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Official DOS fan reaction thread: part 5 - POST YOUR REVIEWS HERE

Superuser / Moderator

Dec 15 2013, 11:07pm

Post #1 of 12 (1037 views)
Official DOS fan reaction thread: part 5 - POST YOUR REVIEWS HERE Can't Post

Please post your general movie reviews here. Also, if your review has fallen off the board (highly likely as fast as things are moving), please feel free to re-post it so we can keep discussing it.

Thanks! Smile

Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1

Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.

"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase

(This post was edited by Altaira on Dec 15 2013, 11:08pm)


Dec 15 2013, 11:18pm

Post #2 of 12 (483 views)
I must say... [In reply to] Can't Post

After seeing it a second time, I did like it MUCH more than my first viewing. I still think there are some things I would've done better either way.

-The beginning is far too rushed... needed some more slow parts in there to let the film breathe.
-The Tauriel and Kili scenes are laughable. I don't mind the scene in Thranduil's Halls and the scene in Laketown would've been much better if they didn't make Tauriel glow. She looks ridiculous.
-The ending. I really don't understand what they were thinking. Can anyone tell me what is the benefit of having this film end on a cliff hanger and keeping the Dragon alive to the next film? They should have just killed Smaug off and have the film end with the destruction of Laketown. It would have wrapped the film up nice a neatly with a pretty bow on top. Instead the film just films incomplete. It feels like there is no story to this film.

That's my only complaints. I still like it the least of all Middle-Earth films, but I liked it much more on my second viewing. I love Sauron in this film, he feels much more sinister than in the LOTR.

The Shire

Dec 15 2013, 11:24pm

Post #3 of 12 (504 views)
Just got back after my second viewing... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and I must say I found it better than the first time. My only complaint was that the somewhat fast pace created some confusion, but that was addressed by the second viewing, which was in HFR IMAX, resulting in a much improved experience overall.

Right now I award a 9/10 to DOS, above TTT and ROTK, below FOTR.


Dec 15 2013, 11:32pm

Post #4 of 12 (439 views)
Where's your review? [In reply to] Can't Post

Too much to keep up with, but if you posted one, can you direct it to me?
And if you haven't, what are you waiting for? Tongue

'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 16 2013, 1:02am

Post #5 of 12 (414 views)
My review from Amazon [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw the movie opening night. As an additional note, I loved the HFR. I saw AUJ once in HFR last year (we had to drive to another city to see it like that) and I didn't really notice it much. This time, I saw the difference and WOW!!! It was like looking through a window. I wonder if your eyes need to adjust? Anyway here's my review:

I LOVED the movie! I also loved last year's "An Unexpected Journey", but "Smaug" is past introducing all the characters and gets right into the action. It also feels more what I think a lot of people expected the first time -- darker, more mature. There's no cute kid stuff this time around. Yes, I know "The Hobbit" is a kids book, and I liked the singing and humor in the first movie. Peter Jackson said in an interview a couple years back that the tone would start out happy/golden and then gradually get darker as the films went along. This second chapter feels like we're beginning to get a bridge to "The Lord of the Rings".

"Smaug" does stray from the book more than any other movie in the series so far, and that's going to divide some people. But for me, it was the good kind of change. With three movies and nine hours to work with, characters are able to get a bit more development. The world is fleshed out more. Some short passages from the book are made into epic action sequences. And the dragon Smaug gets a ton more screentime.

Was it absolutely necessary to make some of these diversions? No. Could the movie have been done in half the time if all this stuff was left out? Sure. None of it is NEEDED to tell the story, but here's the thing: it kicks butt. It makes for a richer, fuller movie. I was really worried about the new female character, Tauriel (played by Evangeline Lilly), they were adding and the invented love story. I thought it would be cheesy. But Tauriel ended up being a totally kick butt character whose action scenes rival Legolas. Neither her nor Legolas needed to be in the movie, but it's awesome that they are. And the love subplot between Tauriel (an elf) and Kili the dwarf is so-far platonic and more reminiscent of Gimli's love for Galadriel in "Fellowship of the Ring". It adds a bit of heart to the story, and it's another step in bringing the two races together again. And *book spoilers* considering what happens to Kili later in the book, why not give him some character development? This is exactly what Jackson was talking about when he said he split the story into three films so he could give each of the dwarves their own arcs instead of Kili just being "the one who starts the campfires" like in the book.

