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Watch! The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Trailer!

The latest trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has arrived on-line. Check it out below. While I’ll concede that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was over-long and quite padded, I enjoyed it more than most. Part of that is down to Martin Freeman’s charisma, but also in the way that Jackson seems to relish the relatively lower stakes of this story. (Musical dish-cleaning sequence anyone?) I’ll admit that I’m curious to see what Jackson’s second installment holds in store. That said, the trailer does seem to suggest quite a lot of superfluous material – a Legolas romantic subplot? really? – but it also teases Benedict Cumberbatch as a flame-throwing pun-wielding dragon. So it’s safe to say the jury’s still out.

 

Non-Review Review: Real Steel

Well, at the very least, Real Steel confirms that Hugh Jackman is a bona fides movie star (as if X-Men Origins: Wolverine didn’t already do that). It proves that the actor can pretty successfully anchor and ground any high concept blockbuster in a charming performance, one that’s engaging and witty enough to allow the audience to overlook some of the movie’s more obvious flaws. Still, despite the rather wonderful special effects and the strong cast, I left Real Steel feeling just a little bit strange, as if I’d been watching a movie that I appreciated, but never really engaged with.

And in the neon orange corner...

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