Author Topic: Desolation of Smaug Review  (Read 4248 times)

Offline parthvader

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Desolation of Smaug Review
« on: December 16, 2013, 03:28:30 PM »
Anyone else watched this? Went last night and we both disliked it.

My review here

It does have spoilers, so if you have a masochistic streak and will be going to watch it anyway do not read the link. Just take my advice and wait for the DVD...



« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 03:29:37 PM by parthvader »

Offline Big Boris

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Re: Desolation of Smaug Review
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 07:38:56 PM »
As an alternate viewpoint, do go and see it if you like watching stuff on the big screen, you're pretty much OK with the idea of various characters being in it that shouldn't be (studio interference) and don't want to wait for part three, which will make part two better. I give it a solid 3 and a half stars, scraping a four.  If you wait for the BluRay you will still have a good time, but it'll be all spoiled to hell by this time next year.

I posted this on Facebook about it:

The new hobbit film - entertaining, but as arse-numbingly long as the first. Here's a non-spoilery list of things. I'd give it a strong 3.5 up to 4 stars out of 5. It's very good but didn't leave me running to go watch it again, mainly due to arse-numbing and awful ticket price.

*A lot of sword swinging and head surfing and outrageous elfrobatics.
*A lot of running and when not running, shouting of 'Run!'
*More creaky ancient fortresses that make you wonder who the bloody hell signed off on the building regs. Talk about poor accessibility.
*A lot of new material helps make the stuff from the book more interesting for adults, the elves aren't taking a cameo here, they're very much part of the narrative for one or two dwarves in particular. A significant amount of the divergence helps lend dramatic tensions to location(s) that in the book we don't give two figs about once they're left behind.
*There's a weird parallel drawn between the lust for something and the lust for the precious which feels slightly shoehorned in but will no doubt give someone something to think about in film three.
*Beorn is bear-ly in it, I assume he'll make more of an app-bear-ance in film three. He looks like Wolverine's inbred uncle.
*Smaug is very chatty indeed, and the talking [other creatures] scene is made to work via clever use of something that makes you go "Oh, yeah, that would probably work like that, actually."
*One bit near the end is oddly reminiscent of the bit in a third film in another sci-fi franchise (you'll know it when you see it)
*Martin Freeman really can express emotions very well with his cute little face. He conveys a great deal of conflict and struggle and realisation at one point concerning his Precious.
*That Wood Elf King is still as much of a dick as you got the impression he was from his brief appearance in LOTR. Indeed, more of a dick that you might have expected, but at least he seems to have some motivation for us to understand. Great outift and throne room combo.
* A scene involving Gandalf interacting with something will anger some fans until they calm the feck down and realise this is a film _based on_ the books, not a literal representation of the books. It does raise some questions as to the lax sense of worry on display in the first LOTR film, but hopefully that will be answered in the third part of this one next year.
*The 3d is good, subtle for the most part and gives nice sense of perspective when needed. I didn't see it in the high frame rate thingy, just regular. However, you won't miss out too much if you see it in 2d. I like 3d in the cinema, it's much better than on the TV.
*It ends on a cliffhanger. Two, if you count 'Where will he get a replacement hat from?'

Will the kids like it? Think so, but it is very long and there are some scary bits in it that might disturb younger children, or anyone afraid of spiders. Or indeed, dragons. If you have a fear of being burnt alive by dragons or being eaten by them you will not enjoy the last half hour of this film.

Offline fear_the_squirrels

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Re: Desolation of Smaug Review
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 06:00:25 PM »
Its worth seeing on the big screen for the bits under the lonely mountain with Smaug.  I left feeling I got my money's worth seeing it on the big (2d) screen, though I went back for the free refill of popcorn.  Not my favorite LoTR film so far, but left excited about the third and wanting to rewatch the first.

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Offline alrith72

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Re: Desolation of Smaug Review
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 07:59:12 PM »
I think you just have to go in expecting it to be nothing like the book then as a film it's fine. I enjoyed it and will happy to go and see the 3rd part using the same mindset :)
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Offline beefcake

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Re: Desolation of Smaug Review
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2013, 07:21:10 PM »
I've only read the book a couple of times, the last time being a while ago so I can hardly remember anyway. Not looking forward to the barrel sequence though.

Offline parthvader

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Re: Desolation of Smaug Review
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2013, 10:31:48 PM »
Not looking forward to the barrel sequence though.

It's nauseating. Make sure you don't have dinner before the movie.

Offline Balgin Stondraeg

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Re: Desolation of Smaug Review
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 08:59:16 PM »
And so it came to pass that we did wend our merry way through a vast and oppressive forest. As we headed along the path we passed an aged inn at which I had once spent many a jolly eve when the moon was high in the sky. Our path lead us onwards, ever onwards, through wood and holding, small hamlets passed beneath our fantastical steed fashioned of iron and steel.

Eventually we came upon the notorious roundabout and took that oh so familiar road. At last our goal lay before us, the Tower Parks Empire Cinema (formerly known as the UCI cinema before some powerful empire had expanded and absorbed it within it's domain).

This day, this very day, we were seated in fine cushions and treated to a spectacle worthy of kings and we fully intend to do so next year once more!

Finally. I've only been waiting about six bleedin' weeks.
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Offline beefcake

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Re: Desolation of Smaug Review
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2014, 10:35:30 PM »
I really enjoyed it. I went in not expecting it to be to the letter Tolkien so wasn't grumpy about any of that stuff. Some if added to the story I think. I actually liked the whole necromancer part.

Offline snailracer

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Re: Desolation of Smaug Review
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2014, 04:52:10 PM »
I didnt enjoy seeing the film. I can understand why its been made as it has but parts of it just really didnt feel right to me.

What I would like to see however, is a Special, Shortened Directors cut! Just edit the three together to make one film that sticks pretty much to the book without any of the extraneous carp!  :P

Offline GearHead

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Re: Desolation of Smaug Review
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2014, 12:44:36 AM »
Not looking forward to the barrel sequence though.

It's nauseating. Make sure you don't have dinner before the movie.

From vertigo, or the sheer absurdity of it?
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Offline parthvader

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Re: Desolation of Smaug Review
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2014, 01:15:14 PM »
Not looking forward to the barrel sequence though.

It's nauseating. Make sure you don't have dinner before the movie.

From vertigo, or the sheer absurdity of it?

Mostly from my in-built "How dare this antipodean film-maker mess with The Professor's work of art?" bitching...