13 December 2013

The Hobbit:
The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Desolation of Smaug is the sequel to An Unexpected Journey, and the second in Peter Jackson’s trilogy of films adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Jackson also directed the Lord of the Rings trilogy (I, II, and III), also based on novels by Tolkien.

Like An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug was filmed in 3D and HFR at 48fps. Whereas the first film began with a lengthy establishing sequence in Hobbiton, The Desolation of Smaug is a more action-packed adventure, climaxing with Bilbo’s confrontation with the dragon Smaug. There’s also a brief appearance by Stephen Fry, who plays the Master of Laketown.

The film has a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and the Atmos system can accommodate 128 distinct audio tracks, with sixty-four individual speakers positioned around the cinema (including in the ceiling). The effect, first used for Pixar’s Brave last year, is designed to envelop the audience with sound from all directions. (Bangkok currently has two Atmos cinemas: screen 12 at SF World and screen 6 at Paragon Cineplex.)

The Desolation of Smaug is screening in a bewildering array of different formats. The original format is HFR 3D (although the HFR version seemingly has a more limited release than that of the first Hobbit film), and it’s also screening in 2D, 3D, 4DX, IMAX DMX, IMAX DMX 3D, and HFR IMAX DMX 3D versions.