Another change from the book is we actually get to see where Gandalf went off to for half the story. This was all in Tolkien's "Unfinished Tales", posthumously published by his son Christopher Tolkien, which included unpublished drafts and deleted chapters from Tolkien's writings. One of the deleted chapters from "Lord of the Rings" had Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo, and everyone sitting down one day before Aragorn's coronation while Gandalf explains what he was up to in "The Hobbit" when he went away and connects the dots between "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings". None of this invented by Peter Jackson. So it's great to actually see it. Furthermore, in the third "Hobbit" movie we will get to see all the wizards kicking butt as they try to drive the Necromancer out of Dol Guldur. Christopher Lee himself confirmed that we will get to see Saruman (probably played by a stunt double) fight! "[.] it is called 'There and back again' and in that film which will come out December next year and I hope I'm around to see that. There's a lot of me in it. A lot! Trememdous amout of fighting, swordplay, understanding, sympathy, kindness towards Galadriel, towards Gandalf and I'm not saying anymore because that would... give the story away. But it's the third film in which I have the most to do and I've done it. I just hope I'll see it. I know you will. You'll see this one [.]"

Smaug is incredible! Benedict Cumberpatch (who stars alongside Martin Freeman in PBS' excellent "Sherlock") not only voices the dragon but actually slithered around in a motion capture suit! It will be amazing to (hopefully) see the behind-the-scenes footage of this on the eventual extended edition blu ray. Smaug is the GREATEST film dragon I've ever seen! I've waited all my life to see him fully realized in a live-action movie and he did not disappoint. He's on par with Gollum and the Balrog in terms of design and CGI, but really it's Cumberpatch's performance that makes it something you have to see.

Like I said in my review last year of "An Unexpected Journey", the cinematography just keeps getting better with each movie. I think the "Hobbit" trilogy so far looks even better than "Lord of the Rings", and that's saying A LOT!

There is so much to rave about... The barrel sequence is the best action sequence of the year... The spiders scene is another favorite scene. As someone who is afraid of spiders, Shelob in "Return of the King" didn't really creep me out, though I loved the design. The spiders in "Smaug" really creeped me out the way they looked and moved! And it was just a great sequence altogether.

Every year these movies feel like a Christmas present. I got the same feeling I got last year that I was watching one of the best movies I've ever seen. Could it have all been done in one three-hour movie? Yes. But I'm so glad that we're getting more.


Dec 16 2013, 1:15am

Post #6 of 12 (430 views)
Quick thoughts (spoilers of course) [In reply to] Can't Post

1. I liked how things are starting to tie together and set the stage for the bigger picture of LOTR and the coming darkness.

2. Beorne was great - wish he was in it more. But I think I'll get that wish in the next one...

3. Didn't have an issue with the added depth of the elves' involvement. Thought Legolas and Tauriel's entrance was bad*** (as it should be). Also was diggin' Bilbo's visible anger during the spider attack when that thing came between he and the ring in Mirkwood. Foreshadowing, anyone? Thranduil was perfectly arrogant and the scenery was stunning.

4. The so-called "romance" between Kili and Tauriel has definitely been blown out of proportion by folks. I saw it as a dwarf's infatuation with the beauty of an elf much like Gimli was towards Galadriel. Tauriel's actions seemed more of curiosity and nurturing more than anything else. It's quite obvious she's got it for Legolas and vice versa. But Thranduil won't let that happen, now will he. So what the heck, Kili peaked her interest. She healed him like Arwen healed Frodo showing that elves do care. She's cares more for the outside world than most of her woodland realm kind. I think people are getting carried away with this.

5. Barrel ride was fantastic. Those dwarves were bounced all over the map! Again, elves and dwarves just slaughtered the orcs and I loved it. Head's flying, arrows piercing. That one double kill arrow by Legolas was fantastic.

6. Laketown chase - interesting. Didn't mind it but thought...hmm... elves in Laketown...necessary evil I guess. But again, the action was so darn good I looked past it. Bolg would've gotten his head handed to him by Legolas had it not been for his little henchmen coming out of the woodwork at the last minute.

7. Bilbo was what I had expected - perfect. I really liked the parallelism portrayed between Biblo and Frodo and the cleverness in finding the door. Like Frodo at the door of Moria, it took a Hobbit to find the clue to open the door to Erebor. I enjoy parallelisms.

8. Smaug's rendering was unbelievable. I agree, whoever tries to create another on-screen dragon - good luck. Malice, hubris, greed, power, all captured superbly.

