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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Official "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" fan reaction thread. Part 2!


Dec 13 2013, 7:18pm

Post #1 of 22 (1326 views)
Official "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" fan reaction thread. Part 2! Can't Post

Now that more and more people have seen the film, it will be easier to have all our reviews of the film in one big thread, rather than lots of separate ones. So carrying on from part 1, what did you think of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"?

Post your reviews here!


Dec 13 2013, 7:43pm

Post #2 of 22 (862 views)
Loved it [In reply to] Can't Post

I was 100% wrong about how it would end, but what they've done works and works well.

Visually it's stunning, I can't fault it.

Then the acting. Martin Freeman is astonishing. Richard Armitage is achieving something extraordinary, I think, because he IS the Thorin I remember from the book, but he also has more shades of character, more depth, more light as well as dark - and you do get the sense that he's becoming very dangerous to himself as well as others - and yet he's still sympathetic. Thought Beorn was excellent - would like more of him. Thranduil is perfect. Stephen Fry too - and Luke Evans. And the characters we know already.

Then the set pieces - Bilbo and Smaug... Smaug is breathtaking. Gandalf in Dol Guldur. Given all the discussions there have been in here, I was pleased to see that Azog couldn't touch him, that he was shown to have very powerful magic, and that in the end it took Sauron to trap him.

I went to see a film of a story I know very well, and couldn't predict how it was going to play out - and I don't mean that as criticism. From the first appearance of carrot man in Bree (that did make me smile - it's going to take him an awfully long time to walk down that road, unless he always goes through Bree munching a carrot in the rain) to Bilbo watching Smaug fly off at the end, they didn't lose my attention once. I think they've made a brilliant job of it and I can't wait to see it again.


Dec 13 2013, 7:46pm

Post #3 of 22 (829 views)
Since This Is The Official Thread... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll re-post my thoughts in complete format.


1. Prologue

I was worried when I heard Thrain wasn't going to be in this film, but was elated that it opened with Gandalf and Thorin talking about him. Also, the prologue established why the Arkenstone was important, which put another doubt at ease. Also loved PJ's cameo.

2. Beorn

I thought his design was great, because in the book Gandalf isn't sure whether he is a man that can change into a bear or vice-versa. You definitely get that feeling from him. And it isn't just his look, its the way he moves and the way he talks. He really comes off like a denizen of Middle-Earth we haven't seen before: one foot in the wild, so to speak. He also gives great exposition about his past, the orc alliances, and...why he doesn't care for dwarves, which seems to be a theme in this movie.

3. Bolg

He exists! He looks scary! He's in the movie more than Azog! He survives! He made Legolas bleed! He might be at the BO5A, maybe even command it!

4. Bilbo Climbing the Tree in Mirkwood

That this allowed him to clear his head...I really dug that. It allowed an iconic scene from the book to make more sense in a film adaptation.

5. Spiders

Good action, good Bilbo BA moment. Loved hearing the spiders talk. Sting naming was awesome. Loved that Bilbo got all the dwarves free BEFORE the elves showed up.

6. The Woodland Realm

Visually stunning. That was no surprise. Love how its stone that looks like trees. An elfy-cave. Its how I imagined Thingol's cave looking when I read the Silmarillion.

7. Thranduil

Very good portrayal. I loved that he used the line from the book about suspecting burglary. Great confrontation with Thorin: not a black and white issue, and both come off as stubborn and jerky. I like that Thranduil had the face wounds that he keeps cloaked; while I know some will think that's weird, to me it seems like something a faerie king from a Medieval tale would do, and reminds us that elves are more than just pretty faces with amazing eyebrows. Its also a good metaphor for his spiritual wounds that keep him from wanting to show compassion towards others and make him focus more on protecting his own.

8. Legolas

It feels weird to even say this. I like him better in this movie than in LOTR. What can I say? I think Orlando Bloom is better at playing a brutish bigot. His fight scenes were good, and again, I liked them more because he was being more of a brute with his daggers. I know some people thought his action scenes didn't seem real, or were video game-like, but I think that's because he spent most of his time fighting red-shirt orcs and then Bolg. That's pretty much how it rolls with orcs, and how I always imagined them from the books: unnamed orcs are red shirts, named orcs are BA.

