Friday, January 30, 2015


You know it's Oscar season when biopics flood the theaters. This will make my fourth biopic review for this season, and I'll probably be doing at least one more after this. Of the lot, Selma (2015) is easily the most moving and arguably the most important to see. It's won several Golden Globe awards and is up for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year. Selma reminds us of where we've been as a country in terms of racial segregation and should remind us that we've still got a ways to go.
Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the south, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. Alabama Governor George Wallace (Tim Roth) was making no movement to stop the discrimination or allow the blacks in his state to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.
I think an indication of continued racial segregation is the fact that we have a month devoted to Black History. While in grade school, I remember hearing about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the great things he did and stood for. I also remember hearing about the Vietnam war. While I had a general idea of the timeline in which these events took place, it not once occurred to me that these events were contemporaneous, nor that one might affect the other. They were completely separate events in my mind. How President Johnson could send troops to Vietnam when there was a violent war for human rights being fought on American soil was something repeatedly brought up in Selma. Black history is American history and should not be separated from other historical events and only taught during a specific month of the year.
It's interesting that Selma starts off with Dr. King accepting his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway in 1964, nearly a year before the march in Selma takes place. Normally, our hero is given recognition and awards at the end of the story. I think this was done to show that even though awards were given for Dr. King's work, there was still lots left to do and to accomplish in the name of equality. Awards and recognition for standing up for the rights of the oppressed are basically meaningless when people are still being oppressed. That truly set the tone for the story told in Selma; the blacks in the south did technically have the rights they were demanding, but were being kept from accessing those rights. If that is so, was the Civil Rights Act really a victory deserving of recognition?
Selma brought the events of the Voting Rights Act to life in a very real way. It was unabashed and earnest in its depiction of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery. We see and hear horribly racist acts and remarks with shocking honesty. It's disturbing to think that people could be beaten within an inch of their lives (and some to death) by law enforcement for no reason other than demanding access to rights that have already been granted to them. It's one thing to think it, it's another thing to see it. While there are acts of violence portrayed in Selma, it remains safely within its PG-13 rating. Yet these acts of violence are despicably unjust since the victims are neither doing anything wrong nor fighting back. Some absolutely want to fight back but the aggressors have more firepower and authority; if the black citizens were to fight, and they did, even more black citizens would be killed. The injustice is expressed remarkably well in this movie and will likely cause your blood to boil.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and David Oyelowo
I had not heard of David Oyelowo, but upon looking him up, he's been in several major motion pictures including Interstellar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which I have seen. Here, he gets the starring role and he's simply amazing. He embodies Dr. King so perfectly that you'd assume he actually was the civil rights leader. He's very kind, speaks boldly, and is passionate about what he is doing. A couple of Dr. King's speeches were reenacted for the movie and they were powerful! I can't think of many times that I was truly moved or felt invigorated by a speech, especially not one pertaining to politics. Oyelowo captured Dr. King's mannerisms, vocal inflections, and passion perfectly. There were a few times I was ready to stand up with the crowd he was speaking to and applaud, but thankfully I remembered I was in a crowded movie theater and constrained myself. Oyelowo's acting is possibly the best I've seen of this year's Oscar Nominees; he deserves something even if he's not up for Best Actor.
Selma was a powerful movie. If you paid attention in your modern history class you'll already be familiar with the story. Even if you think you know what's coming, the movie positively hums with suspense and surprise. It's packed with incident and overflowing with fascinating characters. This is a powerful and empathic piece of cinematic storytelling. This shouldn't change how you feel about these events, but seeing history come alive like this is positively riveting! The movie is beautifully written, remarkably well cast, amazingly well acted, and the camera work was nothing shy of gorgeous. This is worth seeing in theaters if you can manage it, but even if you can't, don't miss this excellent movie. It's so well done that even those who don't enjoy dramas or biopics will be enthralled with Selma.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Big Eyes Review

Tim Burton's latest movie was not a major film as many of his movies are. Typically Burton's delightfully grim and eccentric styled movies are a big deal for studios; advertisements and merchandise flood stores and media outlets. As was the case with Big Fish, when Burton does something outside of his usual highly stylized fare, we are privileged to see something that is interesting to watch and often beautiful. Given his art style, I could see what drew Burton to the true story of Margaret Keane in Big Eyes (2014), and I can tell that he handled this story with care and affection for the 1960's painter's work.
