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RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

 
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RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - 3/12/2013 11:51:39 AM   
AxlReznor

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ref


quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ref

Just finished watching the live feed of the première, now time to sleep methinks. Armitage and his Smaug impression though - nice.

EDIT: I must point out that if anyone is looking to watch the première back, the dude from the Live Stream did have a fair few spoilers (which pissed me off somewhat) - so beware and watch at your own risk.


What kind of spoilers were they? It might have been that the dude from the live stream didn't consider plot details from an 80 year old book that most of the world has read at some point to be spoilers.


Some spoilers from the book (which we know already), but he spoke of the padded out scenes SPOILERS *Smaug's bad breath and Bilbo's reaction to it, the Kili-Tauriel-Legolas love triangle, Kili/Fili splitting up in the film and how they cope, Gandy fighting Azog* and said something (or rather alluded to) about the final scene.


Okay. In that case, that is pretty bad.

< Message edited by AxlReznor -- 3/12/2013 11:52:08 AM >

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Post #: 61
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - 4/12/2013 9:15:14 AM   
Alistair

 

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I got thinking last night when scanning over the appendices - What do you think will be the final shot of the final Hobbit film? Jackson's final shots of each of the films are pretty evocative (particularly The Two Towers). I'm guessing (or quite like the idea of) Sauron bursting in to flame and being 'born' as the Great Eye, which would then segue in to a shot of Frodo being born in the Shire. He's ultimately the hero, so this could be powerful stuff.

Just a silly guess!

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RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - 4/12/2013 2:56:12 PM   
Ref


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Joined: 5/10/2005
From: Leicester
quote:

ORIGINAL: Alistair

I got thinking last night when scanning over the appendices - What do you think will be the final shot of the final Hobbit film? Jackson's final shots of each of the films are pretty evocative (particularly The Two Towers). I'm guessing (or quite like the idea of) Sauron bursting in to flame and being 'born' as the Great Eye, which would then segue in to a shot of Frodo being born in the Shire. He's ultimately the hero, so this could be powerful stuff.

Just a silly guess!


Ooh, I'm liking the sound of that scene. Would send shivers up your spine. Also that nicely leads us to this clip from EW. Minor, minor spoilers in these clips.

Gandy and Bilbo

and:~

Leggy and Daddy

and also this one:~

Tauriel and Leggy

< Message edited by Ref -- 4/12/2013 4:39:50 PM >


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Post #: 63
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - 4/12/2013 10:19:19 PM   
Alistair

 

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Thanks for the links! ....buuuut, my exposure to the film has mainly been the trailers (ain't watched any TV spots), and I think I'm going to keep it this way for the next week or so. I don't actually know what's entirely going to be in the next film, as the timeline is muddled in my head. There's the obvious stuff of course, but as far as Gandalf's adventures at Dol Guldur* go (amongst other things), I don't really know!

SPOILERS:

*Gandalf visits Dol Guldur twice in the appendices (both visits are separated by many years). On the second visit he discovers unequivocal evidence of Sauron's return (i.e, probably sees him).

Question: How come Radagast is able to see the Witch King in Dol Guldur? I thought that was only possible when the One Ring is placed upon someone's finger and they enter the 'shadow world'?

< Message edited by Alistair -- 4/12/2013 10:24:41 PM >


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RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - 5/12/2013 12:29:10 AM   
rich


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Hah that's a good one, next you'll tell me the White Hand of Saruman is a giant hand running about the place

quote:

ORIGINAL: Alistair

Question: How come Radagast is able to see the Witch King in Dol Guldur? I thought that was only possible when the One Ring is placed upon someone's finger and they enter the 'shadow world'?


Yes it's a wraith ring, that's entirely the point. And I don't know since in the ROTK book he takes his cloak off and his head is invisible with just a crown sat on top. If they could be seen in the ghostly realm then wearing it wouldn't be much help to Bilbo/Frodo later would it.

< Message edited by rich -- 5/12/2013 12:34:08 AM >


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RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - 5/12/2013 2:29:31 PM   
Ref


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Possibly wizards see differently?? I am clutching at straws, I must confess.

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Post #: 66
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - 5/12/2013 9:09:38 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

I guess I'm the only one who thinks this looks really poor, even weaker than the first one. Jackson and co. really seem to be making up and adding shit as they to along to justify having three films. For a start Legolas, what the fuck is he doing in it,except to sell more tickets? Going by what I've seen and heard, about half of this movie wasn't in the book. Jackson, you're pissing on Tolkien, and this is coming from someone who adored his LOTR.