9. Tauriel and Kili

Some people will cringe on principal, but I enjoyed this. Their relationship provided a lot of exposition that most Ringers would geek over hearing in these movies, such as the talk of starlight. Also offering more depth into Kili's character, so that he isn't just a dwarf with a pretty face. Oh, and the healing scene? Ummm...its fine. When she's healing him, Kili is out of it. The light that comes off her in that scene isn't comparable to Arwen's light in FOTR. It reminded me more of the light that Frodo kinda saw around Elrond in his haze before he regained consciousness. Really, until the very end where their hands touched a little and Kili rambled incoherently in his delirium, I got the impression that Tauriel's attention towards Kili came from compassion, not romance. Its the compassion she feels for the world around her, and the compassion she wishes Thranduil still felt. Overall, both actors did a great job with this I thought.

10. The Barrel Escape

Fun and exciting. I loved how Bilbo forgets about himself, like in the book. The action was great. I found it more visceral than Goblin Town from AUJ. The fighting seemed more real to me, especially since this is when Kili gets wounded. Some people complained about Legolas stepping on dwarf heads being silly before? No sillier than him running over the snow at Caradhras IMO. He's an elf, he's nimble, so what? The dwarves didn't look very comfortable, thats for sure, and Legolas just as surely didn't give a crap. Bombur in a barrel was a tank. Someone said he looked like a bowling ball, and that had me bracing for something like that fat kid from Hook, but that never happened. Great action scene.

11. Bard, the Master and Laketown

These are intertwined, so I'll put them together. Loved Bard as a dissident and a smuggler. The interaction with him and the dwarves was great, as it showcased how they can view others as a means to an end and are put a lot of stock in their cash. Laketown was visually great, as was the police state vibe. The Master is a paranoid despot, and this plays right into him using the dwarves to gain political points and discredit bard. I loved that Bard could be made out to be a loser because people blame Girion for not killing Smaug, so his grim prophecies can be dismissed. Also loved that Thorin makes some grand promises in Laketown. While I think he means them when he says it, I'm glad Bard will have a bigger bone to pick in TABA than just the ole "See I told you so, Thorin! Smaug burned the town, now I want revenge!" Also, I liked that Bofur missed the boat because he drank too much the night before. Fili also had a great character moment when he stood up to Thorin before they left (squee!).

12. Dol Guldur

I liked that it wasn't what it appeared to be, and that Gandalf had to dispel the illusion. People were moaning about the Azog fight with Gandalf, but it actually was well done. Azog basically got a sucker-punch move on Gandalf after he'd dispelled the Dol Guldur illusion. After that, Azog couldn't touch him. The Sauron reveal was good. I liked that The Necromancer was just a blackness that obscured what he really was, and Gandalf had to use his magic to kind of "blow it away" to see the flaming Sauron. That really worked for me.

13. Smaug

You've heard it from others, and its true. Greatest dragon ever. Great design, great voice, great movement. Most of the dialogue straight from the book. I also liked that he could sense Bilbo was hiding something and compelled him to take the ring off. That's a dragon power that is hinted at in the Hobbit but realized with Glaurung in the Silmarillion, and so I'm glad it got play here. Also like the fact that Smaug hints that he knows about Sauron and seems to look forward to his advent, which assures us that this whole thing wasn't just a silly Gandalf sidequest. Martin Freeman shines in his scenes with Smaug. Awesome.

14. CGI with HFR 3D

This was my first time experiencing it. As of now, I can't comment on how the CGI looks in 2D or 3D with 24FPS, but I can say confidently that it all worked so well for this movie with HFR 3D. Compared to other films I've seen, with HFR the CGI just feels more...in sync? if that makes sense. Everything looks like it belongs together, whether its CGI or not. HFR did take getting used to at first, but thankfully I got used to it watching AUJ in HFR right before I saw DOS.

15. Dwarves Aren't Just Sympathetic Vagabonds

While I liked how AUJ ennobled the dwarves and Thorin specifically, I was worried that we wouldn't get the other side of the coin when it comes to dwarves until we were already into the third movie and everything could be written off as Dragon Sickness. But DOS does a good job of informing us that there is a fair amount of greed in the heart of dwarves, as well as a relative disregard for folks who aren't them. Also, Thorin it adds more complexity to Thorin's character. He came off as unreasonable in AUJ but it was sympathetic because of his loss and his desire to reclaim the homeland. In DOS you get a sense that his unreasonable character is coming not just from his noble quest, but that that noble quest is starting to get clouded by greed, and towards the end of the film even a glimmer of Dragon Sickness. Awesomely done.

16. Bilbo's Own Sickness

That scene where some ugly bug (Was it a spider? It looked weird) almost steps in the ring after Bilbo drops it, and he stabs the bejeezuz out of it, picks it up, and says "Mine." By far my favorite "That's no ordinary magic ring" scene.

