Friday, April 17, 2009

The Hobbit x 2

So the final word is out: there will be two Hobbit movies, and no "bridge" movie based on stuff gleaned from appendices etc. I'm actually kind of relieved. It always seemed to me that building a movie out of unseen bits of action from the appendices might produce something weak and un-Tolkienish. Now we get a lot added to The Hobbit anyway: stuff talked about (like Dol Guldur, hopefully also Galadriel kicking Sauron's ass there) and referred to in the text.

From Empire:
World Excl: Jackson/Del Toro Talk Hobbit
The duo reveal the make-up of both films
World Excl: Jackson/Del Toro Talk Hobbit

And the world exclusives from our 20th birthday issue – guest-edited by Steven Spielberg – continue to pile up…

We’ve known for a while that Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro’s eagerly-awaited adaptation of the Lord Of The Rings prequel, The Hobbit, would comprise two movies, due in December 2011 and 2012. But the make-up of those two movies has been up for debate… until now.

We spoke exclusively to both Del Toro and Jackson for our birthday issue, and they told us the latest, which is…

“We’ve decided to have The Hobbit span the two movies, including the White Council and the comings and goings of Gandalf to Dol Guldur,” says Del Toro.

“We decided it would be a mistake to try to cram everything into one movie,” adds Jackson. “The essential brief was to do The Hobbit, and it allows us to make The Hobbit in a little more style, if you like, of the [LOTR] trilogy.”

So there you go. The second film will not, as had previously been suggested, a film that will bridge the 60-year gap between The Hobbit and the start of Fellowship Of The Ring.

For much more from Jackson and Del Toro on their plans for the return to Middle-earth, pick up the 20th birthday issue of Empire, on sale next Thursday (23rd April) - or you can pre-order your copy here.

Hunt For Gollum: new trailer

Wow. By fans for fans with no budget and still it looks absolutely amazing.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Some Like It Hoth

I really, really liked this episode and now I want Miles to get a spin-off with Hurley as sidekick. They can be stuck in the 70s and make Star Wars jokes and have daddy issues, fight crime and have whacky super powers like playing chess with dead people.

I loved Miles' backstory! His scene doing the ghost-whispering as a child were super creepy! "He's still talking to me!" *shiver* And yes, Hurley with Miles ROCKS, and so did all the Star Wars references!

Interesting that the people who took Miles in the van asked "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" just like Ilana did last week. Which would mean that she doesn't work for Widmore like I had assumed, since the people in the van didn't seem to be working for Widmore at all. So who are they? My crazy idea: they're all the dharma kids grown up! Miles and Charlotte were both born on the island but ended up off island growing up. Maybe ALL the dharma kids ended up off island and are now getting together for whatever reason to go back there? And one more thing: maybe all those kids were shipped off island because someone (a lostie) is going to warn Dharma about the Purge! That's my theory of the week anyway.

Main question: What the heck are they doing with the dead bodies in that Orchid station?????Do they travel them back in time? Use them for bear food? What?

Hurley writing an improved script for Empire was gold, though I really think he should have written Lucas to tell him not to screw up eps 1-3 so much...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dead Is Dead


WHOA! This episode was CREEPY. The whole temple thing totally had me with goosebumps!

I loved the episode. LOVED. We got tons of answers: what happened to Des and Penny? why was Ben beat up? why did he kill Locke? And we got to see the monster! At home! I've seen posts on the internet by people who think we know all about the monster now, and they're not happy that the explanation seems so "un-scientific". But I don't think we really know much about the monster at all. Yes, we know Egyptians came there, kneeled down and were judged, but what is the monster? what's it's purpose? did it heal Ben as a child? what are the rules for the shapes it takes (only dead people?)? and finally what's it made of? We don't know any of that. The Egyptians might just have come along and worshiped it, I don't think they created it. I just hope we don't get a BSG explanation like "God did it, but he doesn't like that name". Other than that I'm good with pseudo-science, science fiction and a bit of fantasy for the explanations.

