Tagged: Conan Stevens

The Hobbit Battle Of Five Armies

Summary: Peter Jackson’s last foray into the world of Middle Earth begins with Lake-town under severe attack after Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) has left the Mountain and is looking for revenge. Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and co can do very little but watch as the attack occurs.

Meanwhile while others group together to rescue Gandalf (Ian McKellan), Bilbo is left stunned as the Mountain has a strange affect on Thorin (Richard Armitage) who seems to be going crazy as he insanely looks for the Heart Of The Mountain. His group grow increasingly worried as various armies march on the mountain to claim it and Thorin continues his search without honouring his debts or even bothering to help those who are trying to defend the Mountain.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, New Zealand

Director: Peter Jackson

Screenwriter: Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, J.R.R. Tolkien (novel)

Cast: Richard Armitage (Thorin), Erin Banks (Lobeila Sackville Baggins), Timothy Bartlett (Master Worrywort), John Bell (Bain), Manu Bennett (Azog), Nick Blake (Percy), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Jed Brophy (Nori), Adam Brown (Ori), John Callen (Oin), Billy Connolly (Dain), Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug/Necromancer (voice)), Luke Evans (Bard), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Stephen Fry (Master Of Laketown), Ryan Gage (Alfrid), Mark Hadlow (Dori), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Miranda Harcourt (Olga), Ian Holm (Old Bilbo), Brian Hotter (Otho Sackville Baggins), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Kelly Kilgour (Soury), William Kircher (Bifur), Martin Kwok (Ragash (voice)), Christopher Lee (Saruman), Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel), Simon London (Feren), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), Ian McKellan (Gandalf), Thomasin McKenzie (Astrid), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Mark Mitchinson (Braga), James Nesbitt (Bofur), Mary Nesbitt (Tilda), Peggy Nesbitt (Sigrid), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), Lee Pace (Thrandiul), Sarah Peirse (Hilda Bianca), Mikael Persbrandt (Beorn), Allan Smith (Ragash), Merv Smith (Tosser Grub), Conan Stevens (Keep Of The Dungeons), Ken Stott (Balin), John Tui (Bolg), Aidan Turner (Kili), Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

Runtime: 145 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Adam RossYou can check out Adam’s The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #111.

Stars(3)

 

Greg KingYou can check out Greg’s The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(2.5)

 

Nick GardenerYou can check out Nick’s The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #111.

Stars(3)

 

David Griffiths:

Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth six-peat is understandably a life-long ambition that he wanted to achieve. Outside of George Lucas and Star Wars it is arguable that no director in the history of cinema has ever shown so much dedication to a series of films. And let’s be honest while The Lord Of The Rings trilogy were a real feat in filmmaking The Hobbit series has rarely reached the same amazing peaks. The first film while serviceable at times seemed more like a documentary on a walking tours of New Zealand than it did as a huge mythical epic, while it was also plagued by the new technology Jackson brought to the film which had some cinema goers feeling like they were watching the film in fast forward.

What gave us hope that Jackson would be back to his best with The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies was its predecessor, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. Smaug was what everybody was expecting from this series, Jackson back to being able mix good characterisation with some very creative action, but sadly it seems that film is going to be the high mark of the series because Five Armies seems to be completely hit or miss.

The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies is going to be a film that will be enjoyed if you like epic battles, but if you’re a serious movie buff there will still be things that seriously irk you about the film. The battle itself is lengthy but to be honest the directors of Game Of Thrones seem to have spoilt us so much over the past couple of seasons that even some of the action here seems to be a little disappointing on the big screen.

There are several moments during which the audience will be left completely scratching their heads. For example the scene in which Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Saruman (Christopher Lee) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving) sweep in to save Gandalf not only contains some shockingly bad special effects that look like they may have been lifted from a 1980s straight-to-video nasty but also leaves you wondering that with the power of Elrond on show for all to see why he doesn’t then and go and help out with the battle?

