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RE: re the desolation of smaug yawnfest - 4/1/2014 9:22:52 AM   
superdan


Posts: 8276
Joined: 31/7/2008

quote:

ORIGINAL: AxlReznor

I do think everything that could be built full-size in real life was, though. Peter Jackson isn't George Lucas.


No he isn't, but give it time. A couple more films on current form and he'll be there (and I'm not talking about reliance on CGI either).

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Post #: 91
RE: re the desolation of smaug yawnfest - 5/1/2014 12:33:04 AM   
musht


Posts: 1869
Joined: 21/1/2009
From: Oireland
The films are family friendly fantasy entertainment (you can tell who the target audience is by the fact that they got Ed Sheeran to do an accompanying single) and as such, they're fantastic. I'd imaging my 8 year old self would fucking love The Hobbit films so far. I'm older now though and they just don't do it for me which is much more a personal thing.

The tone is just so vastly different from that of the LotR films I really struggle to imagine these adventures as part of the same franchise. The use of CGI really annoys, Azog and Bolg both look terrible and although Legolas vs Bolg was a great fight it had nothing on Aragorn vs Uruk-Hai. I don't know why they decided to use CGI more in these films, but it really doesn't work and it doesn't even hold up ... either that or the film isn't engaging me enough so that I don't notice these things.

The BBC play adaptation of The Hobbit was my first exposure to the book (if you haven't heard it, it's amazing) and it completely shaped my interpretation. I don't really mind the added material in the films, my problem is that they're focusing more on it than on the actual material. Like others the spider scene was too short, and even the time in the Elven dungeons was annoying. I don't know what they were doing with the relationship between Fili and Thranuil; I really don't. I've only skimmed through above comments (IT'S LATE) so I haven't seen anyone else mention it but it genuinely disturbed me and I cringed every time it was hinted at. But more importantly I didn't give a shit, I wanted to see Bilbo moping around the castle trying to figure out how to free the Dwarves (not an hour of moping but some moping, I definitely wanted some moping), the elves have them locked up for weeks in the book. There's loads of forest stuff I would've loved to see, like the Dwarves barging in on the Elves' feasts and Bilbo actually telling the Dwarves about the ring. I would have thought that with trying to tie this in with the LotR THAT would be a pretty crucial scene.

Anyway, just a few minor niggles I have loads more but I'll leave em for another time. I'm not a personal fan but objectively, it's great at what it is


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Post #: 92
RE: The magic is gone - 5/1/2014 10:12:57 PM   
Hillsman

 

Posts: 164
Joined: 12/12/2005
From: Belfast

quote:

ORIGINAL: jackflaps

What utter twaddle.

First off, you'll note that nowhere in my post did I claim to be head-over-heels for the LOTR films. I merely commented on the difference in methods regarding special effects. As you brought the subject up, I may as well state my opinion that I'm very mixed on the LOTR films. I appreciate some of the things they did, and genuinely enjoy Fellowship as a film, but overall would say they are highly flawed films with wonky characterisation. I don't accept the embellishments. In fact, I think Jackson's embellishments in LOTR were the worst elements of the films. I didn't say as much because this is a review of The Hobbit, not LOTR.

Nonetheless the LOTR films hold together better than the Hobbit films.

You are also wrong on how little Jackson has changed the source material. The oft-quote Necromancer backstory actually happens nothing like how it happens in the books. In the books, Gandalf and the White Council are already well aware of who the Necromancer really is. The extended detective story by Gandalf and Radagast in AUJ to determine 'who' the Necromancer is never actually occurred, even in the appendices. In the backstory to the books, Gandalf already knows Sauron is back, and is simply trying to work out a plan which deals with his threat while not upsetting things too much. So no, the 'appendices' excuse doesn't work. That's ignoring the fact that stuff like orcs in Laketown, the dwarves getting split up and Legolas' extended story never happened. The action sequence at the end of the film? Never happened, and it demonstrably weakens Smaug as a character. Instead of being a genuinely dangerous threat, he becomes a clumsy oaf who can't even manage to take care of a handful of dwarves in his lair. His retreat to Laketown comes across exactly as that- a retreat. Whereas in the novel, it was genuinely him exercising his strength and seeking to punish Bilbo and the Dwarves for theft.

