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It’s the dawn of war in the first trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

Peter Jackson’s three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit concludes later in 2014 with The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, in which the ultimate fates of the dwarves, the people of Laketown, and the dragon Smaug are decided in an epic clash that lays the groundwork for an even greater war. Fresh off an appearance at Comic-Con International in San Diego that brought a large portion of the cast together on the same stage, the studio has released the first full trailer for The Battle Of The Five Armies.

Unfolding immediately after the events of the previous film, The Desolation Of Smaug, the third and final installment of the trilogy chronicles Smaug’s assault on Laketown and the subsequent battle involving five armies assembled from the various races of Middle-earth. While this portion of the story in Tolkien’s original novel was relatively brief, it’s clear that Jackson has found fertile ground for expanding the saga of Bilbo Baggins’ adventure with this particular plot point.

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The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies hits theaters December 17, 2014, and stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, and a long list of other notable actors playing new and returning characters from both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings franchises.

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The third and final Hobbit film goes to war with a new title

The third and final film in the Hobbit trilogy will no longer be known as The Hobbit: There and Back Again, as director Peter Jackson confirmed via Facebook. Instead, the new title moving forward will be The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.
“Our journey to make The Hobbit Trilogy has been in some ways like Bilbo's own, with hidden paths revealing their secrets to us as we've gone along.” Jackson wrote. “There and Back Again felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo’s arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived ‘there’ in the Desolation of Smaug.”
Jackson went on to admit that the possibility of changing the name first arose during the premiere for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He spoke with the studio heads then about revisiting the title, and they all agreed to wait until there was a cut of the third film to watch. According to the director, the first cut of the film was finished last week, and after viewing it everyone involved agreed to the change.
The subtitle “There and Back Again” may still find some use though. “As Professor Tolkien intended, ‘There and Back Again’ encompasses Bilbo’s entire adventure, so don’t be surprised if you see it used on a future box-set of all three movies,” Jackson said.
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies is still on track to hit theaters on December 17, 2014, but there is also an extended edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on the way. Jackson confirmed that they are in the process of finishing the new cut of the second film, which will contain over 25 minutes of new footage.

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‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ stares you down in its first trailer

If apes ever do become super-smart to the point that they can form their own societies, humans are utterly doomed. If you need proof of that, check out the look in the CGI eyes of the ape Caesar, as he stares down the camera in the first trailer for the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
The film is – bear with me here – a sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which was a partial reboot of the 1968 franchise-spawning film Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston, which itself was a loose adaptation of the 1963 book Planet of the Apes, written by Pierre Boulle. To cut through all of that, the new film simply states that Dawn is from a “Premise suggested by Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle.” That’s a bit like when a move claims to be “inspired by true events” rather than based on them. Technically everything is “inspired by true events.” If you are alive, anything you create is somehow inspired by something, and "true events" is about as broad as you can get. Anyway.
The film picks up a decade or so after the end of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. A virus has decimated humanity, and the survivors have an uneasy truce going with the apes. That doesn’t last long though, and soon war breaks out.
With the exception of Andy Serkis who plays the ape leader Caesar (behind a lot of CGI), the cast (and some of the crew) from the last film have been replaced with new characters to match the new story. That includes director Rupert Wyatt, who left after concerns over the accelerated production schedule, which originally planned for a release in May of 2014. 20th Century Fox then brought in director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In), and eventually pushed the release back two months anyway.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stars Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Keri Russell on the human side; Serkis, Judy Greer and Terry Notary round out the apes. The film is set for release on July 11, 2014.

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‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ review
The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug

It’s difficult to judge the second part of what was always intended to be a trilogy. You expect it to leave things open ended, and yet there are several examples of the second acts being among the best entrants in the respective series – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers spring to mind. With The Desolation of Smaug though, how this second act is viewed will inevitably be down to what happens in the third film. It does not stand on its own – it exists solely to set up the conclusion, which we’ll have to wait until next year for. Desolation may inevitably be remembered as a decent, albeit forgettable entry, or it may be the film that proved the series never should have been a trilogy to begin with.

The Desolation of Smaug picks up right where An Unexpected Journey concluded, with Thorin, 12 dwarves, and one hobbit on the way into Mirkwood, home of the less-than-hospitable Wood elves. As the group battles spiders, shape changers, and orcs, they continue on their way to the Lonely Mountain, passing through Lake-town on the way. The group eventually comes face to fire-breathing snout with Smaug, the last great dragon of Middle-Earth. Hijinks ensue.

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