The Hobbit Trilogy

smaug questions

Plot holes aren’t the biggest issue with the Hobbit movies. Like An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug is plagued more by heavy narrative bloat and a dragging pace. But there are details that niggle in the mind once the movie is over. I’m sure that Tolkien fans will be able to answer for every single one of them with a thorough explanation that comes straight from the text. For someone who last read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings many years ago, however, these questions are cause for puzzlement. And some may indeed be unexplainable, at least definitively. Maybe some or even all of these will be answered in the last installment of the trilogy. I somewhat doubt it, but given that it will likely approach three hours in length, it will certainly have the time to do so. We’ll have to wait for There and Back Again to find out. It should be obvious, but because we discuss the entire plot of The Desolation of Smaug, you’re hereby warned that SPOILERS are abound after the jump.


The Hobbit

Though the hobbits are a simple folk who are content staying in their shire and enjoying a meal or five, it turns out creating that shire costs a fortune. According to Variety, The Hobbit trilogy has already cost approximately $561m, marketing not included. That figure includes the 266 days of filming completed this year, but not the additional two months of pick-ups or post-production costs for the last two films. Lordy. To put it in perspective, Peter Jackson spent $281m total on the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. But Jackson and Warner Bros. are considering the Hobbit money well spent; the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, made $1 billion in theaters worldwide despite the decidely mixed reviews, and it’s likely that the second film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, will do just as well, or even better. It has a Benedict Cumberbatch dragon –how could it not? (Check out the trailer here.) So what comprises half a billion dollars here? Jackson’s decision to shoot in both higher frame rates (48 rather than standard 24) and 3D in the hopes of providing better clarity for audiences added a “significant expense.” It also provided many viewers with headaches and really doesn’t seem like it should be highlighted as the only thing driving up production costs. Of course, staffing a small army of crew members and then costuming/styling (and paying) another boatload of actors adds some more expenses. Then pile on CGI and I think we have something close […]

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published: 01.26.2015
B-, C-
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015

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