Tagged: Elijah Wood

 

It is like a match made in heaven. One of the world’s most exciting cult filmmakers teaming up with one of Hollywood’s most under-rated leading men to make a film that is guaranteed to become a cult classic. For Ant Timpson the last few years has seen him re-invigorate the cult film scene working as a producer on films like The ABCs Of Death, Deathgasm and The Greasy Strangler. Now he steps into the director’s seat to direct Elijah Wood in the stunning new thriller Come To Daddy.

“This film really is by baby along with the writer Toby Harvard,” says Timpson laughing when we first begin to talk about the film. “I had worked with him before on a film called The Greasy Strangler so we kind of met through that process and kicked off a friendship and then after my Dad carked it in front of me that was kind of the whole creation of Come To Daddy.”

“So I got in touch with him and said I had this skeleton idea for a film that I want to make,” he goes onto explain.  “My Dad’s passing really gave me a kick in the ass. I was really staring mortality in the face and I started to think about what kind of filmmaker I was and wanted to be. My life had taken a completely different path and I had ended up producing other people’s films and I had really gotten busy with a lot of different projects so I ended up taking this to Toby and he ended up writing a draft from there. So it started from an idea I had and then I saw it right through to completion.”

Hearing that leads me to ask Thompson how he found writing about something so personal when some filmmakers find they just can’t put pen to paper when the story is so close to home. “That actually happened to me when I set about doing another project when my mother passed,” he tells me.  “That had the reverse effect on me to what this one did. That kind of put me off making anything, but this had completely the opposite effect, this re-energised me and made me want to be far more creative. This time I wanted to be at the helm and do more directing than producing. It was really a case of shit or get off the pot and once I knew I was going to frame it within a genre framework. That was something I felt a lot more comfortable with and it wasn’t going to end up being some morbidly depressing drama about the death of my father then I felt a lot more confident about it and a lot more positive about the whole experience.”

“I didn’t want to put too much weight on him as a man,” says Timpson referring to his father. “But I knew this is something that he would have dug as a viewer, but I knew this would be something that other viewers would dig as well. My whole family have kind of a gallows sense of humour around tragic things – making jokes at the worst possible time so that is kind of the atmosphere that I grew up in – dealing with death was not kind of contemplated it was more about cracking one liners. There is a lot of my background in this when it comes to approaching the subject of death.”

One of the biggest drawcards for this film is Elijah Wood who has been making a name for himself away from blockbusters over the past few years with amazing performances in Cooties, Set Fire To The Stars and the US production of Winifred. It turns out it wasn’t that hard for Thompson to get Wood involved in Come To Daddy.

I’m good friends with Elijah,” explains Timpson. “That helped obviously. But we had also worked together professionally on The Greasy Strangler, but I had known Elijah for a long time. We had hung out and we had mutual friends in New Zealand also in Austin, Texas where he has his set-up as well. So it was quite easy to approach him and pitch it him, and then when Toby and I were working on the script he was always in the back of our minds and we found ourselves saying quite often ‘wouldn’t it be amazing if Elijah said yes to this.’”

“It felt like that because the character was kind of a really detested person – a white, millennial, rich LA douche bag, hipster, DJ – it was how are we going to get the audience to have an empathy for this character otherwise they would just tune out. But I always knew that Elijah had that inherent likable beneath whatever veneer he is going to put on. There would be some way that he would find a way to make the character really human and really fully-fleshed so people could get behind his journey. It was just so exciting when he came on board because then everything just picked up into a high gear after that.”

 

Come To Daddy is available on streaming platforms now.

After working in the visual effects department on massive blockbuster movies like Avengers and The Hobbitt filmmaker Jason Lei Howden went out on his own in 2015 and made the cult classic action horror film Deathgasm. The film became a fan favourite at festivals right around the world and now Howden returns with his latest film – Guns Akimbo – which is going straight into Australian cinemas on February 28th.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving Guns Akimbo follows the story of a young games developer who suddenly finds himself in a cat and mouse game of survival with a psychopath after his interactions with an online, reality game go horribly wrong.

