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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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  • Digitally pumped-up 'Hobbit' is a so-so trip ★★ 1/2

    Digitally pumped-up 'Hobbit' is a so-so trip ★★ 1/2
    "The Hobbit," the first of three movies to be yanked out of J.R.R. Tolkien's single novel, comes from Mister Middle-earth: Peter Jackson, who thrilled Tolkien fans worldwide with his lavish screen version of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
  • Roots of some giant problems in 'Jack the Giant Slayer' ★★

    Roots of some giant problems in 'Jack the Giant Slayer' ★★
    Most modern fantasy adventures are distinguished, if that's the right word, by shot after shot of actors gaping at amazements — beanstalks busting out of the ground, for example, or flaming trees being flung as weapons at the king's castle —...

    This side of 'Paradise,' with Echols, Davis

    This side of 'Paradise,' with Echols, Davis
    "I really do believe these people would have gotten away with murdering me if it would not have been for what you guys did — for being there in the beginning and getting this whole thing on tape so the rest of the world sees what's happening." That'...

    Richard Wagner: Separating the man from the music

    Richard Wagner: Separating the man from the music
    "Just because he may have been a nasty little man and a nasty anti-Semite doesn't mean that his music is not as supreme as it is." That assessment comes from a Richard Wagner scholar in the documentary "Wagner & Me" (at the Siskel Film Center through...

    To the screen, and back again

    To the screen, and back again
    I'm 51 and Bilbo-free. Somehow "The Hobbit" has eluded me my entire reading life. What was I reading in junior high when I first noticed everyone else was reading it? "Big A: The Story of Lew Alcindor," maybe. Or William K. Everson's book on Laurel &...