At the beginning of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings" there is a conversation between Gandalf and Frodo where Frodo comments how Bagginses had never done anything unexpected or gone on any adventures until Gandalf came along. Gandalf replies, "If you're referring to the incident with the Dragon, I was barely involved." The dragon of which he speaks is Smaug and as you may imagine he is featured pretty heavily in the new movie, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" which opens today, December 13, in South Florida and across the world. This is the movie LOTR fans have truly been waiting to arrive!
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" takes place right after the first movie ended. Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), the band of 13 dwarfs led by Thorin (Richard Armitage) and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) are on trek towards the Misty Mountains. In their way is a pact of Orcs hunting them, the Woodland Elves and finally, Smaug the Dragon himself.
For those who found "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" to be a disappointment, you will not feel the same this time out. The action sequences in this movie are executed much better and are exciting to watch. The movie starts off big and rarely lets go! Bilbo and the dwarves face off against many obstacles and opponents and Peter Jackson reaches back to his Lord of the Rings roots and reminds us on why we fell in love with the first three movies he made over a decade ago. When Smaug finally enters the picture, not only do we get to see and hear him in all his glory, the sequences are truly edge of your seat stuff.
If you are deciding if it is worth seeing "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" in IMAX 3D or at least in 3D, the answer is a resounding yes! Peter Jackson shot the movies using the Epic Red cameras. This information is probably lost on most people, but they are probably the best 3D cameras out there! Jackson also shot the movie at a 48 per second frame rate, the usual film rate is 24 frames per second. The result is a more crisper picture than you usually see in cinemas. That, along with the great three-dimensional affects, makes this movie one of the best 3D events of the year.
One of the staples of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy was not just the fantastic action sequences, but the interactions between the characters as well. There are some really nice moments in this movie too that was largely missing from the first. Some of the best character scenes in the movie are between the dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner) and the She-Elf, Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly). You would think these two characters would have nothing in common, but the two have a great connection on screen. Orlando Bloom returns as Legolas and he too, has some good moments with Lilly. Keep an eye out for her in future movies as it looks like this is one actress ready to break out.
The first movie really did feel long, but the two and a half hours of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" goes by pretty quickly. It is still a little elongated to help make a movie series that was only supposed to be two movies, but are now three. However, the movie flows much better now and don't be surprised if, when the movie does end, you want to see the third movie right away and not one year from now. That is a sign of a really good movie. It is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence and fighting.