“The idea came from my love of 80s action movies,” says Howden when I get the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about all the ins and out of Guns Akimbo. “There were movies like Commando and Rambo of course, there were always those movies with the big buff action hero and they would be shooting like fifty people.”

“So I wanted to make an over-the-top action movie but instead of having Arnie as a hero I wanted to have the total opposite. So I ended up with a programming nerd with the guns on the hand. When I thought about I thought he would sit back or run away but then I thought what if he has the guns bolted to his hands so it is either shoot or die, it all kind of came from that.”

Then there is the smart-mouth psychopath Nix played by Samara Weaving who Howden also let his creativity run wild with. “I didn’t want her to be the standard femme fatale,” he explains. “I wanted her to be cool and fun but I felt her being a female baddie should not be her defining trait. I feel so many times when a female character is depicted that becomes the defining trait of the character, but she is not just a person she is a fucking psychopath.”

“Then there was some pressure from the producers to make her more sexy or to make her like Harley Quinn,” he goes on to say. “I had to keep saying ‘but she isn’t Harley Quinn, she hasn’t got time to sit there and make colourful clothes all day’, she puts on her jacket and jeans and goes and shoots fuckers all day. We ended up bleaching her eyebrows and putting tattoos and piercings on her and the producers were really freaking out and saying ‘she looks really un-appealing.’ But Samara and I just stuck to our guns… that is an awful pun… and I am glad we did.’”

That leads me to ask whether Samara Weaving was always in mind to play Nix. “No, we shopped around a little bit,” he admits. “I don’t think Nix was really written with anyone in mind because originally she was going to be a male character and I figured out really on that that didn’t really suit the story that I wanted to tell, it seemed to work better with Miles up against a female character. I had seen Samara in a couple of things – I thought she was great in The Babysitter so I knew she would bring something different to the role and that she had a great comedic timing which was cool.”

Of course the other big casting news around Guns Akimbo was Daniel Radcliffe being cast as Miles. And while some people maybe a little surprised that the actor who portrayed Harry Potter is now in an action film they should be reminded that this is the same actor who did films like Horns and Woman In Black. “I had a short list of about five actors and Dan was on the top of that list,” says Howden as we talk about how Radcliffe won the role. “I was really excited about Dan, but not because of the Harry Potter movies. I mean I like the Harry Potter movies but I loved him in Woman In Black, The Horns and especially Swiss Army Man which is a fantastic movie. So, I guess I really don’t get the whole Harry Potter thing around this film, but I see it has become a meme and we had people yelling it out on the street when we were trying to film which was really annoying.”

“But yeah I think he is like Elijah Wood,” he goes on to explain. “Or maybe it is a little worse for Dan because he did nine Harry Potter movies, Elijah Wood did three Lord Of The Rings movies and Kristen Stewart did five Twilight films but they don’t seem to be as related to their roles, plus Harry Potter movies were such a huge part of people’s childhoods as well. But as far as casting goes we went to Dan first and I heard back that he was interested which was quite mind-blowing because the casting process is a bit of a wing and prayer. You got out to people and they pass, so yeah it was a surprise that he was so excited by us and when I Skyped him he was like ‘dude I fucking love this movie man.’”

That statement alone shows what kind of man Daniel Radcliffe is because that seems to be what most people are saying after they have seen Guns Akimbo as well. It is a cult classic in the making and Howden has made another winner.

 

Spectre Poster

We take a look at the most popular movies and television shows online over the past week.

  1. Spectre (2015) – Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes
  2. The Walking Dead (2010) – Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Chandler Riggs
  3. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) – Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver
  4. American Horror Story (2011) – Evan peters, Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, Jessica Lange
  5. Supergirl (2015) – Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, Jeremy Jordan
  6. The Martian (2015) – Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara
  7. The Flash (2014) – Greant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes
  8. Crimson Peak (2015) – Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam
  9. The Last Witch Hunter (2015) – Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, Olafur Darri Olafsson
  10. Arrow (2012) – Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Susanna Thompson
  11. The Ridiculous 6 (2015) – Adam Sandler, Julia Jones, Taylor Lautner, Whitney Cummings
  12. Fargo (2014) – Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks
  13. Gotham (2014) – Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donal Logue, Camren Bicondova
  14. Game Of Thrones (2011) – Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harrington, Lena Headey
  15. The Gift (2015) – Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Allison Tolman
  16. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) – Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki
  17. Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse (2015) – Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont
  18. Jurassic World (2015) – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer
  19. Bridge Of Spies (2015) – Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan
  20. Love (2015) – Aomi Muyock, Karl Glusman, Klara Kristin, Juan Saavedra
  21. Goosebumps (2015) – Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee
  22. Hocus Pocus (1993) – Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz
  23. Sherlock (2010) – Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves
  24. Suicide Squad (2016) – Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne, Jared Leto, Ben Affleck
  25. Back To The Future (1985) – Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Logo

