The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug review

The Desolation of Smaug picks up pretty much where its predecessor left off. Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves are being pursued by Orcs and are running out of time to open the door to the old dwarf city, which is now home to the fiery dragon Smaug.


Unlike the first Hobbit film, there’s not a long wait before the story kicks into full gear. In fact, so much happens in the movie that there isn’t really much down time at all, but the long running time ensures that nothing seems rushed.

The main story focuses on Bilbo and the dwarves as they make their way to Smaug, but then there’s also the side story of Gandalf who splits from the group early in the film, as well as various subplots given to supporting characters who are introduced along the way.

Hobbit ElfIt’s the subplots that really fill the film up with detail that may not have been there in the original book, but still feels natural in this fantasy world. The best variation from the novel is probably the introduction of the wood-elf Tauriel, who is played by Evangeline Lily. Tauriel is such a badass that she just steals every scene she’s in.

Even so, the most satisfying part of the movie definitely comes from the book. When Bilbo finally gets face to face with Smaug, the scene is amazing. It has smart dialog and Smaug is brought to life so well that it’s hard not to fear for the safety of the little hobbit. By the time this scene rolls around so much has happened that it’s seems like there won’t be enough time left to give Smaug the screen time he deserves, but don’t worry this isn’t the case.

One of the major benefits of getting a lot of the talking out of the way in the first film, is that it means this time they’re free to just go all out with the action. The quick fighting style really helps speed up the pace of the film and is visually interesting. In fact, the whole movie is visually interesting and full of wide shots that really help build the world of Middle-Earth.

The length of the film may help with the pacing of the story, but there are some flaws that are unavoidable with a three hour running time. For instance, there are people who will just never be able to watch this movie. Three hours is just too long for a lot of potential movie goers and it’s also a surprisingly difficult task for the bladder, especially for those who order a large drink. Still, when it comes to a film based on one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, fans expect it to last about three hours.

Hobbit Bilbo

While challenging on the bladder, the Desolation of Smaug is definitely worth seeing in cinemas, even if you didn’t like the first one. The increased frame rate makes the price of an IMAX ticket seem justified, which is so rarely the case. Having watched the first Hobbit film at home, I can honestly say that, after seeing this sequel, I wished I’d seen it in the cinema instead.

What do you think of the Hobbit? Are you a fan? Have you read the books? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


First trailer for Maleficent

First impressions seem to indicate that the upcoming Disney villain movie won’t disappoint and Angelina Jolie does a great job delivering some very quotable lines, but will this reverse fairy tale attract live up to the hype? Check out the trailer below.

Star Wars Episode VII Writer Revealed

If living with your head under a rock you have been then know about Star Wars episode VII you will not, otherwise you probably know that over a week ago Disney bought Lucasfilm and with it the rights to the Star Wars franchise. Along with the purchase they announced that another Star Wars trilogy (episodes VII, VIII and IX) is on the way and now we know who will be writing the next instalment. (more…)

Writer Confirms No Time Travelling in The Planet of the Apes Sequel

If there’s one thing that everybody remembers about the original Planet of the Apes movie it’s the Statue of Liberty scene were Taylor discovers that there is no home planet for him to return to as this ape filled land is actually Earth’s grim future.  It’s a great twist and sets up for the time travelling sequels, which explore the rise of the apes, the fall of humanity and the eventual destruction of Earth.  However, all of this stuff isn’t shown in a linear view, but rather a circular one ending, not with Earth blowing up, but with the apes rising.  Time travel has, from the first film adaptation, been a crucial part of The Planet of the Apes, so why won’t it be part of the new movie series?

Rick Jaffa, who co-wrote The rise of the Planet of the Apes and the upcoming sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, has spoken out about the decision to not include time travel in this telling of the ape saga.  In an interview with Total Film he said ‘it’s the one big element that we made a conscious decision not to explore in the first one, and we were worried that there might be some backlash in the science fiction community because of it. When the story first came together we were very, very excited, and yet before we pitched it, I thought, “the one thing missing though is time travel. But it’s not necessary for this particular telling”’.

The origin of The Planet of the Apes story is not the original film, but rather a French novel called La Planète des singes.  Interesting this story doesn’t actually involve time travel at all and ends in a way similar to that of the 2001 Tim Burton adaptation of The Planet of the Apes, though it is less confusing than Burton’s version.  Should the latest adaption of the book stick with the science fiction time travel angle, that the older films are famous for, or is it a good thing that they are leaving it out?

What do you think?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.

Peter Jackson Confirms Hobbit Trilogy

After a lot of speculation, Peter Jackson has released a statement confirming that The Hobbit, which was previously intended to span two films, will now be turned into a trilogy.

