Escape to the Movies: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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anthony87:
If anyone is going to go see this then don't see it in 3D. It's just distracting and grainy and terrible and....bleh.

Also, does anyone else see Luke Evans and think "Discount Orlando Bloom" or is it just me?

Nope, not just you. Their resemblance is uncanny.

Anyway, I agree and disagree with this review. Personally, I felt that this was the weakest of the Jackson movies so far. The pacing was really choppy in the beginning, with the Beorn scene being the ultimate example in that he really got the shaft and most of the most memorable bits of his part got cut out, and Mirkwood was a bit rushed too. And while I agree that the whole Tauriel thing was well-written and the actress did a great job, but overall her inclusion did feel...unnecessary, like they only added her so the movie would have at least one prominent female role and provide the obligatory romantic sideplot. Personally, I would have preferred it had they just left her out, expanded on some of the parts from the beginning, and had less "Oh look at Legolas and friends (other elves) being awesome!"

But beyond those complaints, I liked it a lot. Bilbo and the Dwarves were wonderful as usual, Benedict Cumberbatch was the perfect choice for Smaug (who may be the most terrifying movie beast since the T-rex in Jurassic Park), and I loved the expanded role both Bard and Gandalf had.

The first film was pretty disappointing for me. A lot of the extra stuff felt unnecessary (especially the whole old Bilbo with Frodo part)and it felt like two different movies were fighting each other. One, was an almost Disney tone that perfectly suited how the book felt, and the other was the much darker and foreboding tone of the LotR trilogy.

Vault Citizen:
Is the presence of War Machine in the credits due to some news or is Bob just wondering why he wasn't in Avengers? The only excuse I can think of for his absence

That's the most plausible theory about that little discrepancy. I've been pondering for a while if the next Cap movie will have Steve wonder if anyone else took up the Captain America mantle after he was frozen (like in the comics) and go through S.H.I.E.L.D.'s database, finding out about the replacement Caps. But I digress.

I'm still undecided about whether or not to see each individual movie in theaters or shotgun the whole trilogy on Blu-ray.

Just for future reference, Bob. You don't pronounce Armitage as "Ar-mi-tahj", it's "Army-tij".

Otherwise, glad to hear it's a good film, can't wait to see it.

Zhukov:
Bob pronounces "Smaug" funny.

"Smowg."

...

Sorry, I should probably say something more useful. Umm... sounds good, but I'm still kinda "eh" on the whole Hobbit endeavor. I think Bob summed it up nicely when he described the whole thing as a victory lap.

"Eh" (or maybe even "meh" if you want me to expand on that) neatly sums up how I feel about the whole 3-part Hobbit sequence myself. I went to see the first one, even though I was hardly champing at the bit to do so and this time around I am having real trouble getting even remotely pumped for the second installment.

It's in no way canon, but I imagine SHIELD did not elect to bring in War Machine because Colonel Rhodes and the War Machine armor were both being held in a state of legal limbo after it was discovered that the suit was stolen property that had been enhanced by a man who'd ordered the murder of French nationals and the bombing of a French prison to conceal the escape of the son of a traitor to America, who hacked the suit and caused it to participate in Christ knows how much death and property damage.

BunnyKillBot:
Bob Chipman, I name you hypocrite and coward for not picking out the shoehorned in clichéd trope feast of a love story for the one token female character who just had to have a soppy love story because she's a chick like.

I thought better of you.

...Okie-dokie, so, that just happened.

Lucky me got to see it just... And it's an improvement of the first movie not perfect but still a huge improvement and I'm really hyped over the conclusion next year... To bad its next year though and yea 9h for a ~300 pages book is kinda silly but it looks really good... And the hfr (48fps) really make the fighting scenes look fantastic, whilst the dialog parts look a bit like tv soap opera...
And I had to think back before I remembered that Tauriel was the "new" character she looked so natural in the story.

Will see again, and I just realized how many parts of the movie is seen in the trailer...

These movies are one of those real cluster bucks and i'm not talking about the actual movie, i'm talking about the masses of hard core fans proclaiming it as nothing but magic while droves of critics (not just professional) call out every way it could possibly slip up and shout shananigans.

I liked the first film, very much so and although I can see where some critics are coming from I just flat out don't agree. Usually i'm all for people just likeing what they like and letting it be but everything these films have done seems not just alright but pretty damn awesome. Great actors, same awesome attention to detail (it is Weta workshop), fluff that's kind of canon, just straight up fun!

I get that some look at the book and say it never should have come to this but i've never agreed with that, i'm very much with Bob on the idea you can make a film out of next to anything.

Whatever, i'll just keep contemplating.