This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at new release films ‘The Dressmaker,’ ‘A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence,’ ‘The Last Witch Hunter,’ ‘Only The Dead, and ‘Sleeping With Other People’. This episode also contains interviews with Elijah Woods, Rose Leslie, Vin Diesel, Michael Ware and Eddie Tamir (Jewish International Film Festival).

Also remember to enter our Monster Fest competition thanks to Monster Pictures who to celebrate the official announcement of all the Monster Fest screenings on Halloween have given us a special Past Winners Of Monster Fest DVD box set which contains the movies Starry Eyes, Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla, Honeymoon, Julia, The Search For Weng Weng, Plague. To be in the running to win head to our Facebook page and send us a private message that reads ‘Monster’.

To listen to the show or can download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here.

Star Wars The Force Awakens

We take a look at the most popular movies and television shows online over the past week.

  1. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) – Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver
  2. Crimson Peak (2015) – Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam
  3. The Walking Dead (2010) – Anderew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Chandler Riggs
  4. American Horror Story (2011) – Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, Jessica Lange
  5. The Martian (2015) – Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara
  6. Back To The Future (1985) – Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover
  7. Spectre (2015) – Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux
  8. The Flash (2014) – Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes
  9. Bridge Of Spies (2015) – Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan
  10. Goosebumps (2015) – Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee
  11. Arrow (2012) – Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Susanna Thompson
  12. Fargo (2014) – Billy Bob Thonrton, Martin Freeman, AllisonTolman, Colin Hanks
  13. Knock Knock (2015) – Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana de Armas, Aaron Burns
  14. Back To The Future II (1989) – Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson
  15. The Last Witch Hunter (2015) – Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, Olafur Darri Olafsson
  16. Beasts Of No Nation (2015) – Abraham Attah, Emmanuel Affadzi, Ricky Adelayitor, Andrew Adote
  17. Game Of Thrones (2011) – Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey
  18. Gotham (2014) – Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donal Logue, Camren Bicondova
  19. Sicario (2015) – Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Jon Bernthal
  20. Jurassic World (2015) – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer
  21. Steve Jobs (2015) – Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels
  22. Inside Out (2015) – Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling
  23. Black Mass (2015) – Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dokata Johnson, Joel Edgerton
  24. Scream Queens (2015) – Emma Roberts, Skyler Samuels, Lea Michele, Glen Powell
  25. Pan (2015) – Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara

FeatureCooties

A big thanks to our friends at Monster Pictures who have given us a double pass to giveaway to the screening of Cooties (starring Elijah Wood) at the Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn on October 30th.

To be in the running to win our Cooties giveaway head to our Facebook page and send us a private message that reads ‘Cooties’.

The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Logo

This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at new release films ‘Love 3D,’ ‘The Lobster,’ ‘Alex & Eve,’ ‘Bridge Of Spies,’ ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension  and ‘Burnt’. This episode also contains interviews with Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller and Richard Brancatsiano.

Also make sure you are listening this week as the boys launch four new competitions.

– Competition number one is thanks to our friends at Monster Pictures who have given us a double pass to giveaway to the screening of Cooties (starring Elijah Wood) at the Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn on October 30th. To be in the running to win head to our Facebook page and send us a private message that reads ‘Cooties’.

– Competition number two is also thank to Monster Pictures who have given us a double pass to giveaway to the screening of Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno at the Cameo Cinemas in Belgrave on October 31st. To be in the running to win head to our Facebook page and send us a private message that reads ‘Inferno’.

