Davis: Hobbits at it again; Stellar performance from Redford

Jackson’s epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit continues with The Desolation of Smaug.

After a few weeks of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen ruling the box office, this week all of the attention is going to be on Peter Jackson’s second chapter in his epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit. Called The Desolation of Smaug, it continues the story of Bilbo Baggins along with Gandalf and 13 dwarfs as they continue their quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and its vast treasure from the dragon Smaug.

Like the second movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it looks like the action is amped up, especially with Orlando Bloom returning as Legolas, Kelowna native Evangeline Lilly joining him as fellow-elf Tauriel and Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Smaug. It is already getting better reviews than the first and it will be interesting to see if its box office will surpass part one, but consider this: The total budget of all three films has been estimated at $580 million and the box office take of the first was over $1 billion worldwide.

Even more interesting are some of the facts about the movie opening at the Paramount Theatre this week. We already know that Robert Redford can carry a movie, but can he carry a movie when he is the only actor with barely any dialogue?  In All is Lost, he stars as a sailor who must fight for survival after his yacht is involved in a collision with a freighter in the Indian Ocean. Somewhat reminiscent of Cast Away, the film’s script was only 32 pages long as the movie has only a few lines delivered by Redford. Even more interesting is that this is the only film in movie history that has only one actor and one writer/director (J.C. Chandor) but has 17 producers of various titles.

What I find ironic is that Chandor follows up his Academy Award-nominated debut screenplay for Margin Call with a screenplay with very little dialogue. And to answer the question posed earlier, Rottentomatoes.com says: “Anchored by another tremendous performance in a career full of them, All is Lost offers a moving, eminently worthwhile testament to Robert Redford’s ability to hold the screen.”

And with all the publicity that Will Ferrell has been getting showing up everywhere as Ron Burgundy (even doing a television newscast in character on KVMB in Bismark, North Dakota), it is hard to not know that he is back in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Also returning is his news team from the original are Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner and Christina Applegate. They are joined by Kristen Wiig, Harrison Ford and James Marsden. Co-creator and writer/director Adam McKay and producer Judd Apatow are also back behind the camera.

The news team from the original have fallen on hard times since their success on Channel 4 in the 1970s, but the ’80s brings a second chance as the group is recruited to help jump-start a 24-hour news channel.

Anchorman 2 opens next Wednesday, Dec. 18.

Kelowna Capital News