Mrs. Weasley Protects Ginny in Fresh 'Deathly Hallows: Part II' Featurette

Warner Bros. Pictures has unleashed a new featurette for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II" via Xfinity. The new video mixes scenes from the last installment of "Harry Potter" film series with cuts of interviews with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, director David Yates and other crew. The snippet also gives a better look at Molly Weasley who defends her only daughter, Ginny, from Bellatrix's attack. 

In "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II", Harry and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, continue their journey to find and destroy Horcrux in order to defeat Voldemort. Meanwhile, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named attacks Hogwarts, and the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. Without Dumbledore at his side, Harry is the one who has to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with the Dark Lord. 

The adventurous fantasy movie also stars Julie Walters and Bonnie Wright, who portray Molly and Ginny respectively. Other cast members include Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Felton, Jason Isaacs and Alan Rickman. This film is going to grace U.S. theaters on July 15. 

Video: Miley Cyrus Taken Aback by Aussie Fan's Stage-Rushed

Miley Cyrus had a little stage scare at her Melbourne, Australia concert on Friday night, June 24. The "Can't Be Tamed" hitmaker closed out the gig with a performance of "The Climb", but as she was taking her bows, an overenthusiastic fan slipped off the guards and rushed onto the stage in an attempt to hug her. 

The fan did get a chance to stand next to Miley and put her hand around the songstress' shoulder for a brief moment before being tackled off the stage by security guard. Surprised by the incident, the "So Undercover" actress backed away and repeated the words, "Oh my god." She was then quickly guided off the stage by the guard. 

The shocking moment for Miley was captured on tape and can be seen at around the 3:54 mark of the video footage taken from the concert. 

Miley is currently traveling across Australia as part of her Gypsy Heart Tour. She has performed in Brisbane last June 21, and will next perform at the Acer Arena in Sydney on two consecutive nights before taking on Adelaide on June 29 and Perth on July 2. 

Kim Kardashian Gives X-Ray Proof Her Butt Is Real

Kim Kardashian is putting to rest once and for all rumors that she has got her famous backside surgically enhanced. Accompanied by sisters Kourtney Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian, the fiancee of NBA player Kris Humphries has gone to her family doctor to take an x-ray of her butt as proof. 

On Thursday, June 23, Khloe put up a photo of Kim standing next to an X-ray photo of her booty on a blog post titled "She's All Natural Baby!". Along with the picture, the younger Kardashian wrote, "Hey dolls. The PROOF is in the X-ray. Kim's ass is 100% real!!!" Kim herself has responded to the posting as tweeting, "Haha! The things my sisters have me do! Proof baby!" 

Kim's visit to the doctor's office for the x-ray can be seen in the next episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians", which will be aired this coming Sunday, June 26 at 10 P.M. (EST) on E!. A sneak peek of the episode has been shared for viewing pleasure, revealing that it was Khloe who came out with the x-ray idea. 

Video: Justin Bieber Serenades 'The View' Hostesses, Joins Segway Race

After paying a visit to "Late Show with David Letterman" on Wednesday night, June 22, Justin Bieber showed up on TV the morning after by appearing on "The View". Promoting his new women fragrance "Someday", the Canadian heartthrob treated the hostesses and all ladies in the studio with an a cappella performance of "Never Say Never".

After speaking about the meaning behind his fragrance's name, the star of "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" movie further impressed the audience with his segway skill. He was battling against host Elisabeth Hasselbeck who admitted she has just learned using it.

Another hostess Sherri Shepherd, meanwhile, teased Bieber by asking, "You have a glow, Justin, is there a reason why?" while a picture of him sitting next to his girlfriend Selena Gomez was shown on the background. "Say no," Whoopi Goldberg said as an advice, which was then taken by the teen star.

In another segment, Justin interrupted the hostess' discussion by walking on the stage while speaking on the phone, causing the audience to scream in a frenzy. As the ladies continued their chat, the 17-year-old performer walked off the set.

Eminem's 'Space Bound' Music Video to Premiere June 24

Although he's already had a new Bad Meets Evil album "Hell: The Sequel" on the market, Eminem doesn't stop promoting his 2010 studio album "Recovery". He recently scheduled to premiere a music video for one of his "Recovery" songs "Space Bound". 

Filmed last February, the video is going to make its way out on iTunes this Friday, June 24 at 5 P.M. EST followed by a VEVO premiere on Monday at 12:01 A.M. PST. It was directed by "Love the Way You Lie" video director Joseph Kahn with the video shoot taking place at a roadside diner in Santa Clarita. 

The soon-to-be-debuted video reportedly is going to feature an intense love storyline just like the Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan-starring clip. Playing the lead role opposite the Slim Shady in the clip will be porn star Sasha Grey. 

Dazzling Selena Gomez Hits 'Monte Carlo' New York Premiere

The New York premiere of "Monte Carlo" saw Selena Gomez being the belle of the ball. Attending the event on Thursday, June 23 at Lincoln Square Theater, the 18-year-old singer/actress wore a stunning floor-length blue chiffon gown, decorated with glitter effect. 

Additionally, the former Disney darling took along her pop sensation boyfriend Justin Bieber. Bieber, who recently hit the headlines with a Macy's incident, supported his lady in his all-black outfit, with bright red trainers covering his feet. 

Also spotted at the event were Gomez's co-stars Katie Cassidy and Andie MacDowell. Cassidy opted for peach lace dress, which she paired with matching platform heels. MacDowell slipped in navy blue dress. Other Hollywood stars include Stephen Baldwin, Rainey Qualley, Sarah Qualley and Justin Qualley. 

"Monte Carlo" follows three young girls, Grace, Meg, and Emma, who travel to the French capital. Things were normal before one of the girls is mistaken for a spoiled British heiress. As a result, they are caught up in a whirlwind of attention and find themselves going on a dream vacation to Monte Carlo. This Thomas Bezucha-directed movie will grace U.S. theaters on July 1. 

Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars Added to 2011 BET Awards Line-Up

More big stars have been tapped to make merry this year's BET Awards. Among those newly-announced guests are "Super Bass" rapstress Nicki Minaj, "Never Say Never" singer Justin Bieber and "Just the Way You Are" crooner Bruno Mars. 