We first see Margaret (Amy Adams) packing her young daughter and a couple of suitcases into a gigantic tail-finned car and driving to San Francisco, fleeing from her marriage and determined to start a new life. Margaret meets Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) at an outdoor art fair, and before she even know what's happening they are dating and then getting married. Margaret paints children with huge distorted eyes, and Walter paints Parisian street scenes; neither of them fit in with the trend of bohemian modern-art-obsessed 1960's San Francisco. Walter talks big and is a born promoter. He convinces a local jazz club to allow the two of them to hang their paintings along the hallway. When someone expresses interest in the big-eyed paining, Walter takes credit for the work, hoping to lead to a sale. It seemed harmless at first, perhaps a misunderstanding. But when Margaret's work takes off, leaving Walter's work totally ignored, it happens again. Walter tells his wife that nobody would be interested in buying stuff from "lady painters,"  and that she's not good at talking about her own work or trying to sell it. Besides, what does it matter if people think he painted it as long as the two of them keep making money? Margaret agrees to perpetuate the fraud, although it makes her uneasy and unhappy.
Tim Burton's signature art style frequently features spindly characters with huge sunken eyes. Margaret Keane's paintings feature children who, while not necessarily spindly, have enormous eyes that portray a great deal of emotion. Juxtaposed, I could see some similarities in structural design of the figures, even if they are sharply contrasted tonally. Burton would have been a young boy during the 1960's when Keane's art was popular, and I can't help but wonder if Keane's big eyed art style influenced Burton's style on some level. The similarity, loose as it might be, could be what drew Burton to Keane's story.
As was the case in Big Fish, Burton allows himself to shine as a director when he intentionally moves away from his surreal stylized films which are riddled with hard angles, spirals, stripes, and animated characters that defy structural integrity. I certainly have a fondness for that style, and it certainly sells well (especially in Hot Topic merchandise). But it's virtually absent in Big Eyes. The one and only scene that hints at "Tim-Burton-ism" is when Margaret, riddled with guilt and indecision, is at a grocery store and every customer stares mournfully at her with hugely exaggerated eyes. Even this is not a particularly "loud" scene visually; Burton really sticks to telling the story respectfully without fuss or fanfare. Though his usual brilliant command of color pallets manifests itself in some well constructed shots.
I absolutely love Amy Adams. She looks very different with the light blond bouffant hair that was typical of the 50's and 60's rather than her usual deep red hair. Adams has played many different types of roles with an outstanding display of skill, and she doesn't let us down here, either. She gives a meticulous performance full of subtlety as a shy woman who is unaccustomed to standing up for herself; her dawning realization of her own inner strength holds the movie aloft. It's a beautiful and emotional piece of work on her part.
I don't recall seeing Christoph Waltz before, but he's been in some major motion pictures. Here he plays a character with ambition mixed with a smilingly callous approach to getting what he wants. Waltz exudes this slimy aura that portrays that he is sketchy and  up to no good. On the one hand, he is the antagonist, but he also delivers a lot of the humor in the movie. Waltz amps up the villain role with such  relish that eventually he has nowhere to go but caricature. He's funny sometimes, and downright scary at other times. Walter isn't a very deep, but that shallow superficiality is the point of this particular character. During the dramatic climax, we have come to a point that we want every ill to befall this Walter while still laughing at his ridiculous antics.