There is simply no denying the fact that a large part of what happens in DOS is stuff that Jackson and co made up wholesale. This wouldn't be an issue except for the fact that a) their made-up stuff is of noticeably lesser quality than material from the original novel, and b) it forces them to sideline stuff that was actually in the book. The run in with the spiders was a major encounter in the book. It demonstrated Bilbo's developing character, as well as the team dynamic of the dwarves. In the book they genuinely respect Bilbo for coming to their rescue, and show some initiative of their own in trying to help him with his plan. Moreover, Bilbo is forced to reveal the ring to them, which changes the dynamic between the group somewhat, and makes it more understandable why they're so happy to let him go creeping around the Lonely Mountain later on in the story. They know at that point that he's resourceful, brave and that he's got a magic tool to help him out of trouble, so it's understandable that he's the one who goes into the Mountain. None of that gets translated into the film. It's excised so that we can instead get loads of shots of Orlando Bloom staring wistfully at Evangeline Lily or randomly drawing a bow and arrow on her.

So please stop putting words in my mouth, and claiming arguments I never made. I have no overwhelming love for the LOTR films, but even ignoring that, the Hobbit films clearly suffer from being both too drawn out, and from having actual book material replaced with Peter Jackson's slashfic.


Spot on. I'm not sure where yer man was coming from, but your original post was sensible and reasonable: your follow-up more so.

I firmly believe myself that there was enough material in the book and the appendices for 3 strong films - particularly if ALL key scenes were indulged in a similar fashion to the Unexpected Party and Riddles In The Dark. With the Necromancer sub-story also available, it should have been a blinding trilogy.

I really enjoyed the first film actually - it took a few liberties, but I could live with those. The second film, as you point out, is guilty of the unforgivable crime of breezing over (or excluding) good source material to accommodate a lot of made-up nonsense. I liked the barrel ride, but the involvement of Orcs and Elves should have ended right there. Pretty much everything in relation to these 2 parties after that point was boring, pointless and even embarrassing (Another Elvish healing scene? A dwarf-elf-elf love trilogy?! PLEASE.)

The Mountain was a complete balls-up. Didn't Bilbo put the ring on (and keep it on) throughout his entire first encounter with the dragon? Why change that? People are paying for an adaptation - not some loosely faithful version of events. And why bother stretching it to 3 films if you're not going to bother adhering to the source material? The decision to bring the dwarves into it at that point go with an overlong, rather stupid and definitely boring chase scene just baffles me. One minute the dragon can pretty much smell where Bilbo is while invisible, then the next, he's flying right past the entire party!!! The liquid gold thing was ludicrous (and looked terrible) before the dragon heads-off to attack Laketown for completely different reasons than originally written.

BAFFLED!

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Post #: 93
RE: The magic is gone - 6/1/2014 8:12:13 AM   
jonson


Posts: 9113
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hillsman

People are paying for an adaptation - not some loosely faithful version of events.


No they're not, they're paying to watch an entertaining film.
Despite being the 6th most popular book, or whatever it was, the vast majority of cinema goers haven't read the book.
They don't care how faithful it is, only a small minority have those quibbles.
I'd be happy if they made it into 10 films, as long as those 10 films were entertaining and didn't just feel like padding out a load of bollocks, which is what Jackson has managed to make them feel like.

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Post #: 94
RE: The magic is gone - 6/1/2014 9:25:59 AM   
blackduck


Posts: 1604
Joined: 1/10/2005
Overall it was ok, three main problems,

1 It's too long,
2 Dwarves are so unsympathetic and useless I ended up rooting for the Dragon (beginning to suspect he had his reasons for attacking the dwarves).
3 Cartoon physics are a distraction, first three movies Middle Earth felt like a real place, this time round it often feels like I'm watching a computer game.


