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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Ringer Review - NAME


35, Minneapolis
United States

Date Posted: 2013-12-22
Tolkien Fan Level: 8
Film Format Seen? 3D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

I am split in half. I love Peter Jackson movies. I love the Hobbit novel even more. I have read The Hobbit so many times over the last 30 years. The issue for me with the film is it was Middle-earth and it was artistically well made, but not the Hobbit I know and love.

Many take issue with all sorts of additions to the movie. I can handle an addition if it works. I take issue with more fundamental things. You don't do extra curricular activities if you are flunking your basic coursework. They should have focused on basics like Bilbo's character. By the end of this film or even from the beginning, he is so different from Bilbo in the book, that it is a different story.

Has Bilbo even brought up the Shire and his Hobbit hole since he left? Oh my, talk about making his character shallow. In the book he is very wimpy all the way until he gets the ring. That is where he starts to change. That is a very subtle scary plot line that the ring changes him, not by giving him visions of an eye, but while he is growing courageous, there is a sense that the ring is partially responsible.

That of course is the book, whereas the movie Bilbo is now two-dimensional. He already had his character arc by this film. Now he just has an adventure. Bilbo in the film seems less like a Hobbit and more just Martin Freeman. Martin Freeman looks scared. Martin Freeman looks excited. Martin Freeman etc. But I do not see Bilbo at all. Martin Freeman is great and I have seen most of his films. But he is less of a character actor than a comical actor. Bilbo needed more character and that is exactly what Martin Freeman did not bring to the role.

But was it his fault? Well a young Ian Holm would have been better, but that is impossible. But Bilbo's character was devoid of every struggle from the book. In its place he is given a new struggle, that Hobbits don't have immediately with the ring. The ring is not supposed to effect him right away.

Gandalf was also a disappointment to me. Not the casting, Ian McKellen is a great actor. But he embodies wisdom in the book. He is smarter than everyone and always gives a sense he has a deeper reason for doing something, like he is not saying everything. But that does not come through when he is with Bilbo and the dwarves. He always has to leave, but when he is with the dwarves there is little sense that there is a deeper meaning in what he is doing than helping them reclaim their homeland. He also gives us no sense that he knows Bilbo has the ring, but he knows Bilbo has something because he is very wise. It would enhance his character more if this were shown in the film.

Thorin is not believable to me. He is a one-sided character. He should have been shown having really great qualities other than killing things and getting angry. Then you would care if he gets killed say in the third movie.

Being as these are the main characters, why would they take away character development from them for other silly things not needed in the film? (All the money involved must effect decisions somewhere . . . and I am afraid it is here.)

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Now for what I liked. Balin is fantastic. He is always so endearing and adds what all the characters should add, realism and feeling.

Tauriel was fine except developing her took away from the main characters that are flunking out in development. She was portrayed well however. But I hated that last seen when they professed their love, ugh.

The film really came alive in the last half hour. Up until then it was unbelievable to me. Suddenly when Gandalf is fighting Sauron and the dragon came in, I finally believed it. The dragon was awesome. He was awesome and perfect.

Bard was good. I think he will be even better in the next film.

The Mayor of Lake Town was good and added more dimension to the plot.

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In the end, imagine taking Shakespeare and changing him where ever you can according to your whim. I think this is comparable because Tolkien's work will last as long a humanity at this point.

They should have captured more gravity of story telling, and developed the characters far more. But alas, they didn't.

The Ratings
The Other Ratings
Martin Freeman 's performance as Bilbo Baggins?
How would you rate Luke Evan's performance as Bard??
The Overall representation of The Dwarves ?
How would you rate Benedict Cumberbatch's' performance as Smaug?
Ian McKellen's performance as Gandalf?
How would you rate Lee Pace's performance as Thranduil?
How would you rate Orlando Bloom's performance as Legolas?
How would you rate Evangeline Lilly's performance as Tauriel?
How would you rate Stephen Fry's performance as Master of Lake-Town?
Did you think Tauriel was a welcome addition to the film?
How would you rate Beorn?
How would you rate the scene with the Spiders?
How would you rate the imprisonment/escape sequence?
Did you like the Necromancer being discovered by Gandalf as Sauron?
Did the movie fairly portray the character arc of Thorrin?
How would you rate Lake-Town?
How would you rate the burglar interchange between Bilbo and Smaug?
How would you rate revisiting Bree?
How happy are you with the attempts to tie The Hobbit back to the Lord of the Rings?
Did you enjoy seeing Gandalf visit Gol Duldor and The Tombs?
Did you like the splitting of the company of Dwarves?
Did Smaug live up to your expectations?
How would you rate the ending of the movie; in regards to leading well into the next film, and serving as a good ending point.
Is DOS a better film than AUJ?
The overall pace of the film.

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