October 27, 2016
        "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars        

Peter Jackson launches “Hobbit” video diary

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Now that Peter Jackson’s buckling down and settling in as the director of back-to-back “The Hobbit” productions – after a long, long wait – it appears he’s ready to give fans of Tolkien and the entire Shire something they really haven’t had before.


Sir Ian McKellen has been blogging about what he’s seeing in the effects department. Elijah Wood is talking about concept art he witnessed on a trip to New Zealand. And now, Jackson has recorded a 10-minute “welcome to the start of production” video from the set of the film and posted it on Facebook. See it here:

There once was a time when footage like this would be impossible to find. I particularly remember how strange it was to see Steven Spielberg, on a DVD extra for “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” toasting the cast and crew with champagne on the first day of the shoot. It felt like we were spying on something we weren’t supposed to see. Like we had access.

But Jackson’s being transparent on “Hobbit” so far, and it’s great. Just so long as he keeps surprises up his sleeve. It is a two-part film. Let’s not see all of it online before we ever get to a theater!

Anyway, Jackson promises that this is the first “video diary” from the set, so expect more. It’s a film lover’s dream, and a must for “Hobbit” and “LOTR” fans.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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