And really, ever since we saw Christian Shepherd walking around the island in S1, there's been a lot of stuff science could not explain. Unless we talk "science" like time-travel of course and zombies!

What I want to know is: where is Jacob in the 70s? Is he already some weirdly trapped guy in a cabin or is he more real-time back then? Is he tied in with the monster somehow? And what about the hawtness of 1970's Widmore! Yowza! I was hoping he was going to stick around, but I guess not for long... *sigh*

I think Ilana's question about the statue was to ID the members of her/Widmore's "team". They must have all been sent off on the plane, but without knowing who the others were. Reminds me of Kelvin's question to Des in the hatch when he was trying to figure out whether Des was "him": "What did one snowman tell the other?" or something like that.

I am loving the new Locke and also the new Ben. Seeing Ben freaked out, scared and totally uncertain of what to do rocks. I was getting tired of the self-confident, all-knowing Ben so this makes a nice change. And how creepy was Alex? I was just waiting for her fangs to come out! That monster knows how to scare the everliving crap out of people, that's for sure.

Now I'm off to learn how to read hieroglyphics!

And this image from last week's episode still gives me shivers. The way Alpert enters the temple with Ben... just, wow. I am really hoping we get to see what happened next.

Screencaps thanks to Get Lost and Sledgeweb's Lost Stuff.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

BSG: The end

Well, I finally caught up to the ending of this show and watched its grand finale. It's quite a different experience watching a show straight through, rather than waiting for an episode a week! Hard to say how it affects your perception of the storyline and the characters, though I think it may sharpen your intolerance to continuity errors, plot holes and characters acting out of character. But I'm not sure really. I just know its a whole lot less frustrating when you don't have to wait 6 months or longer for a new season to start!

Anyway. The finale. And all that leads up to it. But mainly the finale. What to say? The phrase "mixed feelings" sums it up for me, kind of like it has for the entire show. Parts of the finale were brilliant, funny, gut-churning and heart-wrenching. And some of it felt just plain lame.

My main disappointment I think was the payoff to the visions in the Opera house. It was extremely cool to see Athena and Roslin chase Hera through Galactica, and seeing that blend into the Opera house, and then in the CIC with the Final Five on the "balcony". That gave me shivers and was awesome. BUT. The fact that ALL Baltar and Six did was to take Hera for 2 minutes... well, that sucked. After all the visions and the "she's our child Gaius!" and the glowy light in the doorway as Six walked through with Baltar and Hera I felt cheated. I've read that tptb originally planned to let Athena and Helo die, and then have Baltar and Caprica raise Hera. That would have been sad, but it would have made more sense and given a bigger payoff imo. Chickening out did not help the story there.



And then Kara. Yea, I get it: she really was an angel. But wtf with her bodies and deaths and whatever? I guess the only answer is "God did it!"... which is a cop-out imo. But there you go. Did she die once when Apollo saw her ship explode, and then again on Earth? And how nice of god to furnish her with a new ship!

And the little final scene with the robots and the "will it happen again?"... eh... dancing robots do not a cylon make.

Even worse was the fleet giving up all technology. WHAT!? Giving up medical science and houses and toilet paper and toothpaste and clean clothes to avoid "repeating the cycle"? I call bullshit. The whole "let's all just live in peace and harmony in utter poverty and famine!" was total crap. Living like a cave man is NOT romantic and nice and cozy. Their lives certainly went to nasty, brutal and short I guess. Good idea Apollo... Chief's idea to live all by himself on some continent was even more laugh-worthy. Yeah, I know he's all depressed over acting like a moron and then killing Tory, but living ALL ALONE without technology? So not a good idea.

The best arc was Roslin's, but then I love her. She died, and Adama slipped his ring on her finger, just as he had in her vision. Amazing character and amazing acting. Her scene during the mutiny, when she reacted to Zarek's request for her to surrender "down to my eye teeth!" was gold. I thought Adama might have chosen to join her in death, but I guess he finally wanted to build that cabin.