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Post #: 95
RE: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - 7/1/2014 4:44:09 PM   
spamandham

 

Posts: 521
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Gorgeous Smaug.

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Post #: 96
RE: Hobbit : desolation of Smaug Full Movie Watch now - 8/1/2014 9:16:11 PM   
Mr Gittes

 

Posts: 574
Joined: 3/2/2013

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Gittes

Hmmm, I'm in a dilemma now.

You see, originally I was going to just wait until all three were released on blu ray, and then simply watch them all for the first time back-to-back, like one extremely long film; thus I didn't go see An Unexpected Journey.

But now all this excitement and praise surrounding Desolation Of Smaug has got me thinking - should I scrap this plan? I mean, if it's really as good as they say, I don't want to look back in the future and think "Jeez, why the hell didn't I go see it on the big screen when I had the chance?!"

So, for those who have seen it, what would you recommend? Should I stick to my original plan, or should I quickly watch An Unexpected Journey then catch Desolation Of Smaug at the cinema while it's still showing? Is it that good? (Keep in mind, I'm not that picky - I'm not expecting it to be as good as the LOTR films)



Well, I went to see it anyway (after quickly checking out AUJ), and I really enjoyed it. Far from perfect*, but a lot better than the good-but-heavily-flawed first movie. I'm certainly glad I jumped and saw it at the cinema. Smaug was amazing.

*The CGI - whilst superior to the stuff in AUJ - was still excessive, those GoPro shots were horribly distracting, I hated the Ed Sheeran cover at the end, and what the sweet hell did they do to Legolas' eyes? For the whole film, he looked as if he was under Loki's spell or something.

(in reply to Mr Gittes)
Post #: 97
RE: Top-draw cinematic joy - 11/1/2014 1:55:47 AM   
owlfall

 

Posts: 15
Joined: 11/1/2014
the movie dragged on for me. too much stalling, then finally the exciting part and it ends.
Post #: 98
RE: Hobbit : desolation of Smaug Full Movie Watch now - 11/1/2014 2:48:16 PM   
musht


Posts: 1869
Joined: 21/1/2009
From: Oireland
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr Gittes



Well, I went to see it anyway (after quickly checking out AUJ), and I really enjoyed it. Far from perfect*, but a lot better than the good-but-heavily-flawed first movie. I'm certainly glad I jumped and saw it at the cinema. Smaug was amazing.

*The CGI - whilst superior to the stuff in AUJ - was still excessive, those GoPro shots were horribly distracting, I hated the Ed Sheeran cover at the end, and what the sweet hell did they do to Legolas' eyes? For the whole film, he looked as if he was under Loki's spell or something.


It was so distracting!!! I kept thinking to myself "They weren't like that in Lord of the Rings - were they?" I can only presume that they'll do something towards the end to explain or it's a really glaring continuity gaff that will be edited in future LotR releases. I really hope Jackson doesn't start Lucasing the LotR films

EDIT: supposedly they constantly change throughout the LotR films which I never noticed before but now most certainly will

< Message edited by musht -- 11/1/2014 2:50:11 PM >


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Post #: 99
RE: Hobbit : desolation of Smaug Full Movie Watch now - 11/1/2014 5:38:31 PM   
Ref


Posts: 7461
Joined: 5/10/2005
From: Leicester
Of what I read, Orlando Bloom had trouble with the contacts whilst filming LotR. So I'm guessing they just used CGI instead.

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Post #: 100
RE: Middle-Earth Is Back, But Not Entirely For The Bett... - 12/1/2014 9:15:47 PM   
kumar


Posts: 5227
Joined: 2/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: londonnut

THIS < sums up why I just can't connect with The Hobbit so far .

I am so over TRYING to like these films; seeing DoS at the weekend finally killed it for me. LOTR on the big screen is still my most exhilarating cinema experience (with only Gravity coming close since) but The Hobbit films may as well be fully animated (thinking about it, it probably would've been a better way to go).

