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Just back from seeing BOFA in the UK... a few thoughts.


Dec 12 2014, 9:49pm

Post #1 of 11 (1841 views)
Just back from seeing BOFA in the UK... a few thoughts. Can't Post

Just back from seeing BOFA in the UK... a few thoughts.
This isn't really a 'review' as such, (I think I need to see it again for that) more some immediate ramblings after just seeing the film. I have this far tried to avoid spoilers from these boards and in reviews, though now I feel I can go headlong into reading through all the threads and posts from those who had seen the film already.

A few initial comments -

1. There has been a great deal of talk of the CGI in these films, in particular the huge amount of it. Now, whilst I would have preferred slightly more 'real' action where possible and less CGI, I really had no problem with it at all on general, in fact quite the opposite! I found the CGI absolutely too notch and blended very well with the live action. It certainly contained far fewer 'questionable' moments of CGI then I would say any of the 6 films have done. The fact that many of the Orc and Dwarf armies had such extensive armour obviously made this much easier to mask than if we saw more of the actual faces. I also felt that we didn't spend ages with long swooping battles shots and anonymous mass brawls, instead intercutting frequently with live action and character moments.
2. Many reviews have highlighted that the film, as the title suggests, is one long battle. I actually expected that from these comments we would get very swiftly into the battle, whereas in actuality, there seemed quite a good deal of set up before the battle started which all help build the tension and highlight the various motivations and strategies.
3. Dain. Again much has been mentioned of Dain being CGI. Well, in the earlier appearance when astride his battle boar it does seem to be a combination of live action mixed with CGI, for what reason I still don't understand. However, the effect was not obvious or badly done at all. Again the fact that these shots were all fairly brief and his helmet covered much of his face meant that it wasn't really an issue at all. The close ups when shouting commands riding into battle and when he finally met with Thorin on the battlefield definitely seemed to be live action to me however.
4. Kili/Fili/Thorin/Tauriel/Bolg/Azog. Still not entirely sure what to make of this. As was hinted at in the trailers, this didn't really play out as many would have hoped, and what to many is a key moment in the book was somewhat changed. I think it worked in the context of DOS and in the film, though it still sits slightly uneasily with me as it will many.
5. The 'roll your eyes' moments. Legas. Enough said! I didn't mind the bat flying, but the scenes after this did go a little OTT even for me! Azog being presumed dead under the ice then springing out to attack Thorin. Annoyingly unrealistic and at the same time almost predictable.
6. The conclusion of the battle and ending. This was the part that felt most rushed and again was something I had feared could be the case. We don't really see the end of the battle at all, in fact, it seems too things were at play here. First of all, PJ has after 6 films clearly become acutely aware of how battle weary people can become and how te keep interest you have to have battle scenes mixed in with character moments... dare I say there were possibly too many of these towards the end and not quite enough of the main battle! It all seemed to happen 'off camera'. (Of course in the book it's far worse!) Additionally, the criticisms of the 'many endings' of ROTK clearly packed on his mind hence the ending really skips all of Bard and Dain becoming kings, Thorin's funeral etc. it did feel like there needed t be slightly more of a denouement. I expect the EE with help in this regard.
7. Dol Guldur. This was an edge of my seat scene and was interested to see how it would play out. Slightly disappointed at how brief it was, though what we did have was great. Especially good to see Saruman really get a great deal of action. On a visual level I was a little unconvinced of the wraiths look. Not sure why they changed them from the wraith world design of FOTR. That seemed more creepy and for continuity I would have preferred they kept this look. Just seemed a bit distracting to have them in a totally different form like that. Also I would really have likes to see a little more magic from Gandalf. It seems he didn't use any at all throught the whole film. Somewhat surprising.

That's all I've got for now. It may sound a bit 'ranty' in parts, but that's just y character. I always find it easier to pick details to criticise first than the positives. There are MANY positives, and it certainly stands up well with the other Hobbit movies. I would put it on a similar level to DOS on first viewing, but on repeat viewings this may change. I certainly look forward to this EE most of all. I had very similar feelings with ROTK when it first came out. The initial 'shock' of changes to the book and how things played out somewhat more difficult to deal with on first viewing than it had been for the previous films. I think because we have so many hopes and still think that and deviances can be 'brought back' in the last film. This is inevitable with any book adaptation though. Hence a second viewing is needed.