9. Dol Guldur was different. I enjoyed Gandalf's excursion there. I wanted him to slap Azog around a bit because I can't stand that character. However, I thought it was pieced together well to set the stage as mentioned earlier. The Necromancer's appearance was ok. Just a big black wall of smoke and a fiery silhouette of what we know as Sauron. Nice but not overall mind blowing.

10. Thorin and co. - the dwarves...I think my favorite part was when they were getting out of the barrels and they all looked like a huge mess. Those are the dwarves I remember. Not groomed and braided but haggard and grungy. Don't know why, I just always pictured them like this during the story. And when they finally opened the door to Erebor, the emotion of being back home poured out of the screen. Balin's face said it all.

There's so much more to discuss but I have to get finishing a paper for tomorrow. I will say that I'm a huge fan of the books and understand that screen adaptations are necessary to make sense of intertwining stories and themes. I have thoroughly enjoyed Jackson and team's interpretations thus far and trust the judgement. I loved this movie and am totally am looking forward to next year's TABA.


(This post was edited by bowencm on Dec 16 2013, 1:18am)


Dec 16 2013, 1:45am

Post #7 of 12 (406 views)
I Want to Second The Notion Of Second Viewing... [In reply to] Can't Post

Movie was a lot better the second time around, at least for me. A lot of this movie moves really fast and you notice things you missed the second time.

This movie really lends itself to repeat viewings. Awesome!

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


Dec 16 2013, 2:04am

Post #8 of 12 (353 views)
Cool! Can't wait. // [In reply to] Can't Post



Dec 16 2013, 2:36am

Post #9 of 12 (376 views)
My Spoiler review! [In reply to] Can't Post

Mind you, if you are looking at this as a PETER JACKSON film called the Hobbit, you’ll be fine. If you’re looking at this film as a Peter Jackson film BASED ON TOLKIEN’S book, um… you will something else coming for you. </b>

I watched the two LotR movies first and then read the book but for ROtK I read the book first and it was a different experience. I actually had mixed thoughts at first for ROtk.
Imagine me now….

The good
• Beginning prologue is something that I appreciated which was straight from the book and I appreciated that because you don’t get that a lot, or at all in this strange adaptation.
• All Bilbo scenes were good
• Legolas didn’t irritate me but somebody else did.
• Loved Beorn’s field and his home. He should’ve done more talking though…no explanation on why he might help the dwarves other than him hating orcs more… (ok… but really, that lovely story Gandalf told in the book should in some capacity be retained!)
• Smaug was great as was the conversation with Bilbo—they left that intact, thank goodness.
• Bard was likeable character… so was the Master and made up character Alfrid…(he’s like a Wormtongue of this movie…)
The music-- Howard Shore does it again with his music!!!

The bad
• Tauriel/Kili, deviation with how the dwarves get captured. There is no bumping into the elvish feasts several times in the book. But wait, what book? This is PJ's movie...
• Pacing after Beorn, Flies and Spiders, Barrels… the Laketown aspect was drawn out though we get good development of Bard’s character. Unnecessary action sequences, unnecessary Kili healing…unncecessary Tauriel seemingly making herself care so much about this world and wanting elves to fight and LEgolas agrees in risk of alienating his father… ?
• Smaug doesn’t die in this movie and doesn’t take apart Lake-town. You will see what happens instead in Peter’s world. So the whole subtitle doesn’t even match the movie.
• Dwarves split up so that not all thirteen go to the mountain… ?
• Dwarves giving up after not knowing how to open the mountain door. Only silly Bilbo tries and doesn’t’ give up and only person to remember what Elrond told them in Rivendell.

The Ugly
This is PETER JACKSON’S movie… mind you… if you come in expecting somewhat of a tinge of the book, you’ll be mistaken. Only 3 chapters were somewhat adapted faithfully and the rest was out of PJ and Boyen’s head… this is not an adaptation but just using Tolkien's characters and playing with them.

Fanfiction to the highest regard. I am a befuddled fan. This could’ve been better but now, I can fairly say that this is being way too drawn out and three films are not justifiable.

"By Elbereth and Luthien the fair, you shall have neither the Ring nor me!" ~Frodo

"And then Gandalf arose and bid all men rise, and they rose, and he said: 'Here is a last hail ere the feast endeth. Last but not least. For I name now those who shall not be forgotten and without whose valour nought else that was done would have availed; and I name before you all Frodo of the Shire and Samwise his servant. And the bards and the minstrels should give them new names: Bronwe athan Harthad and Harthad Uluithiad , Endurance beyond Hope and Hope Unquenchable.." ~Gandalf, The End of the Third Age , from The History of Middle Earth series


Dec 16 2013, 9:46pm

Post #10 of 12 (279 views)
Not a review per se, just a random assemblage of my thoughts. [In reply to] Can't Post

First the good bits.

