The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Friday, 19 December, 2014

2 and a half stars
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies scene

Two years after the release of An Unexpected Journey, and the third installment in the elongated series of films based on British author J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies, trailer, directed by New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson (“Heavenly Creatures”, “King Kong”), finally reaches cinema screens.

Having spent what seems like an inordinate amount of time travelling through Middle Earth to reach Lonely Mountain, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a Hobbit, and his Dwarf companions, commence fortifying its cavernous interior, under the directions of Thorin (Richard Armitage), as a number of armies advance towards them.

Fans of Tolkien’s book will no doubt enjoy seeing the film adaptation of the story come together, but for those with a more casual interest, there’s really not all that much to focus on. Indeed, there’s spectacle and splendor aplenty, but as with the previous two titles, so little substance. One, rather than three films, would have been the idea.

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If you only make one film, may it be considered excellent

Wednesday, 17 December, 2014

The list of filmmakers who only ever made one movie is probably as long as the reasons why said filmmakers chose not to pursue careers as directors. For some it wasn’t because their efforts were poorly received, at least not the twelve directors whose work is considered excellent by A.V. Club writers.

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Movies set in space, take a bow

Tuesday, 16 December, 2014

Set to the music from the Interstellar soundtrack, “Mountains” by Hans Zimmer, and the words of Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night”, recited by Anthony Hopkins, Max Shishkin has produced an impressive tribute to movies set in space.

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The typography of Ridley Scott’s “Alien”

Wednesday, 10 December, 2014

I linked to Dave Addey’s analysis of the typography of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, earlier in the year, and since that time he’s written similar articles on “Moon” by Duncan Jones, and now Alien by Ridley Scott.

This title card from Alien is an example – possibly the Ur Example – of a popular sci-fi trope, the Foreshadowing Inventory. Seven crew, you say? Hmm. Seven. Let’s hope nothing disastrous happens to them, one by one. And their course is set for a return to Earth, eh? Well, I’m sure that’s the likely outcome for this particular story.

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Paddington’s voyage, as seen by an immigration lawyer

Tuesday, 9 December, 2014

Paddington, as directed by Paul King, opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday. For those who came in late, Paddington is a teddy-bear like bear, who travels from Peru to the United Kingdom, where he is taken in by a boy who finds him at London’s Paddington railway station.

There’s one problem however, the world wandering bear is an illegal immigrant, at least in the UK. Hmm. I don’t recall that ever being a problem in the “Paddington” books I used to read, but then again that was some considerable time ago now. So what’s an orphaned young bear to do?

Colin Yeo, a London based immigration lawyer, offers a legal perspective on Paddington’s plight… put it this way, it’s no walk in the park, that’s for sure:

There are some obvious obstacles to Paddington’s reliance on the Human Rights Act 1998. Let us for the sake of argument extend its application to bears, though. Paddington quickly settles into the Brown family, who open their hearts and love him as one of their own. With his Aunt Lucy unable to care for him any longer, they are his only family. You might think, therefore, that the right to private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on, er, Human Rights would help him.

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Intergalactic, Interstellar, or maybe even another dimension?

Monday, 8 December, 2014

While some are questioning the science of Interstellar, US film director Christopher Nolan’s latest feature, I was wondering – and be aware, spoilers ensue – if the name really suited a story that spans galaxies rather than stars. offers the following definition of interstellar:

situated or occurring between the stars

With the galaxy hopping that takes place, surely “Intergalactic” would have made a better title? Not really it seems, at least according, once again, to

existing, or occurring in the space between galaxies

Sure, events may play out in two galaxies, but very little really happens in between either of them.

As it turns out, Reddit members were way ahead of me, but in a brief discussion they reached the same conclusion. As a compromise though, we could instead call everyone involved astronauts on… some kind of star trek.

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The Force Awakens, to tease us…

Monday, 1 December, 2014

Here it is, the big one, we’ve been waiting thirty years to find out what happened after events of Return of the Jedi, and now finally, the first official glimpse… the long awaited teaser for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

Have you figured out the storyline yet, then?

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Stanley Kubrick in the red

Thursday, 27 November, 2014

Red, one colour, many facets, something that late US film director Stanley Kubrick was not oblivious to.

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Dr Mann’s incredible “Interstellar” story by Christopher Nolan

Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

Long story short, without giving away too much in the way of spoilers I hope, stop reading now if that might be a problem though, Christopher Nolan’s last film Interstellar tells the story of a group of astronauts who set off from Earth, to find out how three earlier missions to three seemingly Earth like planets, went.

Their travels take them to the world that a colleague, Dr Mann, played by Matt Damon, was sent to. In the film, Mann’s experiences on this planet after he arrived there are really only hinted at. Working with Nolan himself, US comic book artist Sean Gordon Murphy now tells the story.

Tip: click the right and left sides of your monitor to scroll through the pages. You may also need to use your browser’s zoom feature too see things clearly.

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Movie posters for the sequels that never were (to date that is)

Monday, 24 November, 2014

Mad Max prequel by Evan Yarbrough

The easiest part of producing a sequel, or prequel, for a film… creating the movie poster. Question, would we want to take the process any further? In some cases, no, I don’t think so…

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