Jackson, who also directed The Lord of the Rings trilogy, made the announcement on his Facebook page, after previously hinting of the possible addition of a third film at this year’s Comic-Con.  The statement explained that, as a fan and filmmaker, Jackson didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to tell the full story of The Hobbit and, having seen a rough version of the first film as well as a large chunk of the second, he believes that there is enough story to fill a third instalment.

The book itself is shorter than each of The Lord of the Rings novels, which can only mean that the film adaptations will leave out none of the plot details.  In fact, the story will be added to using some of the material that featured in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings books.  The goal of this new trilogy is, according to Jackson’s statement ‘to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth’.  If this really is the case, and not just a way to get more money from fans, then this could be the first film adaptation that hasn’t disappointed fans by leaving out interesting plot points.

The first film in The Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey, is set to hit cinemas worldwide on the 14th of December, the second, which will no longer be called There and Back Again, will come out the following year, 13th of December 2013, the final film will arrive some time during summer 2014.  All films will be available in both 2D and 3D.

What do you think?  Are you a fan of The Hobbit?  Do you think that it should be turned into three films?  Which of The Lord of the Rings movies was your favourite?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe and hit the like button.

Men in Black 3 Review

For a while it didn’t really look like there was going to be a third Men in Black film, but after a ten year absence Agents J and K have returned to the big screen.

Regardless of how you felt about the second film, if you enjoyed the first, you should give this sequel a shot.  The story picks up years after the events of the second film with an old foe of K’s escaping from an alien prison.  When word spreads J, seeing K is hiding something, begins to tire of the seemingly emotionless relationship the two have.  Then, with a simple alteration to the timeline, Agent K disappears from the present having now been killed in 1969.  J, being the only one who remembers the original timeline, must travel back in time to prevent the change.

Originally the plot seemed like a way to deprive MIB fans of Tommy Lee Jones, who plays the role of K brilliantly, but it quickly became clear that although Jones is physically absence from a large part of the film he is there in spirit, as Josh Brolin has clearly done his research and emulates Jones perfectly.  Brolin’s version of K is more open than his older counterpart, which is because an event that causes him to become emotionally distant hasn’t happened yet.  His enables J, played by Will Smith, to get to know his partner a little better.  Also, despite Brolin in reality being 44, a year older than Will Smith, his character is 29 making him the younger agent.  This adds a new interesting twist to their relationship, similar to K discovering the changes that had happened during his absence when he returned in number two.

The plot was interesting and funny, which was somewhat of a surprise as I had prepared myself for 106 minutes of boredom.  Though it’s never really clear about why Agent J can remember K in the present, it does give a vague reason, but I’ll let it go because the rest of the plot was interesting and really enjoyable.  Seeing MIB in 1969 was like watching an old sci-fi movie, even the aliens were made to look like the ones that would appear in those kinds of films.  Time travel is always a really interesting plot device, but it’s also so easy to do wrong.  If it’s too complex then you lost most of the audience and you risk making mistakes, if it’s too simplistic then it just won’t feel real.  MIB 3 probably would have been close to the too simple side were it not for Griffin, played by Michael Stuhlbarg.  Griffin is similar to Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen, except he’s funny and generally a nice guy.

The biggest let down of the film is that Frank, the talking Pug, isn’t in it.  Frank appeared in both previous MIB movies, receiving a larger role in the second instalment because of how much audience’s loved his character in the first film.  It seems like a strange choice not to give him a part, considering he’s a fan favourite.  I guess in a world were Tommy Lee Jones doesn’t even get to appear in the full film, no one is safe.  All things considered, Men in Black 3 is a fun, clever and interesting movie that deserves to be given a chance.

Did you like the film?  How do you think it compares to the previous two instalments?  Which MIB film is your favourite?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe and, if you liked this post, click the like button.

Men in Black 3 extended trailer

Production on Akira Remake Stopped

Production on the live action American adaptation of Akira has stopped, will this be the end of the project entirely or is it just another speed bump?

Work on the Akira remake has been anything but smooth, it’s already had its budget slashed from $150 million to $90 million, changed director and been rewritten by several different writers.  However, now Warner Bros have stopped pre-production of the film completely.  Some think this is the end for the project, despite statements released saying that it was not, though maybe that’s just wishful thinking from the diehard fans that have been, understandably, anxious and critical of the remake.

At first it was thought that production had stopped due to another budget cut, but now it’s been reported that it is more rewrites that are causing the halt.  It’s worrying to think that it’s taking so many people to write something that has already been made, but hey that’s Hollywood.  It could be taken as a sign that some major changes to the story have accorded, hopefully not though as Akira has a huge fan base that want the story to be respected in this, and every other, version.

