Tuesday, December 24, 2013

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”, A Darker Chapter In Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” Saga

Three Stars

Peter Jackson shoots at 48 frames per second, which is double the industry standard of 24 frames per second. He has stood by his style shooting films among criticism and praise in the movie industry. Peter Jackson not only shoots at more frames per second, but also probably stretched out the Hobbit to 2 movies longer than it probably needed to be. However, I have to say that Bilbo Biggins is a great character and J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world is a delight. Dark, funny, epic, thrilling are words I used to describe Peter Jackson’s vision of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world, and how he keeps it alive as the classic it is. The books would survive by themselves, but these movies also help keep them alive. Obviously, this is the middle of the three films as we pick up where we left off. I don’t suggest you see this movie if you didn’t see part one.

We open on a rain soaked day in a village where wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) visits the exiled dwarf king Thorin (Richard Armitage). He had news to share with him that will affect the journey of Bilbo Baggins and the dwarfs who accompany him. They are on a quest to battle and kill the dragon. It’s a greedy dragon who attacked and who stole all the gold from the good people from Lake Town. Things are getting messy, as Bilbo Baggins and his merry man are going along their quest. Heck, as many devotees of Lord of The Rings saga know, no one makes walking more iconic and thrilling than the Lord of the Rings saga. Things get more at stake as they get closer and closer to the dragon in his large cave.

There are many things that happen in the Hobbit, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s complications make J.K. Rowling’s complications adorable by comparison. Going back to the review, I really do love Martin Freeman’s performance as Bilbo Baggins. He is one of the greatest characters of all time, in my opinion. I also love the performances of his co-conspires. They encounter kingdoms, dark forces, good forces, towns, different creatures and many things along the way. This installment is darker than the first one, but anyone who has read the book will expect it to be. As usual, Jackson’s visuals are beautiful to look at, and the way he shoots things can be drawn back to his 48 frames a second technique. Don’t quote me on that, because I am no expert but I have a feeling that there is a very good reason he increased the frames per second in his films.

I will say this again. Don’t see this movie if you didn’t see the first one, because you probably won’t know what’s going on. It will be really hard to follow, as the Hobbit feels like one movie cut into three. However, I enjoyed part 2 of the Hobbit. I suggest it for any fantasy fan, LOR fans or people who want to introduce their Harry Potter fan kids to the original epic that started it all. However, I still suggest renting out movie one if you haven’t shown them that. As for the film, I enjoyed it. Its always fun to watch Peter Jackson do what he does best, which is his epic style.

Fantasy has been a hot genre in Hollywood for a while now, ever since J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series has taken off. However, not too many of these franchise starters have really taken off the way Hollywood has hoped. I believe though that Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” sagas are clear winners at the box office because they have a few things different than most fantasy sagas hitting the scene today. One of those is it’s already an established classic. Another is these films are about adults on a quest, and not teenagers with magical powers. Let the nerds complain about how Peter Jackson is milking The Lord of the Rings, and yes I get that, but I also give him credit for keeping the all-encompassing vision of J.R.R. Tolkien alive. 

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