Archive for December, 2012

Mike Hopkins Dies

Monday, December 31, 2012 11:09

Sadly, one of the sound editors of The Lord of the Rings movies has died. Mike Hopkins, who also voices Farmer Maggot in the scene where the farmer chases the hobbits through the cornfield, died in a rafting accident. Hopkins, 53, was wearing a lifejacket and helmet, but drowned after the raft capsized, according to local police. His two rafting partners survived.

Prank Call

Friday, December 28, 2012 7:12
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A guy orders a wrestling pay per view, his wife gets mad at him, and then he sets up a prank phone call:

I’m guessing, at best, he’s now sleeping on the couch.

(Then again, the phone call was probably as fake as wrestling.)

The Hobbit 2D versus 3D, 24 fps versus 48

Thursday, December 20, 2012 21:10

Last week I saw The Hobbit in 2D at 24 frames per second. Just now I saw it in 3D at 48 frames per second (HFR). So here’s what I think:

The 2D at conventional frame ratio had some drawbacks: it was clear the movie was made for 3D, and some shots play out of focus and look awkward in 2D – most of these are early in the film. Also, the film looks like a film – with your typical flickering and grain. (Some people, of course, prefer this.)

The 3D at 48 frames, on the other hand, looked absolutely crystal clear and had incredible 3D effects – but it did make me slightly motion sick (not that this is hard to do, as I get motion sickness on an escalator). A lot of people have been saying negative things about the 48 frame per second ratio, but personally I loved it! It was wonderful to see a film without any flickering or grain. It looked like I was looking through a giant window with no glass, instead of watching a projection. To me, the problem with The Hobbit 3D was the way the 3D was handled. My philosophy on 3D movies of this type is that they’re better when they’re not gimmicky – the 3D should be used to give some depth to the frame but not to do fancy 3D shots or have things fly off the screen into the audience. (I think Lucas understands this, because his 3D version of The Phantom Menace follows this philosophy.) The Hobbit in 3D is at its best when you have character-based scenes where you are just watching Bilbo (who Martin Freeman, an everyone character, was born to play) interact with the Dwarves, and you don’t have 3D effects dancing all over. Unfortunately, there are some other scenes (particularly early) where it’s a 3D gimmick-fest.

So I guess all in all, I’m looking forward to the blu-ray, where I can see it in 2D but get a crystal clear image. The movie itself is very good, if cartoonish at times. I’m looking forward to the next one.

The Hobbit Wins the Box Office

Sunday, December 16, 2012 16:36

Well no shock here:

NEW YORK (AP) — Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” led the box office with a haul of $84.8 million, a record-setting opening better than the three previous “Lord of the Rings” films.

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Well, I saw the first Hobbit film…

Friday, December 14, 2012 3:38
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On the twelfth day of Christmas, my PJ gave to me…

Twelve dwarves all humming
Eleven flaming wargs wailing
Ten o’Smaugs victims
Nine nassty goblins
Eight spiders spinning
Seven ravens raving
Six hours of special features
Five Gold Oscars
Four dwarves a knocking
Three coloured wizards
Two hot dwarves
And Gandalf up a fir tree

I enjoyed the movie, although it was very different than The Lord of the Rings. Instead of a long book being streamlined into a fast-paced set of films, we have a short book that’s padded, turning it into a slow moving story. It’s well done, however, and will please most people.

Tonight’s the Night

Thursday, December 13, 2012 10:01
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Looking forward to seeing The Hobbit tonight. Here’s my review of the soundtrack for The Hobbit that I did for

LOTR Chapter by Chapter: The Palantír

Thursday, December 13, 2012 10:00

Pippin has a happy accident in the night.

The Two Towers, Book 3, Chapter 11: The Palantír

Chapter synopsis:The company intends to ride to Edoras and starts in the direction of Helm’s Deep. Pippin is very curious about the glass ball which he had picked up, and in the night when everybody is asleep he takes it from under Gandalf’s arm. He looks into it and soon after screams, waking everyone. Gandalf asks him what he has seen and done: in the stone he has seen the Dark Tower, and was questioned by Sauron. Sauron believed that the stone was still in Orthanc, and that the hobbit was Saruman’s prisoner, and he ordered Pippin to tell Saruman to give the prisoner to him. The stone thus turns out to be a palantír, one of the seven stones used by the kings of old to communicate between distant places, and it was with this stone that Saruman could talk with the Dark Lord. A shadow passes over the camp: it is one of the Ringwraiths who are now riding upon horrible winged creatures, and it seems to be headed towards Isengard. Gandalf bids the others to ride on immediately with greatest haste, and he takes Pippin with him and rides with Shadowfax towards Minas Tirith as fast as possible.

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Extended Edition Confirmed

Saturday, December 8, 2012 19:44
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There are a ton of Hobbit stories in the press right now, though most are old news for people who have been paying attention for a while. Buried among them is this: the extended edition of The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey will come out next year with about 25 extra minutes of footage.

Hobbit Tickets

Saturday, December 1, 2012 20:11

Got my tickets for The Hobbit for a midnight showing! Looking forward to going with Keely.

Grey HR Line

U.S. Residents Can Now Purchase a signed copy of The Lord of the Films for $5

Or Purchase the Book From These Retailers:
Barnes & Noble | Powell's Books | Amazon: US | US Kindle | Canada | UK | UK Kindle

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