Legolas is the son of Thranduil, the Elf King. The only reason he isn't in the book is because Tolkien hadn't created him yet. It's reasonable to assume he would have been involved... in fact, it's completely unthinkable that he wouldn't have been.

Plus, as Alistair has said, it's all in other material that Tolkien wrote about what was going on at the time of The Hobbit with other characters, like when Gandalf left to go do other things. Read the Appendices and Unfinished Tales and you will see that they aren't making anything up, and it's all vital information in order to gain a better understanding of why they company of dwarves are doing what they're doing and what is going on in The Lord Of The Rings. It's not all being made up by Peter Jackson and co.


Yeah, but these films are not the [relatively] small-scale, lively, funny children's adventure story I loved as a kid. to me they are NOT The Hobbit. I know that much of the material in the films is from the Appendixes, but they are Appendixes, NOT the actual book. I know Jackson included some material from Appendixes in LOTR, but it suited the epic nature. But by including, expanding upon and dragging out everything he can find to make one book into three bloody films, he's ruining The Hobbit. I adore LOTR trilogy - for goodness sake I wrote a huge article elsewhere praising it to the skies - but I really dislike what he's doing with the Hobbit.

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The Desolation Of Smaug - 6/12/2013 9:38:01 AM   
Alistair

 

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Good points, well made. I understand where you're coming from, and you're right.

I think the best way to view these Hobbit films is to think of them as the prequels to The Lord of the Rings films, not as a straight adaption of the book. I see your point, Dr Lenera, but I can also entirely understand Peter Jackson's approach. There are confusing aspects to the LOTR film trilogy that Jackson couldn't possibly flesh out in those films, so a lot of background stuff in the Hobbit trilogy (that wasn't in the book itself) will enrich the overall viewing experience for people, I think.

I think if you could let go of the fact that this isn't a direct adaption of the book then you'll enjoy the films. Because, at the end of the day, 'An Unexpected Journey' was equally as entertaining and as well-made as any of the individual LOTR films.

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RE: The Desolation Of Smaug - 6/12/2013 12:04:20 PM   
AxlReznor

 

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I'd always assumed that Tolkien realised The Hobbit didn't really fit in with the rest of his Middle-earth stories and wrote all of this material with the intention of providing context to that story so it doesn't feel so out of place, and if he'd written The Hobbit later all of that would have been incorporated into the book. So I just see it as Peter Jackson doing what Tolkien never got a chance to do, but would have done if he could. Of course that could just be my own way of justifying it to myself.

I think I would have found a straight adaptation of the book to be boring, because it would literally just be a bunch of dwarves and a hobbit running from one danger to another without a break, with a wizard coming back at the last second to get them out of one danger and enable them to run right into another. Which works very well for a children's story, but as a film - especially a film that links to the uber-dark and serious LOTR films - I don't think it would have worked at all.

But I take your point, and that's fair enough. I would try to take Alistair's advice if you can and try to think of it as a prequel to The Lord Of The Rings in which many things happen - some of which being the events from The Hobbit - rather than an adaptation of a children's book with a vastly different tone to the rest of the Middle-earth "legendarium".

< Message edited by AxlReznor -- 6/12/2013 12:23:19 PM >

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RE: The Desolation Of Smaug - 6/12/2013 1:58:33 PM   
Ref


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Like Ali and Axl have stated, Gandalf is always going off here and there in the book and it needs to explained in film (a la the appendixes). A lot of things are quickly glossed over in the book, so PJ just embellishes them.

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RE: The Desolation Of Smaug - 6/12/2013 2:56:30 PM   
Dpp1978


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

I'd always assumed that Tolkien realised The Hobbit didn't really fit in with the rest of his Middle-earth stories and wrote all of this material with the intention of providing context to that story so it doesn't feel so out of place, and if he'd written The Hobbit later all of that would have been incorporated into the book. So I just see it as Peter Jackson doing what Tolkien never got a chance to do, but would have done if he could. Of course that could just be my own way of justifying it to myself.

I think I would have found a straight adaptation of the book to be boring, because it would literally just be a bunch of dwarves and a hobbit running from one danger to another without a break, with a wizard coming back at the last second to get them out of one danger and enable them to run right into another. Which works very well for a children's story, but as a film - especially a film that links to the uber-dark and serious LOTR films - I don't think it would have worked at all.