Minaj is up for three kudos this year, vying for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist in one category. Mars, meanwhile, receives two nods; Best Male R&B Artist and Best New Artist. As for Bieber, he doesn't get any nomination but is well known for his works with a number of black musicians like Ludacris and Usher. 

At the upcoming awards show, Minaj, Bieber and Mars are going to join the likes of Queen Latifah, Ledisi, Gladys Knight, Taraji P. Henson, Big Sean and Ne-Yo. Also listed in the line-up are Beyonce Knowles, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Rowland, Trey Songz, Lil Wayne, Drake, Chris Brown, Alicia Keys, Cee-Lo Green, and Jill Scott. 

Honoring the best in music and movie, 2011 BET Awards will air live from Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on June 26 with Kevin Hart as a host. Special honorees are Patti LaBelle for Lifetime Achievement Award and Steve Harvey for Humanitarian Award. 

New Leaked Clip Sees 'Wonder Woman' in Hot Pants

"Wonder Woman" may never see the light of the day, yet another sneak peek from the canceled pilot has come out. In the 30-second snippet, superhero fans can catch a glimpse of the titular character in short shorts while she is ready to fight some bad guys. 

The hot pants were previously reported as part of three costumes which were going to be used on the reboot project. Back in April before NBC axed the project, the network's president Robert Greenblatt revealed the shorts "are actually used in the final confrontation when she beats Veronica Cale." 

Set to portray the superheroine was Adrianne Palicki, with Elizabeth Hurley being cast as villainous Cale. NBC, however, decided not to pick up the show after the pilot reportedly earned mixed reviews at test screenings. 

Rihanna Blasts Report She Provoked Chris Brown Attack

Rihanna is fuming mad at MTV Canada for running a story based on a tweet she supposedly wrote regarding the Chris Brown incident. Blasting the cable network for the false report, the "California King Bed" singer wrote on Twitter, "@mtvnewscanada are u f**king kiddin me?????? You're supposed to be a RELIABLE source for news on music and this is the bulls**t u post??" 

MTV Canada previously reported that a tweet from Riri's official Twitter page has uncovered that the Barbadian singer admitted to have provoked her ex-boyfriend into hitting her back in 2009. The reported tweet allegedly read, "'I admit it. I provoked Chris [Brown] to hit me. It not entirely his fault. #imSORRY?' " 

In its report, MTV Canada noted that the tweet has since been removed and has sparked speculation whether it was a hoax or a work by a hacker. After Riri let out her fiery response, the cable network tweeted a retraction to the story. It wrote, "#Rihanna fans. We were reporting on a story that was posted on several sites today. We had no intention to be salacious." 

Rihanna was physically assaulted by Chris Brown on the eve of the 2009 Grammy Awards. Speaking about the shocking assault months after the incident, she told Glamour magazine, "I went to sleep as Rihanna and woke up as Britney Spears. That was the level of media chaos that happened the next day." 

Couple Alert: Emma Stone Possibly Romancing Andrew Garfield

Life is likely to imitate art for Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. According to Us Weekly, the two leading stars of "The Amazing Spider-Man", who tackle the role of Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker, have taken their on-screen romance off screen after getting close to each other during filming. 

A source told the publication that the two "have been hooking up", before adding, "They haven't gone public, but he's told his friends." On the reason why the rumored couple are keeping their romance quiet, the source pointed out on Andrew's recent split from his girlfriend of three years, Shannon Woodward. 

Andrew split from Shannon in May. It was reported at the time that the production of "The Amazing Spider-Man" is to blame for the break-up. An insider said that the 27-year-old actor "literally never saw" his longtime girlfriend as he "got deeper into filming". Emma, on the other hand, parted ways with boyfriend Kieran Culkin last fall. 

When met at the Maui Film Festival recently, Andrew couldn't stop gushing about Emma. To E! Online, he said, "She's incredibly sweet, funny, down to earth, genuine, doesn't take herself seriously in any way shape or form. She has that in buckets." The twosome were previously spotted acting flirty when attending this year's MTV Movie Awards. 

Stephen Moyer Gets Anna Paquin's Permission to Bite Fans' Boobs

Portraying a sexy vampire on "True Blood" has given Stephen Moyer the opportunity to bite fans' boobs. Still, the actor who is famous for his role as Bill Compton on the hit HBO series reveals to Men's Health that he won't do so unless he first gets the permission from his co-star wife Anna Paquin. 

In an interview for the magazine's July/August issue, the 41-year-old actor shares about Anna's open mind when it comes to fans interaction. "I get to sign boobs a lot. I get to bite boobs, occasionally, when I'm allowed," he spills. "If my missus is there and she approves of the person I get to bite boobs...and necks." 

During the chat, Stephen also confesses he "did find love on set". Recalling the first time he met the 28-year-old beauty, he admits, "I was intrigued by her. She was very open about work. But she was withdrawn [personally]. I was like, 'Here I am; here's everything I got.' I remember leaving the screen test and thinking, 'God, I'd like to spend more time with her.' " 

When he got his chance two months later during the filming of the show's pilot, the "Priest" actor didn't waste the opportunity. He says, "I remember getting back to London [after the pilot] and just going, 'I have to keep speaking to this person.' We began speaking every night on Skype for two or three hours." 

'True Blood' Hunk Joe Manganiello Shows Off Sun-Bronzed Abs

Joe Manganiello has steamed up the pages of GQ with his sun-bronzed abs. Featured in the summer style fashion spread for the July issue of the magazine, the werewolf Alcide Herveaux of "True Blood" went shirtless and flashed his sculpted body as he posed with two bikini-clad models on the Greek island of Santorini. 

In one of the shots, the 34-year-old actor wears only a pair of 7 for Mankind jeans while soaking up the sun with the two models. Another shot has him wearing swim trunks and an unzipped hoodie in front of a fully naked model, while one other captures him in an unbuttoned Giorgio Armani dress shirt in front of a topless model. The photos can be seen at 

In the interview, Joe told GQ that keeping a fine physique is just strictly business. "If Alcide was described as weighing 300 pounds with a comb-over and missing his front teeth, that's what I would look like," he explained. As for stripping down before the camera, he said, "Once they yell action, you're a werewolf and you're not thinking about it. But before, there's a boom guy crouched behind you at ass level." 

