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The Hobbit BOTFA Poster

I interrupt my breakfast to bring you:

BOTFA_Thranduil_poster

This was tweeted by Lee Pace.

#TheHobbit #LeePace #Thranduil

Banner for The Hobbit 3

Entertainment Weekly has a high-resolution banner for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies here.  To see the entire banner use the scroll bar under the image.  You can also get a look at the details by mousing over the banner.

Among other scenes we have Gandalf and Galadriel reaching for each other, with Elrond in the background; Smaug lighting up Lake-town; Thorin in armor on his throne; and Elvenking Thranduil on his elk ready to go into battle (below).

BOFTA_banner

The film will be released in the U.S. on December 17th.

#TheHobbit #TheHobbitTheBattleoftheFiveArmies

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Guardians of the Galaxy is making a heckuva lot of money.  It has now made over $600 million worldwide.  It has also just opened in Japan, so it’s far from being done yet.

GOTG star Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer) — and presumably his lawyers — are said to be reworking his Marvel contract, according to CinemaBlend.  There’s speculation this may mean Drax could show up in Avengers 3, but that is completely unconfirmed and may just end up being wishful thinking.  On the other hand, considering the popularity of GOTG Marvel may want to sneak one of the Guardians in there, but we’ll have to see if we get more concrete info on that.

Somewhat Awesome Games has recreated one of my favorite GOTG scenes in its game Destiny.  Hint: Come and Get Your Love.  You can see the clip here on Mashable or below.  Get down.

#GuardiansOfTheGalaxy

So, back in 2010 when the BBC released the first series of Sherlock, hardly anyone on this side of the pond had a freakin’ clue who Benedict Cumberbatch was.  He did a movie (with Tom Hiddleston) for Steven Spielberg, and you could still say “Cumberbatch” and most people thought you were talking about a new hybrid of vegetable.  Then he did Star Trek Into Darkness and a few folks were starting to catch on.  He voiced a dragon for Peter Jackson and a few more were finding a clue.  Along came 12 Years a Slave, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and August: Osage County, and non-geeks were now getting on the bandwagon.  So here we are in 2014, and there are articles like this and this.

Yesterday Benny showed up at the Toronto International Film Festival for the TIFF premiere of his Oscar-bait film The Imitation Game.  And the crowd goes wild!  So much for those ladies who complained to Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss when he was cast in Sherlock that they wanted a “sexy one,” and got Cumberbatch instead.  Maybe brainy really is the new sexy.

Radio Times has a gag reel for the aforementioned Star Trek (below), via IGN.  For your Friday eve.  You’re welcome.

#BenedictCumberbatch #TIFF #TheImitationGame #StarTrekGagReel

ABC has put the pilot episode of its upcoming series Forever up online here.  The show stars Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four) and Judd Hirsch.

Gruffudd plays New York medical examiner Dr. Henry Morgan.  The hook is this: he’s immortal, but he doesn’t know why, hence the reason he became a medical examiner.  He’s around 200 years old, and every time he dies — which is often if the pilot is any indication — he returns as he left, with the exception that he always returns in a body of water.  And naked.  The latter of which can cause some issues with the cops, apparently, and can be a darn cold way to come back to life, given that, you know, he lives in New York.

The only person who knows his secret is Abe (Hirsch), who owns an antique store.  Morgan has a laboratory in a hidden basement of Abe’s store where he does experiments to try to decipher why he’s incapable of dying.  Morgan has other unique attributes as well, including having a Sherlock Holmes-ian ability to make deductions from minute observations.  And it turns out he even has his own version of Moriarty.  Of course there’s an attractive female NYPD detective involved, too, although at least for now it looks platonic. I’ll stop there so I don’t give too much away.

Gruffudd also appeared on Castle last year.  You can follow him on Twitter at @ioangruffudd.

The show officially starts on ABC Tuesday, September 23rd.  I’m not sure if the show will catch on, but I thought the pilot was pretty good.  Give it a go and see what you think.  Here’s a trailer as well:

#Forever #IoanGruffudd

It’s been a long time since I’ve actually done a book review, but being as I’ve been on a staycation this week I thought I’d get some reading in.

