Peter Jackson's expanded take on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit comes to a conclusion in a battle epic packed with enormous action sequences that oddly distract attention from the much more engaging central plotline. By the time it thunders to its satisfying conclusion after nearly two and a half hours, there's a sense of balance restored, providing some powerfully emotional moments along with the thrills. But there's a lot of chaotic mayhem to get through first.
The action picks up immediately, as the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) roars into Laketown causing further desolation before being stopped by the heroic Bard (Luke Evans), who then leads the survivors back to their long-abandoned city in the mountains. Meanwhile, dwarf king Thorin (Richard Armitage) has reclaimed his throne and Smaug's enormous stash of gold, which consumes his soul with greed. But he abandons his promises to Bard and the elf leader Thranduil (Lee Pace), who assembles the elf army against him. So Thorin calls in a dwarf battalion to take them on. Meanwhile, the hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) is trying to diffuse the situation and snap Thorin out of his avaricious funk. And wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) discovers that two waves of ruthless orcs are descending on Thorin.
All of this strategising and squaring-off feels fragmented and uneven, as Jackson cuts back and forth between the sprawling ensemble cast while trying to build momentum toward the earth-rattling collision of these five armies. Thankfully, there's also a lot of interpersonal stuff going on to hold the interest. Elf warrior Legolas (Orlando Bloom) is still caught up in a romantic triangle with his intended Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and her forbidden love, the unusually hot dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner). And there's some comic relief from Alfrid (Ryan Gage), a weaselly human who worms his way into Bard's inner circle for some inexplicable reason. Best of all is the push and pull between Bilbo and Thorin, which is very nicely played by Freeman and Armitage.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review
Manu Bennett - Photographs from the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere of the third movie in the Hobbit trilogy "The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies" which was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States - Wednesday 10th December 2014
Manu Bennett - Shots of the stars of the third in the Hobbit trilogy 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies'as they arrive at the Los Angeles premiere which was held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 9th December 2014
Manu Bennett - Shots from the World Premiere of 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' the final film in the trilogy as stars arrived at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom - Monday 1st December 2014
The Lonely Mountain has been reclaimed from the dragon Smaug. The dwarves of Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) have won; although they soon discover that the price of their victory was steep. Smaug has laid waste to Lake Town, leaving the residents homeless after Thorin promised them riches. The elves of Mirkwood seek the dwarves that escaped their dungeons, while an army of orcs seek to end the line of Durin. And behind the scenes, a dark lord of shadow, long since defeated, is preparing to make a return to Middle Earth - the secret to his power lies in a small, golden ring. A ring that has chosen a new owner; The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman).
'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' serves as the final chapter in Academy Award winning director Peter Jackson's Middle Earth saga. The film serves as the sixth film by Jackson to be based on the works of writer J. R. R. Tolkien, and the final part of 'The Hobbit' trilogy. When Tolkien released 'The Hobbit' in 1937, it was a single book. Jackson released the final part of his adaptation of 'Lord of the Rings' in 2003, and stated that he would not work on a 'Hobbit' movie. However, he eventually signed on to direct a two part adaptation of 'The Hobbit', which later turned into a trilogy in 2012.
The film is due to be released on 12th December, 2014 in the UK, with a US release date of 17th December.
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the mini-army of dwarves led by Thorin are facing an evermore deadly path in their pursuit of the Lonely Mountain and its mound of treasure which was stolen from the dwarves some time ago by the fiercesome dragon Smaug. Their attempt to slay him has failed, instead unleashing further horrors upon themselves. Angering the dragon has only made things worse with him now determined to murder every creature that lies in its path, demolishing a neighbouring village with little more than a breath. Gandalf remains captured and tensions are ever rising between not only friends, but elves, dwarves, orcs and goblins and it's clear that the deadliest, brutalist war for thousands of years is well on its way.
[Spoiler Caution]...And she certainly looks "ravaging."
CW's Arrow has finally introduced new DC Comics villain Ravager, who was created in last night's episode of the superhero TV drama. DC fans were certainly in for a pleasant surprise despite the entrance of Ravager proving to be the show's worst-kept secret after photos of actress Summer Glau taken on set were leaked earlier this month.
Summer Glau's 'Arrow' Character Takes On A Formidable New Angle As Ravager.
We learn that the becoming the baddie is the fate of Isabel Rochev (Glau), who had an affair with Oliver's father back when she was an intern and has held a grudge over him choosing his family over her. She sets out for revenge and teams up with Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) but winds up gets shot in the chest by Diggle (David Ramsey). Slade uses the Mirakuru and his own blood to bring Isabel back to life, bestowing her with incredible, superhuman strength.
