If you read my take on the first film in Peter Jackson's second trilogy that concerns itself with Middle Earth then you know I'm not a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's universe and the novels that have inspired these films. I might be if I were ever to take the time to read them, but I've simply never been as fascinated with the fantasy world that includes such things as elves, dragons, dwarfs, and hobbits as many others so clearly have. Still, I am more than willing to watch the films and The Lord of the Rings trilogy proved to be a monumental achievement in cinema. With last years An Unexpected Journey I warmed up to the idea of the film and especially Martin Freeman's turn as Bilbo Baggins along with several of the new and returning characters. Still, the picture so highly relied on special effects that half the time I felt as if I were watching a video game and that trend seems to have continued here in The Desolation of Smaug. Granted, they still have until December to perfect some of these shots, I simply hope the digital aspects of the world help compliment it rather than define it this time around. We also get our first look at Orlando Bloom's return as Legolas with this trailer and a first ever look at Evangeline Lily as Tauriel, Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman and Lee Pace (who was underrated in the overcrowded Lincoln last year and will show up in Guardians of the Galaxy next year) as Thranduil. Though I'm a bit disappointed they show so much of the titular dragon here rather than a simple tease as they did in the first film I'm still anxious to see how this turns out based on its high profile status alone. Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, James Nesbitt, and Andy Serkis also star. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in 48 FPS and in 3D on December 13th. Hit the jump to check out the trailer and let me know what you think.

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