I think the quicker pace at the start was a good idea (if painful for me as a fan of Beorn) made it feel more like a film, rather than a reunion in Middle Earth i.e we launch stright into the action with new environments, and don’t get bogged down with talking or the slow start AUJ was critised for.

Smaug's design (though the wrong colour of course) and voice were BRILLIANT or at least the stand out of the film IMO.

The obvious enthusiasm the cast and crew had for the film-even if the film isn't tha memorable IMO, at least someone had some fun out of it!

Bombur was hillarious, the fat old uncle who's secretly a ninja, possibly my fave of the Dwarves, I think his silence adds to his comedic value.

Lee Pace, Martin Freeman, Jimmy Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Evageline Lilly and Ian Mckellen and gave great performances (even if some of them weren't well served by the script), proving Jackson is a great actors director.

Laketown and Thranduil's halls were fabulously designed and far enough from my own imagery to cause no issues for me.

The opening in Bree was a nice nod to The Quest For Erebor even if it rewrote all the dialogue for no apparent reason, and seemed to be pointless-all the dialogue as far I can recall only summarised stuff the audience could anticipate.

Even though it was arguably terrible as an adapation, personally I think we can largely agree it felt mostly consistent-i.e the same visual palette and tone throughout, instead of the hit and miss nature of AUJ.

The spiders sequence was well done, and rather creepy, though a little short, and I'm rather happy they found a way to make the spiders talk

The cinematography and scenery were gorgeous as always

Less Fork Monster (Azog) and Bunny Wrangler(Radagst-Mcoy was wasted in this)was a good thing on my part on first thoughts, but was detremental to the film-I'm not a fan of either character, but at least in AUJ they seemed to have a purpose

-The CGI is much less ropier in certain places (the liquid gold not being an example)

-The look of the film seemed much less fake, and at points I was able to forget that it was shot on a soundstage.

-The slapstick seemed less forced

-Bard was written very well, loved the Welsh accent and his expanded role, even if he isn't grim or old enough in the film for my liking, and the actor was kinda wooden. His children on the other hand smack of marketing, frankly I wish they had been hidden in the toilet instead of the dwarves.

-Balin, Bombur and Bofur continue to be very likeable very well written characters.

-Smaug looked and sounded BRILLIANT-but WHYwasn't he red gold to begin with!!!Just so Jackson could chuck in more mad visuals

-Azog looks slighty less like a Engineer from Prometheus-not a film I want to be reminded of.

-Tauriel as a character is surprisingly tolerable to this partial purist, and convincing in the cinematic world Jackson has built-even if her dialogue and 'I'm perfect' persona grates a little, that said she really only seems to be there to feel out a quota of female characters-not a bad thing of course, but I couldn't find a reason why she needed to be female-the cringeworthy romance aside of course.

The Action sequences seemed to be better choreographed and cinematic this time around-ok the barrel chase was still overblown but it did at least look like they storyboarded it, it moved at a better pace and was visually much more appealing than the Goblin Town fight.

-Lee Pace has the potential to be great, if only his material improves.-I’d MUCH rather see him than Legolas. He is perhaps the only Elf thus far who feels like Tolkien’s-arrogant, ancient, wise and powerful all at the same time, and shows every sign of being my 'Armitage' of this trilogy.

-The pace seemed less erratic, and the cast are great.

-Martin Freeman seemed more comfortable this time around, and he retains a wonderful sense of comic timing at all the right moments.

I'm loving the visual potential of Smaug burning Laketown down in the Snow.

Now for the bad points:

Smaug's fight with the Dwarves was...Awful, drawn out, boring, inconsistent, confusing, odd and very Crytsal Skullish, perhaps the only time in the cinema I wanted to walk out Utterly stupid and pointless, not a great climax for this viewer.

-Richard Armitage as Thorin continues to annoy me INTENSELY-sorry ladies!

-I may be be the source material, two films going to three, the added subplots or my own bias to the book, but still feels like an episodic rough cut, I'm still not certain 3 films was a good idea

-Too much filler, not enough Bilbo

-Beorn was very dissapointing, I didn't like his deisgn, new backstory or 'meh' appearance I was expecting more. Frankly I almost feel like I’d rather they leave him out entirely rather than make him into a revenge crazed Lovechild of the Grinch and a Swedish Rock Singer. Hopefully the EE will remedy this.

