The other day I wrote a post about Peter Jackson. Specifically about what he is doing now that the Hobbit Trilogy has conculded.
According to IMDB his schecule past a new TinTin movie is pretty clear.
The favourite idea in the blog is that Peter Jackson should revisit his BAD TASTE movie and develop this into a Trilogy.
We have looked at twitter campaigns in the past and have seen they can spark the imagination and debate. We would love to get a twitter campaign off the ground and just seed the idea that Peter Jackson should make two micro budget sequels to the original Bad Taste movie.
Again using the power of Twitter and Social Media we would like to attempt a targeted strike to set the seed with the great man and then let him do his stuff.
If we can get enough people using the same tweet someone has to take note. We propose the following text.
Dear @WetaWorkshop please can you let #PeterJackson some time off to complete his #BadTasteTrilogy? Thanks @scifind http://bit.ly/1Ngk9Nt
Peter Jackson has a single directorial project known of, this is The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun. A sequel to the animated Tintin written by Doctor Who helmsman Steve Moffat. Not written by Moffat this time but driving force behind Midsomer Murder Anthony Horowitz (who might have done some other stuff also).
Bit boring then, but after directing, producing and writing six of the most successful films of all time I suppose a rest is in order.
What Scifind Would Like To See.
Well there are two things we would really LOVE to see Peter Jackson do in the next few years.
An Episode of Doctor Who.
Jackson has been a life long fan of The Doctor, he has gone on record a number of times saying he would do it for free (but those dalek props look like good compensation). I see no good reason for this not happening. If it has been announced already I have missed it!
Of course he has already dipped his toe in Doctor Who folklore and has appeared in the comedy short The Five Ish Doctors.
Revisit Bad Taste
A sequel to the original, with the original cast would be amazing. I am sure the Peter could throw a few quid at it but would love to see him go back to shoestring budget. Go on Peter. You know you want to. Draw out £100,000 of that Hobbit money and take a couple of years with your mates to make the sequel or sequels (trilogies are in don’t you know) that I would like to see. (and I would think a few other people would like to see it also.)
Failing that a close second would be a remake of Bad Taste, humour and gore in place.
Don’t know what Bad Taste is?
Bad Taste was Peter Jackson’s first film to gain recognition. A comedy, scifi, horror made by Jackson and some friends using a single camera virtually no budget and a lot of favours.
Synopsis: The population of a small town disappears and is replaced by aliens that chase human flesh for their intergalactic fast-food chain.
In “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”, 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 Gage. 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.
3D AND BLU-RAY ELEMENTS
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 3D and Blu-ray contain the following special features:
• Recruiting the Five Armies
• Completing Middle-earth
• The Last Goodbye Music Video
• New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 3
Standard Street Date: 20th April, 2015
Running Time: 144 minutes
The second chapter in The Hobbit Trilogy arrives on Blu-ray 3D and DVD on 3rd November from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
This Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Features a 25-Minute Longer Cut and More Than Nine Hours of New Special Features
This all comes before the December 12 theatrical release of the third and final film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
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 Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt and Orlando Bloom as Legolas. The film also stars Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Manu Bennett and Lawrence Makoare.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition will be available as a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D set featuring the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray versions of the Extended Edition and a 5 disc DVD. The Blu-ray 3D includes a 2D digital version of the movie with UltraViolet. More On Amazon
The nine-plus hours of new special features boasts audio commentary with Peter Jackson, the film’s director/producer/screenwriter, and Philippa Boyens, co-producer/screenwriter, as well as “The Appendices,” a multi-part documentary focusing on various aspects of the film and the Trilogy. Complete special feature details are provided below.
Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Synopsis
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company travels East, encountering along the way skin-changer Beorn and a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. After escaping capture by the dangerous Wood-elves, the Dwarves journey to Lake-town, and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where they must face the greatest danger of all–a creature more terrifying than any other; one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship and the wisdom of the journey itself–The Dragon Smaug.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug NEW Special Features Blu Ray and DVD
Commentary with Peter Jackson, Director/Producer/Screenwriter and Philippa Boyens, Co-Producer/Screenwriter
The Appendices – The Appendices Parts IX and X showcase an immersive multi-part history of the filming of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, covering pre-production in the various departments of the film in the months leading up to the start of principal photography, training, the work done on set and in the world of its digital effects.
New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth – Part 2
Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change.
About The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
The screenplay for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a Wingnut Films Production, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures handled worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventures of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a production of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.
The Hobbit:The Desolation of Smaug opens nationwide across the UK on 13th December 2013.