Then to be honest there are some incredibly amazing moments in the film as well. Some of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Thorin’s fight scenes with Orcs on the ice-cap mountain do look extremely good, despite the fact that at times such as Legolas’ rock-jumping sequence the audience is left having to suspend their believability of what it is happening. Then Jackson also creates some very touching moments between characters that tug on the audience’s heart strings in a way that an epic action film like this shouldn’t be able to. The up-and-down nature of The Hobbit series seems to battle itself to no end in this finale of the franchise.

With such a huge ensemble cast gathering together for this final film, it’s understandable that some actors don’t get the screen they deserve. As previously mentioned actors like Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett have their skills completely underused while Billy Connolly seems to only turn up for the comedic effect of playing Dain. The big winners out of The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies are Orlando Bloom, who on the back of his performance in Smaug should have done enough to remind Hollywood producers that he is always a pretty decent actor in big blockbusters, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage. Freeman has become a really easy actor to warm to throughout the series while Armitage who was mainly a television actor before this series of films has really revealed himself to be a seriously good character actor who should have a huge career ahead of him.

It is sad that Jackson’s Middle Earth saga has come to a close, it is even sadder that it has had to happen with such a mediocre film, especially when you take into consideration the lofty heights set by The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. That may well be something that comes to haunt Jackson’s career from here on in as it is just too easy to compare anything he makes now back to a series that really changed the cinema landscape. The best hope that The Battle Of Five Armies has is that it is like Unexpected Journey and begins to grow on you the more times that you watch it.

Stars(3)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Army reviews: For our full The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies review make sure you check out The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #111. You can also read our review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Son Of God

Summary: 

From the award-winning producers of the record-breaking miniseries The Bible, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, comes Son of God, the larger-than-life story of The New Testament, to be released by 20th Century Fox. Son of God is a major motion picture that brings the life of Jesus Christ to the big screen like never before.

Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, the film features powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score from Oscar®- winner Hans Zimmer. Award-winning actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Christopher Spencer

Screenwriter: Richard Bedser, Christopher Spencer, Colin Swash, Nic Young

Cast: Noureddine Aberdine (Jospeh of Arimathea), Jassa Ahluwalia (Young David), Nonso Anozie (Samson), Fraser Ayres (Barabbas), Rick Bacon (Herod Antipas), Said Bey (Matthew), Paul Brightwell (Malchus), Andrew Brooke (Antonius), Anas Chenin (Lazarus), Joe Coen (Joseph), Paul Marc Davis (Simon The Pharisee), Louise Delamere (Claudia), Roma Downey (Mary, Mother Of Jesus), Matthew Gravelle (Thomas), Greg Hicks (Pilate), William Houston (Moses), Langley Kirkwood (King David), Sebastian Knapp (Paul), Paul Knops (Adam), Simon Kunz (Nicodemus), Darcie Lincoln (Eve), Leila Mimmack (Young Mary), Diogo Morgado (Jesus), Sanaa Mouziane (Martha), Patrice Naiambana (Balthazar), Gary Oliver (Abraham), Daniel Percival (John The Baptist), Amber Rose Revah (Mary Magdalene), David Rintoul (Noah), Adrian Schiller (Caiaphas), Stewart Scudamore (Ramesses), Darwin Shaw (Peter), Idrissa Sisco (Simon of Cyrene), Conan Stevens (Goliath), Joe Wredden (Judas)

Runtime: 138 mins

Classification: M

OUR SON OF GOD REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Son Of God review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Stars(2)

 

David Griffiths:

One of the surprises of 2013 was the succsess of the television mini-series The Bible. Despite the popular belief that there is no room for religion in modern day society the visionary mini-series ended up becoming one of the most watched television events in history. While the DVD continues to sell strongly the producer of the mini-series Mark Burnett has decided that now would be a good time to bring the ‘Jesus’ part of the series to the big screen with Son Of God.

