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If “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was a single-serving tribute to the fans of the J.R.R. Tolkien book that inspired it, its follow up, “The Desolation of Smaug,” offers a nod to the uninitiated moviegoing audiences that made a prequel trilogy possible. Eschewing the kitchen-sink minutiae of the first installment (or maybe just having used all of it up) Peter Jackson creates a rousing, immersive sequel that offers the same sort of sweeping action — and more crucially, emotional engagement — that helped the “Rings” films become a cultural phenomenon, regardless whether or not you were familiar with the source »
- Todd Gilchrist
It's safe to say that there are very few positive reviews that have ever earned me the degree of truly furious e-mail that last year's review of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" did. Fans were furious at me for daring to give a Peter Jackson Middle Earth movie a B, and unwilling to entertain even the possibility that any of my issues with the movie were genuine. Once the film was released, though, general public opinion seemed to swing the other way and suddenly I started getting e-mail from people saying I'd been too kind, that I was in the tank »
- Drew McWeeny
The second film in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy sets off at full pelt and maintains its energy, charm and mystery throughout
• The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - review
• Video: The Hobbit cast
Peter Jackson has picked up the pace. He began his Hobbit trilogy at an amiable, meanderingly wayward canter, and tried the patience of believers and non-believers alike with that initial supper scene, almost an epic in itself. But this second episode commences with a narrative whipcrack – a quick flashback to Gandalf and Thorin tensely discussing their great plan in the snug bar of the Prancing Pony – and then we're off, at a tremendous gallop.
The Desolation of Smaug is a cheerfully entertaining and exhilarating adventure tale, a supercharged Saturday morning picture: it's mysterious and strange and yet Jackson also effortlessly conjures up that genial quality that distinguishes The Hobbit from the more solemn Rings stories. The absurdity is winning: you're laughing with, »
- Peter Bradshaw
If the “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was a bloated 2 hour and 49 minute slog, replete with dull merriment, songs and a distended prologue that threatened to put you to sleep, then in contrast, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is a brisk, engagingly paced 2 hours and 41 minutes which goes to show that length never matters—it’s how well your narrative engine runs. And yet, conversely (and ironically), pace isn't always the salve either. To wit: the Peter Jackson-directed ‘Hobbit’ sequel might be the more vigorous, action-packed, darker and more (superficially) engaging version of the series thus far, but that doesn’t actually mean it’s a keeper of any sort. In fact, rather than calling it a sequel, 'The Desolation of Smaug' is better served described as an episode. And the episodic, middle chapter-itis that is currently hurting the modern-day tentpole sequel is fully evinced. As facile and »
- Rodrigo Perez
If you're getting in the Christmas spirit, you'll want to head over to the Paramount on Sunday for 35mm screenings of Love Actually. They've got two afternoon matinee showings. If that doesn't work for you, it's also a Girlie Night booking at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz on Tuesday, but that appears to be a digital screening (for those of you, like me, who care about such things).
Speaking of the Ritz, they've got a Kung Fu Double Feature on Sunday night from the American Genre Film Archive, Richard Donner's Superman in 35mm on Monday and Sweet Smell Of Success on Wednesday night. If you've got six hours to spare on Thursday evening, they're also showing a double feature of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug in 35mm. If you want to forgo the high frame rate/IMAX/3D options, it's a rare opportunity to see new releases on film. »
- Matt Shiverdecker
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 11, 2014
Price: DVD $30.99, Blu-ray $35.99
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
In the movie, Keri Russell (TV’s The Americans) plays Jane Hayes, one such devoted fan, who has saved all her money for a trip of a lifetime — to the eccentric resort Austenland, where fans can live out the Regency era of the books.
Armed with her bonnet, corset and needlepoint, Jane aims to avoid spinsterhood, but her difficulties come in figuring out where the fantasy ends and real life – and maybe love — begins.
