'An Unexpected Journey'
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug review by Milstead On Movies
What was Peter Jackson thinking when he subjected us to the first film, which was practically two & a half hours of character building and the odd tribute to The Lord Of The Rings. The only scene of note was when Bilbo Baggins discovers Gollum & the 'ring', which we already knew by watching the LOTR trilogy.
In honesty, you could skip the first movie and be justly rewarded. You'd miss out on a bit of back story but you could easily pick it up and enjoy some brilliant scenes of action and adventure.
Bilbo, Gandalf & the dwarves are continuing their quest across Middle Earth from the first film and face peril at every step, across an enchanted forest, a kingdom of surly wood elves (including Legolas - Orlando Bloom), a floating village, before they eventually penetrate the dragon's (Smaug) lair.
As in the previous film and The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, meticulous effort and sweeping photography transports you to the mythical Middle Earth convincingly and the visual effects, makeup, costumes and production design are as good as they can get, although it's a shame that CGI has replaced makeup when bringing some orcs to the screen. The CGI animation to bring Smaug to life however, is top notch and Benedict Cumberbatch was a very good casting decision for the dragon's powerful, creepy voice.
The ending sets up the third film nicely, although it's a shame about the crap Ed Sheeran song ('I See Fire') which plays over the end credits.
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A Smörgåsbord of Special Effects
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug review by KG
Amazing animation and special effects, good adaptation from the book, looking forward to the third installment.
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