17. The Score

This deserved mention. Very well done. The Smaug theme alone is classic.

Didn't Like

1. Some Parts Too Short

Beorn, Mirkwood, Woodland Realm all feel like there was more that was supposed to be there. I'm pretty confident the EE will sort this out.

2. Some Parts Too Long

The Smaug vs Dwarves sequence at the end was a little drawn out. Most people have noted it, and I agree. Its not that I didn't like it overall. I liked the company coming upon the dead dwarves who were last to survive, and deciding to at least try to make a stand against Smaug. To me, that was a welcomed change from the book. However, the problem stems from pacing, as well as the fact that it doesn't really move the story forward. Also, while I loved Bolg making Legolas bleed, I thought the orcs getting to and fighting in Laketown sequences were a bit too drawn out as well (and also didn't really move the story forward).

3. No Addercop/Tom Noddy

Yeah, I really wanted Bilbo to say one of these lol. Someone told me one of the spiders actually said Addercop. I'll need to watch it again. Still...

4. No Thrain

While I'm glad we got mention of him in the prologue, it did in fact make his absence in this film more conspicuous. I hope either the EE or TABA will remedy this.

5. High Fells

This deserves special mention, because it was so short, and because the Nine didn't factor in at all, it made this scene seem pointless.

6. Thranduil Interrogating the Orc

While I like that this scene gives further hint of Sauron factoring Smaug into his plans, it causes a continuity problem for me: If stopping Thorin was an important part of the plan, as this orc suggests, why did Sauron/Necromancer tell Azog to cease and desist his hunt? Why didn't HE order Bolg to continue the hunt for Thorin and company, rather than make it seem as though Azog is sending his son without consulting the Big Cheese? Just doesn't make much sense to me.

7. Spider Talk Inconsistency

The spider that said "It stings! It stings!" actually said this after Bilbo took off the ring. Sloppy sloppy...

8. Bard's Weird Prophecy

So Bard looks at a Dwarf family tree, and all of a sudden he's the one guy that remembers this horrible prophecy of doom while everyone else in Laketown is getting excited. Where did this prophecy of Bard's come from? There is a bit of voiceover for the last part of it. Was that Girion's voice? I wouldn't know, as we never see or hear Girion in this. I hate it when movies expect me to just accept a prophecy without the hint of exposition, especially when others in the movie have clearly never heard it. So overall I LIKE that there's a prophecy, as that sets up Bard's opposition, but I needed more explanation about it than given in the movies. At least make him read it out of a book or something. No, I don't think it was hiding somewhere in the Durin Family Tree book. It didn't sound like a dwarf prophecy to me!

9. Smaug's Bare Patch Setup

This is actually my least favorite deviation from the book. Why does Bard and his family already need to know about this? Is it just so we get a sense that Bard doesn't think Girion was really as big a loser as everyone says, so he doesn't in turn view himself as a loser? Hey, having ancestral loser issues worked for Aragorn in the films, and I think it would've actually worked better in this case. Of course what really pisses me off is that it means we won't get the Thrush involved with Smaug's takedown in movie 3. And why did we then make a big deal that Bilbo found the bare patch too? Is it so we as the audience don't think Bard is just a loser in denial? Bad change, man!

Well, that's all I can think of right now. Overall, I thought this movie was awesome, and I expect the EE will be even more awesome. I can't wait until TABA and being able to watch all three back to back in their extended formats.

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”


Dec 13 2013, 7:58pm

Post #4 of 22 (804 views)
dat ending [In reply to] Can't Post

Well said.

I think they did the ending right. Yes it's a literal cliffhanger, but I felt very satisfied.

Lest we forget Two Towers ended with Gollum grumbling and scheming, this ending is similar in attitude but tenfold!

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair; and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."-J.R.R. Tolkien

"Thanks for the money!" -George Lucas


Dec 13 2013, 8:02pm

Post #5 of 22 (796 views)
You summed it up nicely for me too. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
I went to see a film of a story I know very well, and couldn't predict how it was going to play out - and I don't mean that as criticism. From the first appearance of carrot man in Bree (that did make me smile - it's going to take him an awfully long time to walk down that road, unless he always goes through Bree munching a carrot in the rain) to Bilbo watching Smaug fly off at the end, they didn't lose my attention once. I think they've made a brilliant job of it and I can't wait to see it again.

It's certainly not the book, but neither was The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. I still find some of the deviations in the LOTR trilogy more difficult to accept than the changes in The Hobbit.

