Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Reel Facts & Opinions: Everything You Need to Know About THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

This week, one of the most anticipated films of the year roars to the big screens in the form of THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG. Here is everything you need to know by way of the frequently asked questions:
What is this all about? THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (Smaug with the au pronounced as an ow), is the second part of three films covering famed author JRR Tolkien’s beloved book, THE HOBBIT. This second film continues the adventure of a hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and his companions, consisting of vengeful dwarves and a wandering wizard, to rid the dwarven homeland of the wicked dragon Smaug.

Who is behind this? Director/writer Peter Jackson, who made Oscar and box office history with his adaptation of Tolkien’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy (2001-2003), returns for his fifth trip into Middle-Earth. Composer Howard Shore also returns for his fifth trip.
Who is in this? Martin Freeman, who recently starred in this year’s AT WORLD’S END, reprises a young Bilbo Baggins, a role which was originated by Ian Holm in THE LORD OF THE RINGS and the first HOBBIT film. Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the wizard, and Richard Armitage returns as the leader of the dwarven company, Thorin. The voice of Smaug is provided by the talented Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch, who appeared in this year’s STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, and Oscar-nominated films such as ATONEMENT and TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, also provided motion-capture for the dragon’s movements.

How is this being presented? As explained here on Reel Speak, THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG will be presented in several formats; including but not limited to 2D, 3D, 3D IMAX, and the divisive High Frame Rate (HFR) format. Be careful which tickets you buy.
Why three movies for such a small book? In addition to the adventure of Bilbo Baggins, Peter Jackson and his writing partner Phillipa Boyens (who co-wrote THE LORD OF THE RINGS with Jackson), dove into JRR Tolkien’s expansive writings on the history of Middle-Earth; further fleshing out the lore of the world these characters live in and telling the many side-stories which take place during the time of the original HOBBIT story. This makes THE HOBBIT not only the adventure of Bilbo Baggins and his companions, but a true prequel to THE LORD OF THE RINGS. More Middle-Earth is always a good thing.

THE HOBBIT opens wide December 13th.              

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