Reports suggest that Warner Bros are eager to get the project up and running again, but it has been in production since the rights were bought back in 2008.  Since then, there have been a series of stop and starts, which means that it could be a few years before filming actually begins.  However, it seems unlikely as casting has already started with Garrett Hedlund in the lead role, as Kaneda, and Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter and Ken Watanabe in negotiations to appear in the film.  Also the part of the second lead role, Tetsuo, has been narrowed down to two actors; Dane DeHaan and Michael Pitt.  The decision was supposed to be announced after Christmas, but the break in production has no doubt caused this to be delayed.

Regardless of all of the problems they’ve encountered, there is still a big chance that this film will be made, and maybe even on time, but if they don’t respect the source material then is there really a point in remaking the film in the first place?

What do you think?  Are you an Akira fan?  Would you like production to be cancelled permanently?  Who do you think should play Tetsuo; Dane DeHaan or Michael Pitt?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe/follow, click the like button and follow me on Twitter.

Men in Black 3 Trailer

This summer Men in Black fans will finally get a third instalment in the MIB franchise, which may or may not be a good thing.  A couple of days ago, the first trailer was released so now we can see, with our own eyes, how the film will compare to the others.

One of the main concerns people had about the film was that Tommy Lee Jones was essentially being replaced by Josh Brolin and from watching the trailer it does seem like, for most of the movie, this is what’s going to happen.  Personally, of the two, I prefer Jones’ character, Agent K, over Agent J, played by will Smith, and will be disappointed if Brolin plays the character for the most part.  Adding salt to the wound, as I pointed out in a previous post, Brolin is too old to play Agent K in the 60s.

These things aside, the rest of the trailer does suggest that we may have an interesting MIB sequel on our hands.  The first film was really good but, not to be too critical of the second, maybe they should have stopped there.  However, since they didn’t why not keep going?  It can only get better, unless, of course, it gets worse, which would be bad.

What do you think?  Are you excited about this sequel?  Do you prefer Agent K or Agent J?  Would you be disappointed if K is played by Josh Brolin for the majority of the film?  Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think by voting and leaving a comment.  Also don’t forget to subscribe/follow and click the like button.  Then, if you want to keep up with future posts and projects, you can follow me on twitter!/AdamODwyer1.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Though others may try, there is no greater, fictional, detective than Sherlock Holmes.  Originally created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes has gone on to be the star of many adaptations, including Guy Richie’s extremely successful 2009 film.  On the 16th of December, a sequel, also directed by Guy Richie, will hit cinemas, but will it be able to live up the high expectations of the excited fans?

The story picks up were the first one left off.  Holmes, played by Robert Downey Jr., is hot on the trail of Professor Moriarty, played by Jared Harris.  The film starts off with a, much too short, cameo appearance from Rachel McAdams who plays the infamous Irene Adler.  In her place, as this film’s female character, is Sim, a fortune teller played by Swedish actress Noomi Rapace.  This is Rapace’s first English speaking role, but she did a great job and Stephen Fry also appears in the film as Sherlock’s brother Mycroft.

I really enjoyed it, I went in with high expectations and they were exceeded.  One thing I would say though is that I wasn’t expecting Moriarty’s face to be revealed so soon.  They went through so much trouble to hide it in the first movie that it seems odd them showing it not only early in the film, but also in the trailer.  Though it did lead to some interesting scenes between Holmes and Moriarty, I couldn’t help thinking that Moriarty had plenty of opportunities to kill Sherlock.  However, I’m glad he didn’t make use of these opportunities as the rest of the adventure is an interesting ride full of twists and turns that recall earlier parts of the film that you didn’t think were important, which is one of my favourite things about these movies.

If, like me, you lack the observation skills that Holmes has, don’t worry as the plot is very clear and at the end of the film you’ll understand it all.  If not, well you can Google it later and the scenery alone is enough to keep you occupied in the unlikely event that you get completely lost.  I don’t know how they did it, but it really looks and feels like the late 1800s, which is important because if the look’s off then it’s harder to get engrossed in the world that they’ve made.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, or Sherlock Holmes 2, is a fantastic movie that, in my eyes, surpasses to original and maybe even steals the trophy of film of the year.

What do you think?  Do you have keen observation skills?  Would you like to see the new Sherlock Holmes film?  Are you team Sherlock or team Moriarty?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe/follow and click the like button.  If you really want to keep up to date with the blog, and some other up and coming projects, then you can follow me, AdamODwyer1, on Twitter.