All in all, it is a brilliant, thrilling and exciting film. Having said that, and like all the EE's, I think they'll add all the more Tolkien-y bits back in. I felt that the film was too quick, and that too much was happening in one go. I'm hoping the EE will include more of Beorn, Mirkwood, Spiders and Thranduil. A good extra 30 minutes should do the job and making the film more complete.

Had this been a tighter adaptation of the book, then one or two films would have been sufficient. But given the extra details and plots, I now fully understand the decision to change two films into three. I always said that I wanted AUJ to end at Mirkwood, and having seen DOS, I still think it should have. The first 5-10 minutes didn't seem to fit in.

Fantastic. Can't wait to see it again.


Dec 13 2013, 8:08pm

Post #6 of 22 (753 views)
The Extended Editions Will Always Be The Definitive Versions [In reply to] Can't Post

I definitely agree with your feelings of where the theatrical cut went too quickly. The EE's will probably fix that.

And when we have all three movies to watch, it probably won't matter to us too much where one ends and another begins (though I REALLY hope we get that "eagle explanation" scene put back at the beginning of this film).

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”

Tol Eressea

Dec 13 2013, 8:09pm

Post #7 of 22 (779 views)
I'll restate mine as well [In reply to] Can't Post

Liked: Bilbo, Mirkwood, Smaug, Laketown, Bard, etc. Thought those were very well done. I loved Bilbo's quivering before Smaug and his fear was definitely there in the film so well portrayed by Freemand. Bard's story I thought was really interesting and I loved it's addition. Loved the Barrel scene and the spider scene. Would loved more of Beorn and the Master of Laketown.

I disliked the molten gold boogie boarding and the molten statue. I thought that whole set of sequences was far too long and far to OTT. i liked the concept of Thorin confronting Smaug and i admit I did laugh when Thorin basically baited him by insulting him verbally. That was hilarious and I loved that part.

I also liked Balin in this one and his affinity for Bilbo. That is going to pay off in TABA I think. good move there by Jackson.

I did feel there was too much Orc involvement. I liked having the orc presence I just felt it was over the top at times and kind of detracted from the rest of the story (such as when they were crawling all over Laketown etc). I don't know. That for me was just overkill.

Fili/Tauriel. I loved Tauriel up until that whole healing scene. That was not my cup of tea.

Overall it was a pretty good movie. I would rate it above average (B- to B) or 4/5 stars.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


Dec 13 2013, 8:14pm

Post #8 of 22 (767 views)
The opening addresses some of the criticisms of AUJ? [In reply to] Can't Post

A general criticism of AUJ was its lackadaisical pace, but in DoS, after the prologue, we literally begin with a chase! Talk about making adjustments after feedback! I thought the scene was great, but it really does begin abruptly in that regard. What happened in-between landing on the carrock to the point where we see Bilbo as the look out?

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair; and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."-J.R.R. Tolkien

"Thanks for the money!" -George Lucas


Dec 13 2013, 8:18pm

Post #9 of 22 (748 views)
I had a chuckle at that too [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
i liked the concept of Thorin confronting Smaug and i admit I did laugh when Thorin basically baited him by insulting him verbally. That was hilarious and I loved that part.

Smaug was so vain, I mean all Thorin did was basically tell Smaug he was fat Laugh


Dec 13 2013, 8:20pm

Post #10 of 22 (778 views)
Great movie experience, not so great Tolkien experience [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought the movie was fun and entertaining, with great acting and some really good special effects. However IMO the story has gotten to the point where it's barely recognizable as The Hobbit.

Before you break out the flames, know that I am aware that it is an adaptation and I know that for pacing reasons and other concerns The Hobbit was always going to be a tough book to adapt to a modern film audience. I have seen a lot of the debate on this issue and participated in some as well. I allowed (in consideration) PJ & crew a lot of leeway with the changes they made when adapting the LOTR and have defended them for them or at leat conceded they had legitimate reasons. (The exception was what they did to Faramir, I could never get my mind around that one)

At the end of the day the LOTR films were still more or less the same story as told in the books, but I think any objective viewer has to conceed that the writers have gone off the rails quite a bit with the original story of The Hobbit.

My advice to anybody who hasn't seen DOS; Go see it. It's a spectacular film. An 8 out of 10 for sure. Just don't go to the cinema hoping to see much Tolkien because if you do you will be disappointed.


Dec 13 2013, 8:30pm

Post #11 of 22 (749 views)
Just got home [In reply to] Can't Post

and I'm still digesting the movie, but I like it most of it. Tauriel surprised me a lot, but i really hated some ridiculous stunts. Beorn and Mirkwood felt too short for me. I'll write a review soon.


