Watch the whole thing HERE!
Posts Tagged ‘Bilbo Baggins’
Watch the whole thing HERE!
The release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies brings Peter Jackson’s trilogy to a close, and marks the end of a life immersed in Middle Earth for the actors. For several of the cast it was a years-long journey, and like any trip it’s nice to pick up a souvenir as a keepsake.
According to director Peter Jackson the actor who played the exiled dwarf king Thorin stole “the most boring thing in the world to steal,” from the set of the penultimate film, The Desolation of Smaug, socks.
“I did steal every single pair of costume socks,” said Richard Armitage, “because we were given a brand new pair every day.”
As production on The Battle of the Five Armies wrapped Armitage was gifted with some more interesting props including the deadly goblin cleaver Orcrist, which he keeps in an umbrella stand, “cause I want to be able to pick it up.”
Martin Freeman, who plays head Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, says he doesn’t miss making the films—“I’m really proud to have done it,” he says, “and I’m really glad to have done it, but I rarely miss jobs.”—but kept his sword and prosthetic ears as mementos.
Unlike Freeman, Sir Ian McKellen does get sentimental when he reflects on making the movies because, “a lot of the audience seeing The Hobbit part three wouldn’t have been born when we started filming it.” After spending thirteen years playing wise wizard Gandalf the Grey he took two priceless props from the set, “Gandalf’s staff, which I keep with umbrellas and walking sticks, and Gandalf’s hat, which I keep in the basement.”
Many actors have pilfered props from their movies. Keira Knightley walked off with Elizabeth Bennet’s striped socks from Pride & Prejudice. Elijah Wood has the One Ring from Lord of the Rings and Daniel Radcliffe liberated two pairs of Harry Potter’s famous round glasses, even though there was a strict policy about taking props from the set.
‘The ones from the first film are absolutely tiny now,” he says, “but they are very sweet.”
Kristen Stewart kept the engagement ring Edward Cullen gave her at the end of Twilight: Eclipse and Zachary Quinto took the ears he wore as Spock in Star Trek: Into Darkness but the strangest cinematic souvenir may belong to Mark Wahlberg.
The Academy Award nominee kept the prosthetic penis he wore as Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights. “I used to keep it in my desk drawer,” he said, “and I’d take it out and slap my friends in the face with it. I don’t keep many things from my movies, but that just seemed to have personal significance.”
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is the end of an era, and the beginning of one of the biggest movie franchises in history. As the third part of the Hobbit trilogy, it brings to an end the Peter Jackson movies inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s books. In the chronology, however, it is midway, the film that sets up the “Lord of the Rings” movies.
The action picks up seconds after the Dwarves evicted greedy dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) from the gold filled Lonely Mountain in “The Desolation of Smaug.” With the wicked worm gone exiled Dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) has now reclaimed his homeland and all the gold and power but wearing the crown has made him paranoid. He trusts no one, not even his loyal warriors and won’t listen to Bilbo Baggins’s (Martin Freeman) attempts to make him see reason. His irrational behavior leads to the epic showdown mentioned in the title. Legions of bloodthirsty Orcs (complete with their giant, hard-headed War Beasts) face off with Dwarves, Elves of the Woodland Realm, King Dain II Ironfoot of the Iron Hills and the Men of Laketown. The fate of Middle Earth hangs in the balance as alliances are made and skulls are cracked.
At least I think that’s what happens. There is so much going on, so many characters struggling for power and survival it’s sometimes hard to keep track. Jackson wraps up the series with a movie that tries to close every door it has opened which leads to a cluttered film short on story but long on characters and action scenes.
Big themes abound—greed, power, love, loyalty, family, all cloaked in a story about dragons, halflings, wizards, ill tempered Orcs and a struggle for a mountain filled with gold but the one thing, by and large, missing from the story is a strong presence from the title character. That’s right, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” treats Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) like a supporting character.
Baggins bookends the action and appears sporadically throughout, but the spotlight is fixed firmly on the other characters, rendering the “Hobbit” part of the title a tad superfluous.
