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Viewed as the extended second act of the larger three-act epic that will be The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is terrific, a dazzling, endlessly inventive adventure serial that is filled to burst with cinematic treats both large and small. Never anything less than intensely entertaining, and absent nearly every pacing issue that left its predecessor, An Unexpected Journey, a solid but uneven disappointment, Smaug is a treat, and will be a welcome breath of fresh air for fans of Peter Jackson’s cinematic Middle Earth.
Taken as a film, however – as the standalone, 161-minute entity audiences will be watching this weekend – I find The Desolation of Smaug highly problematic, if not downright infuriating. With a cliffhanger ending that cuts things off mid-climax, the film is incomplete, a series of extremely tantalizing set-ups that has only the slightest of internal pay-offs, if even that. No matter how »
- Jonathan R. Lack
It’s time for another episode of Wgtc Radio, the official podcast of We Got This Covered! Remember to subscribe for free in iTunes by following this link!
We come back after a two week break – vacations, snow storms, sickness, you know the drill – to break down a whole lot of news, including plenty of strange revelations about upcoming superhero movies – why are they putting Wonder Woman in Man of Steel 2? – and the announcement of not one, not two, but four brand new Persona games, including the much-anticipated Persona 5 for PS3.
After that, we catch-up with the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, “The Day of the Doctor,” giving our full in-depth thoughts in this monumental episode. We also talk a little bit about the Doctor Who TV movie, “An Adventure in Space and Time,” as well as give thoughts on the recently announced title of the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special, »
- Jonathan R. Lack
December means the last big cinematic offerings of the year (for example, this week’s new release The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), and with them come trailers for the blockbuster helpings that will arrive in the summer thereafter.
We’ve already gotten the first theatrical preview for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – with trailers for 2014 tentpoles Godzilla and Edge of Tomorrow to follow later this week – and now, we can add the first official footage from Jupiter Ascending to the list.
Jupiter Ascending is a new original sci-fi production from Andy and Lana Wachowski – the siblings who broke out by re-appropriating neo-Noir tropes with their 1996 crime/drama Bound. Of course, nowadays the duo are better known for having provided a Philosophy of Religion 101 seminar (by way of a sci-fi/action template) with The Matrix trilogy, then re-envisioning the Click to continue reading ‘Jupiter Ascending’ Trailer: Mila Kunis is the Chosen »
- Sandy Schaefer
As we finally come face to face with Tolkien's Smaug on the big screen, Philip Hoare sets off in search of the greatest of all mythical creatures – from the satanic lizards of the Bible to the Jungian monster within us all
I doubt if Jrr Tolkien would recognise his Smaug in Peter Jackson's new CGI Hobbit spectacular, with its colossal, grandiose dragon voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Tolkien's beast, at least in the author's original illustrations, was an elegant Rackhamesque creature: a fire-orange, slightly languid lizard, all stuck over with jewels from years of lolling about in his lair, where his vast treasure was stored.
Smaug was created by Tolkien out of his love for Beowulf, whose hero battles with "the fiery dragon, the fearful fiend". But Tolkien also threw in a little wordplay for good measure: the name came from the old German smugan, meaning to squeeze through a hole, »
- Philip Hoare
Warner Bros. has released a tenth TV spot for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug featuring footage from the film along with some review quotes saying how awesome and epic the movie is. The reviews I've read so far have been all incredibly positive, and it's looking like this sequel is going to be a lot better than the first movie, which I think most of us assumed would be the case. The film opens up in theaters this week, and I can't wait to see it!
- Joey Paur
Ed Sheeran, who received a best new artist nod during Friday night’s Grammy Nominations Live! Concert, said the highlight of the year (before the nod, of course) was doing the end credit song, "I See Fire," for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” “I’m just a massive geek and being involved in that was fun,” he said backstage. “I got to hang out with [director] Peter Jackson and go to the premiere.” Jackson called him while Sheeran was at a wedding in Ibiza. Sheeran also received a nomination for album of the year for his work with Taylor Swift on her »
Oscar season is just around the corner, so this is as good a time as any to start talking about which films will potentially be walking away with hardware next March. The Academy is helping to get the buzz going early by releasing the names of the 10 films that will be competing for the five spots in the Best Visual Effects category next year – and it’s an impressive list of features. All the titles you’d expect to see (well, save for two – more on those in a minute) are present and accounted for. Early favorite Gravity will almost assuredly make the final cut, and is joined by titles like Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, and big-budget...
- Mike Bracken
Last week, the Academy announced the longlist for their visual effects awards, from which five nominees will be picked. The list is made up of "Elysium," "The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug," "Iron Man 3," "The Lone Ranger," "Oblivion," "Pacific Rim," "Star Trek Into Darkness," "Thor" The Dark World" and "World War Z." Oh, and one more, which overshadows all of the others: "Gravity," which bar some immense shock is certain to take the prize. It's a solid front-runner in cinematography too bu does it have the rest of the technical awards—editing, sound design and sound mixing—sewn up in the same way? Let's look at Visual Effects first. Eyebrows were raised by some omissions from the longlist—while "47 Ronin," "Rush," "Oz The Great & Powerful" and "Ender's Game" were among those left off, the real surprise was "Man Of Steel," which many had figured as a potential nominee. For »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Enraptured by the enormity of Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), Bilbo (Martin Freeman) finds it difficult to hide not only his praise but himself in this latest TV spot for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Find out if the giant dragon is as great as the old tales say when the second chapter in this saga debuts, in theaters this weekend.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug comes to theaters December 13th, 2013 and stars Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ian McKellen, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish. The film is directed by Peter Jackson. »
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is coming out this weekend with its second installment in Bilbo Baggins's fantastical journey, and we have a all the character posters to get us excited. Of course, we love seeing Orlando Bloom back as Legolas, but it's also exciting to see new franchise star Evangeline Lilly with her own poster as elf Tauriel. See those and the rest of the epic posters! View Slideshow › »
- Shannon Vestal
The Bill Condon-directed drama about WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was recently named the biggest financial flop of the year, earning back only 21% of its budget at the international box office.