Dec 13 2013, 9:15pm

Post #12 of 22 (729 views)
First reaction was disappointment sadly.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Overall I thought it started really well. Beorn, Mirkwood (particularly the spiders), and the Woodland realm sequences were great (although all seemed somewhat rushed). But once the orcs show up in the barrel escape it started going downhill. Just too much over choreographed action.

I thought the Gandalf/Dol guldor part was excellent too (though I have no idea why Azog had to be there).....and Smaug was nothing short of brilliant. But then the whole sequence with the molten gold just killed the ending for me. Bolg's fight with legolas seemed utterly pointless too.

Surprisingly, I actually liked Tauriel and the whole love triangle thing didn't bother me at all.

Riven Delve
Tol Eressea

Dec 13 2013, 9:35pm

Post #13 of 22 (681 views)
Well, I loved it... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm trying to convince myself it wasn't because I got to see Thorin close-up, two stories tall (IMAX in 3D). Angelic

I had my gripes with various aspects (no "Thag you berry much"? No dramatic Laketown introduction of the sister-sons? No Attercop and Tomnoddy?), but overall I enjoyed myself thoroughly. That's pretty much the standard by which I judge a movie. Wink

Some highlights were when Thorin was on fire and I said, "Oh no, don't burn his hair!" out loud. Laugh Or when the movie ended and everyone in the theater went, "Awwww!" with disappointment. I loved seeing more of the inside of Erebor. But honestly, my favorite part was Smaug. He was fantastic and scared me to death!

I'll post more later when I've had more time to process. Or see it again. Cool

"Our perennial spiritual and psychological task is to look at things familiar until they become unfamiliar again." --G. K. Chesterton

Tol Eressea

Dec 13 2013, 9:38pm

Post #14 of 22 (689 views)
I liked it overall, though the big deviation at the end was over the top IMO.... the film was pure gold (excuse the pun) nevertheless [In reply to] Can't Post

It will take a lot of time getting used to.... I'd say much more time than AUJ needed for me to fully appreciate it!

Also, anyone noticed that Smaug is NOT a dragon?
Mythologically speaking, he's been designed as a Wyvern.....

Now, I've always been very stingy about differences between Wyverns and Dragons... but actually, in the end, making Smaug a Wyvern actually worked really well. So much more biologically believable, and it makes Smaug quite angular and writhing, just like the Great Worm he is.... soooo, even though some might bust a gut over this, I personally think it was a good choice.

I loved so many parts of this film however! Especially Laketown sequences and most of mirkwood. Also, the Necromancer and Gandalf scene was FANTASTIC. The Sauron reveal, just wowowow.

The very literal interpretation of Smaug the Golden........ now that was totally uneccessary.

But, meh.
Bring on TABA!!! ... After at least another score of DOS viewings of course TongueCool

"So your own praise will forever keep your name green,
Both here on Earth and on the stage of the stars" - J.G.Kittel, writing about the composer Jan Dismas Zelenka (1740)

Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!

(This post was edited by Xanaseb on Dec 13 2013, 9:40pm)


Dec 13 2013, 9:46pm

Post #15 of 22 (675 views)
I thought DoS was magnificent [In reply to] Can't Post

My jumbled thoughts because I just got back from seeing it-

I quite liked Tauriel a lot, Evangeline's acting was very good (loved her in Lost). I enjoyed her fighting scenes a lot, really neat so see her in action without it feeling like an over-the-top bad*** lady character. The thing with Kili didn't bother me, I thought it was more a nice friendship and less a romance. The part where she glowed was whatever, I didn't hate or love it. The only part that was a bit of an eye-roll was "aren't you going to search me? I could have anything down my trousers" , "Or NOTHING".

I loved the entire movie. I think the dwarves vs. Smaug was a bit long and they could've applied some of that time to Beorn and Mirkwood, but otherwise still liked it. I think Beorn will make his return a great one in TABA though! Loved him in this even though it was short.

Thranduil was great!

I'm thrilled we got to see Smaug for quite a while, I thought maybe we'd have just a few minutes of him on screen and then it would cut to something else.

I loved the CGI in AUJ and thought it improved even more in DoS. Smaug looked flawless! He was SO realistic! I think Bolg looks cool, but I still favor his previous design. That was the bee's knees.

Loved that they included the Bree sequence.

Legolas vs. Bolg was weird, but he made Legolas bleed which I thought was a cool detail because even being a prince, he is not invincible. Also enjoyed Legolas in this as well, despite many nay-sayers. I liked him in LotR too. The only thing that I notice a lot is he (Orlando) squints his eyes a lot in his movies and sometimes makes weird faces/head movements.

