Looking Elsewhere: Trailering Malick; Burying “The Hobbit”; Christian Bale’s Bible Reading; and More!

This week, in my community of arts-and-faith explorers, conversations have been focused on the joy of Christmas carols, the mixed feelings over a new Terrence Malick trailer, the predictably disappointing conclusion to Peter Jackson's ruination of The Hobbit, some interesting conversations with the Exodus team, and the traditional year-end challenges of drafting various "Best of 2014" lists.I'm hard at work on my own lists of favorite films and albums from 2014. It's a particularly chal … [Read more...]

The Desolation of “The Hobbit”

I'm tempted to post the new trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for you...... but, well, I've seen it.And, no.I'd like to forget the whole thing as soon as possible. … [Read more...]

Has the Power of the Ring Corrupted The Hobbit‘s Filmmakers?

Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey did all kinds of things to spoil my hopes for a great big-screen version of J.R.R. Tolkien's great adventure novel...(If you want to know why, read my original coverage of the film.)Today's Entertainment Weekly story about a new character played by Evangeline Lily has dealt a heavy blow to my hopes that this series will improve. … [Read more...]

Matthew Dickerson on “The Hobbit” – Part 2

Did you read Part One of Matthew Dickerson's reflections on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey?If so, enjoy Part Two... … [Read more...]

Matthew Dickerson on “The Hobbit” – Part 1

In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit.And on a wooded hillside in Vermont lived a writer who loved Hobbits, their homeland, and their author: J.R.R. Tolkien.I am blessed to know Matthew Dickerson and his wife Deborah as dear friends. I've been blessed by Matthew's writing, and also by the maple syrup he boils on his own. He's an instructor at Middlebury College. He directs the New England Young Writers Conference at Breadloaf, the Gove Hill Christian Writers Conference, and the G … [Read more...]

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The filmmakers took one children's book and expanded it into three movies.So I've taken this first movie and expanded it into two movie reviews... … [Read more...]

What If Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli Made “The Hobbit”?

Can you imagine what Tolkien's Middle-Earth would look like through the eyes of the animators that brought us Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, and My Neighbor Totoro?I can.Over the last decade, I've discovered the treasure trove of animated fantasy created by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. I've fallen in love with their intricate, extravagant style and their boundless imagination. And yet, as I watched Spirited Away, I began to realize that their style … [Read more...]

Nine Years Ago, I Met Gandalf

Even though I was starting a brand new job the following Monday, and even though I had the flu, I got on that airplane and I traveled from Seattle to Hollywood, where I checked into the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, and joined my friends and colleagues Steven Greydanus and Greg Wright.We saw an early screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King together.And the next morning we spent several hours interviewing cast and crew members.Those interviews took place nine … [Read more...]

How to Take A Hobbit Journey Again… For the First Time

The new trailer for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has arrived! What do you think?I suspect that you've read The Hobbit already. How many years ago? I first read it when I was 7 years old, and moved right on up to The Lord of the Rings at age 8. If you're like me, you'd love to have the thrill of discovering a world as awe-inspiring as that again.I think we can. We just need to find a way to see Bilbo Baggins, The Shire, the dwarves, Gandalf, Mirkwood Forest, and the L … [Read more...]

Kili and Fili in 3D

Peter Jackson has posted another video blog from the set of The Hobbit.This time, he's talking about 3D: the technique, the hardware, the experience. ... … [Read more...]