Date Posted: 2013-12-24
Tolkien Fan Level: 6
Film Format Seen? Imax 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
I have seen the film five times, two of which in IMAX 3D HFR. It's definitely the kind of movie that deserves an IMAX viewing. The 3D isn't too overwhelming, and the faster frame rate, which I thought would be a challenge to endure, since I watched AUJ in IMAX 3D HFR and found myself nauseous, was surprisingly comfortable this time. It's so good that once you watched it in IMAX 3D HFR, you wouldn't want to watch it in any other format.
The movie itself was such a joy to watch. The pace, as I'm sure most reviewers have already said, is much faster than AUJ - as it should be, because of the events the movie covers. From the relatively relaxed pace of AUJ, viewers now get a sense of urgency with DOS - that these Dwarves are indeed up against many odds to get back their homeland, one of which is a fire-breathing dragon. Peter Jackson has been very good with his casting decisions and this film is no exception. Lee Pace is the perfect Thranduil. How I wished we had more of him in this movie, since he is after all the main elf in The Hobbit. Seeing so less of him given such an impressive performance was such a shame. Benedict Cumberbatch's vocal performance was so spot on - both as the Necromancer (when he did that part in Black Speech it gave me chills) and as Smaug. The environments introduced in this movie (Beorn's house, Mirkwood, Thranduil's Halls, Laketown, and Erebor) were very well done. I particularly love Beorn's house that had all of these beautiful animals. My primary gripe with this movie is the rushed Kili-Tauriel romance. While I am all right with Elf-Dwarf affection-what-have-you, this particular one was too rushed. Kili met Tauriel in Mirkwood and then two days later Kili in an athelas-induced stupor confesses his love for her. It could be the athelas, but it just happened too fast. Another thing I disliked about this movie is that there was no emotional arc. There was so much potential in this movie for some emotional scenes to happen. Take Thranduil and Legolas for example, Bard and his children, Thrain and Thorin. There were many opportunities for character development, but this movie stuck with the action instead. As for the many deviations this movie made with the book, as someone who has read Tolkien's work and has tried to imagine it in my mind, I rather enjoy it when I see someone successfully doing it, to be realized on screen. I don't mind Legolas being there - he was making his daddy proud here, definitely! I don't mind Alfrid being there, and I don't mind Tauriel, except with the Kili romance.
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