Movie Reivew: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Details from IMDB:

 

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

161 min  -  Adventure | Fantasy  -  13 December 2013 (USA)

Ratings: 8.6/10 from 49,148 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 213 user | 73 critic | 44 from Metacritic.com

The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.

Director:

Peter Jackson

Writers:

Fran Walsh (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay), 3 more credits »

Stars:

Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage | See full cast and crew »

Initial Thoughts:

I love “The Hobbit” (one of the few novels I have read twice and studied in university) and of course I saw part 1, so I braved the crowds (which for the non-IMAX show weren’t too bad) and saw this last night. So I’ll have to say right away that if you haven’t read the book you should stop reading now.

SPOILER ALERT!

Main Points:

First off I have to say Peter Jackson has done it again, he will forever be the master of Tolkien on the screen and shows his love of LOTR (and the prelude) with every movie he makes. Of course there’s really no perfect movie (at least certainly very few) and I do have some concerns.

Those concerns don’t apply to the acting, everyone puts in a great performance. The special effects are top notch and there is plenty of action. I also didn’t find the movie too long at all with a 161 minutes but the multiple changes from the source material bothered me.

I know what you’re thinking, a movie isn’t the same as a book but when you look forward to certain scenes, specific details I just couldn’t help feeling a  little disappointed.

The love triangle between Tauriel (an invented character that I liked) Kili (a Dwarf) and Legolas seemed completely unnecessary to me. Also there is a mention of different classes of Elves and Legolas being forbidden to marry Tauriel, also wrong as far as I know and silly. What was said in LOTR was Elves should not marry humans as they will outlive them but it happens anyway. Then there’s the scene were Gandalf goes to confront the Necromancer. It has some great action and we get the big reveal of Necromancer to be actually Sauron (in spirit form but still quite powerful). While this is also a departure from the book (to the best of my knowledge) what really didn’t make sense is Sauron doesn’t kill Gandalf. He beats him and puts him in a cage, why wouldn’t the dark lord just kill him? Surely he knows his power and threat, of course the answer is because it’s a prequel. Putting scene in here at all though reminded me of that and took my out of the movie.

Also while I think Smaug was excellent (and the scenes with him were fun) I think important details were left out. Dragons in the middle-earth love riddles. This dragon asks Bilbo none and offers none for him to solve. I realize Golem did this in the first movie but it should have been here as well. Other details also bothered me like Smaug was supposed to have a belly of coins as armour (he lied on them for many years). This was an important detail as Bilbo notices it and it is later used to defeat Smaug (as there is one spot without coins). Now instead of coins there is one spot on his belly which simply does not have scales, an old wound from a previous battle. I always thought the golden armoured belly was clever writing and I didn’t like Jackson changing it.

Other changes like the orcs constantly being on Dwarves tail and attacking them in many places while adding to the action, was a big departure from the book. The world wasn’t supposed to be as dark as this, if so I don’t see why Sauron would not have sent his ring wraiths to find Bilbo in this book, rather than waiting 60+ years to do so.

Final Thoughts:

Despite my grumbling I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. The barrel scene along  riverbanks in thrilling and a great deal of fun to watch. Smaug is very impressive and has some great moments with Bilbo and the Dwarves. There are lots of fun references to the later movies and Bilbo gets to really shine as a brave, smart and sneaky hero (as he does in the book). He saves the party several times and really shows his worth. The High-frame-rate 3D version I saw did look really cool and interesting. It makes it almost look like a documentary but yet it’s not, it’s strange at first but once you get used to I quite enjoyed it. I strongly recommend this movie and give it a strong 8/10. I would just caution big fans of the book that you’re getting a very different take and much like the LOTR tribology, the middle part is most likely the weakest link. Also again not suitable for young children. Until next time, (which will be a documentary review) I am, as always…

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Movie Review: The Hobbit

Details from IMDB:

TheHobbit

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

169 min  -  Adventure | Fantasy  -   14 December 2012 (Canada)

Ratings: 8.4/10 from 147,800 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 823 user | 373 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

A younger and more reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out on a "unexpected journey" to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of Dwarves to reclaim a their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug.

