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New Escapist Column! On How Only Peter Jackson Could Have Made the “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy…

I published a new column at The Escapist yesterday. This week, to mark the twentieth anniversary of the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, we’re taking a look back at the trilogy as a whole. We’ll be publishing three articles looking at the films, one each day. This is the first.

Most films are minor miracles. It is remarkable that films get made at all, let alone that many of them turn out to be good. This is particularly true of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which seemed like an impossible assignment. At the time, Peter Jackson seemed like the most unlikely of directors to successfully adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s unfilmable epic. However, in hindsight, it seems impossible to imagine that anybody except Jackson could have brought the film to life.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Follow Me: The Lost Art of the Sequel Hook…

I had the pleasure of seeing David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on Friday, and it was a very good film. It smoothed out some of the issues I had with the original adaptation, was beautifully acted and directed, and was just a very nice piece of film. However, I was a bit disappointed with the ending of the film, which served as a twenty-minute trailer for the sequel. This is a sequel that hasn’t been greenlit yet, and hasn’t even been written. I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I do think there is a point where setting up a later instalment undermines the original film.

Leaving the series with snow where to go?

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Non-Review Review: The Player

I love The Player. I really do. When I was in college, I used to organise movie screenings – we’d show The Player once a year and it would always pack out. It was just one of those films that everybody had heard nothing but good things about, but never got a chance to see. Indeed, I would go so far as to say The Player, with all its wacky fourth-wall meta-ness, is my favourite Robert Altman film.

Who would want to kill this producer? Answers on the back of a postcard...

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Hollywood & The Race Lift

I had to represent. Cause they had one good role for a black man, and they gave it to Crocodile Dundee!

-Alpa Chino, Tropic Thunder

Earlier in the week, Cinematical ran an article on M. Night Shyamalan’s new film, Avatar: The Last Airbender. For those unaware, the movie is an adaptation of a hit anime, long due a trip to the screen – I hope it ends up either significantly better than, or significantly trippier than, Speed Racer, the most recent such attempt (seriously, it’s what I imagine really hard drugs are like). Of course, this being Hollywood, Shyamalan has secured a predominantly white cast for his film. Well, except for one of the major roles, which will go to Dev Patel. The fact that that role is the role of the villain probably doesn’t help none, nor does the fact Patel was only the second choice. So why does Hollywood insist on the race lift?

Is the cast ethnicity a sticking point?

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No Refunds for Ben Stiller…

This is one of those interesting stories from the weekend. And, by interesting, I mean “interesting to me”. Anyway, apparently cinemas in Los Angeles have stuck up notices for Ben Stiller’s new movie Greenberg, stating that they’ve had a huge number of patrons demanding refunds for the film and that they won’t be issuing refunds for those who stay more than an hour. I’m going to presume it isn’t a technical fault occurring at every single screening and it’s just the movie itself which is upsetting patrons. So, do you think it’s fair to demand a refund from the cinema because the movie is a bit crap?

He's got a lot on his mind...

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