Joe isn't the first "True Blood" actor who has posed for GQ. Ryan Kwanten and Alexander Skarsgard, who portray Jason Stackhouse and Eric Northman respectively, have brought their sexiness to the magazine in previous issues, and so has Mehcad Brooks, who played Benedict "Eggs" Talley in season two. 

Teen Bride Courtney Alexis Shows Naughtier Side in Photos

Courtney Alexis Stodden's mom may have defended her image and said she's as good as Christian girl but her pictures say otherwise. In a series of photos taken from her website, the 16-year-old bride posed in various stages of sexy including the one where she wraps her naked body with American flag only. 

Courtney became controversial since she married actor Doug Hutchinson who is 35 years her senior. They got married in Las Vegas where the legal age to get married is lowered to 16 with parents' consent. Indeed, Courtney's parents fully supported their daughter's decision. "They are very much in love and we are so supportive of this," her mother Krista said. "Courtney was a virgin when she married Doug. She is a good Christian girl." 

Courtney's physical look showed that she's more mature than the said age but her mom once again insisted that her daughter is pure. "She is a beautiful girl. She has real breasts, real lips, she's not plastic," Mrs. Stodden claimed. 

On another news, Radar Online obtained a copy of their marriage certificate which has details of how the nuptials took place on May 19. Krista acted as witness and Reverend Douglas Gilbert officiated the wedding. 

"Courtney is one of the most level headed girls out there and I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter," Courtney's father who is four years younger than Doug said. 

Lindsay Lohan Bails On Matt Lauer's Interview at Last Minute

Lindsay Lohan has let Matt Lauer travel to Los Angeles just to come home empty handed. The 24-year-old singer/actress was scheduled to have an interview with the "Today" host on Tuesday, June 21 but she pulled the plug at the last minute. 

Confirming the report, a rep from "Today" said, "Matt traveled to Los Angeles after Lindsay Lohan agreed to a sit-down interview at her home." However, the rep added, "When he arrived at her home, she had a change of heart and wasn't prepared to talk for more than 15 minutes as she had agreed, so the interview was canceled." 

The "Machete" beauty decided not to do the interview because she was prepared for only a 15-minute interview. But since NBC planned to put it on "Today" as well as "Dateline", the interview would be extremely lengthy. Sources from the network, however, told TMZ that Lindsay and her team had known this before. 

Addressing the report, Lindsay's publicist Steve Honig revealed to E! Online that she planned to cook for "Today" but "wasn't prepared to do a lengthy, two-hour in-depth interview." Steve insisted that he was the one who shut down the interview and the "Mean Girls" star "felt very badly about it." 

Still according to Steve, "there was no drama, no door slamming" and "it was a case of miscommunication." The publicist, who called Matt "a perfect gentleman" in handling the situation, regretted that this thing was made "an issue". 

Eminem's Bad Meets Evil Album 'Hell: The Sequel' Tops Hot 200

Eminem and his Bad Meets Evil partner Royce da 5'9" have prevented Adele from extending her long-running reign on Billboard Hot 200. The newly-reunited Hip-Hop duo bows at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with "Hell: The Sequel", their first release since twelve years. 

The Slim Shady and Royce arrive in the first position with modest 171,000 copies. They overshadow another new entry of this week by 11-year-old Jackie Evanchow. The former contestant of "America's Got Talent" has to settle at No. 2 with her first full-length album "Dream with Me" which sells 161,000 units in its first week. 

This is for the umpteenth time Eminem sitting at the penthouse of the weekly rundown, but marks Royce's first-time ever ruling the chart. As for Jackie, this becomes her second time debuting at No. 2 on the list after she broke the chart and landed at the runner-up position with "O Holy Night" last year. 

"You know I ain't never sold no records," Royce told MTV when commenting on the chart debut of the album. "I knew it had the potential. I just really was more focused on the whole 'critically acclaimed' thing, and I think we achieved that. I'm only hearing good things about how people feel about the album." 

"I think it's great for an artist of Eminem's stature to do a project like this, especially with a dude like me," he went on. "And to only focus on lyrics and not worry about performance or radio or nothing like that. To go in there spitting, I think, is refreshing to hip-hop." 

Back on the chart, Adele is forced to fall to No. 3 with her "21" which adds another 115,000 copies. Lady GaGa trails behind her with "Born This Way" which pulls in 68,000 in its fourth week, and Jason Aldean rises from No. 7 to rounding up the top 5 with "My Kinda Party" (51,000). 

The next three spots are occupied by new releases. Owl City's "All Things Bright and Beautiful" enters at No. 6, Barry Manilow's "15 Minutes" bows at No. 7, and Ledisi's "Pieces of Me" scores her first top 10 album by arriving at No. 8. 

Closing this week's 10 ten album list are Brad Paisley's "This Is Country Music" and "The Book of Mormon" soundtrack album. The former falls one slot to No. 9, and the latter has to drop seven slots to No. 10 after making a huge jump to from No. 124 No. 3. last week.

  1. "Hell: The Sequel" - Bad Meets Evil (171,000)
  2. "Dream with Me" - Jackie Evancho (161,000)
  3. "21" - Adele (115,000)
  4. "Born This Way" - Lady GaGa (68,000)
  5. "My Kinda Party" - Jason Aldean (51,000)
  6. "All Things Bright and Beautiful" - Owl City (48,000)
  7. "15 Minutes" - Barry Manilow (36,000)
  8. "Pieces of Me" - Ledisi (36,000)
  9. "This Is Country Music" - Brad Paisley (35,000)
  10. "The Book of Mormon" soundtrack album - various artists (64,000)

Megan Fox Joins 'The Dictator'

Megan Fox is adding one more comedy film to her resume. The 25-year-old beauty, who is shooting "Friends with Kids", is tapped to make a cameo in "The Dictator", in which Sacha Baron Cohen plays the lead role. 