Director:

Peter Jackson

Writers:

Fran Walsh (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay), and 3 more credits »

Stars:

Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage | See full cast and crew

Initial Thoughts:

Okay obviously I waited all of last year to see this movie, I am a huge fan of the book and a big J.R.R. Tolkien fan in general. So while I didn’t see this opening night I did pay almost $65 for my wife and I so see this in Imax (with snacks of course Smile).

Main Points:

Peter Jackson does it again Open-mouthed smile. I dearly loved the Lord of the Rings movies (with the Fellowship and Return of the King being the best of the two). This movie is not only extremely faithful to the book, it also brings in much more of the world as he brings in stories from the appendices of the Hobbit, parts of Unfinished Tales and even The Silmarillion (as far I know).

This gives the movie a lot more depth and brings to light stories I wasn’t aware of (I’ll admit to not having read those other two books).

The acting is top notch all around, especially shinning is Sir Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman (Gandalf and Bilbo respectively). The special effects are amazing, a wonderful soundtrack and of course a great story. What else could you ask for in a movie? Hot smile

SPOILER ALERT!

Again this is silly but I suppose I’m a creature of habit. Perhaps you didn’t know that Frodo (Elijah Wood) does make a small appearance as does Elrond, Gladariel, Saruman and a younger Bilbo played once again Ian Holm. The movie ends with a cave full of gold and a dragon waking from a long slumber.

Final Thoughts:

I can’t say the movie is perfect but for me it was damn close. You can drawn into the movie, swept up with the emotions of the characters and the majesty of the world. For me that is a sign of a great movie.

The only negative thing I can say is that there a lot of stuff with the goblins and just for a few minutes it felt a little dragged out. Overall though I give this movie 9/10 and a very big recommendation Thumbs up. This movie has violence, some blood and scenes that would be scary for small children. So if you have children please bear this in mind. Also if you’re a Star Trek fan you owe it to yourself to see in in Imax to see the preview for the new movie, this looks amazing! Vampire bat I’m going to do my best to see this again in the Higher Frame Rate I’ve heard so much about. Until next time (and it will be another movie review) I am as always…

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It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine :)

Hi everyone Smile, Happy Friday!

Well another interesting date is here, 12/21/12. As usual interpreting any religious text literally turns out to be a mistake, the end of the world didn’t come. I was lucky enough a few years ago to meet a Mayan in Cozumel, Mexico. He told us that the vast majority of Mayans believe that today would not be the end of the world (as in doomsday) but that the world would change and become a better place Open-mouthed smile.

I really hope that the world does get better, since it’s screwed up bad Sad smile. I’m usually a positive guy but I have to point out some of the terrible things this year. First off Hurricane Sandy.

The numbers I could find indicated 149 died and over 9 million people were affected in terms of lost power, water or damage to property, damage in the billions. I’m not a scientist and I call bullshit on the idea that it was any kind of divine wrath but I certainly think it’s likely that the years of abuse on the environment is taking it’s toll. From what I read because of global warming storms are becoming much more intense and much more frequent than they should be. I’m not blaming anyone, I think everyone can try to do better in their own way. Personally I’m saving up to buy an electric car and I do what I can know with recycling/carpooling whenever possible.

Worth pointing out here that despite the terrible hardship the storm caused it certainly helped defeat Mitt Romney and re-elect Obama.

Then there is the Newtown shooting (I know there were others but this one was the worst I felt).

I won’t get into my feelings on gun control, that just sounds cold. I’ll just say my heart goes out to those affected. If you are one of those I am deeply sorry for this terrible tragedy and I hope that somehow this horrible event brings people close to together and doesn’t create more hate and destruction. They say that hating someone only gives them power over you, only forgiveness can bring you peace. I’m sure that for anyone connected to this that sounds impossible now but hopefully someday it will be true.Thinking smile So I hope that the non-literal interpretation of Mayan prophecy is correct, hopefully today will be the start of a better world, we’ve got a long way to go.

Okay enough serious talk. I hope everyone has a nice weekend. We may go to a movie tonight, not sure (no I haven’t seen the Hobbit yet but I hate crowds, so I’m waiting Hot smile). Oh and of course my favourite not end of the world song. Until next time I am as always…

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