They're back... The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who now has the ring in his possession; the Elves, that can do things with a sword that I've only dreamed of; the super ugly Orcs; the brave dwarves, who just want to go home again; the all wise, all knowing wizard Gandalf; and the fire breathing narcissistic dragon Smaug, (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch).

'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' - shot in 3D, directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker. Peter Jackson - is the second part of 'The Hobbit' (BTW: there will be one more next year). 

Don't mean to sound cynical, but personally, I think the whole story could have been told in one movie. Having said that, I'll start with the good news. This Hobbit movie is so much better than the last one.

It is the continuation of the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) - as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the thirteen Dwarves, led by the Dwarf King, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) - on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebot.

Along the way, instead of encountering seven Elevens and Mini Marts, they run into giant spiders; dangerous Wood-elves; the skin-changer Beorn; and the dreaded Orcs, who have some major anger issues.

For awhile they have Gandalf to help them out.  Gandalf, although wise, is your basic control freak wizard, who eventually comes to realize that there are some things way beyond his power. At least in this film anyway.

And then there's the Elves led by Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and the gorgeous Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), who have a slightly different philosophy than the rest of their crew.

You see, most Elves aren't fond of the Dwarves. In fact, they really don't want to get involved in anything that's going on out there in the 'real world'. They just want to stay at home and smell the roses or whatever Elves do for fun.

'The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug' written by Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, along with Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Torois, is filled with great action scenes, excellent CGI effects and wonderful characters created by J.R.R. Tolkien.

I do think the film was too long, especially the battle scenes between Smaug and the Dwarfs. I mean, how many times can you see a dragon blow fire out of his mouth?

For that reason, I gave 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' which opens in theaters, Friday, December 13, 2013, three and a half bagels out of five.  I know John would have given it only 2. We all know how much he hates long films.

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