Continue reading: 'Arrow' Introduces Classic DC Villain, Played By Summer Glau
With wittier action and a few more sharply defined characters, this second episode in Peter Jackson's trilogy is more engaging than the somewhat over-packed An Unexpected Journey. Once again, the key to enjoying the film is to distance it from the beloved novel: this is a big adventure movie as opposed to Tolkien's light-hearted romp. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
There isn't much actual plot, as we are between the set-up and conclusion, so the film consists of a series of set-pieces as Bilbo (Freeman) and his band of dwarves continue their journey to reclaim the dwarf throne in the Lonely Mountain. Gandalf (McKellen) heads off to confront the shifty, shadowy Necromancer (Cumberbatch), while Bilbo and crew head into the creepy Mirkwood, where they confront gigantic spiders before being captured by wood-elves. This is where they meet Legolas (Bloom), whose feisty sidekick Tauriel (Lilly) falls for sexy dwarf Kili (Turner) as they continue their journey to Lake-town. There they get help from Bard (Evans) as they launch their final assault on the mountain, where the dragon Smaug (also Cumberbatch) is napping on the dwarves' vast treasure.
Jackson directs with a spark of energy and humour that holds our attention even when things begin to look a little too digitally animated (basic laws of physics apparently don't apply in Middle Earth). And each sequence also provides some depth of character, especially in the overall journey of Bilbo, nicely played by Freeman as a guy who is only just discovering his own ingenuity and bravery. By contrast, McKellen's plot is much darker as he faces off against unnerving evil. As in the first film, the other strong character is Thorin (Armitage), the heir to the dwarf throne grappling with the idea of a return to power.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review
Bilbo Baggins has narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants and countless orcs alongside his faithful wizard partner Gandalf and the hardy Dwarves of Erebor as they passed through the treacherous Misty Mountains. Their quest to retrieve the dwarves' vast pile of treasure and the land that they once called their home is at a peak as they reach the Lonely Mountain. Guarded by a colossal dragon named Smaug, the Lonely Mountain proves to be even more perilous than where they had just been and armed only with elven swords and Bilbo's Ring, they must make the ultimate defeat while fighting giant spiders and more goblins along the way. More threats face them in the form of untrustworthy elves with intelligence that far surpasses any of the travellers' put together, and their chances of survival are becoming very slim indeed.
'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' is the second instalment of 'The Hobbit' movie trilogy directed by Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') and based on the novel by JRR Tolkien. Screenwriters Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro make their return as do much of the previous cast alongside some new faces. It is due to be released in the UK on December 13th 2013.
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and their company thirteen dwarves have managed to leave the Misty Mountains almost unscathed after a series of death-defying encounters with trolls, stone giants, goblins and orcs. Armed with the One Ring and an array of elven forged swords, Bilbo must now set out to help retrieve the mountain of treasure that once belonged to the dwarves under the Lonely Mountain that was usurped by the dragon Smaug. Unfortunately, it proves less then straight-forward as more threats lie in their way from giant spiders and yet more goblins to unforgiving elves and waterfalls. However, as they approach the dragon, they begin to feel that all their other deadly ventures were just the tip of the iceberg.
'The Hobbit' returns with the second part of the movie trilogy 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' which sees the return of director Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') following part one, 'An Unexpected Journey'. Writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro are also back, along with last year's star cast and many new faces. Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, this new fantasy adventure film is set to hit cinemas this winter on December 13th 2013.
This first chapter of Peter Jackson's new Tolkien trilogy takes us back to the familiar settings and characters, inflating a simple journey into an epic adventure in the process. This film also looks strikingly different, shot both in 3D and 48 frames technology, double the definition of film. But it's the story we're really interested in.
The events take place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, when Bilbo (Freeman) is a younger Hobbit enjoying a quiet life. Then he meets the wizard Ganfolf (McKellen) and everything changes. Suddenly he's invaded by 13 riotous dwarves led by Thorin (Armitage), who has decided to lead an expedition to reclaim their homeland from the sleeping dragon Smaug. Bilbo reluctantly agrees to help them, and their journey kicks off with a series of adventures as they are chased by wolf-riding orcs, captured by greedy goblins and terrorised by gigantic mountain-monsters. They also call in for help from the elf leaders Elrond and Galadriel (Weaving and Blanchett), and try to convince the sceptical wizard Saruman (Lee) to back their quest.
The film opens with familiar characters as the older Bilbo (Holm) chats with Frodo (Wood) before we flash back to the start. And Jackson continues to link the two trilogies like this, with connective characters and events as well as developing the simple novel into a much bigger epic, complete with tenacious villains. All of this is hugely involving, with tense moments that are nerve-shredding as well as scenes of dark emotion and broad humour. The best sequence is Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, which vividly reveals the progress in performance-capture technology over the last decade. We can even more clearly see Serkis in Gollum this time, and it gives the film a real kick.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, who lives a quiet life in The Shire. His peace is interrupted one day when Gandalf arrives on his doorstep, persuading Bilbo to hold a party in his home. Bilbo refuses but has no choice but to agree when Gandalf pesters him.