The GREAT actor IAN HOLM has died aged 88 – what a wonderful, versatile performer Ian was – his roles such as Ash in ALIEN, Sam in CHARIOTS OF FIRE and Bilbo Baggins in THE LORD OF THE RINGS are all memorable, some are disturbing but all are pure cinema – he is an incredible actor to watch and truly one of the great actors of our time RIP
THE HOBBIT : THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG – (2013) – Movie Review ★★★★½
Cast – Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly and Orlando Bloom – from Peter Jackson the director of The Lord of the Rings comes the second part to his Hobbit trilogy – Bilbo, Thorin and company must first encounter the perils that lay in wait in the darkness of Mirkwood Forest and the human settlement of Lake-town, before continuing on their quest towards the Lonely Mountain that’s filled with Gold, Jewels and a sleeping Dragon VERDICT being a huge Tolkien fan and having read The Hobbit many times since childhood I must confess to originally being quite annoyed at Peter Jackson’s decision to not only incorporate a new character Tauriel (Lilly) into Tolkien’s world but also to include The Lord of the Rings veteran Legolas (Bloom) who never appeared in the novel – but why should I have doubted Peter Jackson & his writer Fran Walsh who have both proved themselves masters of Middle Earth? These inclusions not only allow the story to be fleshed out a little but their presence adds to some of the most breathtaking action scenes we have seen in Middle Earth, Tauriel and Legolas leading the charge against The Spiders of Mirkwood and the battles with their sworn enemies the Orcs is fantastic and so much fun to watch – also the unlikely and potentially frowned upon friendship between the Elf Tauriel and Kili the Dwarf is an engaging, quite touching at times sub plot, that adds to an already engrossing story – overall The Hobbit : The Desolation of Smaug is a truly amazing spectacle and one of the very best movies of 2013 – the scenes with Gandalf at the ruins of Dol Guldur, the capture by the Mirkwood Forest Spiders and of course the impressive Smaug (possibly the best movie Dragon ever) are hugely impressive, the film’s 3D adds so much depth to these scenes that you find yourself being submerged into that world as if you too are part of the action – there’s also some real convincing performances on show including Lee Pace’s Elven King Thranduil and Luke Evan’s Bard the Bowman both adding some steel and a great deal of quality to an already fabulous cast – the movie contains so many great scenes but my favorite has to be when the Dwarves escape the Elven kingdom in empty wine barrels, floating down the river whilst being attacked by rampaging Orcs – it’s just sublime! – The Hobbit : The Desolation of Smaug is another example of the greatness of Peter Jackson – not many living filmmakers have that cinematic wow factor but Jackson has it in spades, this film is an epic of our time and I’m already shaking with excitement counting down the days to The Hobbit: There and Back Again the final chapter that lands late next year….