Schizopolitan – The Podcast: Episode 8 – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

It returns! The Schizopolitan podcast roars into 2015 with a fresh episode, in which Saxon and Jehan take on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies! Not only do they examine the latest Peter Jackson film in detail, they also us it to look back on the whole experience of Middle-Earth on film, and all the interestingly weird ways in which the Hobbit Trilogy hasn’t worked out as planned. Action! Bloat! Sexy Dwarves! Plus, a Comic Recommendation for the current (and spectacular) Image Humble Comics Bundle, an offer which runs until January 21st 2015!

Enjoy the podcast (please let us know in the comments if you do), and stay tuned for more episodes soon! And remember – you can now subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Share and Enjoy!

(The opening and closing music on the podcast is ‘Ouroboros’ by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Movie Trailer – The Adventures of Tintin

Adventures of Tintin Poster Steven Spielberg Herge Peter Jackson 2011

The Adventures of Tintin is something that’s intrigued me for a while – I grew up with Tintin, it formed part of my love of comic books, and stories like The Crab with the Golden Claws, Prisoners of the Sun and Explorers on the Moon are seared into my subconscious. Herge’s globe-trotting adventures have always had a massive appeal, and while a full-on live action adaptation would have just been wrong, the concept of a motion-capture CG adaptation that kept to Herge’s distinctive style was… interesting.

Then, there’s the creative team behind this. The first draft of the screenplay was done by Steven Moffat (before some sci-fi series started taking up all his time), with further work done by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish. It’s being directed by Steven Spielberg, with the next in the series due to be helmed by Peter Jackson. The still images we’ve seen so far have been interesting – lurking in a halfway house between photo-realism and Herge’s original artwork.

Well, now we’ve got our first actual footage from the film. The teaser trailer for the film is now up in Hi-Def at the Apple trailers site, and it’s… interesting. It looks exactly as gorgeous as you’d expect (especially since, as far as I know, Weta Digital is handling all the animation), with many of the early shots not even looking computer-generated, and there’s a couple of moments which suggest that Spielberg handling 3-D could be an interesting experience. (There’s also the fact that despite this first instalment in the planned franchise being largely an adaptation of The Secret of the Unicorn, there’s a big chunk of The Crab with the Golden Claws in this teaser, suggesting we’re getting a brisk origin for Tintin and Captain Haddock’s friendship). The one thing it doesn’t do, of course, is show us much of the characters or much of the dialogue, giving us no chance to see if they’ve succesfully transferred the leaps in motion capture made by the Avatar crew into a film which doesn’t star giant blue pointy-eared space elves. The end shot of Tintin himself is gorgeously executed and amazingly photo-real, and the stylisation may prevent this from falling into the glassy-eyed creepiness that Robert Zemeckis’ mo-cap films have often ended up with. However, until we see some actual scenes, I’m going to reserve judgement, and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn will remain something I’m interested in, but not quite genuinely excited about yet…