Rated PG-13, Austenland also stars Jane Seymour (Love Wedding Marriage), Jennifer Coolidge (American Reunion), J.J. Feild (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Bret McKenzie (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey). The film was directed by first-time helmer Jerusha Hess on a screenplay »
To celebrate the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in cinemas on 13th December, Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and HeyUGuys are offering three lucky winners the chance to get their hands on some awesome exclusive merchandise! We’ve got three great goody bags to give away, including a bamboo ballpoint pen, slouch beanie, die cut metal magnets in box, t-shirt, character button set and more!
The second installment in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventures of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
Please note: This competition is open to UK residents only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
©2013 Warner Bros. Ent. »
Christmas is coming, and Digital Spy's movies team has searched high and low to bring you a list of great gifts for film fans, from Blu-ray bargains to presents where money is no object.
You'll find everything from Batman to Superman, novelty t-shirts and beyond in our Yuletide rundown below...
All prices are current as of December 6, and may change between now and Christmas Day.
Redbubble's minimalist movie posters (from £9)
If you're interested in some film artwork to fill up your bare walls, then Redbubble's very reasonably-priced minimalist film posters will do the job.
Hatchet Job - Love Movies, Hate Critics (£9.06)
Mark Kermode's latest book - about the life of modern-day film critics - is an »
To celebrate the release of ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ on December 13th, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, New Line Cinema and Total Film are giving you the chance to win an amazing prize package here, plus take the next step in the film’s Treasure Hunt! One lucky winner will get their hands on a 40” 3D Smart Led TV with 4 pairs of 3D glasses, a Sound bar with wireless subwoofer and a copy of ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition’ on Blu-ray 3D™ to enjoy on it. Plus, you’ll also get Sky TV free for...
- Total Film
Hollywood producer and studio go to arbitration over claims they owe him millions for Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy
• The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - the La premiere in pictures
• Watch the trailer for The Desolation of Smaug
The studio is taking the dispute to arbitration after the Weinstein Company, which is co-owned by Weinstein and his brother, Bob, claimed a percentage of proceeds from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and its forthcoming follow-up. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Weinsteins believe they are owed a share of profits due to their previous ownership of Miramax, which once held screen rights to Tolkien's 1937 children's book and its epic sequel, The Lord of the Rings. Warner suggests the brothers are »
- Ben Child
The studio made the filing last week in New York with Jams Inc., formerly Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services. The arbitration is private.
Miramax and the Weinsteins are represented by Los Angeles attorneys Bert Fields and Aaron Moss of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger. Warner Bros. has retained as outside counsel Evan Chesler at Cravath Swaine and Moore in New York and John Spiegel at Munger Tolles and Olsen in Los Angeles.
The Weinsteins participated in the profits from New Line’s “The Lord of the Rings »
- Dave McNary
The battle over The Hobbit gold is getting nastier than a fire-breathing dragon. Warner Bros. and its New Line division have initiated arbitration proceedings against Miramax over former owners Bob and Harvey Weinstein's claims to a percentage of revenue from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. As THR reported Wednesday, the issue is whether the Weinsteins, repped by attorney Bert Fields, are owed a piece of Smaug similar to what they reaped from last year's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey -- a figure that a studio
- Tatiana Siegel
Nominations for the 41st Annual Annie Awards were announced and "Frozen" and "Monsters University" led the pack with 10 nominations each. "Despicable Me 2" and "The Croods" followed closely with 9 noms each.
I am rooting for "Frozen" to win! It's a return to form to what Disney does best -- affecting fairy tale with memorable musical numbers. "Monsters University," on the other hand, was bland. The film bored me on second viewing.
Steven Spielberg will receive the Winsor McCay Award for career achievement at the awards ceremony happening on Saturday, Feb. 1, at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus. Patrick Warburton will serve as host.
2013 Annie Award Nominations
1 . Best Animated Feature
A Letter to Momo . Gkids
Ernest & Celestine . Gkids
Frozen . Walt Disney Animation Studios
The Wind Rises . The Walt Disney Studios
2 . Annie Award for Best Animated »
It's that busy time of year with tons of screenings, reviews to be written and awards handed out, and rising from the ashes of the chaos is yet another episode of the RopeofSilicon podcast. Today's episode is rather straight forward as we address several of your questions, play our regular round up of games and dig into the latest news including Paul Walker's sudden passing. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. An »
- Brad Brevet
They may be small, but J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits are big business for Air New Zealand.
That doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The small nation with 4.5 million people has rallied around the fantasy films, using their picturesque locations and characters as a way to attract tourists to the country, as well as more movies to shoot in the tax-friendly region.
Yet film tie-ins can be hit and miss for most airlines.
While studios benefit from the exposure carriers can give their movies by turning planes into airborne billboards and putting trailers in front of audiences with nowhere else to go, converting a co-promotion into actual airline ticket sales has been rather tough.
Not so for Air New Zealand. »
- Marc Graser
Regardless of your feelings about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (for me, the Hfr 3D was the biggest detriment to the film), the stakes are going to be much bigger with the sequel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Smaug is one of the biggest beasties of all-time. He's not only dangerous, but cunning, and his battle of wits with Bilbo (briefly glimpsed in the trailer) could be as good as any action scene. And the film is sure to have plenty of action. I honestly don't know what will be left for The Hobbit: There and Back Again, but we'll cross that bridge in 2014. For now, hope begins anew with the latest Hobbit film. I'm pleased to announce we're giving 10 admit-two passes to a 3D (regular, not Hfr) screening of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Atlanta. Hit the jump to find out how you can see the film early and for free. »
- Matt Goldberg
Not too long ago, everyone’s favourite New Zealand airline, Air New Zealand, requested the aid of the cast of The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug to demonstrate airline safety, and to, of course, help promote the long-awaited sequel to Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
However, it seems as if a dragon by the name of Smaug (what a coincidence!) has been found resting on the side of their planes. It is undoubtedly a real dragon that will eat you, if provoked and in all honesty, it is about time he got some fresh air. I’m no dragon expert, but I imagine being cooped up in a mountain treasury is sure to make anyone grouchy. Check out the awesome pictures below and even a short video showing how Smaug got there in the first place.
Only 11 days remain until The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug flies in to UK and Us cinemas. »
- Matthew Ceo
Though generally well-received, many reviews for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey criticized the fantasy adventure for being a bit of a slog, with twenty minutes of its 170-minute running time dedicated just to Bilbo and the dwarves eating dinner. However, with the journey already underfoot and the Lonely Mountain on the horizon, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug definitely looks like it could be a much stronger and more exciting entry in Peter Jackson’s new Middle-earth trilogy.
One of the big draws for the sequel, as evidenced by the title, is the introduction of Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) himself, who has so far only been glimpsed in brief bits and pieces during the original attack on Erebor and in extreme close-up at the end of An Unexpected Journey. However, with the release of The Desolation of Smaug less than ...
Click to continue reading First Full Image of Smaug from ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug »
- H. Shaw-Williams
As we begin the month of December and gear up for the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, check out these latest behind-the-scenes and set photos.
On Monday (12/2), the film will live stream the red carpet from the World Premiere at 6:30pm Pt/9:30pm Et. You can follow it here: https://www.facebook.com/TheHobbitMovie and https://twitter.com/TheHobbitMovie
Under Jackson’s direction, the film was shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second and will be released in High Frame Rate 3D (Hfr 3D) in select theaters, other 2D and 3D formats, and IMAX. Production took place at Jackson’s own facilities in Miramar, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand. Post production took place at Park Road Post Production in Wellington.
Tickets went on sale Thursday, November 21. Fans will have the opportunity to see the movie first at midnight on Thursday, December 12.
- Michelle McCue
We’re only a couple of weeks away from our return to middle earth and as the lonely mountain draws ever nearer, Warner Bros. gives us more and more glimpses of whats to come. There was much apprehension leading up to last years The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, especially at the announcement that the adaption would span over a trilogy. It seemed an impossible task given the brevity of J.R.R Tolkien’s novel. Peter Jackson proved his mastery of the genre once again however and while at times The Lord Of The Rings felt rushed to accommodate the immense plot, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had room to breathe and flow. The frame rate wasn’t as bothersome as some expected and the film, while being less mock-medieval and more fairy tale still retained all the desired epic-ness.
Check out the latest sliver of new footage in the TV spot below. »
- James Byiers
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