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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Ringer Review - NAME


33, São Paulo

Date Posted: 2013-12-24
Tolkien Fan Level: 8
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

I've read a number of reviews now, and there's quite a divide. Fans seem to love it or hate it. For my part, I hated it the first time but after 2 more viewings in different formats, I am slowly coming to like it. Certainly some of the changes were shocking to me. I was prepared for Legolas and Tauriel, and I didn't find their presence out of place. I didn't expect to spend so much time in Laketown, though, nor in the mountain being chased by Smaug. There was a lot of good in both of these long scenes, but too many orcs for my taste. I agree with some of the reviewers that some of the scenarios beggared belief (like Thorin's standing on the dragon's nose with no harm done), but that didn't bother me so much. I don't mind suspending my disbelief for action sequences (especially PJ ones), and the Bombur barrel sequence was . My complaints were, I guess, mainly stylistic and only pertain to some scenes. There were very few moments of calm and quiet and very little memorable dialogue. I loved the moment with Gandalf and Bilbo just before Gandalf leaves to explore the tombs. But there were very few such moments. I loved most of the first hour of AUJ for just this reason. I do hope we get an extended edition which slows down the pace (and maybe gives us a moment with Beorn that's not so monotone).

There were some beautiful scenes visually. (One I remember clearly involves a boat in the foreground and a wonderful statue of the Master of Laketown in the background.) Smaug's treasure room was wonderful. Smaug himself had some great lines, mainly taken almost directly from the book, but unlike most people I wasn't that impressed by his look. I expected to be completely blown away. The Hall of Kings in the mountain was wonderful, as was the woodland realm, especially the waterfall near the cells.

Overall, though, it's difficult to judge the film on its own, since so much depends on the payoff in the third film. What plot device will be served by leaving the 4 dwarves being left behind, and why were we subjected that horrid scene where Tauriel saved Kili for the third time? Will the strange revelation that Tharanduil fought dragons in the past and got that awful scar have a payoff? Will it explain why he abandoned the dwarves when Smaug attacked? Will we see why Gandalf felt the need to walk into a trap at Dol Guldur alone? Will we get a good moment in which Legolas returns Orchrist to Thorin, or will he try to trade it for some treasure?

I'm also curious to see what the deal is with Thrain. In the opening scene of DOS, Thorin says he thinks he's still alive. This is one year before the timeline of the main Hobbit action. Is Thrain still alive somewhere in Dol Guldur? We've seen a clip of Gandalf fighting someone speculated to be Thrain, but I don't see why he'd be fighting him nor when--not unless it's in a flashback scene.

In brief, I think a great third film could really improve this one. We'll see in a year's time.

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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