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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug


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Ringer Review - NAME

Alan Manatt

46, Pittsburgh
United States

Date Posted: 2013-12-25
Tolkien Fan Level: 8
Film Format Seen? Imax 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
 Rings!

Much improved, ingeniously paced, thoughtfully embellished, and yet still overly action-Jacksoned. I join many Tolkien fans in gratefully applauding Jackson's risky three-ring circus of expanding what could have been one or two movies into a trilogy of epic length and scope. I doubt he did it for the money, and I don't begrudge him of doing so even if he did.

Still, his "Desolation of Smaug" middle installment suffers only slightly less from the no-physics zone action sequences which made much of the combat scenes of "An Unexpected Journey" too cartoonish to take seriously. At least there were no mountains playing UFC with each other this time, but the River Running Bolg/Legolas/Tauriel sequence and the Thorin v/ Smaug sequence would both have been twice as good if half as long and at least somewhat governed by the forces of gravity and friction.

Obviously, Jackson believes this video-game like "action" is what audiences want to see, but even my 19-year old stepson was yawning towards the end of the Smaug sequence. Considering the superb work Jackson did with the characters of Beorn, Thrandruil, Bard, the Laketown Master, and even Sauron, I can only imagine how much more outstanding this film could have been if 15 minutes of repetitive orc-slaying and Dragon-baiting had been substituted with 15 minutes of character development and tension-building dialogue to drive the story and make the uninitiated actually care about the fate of Thorin and Co. and Middle Earth.

No other director would have dared the venture, so Jackson deserves much more applause than the above gripes suggest. He did learn from his mistaken bloating of certain scenes in the "AUJ", so I can only hope Jackson's final installment will prove that he can properly build the tension to the Battle of the Five Armies...without giving us an hour-long battle which amounts to little more than an instruction on the various ways by which orcs can be decapitated, crushed, run through, or impaled while all others emerge miraculously unscathed.

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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