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Blu-ray Review: The Lord Of The Rings – The Return Of The King: Extended Edition
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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Lord Of The Rings – The Return Of The King: Extended Edition
Blu-ray
Directed by Peter Jackson
Starring Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, and Sean Astin
New Line Home Video
Release Date: August 28, 2012

You can read Dr. Geek, Ph.D’s review of The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition from July 2011 here.

“The battle of Helm’s Deep is over; the battle for Middle-Earth is about to begin.”

In Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 film Pierrot le Fou the late filmmaking giant Samuel Fuller, a legendary purveyor of uncompromising dramas and adventures that were not afraid of journeying into the darkest realms of the human soul, said, “Film is like a battleground. Love. Hate. Action. Violence. In one word…emotion.” Though he was making a cameo in a movie instead of granting an interview that brief speech perfectly summed up Fuller’s philosophy of cinema, a philosophy that is alive and well in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the third and final installment in one of the most thrilling epic trilogies in motion picture history.

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Blu-ray Review: The Lord Of The Rings – The Two Towers: Extended Edition
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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord Of The Rings – The Two Towers: Extended Edition
Blu-ray
Directed by Peter Jackson
Written by Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, and Fran Walsh; based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
Starring Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, and Sean Astin
New Line Home Video
Release Date: August 28, 2012

You can read Dr. Geek, Ph.D’s review of The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition from July 2011 here.

When you take a look back at some of the greatest second chapters in motion picture trilogies of all time like The Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather Part II, and (my personal favorite) Evil Dead II it is easy to understand why so many turn out vastly superior to their originals. Since most trilogies use their first story to act as set-up for almost everything that happens next the second is where things really start to take off. In successful film franchises it is also in the second installment where events begin to take darker turns, characters are forced to traverse a metaphorical – and sometimes literal – Hell to reach their personal Heaven, and the endings are very rarely happy or even conclusive.

Because the creators of the series – from the screenwriters to the studio executives with control over the green light to the bravura director and producer(s) who must assemble a crack team of actors and technicians to bring their mutual vision roaring to life – believe that the audiences who made the first movie a smashing success are invested in the ongoing narrative to the point where they will follow it wherever the filmmakers desire. Thus they are granted license to put their beloved characters through a series of traumatizing physical and psychological journeys where the only optimistic outcome is to survive to fight another day, nothing more.

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Blu-ray Review: The Lord Of The Rings – The Fellowship Of The Ring: Extended Edition
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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition
Blu-ray
Directed by Peter Jackson
Written by Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, and Fran Walsh; based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
Starring Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, and Sean Astin
New Line Home Video
Release Date: August 28, 2012

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring accomplished a feat that few films have ever been able to do: it made a believer out of me. When the movie was first released in December 2001 it proved that epic fantasy features that were not set in a galaxy far, far away could still break box office records. I didn’t see the movie during its blockbuster theatrical run because….I really thought it was going to be terrible. There, I confess. It took me until Fellowship‘s first DVD release in August 2002 to realize that my harsh pre-judging of the movie, mostly based on the simmering anger I felt towards the past few years of bloated Hollywood FX spectacles that offered fantastic visuals but little in the way of memorable stories and characters, was in haste and a huge mistake.

I remember the sweltering summer evening when I rented a copy of Fellowship from my local now-defunct Hollywood Video on the way home from work. Knowing in advance that it was a three-hour flick my initial plan was to watch the first half at the least before hitting the sack so I could get up the next morning for an early shift at the Tower Records I had been working at back then for more than three years. Twenty minutes following the start of my first viewing of Fellowship of the Ring and I was hooked; there would be no “To Be Continued” that night. Even though I risked getting barely enough sleep to pass for a member of the living the next day I watched the movie until its very end, and by the time Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee walked off into the sunset to more adventures I was a full-fledged Rings fan.

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‘Ant-Man’ and ‘Doctor Strange’ Are Leading The Pack In Marvel Films’ Phase 3
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Dr. Strange

I think it has been enough time for all of us to come back down to Earth after taking the magical carpet ride that was The Avengers this past summer. The second phase of Marvel Films’ master plan to conquer the world of comic book blockbusters and make DC Comics their simpering puppet is well under way with Iron Man 3 first out of the gate in May, Thor: The Dark World in production now with a release set for this November, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy fast approaching the start of filming in anticipation of their theatrical bows next year, and The Avengers 2…. well I’m sure the production offices are open and someone’s paying the electric and water bills.

Obviously people are now looking to the future and the elusive Phase 3 of the Mighty Marvel Movie Universe to see what the studio that is reaping the riches from bringing their four-color classics to the big screen the way they were meant to be seen has in store for us once The Avengers 2 inevitably reduces us all to quivering nerd puddles come May 2015. The only title in Phase 3 that has been announced so far is Ant-Man, which has Edgar Wright sitting pretty in the director’s chair and his frequent collaborator (and writer and director of 2011’s awesome sci-fi adventure Attack the Block) Joe Cornish co-writing the script with Wright.

