One is the first chapter in an epic trilogy based on the first of three massive novels set in Middle-earth, the fictional world created by author J.R.R. Tolkien. The other is the first chapter in an epic trilogy based on a 100-page children’s book set in that same world (with additional material plundered from Tolkien’s appendices to his work, and from the screenwriters’ imaginations). Ultimately, they are epic films about high adventure, fantastical creatures, magic, swordplay, camaraderie, and magnificent New Zealand landscapes. Eleven years separate their theatrical releases; did that time allow Peter Jackson to craft a superior new adventure, or just continue to prove that the first movie in a franchise is often the best? Step into the Reel Rumbles ring and find out as we pit The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring vs. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
It’s been nine years since the Battle of Pelennor Field. Nine years since Aragorn was coronated, Gollum drowned in the fires of Mount Doom with the One Ring, and Frodo Baggins set sail from the Grey Havens. Nine years since Peter Jackson released the third part of his epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “unfilmable” novels, and actually finished shooting the film after it won the Oscar for Best Picture (with pickup shots for the Extended Edition DVD).
Since then, fans of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy have waited with baited breath for news that Tolkien’s prelude novel, The Hobbit, would get a similar big-screen treatment. A long wait, to be sure, and there were many times when it seemed the road really would go ever on and on, out from the door where it began.
The first photos from The Hobbit movies have hit the web. The first shows Martin Freeman in character at Bag End (with some of the dwarves in the background). Another shows Freeman in Bag End with director Peter Jackson. And the third gives us Ian McKellen back in character as Gandalf the Grey. Read the rest of this entry »
As Marvel Studios begins their big push to the 2012 release of The Avengers, their films are increasingly taking on more of a soap-opera-like continuity between them. This serialization might be a little aggravating, but so far, it’s not keeping the films from being enjoyable in their own right (at least for the most part).
Still, comic book superhero films in general (and Marvel films in particular) are only becoming more prevalent nowadays. This year, we’ll see the X-Men prequel, X-Men: First Class. And, only five years after the hit-and-miss (mostly miss) Spider-Man 3, the webslinger will be getting his very own shiny reboot in 2012.
But in The Avengers is Marvel’s juggernaut, and before it brings together Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, it has to introduce more members of its roster in their very own films. It can be a little exhausting trying to keep up with these Avengers, so if we really only want to check out one Marvel movie this summer, which should it be? With that question in mind, Flickchart‘s Reel Rumbles take on a slightly different form as we present: Pre-Rumbles: Thor vs. Captain America: The First Avenger.