Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: The Desolation of Smaug

It's been a bit of a while since I posted. Okay, lets be honest: it's been a month and a half. But I make no excuses because life's been crazy and I haven't had anything particular to write about anyway. Wouldn't you much rather read no posts at all, rather than read a pointless post about nothing that was just written to write one?
Anyways. Anne of Green Gables is over now *sniff sniff*. It went so well. Other than spilling tea on myself during the scene where Diana gets drunk on "raspberry cordial".  :)
Moving on to the real point of this post (please be prepared for intense frustration, delight, anger, and quite possibly some screaming).

I've never been to a midnight premier.  I didn't go last year and then regretted not going. So of course I had to go this year. I dressed up, of course, and went with a large group of crazies (meself included, of course).
It was... perfect. And awful. And full of "Huh? That wasn't in the book..." moments.
Thus, I need to vent review it.

Movie review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

One of my friends put it really well when she said "The actors were great, the effects were great, the script was terrible."
Ah, so true. Bard was everything I dreamed he should be. I think the dwarves' personalities were captured very well – showing how Thorin was becoming corrupted by lust for the gold and the Arkenstone (e'en before he saw them) was done very well. Smaug was very good. I liked that they showed what was happening with the Necromancer. Yeah, it's not shown in the book, but it happens in the book. Bilbo wasn't there so it wasn't described, but it was still happening. I liked those scenes – I liked that the Necromancer wasn't a person or a beast but was just a mass of darkness. And the darkness couldn't overcome the light (interesting thing, if you're in a dark room and you turn on the light or light a candle, the darkness is extinguished, yet even if you walk into a darker room, the candle isn't extinguished; I think there's an interesting metaphor in that).
I was so looking forward to the scenes with Beorn and in Mirkwood. I was sorely disappointed in Beorn. Badly done, Peter Jackson! Badly done! (You're a kindred spirit if you get that quote.)
1). I picture (and the book describes) Beorn living in this great big, grand hall. Not a barn. 
2). Did anyone else picture Beorn looking like a wookie? I didn't anyway, but I guess the directors did.


You gotta admit, there is some similarity (he also kind of looks like Worf from Stark Trek)
3). In the book, Beorn has a personality and feelings. You get the sense of his incredible fierceness, but also of his fierce love of his animals. In the movie, I don't think he has a personality. No emotions, anyway. In human form, he's like this higher being, sort of like an elf, who has no emotions, and thinks deep thoughts but doesn't care about anybody. And in bear-form, he's a senseless animal.
4). They changed one of my favorite parts!!! Instead of coming to his house in twos while Gandalf is telling Beorn this story (it's a very amusing scene), they just run in. Granted, they were being chased by orcs, but couldn't they have just made the orcs fall behind for this one scene? I think they could've.
Next off, Mirkwood was also disappointing.
1). It was far too short. It felt rushed, to me. They didn't necessarily leave things out, they just sped it up.
2). Ugh. They left the path on purpose, guys! Not by accident! I don't think they should've changed it, and I don't think they NEEDED to change it.
3). Tauriel? Where did she come from? Legolas makes sense (he IS Prince of Mirkwood, after all, so he has a right to be there). The other elves were great – Thranduil was perfect. Just cold and aloof enough. But the girl? I don't think she fits. I don't mind there being female elves (even named, main character ones) but I don't think she would have been out there killing things. I'm not sexist, but the female elves in Lord of the Rings aren't soldiers (at least, I've never seen/read about them). And falling in love with a dwarf? Elves and dwarfs hate each other, peoples. Period. They don't fall in love. (And Kili? What's up with using walnuts as a pillow?)
But what really got me going was the end. Where did the whole thing with the statue come in? That didn't even make sense. They completely change it, when there was no middle-earthly reason too. 
For some reason I didn't feel like this was as violent as Lord of the Rings (although they were being chased by orcs [not in the book, mind you] through pretty much the entire movie). The action was really close-up and choppy, so you (or I at least) couldn't tell what was going on at all. Which was a bit annoying at times. 

Overall: It gets 4 stars. Or 3 and half. I didn't like Beorn, or the scene in the mountain. But I enjoyed the experience, (even though it ended on a horrible cliff hanger) though that was more because we got there early so we had the huge theatre to ourselves, and I enjoyed dressing up. And of course I'll go next year. But I disappointed, all the same.