I enjoyed Big Eyes. It's entertaining.  It was not the best film of the year, and not Burton's greatest work.  I did not feel as moved as I was with Big Fish. But it is well-acted, thought-provoking, and a refreshing change of pace for Tim Burton. There's a feminist undercurrent that is going to resonate with viewers which makes Big Eyes works as a biopic and a relevant piece of social commentary. I recommend seeing this movie; it's good, but not great. You'll be safe waiting for this on home video.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Imitation Game Review

When I reviewed Gangs of New York back in 2012, I asked readers what obscure bit of history they would like to see made into a movie. I said I'd love to see a biopic of Alan Turing. He was a pioneering scientist and mathematician who is considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. He was a remarkable historical figure whose life tragically ended early. I knew about some aspects of his life before The Imitation Game (2014) was released, but I didn't realize just how influential he had been and how many lives he saved during World War II. I'm delighted his life was depicted in film this way, and that it was an outstanding film besides.
During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of 'gross indecency', an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality - little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Under orders of Commander Denniston (Charles Dance), Turing had famously lead a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, including Hugh Alexander (Matthew Goode), John Cairncross (Allen Leech), Peter Hilton (Matthew Beard), and Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley). Together, the team sets out to crack the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany's World War II Enigma machine's algorithm so that future coded messages could be deciphered. Under nail-biting pressure, these geniuses helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save thousands of lives.
The story spans Turing's unhappy teenage years, focuses on his wartime work, and his post-war decline. It was far more interesting than one would suppose it should be. The bulk of the story revolves around Britain's greatest minds in the World War II era in a secret military base scrambling to crack a code. That doesn't really lend itself to thrilling scenes. Yet this is by no means a dull story. There is a sense of urgency throughout the movie as they literally race against the clock, trying to solve the code before midnight when the code's key is reset and they have to start over from scratch. Each time they fail hundreds, even thousands, of lives of the allied forces are lost. On top of that, Turing isn't well liked thanks to his social awkwardness and obliviousness to normal social cues. Often he did not have the support of his colleagues, and was often under threat of being fired for wasting Government money on a gigantic thinking machine that didn't seem to do anything but use valuable resources. There is a lot of tension, lies and secrets, character development, excellent plot twists, and, unexpectedly, a fair number of laughs.
The acting was superb! Admittedly, I'm not the biggest Cumberbatch fan, but you can't deny how amazing his voice sounds. This is the first time I've seen him in a starring role and he nails it. Much of the movie's humor comes from Turing's obliviousness to social cues. His literal mindedness tended to drive people around him crazy, and Cumberbatch portrayed Turing's aloofness perfectly. There's a scene when Turing is taking Joan Clarke's advice to try to endear himself to his team. He buys them all apples, shuffles around their work area awkwardly distributing them, and proceeds to fail at telling them a very lame joke, and then leaving. Scenes like this are where Cumberbatch's acting skills are most impressive. Acting out a character who's trying to be funny, but isn't, and isn't even aware how bad he looks and clearly doesn't get the nuances of humor can't be easy to portray. Moments when Turing is torn between revealing secrets in the name of national security and keeping secrets in order to keep working in the interest of ending the war are also well acted.  Cumberbatch skillfully plays a character that is so oblivious to normal social cues that he doesn't always realize he's been invited to lunch. Within this awkward character, he shows us the inner conflict of a man who isn't sure when to keep valuable information quiet and the sense of uncertainty it causes him. Cumberbatch portrays this character of superior intelligence and social obliviousness brilliantly. Cumberbatch doesn't play Turing so much as he inhabits him; bravely and sympathetically, but without mediation.
I can't imagine how difficult it is to visually portray a historical setting in film on a large scale, but some movies depict these periods with such efficacy that we feel transported to another time for the duration of the movie. The Imitation Game is one such movie. The costumes, hair styles, cars, buildings, technology, everything seems taken out of history books to illustrate the past for us. The movie isn't trying to showcase these props to us or convince us of how difficult it was to depict World War II era England, they were subtly incorporated with nonchalance.  And that sold us on the time period better than anything else. The sets were gorgeous, the props were perfect, costumes were spot on.