-Mirkwood and Beorn felt rushed like the filmakers wanted to get to laketown as qucikly as possible.

-Ham fisted dialogue in abundance-'This is OUR fight'. Sigh.

-The Love story –OK it was only hinted at but is screamed of Twilight/ Fan fiction, cringe worthy, not necessary and not very Tolkienesque IMO.

-Thranduil scar very silly and confusing

-Legolas seeming more prominent than Bilbo.

-Smaug turning into a slow paced idiot with bad hearing-We GET it! You are toying with your prey, but seriously you burn down a whole civilization but can't catch 9 dwarves?

-The cliffhanger ending, I'm not sure if I was annoyed or reliefed in any case it seemed a bit cheap, and certainly annoyed the audience!

-The rehash of the Healing scene from FOTR-we get it it's a prequel!

-Too many STUPID attempts to wring drama at the cost of character development-the dwarves walking way from the Door or Erebor-Thorin would not do that.

The High Fells came across as rather pointless and a poor excuse to get Radaghast and Gandalf together-if you are going to make up some fan fiction AT LEAST make it Interesting!!!-I wasn't really aware of this scene's specifics before hand so I was expecting more than some talking and sighing, the whole buired Nazgul thing still seems silly.

-Stephen Fry was Stephen Fry in a wig, phoned in his performance IMO, he just seemed to be a carbon copy of Melchett from Blackadder, granted that's maybe what Jackson was going for, and I mainly know Fry from QI, but Fry just seemed bored to me, all the humour seemed to stem from 'Oh look it's Stephen Fry in silly wig!' again hopefully this will be remidied by the EE.

-Alfrid was a poor rehash of Wormtongue, though I did like the actor and some of his dialogue.

-The Music was very underwhelming again

-No Billy Connoly, Talking Thrush or Christopher Lee Unsure

Some of the Dwarves felt like extras again.

Gandalf vs The Necromnacer was visually quite interesting but looked like something out of a star wars video game, didn't really gel at all with Middle Earth (well how I see it at least), weirdly abstract for Jackson and notnecesarily in a good way. I did like the Necromancer's design just not the fight.

-BUT most importantly it didn't feel like The Hobbit at all, nor was it an major improvement over AUJ, nor truly stood alone as a film. As I said above I did enjoy it more as a stand alone film... Once more I am on the fence with this film. WHY oh WHY did they have to make it into 3 films? I can't really rate it as a whole some parts rank as a 1, some as a 7...so maybe 'Good Enough I suppose providing I don't intend to bring my brain or sympathy to the film with me, I will watch it again but I don't really know what would draw me in-am I revealing in the failure or enjoying the experience?' could sum it up.

One thing I did notice coming out of the film...I no longer really care if it matches the book or not (ok a few exceptions)...I've finally realized Jackson dosen't understand Tolkien or at least the way I percieve him. It's a shame he dosen't completely understand how to make a good film either.

Maybe I had too high/low expectations, and yes some of the flaws are in the source material, but DOS though a very well made entertaining film left me underwhelmed as a cinemagoer, and very annoyed as a Tolkien Fan.


I don't have much to say.


Dec 16 2013, 9:50pm

Post #11 of 12 (251 views)
"Desolation of Smaug" refers to a place, not Smaug's death [In reply to] Can't Post

Desolation does not mean death or destruction. "The Desolation of Smaug" refers to the desolation created by Smaug. The subtitle is perfectly appropriate.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...

Tol Eressea

Dec 17 2013, 12:00am

Post #12 of 12 (238 views)
I just saw it a 2nd time [In reply to] Can't Post

This time in HFR 3D. I loved it. I love the HFR experience and I think Jackson did a great job with it this time around. The colors are better rendered this time around. I did really like Mirkwood and Beorn's house.

2nd viewing the last 20 minutes did not bother me as much as it did the 1st time around. Although the Indiana Jones style action isn't my thing it didn't take me out of the movie like it did the 1st time I saw it. I am still confused however by the molten statue. It's not clear how they knew what they are were doing that or what the deal was with that or how the thing exploded and melted down. Oh well. it did bother me less and I did enjoy the movie immensely.

The Kili/Tauriel thing in Laketown still very much bothered me. I was fine with the whole thing up until the glowy Tauriel. I really wish he had not done that. Even the healing was fine. The Glowy Tauriel and Kili's infatuation just bugged me yet.

I will have a 3rd viewing later this week. Overall I really enjoyed the film though even moreso the 2nd time.

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


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