I appreciated the Smaug the Golden reference ;) Good movie, I agree better than part one and it gives me a better idea of the pacing of the trilogy. I now know most of what is coming up. I do wish the Beorn sequence had been...better? But I'm just glad that they are including him unlike poor Tom Bombadil (though I understand why). Hopefully we get to see him in all his furry fury in the big thing coming up in the third movie. Also I wonder after the Big Thing of a Specific Number what we will see of the reported filler material tying the Hobbit to Lord of the Rings. I imagine we will open with Lake Town, things will stabilize for the second act to get ready for the Big Thing of a Specific Number as the climax, after which will come the appendices/filler material.

Storm Dragon:

canadamus_prime:
Interesting. Defiantly going to see this. Well I was going to see it anyway, but yeah...

But he recommended the movie, going to see it wouldn't be defiant at all.

It could be that he's embroiled in an intense feud between two warring clans, and he's on the side that refuses to see 'The Hobbit' films because reasons. If that was the case, I think he would certainly be defying the odds there.

I really enjoyed it, the pacing of the film made it so much better then the first one. The barrel scene was a bit long, but could be forgiven for how much fun it was to watch.

PunkRex:
These movies are one of those real cluster bucks and i'm not talking about the actual movie, i'm talking about the masses of hard core fans proclaiming it as nothing but magic while droves of critics (not just professional) call out every way it could possibly slip up and shout shananigans.

I liked the first film, very much so and although I can see where some critics are coming from I just flat out don't agree. Usually i'm all for people just likeing what they like and letting it be but everything these films have done seems not just alright but pretty damn awesome. Great actors, same awesome attention to detail (it is Weta workshop), fluff that's kind of canon, just straight up fun!

I get that some look at the book and say it never should have come to this but i've never agreed with that, i'm very much with Bob on the idea you can make a film out of next to anything.

Whatever, i'll just keep contemplating.

I think an issue a lot of people have with them is that they just feel bloated, filled with inconsequential crud, and infinitely unnecesary in comparison the the 'Lord of the Rings' films. I mean, it takes 45 minutes for 'An Unexpected Journey' to get going, and in a film version of 'The Hobbit' that's WAAAAAAAAAAY too long for some. If Peter Jackson really wanted to make the best 'Hobbit' possible, he probably should have relegated it to two films at best, and while it can't be denied that he most certainly cares (unlike some... *COUGH* George Lucas *COUGH*), there's just been some creative missteps taken along the way.

I never understand people who get upset at a movie adaptation that is clearly not trying to be exactly like the book for not being exactly like the book.

If you want a story that's exactly like the book then go read the book.

Also good review, Bob.

That second pic at the end looked more like, "Tom Cruise stars in: Elysium: But Edger! (See! Edge of Tomorrow! Edge? Get it? Edge? 'Cause we're edgy? Guys? Where are you going? Guys?)

So, Bilbo's about 50 at this point in the Hobbit and will be 111 by the beginning of the LotR trilogy (his eleventh-first birthday, as they say). That's about fifty or sixty years. And Gandalf has already run into Sauron and his big-ass orc army. So: what the fuck has he been doing for the intervening sixty years? Wouldn't it severely undermine Sauron's plans if he just told, like, ANYBODY at all about it?

'Hey dudes, there's this gigantic goddamn army of orcs building over here and their leader kiiiiinda wants to take over the world and kill everybody. Anyone wanna, like, kill them? Really any time would be fine. In fact go off, have families, raise kids. They can do it when they're in their twenties and we'll still be fine. Nope? Really? Nobody? Fuck it. I'ma go learn to play the sitar and do a couple other random things that take decades to do instead of saving the world. Gandalf OUT.'

teamcharlie:
Snip

This will certainly be explained in movie 3, unless they are going to massively change from the book. This army is also much smaller than the later ones, in the book it is only around 6000 orcs.

I understand why they decided to make this a trilogy- movie franchises are all the rage, it's a business decision- but I do not get why each movie is nearly three hours long. It's almost like the felt obligated to make the movies long just because the LOTR movies were.

Ya know what Tom Cruise's armor thing is missing to really make it generic-etc-etc? An orange smear going across the right side of it...well maybe not orange...the Battlefield people (EA?) might get miffed by that...

My main gripes with this film is the schizophrenia that all Lake people seem to have, not only are their accents seemingly all over the British Isles, but the scene with Bard, Steven Fry and Thorin all trying to convince the lakers was just....Ugh.

Other than that, very enjoyable.

Just got back from the theater after seeing The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. It was a fun movie to watch. Very fast paced and definitely had a lot of high points Bob mentioned. My one nitpick is that it left on such a cliffhanger, I now have to wait another year until There and Back Again hits theaters.

Also, thanks for pointing out the Sherlock connection, Bob. Damn, I need to sit down and watch that series like yesterday.

And, yes, Marvel needs to get some diversity up in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Be nice to see War Machine and/or Falcon get on board.

