Stand back Smaug is ready to cause a rage in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug #film #thehobbit

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For anyone who is looking at the Hobbit posters that are plastering our walls, buses and underground stations, and wondering whether or not its worth your time (about 2.5 hours) and money to sit in a dark room throughout party season; I can categorically tell you it is!

Forget the first installment of the film franchise and all its appalling high frame rate filming and dull overly long set up plot lines, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a triumph! What was lost in the first film is the distinct transportation to another world (its pretty hard to get lost in a film when the clarity of the filming is so high you can see the prosthetics covering each characters faces) and more frighteningly a lack lustre sense of action and adventure. Luckily part two brightens up all our woes and keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 15.42.19

I know its always a good sign when I remember to check my watch and realize that its already over two hours through. I had been so preoccupied before hand with everything going on, I didn’t even think I stopped to take a breath let alone look at the time!

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the continuation story of Bilbo Baggins the dwarves and Gandalf the Grey as they continue their journey to reclaim their rightful homeland Erebor, from the fire-breathing dragon that is Smaug. Unbeknown to the rest of the group, Bilbo is also in possession of a magical ring which gives him extraordinary powers and makes him a brave and valuable asset on this quest.

First and foremost the action is amazing. Whether it is a newly tweaked version of the 48fps or indeed the standard 24fps version, you will be dazzled by the intricacy and excitement of each action led sequence. One key highlight has to be the battle with giant spiders, which with added 3D gives them a new monstrous perception and will make you shudder out of reach in your cinema seat. Secondly, is the incredibly impressive river barrel sequence, with prancing elves killing Orcs with “endless” amounts of arrows, the logistical reality does not come into play in any way within this sequence as its 15 minutes of glory is truly breath taking.Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 15.42.54

Each character that we have seen in the first installment of the franchise becomes more developed in their own right in this film. Bilbo has an increased level of confidence thanks to his secret weapon, Gandalf goes off to fight his own battle against Sauron, and there is an interesting start of a love triangle between Killy (Dwarf), Tauriel (Elf) and Legolas (Elf) which is left hanging ready for the conclusion in the third film.

And finally, we get to Smaug – Benedict Cumberbatch is superbly cast as the greedy dragon resting in the Misty Mountain awoken by Bilbo. The detail that is used to create the dragon is some of the best out there, each scale is clear to see and the fire in Smaug’s belly prepares you for a visual feast of fire and gold.

To round up, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug brings Peter Jackson back to Tolkien’s original fantasy and his directing best. Fun for all the family, this film is THE go to film for the Christmas period and not one to miss.

4 Stars.

Written by Film Critic – Rebecca Perfect

 

 

 

 

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Love Game of Thrones? Then this might be right up your street… #HammeroftheGods #film

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We sent one of our fabulous film critics Andrew Jones (@ethanrunt) off to check out Nick Love’s brand new film offering Hammer of the Gods.  With all this blood, gore and action we thought it was a perfect “boys film” and here’s what he thought of it…

Historical settings are back in a big way thanks to TV’s Spartacus and Game Of Thrones, and with new Brit actioner Hammer Of The Gods we get to see a lot more of it on the big screen. A group of vikings in 800’s AD Britain venture forth through a dangerous land to find the king’s long-lost son, the future leader of the invading forces, and on the journey the viking lads do their fair bit of slicing and dicing through the British.

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 08.47.09As Hammer Of The Gods opens, we see leader of the pack Steiner scream charging towards a group of aggressive farmers like the leader of a firm on the terraces. In no small manner, the film is happy to be The Football Factory meets Game Of Thrones and 300, gloriously violent and laddish without weighing itself down in too much plot or dialogue between the big action scenes. Steiner’s father, the rightful king, is dying, and he has to lead the charge in finding the next king, lest his rat younger brother take the crown and destroy the vikings for Saxon gold. On the journey to find his long-lost brother, Steiner and his crew face up to a large boy-loving monster, a religious group using fear as a weapon and a cult around a supposedly immortal god. Steiner and his viking friends knock down everyone, reminding all they oppose that true power comes from the swords and hammers they possess. And if these people don’t believe that, they learn the hard way.

Hammer Of The Gods isn’t exactly historically accurate, noticeably in one action sequence the score becomes very dubstep, which I’m ninety-five percent certain wasn’t a genre back then, and the language is both foul and modern. The film is much more interested in entertaining the audience than being accurate or real in any way, and for that it works wonders. Blissfully short and simple, every dialogue scene finds its way to an important action beat, and all the action is exciting and violent, it’s just what you want from a viking film. Bloody, brutal, silly fun.Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 08.46.58

That’s not to say the film’s perfect, it does threaten to become a very odd arthouse film in the final act, as a lot of characters disappear and the long-lost brother arc becomes something out of a Twin Peaks nightmare, but even that finds its way to nasty bloody violence, so it’s not all bad. Perhaps the film has a bit too much of a Lord Of The Rings fetish because there are about two or three walking/riding sequences that feel like they’d rather show off the British country rather than continue the plot, and whilst it’s a good advert for VisitBritain.com, it’s not as exciting as seeing a man smash another man’s head in with a hammer.

Hammer Of The Gods is executive produced by Nick Love of The Firm and The Sweeney fame, and you can feel his filmmaking style all over here, a Gladiator for Nuts readers, but it’s undemanding stuff and good fun whilst you’re watching it, even if you don’t recall half of it once the lights come up at the end. Fun fluff with a brutal edge, Hammer Of The Gods is recommended for those needing a bit of blood of an evening, or if you want to watch a film with the lads that’s a little different than usual.

Hammer of the Gods is coming to cinemas in August after a debut at Film4 FrightFest.

3 Stars.