First trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The first trailer for The Desolation of Smaug, film two in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit Trilogy, has arrived and whatever else can be said about Jackson's adaptation of Tolkien's beloved novel, this trailer presents an unquestionably lavish and captivating vision. Alongside familiar faces from An Unexpected Journey, we're introduced to Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) a woodland Elf (created by Jackson and Co.) and Bard the Bowman of Dale (Luke Evans); we also get a better look at Thranduil (Lee Pace) the Elvenking, father of one Legolas Greenleaf (Orlando Bloom) who once more leaps into the fray. Best of all however we get a good glimpse of the dragon Smaug.

The absence of a review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on this site has been noticed by some. We saw the 3D High Frame Rate version of the movie and, frankly, hated it. It was my experience that the documentary look that results from 48 FPS destroys the illusion, making a willing suspension of disbelief almost impossible. As a result the film's other flaws, in particular the stretching of the narrative almost beyond bearing, become all too noticeable. The decision not to write a review at the time was due to a suspicion that seeing the movie in 48 FPS did not do it justice and I, for one, was not interested in reviewing (and panning) the High Frame Rate technology.

I have subsequently seen the movie on Blu-ray however and that was an entirely different experience - the colour returned to Middle Earth and what had been a bland vision became glorious and captivating. The adaptation is still open to criticism, but being able to suspend disbelief and enjoy the spectacle certainly makes me more forgiving (although I find myself in uneasy alliance with Saruman about Radagast with his ridiculously turbo charged bunnies). 

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug screens from 13 December in 3D and also in a 3D HFR version (although not in any session I'll be attending!).

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