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Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I discovered Tolkien when I was in high school.  The Hobbit, a lighthearted fantasy, a pure adventure story.  And then the Rings trilogy, a dark, tragic story with roots in Norse mythology, a serious story with all the elements of a classic epic journey.  Even though the books take place in the sane akternate universe and involve some of the same characters, it's hard to see a real connection.

So I couldn't help but wonder how they were going to stretch The Hobbit, this light, fluffy novel, into three movies.

The answer, of course, is to add subplots and back story, to make the tale of Bilbo Baggins and the Dwarves a true prequel to the Rings trilogy.

Last night we saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  This is the second installment of the trilogy, and while it drags a bit in places, it serves as a very interesting "bridge".  We get to meet Legolas, we get to meet the dragon Smaug up close and personal, we see Bikbo use the Ring,  and we get our first real taste of . . .of where Gandalf goes when he's not with Hobbits and Dwarves.

The special effects are amazing, and benefit from the IMAX  3D treatment.  And the ending is a real cliffhanger -- Drew actually gasped and said "No, they can't end it here."

Afterwards we wound up at Denny's.  It was only fitting -- Denny's brought back their "Hobbit" menu for the occasion.

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