The Big Screen’s Return to the World of Middle-earth

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The Big Screen’s Return to the World of Middle-earth

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“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is the second of three movies based on the book “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien. They are all directed by Oscar acclaimed director Peter Jackson, the creator of “The Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy.

Despite its book inaccuracy, “The Desolation of Smaug” does not disappoint. It has more action and story progression than “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” making it a thrilling sequel to the first of “The Hobbit” trilogy.

Anyone who has read the book and seen the first movie, “An Unexpected Journey” knows that Jackson was not completely accurate to Tolkien’s work. Although he has defended his choices, stating that much of what is in the movie is taken from the Appendices that are included at the end of the book, “The Return of the King,” there are still places where the movie falls short. Specifically, the creation of the character, Tauriel, the she-elf in “The Desolation of Smaug” and in the restoration of the Pale Orc, whom Tolkien declared dead, Azog the Defiler.

Once all book-purist prejudices are put aside, “The Desolation of Smaug” is an absolutely fantastic movie. Its running time is nearly three hours, typical of all movies in the Middle-earth franchise, and it is much more action packed than its prequel, “An Unexpected Journey.” The CGI (computer-generated imagery) rivals this year’s Hollywood blockbusters despite being created by the comparatively small, New Zealand-based company Weta Digital and the cinematography is reminiscent of Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” films.

With an award-winning cast, including “Sherlock” stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug and The Necromancer, the acting performance in this movie is nearly unrivaled. A holiday must-see, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is sure to impress and draw in Tolkien fans and Middle-earth newcomers alike.

 

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