But I take your point, and that's fair enough. I would try to take Alistair's advice if you can and try to think of it as a prequel to The Lord Of The Rings in which many things happen - some of which being the events from The Hobbit - rather than an adaptation of a children's book with a vastly different tone to the rest of the Middle-earth "legendarium".


I'm pretty sure that The Hobbit wasn't originally part of the Middle Earth legendarium. It was only later that he realised it could be incorporated as a later tale from his pre-existing world. Possibly as late as when he was writing Lord of the Rings. He started a revised edition in the '60s to more perfectly blend in with Lord of the Rings but abandoned it soon after, as it became something other than The Hobbit.

The best (or at least my favourite) expansion to The Hobbit's story is in Unfinished Tales (and thus out of bounds for the film) and describes Gandalf's motives for getting involved in the Quest for Erebor. It shows Gandalf as the grand strategist in much the same vein as Sauron: using agents to further his cause rather than in his more typical, more proactive, role.

I think those who look at the books and films as being a separate interpretation of the same events probably have it right.
I look at it how I look at the way disparate writers and/or film-makers can make wildly different works based on the same historical events. Their focuses may be different and their treatment of certain characters may be inconsistent, but there is usually a kernel of similarity between them. In this case the book is obviously authoritative as they are also the primary source, but the films are more accessible and in no way detract from the original.

I'll never be convinced that Peter Jackson maintained the spirit of the books as well as he thinks he did, but that pre-supposes my reading gets closer. To disregard his version because his reading doesn't tally with mine would be both incredibly arrogant and ultimately self defeating. I'd be throwing away the vast majority of things that I like because of the relatively few things I don't. I'd be robbing myself of some great entertainment and wonderful artistry.

I'm looking forward to what Peter Jackson will do with the remaining parts of The Hobbit and where it veers from the original I will try not to get too distracted. If I can get past what he did to Faramir I can accept anything he might do to Thorin and Co.

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Post #: 71
RE: The Desolation Of Smaug - 6/12/2013 11:58:12 PM   
Alistair

 

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Great post, Dpp1978. Some genuinely great discussion going on in this thread. Love it!

I see that Empire have given Desolation 5/5, which is great news. I'm looking to book tickets (in 2D) for Friday, but Odeon haven't released their 2D schedule yet (come on!!).

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RE: The Desolation Of Smaug - 7/12/2013 7:06:31 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

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Fair enough Alistair and AxlReznor, thanks for not biting my head off, I can see there's a lot of Hobbit love in this thread and my earlier post may have been a bit over the top. I wish I was excited about this film like you all are!!

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RE: The Desolation Of Smaug - 7/12/2013 7:41:55 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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Being such a massive LOTR fan and someone who is indecently excited for the new Hobbit film, I feeI should have had more to say in this thread. The discussion on this page raises good points both for and against the new films but in the end I'm obviously in favour of how they've worked out. Well, how the first one worked out at least. There's still a chance it could all go wrong next week

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- 10/12/2013 10:07:27 AM   
aeinghramshayn

 

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- 10/12/2013 10:07:36 AM   
aeinghramshayn

 

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Desolation of Smaug - 13/12/2013 2:31:06 PM   
Alistair

 

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Well chaps and chapettes, the film is upon us! I have my tickets booked for 7pm this evening (GMT). A very favourable review from Empire, so I'm hoping I enjoy it just as much (I'm sure I will).

Has there ever been a great dragon movie? No. Hopefully The Hobbit can change this! Will come back online late tonight and post my review (if anyone cares!).

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Post #: 77
RE: Desolation of Smaug - 13/12/2013 5:29:10 PM   
Ref


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alistair

Has there ever been a great dragon movie? No. Hopefully The Hobbit can change this! Will come back online late tonight and post my review (if anyone cares!).


I was quite fond of watching Dragon Heart all those years ago

Al, do you mind posting a non-spoliery reaction in this thread too? I've got my tickets booked for Monday in regular 2D - I thought it might be quieter with less children. I am beyond excited.

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Post #: 78
Desolation of Smaug - 13/12/2013 10:48:59 PM   
Alistair

 

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At your request, a non-spoilery review:

I feel like I have to say something that I hoped I'd never have to admit to: It feels like Peter Jackson has failed at convincing that a small book could be made in to three films (even with dipping in to the appendices). It's a good film, but it's repetitive (how many films do we have to watch orcs chasing dwarves around?). Very repetitive in fact. And it also looks like a computer game in many parts of the film, with incredibly lazy sequences created entirely with CGI. Yawn.

Smaug is a magnificent creation, however. Absolutely stunning to behold.