Anders' story with him turning into a hybrid was inspired, but then they shoot him into the sun? Thanks Sam! Now go kill yourself, alright, we're getting rid of technology so you can't stay around! Bah.

I was sad to see the wonderful reborn Ellen and the always outstanding Saul Tigh drowned in the soapy cylon-baby plot at the end of the season. Tigh loved Six? Since when? It was a painful, superfluous plotline. They could have told us cylons couldn't have babies some other way. Still love Tigh though. "Not too late to flush them all out the airlock!" LOL. And Ellen was SO much better as the intelligent, compassionate woman she was resurrected as. I wanted more of that, less strip club.

What I liked:
I actually DID like the first hour of fighting in the Colony. Good fx, spectacular scenes, some kickass stuff. Loved seeing the centurions fighting each other.

I loved Baltar's arc almost as much as Roslin's. Also, his flashbacks to Caprica were the only ones with a real payoff to me: when he said "I know about farming", and almost cried, I almost cried too because we had seen his dad. It would have been perfect if he and Caprica had taken care of Hera, but there you go, there was no real perfection to be had.

Someone shooting Boomer! YAY! Fickle fickle fickle cylon. And Chief reduced to a total doofus. I wish he could have had a better ending, but at least Calley's deat was avenged. The way they handled the Nicky situation was abominable though: Chief gives the kid up and that was it! So easy to get rid of your illegitimate 3 yeard old! Poor Nicky.

What I hated and what made me LOL:
Cavill's "HELLO? HELLO?" as he grabbed the phone ine the CIC cracked me up for some reason. Who was he talking to? Himself? The hybrid? Who? Just random LOL'ness.

Apollo and Kara's almost-fornicating on the kitchen table. Thanks show for reminding me why I hated these characters so much in previous seasons! I actually liked Apollo a lot better in a suit rather than a uniform and AWAY from the silliness with the Kara-stuff. It never worked for me. IMO, had the show made them brother and sister, it would have been lightyears better. Keep the anatgonism and the camraderie, but lose all the googly eyes and lovemaking that made me want to retch.

All in all, I liked this show a lot and I loved some of the characters a lot more than I loved the show: Roslin, Tigh, Baltar, Zarek... Sam Anders too. Even Gaeta. But it was an uneven show, filled with unnecessary soapiness and badly wrapped up storylines which made viewing frustrating at times. Good, but not great, though the parts sometimes achieved a greatness the whole never did.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Jacob = Smokey?


Ok, here be spoilers and spoilerish thoughts!

There have been several rumours and spoilers and outright reports that all say Jacob will be introduced to us in the season finale, if not sooner. An actor has been cast and by several accounts he will be turning up in scenes with Losties: scenes from their pasts. Yeah. Mindbender.

Now... at first I thought that this would mean Jacob is kind of like Alpert, traveling around to see Juliet and Locke and all that... but now I'm not so sure. The idea came to me this morning as I was waking up, and it fitted together a lot of little pieces:

  • Alpert's words about Ben not being the same and losing his innocence.
  • Danielle's crew changing after the incident at the temple.
  • The actor playing young Ben saying that he had been told NOT to model his performance on Michael Emerson, and that the reasons for that would become clear.
  • The weird trail of dust/granules around Jacob's cabin.
  • The whispers that have been hidden in the audio of the show from the start, even in audio from flashbacks.
  • Jacob's list.
  • The fact that not everyone can talk to Jacob.
  • Reports that Alex will appear to Ben. I thought it would be adult Ben, but maybe it will be young Ben?

And more. But what it comes down to is this: what if the smoke monster is Jacob. What if he can somehow alter human beings. He can somehow save them from death but altering them at the same time. What if he can see into their pasts and maybe even their futures when he interacts with them. And maybe what he sees can be viewed by others even! What if Jacob's appearances in the Losties pasts come because they have all been "seen" by Smokey/Jacob. He wasn't actually there, but he is viewing their pasts! And then he can also assume "bodies" from their past like Yemi with Eko. He can scan them, like he did with Eko. And he can either kill them or alter them or keep studying them. Or maybe control them still? Like he appeared to Jack as his dad in the off-island world.