The Imitation Game showed us one of the most important stories of the last century and is one of the greatest movies of 2014. This is one of the year's finest pieces of screen acting, the characters were outstanding, and the story was fascinating and pertinent to us today. This was an outstanding piece of screenwriting as well. It's emotionally complex, tailored to perfection, while being delicately nuanced and tragic. While the main character is gay, there are no sex scenes. Regardless of your views on homosexuality, there isn't anything in The Imitation Game that I think anyone could find offensive. The movie isn't trying to sell you on a biased agenda or tell you what to think about homosexuality; that's not what the movie is about. It's about trying to end a war, and how sometimes people who think outside the box are important to overcome seemingly impossible problems, and that their sexual orientation is immaterial to the question at hand. I loved The Imitation Game, and I highly recommend seeing it. It's been nominated for Academy Awards in eight categories including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. This is worth seeing, and if you're a fan of dramas, it's worth owning a copy  as well.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Into the Woods Review

I'm ordinarily not fanatical about musicals by any means, but they can be deliriously fun on occasion. There was tons of hype and excitement about a movie version of the Broadway musical Into the Woods (2014) being made. I confess I knew next to nothing about Broadway production apart from the fact that it involves fairy tale characters. It sounded fun, but what I saw was nothing like I expected.
As the result of the curse of a once-beautiful witch (Meryl Streep), a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are childless. Three days before the rise of a blue moon, they venture into the forest to find the ingredients that will reverse the spell and restore the witch's beauty: a milk-white cow, hair as yellow as corn, a blood-red cape, and a slipper of gold. During their journey, they meet Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) and Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), each one on a quest to fulfill a wish. As they work to make their wishes come true, their actions release great danger upon the land.
When a stage production moves to the big screen, there ought to be some significant changes in set and location. For example Little Shop of Horrors; on stage, the whole story takes place inside Mushnik's Skid Row Florists shop. For the movie adaptation, director Frank Oz took every opportunity to get the characters out of the shop and show them in many different locations. This gave the movie a bigger and more open feel to it, and made the fictional setting seem more real. For Into the Woods the primary location was, believe it or not, the woods. While events took place at different locations within the woods, many sets felt very much the same; there wasn't much variety in the background other than trees. Furthermore, most scenes didn't feature much happening other than characters singing dialogue to one another while standing around by the trees with the camera capturing close shots of the characters. This gave everything a claustrophobic look. We're shown a few wide aerial shots of the woods to suggest that its extensive, but when we're down in the woods we're given almost no sense of space or direction. And since the characters move and do so little other than sing dialogue, it almost feels like this could have been on a rather small stage. The whole point of making a movie adaptation is to make everything bigger, grander, and to do things that can't be done on a stage. Apparently no one told that to the director of Into the Woods, and it gave the whole production an uncomfortably amateur quality to it in terms of camera work, and set design. The sets looked good but seems so small that it was practically begging us to notice it was a soundstage.
Because the characters spend most of their time standing around in the forest singing dialogue about how terrible things are for them and what they wish would happen, the story doesn't lend itself to a whole lot of action. I don't mean in terms of chase scenes, explosions, and fights; I mean in terms of things actually happening. It is frequently suggested that events do take place but most of them occur off screen. This is occasionally a good thing, but is usually just confusing and robs the audience of interesting cinematography. For example, none of Jack's adventures up the beanstalk are ever shown; we just see him wander onto the set with an item of loot and hear him talk about what he did. This sort of thing happens a lot, and weakens a very visual storytelling medium by NOT showing us major events. Not showing us things that happen makes for a very slow moving and uninteresting movie. At one point some of the story arches were wrapping up and I hoped we were coming to the end of the movie, but then something happened to push the story further and I realized to my horror that there was a second act.
There were a number of times that something important happened but it wasn't shown happening. Towards the end there's a major character that dies; all we see is this character in a close up looking around and then stepping backwards to move off screen. I felt like something important had happened, but I was given no context to know what. It's not until halfway through the next scene that someone said they found this character, dead. There were so many times I was watching the movie and thought, "What just happened?", because we aren't shown enough of what little action there is to know what is happening in the story. In fact, there's another scene where another character makes a dramatic exit, and as soon as the scene was over a little girl in the back of the theater loudly asked "What just happened?" If small children who usually aren't concerned with things like movie logistics are left confused, then the movie is doing something very wrong.