Kirke:

teamcharlie:
Snip

This will certainly be explained in movie 3, unless they are going to massively change from the book. This army is also much smaller than the later ones, in the book it is only around 6000 orcs.

There's an army of orcs and Gandalf has now seen Sauron. No matter how lazy the various kingdoms are, Gandalf clearly knows enough stabby bastards to get the job done at some point over sixty years. Unless he gets his memory erased, in which case that scene was supremely pointless, there is no reason for Gandalf to sit on information that would severely hamstring Sauron's plans for taking over the world for over half a century.

An Unexpected Journey was a good film, but I felt didn't quite know which side of the fence to settle on. Mostly a light hearted comedy adventure, but with occasional beheadings.

Desolation of Smaug has fixed that by virtually eliminating the light hearted moments and I sorely felt their absence. Perhaps it's fitting story wise that the tone shifts, and this is very much the middle piece of a trilogy, so I'll reserve judgement for when they wrap it up.

Decent film, good pacing, but forsakes fun for function.

Epic_Bubble:
I strongly suggest to anyone "DONT READ THE HOBBIT" its ok if back in your childhood that have read it and known the basic plot but if you did what I did and actually read the hobbit in a effort to psyche ones self up for the movie.... your making a big mistake.

I enjoyed the movie but every time a characters motivation was changed because Peter wanted to tie the movie into LOTR just annoyed me. Certain things are completely different from the book purely in an attempt to say hey this is still a prequel to my most awesome movieness.

All the extra scenes that don't appear in the book that peter made up feel like cement in a effort to make movie number 2 the 3 hour epic its suppose to be.

Also don't go see the movie in 3D it just ruins the aesthetics and makes an already dark and greyer movie even more bleak.

My biggest annoyment and again this comes from reading the book and enjoying every word is that its a children book and peter wants to make this into LOTR v2.0 which really irks me.

But its still a good movie ....

Agreed.

There are some additions and alterations that I was okay with, but too many of the changes seemed to give the whole movie a darker, grittier, and more foreboding tone than the book. On top of that, most of the sense of foreboding doesn't have anything to do with The Hobbit. The action/extended fighting sequences, especially in the first Hobbit movie, matched LOTR's story wonderfully, but not The Hobbit. They were just a band of blundering, terrified, and homeless dwarves, a great but unreliable wizard, and one clever and very lucky little hobbit. In the book, they were not described as great warriors, and they did not fight much or very well until the 5 army war, and who the heck knows about that.

There were many charming moments that reminded me of the spirit of the Hobbit, but they seemed to be too few.

Epic_Bubble:
I strongly suggest to anyone "DONT READ THE HOBBIT" its ok if back in your childhood that have read it and known the basic plot but if you did what I did and actually read the hobbit in a effort to psyche ones self up for the movie.... your making a big mistake.

I enjoyed the movie but every time a characters motivation was changed because Peter wanted to tie the movie into LOTR just annoyed me. Certain things are completely different from the book purely in an attempt to say hey this is still a prequel to my most awesome movieness.

All the extra scenes that don't appear in the book that peter made up feel like cement in a effort to make movie number 2 the 3 hour epic its suppose to be.

Also don't go see the movie in 3D it just ruins the aesthetics and makes an already dark and greyer movie even more bleak.

My biggest annoyment and again this comes from reading the book and enjoying every word is that its a children book and peter wants to make this into LOTR v2.0 which really irks me.

But its still a good movie ....

Agreed.

There are some additions and alterations that I was okay with, but too many of the changes seemed to give the whole movie a darker, grittier, and more foreboding tone than the book. On top of that, most of the sense of foreboding doesn't have anything to do with The Hobbit. The action/extended fighting sequences, especially in the first Hobbit movie, matched LOTR's story wonderfully, but not The Hobbit. They were just a band of blundering, terrified, and homeless dwarves, a great but unreliable wizard, and one clever and very lucky little hobbit. In the book, they were not described as great warriors, and they did not fight much or very well until the 5 army war, and who the heck knows about that.

There were many charming moments that reminded me of the spirit of the Hobbit, but they seemed to be too few.

This movie was really great, and dare I say it, really stands up with the other Lord of the Rings films.

The only complaint I really have is the ending, its a major cliffhanger on the level of Halo 2, but being the second act, how could it have really ended any other way?

Maybe I am just a horribly jaded person when it comes to movies nowadays but the entire movie put me to sleep much like the first one. I did like the book too.

"But that rainbow one kicked me."

Yeah, that was going through my head during this video. I'm completely hopeless...

Storm Dragon:

canadamus_prime:
Interesting. Defiantly going to see this. Well I was going to see it anyway, but yeah...

But he recommended the movie, going to see it wouldn't be defiant at all.

Damn spell check! Failed me again.

I never read the Hobbit and hated the book version of Fellowship of the Ring. Can't wait to see the movie.

