Movie date: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

SINGAPORE- Movie Date

Mars: Wow.

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.

If it is not already apparent, this flick blew my mind.

While watching it, I was actually kind of overwhelmed by all the action - there is just SO MUCH happening.

Upon reflection, I realised that this is one of those movies that I will have to see five times in order to really appreciate it.

There are so many spectacular locations, so many unforgettable characters, so many wondrous incidents, that it is impossible to take it all in.

Director Peter Jackson is just so generous with his talent!

My favourite section was of course the middle bit, with all the elves.

We have got tantalising glimpses into the lives of the elves during previous trips to Middle-earth, but here we are taken deep into their natural habitat.

Mirkwood is my new hood.

Thranduil (Pace) is my new idol. Tauriel (Lilly) is my new crush.

And frankly, I just want to BE Legolas (Bloom).

The archery scenes with him are my favourite action scenes of all time.

There was this bit where he shot two orcs through the head at the same time, and it actually brought a tear to my eye.

To see someone so beautiful do something so well is an absolute pleasure and privilege.

Venus: I am not a J. R. R. Tolkien purist but I am a huge fan of his books.

There is something special about Tolkien's Middle-earth, and Jackson brilliantly brings it all to life in the LOTR trilogy and the first Hobbit movie.

So why did he include the brand new character Tauriel? Now that really bugs me.

Sure, Jackson needs a female element in the testosterone-laden franchise.

He also needs someone little girls can look up to, and Lilly does a decent job as the fiery red-head elf.

But because she is not Tolkien's creation, her scenes do not quite gel with the big picture, let alone her cheesy banter with supposed love interest, the hunky dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner).

Thankfully, there are so many other things to love. Legolas is one of them.

He does not exist in The Hobbit book, but he is there in the appendices so his presence here is acceptable. Though grumpier, Legolas still is one smooth operator.

The action is way better in the sequel, too.

The opening sequences involving Beorn (Mikael Persbrandt) the fearsome skin-changer sets the pace. Then there is the exciting barrel scene and the magnificent Smaug!

Bilbo's moments with the fearsome dragon are so riveting, making you salivate for what is going to come next year.

STARRING: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch

DIRECTOR: Peter Jackson THE SKINNY: The dwarf Thorin (Armitage) leads his small band of fellows, including the hobbit Bilbo (Freeman), to Mount Erebor to reclaim their homeland from the dragon Smaug (Cumberbatch). Along the way, they tangle with the elves of Mirkwood, who hold them prisoner. They manage to escape but are then chased down by orcs! RATING: PG13

THE CONSENSUS: Guys will love it. Girls will love it. Anyone who enjoys action, adventure, romance and elves will love it!


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