Dec 11 2013, 6:38pm
I keep only seeing threads regrouping reviews on the net, but none with our reviews. Rather than opening a thread just for my sole review ^^ I'm opening this one so, hopefully, we can write our reviews in there.
Members' reviews thread (SPOILERY)
So, I just got out from seeing it in HFR 3D. The HFR: looks pretty much the same as it did with AUJ, considering that A) I saw AUJ in IMAX 3D HFR, and DOS in classic Real D HFR.
The 3D: you can tell it's good 3D when you just forget about it and are just immersed in the world, that's what's going on here, just like AUJ, the 3D is perfectly implemented, it's not in your face, it serves the movie, there are a few 3D pop out moments, to remind you from time to time that this is in 3D ^^
Let's start with the bad stuff, to get this out of the way.:
- The Beorn part too short, just too short, as said, it probably suffered from the shift from 2 movies to 3 movies, but I honestly cannot imagine The Hobbit as 2 movies anymore, it might have been just as rushed.
We see him a couple of times in his bear form and he looks great, really great. Otherwise, we see him in his "human" form for the sequence at his house, for I'd say 3 minutes. It's really short and I just wish to god (although I have no doubt he'll be in there) that he has juicy material in the extended edition. Persbrandt looks GREAT, and is excellent in his short appearance.
- Certain parts are too long or I felt unnecessary and I'm one of those really open and okay with changes from the source material. The Smaug section drags a LITTLE bit, just a bit.
One scene btw Tauriel & Kili in the prison, cheesy, but it kind of contributes to their relationship, so I guess it's okay.
Tauriel and her Arwen moment with Kili, it's a callback, but it kind of screams like fan service, and I LOVE fan service, but I get why it's there, once again.
- A few CG dodgy shots here & there, nothing important, CG Gandalf in obvious pick up shots that is noticeable but not shocking, a few shots here & there. The molten gold on Smaug did make me go "Hold on, this looks weird", I remembered reading "pre-viz" on this one, and although it's not as bad as this, it does look funky, I can't quite put my finger on it, since I don't really know what molten gold looks like but it looks just weird. I think HFR contributes to this CG effect coming out as kind of iffy.
- Not sure about Tauriel - Kili relationship, I like a lot of the elements, and some stuff is cheesy in there, but I have this obvious feeling that this is going somewhere with TABA and will pay off in the end.
- Spider sequence maybe a tad short.
THE GOOD STUFF !
- Visually superb, goes without saying, Mirkwood, The Woodland Realm, Erebor, Laketown, etc, all fantastically realized.
- Great CG overall: Smaug looks really magnificent, the lip synch works very well, I was surprised how great it looked while speaking. Bolg looks good, so do the other orcs in action, Azog looks even better, but I suspect the darker color scheme has to do with it. The HFR helped sell all those characters, moreso than 24 fps I suspect. The spiders look great, the CG "miniatures" all look great as well.
- Barrel sequence: wow, the reviews are not lying, it's a fantastic piece, funny (Bombur ^^ ), superbly choreographed, Legolas is insane in that scene. It's really epic stuff, and to think that the scene in the book has no elves in it or anything. This is one shining example of how adding elements or expanding on the material can yield GREAT stuff.
- Smaug part: he is perfect, really great, there's a real feeling of dread and foreboding with those musical tones, and at the same time, Bilbo going around, trying to not make a sound, and the crescendo in the action. He is cunning, sly, arrogant, exactly as he should be. Can't really judge Cumberbatch unfortunately as it was dubbed.
One minor complaint: a bit too long.
- Dol Guldur: I thought that part really worked, although it strikes me as odd in a way that I can't quite put my finger on, probably because it's an addition.
I wish Thrain was there, but the conflict is cool, and Sauron vs Gandalf is surprising and well done.
- The two climaxes: I think the Dol Guldur climax might work slightly better, it's really cool and brings back this LOTR vibe of seeing the gigantic armies departing Dol Guldur in direction of the Lonely Mountain.
The Smaug climax would have worked even better if they just had the dwarves messing around with Smaug as they do, and then just Smaug taking off, instead of the dwarves pouring molten gold on him, it's kind of silly.
- Legolas and Tauriel; such a pleasure to see Legolas again, and his inclusion makes total sense, he couldn't be more badass, he has plenty of time to shine, has very cool conflicts with Tauriel, the dwarves, and Thranduil. His last scene is also excellent, and it reminds me that you see him chasing Bolg and that's the last you see of him.
Tauriel is one more example of a great addition, she doesn't feel forced, she belongs, it's also great to see the contrast obviously btw her and Thranduil but also Legolas, she's very impulsive, but also more emotional, and maybe more human in her behavior. Evangeline does a great job. I'm less sure about the relationship with Kili, but it felt it worked overall.
- Beorn, Thranduil: although both have short appearances, I want to see more of them.
- Laketown, the whole part is ONCE AGAIN a great example of expansion done RIGHT. Bard is a very well realized character and has something to do with the story, the Master of Laketown is a hoot, and I want to see more of him.
I also like the idea of leaving Fili, Kili, Bofur and Oin behind (don't remember those who were left behind in the book) with the idea of Kili [spoiler] dying [/spoiler].
Ok, I think I'm done :D Sorry for the super lenghty review, I probably forgot quite a few things, if you have any questions, fire my way !
Blunt the knives, bend them forks, smash the bottles and burn the corks.
That's what Bilbo Baggins hates !
(This post was edited by Altaira on Dec 12 2013, 6:04pm)