I went to my first midnight showing to see "Desolation of Smaug", and I was not disappointed, well, a few spots maybe, but overall, I really want to see it again.

I did hate where they ended the movie at, but it was fun to watch and I loved seeing Stephen Colbert and Stephen Fry, who I didn't recognize off the bat.

A great movie, fun to enjoy and I am glad I saw it.

I'm against the majority here, one of my biggest problems with Hobbit 1 was that it wasn't enough like LOTR. SO I say go ahead Jackson, make it as close to LOTR as you can, tie it all in. The Hobbit is for small children, and keeping true to that gave Hob1 some of its worst scenes like the stupid mountain trolls which still makes me cringe. If I were Jackson I would have used the Hobbit book for the main story but wouldn't have adapted a lot of the actual dialogue.

Bilbo: "I have a sore tummy" and rubbish like that.

Can't wait to see the movie, I didn't like Hob1 much but this one seems like a huge improvement. Gotta wait until its Aus release though.

shogunblade:
I went to my first midnight showing to see "Desolation of Smaug", and I was not disappointed, well, a few spots maybe, but overall, I really want to see it again.

I did hate where they ended the movie at, but it was fun to watch and I loved seeing Stephen Colbert and Stephen Fry, who I didn't recognize off the bat.

A great movie, fun to enjoy and I am glad I saw it.

Wait, what? Stephens Colbert AND Fry are in here? That may be a deal maker for me, thanks for the heads up.

Psykoma:

Zhukov:
Bob pronounces "Smaug" funny.

"Smowg."

...

Because it's, linguistically, how it's supposed to be pronounced?

Well... then Tolkien spelt it funny!

Maybe it's just my Australian accent coming into play, but I've never heard it pronounced any way other than "Smorg" or "Smoug". I suppose a case could be made for "Smauwg", but "Smowg" just sounds bizarre.

WARNING: Full spoilers below.

I've only seen this film once so these are only my first impressions that might easily change with repeat viewings but overall I didn't enjoy this as much as the first film. There are many great scenes within the film - Gandalf's quest, Lake town, Bilbos meeting with Smaug but then there are many more additions, alterations and omissions from the book, which aren't necessarily a bad thing in themselves and some of them do work (legolas' inclusion, Bards character expansion, laketowns expansion) but a lot of them don't. The changes to the encounter with Beorn, the journey through Mirkwood, the character of Tauriel and most of all the finale of the film which involves most of the dwarves and Bilbo 'facing off' against Smaug were simply too far from the source material in intent and tone.

In regards to that last one, I appreciate the fact the screenwriters wanted the Dwarves to confront Smaug more directly rather than leave it up to Bilbo as it is in the book as otherwise this might portray them as cowardly to the audience, but then the purpose of Bilbo (in the film here) is to steal the Arkenstone, which he could have achieved whilst Smaug goes into his rage and destroys lake town before being shot down by Bard which could have been the climax. The dwarves could have even helped him steal it eventually to give them some function rather than make them attempt to destroy Smaug. Instead the film ends on a bloody cliff-hanger, and a very tantalising one at that which certainly builds anticipation for the next film but left me feeling majorily unsatisfied with the ending of this second film.

Also the fast-paced nature of the film which you commended MovieBob I criticise, because it was too fast too often. None of the places we visited or new characters we met was given a great deal of time to play on screen except most notably Tauriels moment with Kili (that was also another issue of mine: the Tauriel and Kili romance, I mean they even seemed to have fallen in love after just two meetings!) There were not nearly enough 'breathing space' moments and the action scenes went on too long (as it did in the first film with the escape from Goblin town). A faster paced film can work but I just don't feel it suited the hobbit material and I much preferred the slower pace of the first film because that time is given to soak the atmosphere of a place in and its more in keeping with the ambling nature of the children's adventure story that is the Hobbit book. Perhaps the extended editions will slow things down as they did so well for Lord of the Rings.

Oh and yeah, considering its called 'The Hobbit' there was not nearly enough Bilbo in this movie at all - his stuff in Mirkwood was cut down to the bare minimum, again tying in with this 'faster pace' which I didn't agree with and in Lake town he plays barely any sort of role whatsoever.

Just overall I have so many more issues with this film than the first at least upon first viewing. I'm willing to give it some benefit of the doubt and perhaps things will converge more smoothly in my mind upon repeat viewings but for now it was disappointing to me.

canadamus_prime:
Interesting. Defiantly going to see this. Well I was going to see it anyway, but yeah...

What, is someone making you go or something?

Anyway, I have absolute faith in Peter Jackson to pull off a ridiculously-expanded epic based in the quintessential fantasy universe that he first brought to the screen. He's a good filmmaker, certainly, but perhaps more importantly he knows his Tolkien.

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