– Competition number three is also thanks to Monster Pictures who to celebrate the official announcement of all the Monster Fest screenings on Halloween have given us a special Past Winners Of Monster Fest DVD box set which contains the movies Starry Eyes, Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla, Honeymoon, Julia, The Search For Weng Weng, Plague. To be in the running to win head to our Facebook page and send us a private message that reads ‘Monster’.

– Competition number four is thanks to our friends at Icon who have given us 5 special Love & Mercy prize pack to celebrate the fact that Love & Mercy is available on DVD + Blu-Ray this week. The pack contains a copy of Love & Mercy on Blu-Ray, a California Girls poster, The Beach Boys’ Greatest Hits album and Brian Wilson’s No Pier Pressure album. To be in the running to win head to our Facebook page and send us a private message that reads ‘Mercy’.

To listen to the show or can download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here.

The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show

The boys from ‘The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show’ take a look at the best films performances when an actor has gone against type.

NICK GARDENER’S LIST

Jim Carrey Eternal

  • Morgan Freeman – ‘Now You See Me’
  • Morgan Freeman – ‘Nurse Betty’
  • Jennifer Aniston – ‘Horrible Bosses
  • Jennifer Aniston – ‘We’re The Millers
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – ‘Django Unchained
  • Don Johnson – ‘Django Unchained
  • Vanessa Hudgens – ‘Spring Breakers’
  • Charlize Theron – ‘Monster’
  • Kisten Dunst – ‘Melancholia’
  • Cameron Diaz – ‘Being John Malkovich
  • John Wayne – ‘The Conqueror’
  • Robin Williams – ‘One Hour Photo’
  • Robert De Niro – ‘Meet The Parents’
  • Christopher Walken – ‘Hairspray’
  • Tom Cruise – ‘Collateral’
  • James Stewart – ‘Vertigo’
  • Michael Keaton – ‘Desperate Measures’
  • Jim Carrey – ‘Kick-Ass 2’
  • Jim Carrey – ‘Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind’
  • Jim Carrey – ‘The Truman Show’
  • Vince Vaughn – ‘Domestic Disturbance’
  • Adam Sandler – ‘Punch Drunk Love’

 

ADAM ROSS’ LIST

Tom Crusie Interview With

  • Ben Kingsley – ‘Sexy Beast’
  • Edward Norton – ‘American History X’
  • Jack Nicholson – ‘About Schmidt’
  • Sean Penn – ‘Milk’
  • Michael Douglas – ‘Behind The Candelabra’
  • Charlize Theron – ‘Monster’
  • Harrison Ford – ‘What Lies Beneath’
  • Tom Cruise – ‘Tropic Thunder’
  • Tom Cruise – ‘Interview With The Vampire’
  • Jim Carrey – ‘The Truman Show’
  • Jim Carrey – ‘Kick-Ass 2’
  • Robin Williams – ‘One Hour Photo’
  • Robin Williams – ‘Insomnia’
  • John Travolta – ‘Pulp Fiction’
  • Russell Crowe – ‘A Beautiful Mind’
  • Pierce Brosnan – ‘The Matador’
  • Halle Berry – ‘Cloud Atlas’
  • Hugh Grant – ‘Cloud Atlas’
  • Tom Hanks – ‘Cloud Atlas’
  • Hugo Weaving – ‘Cloud Atlas’
  • Nicole Kidman – ‘To Die For’

GREG KING’S LIST

Henry Fonda

  • Morgan Freeman – ‘Hard Rain
  • Vince Vaughm – ‘Psycho’
  • Gary Oldman – ‘Prick Up Your Ears’
  • Gregory Peck – ‘The Big Country’
  • Gregory Peck – ‘The Boys From Brazil’
  • Gregory Peck – ‘The Omen’
  • Steve Carell – ‘The Way Way Back’
  • Ashton Kutcher – ‘Jobs’
  • David Koencher – ‘Cheap Thrills’
  • John Travolta – ‘The Punisher’
  • John Travolta – ‘Broken Arrow’
  • Nicole Kidman – ‘The Paperboy’
  • Nicole Kidman – ‘Stoker’
  • Michael Keaton – ‘Batman’
  • Henry Fonda – ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’
  • Frank McMurray – ‘Double Indemnity’
  • Frank McMurray – ‘The Apartment’
  • Elijah Wood – ‘Maniac’
  • Elijah Wood – ‘Sin City’
  • Jack Palance – ‘City Slickers’
  • Michael Cera – ‘Youth In Revolt’
  • Brad Pitt – ‘Inglorious Basterds’
  • Ernest Borgnine – ‘Marty’
  • Albert Brooks – ‘Drive’
  • Matthew McConaughey – ‘Killer Joe’

