Friday, August 19, 2016

Middle-Earth Extended Edition Trilogies Collection Revealed (Updated x2)

If you are a die-hard fan of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and do not mind buying yet another copy of the movies, then you might be interested in this news. A post on Amazon.com has revealed the existence of the Middle-Earth Collector's Edition that will re-release the extended editions of all six movies in new packaging. The collection will contain 30 Blu-ray discs (5 for each movie) that will contain the exact same movies (theatrical and extended) along with the same extensive behind-the-scenes documentary (called The Appendixes) and other featurettes that remain the gold standard of extra features. There is no indication of new special features (but then this release has not been officially announced either).

There are two differences between this release and previous releases. The minor one is the digital copy codes will be for Ultraviolet only and not iTunes. The real attraction though is the packaging. From the description, the movies will be "housed in six stunning faux leather books and a collectible Hobbit-style wood shelf. The one-of-a-kind wood shelf is crafted from solid wood with design selected by Peter Jackson." In addition there will be a "spectacular 100-page sketch-style book with replica The Red Book of Westmarch, filled with original film sketches and new artwork" along with "original reproductions of exquisite watercolor paintings by acclaimed conceptual artists Alan Lee and John Howe, framable and wall-ready."

The listed release date is November 1, 2016 at a whopping $800. If order from Amazon get it a month early on October 4 instead. When first heard about this my guess at the price was $150 ($20 per movie plus cost of the wooden case and fake leather) so I am hoping this is just an error on someone's part or set high until the official announcement comes. To me the real shame isn't just the price but that this "Complete" collection failed to include the music for each movie. If you do decide to risk the price tag, please buy from this link so the site gets credit.

Update: Warner Bros. has officially announced the box set and the $800 is true. It looks really nice but I can't recommend anyone spend that kind of money for what is ultimately around $100 in Blu-rays (going by the typical sale prices of the extended edition sets) and $50 of fake leather and wood material that probably cost a tiny fraction to acquire and make. They are also selling a 6-disc blu-ray box set of the theatrical versions of the film. Basically what seemed like cool news turned into something shrug worthy at most due to excessive cost. Full details in the press release below. If you are willing to spend the money, click these links so site gets some Amazon credit for the purchases:
30-Disc Middle-Earth Limited Edition Collector's Edition ($719.99) | Middle-Earth 6 Film Theatrical Collection ($56.69)

Update 2:> Added video of Dominic Monaghan looking over the box set. It really is nice looking, just not $800 of nice. Again, if plan on buying use links above as I would really appreciate it.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Peter Jackson Teases Doctor Who

In a video posted to Peter Jackson's Facebook page, he teases a possible involvement in Doctor Who. In the video Jackson and his daughter discuss an email from Doctor Who show runner and main writer Steven Moffat as Doctor Who (Peter Capalidi) walks in. Jackson expressed interest in directing Who years ago but The Hobbit responsibilities preventing it from moving forward. However with the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition, Jackson is done with The Hobbit and at least publicly has open schedule (no telling what projects he is developing that have not yet been revealed to the public). Click here to watch the video (warning might auto-play).

Friday, November 20, 2015

Peter Jackson "Winged It" While Filming The Hobbit Trilogy (Updated)

The Hobbit trilogy director Peter Jackson admitted that due to a lack of prep time, he had to kind of make it up as he went while filming The Hobbit trilogy (video below). The main cause was Guillermo del Toro having the leave late in pre-production forcing many of the designs for the film being restarted from scratch while also trying to meet a hard start deadline for filming. As a result everyone in the cast, including Jackson, would have to take each day as it came without the advance (nearly 3 year) prep they had for The Lord of the Ring trilogy. I assume this new info is part of The Appendices that came with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition and as another site mentioned, the honestly is rare and refreshing. While some sites have glommed onto this confession to explain why The Hobbit wasn't that good, to me the problem was there simply wasn't enough source material for three films. Without the stretching I suspect most would have found the films to be a perfect companion to LOTR. If anything the confession is a sign of just how fantastic Peter Jackson, WETA and everyone in New Zealand are at their job as even at their "worst" The Hobbit films were better than a mass majority of films released in that 3 year period. Their idea of a "rush" job is better than most directors best efforts with all the prep time in the world.


Update: The mainstream media failing to do their usual jobs of not providing context (cause context would prevent them from making mountains out of molehills) has resulted in Weta and Peter Jackson to release the below statement in response to all the negative headlines based on the snippet of video below. Those few minutes were taken from the four hours of behind the scenes footage in The Appendices (which I highly recommend watching) that would have provided more info not just on the problems they faced but the solutions they devised.