Tag Archives: Peter Jackson

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

the-hobbitBeloved hobbit Bilbo Baggins is back in a visually spectacular tale inspired by The Lord of the Rings and likewise directed by Peter Jackson. Joining the effort to free the Kingdom of Erebor, Bilbo also faces a fateful encounter with Gollum.

Rating: 5 out of 10

This movie should have been called The Hobbit: An Expected Mediocraty.

I am a sucker. At least that’s how I felt in the line at the movies. I just ordered my popcorn and the girl at the counter asked what I was seeing. “Ohhh. You know they turned that into three movies, right?”

I felt like Peter Jackson just pickpocketed me. This is a charming book. It was one of my favorites as a boy. But it’s all of 200 pages. How could they possibly turn this into three movies? Well, by stretching out every possible detail and scene. It was worth seeing in the theater, if it’s worth seein at all, because of it’s gorgeous details, effects and scenery. Peter Jackson makes a beautiful movie to look at. But just like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s tormented by corny dialogue and wooden acting.

I guess if you’re going to make an epic three-part series of this film, this is the proper first installment, but I walked away feeling like it was hollow and over done. I also feel like I am forced to see the other two. Damn you, Peter Jackson.

Vic’s Review – “The Adventures of TinTin”

Blockbuster filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson team up for this 3-D motion capture adaptation of Georges Remi’s classic comic strip, centered around the adventures of fearless young journalist Tintin (Jamie Bell) and his trusty dog, Snowy. Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook and Cary Elwes also lend their talents to this action-packed family adventure.

Victor – 8 out of 10

Well, I suppose it was inevitable that one day the two Titans of Movies were bound to collaborate on something. Mr. Peter Jackson (LOTR, King Kong and Dead Alive) and Mr Steven Spielberg (Jaws, War of the Worlds and Duel). What would they come up with? A Jurassic Park sequel? An original Horror flick with Jackson’s intense flair? A space opera that takes place on another world ripe with CGI creatures and settings? Well, gang, none of the above.

What they decide to do is adapt Georges Remi’s classic and iconic comic strip called “The Adventures of Tin Tin” It was an honest decision and a way to make something so highly regarded into a huge success. So on they went and put their two massive resources together and started production on an animated motion capture film that is an extraordinary and adventurous romp that made me feel like a kid again. Something “Super 8” was supposed to do but didn’t.

I am keeping the review spoiler free and just concentrating on what I really liked about Tin Tin. I unfortunately never read the strip but was familiar somewhat from having friends who did. They would explain how TinTin is a very efficient and stalwart individual who as a journalist gets to the bottom of every story no matter the danger. He also does it with the help of his dog, Snowy. Jamie Bell (King Kong) voices the intrepid TinTin and he does a fantastic job in this great looking film. TinTin takes what Zemekis did with “The Polar Express” and raises the bar with dynamic and involving rendering. The film flows and comes to life like a living liquid full of wonder and surprise. The picture is incredible to behold as we are immersed in this photorealistic world full of airplanes, trains and automobiles.

Jackson and Spielberg supplies us with one stunt filled action sequence after another. Displays that can only be seen in this other-world dimension of animation. Displays that no live action cameras can capture on location. It never comes across as cartoony or naive. When we see creases, wrinkles and shadows done so well we are grateful for the way Jackson and old Stevie handle the realism. The set pieces are spectacularly fun and are done on the very superb level of Raiders of the Lost Ark and even The Last Crusade. Pure un-adulterated 1940’s action fare done with style and sophistication. Supporting Jamie Bell’s great VO work is Simon Pegg, Daniel Craig, Cary Elwes and Andy Serkis. Each of them give very believable and inventive voice performances.

I’ve read that the film comes very close to the comics in the way some characters look and even what they wear. But some purists claim that there are some misses in the adaptation itself. They claim that 2 different comic story-lines are melded together and that some of it may be distracting. I, myself, loved every frame and minute of it. Pure fun and an energetic adventurous intensity drive “The Adventures of TinTin” and that is what is important. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Brian’s Review – “Heavenly Creatures”

The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson helms this chilling true-life drama set in 1950s New Zealand about an obsessive friendship between two girls — introvert Pauline (Melanie Lynskey) and self-confident Juliet (Kate Winslet, in her film debut) — that led to murder. The two become increasingly inseparable, retreating to an imaginary world, until their relationship invites opposition from their families that ultimately begets blood.


Rating- 9 out of 10

Disturbing, loving, creative, imaginative, and glorious are all perfect descriptions to sum up the amazing Heavenly Creatures.  It’s hard to believe it was only the fourth full length feature film that Peter Jackson had directed and the first for actresses Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey.  Jackson’s work here is nothing short of extraordinary.  His camerawork, the performances he gets from the entire cast, and his progression of the story through the intertwining of both the real and imagined is exacted nearly flawlessly. Both Winslet and Lynskey deliver what would be career defining performances for any actress.  Heavenly Creatures, is at its core, a love story.  The setting, being in the 1950’s (with terrific period detail), and them being two women, make for an interesting backdrop and situation but this is a familiar tale of love at all costs.  Juliet (Winslet) and Pauline (Lynskey) are madly in love with one another and you can truly feel that as a viewer.  It’s not a sexual love but a true and deep love where one girl truly completes the other.  That’s why it is made all the more tragic when we know that their need to be with one another, while stronger than anything, clouds their judgment and causes them to make a fatal error that ends up separating them forever.

