Having seen "The Desolation of Smaug" this afternoon I feel like I just have to comment. Having been a life-long Tolkien fan, of course I loved it. I guess what I want to comment on is the marvelous depiction of the dragon Smaug. Huge, menacing, and thoroughly evil, I would love to know how the movie makers managed to bring him to life on the big screen. I saw an interview with Benedict Cumberbatch, who voiced Smaug, and he said he studied various reptiles to get a feel about their expressions and mannerisms. Interesting to think of reptiles having expressions, but when you watch Smaug you can see what Mr. Cumberbatch was talking about. Smaug sneered, growled, and roared terrifyingly in the most convincing ways. His huge teeth, claws, fins and scales created a wonderful image of what dragons might look like if they did prowl the earth.
If you’ve not been a Tolkien fan I’d recommend "The Desolation of Smaug" anyway because it is such a wonderful trip for the imagination. Looking at the movie is like looking at visual magic, because it is so difficult to comprehend how movie maker Peter Jackson pulls it all together. If dragons fascinate you, it will definitely not be a disappointment.