The few times the lack of action was a good thing was in instances where story elements of the original Grimm's fariy tale were mercifully done off screen, such as Cinderella's Stepmother cutting off the toes of her daughters to try to get Cinderella's lost slipper onto her daughter's feet. It's moments like that which are dark and violent that are obscured enough to keep it's PG rating, but it still obfuscates any potential to actually show the audience something happening other than dialogue.
At least the music makes up for the poor camera work and lack of action, right? Wrong. I'm not sure how this musical has earned such notoriety. None of the music was catchy, exciting, or moving. The lyrics weren't profound, interesting, or inspiring. In the case of Les Misérables many songs were upbeat enough to enjoy, and lyrics so meaningful that they moved audiences to tears. That memorable and intense quality was completely lacking in the music of Into the Woods. None of the tunes have stuck with me. The only lyrics that stick out in my mind were when all of the characters were repeating the same line over and over and over. The opening song had the cast singing the words "into the woods" repeatedly for an obnoxiously long time. I understood very early on where they were intending to go and it would have been nice if they'd just get there and do something already. Much of the music was almost like listening to insufferable bored children trying to amuse themselves on a long car ride.
One of the few things I liked about the movie was how intricately the characters' stories were interwoven. We're all familiar with most of these character's stories already. The way that these stories influence one another and how some characters weave in and out of stories they don't originally belong to was highly impressive and interesting. The structure of the story was well done, even if the story itself was slow moving. It still would have been better if we got to see more of the story rather than just hear the characters talking about the story.
I honestly didn't know what to expect going in to see Into the Woods, but this wasn't it. The camera work was bad, the music was drab and forgettable, and the pacing was very slow. The intricacy of the story is impressive, but the story mostly features the characters standing around in the forest talking about things the movie should have been showing us. I can see how this would be a good production if it were on stage, but the transition to movie was not done well at all. The writing, camera work, and set design should have had a lot more attention for it to be a solid movie. It has cute moments here and there, but the bad aspects of the movie really do ruin the few good bits. I can't recommend seeing this. Fans of the musical might enjoy seeing the play with CGI special effects and such, but I imagine the awkwardness of the overall movie production would make it disappointing. If you had no prior experience with the musical, you'll probably get a good laugh at how bad and awkward this movie is. This isn't even worth renting. Go watch Hairspray or something else if you're in a mood for a musical.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was excellent and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug left us dangling with an exciting cliffhanger. We had to wait until The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) to see how this all ended and hopefully see how it tied in with The Lord of the Rings. Overall, The Five Armies was good, and gave us a satisfying end to the trilogy.
Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), and the rest of the dwarf company watch helplessly from the Lonely Mountain as the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) destroys Laketown in revenge for helping the dwarves. In Laketown, Bard (Luke Evans) manages to exploit Smaug's only tiny weakness and brings the dragon down. The dwarves tell Bilbo that Thorin has fallen into madness due to Smaug's "Dragon Sickness" as Thorin seaches for the Arkenstone, the symbol of Thorin's authority to rule the dwarves. Meanwhile, Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Elrond (Hugo Weaving), Saruman (Christopher Lee), and Radagast (The Doctor Sylvester McCoy) rescue Gandalf (Ian McKellen) from the Necromancer's fortress. Gandalf learned of an Orc army from the east approaching the Lonely Mountain and hurries to warn the Dwarves. Elves Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) discover a goblin army making their way toward the Lonely Mountain, seeking the now unguarded gold. The Laketown survivors implore of Thorin only enough of the dragon's gold to rebuild their decimated lives. They are aided by the elf king Thranduil (Lee Pace) and his soldiers who himself seeks elven crown jewels from the dragon's keep. With these five armies closing in on the Lonely Mountain and Thorin struggling with madness and paranoia, an all out war will inevitably breakout. But Bilbo still has a few tricks up his sleeve and may turn the tides of war.
