Posts Tagged ‘Billy Boyd’

This week’s releases include: a possessed house; a secret section of history; the second chapter of an adult animation; a holiday picture; a vengeful Death; a medieval sequel; a classic novel committed to film; a surprise visit from the stork; the forlorn find happiness; a super dysfunctional family; a radical couple; and a zombie sideshow. (more…)

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Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy is an epic unquestionably worthy of a Blu-ray transfer.

Set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, the three films follow the hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) as he and a Fellowship (Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, John Rhys Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan and Orlando Bloom) embark on a quest to destroy the One Ring, and thus ensure the destruction of its maker, the Dark Lord Sauron. The Fellowship becomes divided and Frodo continues the quest together with his loyal companion Sam and the treacherous Gollum (Andy Serkis). Meanwhile, the wizard Gandalf and Aragorn, heir in exile to the throne of Gondor, unite and rally the Free Peoples of Middle-earth, who are ultimately victorious in the War of the Ring.

This project made household names of the characters as well as the actors that played them. Though its popularity has waned somewhat since the original releases, it is still widely regarded as one of the best and fascinating films put on film.

The world created by Jackson’s imagination and a dedicated crew is often breathtaking and the increased picture quality only amplifies its beauty. In addition, the characters are given new life and vibrancy.

The unfortunate downfall of this release is it does not include the extended director’s cuts of the films. If a re-release was to occur, it is these versions that should have been transferred instead.

The nine-disc set includes three special features DVDs with more than six hours of behind-the-movie featurettes (included in previous DVD releases) and digital copies of all three films.


The retrieval of the Stone of Scone was a moment in history that revived a nation and restored its faith in its country. Though the event may have been swallowed by the black of hole of memory, this film is sure to bring it back to the forefront of people’s minds.

In 1296, England’s Edward I claimed Scotland’s Stone of Scone as part of his spoils of war and took the 300-pound sandstone home with him. It remained a not so subtle symbol of England’s rule over Scotland.

Ian Hamilton (Charlie Cox) is a loyal member of the nationalist party but their inability to accomplish any of their goals and the lack of support from most of the country irks him. The party leader (Robert Carlyle) is smart and charismatic, but he’s also at the end of his rope. In a moment of clarity, Ian enlists the help of his best friend (Billy Boyd) to provide the country with a symbol, a reason to fight – they are going to steal the Stone from Westminster Abbey and return it to Scotland, its rightful home. With extensive plans but no prior experience, Ian and three others (Kate Mara, Ciaron Kelly and Stephen McCole) imperfectly but successfully recovered the Stone on Christmas day 1950. All of Scotland rejoiced but the Stone was eventually reclaimed by the English only to return to Scotland on loan.

The actors portraying this determined group really bring the story to life; they are passionate and sincere. The audience is swept away by the story and made equally mad by the dispossession regardless of their background. Cox’s enthusiasm and determinism is inspiring. Happily, the romance between Ian and Kay (Mara) remains a secondary storyline, only coming to the forefront in service of the narrative. Also, the friendship between Kelly and McCole feels quite real, as does Kelly’s character’s transformation from meek to effective.

The story is one of hope that individuals can make a difference. It also implies not doing anything, being apathetic, is part of the problem. These points are underlined by the juxtaposition of an inspiring speech with one of hopelessness.

The DVD special features are director commentary by Charles Martin Smith, which discusses corresponding moments in history with sections of the film as well as the significance of shooting locations, and a featurette titled “The Taking and Making of the Stone of Destiny,” which includes interviews with Smith, the cast, the real-life Ian Hamilton and snippets from a newsreel about the robbery.

There are numerous significant events that are eventually swallowed by the black hole of memory, even those that united a nation. The retrieval of the Stone of Scone is one of those instances but this film will surely bring it back to the forefront of people’s minds.

In 1296, England’s Edward I claimed Scotland’s Stone of Scone as part of his spoils of war and took the 300-pound sandstone home with him. It remained a not so subtle symbol of England’s rule over Scotland.

Ian Hamilton (Charlie Cox) is a loyal member of the nationalist party but their inability to accomplish any of their goals and their lack of support from most of the country irks him. The party leader (Robert Carlyle) is smart and charismatic but he’s also at the end of his rope. In a moment of clarity, Ian enlists the help of his best friend (Billy Boyd) to provide the country with a symbol, a reason to fight – they are going to steal the Stone from Westminster Abbey and return it to Scotland, its rightful home. With no prior experience but extensive plans, Ian and three others (Kate Mara, Ciaron Kelly and Stephen McCole) successfully, although imperfectly, recovered the Stone on Christmas day 1950. All of Scotland rejoiced but the Stone was eventually reclaimed by the English only to return to Scotland on loan.

The actors portraying this determined group really bring the story to life; they are passionate and sincere. The audience is swept away by the story and made equally mad by the dispossession regardless of their background.

The story is one of hope that individuals can make a difference. It also implies not doing anything, being apathetic, is part of the problem. These points are underlined by the juxtaposition of an inspiring speech with one of hopelessness.

The mix of comedy and suspense makes Stone of Destiny an excellent choice for the closing night gala film.