The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop, adding that John C. Reilly will appear in the forthcoming comedy as well. Fox and Reilly will join the cast ensemble which includes Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley and Jason Mantzoukas. 

Based on Saddam Hussein's best selling novel "Zabibah and the King", "The Dictator" is a film about a ruthless dictator who visits the United States for a U.N. meeting but ends up getting lost in the city. As he wanders around, he meets a store owner who later change his dictatorial perspective. This Larry Charles-directed film is scheduled for May 11, 2012 release across the United States. 

Megan Fox has recently starred opposite Mickey Rourke in "Passion Play". Meanwhile, Reilly has recently portrayed Franklin in "We Need to Talk About Kevin". 

Bollywood Star Aishwarya Rai Pregnant With First Child

Aishwarya Rai is going to add mother to her resume. The Bollywood actress, who is famous for her role as Lalita Bakshi in 2004's "Bride & Prejudice", is expecting her first child with actor-producer husband Abhishek Bachchan. 

Breaking the happy news was none other than the 37-year-old beauty's father-in-law, prominent Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan, himself. On Tuesday, June 21, he shared with his Twitter followers that he is going to be a grandfather. He wrote, "I am going to become a grandfather! Aishwarya is expecting! So happy and thrilled!" 

Aishwarya was the winner of Miss World pageant in 1994. She has often been dubbed as "the most beautiful woman in the world." The actress, who starred opposite Steve Martin in 2009's "The Pink Panther 2, married Abhishek on April 20, 2007 in a private ceremony at the Bachchan residence, Prateeksha, in Juhu, Mumbai. 

Snippet of Selena Gomez's 'Love You Like a Love Song' Music Video

Selena Gomez plays dress-up in an upcoming music video for her single "Love You Like a Love Song". In a one-minute snippet, the girlfriend of Justin Bieber is seen sporting big hair while stopping by a Japanese karaoke club. In other scenes, she dons the Sofia Coppola-inspired Marie Antoinette look, goes glam rock in silver lipstick and dances in front of a Mariachi band. 

Speaking about the meaning behind the song, the 18-year-old singer/actress tells E! Online, "This song is fun and I wanted it to be really high fashion and different and I think we have accomplished that." She adds, "It's basically talking about how crazy you are about someone whenever it's the beginning. It's the honeymoon stage if you will." 

Selena was filming the music video with pink horses, but the scene is cut following controversy regarding the use of paint for the animals. Animal lover Pink at that time tweeted, "If there are any animal activists around Malibu- at Leo Cabrillo State Beach, there are horses being painted for a stupid music video. Shame." 

"Love You Like a Love Song" itself is taken from Selena's latest album "When the Sun Goes Down" which is slated to hit the stores on June 28. She recently performed the song at "Good Morning America". 

Report: Paris Hilton Finally Splits From Cy Waits After a Year of Dating

Hotel heiress Paris Hilton has allegedly called it quits with boyfriend Cy Waits following a recent report saying that the couple is "reevaluating" their relationship. Multiple insiders have confirmed the breakup report to Us Weekly, revealing the fact that Cy's difficulty to cope with Paris' life as a celebutante is to be blamed for their split. 

"They are broken up," claimed an insider about Nicky Hilton's older sister and her Vegas club owner boyfriend. "It's sad, she cares about him a lot and thinks he's a great guy but they really hit a rough patch," the insider further added. 

Explaining the reason why the couple ended their relationship, the insider unveiled, "[Cy's]s found it difficult to live his life with her in the spotlight and that's what caused their split." The source continued, "No drama, it's amicable, but things didn't work out." 

Paris began dating Cy in late spring 2010, shortly after splitting from the former star of "The Hills", Doug Reinhardt. Cy, who is the co-owner of Tryst Nightclub and XS Nightclub, was known for being supportive to the 30-year-old socialite. 

Back in August 2010, Cy was spotted by Paris' side when she was arrested for cocaine possession at a traffic stop in Las Vegas. This past April, the 34-year-old entrepreneur was also seen accompanying the blond beauty as she testified against home intruder issue in a Los Angeles court. At that time, an overzealous devotee threw water in Cy's face and grabbed him by the neck before Paris' security intervened. 


