Friday, January 31, 2014



Sound Editing - Brent Burge
Sound Mixing - Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
Visual Effects - Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second installment in The Hobbit trilogy.  We pick up mostly where we left off with the band of characters journeying across amazing places to recapture their homeland of Erebor.  Of course they are still being chased by the violent Orcs as well as a myriad of other creatures and encounter plenty of mystical problems.  We see all the old favorite characters, Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Legolas the Elf - and of course, Bilbo still has the one true ring, which allows him to become invisible when he wears it.  Bilbo agrees to find the Arkenstone for the Dwarves, and in doing so awakens Smaug, the fierce dragon guarding it.  A battle ensues, and the movie ends mid-journey once again, readying us for the final installment, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, coming in 2014.

This second film was far superior to the first - it had better story, better action, and somehow better character development.  The Hobbit is not a very long book, and many including myself have questioned the need for the Peter Jackson machine to make three of these films.  I especially felt that way after seeing the first.  But this one was equally stunning visually, and this middle chapter felt like more of a full movie.

All three of the categories for which it is nominated are appropriate.  Don't forget how sound editing and mixing work together to achieve the full audio feel of the film, and that primarily action films and musicals get these nominations.  There is plenty of action to support these nominations, and the sound mixing is particularly outstanding.  The visual effects are a no brainer - and when you combine incredible sound editing and mixing with visual effects, you get a pretty kick ass dragon experience.

The Hobbit is a film for a particular kind of movie goer.  It almost goes without saying that if you're a Lord of the Rings fan, or a fan of the first Hobbit film, you'll like this one too.  It isn't totally necessary to see the first installment in order to get what's happening in this one as there is a little "catch you up" segment at the beginning which I was glad for even as someone who saw the first film.  It was fun, and the visuals are enough to justify seeing it in a theatre, but the story stands up on its own enough that DVD would do just fine (just try for a larger screen because that dragon is cool).

Haven't seen the film?
Watch The Hobbit Movie Trailer

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