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Del Toro in talks to direct The Hobbit! by Matt
January 28, 2008, 2:43 pm
Filed under: Entertainment News

Well, it’s been a tough week for the entertainment industry, particularly with the heavy blow of losing young actor Heath Ledger. But here’s some absolutely fantastic news to cheer you up, courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes:

After the past few weeks’ spate of bad news (and weather), have we got some silver lining for you: our preciousss is in motion to return to the big screen. Now that Peter Jackson has kissed and made up with the studios, New Line and MGM are in talks with Guillermo del Toro to direct two, simultaneously shot installments of The Hobbit!

A quick recap for those just joining us: Jackson was originally interested in adapting The Hobbit, but a very loud, very public squabble over profits between Jackson and New Line Studios for the Lord of the Rings trilogy put the kibosh on that project. The two parties reconciled their differences last December and Jackson, busy with The Lovely Bones and Tintin, joined The Hobbit as executive producer with creative control.

And now del Toro is in talks to direct the back-to-back Hobbit movies, each budgeted at $150 million (substantially higher than any of the Lord of the Rings movies). Filming will begin in 2009, with release dates currently set for 2010 and 2011. Currently, del Toro is putting the final touches on Hellboy II: The Golden Army. He was previously announced to begin work on 3993, a dramatic horror movie written by The Orphanage scribe Sergio G. Sanchez, and it’s unknown how The Hobbit will affect that movie’s production.

Huzzah! This is the best news I’ve heard in a long, long while. Del Toro is one of my favorite working directors. He’s fantastic for this.

Also, just a quick note to Here’s Looking at Film readers: I am now posting again at my old blog, Rocket Number 09. However, you will still find me posting reviews and entertainment news here at Here’s Looking at Film. But if you enjoy my writing here, I recommend checking out my other blog. Thanks readers!


Cloverfield lives up to hype, expectations by Matt
January 27, 2008, 3:27 am
Filed under: Film Reviews
**** out of *****
If Godzilla finally mustered the courage to ask The Blair Witch Project out for a few drinks and the two shared one glorious night of passion, the resulting cinematic child would be something called Cloverfield.Cloverfield, which is produced by television bigshot J.J. Abrams and directed by relative newcomer Matt Reeves, is a monster flick filmed entirely on handheld camcorder. It’s a film that, quite literally, drops the audience into chaos as a gargantuan monster attacks New York. We are the embedded witnesses as Rob (Michael Stahl-David) and friends trek through the ruins in search of his damsel in distress, Beth (Odette Yustman).
But the plot really isn’t what’s important in Cloverfield. The imperative thing to remember is that there is a giant freaking creature with four arms, tentacles and a mean case of fleas reaking absolute havoc on the city and knocking tank shells aside like they were gnats. After waiting months to catch a glimpse of the thing, the monster both completely surprised and satisfied me. It’s a completely original creation, strange, frightening and colossal.
The handheld camerawork (which has, apparently, caused extreme cases of nausea) is nothing new, of course — but it’s innovative here in that something as epic and grand as a skyscraper-toppling creature can be brought down to the human level and truly involve the audience. In the special effects department, Cloverfield doesn’t disappoint. There are some truly breathtaking shots in this film involving both the monster and the ensuing destruction.
If I were to criticize anything about the film, it would be the absence of anything fresh in the story or dialogue department. In this respect, Cloverfield falls just short of what 2007’s The Host managed. As unique a film as Cloverfield is, it’s still lacking in truly gripping characters and plot. But, as stated earlier, those things really take a backseat to the fact that there’s a huge monster having its way with the military.
After months of hype and speculation, Cloverfield manages to live up to its end of the bargain and fulfills the promise it made last July — to be a truly kickass American monster flick. This is a volatile, intense film experience that I highly recommend. Make sure you catch it on the biggest screen you can manage.