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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Ringer Review - NAME


32, Bulacan

Date Posted: 2013-12-29
Tolkien Fan Level: 6
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

The movie was incredible, and I didn't even feel the three hours go by. With regard to acting, I saw quite a bit more of Martin’s range as an actor, most notably during the Spider sequence when Bilbo fought a spider for the Ring. Richard Armitage was definitely the highlight for me and his amazing performance. His Thorin is very easy to love and just as easy to yell at, and it’s that kind of personal investment in his character that’s going to decimate me in the third movie. Richard wields his deep voice and subtle expressions like a warrior in his prime, and his skills were put into great use in many scenes.

Smaug was quite magnificent, thanks to Benedict’s excellent voice work, but also to the animation and design team. Smaug’s movements even contained little twitches and subtleties that just made him believable as a terrifying, dominant, and intelligent creature.

A surprising highlight for me was Ken Stott, and I feel like I could just watch him and Richard act all day and not get tired. These two actors were fantastic together and seemed to feed off of each other’s energies whenever they shared scenes.

Great work from Lee Pace with Thranduil, Luke Evans as Bard, and Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel. Aidan Turner played up Kili’s “cheeky, audacious” nature in this movie to great effect. I thought I wouldn't like the romance angle, but I found it all rather adorable, except for the brief, over-the-top scene in Lake-town.

Regarding favorite scenes, one that left such a strong impression on me is during that moment when the last light of dusk had vanished, Thorin had the map in his hands, and he approached Balin with this heartbroken look in his eyes and said, “What did we miss?” I couldn’t forget Thorin’s face, this pitiful look, and the amount of heartbreak Richard managed to put into his voice. If that scene had played out longer, I’m pretty sure I would have cried.

The moment right after Bilbo fights the spider for the Ring will probably be iconic for this movie. It showcases an ability of Martin’s that Sir Ian McKellen had mentioned in the previous Appendices, which is to show that his character is thinking two things at the same time, and you, as the audience, know exactly what they are.

Other notable scenes that I loved were Thorin’s and Gandalf’s first meeting in Bree, Bombur’s spotlight moment during the Barrel sequence, Thranduil and Thorin’s confrontation, and Bilbo and his shenanigans in Smaug’s hoard while trying to look for the Arkenstone.

And on this note, I absolutely loved that the movie offers so many new things for people who have been with the book longer. I did not expect the confrontation with Smaug to be sans Ring. Definitely a risky move for PJ, Fran, and Philippa, but I’m so glad they did it–-it gave me yet another new thing to watch and enjoy, rather than just waiting for scenes I’ve already read many times as a child. It’s in keeping with the overarching storyline they’re tying together.

I think I’m pretty much taken with the rest of the movie from the Barrels sequence-onwards, and just about all of Smaug’s scenes until the very end. I very much enjoyed the few times Thorin addressed Smaug and wished more had been said. Smaug’s voice when he yelled “It burns!” sent chills up my spine.
I'm a big fan of HFR, but I wish it had been made available for 2D as well instead of being tied to 3D.

As for the parts I didn't like so much...

~ Parts that were hyped in promotions were sadly very short, most notably Beorn’s house and Mirkwood. Considering the Company also got imprisoned for a few months in Mirkwood in canon, a few more minutes showing them in sorry states in their cells wouldn’t have been remiss.

~ I thought the transition from what Gandalf was saying before leaving the Company to the part where he goes “You’ve changed, Bilbo Baggins” was too abrupt. Felt like a non sequitur.

~ There was a moment when Thorin was on fire from Smaug’s breath and he was rolling on the ground…then he sort of just stood up and was fine again. I’m not sure if that moment wasn’t supposed to be comical, but wow, did I laugh.

~ I thought the romance subplot was rather adorable, but then that gold-lit sparkly Tauriel scene appeared, and it was so over the top that I can’t remember that part without snickering now.

~ The Gandalf vs Sauron scene looked pretty cool at first, but then it kept going and got old pretty fast, with some odd editing.

~ I find parallels between The Hobbit and LOTR to be only fun when they’re subtle, and there’s a particular lack of subtlety about them in this movie. Gandalf being imprisoned and watching as an Orc army was being built right below him was the one that annoyed me the most.

~ I wish there'd been an option to watch this in 2D + HFR instead of 3D. I think I would have enjoyed it far more.

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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