It did take me a while to figure out who the five armies were; I'd only counted four. The goblin and orc armies look very similar, after all. So, we've got men, dwarves, elves, the orcs and goblins who have been chasing our heroes throughout the trilogy, and an "orc army from the east." There are untold masses of riches and treasure in the Lonely Mountain, but not all the armies are after that. Some are after it for its strategic location to bolster their strength in upcoming war campaigns, others are after specific tokens that found their way into the hoard, and others naturally want more money than they can possibly know what to do with. Everyone has a stake in this battle.
The Desolation of Smaug had some pacing issues in the interest of telling a story, The Five Armies almost had the opposite problem. There is a whole lot of action in this installment to the point that we don't get much story development. To be fair, though, you should have seen all of these many characters developed and have understood enough of the set up in the previous two movies to not need much of that here. There is tons of action and fight scenes and the epic, big scale battles that Peter Jackson did so beautifully in The Lord of the Rings. The only fight I was disappointed in was battling Smaug; he's depicted as immensely powerful and an unstoppable force of destruction yet defeating him seemed a bit too easy and anticlimactic. That fight could have been lengthened or made more significant, but everything else was amazing. You will absolutely not leave this movie wishing there had been more action. In fact, I dare say it was on the brink of being too much action and not enough of anything else.
At the end of the movie we see a couple of characters going off in their own direction which we are sure will lead them to their respective roles in The Lord of the Rings. That was expected, but the one scene which really bridges this trilogy together with The Lord of the Rings is when Gandalf was rescued. Here we see some of the bearers of rings of power and some wizards duke it out with the Necromancer and the nine souls of men who succumbed to Sauron's power and attained near-immortality as wraiths. You watch this and understand how events in The Hobbit significantly affected things in The Lord of the Rings. While we do get a satisfying conclusion, by the end of The Five Armies you'll be ready to catch the next installment which is, of course, the first Lord of the Rings movie.
As a trilogy, The Hobbit has pacing issues and included a lot of extra stuff that wasn't in the book. I reiterate that these movies were based on the book by the same title, the appendices to The Return of the King, and Tolkin's personal notes. There is extra stuff that was not in the book, but is still technically cannon. Peter Jackson did add a few things here and there such as Tauriel's character and her rather annoying love interest with Kíli. The Lord of the Rings was a trilogy of books so it made sense to make them a trilogy of movies. The Hobbit was one book originally intended for kids. Now that I've seen the entirety of the trilogy, I think that about half of the extra material included in the movies could have been left out. It did feel like it was random filler to extend the length of the story and justify three movies instead of two, as was originally planned. I still think Jackson could have done The Hobbit an exceptional service transitioning it from book to movie if it had been left at two movies instead of a whole trilogy with extra padding to lengthen the story. This is not at all to say that I don't like The Hobbit; I do! I simply think a more concise pair of movies would have made them stronger. The Lord of the Rings is much better, but that is a very high standard to hold any movie up to.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was a lot of fun. It championed the beautiful visuals and special effects we have come to love from Middle-Earth movies, we saw our heroes in action one last time and saw their particular strengths shine in the hands of some great actors, we saw how the events in The Hobbit significantly affected events in The Lord of the Rings, and we saw a satisfying conclusion to this trilogy. If you remember that satisfied yet sad feeling you got as the end credits rolled at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 when you realize that that is it and there will be no more Harry Potter movies, you'll likely feel that at the end of The Five Armies as you realize that there will be no more Middle-Earth movies. I recommend catching this in theaters, it's likely the last chance you'll get to see the beautiful fantasy world of Middle-Earth on the big screen. Though you should wait for the extended edition of the movie to hit blu-ray before buying a copy for your home collection.

What were your thoughts on the additional content put into The Hobbit trilogy. Comment below and tell me about it, but please avoid spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen everything yet.