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    Today's Box Office: The Desolation of Smaug

    10:12 AM, Dec 13, 2013   |    comments
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    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second part of the Hobbit trilogy that continues the adventure of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) on his journey with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and the thirteen Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on the quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf kingdom which has been destroyed and overrun by the dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). Along their journey they're being pursued by dangerous Orcs, they're captured (and also aided) by elves, and fall into mistrust with humans. 

    Desolation
    is much better than Unexpected Journey. It's set at a quicker, more intense, less cartoonish pace with subplots that make the characters more interesting. Even with a 2 hour and 45 minute runtime, it felt like a better adaptation and although it contained plotlines not in the original J.R.R. Tolkien novel, those elements did not bring the movie to a crawl as they did in Unexpected Journey

    Besides, it's "bonus material" that Peter Jackson included in the first film, the audience failed to connect with the High Frame Rate, 3D style in which the picture was shot. The higher frame rate adds more detail to every scene and removes some of the darkness and blurring that comes from regular 3D filming. It came across as too vivid and cheesy in Unexpected Journey but Desolation looked much better, perhaps the shock of the higher rate had worn off but it felt smoother and although it did look too vivid at time, the medium allowed for several nice moments of detail and movement, particularly in the animation of the dragon Smaug.

    Sadly, there's only one theater in Arkansas capable of showing the high frame rate. It's the RPX Theater at the McCain Mall Regal Theater. If you can see it there, I recommend you do. I always feel you should see a film in the way the artist intended it to be viewed.

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