Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evageline Lily
I was a bit cool on An Unexpected Journey, the first entry in the Hobbit trilogy, finding it overly padded and lacking in impact compared to The Lord of the Rings series, though I did ultimately find more to like about it than to dislike. I'm more enthusiastic with respect to the follow up, The Desolation of Smaug, though I still think that The Hobbit is a far cry from the magic of The Lord of the Rings, and I still think that this new series has some pretty serious structural and narrative problems. On the plus side, this film isn't stopped dead by singing and it has a pretty exciting villain in its titular character. The downside is that the presence of so many Dwarves still hasn't been justified, given that only about four of them have discernible personalities, a problem exacerbated by the arrival of a bunch of new characters.