Movie Review : The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug (3D HFR)



This second instalment in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy sees Bilbo Baggins (Freeman), Gandalf (McKellen), Thorin (Armitage) and their band of dwarf companions continue on their quest to Erebor.

I suppose it’s rather superfluous to delve too deeply into the plot because chances are if you are going to see The Hobbit…..or even thinking about seeing it…. you know what it’s about. We have journeyed through Jackson’s vision of Tolkien’s world for 12 years now so we pretty much know what to expect. And there is one very welcome return…..Legolas (Bloom) in all his eternally youthful Elvin glory.

The movie opens with the initial meeting of Gandalf and Thorin when Gandalf promises to return Lonely Mountain to him. We jump forward 12 months and the group are still questing towards their goal. As they approach the ancient, evil forest of Mirkwood, Gandalf tells them he has urgent business elsewhere and they must pass through the forest without his help. Then he disappears. We see him briefly throughout the movie but it’s all a bit mysterious what he is really up to.

Bilbo et al face all manner of dangers including some gigantic and clever spiders and the very air of the black forest, which causes them to hallucinate and get horribly lost. Once through the forest, they encounter Bard (Evans) the bargeman who helps them across the lake into the human town of Lake-town. From here they battle orcs and elves and ultimately end up at Lonely Mountain to battle the dragon Smaug ( menacingly voiced by Cumberbatch)


The production, sets, scenery, acting ….. are all superb as one would expect. Freeman is the perfect young Bilbo and McKellen is still magnificent as Gandalf. Middle Earth/New Zealand is achingly beautiful and the score is liltingly haunting. The first overture announces the movie before there is even a breath of Middle Earth on the screen.

This instalment brings much more story than the first one. I liked the first Hobbit movie but didnt love it. I loved this one. Over the last hour or so, the action heats up, so to speak. There are a myriad of storylines and they twist and twine into one another as we start to build towards the final battles.

I saw this movie at Event Cinemas Glendale in 3D HFR format. It was new to me but according to The Hobbit website, it was used in the first Hobbit movie as well….

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released this December in all motion picture formats, including the brand new format High Frame Rate 3D (HFR 3D). With the support of select theaters, HFR 3D represents a technological advancement in the motion picture experience. This innovative format presents the picture in 48 frames per second (fps), which is closer to what the human eye actually sees. This is twice the rate of the standard 24 fps, which is the current format in cinemas worldwide. We hope you will experience HFR 3D for yourself, or enjoy The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in any format you choose, including 2D, 3D, IMAX, or IMAX 3D. HFR 3D FAQ

Pffft …. I thought it was brand spanking new. Well played 😛

The format was disconcerting at first as you really do feel as if you are next to the person. It has an extraordinarily real feel to it….almost like a hand-held documentary. But MUCH better. I was not expecting it and it did take a while to get used to….remember when we first saw blu ray quality? It was very cool but kinda whoa at the same time. Yeah well 3D HFR is like that.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is fantastic for Lord of the Rings fans….for Tolkien fans…. for anyone who loves a good story. It’s better than the first one but the ending sucks. Just like the first one did. I would ask Jackson to work on his endings but there is only one left so its pointless really.

This movie is really worth checking out in 3D….and you know how I feel about 3D.

Love Flick xx

Director :   Peter Jackson

Starring :  Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, James Nesbitt, William Kircher, Aidan Turner, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry

Running Time : 161 minutes

Release Date :  26 December, 2013


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