Wheras LOTR was rooted in real environments, practical sets, bigatures and genuinely played 'for real', The Hobbit world is mostly a bit of over-lit set for the actors to stand on and strangely flat backgrounds (even in 3D). The NZ landscape doesn't even look real anymore. No wonder Ian McKellan nearly quit; he saw which way it was going (though his Necromancer clash is possibly the best bit of DoS 'cos it feels like a character might actually be in danger for once).

To rush thru Beorn & Mirkwood but dwell for an interminable amount of time in Laketown with a totally out of place Stephen Fry and inconsequential characters is baffling. Even AUJ had a sentimental joy and innocence to it but DoS has NO wamth, depth or emotional resonance whatsoever. Yes there's brilliantly inventive action which sh*ts over any other 'blockbuster' but there's no risk, no danger and no realism. Smaug?! Incredible build and reveal (and final shots) but in-between PJ seems to be daring himself to go as far a he possibly can in believability (Thorin standing on his teeth?! Really?! And didn't we see that in King Kong?!).

Realism in a fantasy film is an odd thing to ask for but the genius thing about the way PJ approached LOTR was that he wanted viewers to feel like it could be a real place. So when stuff like the Lighting of the Beacons or Gandalf's ride into Minas Tirith happened it was jaw-dropping and spine-tingling. The Hobbit is so far removed from feeling real it's actually joyless and I'm gutted with what he's done just to keep WETA fully staffed (I genuinely believe that's the reason, it can't be creative).



Kindof harsh, but for the most part I agree with your post. I laughed at the Bombur and Bofir moments, but really, the film seemed to just go through the motions. Im pretty dissapointed with this series so far, though of course, ill be in line to see the third.

What an infuriating ending too.



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Post #: 101
RE: The magic is gone - 14/1/2014 1:20:53 AM   
jackflaps

 

Posts: 14
Joined: 18/2/2008

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hillsman



Spot on. I'm not sure where yer man was coming from, but your original post was sensible and reasonable: your follow-up more so.

I firmly believe myself that there was enough material in the book and the appendices for 3 strong films - particularly if ALL key scenes were indulged in a similar fashion to the Unexpected Party and Riddles In The Dark. With the Necromancer sub-story also available, it should have been a blinding trilogy.

I really enjoyed the first film actually - it took a few liberties, but I could live with those. The second film, as you point out, is guilty of the unforgivable crime of breezing over (or excluding) good source material to accommodate a lot of made-up nonsense. I liked the barrel ride, but the involvement of Orcs and Elves should have ended right there. Pretty much everything in relation to these 2 parties after that point was boring, pointless and even embarrassing (Another Elvish healing scene? A dwarf-elf-elf love trilogy?! PLEASE.)

The Mountain was a complete balls-up. Didn't Bilbo put the ring on (and keep it on) throughout his entire first encounter with the dragon? Why change that? People are paying for an adaptation - not some loosely faithful version of events. And why bother stretching it to 3 films if you're not going to bother adhering to the source material? The decision to bring the dwarves into it at that point go with an overlong, rather stupid and definitely boring chase scene just baffles me. One minute the dragon can pretty much smell where Bilbo is while invisible, then the next, he's flying right past the entire party!!! The liquid gold thing was ludicrous (and looked terrible) before the dragon heads-off to attack Laketown for completely different reasons than originally written.

BAFFLED!



That's the thing that riles me too. I would have preferred two well-paced, lonigish-if-necessary films, but there's certainly enough material to do three. The trouble is most of that material is just ignored, and I don't understand why. Jackson seems intent on foisting in more action to keep the 'excitement' up throughout the film, yet when the novel gives him a genuinely exciting action setpiece to work with, he breezes through it in two minutes. The Spider sequence could have made for a wonderful action sequence if given more time. You go from Bilbo lost and alone, to desperately trying to take on one solitary Spider, to finding the Dwarves and taking charge so that together they lead an effective counter attack against the lot of them. As it is in the book, it would have made for an action scene worth ten Barrel sequences.

