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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Considering there’s another film set for release in 2014, it’s no spoiler to reveal The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ends on a massive cliffhanger. It also ends very close to the end of J.R.R. Tolkien’s narrative of The Hobbit, which means unless There And Back Again is 20 minutes long, it’ll be stuffed with new narrative linking Peter Jackson‘s current trilogy with the Lord of the Rings.

Recently, one of the film’s stars teased the press by saying the character of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) would be the main link between the trilogies. Jackson also explained how he justified putting that character, which isn’t in The Hobbit novel, into the film by giving a brief Tolkien history lesson. Read More »

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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Monday, November 4 was a fine day for Tolkien nerds. In addition to releasing details on the extended scenes from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and new posters and a new trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros. also hosted a multi-city fan event attended by Peter Jackson and several cast members.

The director kicked off the proceedings with his latest production diary (which you can see after the jump), followed by a Q&A with fans all across the globe. However, the real centerpiece of the event was in the new footage they showed — six scenes’ worth, totaling roughly twenty minutes. We also got to hear the new theme by Ed Sheeran, “I See Fire.” Hit the jump for highlights from the event plus a footage recap.

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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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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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Peter Jackson won’t be bringing the second chapter of his adaptation of The Hobbit to Comic Con this year. After all, what more do we need as a sizzle reel for the second movie than the first film, released barely more than six months ago? Furthermore, the director says that he doesn’t have time to complete a good new footage reel, and that cast and crew availability further close out chances of putting together a Comic Con panel.

Fans of Jackson’s take on Middle-Earth can all still get a new look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, however. A new video blog provided by Jackson shows the new work done in the past few months on the second and third chapters. This video blog, like most of the others Jackson sends from set, is long enough to be fairly detailed and to show the scope of the production. Even the task of doing pickup shots — the connective “in-between” bits often reserved for reshoots or extra hours late in the game — takes an army of people on movies like these.

Granted, part of the pickup process here is required to enact Jackson’s plan to spread the Hobbit story across three films rather than two. So it’s not exactly a typical scenario. Regardless, what follows is another good look at the effort required to capture Middle-Earth on film. (Or digital files, in this case.) Check it out below. Read More »

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