I wasn't bothered by the golden statue part. The dwarves wouldn't know Smaug's weakness(es), so they were giving what they got a go. I think the molten gold was more to weigh him down/drown him than to burn him. And call me cheesy but the visual of Smaug flying up and the gold falling off him looked awesome to me Smile

I have many more thoughts on the movie, but for now that's what I can think of to write. I loved the entire thing and caaaan't wait for TABA!


Dec 13 2013, 10:19pm

Post #16 of 22 (661 views)
Despite the deviations [In reply to] Can't Post

I found there to be an abundant number of very small things directly from the book that made me smile, that I doubt anyone who is not particularly into The Hobbit would even have caught.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Dec 13 2013, 10:20pm

Post #17 of 22 (647 views)
Just Got Home [In reply to] Can't Post

and am still trying to figure out what I saw. Loved it. There. I said it. Have to see it a couple more times to have a take on it.
But I will make one strong comment here. Kili/Tauriel is not so much a love story as it is a story about two people who see the world in the same way and wish others of their kind did. The scene in the prison was beautiful. Their sharing of enchanted moments was one of the strongest parts of the movie.
The healing scene was interesting on a couple of levels. Kili did not know she was there. He says as much as his last line in the movie. Her reaction is speculative. We do not know what she will do with this information. OIn is enchanted to learn about elf magic. Fili is concerned. All of these characters are going to have this scene end in Bof5A and it isn't going to be pretty.

Tol Eressea

Dec 13 2013, 10:22pm

Post #18 of 22 (640 views)
One of the ones I loved [In reply to] Can't Post

Was Bilbo's murmuring "Not at Home" as he enters the lair. Nice touch.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


Dec 13 2013, 10:35pm

Post #19 of 22 (663 views)
Well, I saw it tonight and [In reply to] Can't Post

I liked it, beginning to end.

DOS it's definitely an improvement compared with AUJ because I never felt bored during the film or I felt it's overstretched.

Looking back at AUJ to me it seems that the first movie suffered because they divided the story in three parts.
But DOS doesn't have the same problem and it flows nicely.

The best: Smaug. It was perfection and truly magnificent. They did a great work with the CGI and they just nailed it. So congratulation to the team Smile

What made me cringe: The Kili/Tauriel story.
The moment between Kili and Tauriel in the Lake Town is sweet but still my mind said NO to it. It's just not right.
I understand why they created it and they will use it to have more drama in TABA but it's a big No from me.

Favorite moments:
*Bilbo realizing the power of the ring in Mirkwood. It was one of my favorite moment in the trailers and it's still one of my favorite one in the movie
*the fight between Gandalf and the Necromancer/Sauron. It was nice to see Gandalf's powers in Dol Guldur and now I can't wait to see the destruction of the fortress.

What I wanted to see more: Beorn

Beorn was one of my most anticipated moments in the movie and it was a bit of a let down. I already knew how he looked in human and bear shape so there were no surprises for me but I felt that Beorn moment was really short. I just wanted to see more.

The rest of the characters are ok: Bard, Master of Lake Town, Thranduil and even Tauriel who is a bit too playful for an elf and Legolas who is a bit more slow in his fighting this time around :)))

I don't mind that they changed Bolg's design. I think it's an improvement compared with the old one.

Favorite piece of the soundtrack that stuck into my head: The High Fells. Loved it.

That's about it. Compared with AUJ I have little or no complaints. I will go and see it again in IMAX 3D. Today I saw it in 3D, 48fps.

"The world is not in your books and maps. It's out there!"

"Such is the nature of evil. In time all foul things come forth."

Michelle Johnston

Dec 13 2013, 10:38pm

Post #20 of 22 (649 views)
Initial Thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post


I am so pleased i avoided any moving pictures and spoilers before the movies.

Whereas the big set pieces did not distract me in the first movie this time they did.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.

The Shire

Dec 13 2013, 10:45pm

Post #21 of 22 (666 views)
Ok so I'm just back from my first viewing... [In reply to] Can't Post

IMO it was a good film. The thing that frustrates me is that there were elements I loved and elements I totally disliked.

