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Peter Jackson

Film Review: ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ Solidifies Franchise

Peter Jackson and Bilbo Baggins find their groove in the entertaining “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” an improvement over “An Unexpected Journey” in every single department.

Blu-ray Review: Lavish Extended Edition of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey

CHICAGO – I had notable problems with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” when it premiered in theaters but they were softened a bit when I saw it on Blu-ray and not in 3D nor 48 frames per second, two effects that I believe actually hurt the world designed by Peter Jackson in these films in that they make it look less artistic and faker than the standard HD image. Now I’m here to flop back again to the disappointed side with the extended edition of the film, one that runs WAY too long for a flick that was already too short.

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Works Better in HD Than in Theaters

CHICAGO – Can we end this 48fps nonsense now? Having seen “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in 3D/48fps, I found the film artificial and boring. At home, in traditional, flat HD, the movie works so much better.

Interview: Damien Echols, Lorri Davis Travel ‘West of Memphis’

CHICAGO – The story of the West Memphis Three is not over. Yes, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley are finally, mercifully, out of jail but questions still linger about who really killed three children two decades ago. And Echols has to deal with life outside of prison with his wife Lorri Davis as the whole world is new to him and thousands are so grateful for his release.

Film Review: Truly Disappointing Trek of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

CHICAGO – Twice as many frames per second and another dimension only serve to amplify the notable flaws of Peter Jackson’s truly disappointing “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” a bloated, dull mess of a film that meanders when it should move and stumbles when it should run.

Interview: Karl Urban Offers His Verdict as ‘Judge Dredd’

CHICAGO – The talented New Zealand actor named Karl Urban has had a pretty decent run in some recent blockbusters – does the “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy and “Star Trek” ring a bell? He breaks out in the title role of the upcoming action flick “Dredd 3D,” portraying legendary comic book character Judge Dredd.

Blu-ray Review: New Packages For Extended Editions of ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Lord of the Rings Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – Some Blu-ray re-releases are more essential than others. Often they add special features, remaster the video and/or audio, or offer previews of new films that might be related. There’s little of any of that with the new, repackaged, stand-alone Blu-ray versions of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, three releases that are simply must-own…unless you already own them.

Film News: First Look at ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

The Hobbit Poster

CHICAGO — Warner Bros. Pictures geared up for the release of Peter Jackson’s upcoming epic “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” by screening 10 minutes of never-before-seen footage at CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) according to a studio press release. Ian McKellan, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood return to reprise their roles as seen in the trilogy “The Lord of the Rings”, the sequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”.

Blu-ray Review: ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ Looks Great, Feels Hollow

The Adventures of Tintin

CHICAGO – Being a Steven Spielberg super-fan, I looked forward to being able to re-appreciate “The Adventures of Tintin” with a beautiful HD picture and, I hoped, some special features to enhance my opinion of a film that I found pretty seriously flawed in theaters. Well, the HD transfer is a beauty — the film looks just as good as its 3D theatrical presentation — but the film is still flawed and the special features are lackluster. In theaters, it was a near-miss and my opinion has not changed on Blu-ray.

Film News: First Trailer Released For Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey

CHICAGO – The exciting trailers for next year’s blockbusters just keep coming. Only a few days after “The Dark Knight Rises” had its first full length trailer released, Peter Jackson’s long awaited prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy finally has a trailer.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

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