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Film, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug": Oh Yeah, Epics Are Supposed to Be Long

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug": Oh Yeah, Epics Are Supposed to Be Long

Peter Jackson's project could also be called The Prolongation of Tolkien, and may not speak to an entire generation but will at least hold one captive while running its extended course. With a duration long enough to require a restroom…
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Culture, Books The Real Fantastic: Of Dungeons and Day Jobs

The Real Fantastic: Of Dungeons and Day Jobs

In an age when the price of a movie ticket can get you three hours of hang-time in Middle Earth, fantasy worlds aren’t exactly at a premium. But stories that brush up against the truly fantastic, that capture anew some…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist There and Blecch Again: <i>Mad</i> Magazine's <i>Lord of the Rings</i> Parodies

There and Blecch Again: Mad Magazine's Lord of the Rings Parodies

So, after years of legal and logistical wrangling in which director Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema were suing each other over royalties from the Lord of the Rings movies and whether he'd direct the not-really-necessary The Hobbit, followed by…
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Film, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey": Slouching Toward Erebor

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey": Slouching Toward Erebor

Welcome back to Middle-Earth. It has been nearly a decade since writer-director Peter Jackson last set foot on J.R.R. Tolkien's hallowed ground, signing off on a spectacular trilogy of films adapted from the British author's Lord of the Rings novels.…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist

How Much of The Hobbit Can You Read During the Running Time of The Hobbit?

Seriously, almost an hour passes before he exits that door.With the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Peter Jackson has given the world 162 minutes of imaginative visions never before realized on a movie screen, save for those in…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Halloween Endurance Test: Five Gory Horror Films in 36 Hours

Halloween Endurance Test: Five Gory Horror Films in 36 Hours

It's officially Halloween season, the only time of year over which I ferociously dork out. In a culture that not only fears but seems to willfully disregard death, I can't help but revel in a nationally recognized holiday that, beneath…
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Dining, SFoodie Feast of Words Potluck Goes Underground with a Buddhist Nun

Feast of Words Potluck Goes Underground with a Buddhist Nun

This month's installment of Feast of Words: A Literary Potluck features the guest cheffery of Peter Jackson, proprietor of Canvas Underground and "member of the Ghetto Gourmet guerilla dining network," and guest storytelling by Faith Adiele, author of Coming of…
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Calendar, Night&Day Devolution

Devolution

It’s a dismal sign of the times that “altered states” has been supplanted by “alternate realities.” Instead of drug experimentation and expanded consciousness, we have an epidemic of science denial and faith-based ignorance. The holiday hoot “Incredibly Strange Religion,” presented…
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Film, Alien invasion as apartheid metaphor? It works in <i>District 9</i>

Alien invasion as apartheid metaphor? It works in District 9

The aliens have been with us for 20 years already at the start of South African director Neill Blomkamp's fast and furiously inventive District 9, their huddled masses long ago extracted from their broken-down mothership and deposited in the titular…
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Calendar, Night&Day Hey, Watch the Suit!

Hey, Watch the Suit!

Of all the ways to break through the fourth wall — look at the audience, talk to the audience, commiserate with the audience — we like the way the Primitive Screwheads do it: They pour blood on the audience. Not…
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Music, All Shook Down Guillermo del Toro to Direct 'The Hobbit'

Guillermo del Toro to Direct 'The Hobbit'

Guillermo del Toro has signed on to direct The Hobbit. The story will be separated into two films, and both are executive produced by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. With amazing fantasies such as Pan's Labyrinth and…
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Film, Bob Shaye's New Line

Bob Shaye's New Line

Hard-core phantasie geeks will relish role-playing every enemy of The Last Mimzy, a family-style sci-fi adventure whose director Bob Shaye is better known to them as the evil wizard — the alien executive who peed all over the Fellowship. Shaye,…
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Home Entertainment, DVDish The Short Goodbye

The Short Goodbye

Arrested Development: Season Three (Fox) The final collection of Arrested Development discs feels sadly incomplete: only 13 episodes this time, the result of Fox's inability to attract viewers to one of TV's greatest comedies and the network's unwillingness to give…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Hero With a Thousand Faces

Hero With a Thousand Faces

The biggest innovation videogaming saw in the past decade or so was the invention of the "sandbox": Programmers create settings and consequences, but give you, the user, free license to do with them what you want. Grand Theft Auto is…
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Film, Monkey Business

Monkey Business

For whatever reason, the modernized, comic redo of King Kong released exactly 29 years ago has become less the "pop classic" that Pauline Kael insisted it was at the time than a dimly remembered punch line. It barely registers with…
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Home Entertainment, DVDish Love the <i>Sin </i>

Love the Sin

Sin City: Recut, Extended, Unrated (Buena Vista) Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's near frame-for-frame adaptation of Miller's bone-crunching comics finally gets a rewarding DVD treatment, following a shamefully sparse edition earlier this year. The theatrical cut boasts two commentary tracks…
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Film, G'Dead, Mate

G'Dead, Mate

Since George Romero's long-awaited Land of the Dead turned out to be a letdown, we'll have to find our zombie-movie solace elsewhere. Thankfully, Romero's been making movies for so long that not only has he inspired others to follow in…
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Film, Reps Etc.

Reps Etc.

Commentary by Gregg Rickman (greggr1@mindspring.com). Times compiled from information available Tuesday; it's always advisable to call for confirmation. Price given is standard adult admission; discounts often apply for students, seniors, and members. We're interested in your film or video…
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Film, <i>Dead</i> Good

Dead Good

"Ash is feeling a little bit under the weather, so I'll be taking charge." So says Shaun (Simon Pegg) to his valiant crew of appliance salespeople, but if you don't get the real meaning, you're probably not part of the…
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Film, Monster Smash

Monster Smash

"We must keep the atmosphere electrified!" announces creepy Igor in reference to an abominable experiment in Van Helsing, but he could be appraising the entirety of this enormous event movie. Breathless cutting, nonstop special effects, and a pummeling soundtrack camouflage…
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