Gone Girl was written by Gillian Flynn and was first published in June of 2012 by Crown.  It became No. 1 on The New York Times’ bestseller list, and the movie adaptation starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike (directed by David Fincher) will premiere October 3rd.  If you want to go into the movie cold, don’t read any farther!  I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but if you like going into a film knowing absolutely nothing about the plot, you will want to skip this post, because it’s hard to review something and not, you know, talk about it some.  Plus, you have probably already seen trailers for this, or you will soon.

Now for the book…  here’s the synopsis from Amazon.com:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

At over 430 pages, this is a fairly long book.  At the end of the first half I was starting to think this was a run-of-the-mill murder story, the culprit was pretty obvious, and what the heck made this book worth making a movie about?

As described in the synopsis above, Nick’s wife Amy has disappeared on their fifth wedding anniversary.  There looks to have been a struggle in the house, with broken glass, things knocked over, and no Amy.  Luminol tests by the police show there’s been a large quantity of blood in the kitchen that has been cleaned up.  Has Amy been kidnapped?  Killed?  Volunteers begin a search to find her, while Nick proclaims his innocence.  Unfortunately, he isn’t acting very innocent at all.  Even his twin sister, Go (short for Margo, apparently) has her doubts as the evidence against Nick begins to mount up.

Then comes the big twist, which I will not discuss.  Suffice it to say, if you think you know what will happen next, you probably don’t.  From that point on I couldn’t put the book down.  As (almost) boring as the first half was, the second half made up for it, that is, until I got to the ending.  More on that later.

The book is written alternately from Amy and Nick’s points of view, instead of being written in the third person.  I found this a little odd at first, but then I decided it gave the author the opportunity to give the reader more insight into what Amy and Nick were thinking and feeling, giving it more punch.  The mystery-inside-a-mystery wedding clue hunt as well as the contents of Amy’s diary showed the kind of plot writing that got Ms. Flynn to the top of the bestseller list.  I’m an Agatha Christie fan, and the more twists Ms. Christie put into a plot the more I liked it.  When it comes to twists Ms. Flynn knows how to throw them out with the best of ‘em.

So as good as the bulk of the last half of the book is, I have to agree with many reviewers who, like me, didn’t like the ending.  When I read it, I felt… deflated is the best word I can come up with.  It was an unsatisfying ending in my opinion, having slogged through almost 400 pages at that point.

In short, if you like a good mystery I’d recommend this book, even if I felt I wanted to rewrite the ending.  Worth the paperback or e-reader price, I’d say.  Or you can wait for the  movie.

I will give a warning for those who don’t like curse words or sexual situations — this book might not be for you.  I’m certainly no prude, but even for me there were a couple of spots where Gillian Flynn got unnecessarily sleazy (would a wealthy older woman “smell of vagina”?  I don’t think so.)  Just a warning if you’re the sensitive type.

The movie itself apparently doesn’t tone anything down, either.  It’s rated R, which will cost it at the box office.  A lot of theaters don’t even like to screen R-rated films, but we’ll see how it shakes out.  I may go see it if for nothing else but to see if they changed the ending (yes, please).

The trailer for the film is embedded below:

Harvey Weinstein bought the rights to The Imitation Game after viewing 15 minutes of the film. If the reviews coming out of the Telluride Film Festival are anything to go by, he got a good deal.

Not that I think this will be a blockbuster of a movie money-wise. It’s a film along the lines of some of Benedict’s previous work, such as War Horse, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or the BBC’s Hawking. In other words, it’s not a family film or a popcorn flick. It stars Hot Property of the Moment Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley (who also worked with Benny in Atonement), Mark Strong and Charles Dance. The subject is the late Alan Turing, a mathematical genius and codebreaker who is credited with breaking the Nazi’s Enigma cypher machine.

Turing was also a homosexual, and after the war he was prosecuted under the archaic laws of the time. Given the choice of jail or chemical castration, he chose the latter. He committed suicide two years later. Recently he was given a posthumous pardon by Queen Elizabeth.