So, to summarize: My least favourite film in the Middle Earth saga, simply because it feels like too little butter scraped over too much bread (to misquote Bilbo). Enjoyable, but bloated.

To grade all of the film in order of their release:

Fellowship: 8/10. Two Towers: 7/10 King: 7/10 Unexpected Journey: 7/10 Desolation: 6/10

< Message edited by Alistair -- 13/12/2013 10:49:43 PM >


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RE: Desolation of Smaug - 13/12/2013 10:57:35 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alistair

Fellowship: 8/10. Two Towers: 7/10 King: 7/10 Unexpected Journey: 7/10 Desolation: 6/10



I'm not yet entirely sure how I feel about Desolation, but the remarkable lack of 10/10 for the other films makes me very sad


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Desolation of Smaug - 13/12/2013 11:46:11 PM   
Alistair

 

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I don't think any of the films are 10/10, simply because they are all a bit bloated. But Desolation is by far the worst for this. In fact I wouldn't say that that Desolation is bloated - It's just a lot of it is unnecessary! The Smaug scenes are amazing, but even they go on for too long! And I can't work out why Legolas is in this film. He's played a bit differently too, which I didn't like. He has a constant frown. Miserable bugger!

It's an entirely decent, entertaining film. But it is clear that this should have been two films, maximum. What I anticipated was going to be the most interesting sub-plot with Gandalf and Sauron turned out to be too brief (too brief!!). And the way they conveyed Sauron was a bit rubbish.

< Message edited by Alistair -- 13/12/2013 11:55:49 PM >


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RE: Desolation of Smaug - 15/12/2013 3:35:14 PM   
AxlReznor

 

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I've posted a mini-review in the main review thread. As it stands, here are my ratings for all the films so far, though...

Fellowship Of The Ring: 10/10
The Two Towers: 10/10
Return Of The King: 10/10
An Unexpected Journey: 9/10
The Desolation Of Smaug: 10/10

I believe the only one of the films that actually feels bloated is An Unexpected Journey, and of the original trilogy I refuse to watch anything but the Extended Editions, because I just feel the extra material used in those films makes them superior to the theatrical versions in every way (not least for actually providing an answer to 'what happened to Saruman?').

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RE: Desolation of Smaug - 15/12/2013 3:38:55 PM   
AxlReznor

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alistair

I don't think any of the films are 10/10, simply because they are all a bit bloated. But Desolation is by far the worst for this. In fact I wouldn't say that that Desolation is bloated - It's just a lot of it is unnecessary! The Smaug scenes are amazing, but even they go on for too long! And I can't work out why Legolas is in this film. He's played a bit differently too, which I didn't like. He has a constant frown. Miserable bugger!

It's an entirely decent, entertaining film. But it is clear that this should have been two films, maximum. What I anticipated was going to be the most interesting sub-plot with Gandalf and Sauron turned out to be too brief (too brief!!). And the way they conveyed Sauron was a bit rubbish.


Legolas is little more than an adolescent at this point in time, which I'd say goes some way to explaining his being miserable.
That, and I think his unlikely friendship with Gimli brought out a sense of humour that is uncharacteristic of elves from the woodland realm (see Lee Pace's 'Loki if he didn't have a sense of humour' version of Thranduil).

As for why he's in the film? To provide some of the best action scenes of the film, apparently.

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Desolation of Smaug - 15/12/2013 10:23:04 PM   
Alistair

 

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Glad you enjoyed the film!

Although, I see no purpose in his inclusion in the overall plot, at all. I just sat there thinking "Why?". And the action with Legolas usually descends in to horrific, entirely CGI nonesense. I wasn't impressed by the barrel sequence at all. It was, visually, poor. It was like watching a computer game. And not a very good one.

I did enjoy Legolas fist-fighting the CGI orc in Laketown, though. That was something a little different.

Smaug scenes were terrific. What did everyone think of the conclusion of the film? Everyone groaned in the cinema when I saw it, as if to say "Is that it?", but even though I felt it was a frustrating ending, I also quite liked it. Certainly makes you anticipate the final film. Also curious to see where the Gandalf sub-plot leads.

