The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug

The second of Peter Jackson‘s trilogy of films adapting The Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug, both improves on the previous film, and regresses from some of its achievements. In 2012′s An Unexpected Journey, Jackson stretched the story of The Hobbit to a breaking point. Sequences that were mere blips in the book became much longer, hurting the pacing immensely. At the start of this second film, Jackson picks up the pace considerably and, in just over an hour, our characters are at their final destination: The Lonely Mountain. Unfortunately, there’s still an hour and a half to go (plus another movie) which means that briefly improved, upbeat pace comes to a screeching halt. Plus that rushed first hour glosses over some of the most famous scenes in J.R.R. Tolkien‘s book.

Besides the major pacing problems, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has lots of good things going for it, including more rousing action, great performances by new characters, and several beautiful new settings. But all of those don’t save the film from being considerably divisive.

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Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

Today’s action-packed Sequel Bits contains news about spies, martial artists, giant alien robots, tortured mutants, and so much more. After the jump:

  • Transformers 5 and 6 depend on Transformers 4
  • James Mangold offers a minor Wolverine 2 update
  • Winona Ryder is “sworn to secrecy” about Beetlejuice 2
  • Simon Pegg says he’ll return for Mission: Impossible 5
  • Ong-back star Tony Jaa joins Wu Jing in SPL 2
  • Dwayne Johnson shares a fiery Fast & Furious 7 pic
  • Somehow The Hobbit is not done putting out new posters

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Hobbit Desolation Of Smaug header

The page has turned from October to November and that means the Fall movie season is really kicking into high gear. Besides all the Oscar-hopefuls, Hollywood releases a whole other block of potential blockbusters, and one of the biggest this year will be The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Peter Jackson‘s second part of The Hobbit opens December 13, and will continue the story of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and a team of dwarves on their way to reclaim the riches of the Lonely Mountain.

One new theatrical poster and seven character posters for the sequel have just been released showing the principal actors — including characters played by Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace and Luke Evans – ready for action. Check them out below. Read More »

Bard Bowman Hobbit Banner

Next week, Hobbit fans can head to theaters to see brand new footage from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. On November 4, Warner Bros. is hosting a worldwide theatrical fan event to celebrate the upcoming sequel, which will include a Q&A with several of the film’s stars. While the event will take place in cities all over the world, the four host cities – New York, Los Angeles, London and Wellington – will have stars in attendance, all linked by satellite, answering your questions.

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Benedict Cumberbatch

One of the hottest actors in the industry could be headed toward one of the coldest places on the planet. Benedict Cumberbatch is being eyed to star as George Mallory in Doug Liman‘s Everest, with Joel Kinnaman, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston, Henry Cavill, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Matthew Goode, and Jim Sturgess also in the mix.

If you’re confused because you thought Jason Clarke had already replaced Christian Bale in that movie, you’re thinking of the other Everest, by Baltasar Kormakur. That one has suffered a few setbacks but is now hoping to shoot this fall, with Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, and Jake Gyllenhaal in addition to Clarke. Get the latest on both movies after the jump.

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the-hobbit-desolation-of-smaug-banner

Bilbo’s unexpected journey continues this winter with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and Warner Bros. has a new banner out to show off some of the sights to come.

Whereas the last film’s marketing campaign was stuffed with dwarves, only the prettiest and most popular make the cut this time around. (Though you can barely make out a few of the others in the background, if you squint.) Instead, the artwork makes room for a couple of new characters, like Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans), along with old favorites like Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom). Check it out after the jump.

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the-crow-art-1

Let’s say you’re working on a remake of a fan-favorite project — one with such a faithful audience that the very notion of a remake is unwelcome. The best way to make everyone happy is (obviously) to make a good movie, but one strategy to manage the project’s image at an early stage is to get the original creator on board. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell did a lot of stumping for the Evil Dead remake, for example, which definitely helped fans accept the project.

Now Relativity Media has hired The Crow creator James O’Barr as “creative consultant” on the company’s new adaptation of O’Barr’s ’90s comic series. The film hasn’t yet started shooting, and won’t until next year, but O’Barr, along with director F. Javier Gutierrez, will give comics fans a hint of their plans in just a couple weeks at Comic Con in San Diego.  Read More »

The Hobbit Smaug Teaser header

Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield will continue their journey on December 13 as Peter Jackson‘s second Hobbit film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, hits theaters. It’s the sequel to last year’s hit An Unexpected Journey and the prequel to 2014′s There And Back Again. Together, they’ll bridge the gap to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

In the second chapter of The Hobbit, the band of dwarves inch closer to the Lonely Mountain and a showdown with the dangerous dragon Smaug, who long ago stole the wealth of the dwarves for himself. The first trailer for the film has now been released. It gives us an idea of just how far Jackson is pushing this second film, which will introduce characters played by Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch among others. Read More »

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