To see some of the reviews coming out of Telluride, go here, here, and here.  Many of them are saying that Benedict, who just won his first Emmy, may also get an Oscar nomination out of this, and mentions of a nomination for Knightley and for the film itself are coming out of the festival as well.

Below is a trailer for the film, which will be released on November 14th in the U.K. and November 21st in the U.S.

#TheImitationGame #BenedictCumberbatch

News Tidbits

Some various news items of interest:

Gatiss_as_Nestoris_GOTMark Gatiss (Sherlock) will again be playing Tycho Nestoris on Game of Thrones, according to Radio Times.  The character is from the Iron Bank of Braavos.  I have tried to watch the show but was unable to hang with it due to its portrayal of the treatment of women, but I know it has a lot of fans.

Gatiss and Stephen Moffat (who just won an Emmy for writing the Sherlock season 3 finale, His Last Vow) have said the fourth season of the show will be “darker,” and that the cast was “almost reduced to tears” when they found out their plans, according to Entertainment Weekly.  I for one would like them to stay away from putting Sherlock, Watson, Mrs. Hudson (if anything happens to her there will be hell to pay) or any of the other major characters in mortal danger, and get back to concentrating on pitting Sherlock’s formidable brain against that of the criminal mastermind of the week, such as they did with the series pilot A Study In Pink.  I confess that after watching series 3 I haven’t seen the episodes again, it was a bit of a disappointment to me (although the scene with  Sherlock crashing through the window and giving Molly a big ol’ smacker was awesome).  A Scandal in Belgravia is still my favorite episode of the entire show, along with Pink.

Guardians of the Galaxy is on track to become the highest-grossing movie in the U.S. of 2014, topping Captain America, reports Deadline.  The Pierce Brosnan flick The November Man, opening this weekend, doesn’t look to be any competition.  It unfortunately got a big ol’ splat on RottenTomatoes.com.  I say unfortunately because I like Pierce Brosnan and was glad to see him back, but this looks like it may be one to stay away from or wait for it to hit Redbox on a day where there’s nothing of interest on the telly.

DrStrange_marvelRumors continue to swirl that Joaquin Phoenix is in final negotiations to star in Marvel’s upcoming Dr. Strange movie.  Clearly this part should go to Benedict Cumberbatch, and I will continue to be annoyed if Phoenix ends up with the role.  That doesn’t mean that I won’t go see the movie, if it looks interesting enough, but I will be annoyed all the way through it!

Shooting has resumed on Star Wars VII now that Harrison Ford has recovered from breaking his leg.  I originally thought Ford and his castmates Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher would have minimal screen time in the new film, but if they found it impossible to shoot around him for a month then the original trio of characters must play a bigger part in the film that I had imagined.  We’ll see when it’s released on December 18, 2015.  In the meantime, Marvel has announced its intention to publish new Star Wars comics.  ComicBookResources.com reports that they will also re-release the Dark Horse comic series Star Wars Legends.   Marvel and Dark Horse have alternated the rights to Star Wars comics over the years.  The rights now belong to Disney, as does Marvel and pretty much everything else in the entertainment world.

Image 1: Mark Gatiss on HBO’s Game of Thrones; Image 2: Marvel’s Doctor Strange

#GOTG #Guardians of the Galaxy #Star Wars #Sherlock #Doctor Strange

Big Guys vs. Kittens

Resistance is futile.

via Buzzfeed

Ronan Kneels

Guardians of the Galaxy’s big bad Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) doesn’t kneel to anyone… except maybe the costume lady who has to straighten out his headpiece.

Director James Gunn sent the tweet below.  Lee, who stretches the ruler all the way to 6’3″ (Gunn says he’s 6’5″, but Lee has said 6’3″ – in any case he’s flippin’ tall), had to kneel when his costume needed adjusting.