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), arriving on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. All disc versions feature UltraViolet. The 3D Blu-ray and Blu-ray include over 130 minutes of bonus content. The first of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which is nominated for three Academy Awards*, is an epic adventure that immerses audiences once again in the fantastical world of Middle-earth. The 8th April home entertainment release will be followed by an Extended Edition later this year.
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. Also reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” in “The Hobbit” Trilogy are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Ian Holm as Old Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
The international ensemble cast also includes James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Sylvester McCoy, Barry Humphries, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Manu Bennett and Conan Stevens.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was released on December 13, 2012, with the second film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” releasing December 13, 2013, and the third film, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” slated for July 18, 2014
BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” 3D Blu-ray and Blu-ray contain the following special features:
Full Suite of Peter Jackson’s Production Videos. Enter Middle-earth of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as Academy Award-winning Director Peter Jackson takes you behind the scenes, on location and amidst the star-studded cast in a series of video journals that puts you in the forefront of latest in filmmaking with more than two hours of additional content. Highlights of the journals include:
It is Sunday evening at 6pm, and for most of the afternoon I have been sitting uncomfortably in the Odeon Leicester Square in London watching a screening of Peter Jackson’s new LOTR movie, The Hobbit. Uncomfortably not just because the film is long (too long by far), and not just because the Odeon’s seats are ruthless on your nether regions (some padding towards the rear of the seat would be nice, guys!), but because as I watched this ‘epic’ I knew I would have to write the following words:
The Hobbit is a pretty bad film
Phew, there, I’ve said it. So, let’s start with Mr Jackson’s much vaunted 48fps HFR 3D technological breakthrough. Oh dear lordy, for all that is good in the world, let this technology die right now! I am a real fan of 3D movies, thinking they often have a certain additional depth to them that helps make the movie-going experience more immersive. But guys, what the heck went wrong with The Hobbit? Are you telling me that someone has sat down, watched the film on a big screen and signed off on it?! If they have then they deserve the sack, because this film looks bad, very bad. Now, let me discuss the 48fps issue. There have been accusations from early part-screenings that this process made the film look like an HD TV series, pristine and shiny. Jackson et al claimed this was because the film hadn’t been graded, coloured, and generally ‘film-ified’ yet. “Don’t worry” they said, “it’ll look epic and grand on final release”. Well my friends, we have been duped. It looks like the shiniest of shiny things ever. Pristine is a good word for it, but STERILE is a far better one. There is rarely a scene with any ‘filmic’ feeling to it, everything is just so goddamn clean and crisp and perfect. It really DOES look like a top end HD TV production. There are a few saving graces, such as the battle scenes and the Gollum cave sequence where things get better, mostly due to interesting lighting and darkness. But overall it is all way too clean to feel like a LOTR movie. Is this the end of the world, or the very start of a new one? Who can tell. It doesn’t destroy the movie but it does lack warmth and flavour and the heightened sense of reality forces you away from the film rather than bringing you closer to it.
But that’s not the real bugbear I have with 48fps, oh no. There was a much greater, more aggravating issue. Now, it may have been a technical fault with the Odeon’s brand spanking new equipment. Possibly they don’t have it ‘run-in’ quite correctly. But throughout the screening we were subjected to sudden and terrible speed-ups, where a person would be moving across screen and suddenly speed up for a second or two. Or when they were talking. Or during a battle scene. Or…well, so often I lost count. It was as if the film were buffering and catching up with itself. A symptom of 48fps technology and all-digital prints & projectors? I know not, but it really did destroy the film for me, it was like adding a Benny Hill sketch into an epic Western. Utter technical failure. End of story.
So what then of the Jackson claim that 48fps would enhance the Real3D experience and make the movie more immersive? Well, it might have if not for all of the above and the fact that it seems WETA allowed the work experiencers to do the CGI and blending. The Hobbit never once achieved what the previous LOTR films managed 90% of the time, and that was to blend the CG with the real and make it all seem as one. In scene after eye-sapping scene the CGI backgrounds and creatures looked like badly layered early 2000’s computer game characters. In fast moving scenes actors appeared completely disconnected from their surroundings. Feet floated above and away from CGI landscapes, and as for poorly matted and layered…don’t get me started. Who cleared this film for theatrical release? Technologically the 3D (except in close-ups and real landscape shots), looked cartoonish and low resolution. The blending of real and CGI was cringe-worthy, and the sense that you were watching a 10-15 year old computer game cut-scene built throughout the movie. If you HAVE to see this movie, see it in 2D, because the 3D print is truly lamentable.
