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A DVD Critic’s Corner Back to School Quiz!


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

Director: Peter Jackson

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lily, Orlando Bloom

Plot: Bilbo Baggins and his dwarf pals continue their journey to fight a dragon and kill things.

Rating: PG-13 for swords clashing and scary monsters monstering.

Good day, class!

It’s September, and that means it’s time for the little miscreants – sorry, students to return to school for another fun filled year of readin’, writin’, and that stuff you do with numbers that makes no sense whatsoever.

Since the younglings will be facing a whole bunch of tests in the coming weeks, I though it would be a hoot if we took a quiz based on a DVD I recently viewed – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, directed by Peter Jackson.

So take out a sheet of paper and a pencil and we will begin. Keep your eyes on your own papers please, and no cheating or you’ll have to eat the food in the cafeteria as punishment.

Let’s begin!

1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a continuation of an epic movie saga based on a series of books by:

A) J.R.R. Tolkian

B) R.J.R Nabisco

C) J.R.J.R.R. Tolllkiann Jr.

D) That fat guy with the hat who writes Game of Thrones.

2. In this movie, Bilbo and his Dwarf companions:

A) Continue their journey to Lonely Mountain to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom.

B) Fight deadly adversaries at every turn.

C) Resist the urge to stop and bathe once in a while.

D) All of the above.

3. When giant spiders capture the dwarves and wrap them up in their webs, Bilbo frees them by using:

A) A huge rolled up newspaper.

B)  The magical One Ring Bilbo stole from Gollum in the previous movie.

C) A can of Raid Giant CG Ant, Roach, and Spider Killer.

D) His glorious singing voice, which charmed the spiders into making Bilbo their King!

4. The Wood Elves:

A) Have a long standing animosity for the Dwarf race.

B) Are unwilling to help the Dwarves in their quest to defeat Smaug.

C) All dress like they’re in some 1970’s glam rock band.

5. Evangeline Lily plays Tauriel, an elf warrior who:

A) Is Chief of the Elvenking’s guards.

B) Goes against the Elvenking’s wishes and helps Bilbo and the Dwarves

C) Is one of only two chicks in all of Middle Earth! Seriously, this movie is one giant sausage fest!

6. Azog and his Orc army are still chasing our heroes because:

A) Azog wants to kill Thorin like he killed Thorin’s father decades earlier.

B) He wants to destroy all Darves.

C) He’s just a giant, evil, asshole.

D) All of the above.

7. At the climax of the movie, Bilbo sneaks into Lonely Mountain and meets Smaug. Smaug:

A) is a fierce dragon with immense powers.

B) holds captive the vast treasure of the Dwarf kingdom – a literal mountain of gold!

C) is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the popular BBC series Sherlock.

D) Which is totally awesome, by the way. I cant wait for the next series.

E) Martin Freeman is great in that show too. They make a great team.

F) Wait, what are we talking about?

8. While watching The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, I thought:

A) This is another well made film by Peter Jackson.

B) The fight scenes were exciting and the effects were amazing!

C) Did everyone in New Zealand work on this movie?

D) Orlando Bloom is the prettiest elf of them all!

Please pass your papers forward. I will grade them sometime between Friday and never.


Hobbits and Ogres and Dwarfs, Oh My!


THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (2012) Director: Peter Jackson Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian Mckellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis. Rating: PG-13 for sword fights, scary CGI monsters and lots of long beards. 

Hey. Ever hear of The Lord of the Rings?

Of course you have. Nerd.

No, you’re not a nerd. Everyone likes Silver Age Green Lantern as much as you do. You’re fine.

Even the most non-nerdiest people have probably heard of the epic LOTR film series directed by Peter Jackson based on J.R.R. Tolkian’s epic book series because it was and still is a pretty darn big deal.

How big a deal is The Lord of the Rings trilogy?

It was eight years in the making, took over a year to film (that’s all three movies back to back to back) and grossed almost 3 billion dollars!

Everyone in the country of New Zealand either worked on or has a part in it!

The Expanded Edition Blu-Ray is longer than a Kim Kardashian marriage!

It’s very big, is what I’m trying to say.

So after taking a few years off to catch up on his sleep and direct a few movies that didn’t involve guys with hairy feet and swords, writer/producer/director Peter Jackson has returned to dungeons and dragons land to direct three more films based on the The Hobbit, the prequel novel to the LOTR books.

For you youngsters out there, a book is a paper thing old people read before someone invented the Kindle.

The first movie in the Hobbit trilogy is An Unexpected Journey, and it tells the story of Bilbo Baggins when he was a young hobbit of the Shire kicking back in his tastefully decorated hobbit house that is way too nice for a guy who doesn’t appear to have a job.

Bilbo’s (Martin Freeman) tranquil jobless life is interrupted when his old wizard buddy Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen reprising his role from the LOTR trilogy) shows up one night with Dwarf King Thorin (Richard Armitage) and twelve of his dwarf buddies who proceed to raid Bilbo’s fridge and do unspeakable things to the bathroom plumbing.

They have come to make the B-man an offer her cannot refuse: help this collection of dwarf warriors take back the Dwarf kingdom inside Lonely Mountain from the evil dragon Smaug, who evicted the dwarf race from their home years earlier without even serving them with an eviction notice and giving them a few days to clear out their stuff and send out change of address cards.

For some reason, Thorin and Gandalf think boring Bilbo is some kind of master burglur who will help the dwarfs slip quietly past the huge fire breathing dragon and change the locks on the doors so the dragon can’t get back in or something; it’s not really clear how Bilbo will help the battle hardened dwarfs in their quest, but Bilbo decides to go along because a quest is fun and it’s not like he has a job keeping him around the Shire.

Seriously, what does Bilbo do for a living?

Anyhoo, much like the LOTR films, An Unexpected Journey is about a great odyssey across Middle Earth where our heroes run into all kinds of creatures brought to life with the amazing CG magic you expect from this film series. You can almost smell how foul and horrible the fat disgusting trolls who capture Bilbo and his party must be. And the Goblins! My lord, those computer effects guys really captured their detestable grossness. I almost vomited.

An Unexpected Journey isn’t all hideous abominations endangering Bilbs and his pals. Several of your favorite characters from the LOTR trilogy show up to aid our heroes:

Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) an Elf leader who may or may not have dated Gandalf and knows magic.

Other Elf Guy (Hugo Weaving), who speaks mostly in subtitles.

Saruman the White (Christopher Lee) who totally stole his look from Greg Allman.

And if course who could forget good old Gollum (Andy Serkis) who bless his little heart is still as batshit crazy as he was in the other movies.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a fine addition to the Lord of the Rings movie library.  It’s chock full of action and adventure as Bilbo and company fight their way out of danger a bunch of times to get to a far away place that’s at least two movies away.

Hopefully in the next installment Bilbo is able to talk those huge CG eagles that helped them escape the Orcs in the movie’s climax to fly them a little bit closer to their destination instead of just dropping them off a half a mile from where the Orcs almost killed them.

Stupid giant eagles. Couldn’t take Bilbo and his friends all the way to Lonely Mountain. Are they not allowed to fly there? Is Lonely Mountain not in their region?

Do they work for Jet Blue?