by (@shalapitcher)

Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett Make The Hobbit Premiere A Little Less Geeky

Cate Blanchett and Evangeline Lilly at the world premiere of The Hobbit

We are unabashedly excited about seeing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey the second it hits theaters — it speaks to our eighth-grade selves as much as to the part of us that’s just nostalgic for nine years ago, when the last of the Lord of the Rings trilogy premiered. But we also are under no illusion that Peter Jackson’s latest trilogy is the most glamorous of star-powered events — let’s face it, J.R.R. Tolkien wasn’t exactly hell-bent on making beautiful women the center of attention in his books, and few of his heroes were much to look at either. And while we are super eager to return to Middle-earth and all its hobbitses and wizards and elves and dwarves, our shallow selves are also grateful to Jackson and company for making sure there’s some eye candy in the movies too.

At today’s world premiere of the movie in Wellington, New Zealand, it was Cate Blanchett — returning as elf queen Galadrial — and Evangeline Lilly — who plays Tauriel, an elf invented for the movies — who brought the token glamour to the red carpet. We love Evangeline’s new short hair-do, paired with her playfully sparkly dress (and damn, girl, those legs!). Cate appears to have some elfin magic in her IRL, because the actress has not aged a day in the past 10 years. Jackson, Elijah Wood, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis were also on-hand to greet the costumed fans — and a couple of PETA protesters. Flip through the pics while you enjoy your second breakfasts!

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[Photos: Getty Images]

by (@shalapitcher)

Did The Hobbit Kill 27 Animals? PETA Vs. Peter Jackson

Martin Freeman and director Peter Jackson on the set of The Hobbit

We’re just starting to get excited for the epic epicness that will be Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movies, but the latest news about the production may just put a damper on our Middle-earth love. Yesterday, PETA released info to The Associated Press alleging that 27 horses, sheep, goats and chickens had died during the production due to dangerous conditions at the farm where they were housed. PETA’s sources described hazardous bluffs and embankments that killed two horses, overcrowded stables, worm infestations that killed sheep and goats, and the mauling of chickens by out-of-control dogs on the property.

Jackson and company immediately defended themselves, saying that PETA didn’t check their sources. “To date, the only horse wranglers whose treatment of animals fell below the production’s standard of care seem to be the two wranglers who have chosen to level this new accusation on the eve of the premiere of the first Hobbit film and who were dismissed by the production over a year ago,” Jackson wrote on Facebook late last night.

Spokespeople for the production told the AP that there were two avoidable deaths of horses but other animals died of “natural causes.” Meanwhile, the American Humane Association — the folks that authorize the “no animals were harmed” statement in the credits of movies — claim that while it made sure none were harmed on the set, it had no control over what went on at the farm, which was 186 miles away. “We do not have either the jurisdiction or funding to extend that oversight to activities or conditions off set or before animals come under our protection,” said a statement, according to Deadline. So that’s not exactly a statement of support for The Hobbit. Read more…

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Pop Culture IQ Test: Which Celeb Does Not Belong?

lovely-bones-red-carpet

The actors and royalty who mixed yesterday at the world premiere of Peter Jackson‘s The Lovely Bones wore sophisticated, glamorous outfits that fit the somber nature of the movie. But not Sophia Hyat. Apparently, Sophia’s the Phoebe Price of England. A semi-celebrity who has a penchant for wearing outlandish outfits to wherever there might be a paparazzo, Sophia graced the carpet in a hot white dress with the words “Honour Killings” scratched across her chest in blood red lipstick. We understand that honor killings are very real and very heinous. But is this about drawing attention to the cause? Or to her bosom? Or maybe a bit of both?

As for bigger celebrities in attendance, Susan Sarandon and Saoirse Ronan rubbed elbows with Prince Charles and Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall. Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz and  Stanley Tucci, whom all have big roles in the tearjerker, were absent. The Lovely Bones premieres in the U.S. on Jan. 15. [Photos: Getty Images, Splash News Online]

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