Ralph Bakshi talks about his sketchbook, Lord of the Rings & working with Brad Pitt on Cool World

Ralph Bakshi is the man responsible for films like Fritz the Cat, Coonskin, American Pop, Heavy Traffic, The Lord of the Rings (’78), Wizards, and Cool World.

Media Mikes had a chance to chat about drawing with Ralph as well as how he got the rights to make the animated Lord of the Rings movie in 1978 to working with a young Brad Pitt on Cool World.

Blu-ray Review “Rings”

Starring: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Aimee Teegarden, Bonnie Morgan, Vincent D’Onofrio
Director: F. Javier Gutiérrez
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Run Time: 102 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

“Ringu” aka “The Ring” originally was a great Japanese horror movie. Honestly didn’t need an expensive US remake. Still, the remake was decent and worth working. “The Ring 2” is hardly. When I heard report of “Rings”, I thought “yeah sounds cool, it’s been some years now and what could they do with all this new technology etc”. Well this was just another boring reboot of the original film with nothing worth wild here at all. Samara is not scary at all and all her scenes could have been taken scene for scene from the previous films and you wouldn’t have realized.

Official Premise: A new chapter in the beloved RING horror franchise. A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before…

“Rings” comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD+ Digital HD cop included. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is solid for this film I do have to give credit there! The special features are bland and pointless like the movie. There are two featurettes “Terror Comes Full Circle” and “Resurrecting the Dead: Bringing Samara Back” about the production and creating Samara again, respectively. “Scary Scenes” is a stupid cast reaction to horror. Lastly there are nearly 20 minutes of deleted/alternate/extended scenes, cause you can tell this movie was chopped up to hell and was probably an entirely different film before it was released!

Blu-ray Review “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Extended Edition”

Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin
Number of discs: 5
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Running Time: 250 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4.5 out of 5 stars

August 28th brings the first time that Peter Jackson’s visual masterpieces have been available separately on Blu-ray. “The Return of the King” is just such an epic film and really deserves an epic Blu-ray. There is no mistaken that this release is the absolute best presentation you are going to get out of this film. If you are looking to experience this film solo from the rest of the series, I would recommend purchasing this release. To be honest the real selling point for me is the Ultraviolet digital streaming copy available.

This film is just breathtaking on Blu-ray both visual and audio. The 1080p transfer is beyond pristine and presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The DTS-HD 6.1 ES sound is beyond amazing and is perfect for a good surround sound system. When I think of film that need to be watching on Blu-ray, I can’t help but thinking about this franchise. The film is released in five-disc set with two 50GB Blu-ray discs and three DVDs. Also included is features from BD-Live. I know we experienced the same thing with the “The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy” last year but all of the special features are still on DVD, which is a little disappointing to me personally but obviously they make up for the fact since there are three jam-packed discs with extras.

The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam (Sean Astin), led by the mysterious Gollum (Andy Serkis), continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring. Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) struggles to fulfill his legacy as he leads his outnumbered followers against the growing power of the Dark Lord Sauron, so that the Ring-bearer may complete his quest. The film, which won Academy Awards® in all 11 categories for which it was nominated, took wins for Best Picture, Director, Editing, Art Direction, Costume Design, Visual Effects, Makeup, Adapted Screenplay, Sound Mixing, Original Song and Original Score.

The 5-disc Extended Edition of “The Return of the King” is very rewarding, as was its predecessors. All of the content from the 2004 extended edition DVD is available, as well as Costa Botes’ feature-length documentary like the “Fellowship” & “Two Towers”. The commentaries on this film are in line with its predecessors only going more in depth due to the shear scale of this film. Honestly by the third film the features do get a little repetitive but mega fans are sure to love every bit of information given.

Disc 1 • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Featured Extended Edition Part 1
• The Lord of the Rings: War in the North – The Untold Story Trailer (A trailer for the upcoming videogame) • Commentary with Director & Writers • Commentary with Design Team • Commentary with Production and Post Production • Commentary with Cast • BD-Live™ enabled

Disc 2 • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King Featured Extended Edition Part 2 • Commentary with Director & Writers • Commentary with Design Team • Commentary with Production and Post Production • BD-Live™ enabled

Disc 3 • The Appendices Part 5: The War of the Ring: Peter Jackson’s Introduction • JRR Tolkien: The Legacy of Middle-earth (chats about the debate about Tolkien’s literary intentions) • From Book to Script • Designing and Building Middle-earth • Home of the Horse Lords (focuses on the horses, riders and horse-training using the film) • Middle-earth Atlas Map • New Zealand as Middle-earth

Disc 4 • The Appendices Part 6: The Passing of an Age: Introduction • Filming The Return of the King • Visual Effects (cocuses on the challenges of behind-the-scenes drama, timetables and shooting deadlines) • Post-Production: Journey’s End (complied of four pieces of the “Post-Production”: “Editorial: Completing the Trilogy,” talks about Jackson and editor Jamie Selkirk’s collaborative edit; “Music for Middle-earth” dives into Howard Shore’s fantastic score; “The Soundscapes of Middle-Earth” hone in on the film’s sound design; and “The End of All Things” focuses on the “The Return of the King” face to finish on schedule) • The Passing of an Age (turns to the premiere, international release, reception and the Academy Awards) • Cameron Duncan: The Inspiration for Into the West (odd choice to include but showcases: a terminally ill teenage filmmaker who visited the Lord of the Rings production several times before his death)