It’s finally here. For those who’ve held out hope for the extended editions of Lord of the Ringsseries on Blu-ray, Warner Brothers has now put out a fifteen-disc set of the franchise, with each film getting a new mastering. Peter Jackson’s triumphant version of the J.R.R. Tolkien books won big at the Oscars (seventeen awards in total, including best picture for Return of the King) and the box office, and did so for a reason: it’s great. Watching them again, the films still feel perfect, and though there may be some bad jokes, and perfectionists may wish that more of the books made it on screen (or were added to the extended cuts), the sheer scale that Jackson gets to by the final chapter is one of the great achievements of cinema. Yes, the guy who directed Bad Tastehad the right stuff. One wonders if he’ll ever be as good again.  Our review of  The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
You know the drill. Four Hobbits (Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd) join up with a Dwarf (John Rhys-Davies) an Elf (Orlando Bloom), a wizard (Ian McKellan) and two humans (Sean Bean, Viggo Mortensen) to destroy a ring that controls the fate of the world. Along the way, some are killed, and the gang is split up with Frodo Baggins (Wood) and Samwise (Astin) encountering Gollum (Andy Serkis), who helps lead them on their way while pining for the ring himself.
the-lord-of-the-rings-the-motion-picture-trilogy-extended-edition-blu-ray-imageShort review: The transfers are outstanding, with Fellowship of the Ring(whose theatrical incarnation on Blu-ray was not up to snuff) now looking as good as the rest of the films. And in 1080p, these suckers are gorgeous. All the supplements are the same, and they include everything from the four disc sets previously released, along with the Costa Botes documentaries – the ones issued with the two-disc EE sets. The downside: instead of converting the supplements to 1080p, or having all the supplements on one Blu-ray disc, the films’ extras are presented in DVD versions. Which means they’re the exact same discs as before, and there’s nothing new.
Fellowship of the Ring was the one that started it all, and suggested that Jackson could deliver. The film covers the history of the ring, and how it got to Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm), who received unnaturally long life and health from the ring, but treats it like an addiction. When he leaves the shire on his 111th birthday, he leaves the ring to Frodo (Wood), but Gandalf (McKellen) thinks there’s something odd about it. All the while, Sauron – the original owner of the ring – is growing more powerful and has recruited Saruman (Christopher Lee) to help build him an army. Gandalf has Samwise (Astin) join Frodo, and the two hook in Merry (Monaghan) and Pippen (Boyd). They meet Aragorn (Mortensen) who helps them get to Elrond (Hugo Weaving) so they can decide what to do with the ring. There the fellowship is formed, and the journey begins, which leads them to the mines of Moira, and eventually the dissolution of the fellowship.
God damn, what an entertaining movie. One that takes chances with the amount of fantasy, but this is fantasy done right. The extended editions are that much longer, and you get to really sink into the characters, with more breathing room at the beginning especially. The original cut ran 178 min., while the Extended Edition runs 208 min. — or 228 min. if you include the additional credit sequence (which consists of the names of the Lord of the Rings fan-club members who ponied up the dough to get their names in the credits). The editions are mostly minor, but since the world is so much fun to spend time in, it’s worth it. The opening gets the most additional material, but little things – like the magical powers of all the gifts the Elves give the Fellowship – add up to a stronger film in total.
the-lord-of-the-rings-the-fellowship-of-the-ring-movie-posterThe film is presented over two discs, with the film in an immaculate looking widescreen (2.35:1) transfer, and in DTS-HD 6.1 ES surround sound. Is this a demo disc? Yes. I found myself noticing sweat and the texture of paper – all the little things that pop with a great transfer. The film comes with four commentaries, the first with Peter Jackson, writer/producer Fran Walsh, and writer Philippa Boyens, the second with Production designer Grant Major, Costume Designer Ngila Dickson, Weta Workshop creature supervisor Richard Taylor, conceptual Designers Alan Lee and John How, supervising art director/set director Dan Hennah, art department manager Chris Hennah, and Weta workshop manager Tania Rodger.
The third track features producer Barrie Osbourne, executive producer Mark Ordesky, cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, editor John Gilber, co-producer Rick Porras, composer Howard Shore, visual effects supervisor Jim Rygiel, supervising sound editor/co-designer Ethan Van der Ryn, supervising sound editor Mike Hopkins, Weta Animation Designer and supervisor Randy Cook, Weta VFX art director Christian Rivers, Weta VFX cinematographer Brian Van’t Hul, and miniatures unit director of photography Alex Funke. The fourth track, the cast commentary, features Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Managhan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, and Sean Bean. Both Blu-ray discs of Fellowship have easily found Easter Eggs.
Disc three offers “The Appendices Part One — From Book to Vision” and covers the journey of FOTRfrom page to screen. It starts with a welcome from Peter Jackson (1 min.). It’s followed by “J.R.R. Tolkien: Creator of Middle-Earth” (22 min.), which covers the source material, and Tolkien’s influences. “From Book to Script” (20 min.) mostly has the cast talking about their love of the source material, and the changes that were made – like the snipping out of Tom Bombadill. In the “Visualizing the Story” section there’s “Storyboards and Pre-Viz: Making Words into Images” (14 min.), which talks about the planning that went into making the film, along with “Early Storyboards,” which offers a look at “The Prologue” (8 min.) “Orc Pursuit into Lothlorien” (2 min.) and “Sarn Gebir Rapids Chase” (2 min.) – all of which are scenes that were either not shot or included in either cut. “Pre-viz Animatics” offers looks at “Gandalf Rides to Orthanc” (1 min.) and “The Stairs of Khazad-Dum” (2 min.). “Animatic-to-film Comparisons” has two scenes, “Nazgul Attack at Bree” (2 min.) and “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum” (3 min.), and the section concludes with “Bag End Set Test” (7 min.), where Jackson hashed out how some of the sizing would work.
the-lord-of-the-rings-image-liv-tyler“Designing and Building Middle-earth” offers “Designing Middle-earth” (41 min.) gives props to the creative team behind the look of the film, while “Weta Workshop” (43 min.) gives the make-up and effects guys their due, and “Costume Design” (12 min.) highlights the self-evident. There are also two still galleries for design, broken into numerous subsections covering the people and the realms, with some of the stills coming with commentary.
The Middle-Earth Atlas is an interactive map where you can follow the journey of Frodo or Gandalf, with clips from the film. And, finally, “New Zealand as Middle-earth” (10 min.) covers seven of the film’s locations.
Disc four is called “The Appendices Part Two — From Vision to Reality.” It starts with an intro from Elijah Wood (1 min.). Then comes “Filming The Fellowship of the Ring” – which is broken into three featurettes. “The Fellowship of the Cast” (35 min.) has the cast singing each other’s praises, “A Day in the Life of a Hobbit” (13 min.) covers how long it takes to put on the make-up and “Cameras in Middle Earth” (50 min.) talks to the film’s multiple units, which were constantly shooting. This section also offers a “Production Photos” still gallery.