Firstly I thought the film-makers got Smaug totally spot on in design, speech and malevolence.
Also I loved Beorn and thought he was beautifully rendered in, IMO, an excellent interpretation of the book.
I surprisingly actually really liked the inclusion of Tauriel and Legolas and thought their characters worked well in the film.
Thranduil was stunning! Really excellent acting from Lee Pace.
Gandalf and Dol Guldur story-line actually worked very well and an excellent reveal of Sauron. Really cool to see the silhouette of Sauron from FotR.
Gandalf himself was excellent again (of course!)
Martin Freeman was again astoundingly excellent and the Smaug-Bilbo dynamic and dialogue between them was great!
The Spiders sequence - totally perfect!
Bard was excellent and I really liked the Girion/Black Arrow back story.

Now on to stuff I really did not like.
The whole Dwarves vs Smaug was far too drawn out and long. What I would have preferred would have been the Dwarves go into the mountain to find Bilbo, see Smaug, some dialogue between Thorin and the Dragon and a couple of fire breathing parts and then bye-bye Smaug off to Laketown. I seriously did not get the whole forges, molten gold thing and the whole sequence just felt too long and I felt just didn't work. End itself was good though.

The Tauriel-Kili romance was , IMO, utter codswallop. As I've said earlier Tauriel herself was actually a really good character but was handled incorrectly when it came to the love interest thing. At the point where they've just put the Dwarves in the cells and Legolas asks Tauriel about Kili and she replies "he's quite tall for a Dwarf" with a smile on her face, I was thinking: "I know it's going to go further than this but I would seriously have loved it if that was all there was of that relationship". That one little comment would have fitted perfectly and then it should just have been left there. But oh no it wasn't and we got an Arwen-esque healing sequence and "do you think she would have loved me?" Cringe.

So I'm sorry if the second half of my post comes across as a rant as there really was a lot I liked about the film (not all posted above) but I just felt it fell "utterly short of the enormity" that is The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy. I felt going into the film that here is a film trilogy that could stand tall next to LotR as a good prequel series but unfortunately came out thinking that, although some of it was excellent, TABA is going to have to be amazing and the Tauriel-Kili thing taken no further (even though I know the second of those two things is not going to happen).


Dec 20 2013, 1:37am

Post #22 of 22 (451 views)
the Desolation of Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello Daniel, hello Ringers. I've been gone for awhile . . . grew tired of the trolling and conflict, so I left for a time.

I have a review of the film which few will like, however, I feel the need to make my opinion known. Here is that review ;

The Desolation of Smaug:

What a bloody awful mess; or

What the Hel did PJ do with the Hobbit!

I’ve telegraphed my opinion on purpose . . . if you are not interested in a negative reaction to ‘The Desolation of Smaug, then please, do not continue reading. Have a nice day!
The Hobbit is a wonderful, under-appreciated portion of Jr. R. R. Tolkien’s legendarium. I read the book first when I was eleven, and it was my introduction to fantasy literature. As such, it holds a special place in my heart. I had hoped that, at some point in my lifetime, someone would create a movie or mini-series that would better capture the spirit of the book than the 1978 animated version by Rankin & Bass. After seeing the Lord of the Ring film series, I had hoped that Peter Jackson would take up the task, as he had done a decent job on the trilogy, although there were a few too many unnecessary changes All in all, he had captured much of the spirit of the book that Tolkien himself had referred to as ‘un-filmable’.
Eventually, the announced duology of the Hobbit became a trilogy and we were told that a side-story, the adventurers of Gandalf when he is away from the party, would be included to ‘fill space’. I don’t believe that the Hobbit needed much filler. The story as written is nearly perfect for the screen . . . why change things?! However, I am not a film maker known for producing big-budget epic action movies . . .
When ‘An Unexpected Journey’ came out, gave it an 8.5 out of 10 as a fantasy movie, and 4 out of 10 as ‘The Hobbit’, a reflection of Tolkein’s work.
At this point, I will review ‘The Desolation of Smaug’. The film was seen in HFR 3D at my favorite theater, and I was one of 11 people in the screening room. This will not be a standard review, as I will discuss sections and characters and events in relative order, noting what worked for me and what didn’t. I will not write a detailed description of the film itself . . .