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RE: Desolation of Smaug - 16/12/2013 10:03:48 AM   
AxlReznor

 

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I'm definitely not able to defend it the way that I thought I'd be able to. There was a hell of a lot of stuff that was actually just made up by the screenwriters instead of just focusing on parts that Tolkien came up with himself after the fact... especially in the case of Legolas and Tauriel who I imagined as relatively minor characters who would just show up in Mirkwood and the Battle Of Five Armies - not an entire subplot revolving around them. So the only way I'm going to defend it is to say that I think it was awesome. The CGI for the most part (with the exception of the molten metal in the finale) was a huge improvement on An Unexpected Journey, and I loved all of the action sequences that were added - and the barrel sequence counts as one of my favourite setpieces all year.

I've seen a lot of people complaining about all of the added action scenes - including the battle against Smaug. But if you took out all of the action scenes that weren't in the book, the only major setpiece would have been the battle with the spiders right at the beginning, and that would have made a film that's supposed to be a fun fantasy adventure and turned it into what it's been accused of being for years now - a movie about walking.

Our opinions seem to be almost completely opposite, because that ending was the one thing I absolutely hated about the film. You mentioned in a previous post about each of the previous movies ending on an iconic shot, and that was entirely true. And the fact that this film just abruptly ended mid-scene is pretty much the only thing I can think of that shows that the movies were originally planned as just two movies, and Peter Jackson didn't just have an ending in mind for a middle chapter. All of the films (except for Return Of The King for obvious reasons) may have ended before the story was over, but they at least ended in a way that made sense to end a movie. This just had me on a high anticipating the battle in Laketown only to just stop with no warning. That isn't enough for me to downgrade the film in any way, though... I had too much fun in the previous three hours that seemed to take no time at all.

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Post #: 85
RE: Desolation of Smaug - 17/12/2013 12:46:54 PM   
Ref


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Okay peeps, here's my ratings so far for Middle Earth films.

The Fellowship of the Ring 5/5
The Two Towers 5/5
The Return of the King 4/5
An Unexpected Journey 4/5
The Desolation of Smaug 4.5/5

I really enjoyed this film. Freeman's and Armitage's acting chemistry is sodding brilliant, I am so looking forward to the final film and the scenes between those two. Smaug was a superbly, splendid, magnificent beast and that voice...epic. Tauriel could have been just a great badass elf, however the contrived 'love story' is a bit corny and soap-opera like. I'm afraid I'm not too fond of the music either, which makes me sad indeed

However, overall I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I'm going again to watch it next week.

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RE: Desolation of Smaug - 17/12/2013 12:52:05 PM   
AxlReznor

 

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The love triangle was a bit much. Evangeline Lilly must be sick of those by now, herself. I would have preferred it if they didn't give into the Hollywood assumption that every female character has to be a love interest for at least one of the male characters.

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Post #: 87
RE: Desolation of Smaug - 17/12/2013 1:00:49 PM   
Ref


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

The love triangle was a bit much. Evangeline Lilly must be sick of those by now, herself. I would have preferred it if they didn't give into the Hollywood assumption that every female character has to be a love interest for at least one of the male characters.


Exactly. I mean they could have kept her as an unlikely ally perhaps, but the Kili/Tauriel/Leggy thing is boring to me. Nice to see Leggy back though, ah my teenage crush kicking arse all over the shop

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Post #: 88
Desolation of Smaug - 17/12/2013 10:03:12 PM   
Alistair

 

Posts: 2397
Joined: 1/10/2005
I wish Jackson had chosen to go down the Lurtz route with Azog (and others), though. Make-up on a real actor is so much more effective and imposing than a weightless looking CGI creation. Plus these characters don't exactly look great now, so they'll almost certainly look awful in a few years time. It seems that directors care less about their films standing the true test of time, and more about getting their films done on deadline. There's a far more lazy use of CGI in these two Hobbit films than there ever was on any of the LOTR films (admittedly, advances have made creating these things easier now).

Another thing that has really bugged me with the new films is this: The way characters can survive falls of hundreds of feet (in a very comical way), yet there's a very forced sense of drama when one of the dwarves gets shot in the leg with an arrow. The cartoonish nature of physics seems at odds with the more dramatic core of the Middle Earth saga. Jackson just about got this dead-on with the LOTR trilogy, but it's got to silly levels now. I think he has become a lazy director, but that's just my opinion.

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Post #: 89
RE: Desolation of Smaug - 17/12/2013 10:43:53 PM   
Ref


Posts: 7461
Joined: 5/10/2005
From: Leicester
Although in LotR the orc arrows are dipped with poison, aren't they? That's why Boromir's last stand was so courageous and showed just how strong he was. So I'm guessing the same can be said in the Hobbit films and that's why it was quite a serious injury for *SPOILERS* Kili *End of SPOILERS*

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Post #: 90
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