Told through the eyes of John (Sebastian Knapp – Forest Of The Damned 2, High Plains Invader) the films follows Jesus (Diogo Morgado – Born To Race: Fast Track, TV’S Revenge) from his birth in a lowly manager, through to the recruitment of his disciples and the fact that his miracles end up with the leaders of the land feeling threatened by him. So much so that they recruit the Governor, Pilate (Greg Hicks – Burton And Taylor, Snow White And The Huntsman) to have Jesus crucified.

The biggest problem with Son Of God is that it never seems to run smoothly, you can tell that it is footage that has been taken out of something much bigger. It never really gels together like a film should instead it’s like where you are listening to a band’s greatest hits CD rather than listening to an actual album.

Son Of God never really gets to the crust of who Jesus Christ was. Instead of becoming a deep exploring character study into one of the most interesting people to have lived in world history it simply just skims the surface showing the major miracles that Jesus performed rather than delving a bit deeper and finding out what it was actually like for him growing up wearing the tag ‘son of God.’ Likewise his friendships and relationships are never fully explored and you get about as much feeling for his character here as you would driving past a Church and glancing at a depiction of him on the building’s wall.

To his credit director Christopher Spencer (Spying On Hitler’s Army: The Secret Recordings, Falklands’ Most Daring Raid) does give Son Of God a little bit of edge. Firstly he doesn’t hold back on the violence that is clearly depicted in the Bible. There are some people meeting some grisly endings at the hands of Roman soldiers whether it be a swift sword through the stomach or a rather confronting child murder committed when it is decided that a cart is hindering Pilate’s journey. Then he makes the brave decision of giving Mary Magdalene (London Life, TV’S Foyle’s War) are much larger role in Jesus’ social circle than most filmmakers would have dared to. A brave decision but a worthy tribute to one of the Bible’s most interesting characters.

As a film Son Of God doesn’t really give its cast much of a chance to shine. Diogo Morgado is just kind of so-so as Jesus, when really this should of been a role that announced him to the world. No actor who gets to play any of the disciples really gets a chance to shine and while Sebastian Knapp and Joe Wredden (TV’S The Musketeers, TV’S MI-5), who plays Judas, get more screen time they again are not really given anything meaty to work with. The one actor who can hold his head high though is Greg Hicks who works well with what he is given and does his best to his portrayal of Pilate a memorable one.

Son Of God is held back by the fact that it’s low budget never allows for the huge CGI effects that are needed at time, even during establishing shots of the cities at hand. The film is also held back by the fact that it is a mish-mash of scenes from a television series. Still it does have its moments and gets its message across strongly. Worth a look but could have been oh so much better with more gifted filmmakers at the helm.

Stars(2)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2)

 

IMDB Rating:  Son of God (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Son Of God′: For our full Son Of God review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Trailer:

The Hobbit

Summary: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug.

Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever… Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities…

A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA/New Zealand

Director: Peter Jackson

Screenwriter: Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Fran Walsh

Cast: Richard Armitage (Thorin), Timothy Bartlett (Master Worrywort), Manu Bennett (Azog), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Jed Brophy (Nori), Adam Brown (Ori), John Callen (Oin), Benedict Cumberbatch (Necromancer), Martin Freeman (Bilbo), Mark Hadlow (Dori/Bert Troll), Peter Hambleton (Gloin/William Troll), Ian Holm (OLd Bilbo), Barry Humphries (Great Goblin), Stephan Hunter (Bombur), William Kircher (Bifur/Tom Troll), Christopher Lee (Saruman), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Bret McKenzie (Lindir), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Michael Mizrahi (Thrain), James Nesbitt (Bofur), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), Lee Pace (Thranduil), John Rawls (Yazneg), Thomas Robins (Young Thrain), Andy Serkis (Gollum), Conan Stevens (Bolg), Ken Stott (Balin), Jeffrey Thomas (Thror), Aidan Turner (Kili), Stephen Ure (Fumbal/Grinnah), Hugo Weaving (Elrond), Elijah Wood (Frodo)

Runtime: 169 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Review: 

While ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ is one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year, it also has the potential of becoming one of the most frustrating films of the year. Many audience members will find themselves being blown away as director, Peter Jackson (The Lovely Bones, King Kong) once again takes them on a journey into Tolkien’s Middle Earth world but sadly the film is also let down by the fact that Jackson has experimented with a new of film-making.