The “Battle” part, however, is bang on. The movie is essentially a series of combat scenes stitched together and within those bruised and bloody sequences are some of the film’s highlights. Legolas (Orlando Bloom) running atop bricks, Mario Brothers style, as they fall through the air from a disintegrating bridge is a striking visual image and a scene where Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Saruman (Christopher Lee) and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) thrash away at evil spirits will entertain the eyes.
Jackson’s grey palette infuses “The Battle of the Five Armies” with an ominous air as the dozens of characters breath life into the fight scenes. Heroes and villains abound, and while there isn’t quite enough actual story to justify the two-hour-and twenty-minute running time, the battle between good and evil is so primal, so elemental you can’t help but let it get your blood racing.
By Richard Crouse and Mark Breslin Reel Guys – Metro Canada
Synopsis: Picking up where An Unexpected Journey left off, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) join with Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his army of 12 dwarves. Their goal is to traverse Mirkwood, Esgaroth and Dale to locate the fire-breathing dragon Smaug who hoards the wealth of the Lonely Mountain. On the way they battle giant spiders, make a deal with Bard the bowman (Luke Evans), the descendant of the original Lord of Dale, and some helpful and not-so-helpful elves (including a good lookin’ and deadly She-Elf played by Evangeline Lilly).
• Richard: 4/5
• Mark: 2/5
Richard: Mark, despite the sense of mild confusion I felt as I tried to piece the story together, I really enjoyed The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It took a lot of backstory to get to the fifth film based on Middle-earth and its inhabitants and it will help if you know your Shire from your Sauron or your Skin Changers.
But having said that, Peter Jackson has crafted a great action adventure with the same consistency of tone, style and spirit that runs through the LOTR and Hobbit movies. They feel like story shards chipped off the same block.
Mark: Richard, there are two kinds of people in this world — those who admire and enjoy the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and those who are repelled by his neo-medieval, Druidic nonsense.
You can guess which camp I fall into. I sat through the Rings trilogy under great duress, and skipped the first Hobbit entirely. So the only question was how much I would loathe this picture. The good news is: not that much. True, the entire movie and everyone in it needs a haircut, but the set pieces worked, especially the barrel escape down the river and the entire dragon sequence. But the movie felt so long I could have flown to Tokyo for dinner and gotten back in time for the end credits.
RC: I think fans will find the length just about right… non-fans, maybe not so much. This one worked for me. There’s a Richard Attenborough old school epicness about it. It is about good and evil without troubling nuance or antiheroes.
Perhaps because Englishman Tolkien penned these action adventure stories during the Second World War when evil was clear-cut, his books are ripe with allegory but straightforward in their approach to morality and good vs. evil.
MB: A good point, but maybe it’s precisely that serious, hectoring tone that always turned me off. Evangeline Lilly, on the other hand, did not turn me off — quite the opposite.
She really holds the screen even if her ears need cosmetic surgery. But the ending — a cliffhanging cheat, if you ask me — elicited a collective groan from the audience and made the experience feel incomplete. Did you like the dark look of the picture?
RC: I did like the look. It’s darker in tone than the Hobbit books for sure, but I thought it suited Peter Jackson’s take on the story. I also liked the Walking Dead style battle scenes — lots of arrows in heads.
MB: I kept hoping for someone to show up with a gun and put them all out of my misery.
If the title “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” immediately conjures up images of hairy footed hobbits and fearsome dwarves battling a fire breathing dragon, then this movie is for you. It beautifully captures and continues the world Peter Jackson began with the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and followed up with “The Hobbit” films.
If it doesn’t mean anything to you then maybe you’ll want to brush up on your J. R. R. Tolkien before shelling out for a ticket. It took a lot of backstory to get to the fifth film based on Middle Earth and its inhabitants and you don’t want to go without knowing your Shire from your Sauron or your Skin Changers.