- The Hobbit came up onto the screen in big letters. Well that’s promising . . . Hmmmm . . . Bree, and a dwarf. The prologue gave those with no previous viewing of ‘An Unexpected Journey’ and hint as to what has come before and what is to come. Useless fluff.
- The actual story opened with orcs and wargs and Bilbo on the ridge tops . . . odd, as at the end of the last film, they had been deposited at the Carrock (nothing but forests and meadows east of there). The whole section smelled of Jackson’s need to insert a little unnecessary excitement. Unnecessary flash.
- Beorn. Beorn is one of my favorite characters, and the introduction of the dwarves by Gandalf is one of the most charming sections of the book. What we received was a dark passage with some pretty 3D effects, little of the magic of Beorn’s home and menagerie and everything thrown at us quickly, as if to save space for later. What a waste of great material.
- The quick run to the edge of Mirkwood was well done, and most of the material from the parting is used (the elven gate and orcish markings were invented nonsense). Into the wood . . . the confusion of the company was odd and I missed Bombur falling into the sleeping stream. Conversely, Bilbo in the tree-tops was glorious, and the spiders were quite fierce. The good stuff was over too quick.
- The elven phase was as expected: much of it was dropped and we have the unnecessary inclusion of Legolas. The forest, the bridge and Thranduil’s palace were well done. Thranduil examination of Thorin was . . . okay (more fluff to support the side story). Tauriel was ok. Hmmm . . . attraction between and dwarf and elf . . . is this Tolkien, or McKeirnan? The escape out of the palace was also well done. Uneven.
- The chase was . . . what was that?! Orcs in the forest supports Jackson’s ‘version’ of the story, but all I saw was another unnecessary inclusion of action and Legolas. And the gate on the river . . . Really? What is the sense of Kili taking an arrow in the leg except to justify his recklessness in future foolishness . . . and to gift us with more unnecessary Legolas. Flash and Farce.
- Bard the . . . smuggler? Hmm. Not really what I wanted to see, but I do appreciate the chance for Balin to shine. The fish thrown on top of the dwarves was inspired, even though it was another in a long line of unnecessary changes. Fluff.
- Laketown was . . . interesting. More unnecessary changes and conflict, however, we eventually get back to something resembling the Hobbit at the town hall. And then, Kili is left behind, and Fili and Bofur and Oin . . . Confusion and annoyance.
- A Gandalf-Radagast moment . . . Dol Guldur set-up. Well done, but . . .
- To the mountain . . . in 12 hours. Seems like it took them a lot longer in the book. Now, I will admit that the slowest part of the book (for me, at least) is the stretch from Laketown to the opening of the secret door. However, that part was whitewashed over with . . . what, really . . . nothing?
- Gandalf and Radagast at Dol Guldur. (I will admit I chose this point to use the bathroom)
- I returned with the party having found the back door. So much happened here, and so little was included in the film. It makes me sad, really. And the change from sunlight to moonlight to show the door was nonsensical.
- Into the mountain. Okay, I will admit that the entrance into the mountain was well done and poignant. Thorin and Balin reminiscing about Erebor, the plaque above the door. Nice! Couldh’a done without the Arkenstone inclusion, however, Jackson seems to have made that a major point instead of having Bilbo come across it . . .
- Bilbo and Smaug. Almost all of it was as I envisioned it. Smaug was fierce, impressive and much of the dialog was included.
- And, then, well . . . the story went so many different ways. Bard and the black arrow, Kili dying, Tauriel and Legolas, Thorin and Bilbo and the Arkenstone, Kili and Tauriel . . . And then there was the whole mess inside the mountain involving 9 dwarves, Bilbo and Smaug, all culminating with a huge dwarven golden cast of a pond-sized amount of molten gold (are you aware that all of the world’s gold would fill only two Olympic-sized swimming pools . . . sorry, that’s where my brain went during that part.).
- The Cliffhanger I was expecting, although I always hoped it would be at Thranduil’s palace after the first film. This one, however, only seems to leav us with a huge climax with which to start the final film with . . .

Jackson has taken a novel with a lot of spirit and action, a tale with some dark and poignant passages, and he has created a rollercoaster of an action movie that has little in common with The Hobbit except the name, most of the characters and the basic storyline. So little remains of the novel . . . and so much flash, fluff and farce was added . . . I am quite sure at this point that one viewing is enough. I will not add to the coffers of New Line by going a second or third time, as I did last year.
As a 3D epic, I give it a 7.5 out of 10 . . . too many 3D tricks with little point, but a rousing movie for the action movie crowd. ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ in 3D left me feeling the same . . . watchable, but . . . eh.
As an adaption of The Hobbit . . . I’m vacillating between a 2 and something lower. Too much flash, too many changes, and the entire spirit of the book was lost.
Well, if nothing else, I have a greater appreciation for ‘an Unexpected Journey’ . . . that film stuck a lot closer to the story!

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began
Now far ahead the Road has gone
And I must follow, if I can

"Thorin sat up with a start. 'Something is not right,' he muttered to himself as he stood up and
looked towards the mirror . . . . . . . . . 'Durin's bones', he gasped, 'what's happened to my beard?'"


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