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Rumor For Your Thoughts: Could Viggo Mortensen Be Playing Dr. Strange In ‘Thor 2’?
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Dr. Strange Image

Rumors are always fun. Sometimes they turn into something, sometimes they prove to be nothing at all. Today comes an intriguing little rumor (or rumors) involving the Marvel universe, but it’s not one that’s been created out of nowhere. This one might just have a bit of backing.

According to Roger Wardell, who’s been sharing supposed insider Marvel bits via Twitter—many of which have turned out to be accurate or make plenty of sense—Marvel is in negotiations with Viggo Mortensen for an unspecified role in one of their “Phase 2” movies, which are the group of films that will lead to The Avengers 2. He later stated somewhat cryptically that there is something “Strange” about Thor 2, which is titled Thor: The Dark World, possibly indicating the inclusion of a one Dr. Strange.

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First U.S. Trailer For Walter Salles’ ‘On The Road’
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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On the Road Header

Although Walter SallesOn The Road has been making a few festival rounds, we’ve only seen a couple of trailers from the film. Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, and Kristen Stewart are just some of the headline names that have lead roles in the film, and now we are getting to see them in the first domestic and very brief beatnik trailer for the film.

Check it out here below.

You may have noticed that the trailer does an excellent job of previewing Jack Kerouac’s travels during the Beat generation. The brief trailer can only be described as sexually raw, full of drug use, and is musically expressive.

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The 5 Tony Scott Movies You Really Must See (If You Haven’t Already)
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Five Tony Scott Movies

Last Sunday millions of people around the world where stunned when the news broke that Tony Scott, big time Hollywood director and younger brother of Ridley Scott, had committed suicide for reasons yet to be explained. You can read Empress Eve’s wonderful obituary of the late filmmaker here. Although Scott’s movies were never granted the often unfettered adulation critics and cinéastes willingly gave his brother, he was responsible for some of the coolest and most popular modern Hollywood action films. After scoring two back-to-back blockbusters with Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop II, Scott started to make the more interesting movies that would come to define his later years as a director. Some of them were smash hits, but rarely scaled the heights as his earlier career-making successes, and several of them were box office flops that later found new life on home video and cable.

Submitted for your approval are the five films I believe in my heart of hearts to be the essentials of Tony Scott’s unusual but beloved and rewarding filmography. If your knowledge of the man’s work doesn’t extend beyond his ability to make Tom Cruise look good in the cockpit of a fighter jet and the front seat of a battered stock car then you might find this list worth a read.

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Viggo Mortensen Offered Role In Neil Marshall’s Dracula Movie ‘The Last Voyage Of The Demeter’
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Viggo Mortensen

The Last Voyage of the Demeter is another one of those long-gestating projects that refuses to go by the wayside. The premise of a lone survivor of a ship named the Demeter that was suppose to transport a mysterious – but also dangerous – cargo from Transylvania to England has a lot of promise. David Slade was originally attached to direct the film with Prometheus star Noomi Rapace and Ben Kingsley talking the lead roles.

However, that never came into fruition. Now Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday) is sitting in the director’s chair, and it looks like Viggo Mortensen could possibly take the lead role of Henry Clemens.

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David Cronenberg’s ‘Eastern Promises’ Sequel Could Finally Happen Next Year
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Eastern Promises

David Cronenberg has never shied from making films that explored the darkest recesses of humanity, from the horrors that our bodies can inflict upon us to the moral dilemmas that slowly devour our souls. He has made many great movies and even a few masterpieces. For years Cronenberg had never considered making a sequel to one of his films, but three years ago he first discussed the possibility of a follow-up to his 2007 London-set Russian underworld crime drama Eastern Promises. Another year passed and the subject came up again, but the director had been too busy working on his films A Dangerous Method and Cosmopolis to give the sequel his full attention.

Now it looks like the Eastern Promises sequel is gearing up once more. Claude Brodesser-Akner at Vulture is reporting that Promises co-star Vincent Cassel is in negotiations to join the production, with Cronenberg back in the director’s chair working from a screenplay by Steven Knight – the writer of the original – and Viggo Mortensen starring. There’s still no word on whether or not Eastern Promises female lead Naomi Watts will be returning as well.

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New Trailer For ‘The Dangerous Method’ Hits
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Cinemumra   |  
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As the Fall film season draws closer, one of the biggest films of this year’s final four months has to be director David Cronenberg’s latest, A Dangerous Method.

A new trailer for the film has hit, which you can watch here below, and I must say, it looks fantastic. The film stars Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender, and Viggo Mortensen, and follows the story of the friendship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud and what happens when a beautiful woman is thrust in between the two.

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