|Warner Home Entertainment|
|Universal Pictures Home Entertainment|
Warner Bros. Home Video
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And so we enter the middle section of Peter Jackson's massive Hobbit trilogy, carved from the single slim volume of J.R.R. Tolkien's original adventure tale. Reluctant hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman, just right) is trekking away with his dwarf colleagues, all headed to the treasure-laden mountain where the mighty fire-breathing dragon Smaug resides. This being a Jacksonian roller-coaster ride, we've first got to travel through the mysterious Mirkwood forest (where giant spiders await--yipes) and then escape from a castle where the elf ruler (Lee Pace) and his son Legolas (Orlando Bloom) view the dwarfs skeptically. Jackson also invents a character here, a female elf-archer (Evangeline Lilly), a rather welcome addition of female kick-assery. The escape in oaken casks down a raging river is literally a barrel of fun--blink and you've missed three sight gags. The wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) is unfortunately elsewhere for much of the film, although of course McKellen delivers ominous one-liners like nobody's business. There's a general sense of place-holding, and the cliffhanger ending leaves no doubt that The Hobbit is meant to be seen as one long movie, with Smaug barely working as a stand-alone. And what about Smaug, that digital dragon who slithers around atop a mountain of gold coins and jewels? Benedict Cumberbatch provides the voice, and he sure does talk a lot (the film in general is quite the gabfest). Confirmed fans will have no problem with the movie's flaws (and at least the juvenile humor of An Unexpected Journey is held at bay here), although non-Tolkienites will likely be puzzled at why it's taking so long to go there and back again. --Robert Horton -------------------------- Après avoir survécu à un périple inattendu, la petite bande s'enfonce vers l'Est, où elle croise Beorn, le Changeur de Peau, et une nuée d'araignées géantes au coeur de la Forêt Noire qui réserve bien des dangers.