I very much enjoyed BOFA and am sad that our journey to Middle Earth has to end. I'm sure the story is not yet over though, and the EE will have many more great moments to fully satisfy my needs

(This post was edited by adt100 on Dec 12 2014, 9:55pm)

Frodo Baggins

Dec 12 2014, 10:39pm

Post #2 of 11 (1050 views)
I also have just got back from a UK screening [In reply to] Can't Post


First of all the film is very good with there being many great action, emotional and great dialogue moments. For me the best part of the film is the dealing and communication scene outside the gate of Erebor with Bard, Thranduil, Thorin, Gandalf and Bilbo, the scene is structured very well and the acting is fantastic.
Just like adt100 on not one occasion are there any glaring CGI mishaps. It is blended very well with the real environment and the skies don't seem to have that fake painted quality PJ has used in the past two films. Dain looks good and isn't just a rubbish comedy character.
Legolas has a few OTT moments but when you think of it nothing larger than taking down the Mumak in Rotk. His bat flying moment was tollerable but I did like the way in which he got off it. His defying gravity moment on stones also isn't as bad as I expected but perhaps could have done without.
Laketown sequence is fantastic as is Smaug's death. Dol Guldor went quickly but it was good to see Elrond and Saruman in action. I really liked the dialogue between the two of them after Sauron's banishment. I didn't properly understand Galadriel and Gandalf's interaction with him asking her to come with him on Radagast's sled, but I will have to see it again.
Martin Freeman's scenes are great and very funny at times and also very sad when crying over Thorin's body saying the 'but the eagles are coming.'
Fili's death is hard to take with Thorin and co witnessing Azog's taunt. Thorin and Azog's duel is well choreographed on the ice and I like Azog presumed dead under the ice only to stab through Thorin's foot.
Overall the film is sight to behold and and very pleasing at points. It is shame the minor dwarves are sidelined and the actual battlefield battle is almost forgotten about during the Ravenhill sequence. However the EE should add that greater depth.
Best battle highlight: The Iron Hill dwarves layered shield lineup with the elves epically leaping over them.
Best character moment: Bilbo crying over at Thorin
Best scene from book: The auction scene
Best line: Thorin's last to Bilbo
Best shock moment: Thorin threatening to kill Dwalin

mae govannen
Tol Eressea

Dec 13 2014, 7:10am

Post #3 of 11 (647 views)
Thank you for the nice additional spoilers I got from your post! // [In reply to] Can't Post


'Is everything sad going to come untrue?'
(Sam, 'The Field of Cormallen', in 'The Return of the King'.)


Dec 13 2014, 9:12am

Post #4 of 11 (667 views)
Also just seen it [In reply to] Can't Post

Loved it - it was very, very good. Pretty sure Dain wasn't CGI either, I even read somebody say that he looks nothing like Billy Connolly - I don't know why - it looked exactly liked him Crazy

The Shire

Dec 13 2014, 1:30pm

Post #5 of 11 (567 views)
Thorin out. Of his mind [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin thinks he could take on dwalin in his dreams dwalin would take him with ease he must be full f dragon sickness


Dec 13 2014, 1:58pm

Post #6 of 11 (541 views)
It was Billy Connolly [In reply to] Can't Post

Obviously not in the fight/action scenes which I don't believe he could do now, but close up and speaking that was certainly Billy Connolly and looked like him - don't always believe what you read! Wink


Dec 13 2014, 2:53pm

Post #7 of 11 (508 views)
dain [In reply to] Can't Post

To me he looked 100% cgi. His face and body looked fake and moved unnatural like something out of a well made video game. Honestly i thought it was horrible to look at.

The only reason i don't simply state it as a fact, that he is CGI, is because so many say he isn't. Maybe i have bad eye sight or something. Hope i'm wrong. I need to see the movie again!


Dec 13 2014, 2:56pm

Post #8 of 11 (510 views)
I saw Billy Connolly.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... that's all I can say.


Dec 13 2014, 3:28pm

Post #9 of 11 (485 views)
Dain [In reply to] Can't Post

It's definitely Billy Connolly's face but it looks mocapped? It was still identifiably Billy Connolly, but it looked like cgi to me. Think Tom Hanks in the Polar Express but not as bad. The only time he wasn't cgi that I could see was when you didn't see his face, such as when Thorin is talking to him, you see the back of a double's head, with all the prosthetics and hair on, then when it cuts to Dain's face again, he is cgi. I may be wrong but it's how it looked to me. I want to love how he looks but I just don't love it as much as the other dwarves. I work in a cinema and have watched his arrival scene a few times and when it cuts to his face it looks like cgi to me. In the battle scene with him and Thorin it is definitely cgi, when it cuts to Thorin and we see the back of the double's head, the effect is quite jarring.

(This post was edited by Mcoull on Dec 13 2014, 3:29pm)


Dec 13 2014, 5:09pm

Post #10 of 11 (470 views)
I think it's more the fact that [In reply to] Can't Post

Dwalin wouldn't dare kill Thorin himself. I don't think he would defend himself. Also, I'm not sure Dwalin could defeat Thorin personally. Thorin is a pretty exceptional fighter.

The Shire

Dec 14 2014, 8:24am

Post #11 of 11 (404 views)
Dwalin is another gimli [In reply to] Can't Post

Dwalin and gimli are real pros just look at dwalin half an ear missing head full of tattoos a skull as strong as stone a real fighter


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