For anyone who likes films where you ride the wave of emotions with your main characters, this is the film for you.  It’s rare to find a movie where the acting and filmmaking come together so flawlessly to tell a ripping good yarn.  If there’s anything that holds it back from perfection is that this is a film that could have benefitted from a longer running time.  While it’s a solid 99 minutes, it would have been nice to extend it by another 30 minutes to bring us closer to the supporting characters, particularly Pauline’s mother.  That minor complaint aside, this is a very special film.





The Hobbit set to start production

The Guardian newspaper out of the U.K. is reporting that filming of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” will start next month in New Zealand — a report that follows years of setbacks for the production.

In the four years since Peter Jackson announced that his production company had agreed to make “The Hobbit,” the project has been hit by fire, a union boycott, finance concerns connected to MGM studios, a lawsuit Jackson filed against the company, the departure of original director Guillermo del Toro, and finally Jackson’s own hospitalization last month for a stomach ulcer. The film, based on the much shorter book before JRR Tolkien’s fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings, will start production March 21 in New Zealand, according to The Guardian. It’s scheduled for a December 2012 release.

“Despite some delays we are fully back on track and very excited to get started,” Jackson, now the film’s director, said in a statement issued by his production company, 3Foot7 Ltd. “This date has been chosen following practical considerations of the filming schedule requirements, actor availability and the NZ seasons. Shooting will take place at Stone Street Studios in Miramar and on location around New Zealand.”

Personally, I don’t really care. I hate the LOTR films. Never been so bored in my life. They were epic, yes, but epically boring. I enjoyed the books, and enjoyed the films when I saw them in the theater, but when I watched them at home on DVD, I couldn’t get through any of them. I don’t know how I ever liked them.

I’ll check this two-part series out, for sure, just because I know the production will be great — maybe even better than LOTR — and I loved the book from childhood.

The Hobbit may hit scrap heap


My prediction: The Hobbit will blow

News broke today that Peter Jackson, director of the incredibly overrated “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, may scrap “The Hobbit” — a film based on the original book by fantasy writing legend and nerd demigod, J.R.R Tolkien.

This movie’s had more issues than my ex-girlfriend, from trouble getting the film greenlit by the studio because of a lawsuit with Jackson to original director Guillermo del Toro leaving the project.

Jackson is now facing union troubles, and is threatening to shut the film down in New Zealand and head for Eastern Europe, according to the New York Times.

We liked Peter Jackson better when he was a fat nerd rather than a skinny.... nerd?

There’s been debate about about when the film will begin shooting. The last we knew, Ian McKellen, who would reprise his Academy Award-nominated role as the wizard Gandalf, said filming would start in January. This labor debate is sure to slow things up.

I am not a fan, at all, of the LOTR films. I read all the books and enjoyed them. I went to all of the films in the theater and at the time enjoyed them. They looked incredible on the big screen and I got caught up in the excitement of the story unfolding and seeing the special effects and Jackson’s take on the story.

But when they came out on DVD, I couldn’t believe how boring, corny and lame they were. The dialogue was so cheesy. I had a little bit of faith when Del Toro was directing. The world’s he’s created in “Hellboy” and “Hellboy 2” were amazing, as was “Pan’s Labyrinth.” Now that Jackson is behind the camera, someone pass me a pillow. I’m going to need a nap.

If these two films don’t get made, it won’t keep me awake at night. I’d rather see Ghostbusters 3 made.

The Lovely Bones

“The Lovely Bones” centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family – and her killer – from purgatory. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal. Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci in his Academy Award nominated role, make a cast directed by Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings triology).

Rating: 8 out of 10

Jackson brings us an amazingly multi-dimensional murder story. It looks through the eyes of the dead, a 14-year-old girl murdered by a neighbor, played wonderfully by Tucci who just loses all sense of self in the role. Her father, Walhberg, is on an obsessive hunt, her mother, Weisz, is heart-broken and leaves home, and her surviving brother and sister are alone. But from the other side, Susie, played nicely by Saoirse Ronan, watches and influences the living from purgatory.

Susie can go to heaven if she wants, but chooses to stay, watch and even influence those who she knew to help close the case of her murder. Susie and her family mirror each other, each grieving the loss of Susie — the little girl is angry, she wants revenge, and so does her father and sister. Both are coming to terms with their losses.

This is an exceptional murder mystery/suspense/drama, and it is a nice turn for Jackson, who has spent most of his career with horror, science fiction and fantasy movies. There is a bit of fantasy to this movie, and Jackson’s sense of storytelling and his eye for visual effects comes through, but he didn’t step on the human elements of the story.

Rating: 5 out of 10

I can’t imagine there isn’t one of us that doesn’t wonder or fantasize what life after death might be like.  Is it beautiful?  Will our loved ones be there?  Does heaven exist?  These are extremely profound questions that could explain our very existence in this universe.

Unfortunately, the Lovely Bones is a film that is not clever enough to come close to answering any of them.  The afterlife here is presented as a constantly evolving world where day turns to night, winter turns to spring, and your very surroundings have no stability.  It’s more like a bad acid trip mixed with CGI and represents the weakest part of the film when it should be its strongest.

Now, that’s not to say that “The Lovely Bones” is a complete failure.  Peter Jackson is an extremely talented director and his use of editing and camera work is top notch.  There are also exceptional performances from Wahlberg as the young victim’s father and Tucci as one of the most deplorable characters I’ve seen on screen in quite some time.  But, in the end, (and I’ll warm whoever’s reading this: SPOILERS!!!!!), we never get a sense of justice for death of Susie and the killer’s death is tacked on and forced.  This was the kind of film that had a lot of promise and a ton of squandered talent.