Disc 5 • Behind-the-Scenes Documentary Created by Filmmaker Costa Botes during filming of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (same as the first two takes a different approach to the behind-the-scenes look, runs 113 mins)

For more information: http://warnerblu.warnerbros.com/
Official Website: www.lordoftherings.net
Facebook: http://facebook.com/lordoftheringstrilogy

Blu-ray Review “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – Extended Edition”

Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin
Number of discs: 5
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed: Warner Home Video
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Running Time: 208 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4.5 out of 5 stars

August 28th brings the first time that Peter Jackson’s visual masterpieces have been available seperately on Blu-ray. I have always had a special place in my heart for “The Fellowship of the Rings”. There has been some talk about the the transfer on this extended edition, but I never had a problem. Warner Bros issued a response that this film was remastered from the original 2K digital production files in order to reproduce the full color imagery of the feature. If you are looking to experience this film solo from the rest of the series, I would recommend purchasing this release.  To be honest the real selling point for me is the Ultraviolet digital streaming copy available.

This film is just breathtaking on Blu-ray both visual and audio. The 1080p transfer is beyond presistine and presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The DTS-HD 6.1 ES sound is beyond amazing and is perfect for a good surround sound system. When I think of film that need to be watching on Blu-ray, I can’t help but thinking about this franchise. The film is released in five-disc set with two 50GB Blu-ray discs and three DVDs.  Also included is features from BD-Live.  I know we experienced the same thing with the “The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy” last year but all of the special features are still on DVD, which is a little disappointing to me personally but obviously they make up for the fact since there are three jam-packed discs with extras.

In this first part of the Trilogy, the young hobbit Frodo Baggins inherits a ring; but this ring is no mere trinket. It is the One Ring, an instrument of absolute power that could allow Sauron, the dark Lord of Mordor, to rule Middle-earth and enslave its peoples. Frodo, together with a Fellowship that includes his loyal hobbit friends, humans, a wizard, a dwarf and an elf, must take the One Ring across Middle-earth to Mount Doom, where it first was forged, and destroy it forever. Such a journey means venturing deep into territory manned by Sauron, where he is amassing his army of Orcs. And it is not only external evils that the Fellowship must combat, but also internal dissension and the corrupting influence of the One Ring itself. The course of future history is entwined with the fate of the Fellowship. The film won four Oscars® for Best Visual Effects, Cinematography, Makeup and Original Score.

The 5-disc Extended Edition of “The Fellowship of the Ring” includes all of the special features that appear on its 2002 DVD release, in addition to filmmaker Costa Botes’ 85-minute documentary, which was previously only available as part of the Limited Edition DVD release. There are four commentary tracks on this release each one is equally good and one is not better than the next. I would like to say it says something for everyone, whether it be explanations from the director, to effects background to cast stories.

Disc 1 • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Feature – Extended Edition Part 1 • The Lord of the Rings: War in the North – The Untold Story Trailer (A trailer for the upcoming videogame) • Commentary with Director & Writers • Commentary with Design Team • Commentary with Production and Post Production • Commentary with Cast • BD-Live™ enabled

Disc 2 • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition Part 2 • Commentary with Director & Writers • Commentary with Design Team • Commentary with Production and Post Production • Commentary with Cast • BD-Live™ enabled

Disc 3 • The Appendices Part 1 From Book to Vision: Peter Jackson introduces the Extended Edition • JRR Tolkien: Creator of Middle-earth (provides background on the series’ author) • From Book To Script • Visualizing the Story • Designing and Building Middle-earth (Focuses on the development & construction of the various sets and locations that appear in the film) • Middle-earth Atlas Interactive Map • New Zealand and Middle-earth Interactive Maps.

Disc 4 • The Appendices Part Two From Vision to Reality: Focuses on film’s principal photography with an Introduction by Elijah Wood • Filming The Fellowship of the Ring (88 minutes documentary including revealing string of candid stories, scene preparations and camera crews setups) • Visual Effects (creating scale, shooting forced perspective scenes, designing and building incredible miniatures and dazzling audiences with in-house visual effects by Weta Digital) • Post Production: Putting It All Together (focuses on the film’s editing process) • Digital Grading • Sound and Music (showcases the film’s sound design, original mix, sound effects and ADR, and Howard Shore’s score) • The Road Goes Ever On… (Jackson reflects on “The Fellowship of the Ring” post)

Disc 5 • Behind-the-Scenes Documentary Created by Filmmaker Costa Botes during filming of
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (More overview of the production but from a stand back point of view, runs 85 mins)

For more information: http://warnerblu.warnerbros.com/
Official Website: www.lordoftherings.net
Facebook: http://facebook.com/lordoftheringstrilogy

 

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