The Hobbit over and done, I look forward to Christmas (we drew names this year, which we've never done before, so I'm excited about that!). As they said in olden days, Happy Christmas!

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  1. I got the quote. :)

    OH, and the action was so CGI. NOT the up-close, raw, real action or LoTR. AND, Bilbo was in like half the movie, when he's the MAIN CHARACTER and should have been in at least 70% of it!!!

    Oh, and you left out the part which most annoys me. In the book, the whole story is heart-centered. It's centered on how Bilbo is changing, deepening, fighting internally with himself and struggling, developing. He grows more courageous, more bold, more confident, sure, thoughtful, wise, discerning, deeply loving and loyal towards his friends' hearts and not their goal (which shows how, in the end, he can force them into a bargain that wrecks their plans out of love for them)! This movie had hardly any/none of that. It was so action-driven. Bilbo's changing was all done in the first movie, I guess. Now he only grows more ring-greedy, which isn't much of a part in the book!!! This movie so angered me, though it had some good parts and the actors were great. X/

    Thanks for a great review! Maybe next year's will be better . . . I hope. Let's see it on DVD instead of the theatres just to spite them. Let's, everyone! Come on, who's with me? SPITE PETER JACKSON!!

    I don't think I need to sign my name cuz you already know who I am . . .

  2. Great movie review and Happy Christmas! :-)

  3. Madeleine OstermannJanuary 11, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Agreed! Legolas and his stupid girl friend got more screen time than Martin Freeman, do the words 'The HOBBIT' mean nothing to you Peter Jackson? I also don't like how dark it was, I mean it is a little mountain that is at stake. Whereas in the trilogy it is all of middle earth. Oh by the way..." badly done Emma, badly done" Am I a kindred Spirit now? I have no hopes for the third one, this will only get worse...SPITE PETER JACKSON, whoever you are, I agree with you. I can't believe that these terrible movies came from the man who used to be my hero for doing so well on the Lord of The Rings trilogy....Here is how I see it
    The Trilogy...the beautiful trilogy, is the wonderful kingdom of the dwarves, giving beauty and truth to all the world. Peter Jackson is Thror, once he made and supported Beauty and Truth, and now....The Hobbit is the Arkenston, the heart of the book, good of itself and beautiful, but Peter Jackson wants it all for himself, he hoards The Hobbit and stretches him out, taking truth from the world...all for money.
    I should write a letter to Peter Jackson asking if he notices how like Thror he is...How he is destroying that which is good and beautiful, for money. I own the extended edition of the Hobbit and I did spite him a good deal, even in theaters. About Ring greedyness, Bilbo is not supposed to be like that yet, and why did he take it off in front of Smaug? Yes what was up with the nut pillows? I don't approve of Dwarve/elves love, but I don't say that hey can't be friends...Legolas and Gimli are good friends. I also don't like that the orcs were so big! the orcs are only supposed to be as big as dwarves not taller than elves. Also there is no way Legolas could knock those huge orcs over by just tapping them! Let alone his silly girl-friend. Apparently Elves are all-powerful or something. They put so much make up on Orlando Bloom that he did not even look real! Also what was thing where Legolas just magically has a horse ready to chase the orc, even though he came on foot. And why did he get so mad over a nose bleed? The blood did't even look real. I am getting really mad! Another thing is that in the Trilogy every single orc was a guy is a suit...yes! They were all real people who took sword fighting lessons and those battles were real (except that they weren't really trying to kill each other) In the Hobbit, they had the actors wave their swords in cool moves, and matched CGI orcs and goblins to fit, they didn't do a very good job of it either, so their battles look really cheesy. The moment that really ruined it in the first movie was the Rabbit sleigh, where on earth did that come from! I think I know who the longer comment-er is to and I agree with you very much.

  4. I, for one, loved this movie. Sorry, I'm in the minority. Who did you dress up as? I never realized, Beorn does look like Chewbacca! Actually, in the Special Extended version, they have that scene you like at Beorn's house and it's HILARIOUS, but DON'T watch the Special Extended version (unless you already have). There's an inappropriate scene at the beginning. :(

    1. I dressed as an anonymous elven lady. :) Really?! Okay... that's redeemed Peter Jackson a little in my opinion now... a little. ;P I still think it should have been in the theatre cut. Well, I'm glad you can like it. I really wanted to!


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