Tap into James Gunn’s Twitter account to get a load of the behind the scenes pics from GOTG he posts every day.  Click on the link in the tweet below:

#GOTG #Guardians of the Galaxy #Lee Pace

BBC One’s Sherlock took home three Emmy awards last night, including one for Benedict Cumberbatch for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie and another for co-star Martin Freeman in the supporting category (Freeman was also nominated for his FX series Fargo).  Writer Stephen Moffat won the award for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for the final episode of the third series, His Last Vow.  Neither Benny nor Martin were in attendance last night due to work commitments, but Moffat did pick up his award in person.

Outstanding Drama Series went to Breaking Bad, Outstanding Comedy Series went to Modern Family.  Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series went to Bryan Cranston once again for Breaking Bad, while Lead Actress went to Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife.  Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) won lead actor and actress on the comedy side.

Fargo took home the statue for Outstanding Miniseries, and The Normal Heart won Outstanding Television Movie.

The official Emmy website with all the winners is here.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-IMAX-3D-sneakGuardians of the Galaxy returned to the #1 box office spot this weekend, holding off some movie with turtles and the teen tearjerker If I Stay.  GOTG has now grossed $251.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, with an additional $237.6 million from overseas sales, total $489.1, according to Marvel.  I believe that does make it the top-grossing movie of the summer and the third-highest grossing of 2014.

Writer/director James Gunn (and his brother Sean, who appeared in the movie as Yondu’s right-hand guy) will be appearing at DragonCon in Atlanta this Saturday and Sunday.  Both will be signing autographs.  Go here to find out when and where.

Also, here’s some behind-the-scenes pics from GOTG via The Wrap.  James Gunn had tweeted most of these, but in case you hadn’t seen them, I got ya covered.

#Guardians of the Galaxy #DragonCon

Lee Pace has completed the ice bucket challenge, in the cutest way.  Lee was nominated to do the challenge by his sister Sally.  He then nominated Andy Serkis, Judy Greer (his co-star in Marmaduke) and Berenice Marlohe.  Marlohe is starring with him in Prisoners of War.  It looks like Marlohe may be the lady who’s with him in the video, not sure, but he does ask her if she’s ready for her challenge.

Andy Serkis, of course, is in The Hobbit movies with Lee, and was his partner in crime at San Diego Comic-Con this year, waking up folks sleeping in the Hall H line at about 3 a.m.

As Lee says in the video, over $50 million has already been raised for ALS research.

Patrick Stewart has a different and very classy take on the challenge here:

To donate go to http://www.alsa.org/donate/.

Lee Pace video via YouTube’s Joe Miale

Patrick Stewart’s video via YouTube’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Should I give a spoiler warning?  Because, you know, Guardians of the Galaxy has been out for three weeks now, and if you haven’t seen it yet then I’m completely out of sympathy and will now stop holding back the spoilers.

So here we go — the dancing baby Groot at the end of the movie is finally coming to a store near you!  Funko, the company that already has the Pop! vinyl GOTG figures, will be adding a vinyl version of the surprise breakout star of the film, a regenerating and therefore infant Groot grooving to The Jackson 5’s I Want You Back.  Well, at least the song was in the movie, not sure if the vinyl figure will have the song attached or not.

Ryan Penagos, who holds the impressive title of Executive Editorial Director of Marvel Digital Media, tweeted the news and now we wait for the inevitable implosion of the internet.

The Funko toys aren’t personally my thing, I would much rather have had one that looked like the baby Groot in the film (the clip of which Marvel put up on YouTube here, just in case you haven’t watched it enough), but if you or your kid have been dying to have one, it will be out soon and all will once again be right in your world.

IGN has a photo and more info here.

#Dancing Baby Groot toy #Guardians of the Galaxy #GOTG

…when Benedict Cumberbatch took a little too long to answer Tom Hiddleston’s Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS.

Benedict nominated Harvey Weinstein, singer Kylie Minogue and Formula 1 race car driver Lewis Hamilton.  The Weinstein Company recently paid big bucks for the rights to Benny’s upcoming film The Imitation Game.

via TheDailyMail.comYouTube video via ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

#ALS Ice Bucket Challenge #Benedict Cumberbatch #Tom Hiddleston

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