Feb. 25, 2014 | 10:00 p.m.
Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-nominated “Gravity” are the top contenders at the upcoming 40th annual Saturn Awards, with eight nominations each. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” 2012’s highest-grossing film, earned seven nominations, while “Iron Man 3,” “Pacific Rim,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Thor: The Dark World” were recognized with five nominations each. On the television side, HBO’s lavish fantasy “Game of Thrones” received five nominations, as did AMC’s drama “Breaking Bad” and TNT’s “Falling Skies.” Founded in 1972 to recognize films often overlooked by mainstream awards series, the Saturn Awards fetes projects in a broad swath of genres, including science fiction, horror, fantasy, thriller and action/adventure — there are also awards for best independent film with nominees including critical favorites “12 Years a Slave” and “Inside Llewyn Davis”; best international film (a […]
Feb. 18, 2014 | 3:30 p.m.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” reigned at the box office during the holidays, earning more than $860 million worldwide after it opened Dec. 13. Now the film is set to arrive on Blu-Ray and DVD on April 8 — in a variety of packages, including a limited edition set selling for $105.43. The limited collector’s edition includes two Gates of Erebor replica bookends from the Noble Collection and features the theatrical version of the film in 3-D high-definition, high-definition and standard definition; only 25,000 will be available in the U.S. For those hoping to own the film at a lower price point, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” will be available as a Blu-ray 3-D combo pack for $44.95, a Blu-ray combo pack for $35.99 and as a 2-disc DVD special edition for $28.98. All versions include a digital […]
Jan. 03, 2014 | 1:54 p.m.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” reigned at the box office during the holidays, earning more than $658 million worldwide since it opened Dec. 13. The second installment in Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s landmark 1937 novel chronicles Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) journey through the dark and mysterious Mirkwood Forest and through Lake-town to help Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company of dwarfs reclaim their treasure-filled homeland from the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). The third and final movie, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” is due in theaters Dec. 17. Hero Complex counted down to “Desolation of Smaug” with exclusive interviews, videos and photo galleries. Now that the spoiler-wary have had a chance to see “Smaug” in theaters, here’s a look back at our coverage leading up to its release. GALLERIES ‘The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: 60 […]
Jan. 03, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.
2013 might have been a superb year for fans of genre entertainment, but 2014 doesn’t look too shabby when it comes to interesting fare arriving at the multiplex. Filmmakers are tackling original, high concept sci-fi tales in major studio releases, and a myriad of fan-favorite characters — including Kermit the Frog and Katniss Everdeen — are returning to the screen for new adventures. Following are the Hero Complex picks for some of the most anticipated new films of the year. Let us know which movies you’re most excited to see in the comments section below. RoboCop: Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 satire about a police man remade as law enforcement machine gets a sleek update from Brazilian filmmaker Jose Padilha with actor Joel Kinnaman starring as Alex Murphy, a futuristic Detroit cop who finds himself encased in metal after being critically injured […]
Dec. 30, 2013 | 2:56 p.m.
Peter Jackson and Joe Letteri will receive the Producers Guild of America’s Vanguard Award next month for the groundbreaking digital creations dreamed up in New Zealand’s WETA Digital. It’s an appropriate honor. Together, Jackson and Letteri have conjured all manner of creations — Letteri won Oscars for his work on two films in Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and on the writer-director’s remake of “King Kong” (though Andy Serkis’ vivid performance-capture turns as Gollum and the lovelorn giant ape were certainly central to those victories). The duo might be in contention for Academy Awards once more for Jackson’s latest fantasy adventure, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The movie is brimming with technological marvels — the spiders of Mirkwood, the dynamic barrel chase scene — but perhaps none are quite so marvelous as the vividly rendered dragon Smaug played […]
Dec. 16, 2013 | 5:00 p.m.
Benedict Cumberbatch inspires the sort of rabid, overwhelming Internet love usually reserved for cats wearing sweaters and cute baby videos, but sitting with the actor even briefly, it’s sort of easy to understand why. In the course of 20 minutes, Cumberbatch, while enjoying a cup of tea and some Swedish Fish, sounded off with ease and eloquence on his personal relationship to the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, his “porn star dragon” Smaug — one of the two characters to receive title billing in the latest epic fantasy from Peter Jackson, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — and dealing with international celebrity (specifically being recognized for his acclaimed portrayal of Sherlock Holmes by a waitress in Oklahoma, a tale he shared by dropping in and out of a rural American accent). Check out what he had to say below. Hero […]
Dec. 16, 2013 | 1:58 p.m.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” smashed the competition at the box office this weekend, earning more than $73 million. The second installment in Peter Jackson’s planned trilogy based on the J.R.R. Tolkien novel also garnered more critical esteem than its predecessor, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” with much of the praise falling to the film’s star, Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, a diminutive hero with a growing sense of courage. In “Desolation of Smaug,” Bilbo faces off against enormous spiders, dangerous elves and, of course, the dragon Smaug, voiced by Freeman’s “Sherlock” costar Benedict Cumberbatch. Hero Complex caught up with Freeman to talk about what motivates Bilbo, the interweaving of fright and comedy and the pressures of taking on a character so beloved by Tolkien fans. Hero Complex: Bilbo Baggins seems to really find his own in this […]
Dec. 16, 2013 | 12:07 p.m.
The first trailer for the upcoming “Lego The Hobbit” video game is out, revealing a comedic take on Middle-earth and its small-statured denizens. The game, which was announced in November, will be based on the first two films in Peter Jackson’s planned “Hobbit” trilogy — “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the recently released “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Like TT Games‘ previous Middle-earth-themed installation “Lego The Lord of the Rings,” gameplay in “The Hobbit” will focus on solving puzzles, finding treasure and battling dark forces, including orcs, trolls and goblins. PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘Desolation of Smaug’ Gamers will be able to play as Bilbo (portrayed in the films by Martin Freeman), Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) and all 13 dwarfs in the company. The trailer also features scenes with the cave-dwelling Gollum, hungry trolls, mischievous goblins and […]
Dec. 15, 2013 | 10:00 a.m.
Sir Ian McKellen has played countless classic characters in his decades of work on stage and screen, but he says the wizard Gandalf is the one for which he’ll most likely be remembered. “When I die, that’s what it’s going to say, ‘Gandalf dies,’ ” McKellen offered with a deadpan nod at the Hero Complex preview screening of his new film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Presented in IMAX 3D at 48 frames per second, the free event took place Dec. 9 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX, with McKellen participating in a wide-ranging Q&A after the screening. The latest fantasy from director Peter Jackson based on the work of author J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Desolation of Smaug” sees Richard Armitage’s dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield and Martin Freeman’s Hobbit Bilbo Baggins and the other members of their […]
Dec. 15, 2013 | 8:21 a.m.
In “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Peter Jackson’s latest fantasy adapted from the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, Richard Armitage’s dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield is as much the focus of the story as Martin Freeman’s Hobbit Bilbo Baggins. The new film tracks the unlikely partners and the other members of their company as they continue their quest across Middle-earth to defeat the evil dragon Smaug and reclaim the treasure-filled city of Erebor beneath the Lonely Mountain. Meanwhile, Ian McKellen’s wizard Gandalf sets out on a mission of his own, hoping to determine the strength of a primal evil. Critics have responded warmly to this, the second film in a planned trilogy that concludes with next year’s “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.” (The Times’ Betsy Sharkey writes, “In the wake of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,’ last year’s dreary, dense, […]