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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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  • 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's Damien Echols, talking to filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky a couple of years ago when they visited him in prison for the most recent installment of "Paradise Lost," their HBO documentary series about the West Memphis Three that aired last year.
  • 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...

    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 —...

    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 &...

    'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' review: Also known as 'A Long Way to Go'

    'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' review: Also known as 'A Long Way to Go'
    *1/2 (out of four) After the 12 endings that wrapped up 2003’s Best Picture-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” Peter Jackson could have parted with J.R.R. Tolkien adaptations and gone out on top. Alas. The...