So far, director Peter Jackson’s prequels to his classic “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy has not been going terribly well. The first chapter was largely a slog, and while the 2nd fared considerably better it still suffered the same issues. Jackson is a filmmaker now unable or unwilling to control his indulgent appetite and practice self-editing. The upside is that he appears to be slowly learning his lesson, so maybe the third and final chapter “The Battle Of The Five Armies” will be all meat and little fat. This teaser, with its effective use of a mournful song (as featured in “Return Of The King”) and its sense of things coming to a head, does feel like a story finally clicking into place. I’m not too crazy about the overtly CG-looking effects in a couple of shots (eg: the wagon) but we’re still a couple of months from release so Weta Digital still has time to fine-tune them. Most importantly, at the end of this trilogy, let’s hope it leaves us with the feeling that this was a story worth telling.

Here’s the official summary: “From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town.

Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo’s frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain.

As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.”

“The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies” stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom, John Bell, Manu Bennett, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Billy Connolly, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Lawrence Makoare, Sylvester McCoy, Graham McTavish, Dean O’Gorman, Mikael Persbrandt, Aidan Turner. It premieres 17th December.


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