Picking up where “An Unexpected Journey” left off, hobbit-burglar Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) join with Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his army of twelve fearsome dwarves. Their goal is to traverse Mirkwood, Esgaroth and Dale to locate and battle the fire-breathing dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch in fine serpentine voice) who hoards the wealth of the Lonely Mountain. On the way they battle giant spiders (a sequence that will certainly make arachnophobes grin), make a deal with Bard the bowman (Luke Evans), the descendant of the original Lord of Dale, and some helpful and not-so-helpful elves (including a good lookin’ and deadly She-Elf played by Evangeline Lilly).
Wait! There’s more, something to do with the White Council and the Necromancer but I’m still reeling from plot overload from actually watching the movie let alone trying to unfurl the complicated story in print.
But despite the sense of mild confusion I felt as I tried to piece the story together, I really enjoyed “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Peter Jackson has crafted a great action adventure movie that fits in perfectly with the preceding films. There’s a remarkable consistency of tone, style and spirit that runs through the “LOTR” and “Hobbit” movies. They feel like story shards chipped off the same block.
There’s a Richard Attenborough old school epicness about them. They are about good and evil without troubling nuance or antiheroes. Perhaps because Englishman Tolkien penned these action adventure stories during the Second World War when evil was clear-cut, his books are ripe with allegory but straightforward in their approach to morality and good vs. evil.
And luckily the films work because they fully embrace Tolkien’s vision. There’s no shortage of story threads, of hard to remember names but Jackson weaves it all together seamlessly—with some “Walking Dead” style battle scenes… lots of arrows in the head—and has made a big handsome movie to get lost in.
SYNOPSIS: The prequel to the immensely popular “Lord of the Rings” films is a coming of age story for Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a stay-at-home hobbit from Bag End, in Hobbiton in the Shire. He’s content with his quiet life until Gandalf (Ian McKellen), a wizard, recruits him to help a group of thirteen Dwarves (led by their king Thorin Oakenshield, played by Richard Armitage) in their quest to reclaim their former home, the Lonely Mountain, and its treasure from the dragon Smaug. It’s on this peril filled journey that Baggins matures, battles trolls, goblins and meets the creature that will shape his fate—Gollum (once again played by Andy Serkis).
Richard: 3 ½ Stars
Ned: 3 Stars
Richard: Ned, as much as the story and performances, people will be talking about the presentation of the movie. Shot and projected at 48 frames a second—twice the industry standard—the picture is so vivid, so pristine, it doesn’t really look like a movie. Combine that with the 3D and it’s like watching mega high-definition. Every goblin wart and troll blemish distinct enough to give dermatologists everywhere nightmares. What did you think of the mega-super-hi-definition look of the movie?
Ned: I have to say, the 48 frames per second was a problem for me. It often looked somewhere between a super-high definition 1980s BBC miniseries and a video game, and it just felt utterly un-cinematic. Saying that it doesn’t really look like a movie hits the nail on the head. Christopher Nolan has harped on in the past about film having a “warmth” that video can’t replicate, and I think I see what he means here. But the biggest crime, I think, is that the sweeping shots of the gorgeous New Zealand landscape looked fake.
RC: Perhaps it’s like the difference between vinyl or CD. I prefer the warm sound of old school vinyl to the hard digital preproduction of CD. The pops and skips are part of the experience, just as film blur and grain are a part of watching 35 mm projected on the big screen. Having said that, Gollum is awesome at 48 frames a second. The extended scene, (for the record, most of the scenes in the film could be called extended), in which Bilbo and Gollum meet and trade riddles is one of the highlights of the film thanks to Serkis’s astounding motion capture performance.
NE: That scene is the true highlight of the film, and it coincidentally is where Martin Freeman, as the younger Bilbo, really shines as well. But even with this standout, Peter Jackson and company manage to spoil it (for me at least) by overdoing Gollum’s last line to beat the viewer over the head with another reminder that all this leads to “the Lord of the Rings.” It’s a bad habit running through the film that grows tedious. Elijah Wood’s cameo is particularly clumsy in this regard, with him basically describing what he’s going to do in his first scene in “Fellowship of the Ring” and then running off to do it.
RC: It may be clumsy, but I think fans of the series will revel at the chance of revisiting the characters!
NE: Well, they’ll have plenty of chances. If you like this one, the good news is it’s just the first of three movies.