Author Topic: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug  (Read 858 times)

Offline Danae Cassandra

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« on: December 27, 2013, 03:20:25 AM »


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Year of Release: 2013
Directed By: Peter Jackson
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Armitage
Genre: Fantasy, Action

Overview:
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.

My Thoughts:
First let me say, I love Middle-Earth.  I love the characters and the setting and everything about it.  Being overlong only means that we get to spend more time in Middle-Earth.  Yes, I want the extended version.

First, the good.  Martin Freeman is great as Bilbo.  I could probably watch Ian McKellen do just about anything.  Richard Armitage's Thorin is wonderful (if very different from the book), and I can now see the set-up for his Thorin to make decisions that book-Thorin makes (something I couldn't see in the last film).  I also liked the addition of the elf Tauriel, and her interaction with Kili.  I liked the changes to the character of Bard, and his enlarged role in the story.  I loved Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug, the conversation between him and Bilbo (just about the best part of the film) and the enlarged role Smaug played. 

For my complaint about the movie, it wouldn't be that the movie was long.  It would be that it was long in the wrong way.  Certain things got extended and fleshed out, while others were eliminated - I would have trimmed up some of the battle scenes so that we could have kept the dwarves journey through Mirkwood longer, kept the sequence with the black river from the book, and had more character interaction.  I still don't know who some of the dwarves are (Bifur, Nori, Dori, Ori, Oin ... which one is which, anyway?  Only Thorin, Fili, Kili, Balin, Dwalin, and Bofur have any personalities, and I only know which one Bombur is because he's the fat one and Gloin because of the reference to Gimli).  Lastly, the business with the Arkenstone needed a bit more fleshing out - exactly how is the whole plan supposed to work, anyway?  Bilbo sneaks in, gets the Arkenstone, and then ... what? 

On the other hand, I thought they handled the Ring well, and the doings of the Necromancer, as well as the foreshadowing for the grimmer days ahead.  It's a grimmer, grittier version of The Hobbit, but also a nobler one in the goals of the dwarven company.  Overall, as you can see from how I rated it, I thought the good outweighed the bad, but it wasn't the masterpiece all of the first trilogy are. 

Bechdel Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline DSig

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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2013, 06:22:33 AM »
Being a denison of Middle Earth, as it seem you are, you recognize the nearly impossible task of making a 'Hobbit' (or any other great piece of work like it) and make everyone happy.  I too would like a little more character and maybe less battle scenes .. but it is the blood and gore that many come to see.  Like LOTR trilogy too much great source and so little time :).  I too would be happy to have another 30 minutes added.  I can't wait until Jackson is all done so i can find a theater that will play it all the way through .. that will be a day to remember <G>
Thank you
David

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 04:27:21 PM »
I enjoyed this one as well. The Hobbit films made me reconsider and give the Lord of the Ring films another chance.
Pete

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2013, 04:59:33 AM »
I've been meaning to write about The Hobbit here...and a few others.  I've just gotten so behind in reviews and stuff. 

Anyway.

I saw it opening day here in 3D - didn't originally plan to see the 3D, but the friend I was going with made us late to the other show, so we ended up in the 3D.  I did get the special Hobbit 3D glasses. 

I really enjoyed the movie.  It has been a while since I read the book, so I don't remember all the specifics, though I do know that stuff has been added or expanded.  I liked the movie and didn't feel that it was too long..though it would be nice for a bit more character development for some of them...mostly the dwarves.  I have no clue who is who with the exception of a few of them. 

I loved Smaug.  Awesome dragon, and Benedict Cumberbatch's voice was perfect for him. 

I was ready for the third movie as soon as the credits started to roll in this one.

Offline Achim

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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2013, 09:27:28 PM »
Isn't the Necromancer also played by Cumberbatch...?

I will try to catch this once I am back home in Taiwan, early next year. (Traveling back tomorrow.)

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2013, 04:32:21 AM »
Yes, Cumberbatch also did the voice for the Necromancer.