"I think it's a better film than many that have done better than it did at the box office, and why that's the case I don't know," Cumberbatch told Digital Spy and other journalists.
"I can take a hit, in the sense that I've had good hits as well, but [box office] isn't why I do the work. I mean, of course there's a concern actors have about being bankable, but it hasn't seemed to affect the industry's interest in me or the offers I've had since."
Reviews of the film, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September, were mixed, although Cumberbatch's performance as Assange was universally praised. »
The second 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 adventure 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. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug hits theaters this Friday. »
Warner Bros. Pictures unleashes their The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug into theaters this Friday, and now Sesame Street have released a clip from their upcoming spoof of The Lord of the Rings which is called Lord of the Crumbs. This will air this Thursday, a day before Hobbit 2's release. Check out the video below the show's synopsis! Legend speaks of a dessert unimaginably sweet and delicious, and when it was destroyed all that remained was the dessert's powerful recipe. It remained in the hands of a monster named Gobble for a long time, but when it disappeared, all cookies on Monster Earth disappeared along with it. »
Over the weekend an alert was sent out that we'd be getting the first official trailer for Gareth Edwards' Godzilla remake. In fact, there is talk this week may also bring trailers for the Wachowski's Jupiter Ascending, Tom Cruise's Edge of Tomorrow, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and we've all heard the first trailer for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar is ready to premiere in from of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug this weekend, but will it appear online firstc We'll see. As for Godzilla, the trailer is due tomorrow morning, but today a series of new pictures appear to be finding their way online, the first two from Total Film and MTime and along with that a link to a viral site located at MUTOResearch.net. As for the picture above, TotalFilm writes: The image shows Turkmenistan's infamous burning 'Door to Hell', which was first »
- Brad Brevet
Finally, a full 12-months after a triumphant return to Middle-earth, Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson brings us back to Tolkein’s fantasy realm for sequel The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Samug. The unexpected adventure continues for title character Bilbo Baggins, as he again journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves (led by their fearless warrior Thorin Oakenshield), on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
This time around, they must encounter the likes of skin-changer Beorn, a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood and most probably an ugly little cretin named Gollum, who is desperate to reclaim something himself (I wonder what that could be?). However, this time it’s all about a creature more terrifying than any other – fire-breathing dragon Smaug!
We have the official live stream for the European premiere of the epic middle-part of Jackson’s new trilogy. »
- Craig Hunter
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is to hold its European premiere in Berlin, Germany tonight (December 9).
Digital Spy presents a live stream of the event below, which will begin at 5.20pm.
Peter Jackson's second instalment of his Hobbit trilogy will open at cinemas worldwide on December 13.
Watch a full trailer for the film below: »
Can Disney's winter-wonderland offering fend off the impending arrival of The Desolation of Smaug?
• Frozen - review
• Oscar Isaac on the Coen brothers and Inside Llewyn Daves
Holiday season hit-making
'Tis the season when studio chiefs with the right movies rub their hands/smart phones in glee, manage a half-smile and issue impersonal notes of thanks to the minions for all their hard work. Holiday season means hits and Frozen has the makings of one. Not every Disney animation is a dead cert these days – to wit, Planes – but the latest release from the production line appears to have what it takes to become a blockbuster. It climbed to top spot in North America in its third weekend, reaching an estimated $134.2m (£81.9m). Really, this figure should be viewed as a two-weekend result because the opening session was limited to a single theatre.
The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug arrives »
- Jeremy Kay
The critics of La, New York and Boston have spoken. We'll be reporting on their films of the year. Plus: all the rest of today's film news
- Critics in La, New York and Boston have handed out their gongs for their favourite films of 2013.
- Christian Bale says his love/hate relationship with acting started when he was a kiddie-wink.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is really not bad at all, say reviewers from pretty much everywhere.
- And Edouard Molinaro, director of Cage aux Folles, has died aged 85.
Elsewhere on the site today
- The Us box office report will see Jeremy Kay explain how Frozen is putting the competition on ice.
- We'll be starting our own countdown of the top ten films of 2013. Wadjda's in at number 10.
The second instalment of Peter Jackson's Tolkien trilogy is picking up much stronger early reviews than his first Hobbit film
• The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – first look review
• Martin Freeman: from Slough to Smaug – interview
Jackson's debut Hobbit film, An Unexpected Journey, received only lukewarm garlands from reviewers, in contrast to the critical adoration fostered by the New Zealand film-maker's Lord of the Rings trilogy a decade ago. But part two, which features the debut of Smaug, the Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced dragon, is picking up strong early reviews.
Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter writes:
Nearly everything … represents an improvement over the first instalment of Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of Jrr Tolkien's beloved creation," "After exhibiting an almost craven fidelity »
- Ben Child
The BBC has released a new trailer and thirty new photos from Sherlock Season 3. As you might expect, the trailer includes a ton of great new footage from the upcoming season, and many of the photos feature Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness). This show looks so good!
Two years after the devastating effects of “The Reichenbach Fall,” Dr John Watson has got on with his life. New horizons, romance and a comforting domestic future beckon. But, with London under threat of a huge terrorist attack, Sherlock Holmes is about to rise from the grave with all the theatricality that comes so naturally to him. It’s what his best friend wanted more than anything, but for John Watson it might well be a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’! If Sherlock thinks everything will be just as he left it though, »
- Joey Paur
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