Or the chapter where Bilbo busts the dwarves out of prison. If Jackson had any intention to show Bilbo's character arc and growing resourcefulness, he could have made that another setpiece revolving around Bilbo constantly trying to evade the Elf guards, learning the layout of the castle, and hatching his scheme to get the Dwarves out. Entire films have been based on similar jail-break sequences, so it's not as if he couldn't have made it tense and exciting. But instead, it's turned into a three minute Three Stooges sketch which tells us nothing about Bilbo except that he can't plan in the long-term. And instead, we get more scenes of Thranduil being a dick, and Orlando Bloom making eyes at Evangeline Lily.

There's just this recurring thing with these films of all the best elements of the novels being glossed over to make room for stuff that's weaker. Even the scenes with Smaug and Bilbo are like this. When its sticking to the dialogue and mind-games from the novel, the interplay between the two is fantastic. But then PJ and co start sticking their own stuff in there, and before you know it the Dwarves are playing Hide And Seek with a giant dragon and fucking winning.

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Post #: 102
RE: the hobbit - 19/1/2014 10:01:40 AM   
m_er


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Haven't read the book. Liked the film. But still LOTR is my favourite ones.

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Post #: 103
RE: Woah - 6/2/2014 6:09:46 PM   
7eke


Posts: 158
Joined: 21/7/2007

quote:

ORIGINAL: Drone


quote:

ORIGINAL: 7eke

What film were you watching Nick? I guess we'll always have the LOTR trilogy.


Not sure if that was a response to me but I'm not Nick, unless that's some odd slang I'm not aware of.

As fantastic as the LOTR films are, I don't feel they are aging as well as they could - maybe I have seen them once too often, and as a hardcore advocate of the books (there is not a bigger Tolkien/LOTR nut on the forum than me) I believe there will be a more definitive screen adaptation of the books one day.


Nick is the reviewer dear boy

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Post #: 104
RE: Woah - 9/2/2014 5:27:44 AM   
Lisamoviegeek

 

Posts: 28
Joined: 2/1/2013
I finally got around to watching part 2 of this adventure. It was quite spectacular and I liked the dragon. The romance was sweet. It was a bit long to sit through, but then again I'm heavily pregnant and needed to go to the bathroom from time to time. Funnily enough I was pregnant when I watched the first one too, so I guess I should expecting my third with the next movie, haha.

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Post #: 105
RE: A bigger snooze-fest than the last one - 27/2/2014 9:21:55 AM   
beautiful_night

 

Posts: 4
Joined: 27/2/2014
You use the word "nothing" a lot, whick kind of makes it funny, that there is no arguments whatsoever in your post. There's no explanations, no reasons. There's nothing.
Post #: 106
Little more than a CGI action film - 7/4/2014 8:22:27 PM   
MADLEMONZ

 

Posts: 3
Joined: 14/4/2011
The film is 3 hours long. But that isn't the problem, the longer a film is, the more you can fit in it, right? Well you would think so, but The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug does little in its long running time. Don't get me wrong, stuff happens, but nothing really happens. Things move in front of your face in substandard 3D, there is action, sentiment, interesting characters, even a cliche 'insert' romance.
But ultimately it boils down into a sloppy, overfilling, vague-flavoured CGI soup.
I infact prefered the 1st Hobbit.

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Post #: 107
It's a Joke, surely? - 8/4/2014 2:48:33 PM   
ericcoyle

 

Posts: 79
Joined: 9/10/2009
Five stars? Really? Iv'e never been so angry at the end of a film. No, actually Iv'e never been angry at all at the end of any film. This is Jackson's Phantom Menace, an infuriating mish mash of missed opportuniies, poor decisions and seduction by pixel. Where was Bjorn? Oh I blinked and he was gone. Where was Legolas? Bloody everywhere! Why are dwarves impervous to molten heat? What was all that gold statue malarkey?What was the point of the dwarf/elf love trangle stuff? I have the first film on blu ray. What a waste of time because I don't really care to buy the second and I'm not sure I even want to see the third one if Smaug is any thing to go by.