Closely following the original novel ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ begins with Old Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) writing down more of his adventures for Frodo (Elijah Wood – TV’S Wilifred & TRON: Uprising). This time around he tells a story that occurred sixty years before the events of the original ‘Lord Of The Rings’ trilogy.

This new adventure sees young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman – Animals, Pirates! The Band Of Misfits) selected by Gandalf (Ian McKellen – Miss In Her Teens, TV’S Doctor ho) to take up the part of ‘burglar’ in a group led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage – Captain America: The First Avenger, TV’S Strike Back) that has the mission to returning to a once grand Kingdom (now known as the Lonely Mountain) that belonged to the Dwarves and then to defeat a Smaug the Dragon that took control of it and the gold that it contains.

But when they begin their journey they soon realise that there is a dark rising in Middle Earth. While this means the group is constantly under threat by a group of Orcs led by the war-chief Azog (Manu Bennett – TV’S Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms & Spartacus: Blood And Sand), a meeting with a wizard known as Radagast the Brown (Sylvester McCoy – The Academy: Special, Eldorado) also reveals that a new evil has emerged, an evil known as the Necromancer (Benedict Cumberbatch – Wreckers, War Horse).

And while not giving away any spoilers the journey also sees the group meet up with old favourites including Elrond (Hugo Weaving – Cloud Atlas, Happy Feet Two), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett – Hanna, The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg), Saruman (Christopher Lee – Dark Shadows, The Hunting Of The Snark) and Gollum (Andy Serkis – Arthur Christmas, The Adventures Of Tintin) while also introducing new characters including the Jabba The Hut like Great Goblin (voiced by Barry Humphries – Kath & Kimderella, Mary And Max).

To the credit of Peter Jackson and the team of screenwriters (which included Guillermo del Toro) that helped put together ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ the film’s story carries quite well. Yes there are some slow moments before the journey actually begins but they are necessary to set up the characterisation of those going on the adventure. Others may find the singing parts (especially the stacking of the cutlery) a little too Disney, but others will also see this as an important part of bring Tolkien’s world to life.

The story does provide a great deal of suspense as various members of the small troop have their lives put at risk on a number of occasions although if you are thinking about seeing the film in the 48FPS format you should probably reconsider. At times the picture is too crisp to be believable and this format of showing the film leads to an annoying optical illusion that at times makes it feel like it is being played in fast-forward. The format does although enhance some of the battle scenes and it is almost virtually impossible to tell what is CGI and what is real but then at other times ruins the film by clearly showing that some of the backdrops have been made from cardboard or polystyrene while the rabbit sleigh sequence looks so bad you could be excused for believing that you are watching a badly made 1980s music video clip.

If you want to see ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ looking at its absolute best go and see it in 2D or in standard 3D form because the 48FPS will only ruin an otherwise brilliant film for you.

When it comes to the casting Peter Jackson has hit the nail right on the head. Martin Freeman is likable as the younger Bilbo Baggins but to be honest you never feel as close to his character as you did with Frodo in ‘The Lord Of The Rings’, but the real star here is Richard Armitage who brilliantly portrays Thorin, so well in fact it is a truly memorable performance.

If you choose to see ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ in the right kind of format you are in for a truly magical experience, but be warned if you see it in the 48FPS format you may be in for a disappointing time.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey′: Check Episode #13 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’.

Rating: 3.5/5

IMDB Rating:The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) on IMDb