 

DAVID GRIFFITHS’ LIST

Leonardo DiCaprio Django Unchained

  • Steve Carell – ‘The Way Way Back’
  • Jim Carrey – ‘Man On The Moon’
  • Henry Fonda – ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’
  • Robin Williams – ‘Insomnia’
  • Robin Williams – ‘One Hour Photo’
  • Bill Murray – ‘Get Low’
  • John Stamos – ‘Captive’
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – ‘Django Unchained’
  • Ewan McGregor – ‘Moulin Rouge!’
  • Russell Crowe – ‘Les Miserables’
  • Michael Cera – ‘This Is The End’
  • Ben Affleck – ‘Jay + Silent Bob Strike Back’
  • Matt Damon – ‘Jay + Silent Bob Strike Back’
  • Melissa Gilbert – ‘Ice House’
  • Matthew McConaughey – ‘Mud’
  • Matthew McConaughey – ‘Magic Mike’
  • Matthew McConaughey – ‘Bernie’
  • Tom Cruise – ‘Rock Of Ages’
  • Tom Cruise – ‘Tropic Thunder’
  • Seth Rogen – ‘Take This Waltz’
  • Heath Ledger – ‘The Dark Knight
  • Liam Neeson – ‘Batman Begins’
  • Robert De Niro ‘Stardust’

Maniac

The New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) have released a report outlining the reasons for their recent decision to ban the upcoming Monster Pictures release of director Franck Khalfoun’s MANIAC, starring Elijah Wood, from exhibition beyond “ bona fide film festival screenings” and those associated with tertiary film studies.

It would appear that the NZ OFLC take particular offense at the use of a devise within the film that shows the murders from the killers POV, suggesting that this device invites the viewers “vicarious participation” in the murders and could cause an “erosion of empathy” to those exposed to the film.

Monster Pictures reject this claim outright. Horror is a cinematic genre enjoyed by millions of healthy, well-adjusted people around the world – these people demand films that challenge and disturb them, it is the most basic tenet of the genre. To suggest, that exposure to a film such as MANIAC lessens the impact of real violence to these viewers or could somehow lead to incidence of real violence is preposterous and as far as we are concerned, is supported by no genuine evidence.

The NZ OFLC also suggest in their report that MANIAC would be “highly disturbing and shocking to children and teenagers, and indeed most adults.”,  Monster Pictures agree, so why then does the OFLC turn its back on its own rating system? which, in our opinion, very effectively rates motion pictures and also provides very adequate consumer advice to would-be-buyers. Our experience suggests that banning the film does little to deter viewers in fact it works to the contrary, adding to the notoriety of the film and encouraging illegal access to the film to people of all ages, without the benefit of rating or consumer advice.

The decision to restrict legal exhibition of MANIAC to film festivals and institutions of tertiary film studies would seem to infer that rank-and-file members of the public would be ill-equipped to deal with the horror depicted within the film. Again we reject this notion and believe it to be little more than a pompous slur on the intelligence of the adult cinema going population of New Zealand.

MANIAC was selected to premiere at the 2012 Cannes Film festival and as this would suggest, is a horror film of the highest quality. Elijah Wood is as disturbing, menacing and utterly compelling as any horror villain that has come before him in cinema history. Monster Pictures urge all adult New Zealanders who enjoy horror to attend the New Zealand International Film Festival screenings of the film, we also urge you to speak out in defense of your ratings system and against this very public slur by the NZ OLFC.

Monster Pictures will explore all avenues to have the decision revoked in New Zealand and will be releasing the film on DVD in Australia in October 2013.

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