character will appear in the film. The logical choice seems to be as part of a framing device with his character’s uncle Bilbo, the hero of The Hobbit who will be played by Martin Freeman, telling Wood’s character Frodo of his adventures that make up the bulk of the film.

Via Deadline.

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Blanchett Returning To Middle Earth For THE HOBBIT

Posted on 07 December 2010 by Rich Drees

Cate Blanchett has become the first official cast member of Lord The Rings to be announced as reprising their role in Peter Jackson’s upcoming The Hobbit. Since Blanchett’s character of Galadriel doesn’t appear in J. R. R. Tolkien’s original book, we can assume that her scenes will be in the material that Jackson along with screenwriters Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro developed for the films from Tolkien’s supplemental materials about the world of Middle Earth and some of the other events happening at the time of The Hobbit‘s narrative.

Blanchett will be joining the already announced cast members Martin Freeman as the titular hobbit Bilbo Baggins, Ken Stott as dwarf lord Balin and Mikael Persbrandt as the shape-shifting Beorn. Sylvester McCoy will appear as the wizard Radagast the Brown, another character from the book Lord Of The Rings that doesn’t appear in the book version of The Hobbit.

Ian McKellam and Andy Serkis, who played Gandalf and Gollum in Lord Of The Rings are also expected to return for the two-film adaptation, though no official announcement of their involvement has been made yet.

Filming on The Hobbit is set to begin next February in New Zealand with a December 2012 and 2013 release scheduled for the two installments.

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