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Member's Reviews

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a review by Danae Cassandra

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

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

(From The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on December 27th, 2013)

Member's Reviews

Star Trek, a review by addicted2dvd

Title: Star Trek
Year: 2009
Director: J. J. Abrams
Rating: PG-13
Length: 127 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround, Spanish: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround, Commentary: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Chris Pine
Zachary Quinto
Leonard Nimoy
Eric Bana
Bruce Greenwood
Karl Urban

The future begins in J.J. Abrams' smash hit STAR TREK. When the Romulan Nero comes from the future to take revenge on the Federation, rivals Kirk and Spock must work together to stop him from destroying everything they know. On a thrilling journey filled with incredible action, the new recruits of the U.S.S. Enterprise will voyage through unimaginable danger in one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed movies of the year.

Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Deleted Scenes
Closed Captioned

My Thoughts:
This is the second time I have watched this movie since I bought it last November. I definitely enjoyed it! It had a lot of great action. This movie did a wonderful job at revitalizing the dying franchise. I loved what they did with all the characters. I don't think you could ask for a better cast. I thought the effects were just stunning. Up to this point The Wrath of Khan has been my favorite Star Trek movie. This one is right up there with it. I don't think I could choose what is better between the two. I think that would depend on my mood. If I felt like something with the extra stunning effects or what. Story-wise... for me... it is pretty darn close.

My Rating:
Out of a Possible 5

(From Weekend Movie Marathon: The Final Frontier on August 15th, 2010)

Member's TV Reviews

"Due South" marathon, a review by Tom

1.11 You Must Remember This (1995-01-05)
Writer: Paul Haggis (Created By), Peter Lefcourt (Writer)
Director: David Warry-Smith
Cast: Paul Gross (Constable Benton Fraser), David Marciano (Detective Ray Vecchio), Beau Starr (Lt. Harding Welsh), Daniel Kash (Detective Louis Gardino), Tony Craig (Detective Jack Huey), Catherine Bruhier (Elaine), Susan Gibney (Suzanne Chapin), Michael Shaner (Frank Bodine), Michael Donaghue (Hugo), Edgar George (Paramedic), Gina Bertoia (Officer #2)

An average episode, nothing really special. This episode sets up the Victoria arc later on in the season.


(From "Due South" marathon on July 15th, 2009)