What if Jacob is/was a person who has somehow become Smokey with strange and odd powers. And what if only people who have been massively altered by him can communicate with him: like Ben. Like Christian? Like Locke?

I don't even know how it all really fits together, but I do think there is some kind of strong link between Jacob, Smokey, Jacob's appearances in the past of the Losties and Smokey taking shapes and "scanning" people. Now I need to start acting like a normal human and have a shower.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

BSG: I frakking love Saul Tigh!


Watched the last ep of S3 and the first of S4 last night and OH MAN, I frakking do love Saul Tigh! His scene with Adama when he told him he was a cylon was one of the best acting performances ever. Not by Olmos mind you, but Saul Tigh kicks ass. His acceptance of his own nature, the fact that he was ashamed not for being a cylon but because he had deceived Bill... golden.

Also the scene when Sam and Chief were taken into custody: seeing Cheif actually smile as though he was thinking "hah! they finally figured it out!" and didn't give a damn was awesome and so true to where his character is at. Same with Sam who looked more worried about Kara than anything else. Of course Tory ran off to the mothership asap. Good riddance! And then finding out Ellen is the 5th! And they all lived on that planet 2000 years ago! A planet full of cylons! Living like people! And it was nuked! And they resurrected to... somewhere! And Kara is dead yet alive and Leoben is freaking out! Wow. Total massive awesomeness in these eps.

But Tigh... wow. He knows who he is, cylon or human, he is and remains Saul Tigh. Gawd what great acting and what a great character. These two eps were fantastic.

Screencap thanks to galacticabbs.com.

Lost: Kate-centric! And I didn't hate it!

Disclaimer: I am no fan of Kate or Evangeline's acting in general (she's not crap, but she never wows me much, except in occasional scenes like the helicopter with Sawyer for example). But I actually liked her more than I usually do in this ep. Maybe because I hated Jack so much for not helping, that I automatically liked everyone else? The scene when she said goodbye to Aaron while he slept had me in tears (best crying Evangline ever did btw), maybe because I just can not imagine saying goodbye to my kids like that... so yea, total projection! I liked that she chose to give Aaron to his grandmother and I really liked that she now has a reason, independent of Jack or Sawyer, to go back to the island. Finding Claire is definitely a good reason for her to come back, imo.

Also loved that Juliet and Kate have not bickered yet, and that Sawyer still seems to be in love with Juliet, even with Kate in the hood. The scene when he asked about Clementine was a heart-wrencher for me, and my triangle-hating self was practically doing the jig when he told Kate they would have never worked out. I so love the characters MORE when they're not tied into that lame triangle/square!

And Miles to Hurley: "you're an idiot"? LOL! Excellent moment with teasing out the rules of Lost's time travel as opposed to Back to the Future, for example. I really hope we get some more Miles action: anyone who can talk to dead people should get their own ep imo!

The scene with Alpert was my favourite of the show. His eyelashes alone make me love his scenes, but OMG! The whole "if I take him he will never be the same, he will lose his innocence and he will always be one of us" was so damn creepifying! It obviously has to do with Smokey somehow, and I am DYING to see what happens to Ben in that temple!

I also thought the scenes with Ben's dad were nice. We've seen him act as such an asshole all the time, and I guess he still is, but he got to have some real dad-moments there anyway.

All in all, I am shocked and amazed that I did not totally hate a Kate-centric ep. I even liked her bonding sessions with Cassidy, in spite of the whole "oh poor me, I was so selfish and needed Aaron!" thing... So for me, this totally proves that the triangle must die die die [i]die[/i]. Without it, I can even like Kate! For the first time since S1 I think. Amazing. Jack's line to her "You didn't like the old me." was good too. So basically she didn't like old Jack and she doesn't like new Jack. Heh. I think she should settle for Cassidy.

And now I feel strangely sorry for Ben. Whatever happened to him, it was something unnatural. Can't wait to see it up close!

Screencaps thanks to lost-media.