So that is the technology considered, but what about the story, the plot, the purpose of the movie? Well, it’s not terrible. I honestly can’t say it is epic, or thrilling or life-changing. The sense of scope and proportion wanders between small and personal to grand and majestic. But it does so with stops and starts, stumbles and staggers. Rarely does The Hobbit flow from scene to scene. It is as though everything we loved about Peter Jackson’s vision and style in LOTR has been erased by The Lovely Bones and replaced by whip-pans, juddery camera moves and just-a-fraction-too-early editing style. Add in some often-wooden, occasionally forest-like acting (sorry Sir Christopher and Sir Ian!) and a dearth of believable side-characters and you are left with a movie that is an hour too long, and a soul too missing. Not to say there aren’t some good performances…Martin Freeman owns the role of Bilbo and is immediately loveable and relatable. King Thorin and a few of the dwarves are likeable and well-rounded. But Gandalf feels lacking in purpose or reason, Sir Ian offering a muted and not altogether weighty performance. Hugo Weaving appeared to have phoned his Elrond in from another film-set (while doing his best to sound like David Bowie in Labyrinth), and Sir Christopher Lee’s CGI’d in Saruman was so lacking in spirit it was a geek-tragedy. But in all this there was one shining light…the brilliant Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown was pitch-perfect, mysterious and loopy yet courageous and outrageous. A true Tolkien character brought to life with flair and charm. If only the rest of the film could have been populated by such well-crafted and well-acted characters.
Once again, Andy Serkis comes to the rescue (although possibly not in his role of second-unit director). The scenes with Gollum and Bilbo under the mountain playing a game of riddles are superb. The CGI is magical, the setting exquisite, the lighting and blending spot-on. Why oh why couldn’t the rest of the film have been made with such love and care? Gollum is a whole new creature here, expressive and exciting, terrifying and unstable. You feel the threat he poses, and yet you continue to sympathise with him. His look of pain, anguish and sadness at losing his precious is heartbreaking. Congratulations to the Gollum team who produced another unsurpassed moment of movie magic.
While in no way perfect, the story is certainly interesting and stays pretty close to the book. The additions of some Dwarf/Orc history are superbly handled (with some of the better CGI work employed here). It is to the film’s credit that the backstory to the Dwarf’s quest is explained so well and so succinctly. I’m not so sure about some of the ‘fan service’ additions, such as lines repeated from the original trilogy, and knowing nods and winks. But all in all the film trots along its trail without too many stumbles. Sadly, our return to Rivendell is marred by it looking like a matte-painting taken from a late 80s kids TV show. In fact a lot of the film feels oddly akin to a Russell T Davies CBBC series…lots of running around in front of green-screen and a set of CGI backgrounds that feel like updates on the old Captain Zep early 80s technology. My over-riding thought throughout The Hobbit was that I was hankering after watching some classic Knightmare episodes, rather than wanting to keep watching the film. I might just do that, or put Labyrinth on…something with way more character, soul and sense of the epic.
I really was looking forward to The Hobbit. While the book is certainly a classic, it has never been a rip-roaring adventure tale. However, the masterpieces that were the original LOTR trilogy had me believing Peter Jackson & co would pull something special out of their knapsack. Unfortunately all they’ve done is tire my bottom out, give me a sense of loss and annoyance, and made me want to go find the person who is pushing 48fps Real3D technology and introduce them to the words ‘Over my dead body!’
With the Hobbit we return to Middle Earth, but it isn’t how we remember it. It is all shiny and computery and cut-sceney. It is full of pixels and cartoonish speed-ups. It groans with the weight of expectation and falls flat on its need for putting technology before storytelling. Please Mr Jackson, re-grade and re-colourise the film, put it in 2D and turn the volume down just a tad…cut about 40-60 mins from it and sort out the lack of scope. THEN I’ll be the first in line to buy the Blu-ray edition!
Way back in 1996 a much younger Peter Jackson broke in to the mainstream (after a string of cult horror movies) with ?The Frighteners?. A ghost-thriller comedy starring Michael J Fox and Jeffrey Combs, the film was at the cutting edge of CGI for the time, and successfully copied Tim Burton?s Beetlejuice formula of mixing laughs with chills. 16 years later, the film has been given a dusting off by Jackson and released on Blu-Ray. But is it some reanimated corpse or a successful resurrection?
