'the hobbit'

Behind the Oscar-nominated sounds of 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'

In an era when more people are watching movies at home or on their mobile devices, Dolby and Hollywood are hoping sound will lure people back into theaters.

Dolby Atmos, an evolution of Dolby's 5.1 and 7.1 systems, was used on two of this year's Oscar-nominated movies for sound mixing, "Gravity" and "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug." The system includes speakers in the ceiling theater, in additional to the front, back, and sides of a theater. The real audio innovation comes from the ability to isolate sounds and control where, when, and which sounds come through each speakers.… Read more

Small fry: Stephen Fry gets his own tabletop game figure

How much do you love the marvelous British actor, comedian, author, and self-proclaimed gadget addict Stephen Fry? If you love him enough to carry him around with you, you'll be happy to know he finally has his own miniature gaming figure.

Preorder your very own miniature Fry as Master of Lake-town from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" for $20. The resin figure is for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" Strategy Battle Game (PDF) and comes unpainted and requires assembly. Games Workshop recommends Citadel Super Glue and Citadel Paint. … Read more

'The Hobbit': The most-pirated movie of 2013

It appears that people into pirating movies on the Internet are fans of Middle-earth. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" was deemed the most pirated movie on 2013 with 8.4 million downloads.

While getting hard numbers on pirated movies can be difficult -- given the illegality and anonymity of the practice -- TorrentFreak was able to put together a list of the world's 10 most pirated movies in 2013 based on "several sources," which includes download statistics from public BitTorrent trackers.… Read more

'Hobbit' villains suffer vitamin D deficiency, researcher says

"The Hobbit" dragon Smaug may be suffering from more than a bad attitude as he sulks around in his subterranean cave dwelling. He may have a vitamin D deficiency that's turning his toothy grin into a frown. Nicholas Hopkinson, a lecturer at Imperial College London, culled through "The Hobbit" for clues to the lifestyle and diets of the Middle-earth denizens.

Hopkinson, in conjunction with his 15-year-old son Joseph, published his findings under the title "The hobbit--an unexpected deficiency" in the December issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.… Read more

'The Hobbit' stars read 'The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins'

First released as a single, "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" by Charles Randolph Grean pays homage to Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and was sung by Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy. It became a folk hit in the late '60s, and was rediscovered decades later by fans on YouTube.

In this IGN video, the stars of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" perform a dramatic reading of Nimoy's famous song. The video proves once again that actor Benedict Cumberbatch can make even a campy song sound like a Shakespearean sonnet.

And here's the original … Read more

Peter Jackson on new film, what 'Hobbit' character he'd be

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's novels are getting ready for the second film in "The Hobbit" trilogy, "The Desolation of Smaug," which features new adventures with elves, wizards, and angry orcs. Director and co-writer Peter Jackson brought some of Middle-earth to Beverly Hills, Calif., this week and gave CBS News' John Blackstone a tour.

For 16 years Jackson has been turning Tolkien's tales of Middle-earth into blockbusters.

"I've enjoyed making these as much as I've enjoyed doing anything in my life," Jackson told Blackstone. "This movie, the pace, and the sort of energy of it, I think, is almost reflecting my kind of increased excitement and enthusiasm and spirit as I go along." … Read more

'Hobbit' dragon stretches wings on Air New Zealand plane

Smaug, the dastardly dragon from "The Hobbit" movies, is catching some serious air time as decor on an Air New Zealand plane. The decorated Boeing B777-300 is a flying publicity stunt to promote the opening of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."

The plane won't actually breathe fire or eat fantastical creatures, but it is an impressive sight. The 242-foot-long aircraft might give us a hint as to how big director Peter Jackson's version of the dragon is supposed to be. Compare that with the known 40-foot length of a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur and I think we all know who the true "tyrant lizard" is.… Read more

Hobbits, trolls, and elves invade Google Chrome

Turn your Chrome browser into a fantasy portal complete with dwarves worthy of Bilbo Baggins. Journey through Middle-earth is an interactive Chrome browser experience inspired by the new movie "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and developed by North Kingdom.

Explore Hobbit locales such as Trollshaw Forest, Rivendell, and Dol Guldur. Other locations, such as Thranduil's Hall, Lake-Town, and Erebor, will be unlocked as the movie's December premiere gets closer.

In the wild upland woods of Trollshaw, the hunting place of Hill-trolls who terrorize unsuspecting travelers, we learn about its dangerous inhabitants and Bilbo's encounter with them. Run through a maze surrounded by Hill-trolls and hopefully escape without being snatched. … Read more

'Desolation of Smaug' trailer re-created in Lego stop motion

We think it's official: a fantasy trailer isn't a real trailer until it's had a Lego stop-motion remake.

The trailer for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" launched on June 11, and it wasn't long before Brotherhood Workshop -- a team of stop-motion enthusiasts who hope one day to make feature films -- was looking to give it the Lego stop-motion treatment.

In a project that took two months to make, the team re-created, shot by shot, the entire two-minute trailer. It's not made entirely out of Lego (the water looks suspiciously like CG 1x1 plates, for example), but some of the best animation manages to blend several styles seamlessly. … Read more

Lego collectors dish out a fortune for rare 'Hobbit' minifig

Right now, things seem a little crazy in the world of Lego. Why? A certain "Hobbit" minifigure continues to reach unparalleled heights in price -- or better yet, insanity -- on eBay.

Currently resting at the whopping price of $1,525, an eBay auction offering the Azog minifigure indicates the toy is reaching epic levels of obsession among Lego devotees. The minifigure's value appears inflated by the fact that Lego employees randomly handed out only 100 figures to attendees of last week's San Diego Comic Con, making the grotesque toy rather rare indeed.… Read more