“Visual Effects” offers features on “Scale” (16 min.), while the “Miniatures” section features “Big-atures” (16 min.) – the slightly larger than expected miniature version of locations – and a still gallery for six of the locations. And in “Weta Digital” (25 min.), the effects guys get to talk about their work.
the-lord-of-the-rings-image-ian-mckellen“Post-Production: Putting It All Together” offers “Editorial: Assembling an Epic” (13 min.) and “Editorial Demonstration: The Council of Elrond”(2 min.)  which shows the 36 takes, and raw footage that goes into that sequence. “Digital Grading” (12 min.) covers the post-production tinkering with the look of the film. “Sound and Music” has “The Soundscapes of Middle-earth” (13 min.) to talk about the sound design while “Music for Middle-earth” (12 min.) gives Howard Shore’s work a spotlight. Finally, “The Road Goes Ever On…” (7 min.) covers the film’s premiere.
Disc Five offers Costa Botes’ documentary on the making of Fellowship (85 min.) and it’s a way more playful look at the making of the film. The hobbits get to goof on each other, but work gets done.
What may be most amazing about this series — aside from its command of CGI effects; aside from its compelling characters and story; aside from the fabulous star-making performances of Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom; aside from the great casting; aside from the beautiful New Zealand vistas shot by Andrew Lesnie; aside from the sheer spectacle of it all — is how Peter Jackson has made these films his own. Even more than Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson is the ultimate director-as-12-year-old-boy. And the Jackson sensibility is notable throughout, with his silly humor and blood and guts swordsmanship, but this is kept in balance by the weight of the quest to destroy the one ring. These are visionary works by a master director, a painstaking decade-long cinematic journey that may never be equaled.
the-lord-of-the-rings-the-two-towers-movie-posterAs for The Two Towers, here Sam and Frodo meet Gollum, and Merry and Pippen are stuck with Treebeard (Rhys-Davies) and Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Gandalf (now the White) help Theoden (Bernard Hill) reclaim his soul from Grima Wormtongue (Brad Dourif) and protect his people from an assault on his retreat fortress – Helm’s Deep. Frodo also meets Boromir’s brother Faramir (David Wenham), while Theoden’s niece Eowyn (Miranda Otto) both wants to fight and tries to romance Aragorn.
As for the extended cut, without providing a frame-by-frame analysis of the addendums, the additional footage consists mostly of things trimmed to get the film near a three-hour running time. The original cut ran 179 min., while the Extended Edition runs 222 min. — or 236 min. if you include the additional credit sequence. The only major sequence added is the thing the fans of the book clamored for most: a flashback in which Faramir (Wenham) and Boromir (Sean Bean) confront their father Denethor (John Noble) — who treats Faramir as the lesser son — over who gets to go to Rivendell for the meeting held in Fellowship. The scene explains why Faramir would want to give the Ring to his father to prove himself, a plot-point created by Jackson to increase the drama to which fans of the book lamented, feeling it was done at the expense of Faramir’s character. The characters who get the most additional screen-time in this cut would probably be Merry (Dominic Monaghan), Pippin (Billy Boyd), and Treebeard (voiced by John Rhys-Davies). But most of the additions are little bits that give more detail, but for all the add-ons, the pacing is kept up — one never feels the additional 43 minutes. In comparison between the two Extended Editions, the additions to Fellowship seem stronger, because the longer, Hobbit-centric opening and the explanation of the Elven gifts were so obviously missing. But while the main addition (the Boromir/Godfather II sequence) is nice to see, it isn’t as necessary.
The Two Towers: Extended Edition is presented in a spotless widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and in DTS-HD 6.1 ES. I’ll say it again – Demo discs. The film has four audio commentaries. The first features Peter Jackson and screenwriters Frances Walsh and Phillipa Boyens. The second one is with the design team, costume designer and Weta workshop supervisor Richard Taylor, Weta workshop supervisor Tania Rodger, production designer Grant Major, art directors and set designers Alan Lee and Dan Hennah, art department coordinator Chris Hennah, and conceptual designer John Howe. This is followed by a commentary by producer Barrie Osborne, executive producer Mark Ordesky, cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, editors Michael Horton, and Jabez Olssen, co-producer Rick Porras, composer Howard Shore, visual effects supervisors Jim Rygiel and Joe Letteri, sound editors Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins, creature effects supervisor Randy Cook, art director Christian Rivers, visual effects cinematographer Brian Van’t Hull and visual effects director of photography for the miniature unit Alex Funke.
And finally, the track that will probably get the most play, the audio commentary with the cast, including Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Karl Urban, John Noble, Craig Parker and Andy Serkis. There are also easily found Easter eggs on both discs.
the-lord-of-the-rings-orlando-bloom-imageDisc Three is called “The Appendices, Part III — The Journey Continues” and it comes with an introduction by Peter Jackson (2 min.) The first featurette is “J.R.R. Tolkien: Origins of Middle-Earth” (29 min.). Though not attempting to be a biography, it does speak of Tolkien’s friendship with C.S. Lewis, while it also suggests how his time in World War I as a soldier influenced the book (especially the dead marshes sequence). It’s also interesting to note that the commentators are at times a bit critical of his writing style, and are surprised that the thing was published at all.
“From Book to Script: Finding the Story” (21 min.) explains how the writers felt the middle chapter was the most problematic. Tolkien’s structure told basically multiple stories linearly through, while Jackson felt to create a timeline they had to be intercut, which forced some reshufflings of events, specifically “She” being pushed into Return of the King. This is also where the writers explain why they changed Faramir’s character (as they also note on the commentary). “In Designing Middle Earth” (46 min.) we get a look at how the locations were found (sometimes by just flying a helicopter around New Zealand), and how much detail and work went into the smallest details of the costuming, even when outfits were being mass-produced. In this section is also a large stills gallery (with some of the stills featuring audio commentaries) for both the peoples and realms of Middle Earth. To get a closer look at the costume and make-up work done, watch the section called “Weta Workshop” (44 min.), which shows how much work went into the whole process.