I always enjoyed The Frighteners, it was a great blend of subtle humour (well, not always subtle!) and sub-horror film scares. Michael J Fox finds his inner Nic Cage for a pseudo angst-ridden cum maniacally OTT performance as psychic con-man Frank Bannister who really can see the dead. While working with ghosts to scam local residents he stumbles upon a dark death-like apparition which is killing people left, right and centre. Can Frank and his ghostly chums save the town, the girl (yes, there is a love sub-plot!) and himself from the monster and the other townsfolk?
It is an entertaining romp, and the CGI ghosts work very well. The plot bounds along, building tension along with delivering the laughs. In this BD release we get the original theatrical version (1hr 50mins) and the new Director?s Cut (2hrs 3mins). Peter introduces this new version, but for all the pomp and pageantry I can?t say it makes the film any better. In fact, my one big complaint is that the longer cut makes the film, well, too long. It already felt slightly over-length at 1hr 50mins, but adding another 13 mins really makes the craft groan. It isn?t that anything overstays its welcome, it is just that the whole film could pace up ever so slightly. If it were 1hr 45mins it would be about perfect. That said, in terms of value for money, this BD release offers you both versions, plus Peter?s intro AND a whole commentary from the master-filmsmith, an interview with composer Danny Elfman and an OK blooper reel. Not bad for a single disc release.
The picture quality is superb, although it does show up the inconsistencies of the early CGI. Where the ghost effects work well, there are some truly terrible (by modern standards) ?ghost in a wall? shots which just look plasticky and fake. But then we should judge a film by the time it was released, not by what WETA can achieve today. The soundtrack is well up to scratch, giving your surround system a good workout. Unusually for Elfman, the score isn?t overly Burton-esque, fitting in nicely and not taking over the scene.
All in all this is a classic 90s movie from a great director starring a relatable leading actor and some well-cast cameos. It has been given new life by the BD transfer and the added Peter Jackson insights add real value. A good film for families with older children. A great film for friends with some drinks and nibbles. Just be prepared for the long running time?this could be Peter?s practice run for the LOTR movies!
From producer Peter Jackson (King Kong, The Lord of the Rings trilogy) comes the critically-acclaimed sci-fi thriller District 9, debuting on Blu-ray and DVD on the 28th December, 2009 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Director Neill Blomkamp (Crossing the Line, Tempbot) enlists a cast of relative newcomers, including Sharlto Copley and Jason Cope (Doomsday), and a host of groundbreaking special effects for the enthralling allegorical story of aliens stranded in South Africa.
Bonus materials on the Blu-ray? and DVD include commentary with Director/Co-Writer Neill Blomkamp, deleted scenes and the three-part documentary ?The Alien Agenda: A Filmmaker’s Log.? The first part of the documentary explores the pre-production process and creation of the world of District 9, Peter Jackson?s role in producing the film, and the unorthodox approach to using South Africa as the setting for this film. The second part delves into the shooting style of the film utilizing small handheld cameras to tell the tale, the difficulties of shooting in Johannesburg, the challenges of shooting scenes that would include visual effects later in the process, and the overall challenges encountered during the production process. The third chapter of the documentary investigates the task of designing and editing the film’s sound effects, and the general challenges encountered during the editing process.
The Blu-ray versions also exclusively features four featurettes: ?Metamorphosis: The Transformation of Wikus? looks at the practical effects employed by filmmaker Blomkamp and the artists at WETA to create Wikus? metamorphosis into an alien; ?Innovation: The Acting and Improvisation of District 9? shows Blomkamp?s direction of the actors, his encouragement of improvisation, and the actors? process for working together under these guidelines; ?Conception and Design: Creating the World of District 9? depicts the amazing design and theory behind the world of District 9, including Alien Design, Alien Technology, Space Travel, MNU and The First Reaction Force Battalion; and ?Alien Generation: The Visual Effects of District 9? offers an in-depth look at the process of shooting visual effects scenes and incorporating CGI aliens realistically into the scenes in post-production.
Bonus features exclusive to the Blu-ray Disc? include the Interactive Map feature ?Joburg from Above: Satellite and Schematics of the World of District 9,? that allows users to explore alien technology and weaponry, MNU mercenary armory, and more from the film through a series of satellite maps, schematics and photo-real files.
The Blu-ray Disc also exclusively features movieIQ?which allows viewers to immediately access continuously updated information on the cast & crew and explore relevant trivia such as production facts, music and soundtrack information all tied to scenes within the movie via BD-Live??and cinechat, where viewers can send on-screen instant messages to their friends while watching the movie. ?District 9 will be available on Blu-ray for ?24.99 and DVD for ?19.99.