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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

We went and watched it. Imax, HFR, not done in halves. The missus thought it was mostly rubbish. I wouldn't say that, myself - although I went in not expecting great things, and came out not being disappointed, if you get my meaning. I'm keen to watch it again, just to soak it all up.

What I liked:
  • Visual, immersive, vast and impressive. The movie, like its predecessors, is just a bunch of people doing their best to blow your mind in a cinema. I think they succeed.

  • the movies are at their best when they're being epic. The landscapes - epic. The insides of the mountain, epic. Heading up to the secret door. Epic. Mirkwood. Epic. Dol Guldur. Epic.

  • Laketown. Incredible. Kind of place you'd love to live if it wasn't for the hygiene and long drops.

  • The chase scenes (especially the barrels). Exciting stuff.

What I didn't like:
  • Smaug's lips remind me of the plant from Little Shop of Horrors. By and large the dragon was huge, menacing, terrible, but the mouth, I found it hard to take Smaug seriously. Feeeeeed me!

  • Look, I'm sorry, bizarre inter-stellar love triangle was just rubbish. Contrived and implausible. I also think it diminishes Legolas (Orlando Bloom's pained oh-noes-she-loves-another...maybe? is Pirates of the Caribbean all over again), and it certainly diminishes the significance of Gimli's and Legolas' friendship in LOTR, as well as Gimli's being smitten by Galadriel. Those were serious things in LOTR, and you had the sense that Tolkien was hitting at some big friggin' themes there. And yet here, you have Peter Jackson cracking jokes about dwarven schlongs. Dreadful.

  • Beorn. It's been, oh, a year or more since I last read the book, so maybe I'm misremembering it. In the book Beorn is kinda scary, mystical, his big-assed bearity is mostly a hidden menace. Here it gets laid it out in 5 minutes flat and he turns into little more than a mostly pointless segue between the opening chase scenes and Mirkwood.

  • Stephen Fry was a let-down as the Master of Laketown. I don't remember what he said but I just heard him playing up some cliched class-warrioresque stereotype that was just plain... forgettable.

  • Yes, in the book you get the sense that Thranduil is a bit of a chop. In the movie he's too much of a chop.

  • Too little time spent with Beorn, in Mirkwood, and in the Elven King's halls.

In summary: an incredible piece of movie-making, worth seeing just for the experience of it. Yet it could have been better, not least of all if Jackson and fellow writers weren't trying to so darned hard to juice up the story all the time.

{2013.12.16 - 23:10}

Comments:

1 Ronnie (2014.01.08 - 12:36) #

Lee Pace, I mean, Thranduil, was the best bit!

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