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Post #: 108
RE: It's a Joke, surely? - 11/4/2014 1:35:17 PM   
Oroborous

 

Posts: 133
Joined: 30/6/2013
Empire should be ashamed, what an ill-concieved embodiment of unprofessionalism to offer up such a high rating to this film. Giving this 5 stars is a direct, blatant and unjustified insult to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and consequently, to ayone who holds those films dear. This is genuinely and unexaggeratedly pathetic.

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Post #: 109
RE: It's a Joke, surely? - 11/4/2014 4:02:56 PM   
FoximusPrime

 

Posts: 377
Joined: 11/12/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Oroborous

Empire should be ashamed, what an ill-concieved embodiment of unprofessionalism to offer up such a high rating to this film. Giving this 5 stars is a direct, blatant and unjustified insult to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and consequently, to ayone who holds those films dear. This is genuinely and unexaggeratedly pathetic.


Really? No exaggeration at all?*

In all fairness, I came away disappointed after seeing it in January. I'll re-evaluate it when it reaches Netflix although I don't expect my opinion to have changed much. I still liked the first Hobbit film on second viewing a few weeks ago (for the most part).

I felt they wasted the opportunity to develop Bilbo and his connection with the Ring by reducing its use in Mirkwood (although the glimpse of its effects as he got all stab-happy helped counter that a little) and seemingly rushing through his first encounter with Smaug: I was hoping that would be this film's Riddles in the Dark. In fact, 'rushing' was another problem with the film: the journey didn't seem so arduous when they managed to get from the spiders to the Mountain in about two days. I get that the writers wanted a ticking clock, but it detracted from the scale. I also think the impact of Beorn might be reduced in the next one since we only spent about three minutes with him here.

Maybe that's the problem though: I was disappointed by what the film wasn't, rather than what it was.



(* I was also going to ignore the fact 'unexaggeratedly' isn't actually a word, but I just don't have it in me, hence this footnote.)

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Post #: 110
RE: It's a Joke, surely? - 11/4/2014 4:24:18 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5067
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North

quote:

ORIGINAL: Oroborous

Empire should be ashamed, what an ill-concieved embodiment of unprofessionalism to offer up such a high rating to this film. Giving this 5 stars is a direct, blatant and unjustified insult to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and consequently, to ayone who holds those films dear. This is genuinely and unexaggeratedly pathetic.


So because someone likes a film more than you it makes them unprofessional? Jesus wept.



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Post #: 111
A big mess - 11/4/2014 6:39:15 PM   
rich


Posts: 5037
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Neo Kobe
Seriously, what happened? A far cry from what made the LOTR top of the genre.

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Post #: 112
No way - 11/4/2014 9:53:53 PM   
bendoofus


Posts: 63
Joined: 25/3/2007
From: London
It was better than the first one (faint praise) but NO WAY is it a five star film!

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Post #: 113
- 20/4/2014 4:32:00 PM   
danfacey711

 

Posts: 65
Joined: 18/10/2008
From: Oxford
Hugely entertaining. A vast improvement on the first. Although, at times, the CGI seems to take over making it a little bit tricky to watch, the incredible sequences, story and introduction of new characters makes this a stand alone film in an already incredible franchise.

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Post #: 114
- 10/8/2014 9:20:35 PM   
Uncle_Ethan

 

Posts: 91
Joined: 7/1/2006
On the page the tone of the Hobbit is completely different to the Lord of the Rings and I for one would have loved to see the Hobbit on film embrace those differences by racing along at a breakneck speed from one action set piece to another, a kind of Raiders for Middle Earth if you will.

However with the potential revenue on offer it was always unlikely that the Hobbit would be a stand alone film, but I do believe that three films is pushing it somewhat with the inevitable padding feeling more and more unnecessary. The main problem is that all the CGI additions often detract from the strengths of the movie and its excellent cast in particular the stand off between Smaug and Bilbo,

Having said all of that I still enjoyed it as a piece of family entertainment and to be honest, aside from the Fellowship of the Ring I didn't think the Rings films were as faultless as some would have you believe anyway.

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Post #: 115
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