Monday, January 21, 2008

The official site for J. J. Abrams's upcoming Star Trek movie is live, and the first teaser trailer is up. Looks... promising.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year to all. We wish everyone a healthy and prosperous 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Today was double-feature day at the movies. First we took in The Golden Compass. It was visually impressive, but less than satisfying overall. Those among the family who have read the book were underwhelmed, it seemed.

Then we stuck around for Disney's Enchanted and we found it to be so. Much laughter as Disney made some fun of itself, after watching others, especially Shrek, get rich from the style.

All in all, an excellent way to spend the afternoon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Slice of Heaven

Today is Pie Day at my new office. It's an annual tradition that effectively collapses the office's normal due diligence with a forceful combination of sweet and savory concoctions doled out all day long. Today's mouth-watering schedule:

11 a.m. - Breakfast Arab pies
11:30 a.m. - Quiche
Noon - Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
12:30 p.m. - Cottage Pie
1 p.m. - French Cherry Pie and Tomato Cheddar Pie
1:30 p.m. - Pecan Pie
2 p.m. - Limeade Pie
2 p.m. - Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie (the perennial winner)
2:15 p.m. - Pumpkin Pie and Funky Monkey
2:30 p.m. - Cheesecake Surprise (an assortment of chocolate cheesecakes)
3 p.m. - Lemon Meringue
3:15 p.m. - Sweet Potato Pie
3:45 p.m. - Chocolate Cream Pie
4:15 p.m. - Peppermint Chocolate Pudding Pie
4:45 - Fluffy Lemon Pie

I contributed to the sugar deluge with the Peppermint Chocolate Pudding Pie, recipe courtesy of Kraft Foods. Check it out here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hobbit update

'The Hobbit': Peace in Middle-Earth?
From Entertainment Weekly

Fans have long dreamed Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson would tackle J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, but a nasty legal battle with New Line Cinema has made it impossible. Now, at last, a cease-fire may be at hand...

[T]he legal battle that's kept The Lord of the Rings' prequel, The Hobbit, hung up for years — a bitter feud between Rings director Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema co-chairman Robert Shaye — may finally be nearing resolution. For once, there's reason to be cautiously optimistic...

[S]ources close to the talks tell [EW] that they're detecting a lot less frost in the air, and that a deal may be reached that could help usher J.R.R. Tolkien's maiden Middle-earth masterpiece to screens before the end of the decade. ''There has been a détente,'' says one insider. There is now the beginning of a discourse between Peter Jackson and New Line that's running parallel to the litigation proceedings.''

Okay, so it's not the sort of declaration of peace that sets church bells clanging. But it is a vast improvement...

In February 2005, Jackson filed...suit against New Line... The lawsuit asks for no specific dollar amount in damages, but insists that Jackson be allowed to examine the studio's books... [O]nce the lawsuit was filed, The Hobbit was roadkill. New Line did approach Jackson about making the movie at least once, in the fall of 2006, promising to settle the dispute (and pay him an appropriate amount) if he agreed to make the film. No dice. Jackson continued to insist a settlement had to come first...

The low point came last November, when Shaye actually ''fired'' Jackson from The Hobbit...New Line began dangling The Hobbit in front of other directors...Not that anyone thought it was the greatest idea. ''Frankly, anybody else would be a secondary choice,'' says one high-profile movie executive. ''It won't be the movie people want.''

It certainly wouldn't be what Ian McKellen wanted; the actor, who played Gandalf in the trilogy, has been waging a one-wizard campaign to get Jackson back behind the camera, asking both sides to settle their differences. ''I should have relished revisiting Middle-earth with Peter,'' he wrote on his website. Viggo Mortensen's character, Aragorn, doesn't figure in The Hobbit's plotline, but even he can't imagine the film being made without Jackson. ''He's the ideal candidate,'' Mortensen tells EW. ''In their heart of hearts, New Line [knows] he's ideal.''

Many fans would argue that Jackson isn't merely ideal for The Hobbit, but indispensable. His vision is now synonymous with Tolkien's — as is the work of his F/X houses, Weta Workshop and Weta Digital. ''Would fans go see the movie if someone else directed it?'' asks the editor-in-chief of, Michael Regina. ''Maybe 90 percent would, but they'd be upset about it. It would break their hearts.''
Of course...there are still a few details to iron out before The Hobbit could get made. Like a script, for instance, which nobody has actually written. In the past, Jackson has suggested that he would make two films, with the second one filling in the story arc between the end of The Hobbit and the beginning of Rings. Although Tolkien never wrote a novel bridging the eras, he did scatter clues in shorter pieces and epilogues that could form the basis of a screenplay. This is not unprecedented. Jackson, Walsh, and screenwriting partner Philippa Boyens enhanced the Rings love story between Mortensen's and Liv Tyler's characters with material from Tolkien's extensive appendixes.

Still, it's hard to imagine Jackson having time to direct one Hobbit movie, let alone two... There's speculation that New Line might offer him a deal to executive-produce The Hobbit, letting him pick a proxy director and oversee the production. That might be enough to keep fans' hearts from breaking, but would it be enough for Jackson? Amazingly, after all he's been through — eight years making Rings and several more in court fighting over it — the Shire still holds him in its spell. In fact, Jackson may turn out to be the only person who never once lost hope in the movie. Even in 2003, when his relationship with New Line was quite bleak, Jackson was still giving editions of The Hobbit as gifts. ''Great book,'' he wrote in one copy. ''Wonder when the movie's coming out??''