Lord of the Rings GollumBut the standout section on this disc is “The Taming of Smeagol” (40 min.), since the Gollum/Smeagol character is the best addition to the series. The documentary shows how much of the character was modeled on Serkis, who shot his scenes with the actors, and then was later replaced with his digital incarnation. Watching Serkis’s commitment as he flops around in a freezing-cold river explains why Gollum has become an indelible cinematic figure. But to see how much of Gollum is in Andy Serkis’s performance, the Andy Serkis Animation Reference (2 min.) shows the live action Serkis delivering Gollum’s monologue to himself, which is also available in split-screen so one can compare to the final product. The final chapter in this section, Gollum Stand-in (3 min.), exists to embarrass co-producer Rick Porras as he was stuck in the Gollum suit one day. There’s also a design gallery here so you can see the different attempts at getting Gollum’s look. The last supplement on Disc Three is New Zealand as Middle-Earth (14 min.), which offers a location-by-location series of scouting trips of the places filmed in New Zealand as substitutes for middle Earth. Those looking for “Hobbitized” vacation ideas may benefit the most from this.
the-lord-of-the-rings-imageDisc Four is “The Appendices, Part IV — The Battle for Middle-Earth Begins” and beings with an introduction from Elijah Wood (1 min.), who expresses a fan’s enthusiasm for the extras-packed set. Next up is the section Filming Middle Earth, which has two sections: Warriors of the Third Age (21 min.), and Cameras in Middle-Earth (68 min.). The first talks to and about the stunt people involved and the work they went through, and Viggo Mortensen’s penchant for head butting. The second is the more standard “making-of,” where they cover the difficulties involved in making the picture (especially the money sequences), though producer Barrie Osborne does mention that since all three were shot at the same time, it’s sometimes hard to differentiate between what was for what. This section also has a production-photos gallery.
For the area entitled “Visual Effects”, there’s a section for the miniature work, with the featurette titled “Big-atures” (22 min.), as they were often built on sets to much larger scale than most miniatures (hence the name). Also in this section is “The Flooding of Isengard Animatic” (2 min.), which offers the animatic and a split-screen comparison. In “WETA Digital” (28 min.) the digital work is given its due, from the work done on Treebeard to the extensive programming done to create digital characters that have their own A.I. when they fight. Also in this section is a still gallery for Abandoned Concepts, featuring the talked about Slime Balrog. In “Editorial: Refining the Story” (22 min.) the editorial process is highlighted as Jackson had different editors work on each movie. Here they were Michael Horton and Jabez Olssen, and Jackson talks about the process where in which he gets to see a rough cut put together first, with often crude animation filling in for the uncompleted sequences. From there the fine-tuning begins.
the-lord-of-the-rings-image-1Next is a section called “Music and Sound.” “Music for Middle-Earth” (25 min.) concentrates on Howard Shore and includes footage from the scoring stage, while “The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth” (21 min.) goes behind the sound-effects work, showing how much of the audio for the film was added on later, something that becomes even more noticeable after thumbing through “Sound Demonstration for Helm’s Deep” (1 min.), which allows one to sample the seven layers that went into creating the soundtrack for the battle, along with an eighth final version option. If that weren’t enough, the disc wraps up with the epilogue “The Battle for Helm’s Deep is Over…” (9 min.) where everyone talks about the relief of having finished, the premieres, and (briefly) what’s to come.
Disc Five offers Costa Botes’ documentary on the making of the film (106 min.), which – again is very playful and more of a fly on the wall approach. These are very endearing, and let the cast goof off like the hams they could be.
the-lord-of-the-rings-the-return-of-the-king-movie-posterReturn of the King is the big wrap-up, and damn if it doesn’t deliver (even if it takes its time to wrap up – but if you’re like me and watched all three films over 24 hours, it’s just part of the journey). Here Frodo and Sam finally get to Mount Doom, while Aragorn and company go to Denethor (John Noble) in Gondor, where they are not welcomed with enthusiasm. Aragorn and Gandalf try to rally troops, and Aragorn finally claims his role as the king of Gondor – which lets him use the army of the dead to fight Sauron. But everything rests on Frodo getting that ring destroyed as both he and Sam come to think it will be the end of them.
By the time Legolas is surfing a dead elephant after taking it out, it’s impressive to think about the sheer scale of this movie. Though none of the films are small, there are literally thousands of people in the final battle (many, to be fair, done with CGI), but when there are swooping dragons, and all the orcs and Uruk-hai and humans and the great palace of Gondor, it’s truly epic. There is a sense of scale here that is unparalleled – you’d have to go back fifty years to see someone attempt something of this scale, but the freedom of digital technology means that it’s not just panning across thousands of people, but swooping from up high, and going everywhere. There’s nothing like it.
The extended edition of Return of the King added 50 minutes of new footage to the Best Picture winner and — much like the theatrical— is the longest of the bunch at four hours and 10 minutes (with an additional 20 minutes of fan credits). In the theatrical cut it’s Samwise Gamgee’s (Sean Astin) film, here it becomes his. The majority of the new additions aren’t to his, Frodo (Elijah Wood), and Gollum/Smeagol’s (Andy Serkis) journey, but to the others. It’s safe to say that Jackson felt theirs was the most important narrative, and cut little from it.
What may be most surprising to those who were looking for some of the “important” scenes trimmed but rumored to be filmed is how the majority are brief. The long spoke of “Mouth of Sauron” scene, in which a nefarious ambassador (Bruce Spence) meets Aragorn’s army at the Black Gates, takes about a minute. The “House of Healing” sequence is only marginally longer and is conveyed non-verbally, while future lovers Eowyn’s (Miranda Otto) and Faramir’s (David Wenham) extended courtship amounts to more shots of the couple making googly eyes at each other. Gandalf’s confrontation with the Witch King clocks in at a minute; Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) grabbing the palantir to tell Sauron that he’s the returned king is also succinct. They are welcome, but it points to how much was sacrificed to get the film down to its already unwieldy theatrical length.
the-lord-of-the-rings-image-elijah-woodThe longest addition is the one that fans (and Christopher Lee) have been clamoring for since it was announced that it was snipped: the resolution of Saruman (Lee) and Grima Wormtounge (Brad Dourif). But in finally seeing the sequence, it’s easy to see why it was excised; though it caps off two characters who were prominent in the last film, their fates don’t really advance the plot that much and the movie already has too much to cover before the battle for Minis Tirith. But it’s a welcome addition just the same.
Though the running time is elongated, the film’s rhythms play better here; Return of the King now gets to take its time. It allows for more grace notes, and characters get to breathe a bit more (though the film was always driven by its characters). Jackson made a great film better.
