Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition Scene Guide

The One Ring has posted a detailed guide that breaks down the 25 minutes of extra footage that has been added to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. By default, since describing the scenes, consider what they write to be spoilers but it might be useful if not entirely sure what was added. The full breakdown is here.

To pre-order from Amazon: Blu-Ray + Digital HD | DVD | Blu-ray 3D Amazon Exclusive Set

Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug Motion Capture B-Roll

Below is a brief video that shows Benedict Cumberbatch performing as Smaug the Dragon from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. While I can see how his line readings, facial expressions and head movements were translated to the final performance of the pure CGI character, I have to admit I can't figure out why his body as a whole is also sporting the same motion capture dots and how they where used. I guess the upcoming release of the Extended Edition may clear that up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More Than $745 Million to Make The Hobbit Trilogy

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that up through April, the current cost of The Hobbit trilogy is around $745 million. This total is for pre-production, principle photography, and post-production for the first two films but not the final 8 months of post-production for The Battle of Five Armies. It also isn't clear if that costs include marketing and distribution costs for the film (which are often not reported as part of the cost in making in the film). The total apparently was part of a financial report that Warner Bros. had to file so they could get around $122 million from New Zealand in a tax incentive plan to film there.

Its hard to make a "judgement" call on the cost of the film since not entirely sure if the cost includes marketing as for a film of this scale, that would be about $100 million for each for the first two films but still its starting to look like the films are costing around $250 million each to make on average rather than the expected $150 to $200 million these large special effects movies tend to cost (for comparison, each of the Transformers films landed in that range).

Regardless of where the final costs, with or without marketing expenses added, I doubt Warner Bros. is all that concerned considering the first two films have already brought in $1.98 billion at the box office. Once you add home video sales, merchandise, video games, tie-in products and anything else The Hobbit movies related it all equals to one huge windfall for the studio.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition Digital Copy Only Available Now

For the price of $20, you can now buy the Digital Copy of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition two weeks on iTunes or Google Play before its official release on November 4th on Blu-ray and DVD. I recommend waiting another two weeks since for the same exact price you can get a physical copy of the movie AND the digital copy for the exact same price. It might be worth it if live in iTunes for your digital movie fix as likely the Digital Copy will be Ultraviolet but really the reason you want the Extended Edition is only partially for the extra 25 minutes of footage. The main reason is the awesome Making Of documentary that remains the gold standard on how these extra features should be done. Still never understand why most behind the scenes stuff remains a sales pitch and actor butt-kissing session by the crew to talk you into watching a movie you are clearly already committed to or you literally would not be able to watch said sales pitch. The Extended Edition is just a huge info dumping session that any fan of movie making can enjoy.

To pre-order from Amazon: Blu-Ray + Digital HD | DVD | Blu-ray 3D Amazon Exclusive Set

Retelling The Hobbit in 72 Seconds With Lego

Below is a Legoized cute retelling of The Hobbit in 72 seconds using the amusing, cute version that Lego has been using for its videos and games only this isn't official. Keep in mind that the below is the book version, not the movie version, but technically there are a few moments that spoil the final film for those that are not aware of the complete story.