The film is presented widescreen (2.35:1) and is spread over two discs in DTS-HD 6.1 ES. These were made to be used for demoing your system. Most of the commentarians have graced the previous sets — the lineups are nearly identical — giving a sense of continuity to the supplements. The first commentary features Peter Jackson and screenwriters Frances Walsh and Phillipa Boyens, and as always there’s jovial but insightful about their work, and Jackson is quick to point out how much was directed by others (though under his supervision). Next up is audio commentary with design team, including costume designer and Weta workshop supervisor Richard Taylor, Weta workshop supervisor Tania Rodger, production designer Grant Major, art directors and set designers Alan Lee and Dan Hennah, art department coordinator Chris Hennah, and conceptual designer John Howe, in addition to costume designer Ngila Dickson, who skipped the Two Towers commentary.
This is followed by a commentary by producer Barrie Osborne, executive producer Mark Ordesky, co-producer Rick Porras, composer Howard Shore, visual effects supervisors Jim Rygiel and Joe Letteri, sound editors Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins, creature effects supervisor Randy Cook, art director Christian Rivers, visual effects cinematographer Brian Van’t Hull and visual effects director of photography for the miniature unit Alex Funke. New to the track are editors Jamie Selkirk and Annie Collins (different editors worked on each film so this is fitting). The final commentary is with the cast, including Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Karl Urban, John Noble, and Andy Serkis. Coming back to the commentaries is Ian McKellen, while new additions are Hugo Weaving, Witch King/Gothmog Lawrence Makoare, and Smeagol and Gollum. Yep, Serkis provides some comic relief as everyone’s favorite bipolar case provides his thoughts on the making of. Some of which is funny, some of which… less so.
the-lord-of-the-rings-the-return-of-the-king-movie-poster-1Disc Three offers “The Appendices, Part V — The War of the Ring” which starts with an introduction by Peter Jackson (2 min.). If these summaries are invoking déjà vu, it’s because the blueprint is the same on all the discs: “J.R.R. Tolkien: The Legacy of Middle-Earth” (29 min.) speaks to Tolkien’s creation of the languages of Middle Earth and the roots of his mythology, while delving into thematics that correlate to the author’s life, as analyzed by Tolkien scholars. This segues well into the next section, “From Book to Script: Forging the Final Chapter” (25 min.). Tolkien thought that his trilogy could never be filmed, partly because timelines overlap in different books; stories in Two Towers have parallel action in King. A nightmare to solve, it’s probably why screenwriters Jackson, Phillipa Boyens and Fran Walsh netted their Best Screenplay Oscars.
Here, the filmmakers discuss how they reworked the book into filming shape, and what didn’t make the cut (even after filming stopped) especially a cut scene featuring Aragorn fighting Sauron — which was thought needed to give the final struggle to destroy the ring more drama, though proved unnecessary — and the absence of the long missed “Scowering of the Shire” sequence. There’s also a frank discussion of the film’s multiple endings. In this section one can also see the early animatics for the Sauron-Aragorn fight (5 min.).
In “Designing and Building Middle Earth” (39 min.), the struggles of creating the worlds for final chapter is under scrutiny, with the main new addition for the film being Minas Tirith. This section features footage from Jackson’s Dead Alive as the Dimholt road sequence was filmed in a shared location, where Bad Taste is featured in the “Bigatures” section (19 min.). It covers all of the large miniatures used in making the film. “Weta Workshop” (47 min.) offers an in-depth look at the New Zealand’s team’s work on the special effects, and on the design of the main villains, including the added Mouth of Sauron. “Costume Design” (12 min.) tracks the new outfits, while in this section one can also access Design Galleries, which has sections for “The Peoples of Middle Earth,” “The Realms of Middle Earth,” and “Miniatures.”
“Home of the Horse Lords” (30 min.) bespeaks the actor’s relationships with their equine counterparts. Most of the horses were difficult at best, while horse doubles (sometimes something as simple as a barrel) were used. “New Zealand as Middle-Earth” (16 min.) covers all the Kiwi locations of the third film, while Middle Earth Atlas allows the user to track the paths followed through Middle Earth in the course of the movie.
the-lord-of-the-rings-image-dominic-monaghanDisc Four is called “The Appendices, Part VI — The Passing of an Age” and beings with an introduction from Billy Boyd, Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan (2 min.). “Filming Middle Earth”, has two sections: “Cameras in Middle-Earth” (73 min.), and “Production Photos.” “Cameras” is easily the set’s best supplement — it’s the one that covers the production of the third film, which features a lot of the cast and crew saddened by finishing the series (many of whom were involved with it for nearly a decade). In the area entitled “Visual Effects” is the featurette “Weta Digital” (42 min.) and it reveals the labor that went into the film’s 1,488 special-effects shots, more than the two previous films combined. Also in this section is “Visual Effects Demonstration: “The Mumakil Battle” (1 min.) which offers seven angles on a short sequence from the Mumakils (the large elephants) vs. Horses fight with optional audio commentary on each angle.
Viggo Mortensen Lord of the RingsIn “Post Production: Journey’s End” there’s “Editorial: Completing the Trilogy” (22 min.). It sets up how RotKwas forced to contain footage originally intended for inclusion earlier (such as Sarumon’s final scene and Smeagol’s discovery of the ring), while also shows how this film reunited Jackson with editor Jamie Selkirk, who worked on all of Jackson’s films previous to Fellowship of the Ring. “Music for Middle Earth” (22 min.) focuses on Howard Shore (who won an Academy Award for his score), and the songs that come into play in the theatrical and extended edition. “The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth” (22 min.) goes behind the sound-effects work, and to what lengths the recording crew went to find the noises they needed, which in one case meant getting close to horse raring to breed. “The End of All Things” (21 min.) talks of the bum-rush that went into finishing the final film, which had so much work being done on the technical end that the movie was worked on up until the very last minute.
“The Passing of the Age” (25 min.) spends much of time talking about the film’s premiere, the Oscars, and a short autopsy on the series. But the heart of the disc is “Cameron Duncan: The Inspiration for ‘Into the West’” (32 min.), which is about Duncan (1986-2003), a young filmmaker who Jackson and company brought into the fold because Jackson saw some parallels between Duncan’s work and his own. Unfortunately Duncan developed terminal cancer, but he provided the inspiration for the Oscar-winning song “Into the West.” Also included are two of Cameron’s short films “DFK6498” (4 min.) and “Strike Zone” (11 min.).
Disc Five offers Botes documentary on the making of RotK (114 min.) and it’s a nice playful version of a behind the scenes piece.
Also included with this set are codes for the downloadable versions of the films. Yeah. Impressive.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Alphainventions


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More