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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Ringer Review - NAME


Date Posted: 2013-12-29
Tolkien Fan Level: 9
Film Format Seen? Imax 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

Having so anticipated this movie for months, I can only say it surpassed my expectations. I was in such awe, unable to peel my eyes from the screen. Let me just make this clear before I continue: I’m a great fan of Tolkien’s works, having read the Hobbit, LOTR, and the Silmarillion. I love Peter Jackson’s take on Middle Earth. And I understand that to make three movies out of a 310-page book, you have to make additions and delve deeper into certain aspects. Peter Jackson has obviously done just that with this movie. And just as with any adaptation, you can’t please everyone. There will be those who hate this movie and there will be those who absolutely love it. Then there will people who find themselves in the middle. Here are my thoughts:

BewareSpoilers ahead

I found the locations in this film completely stunning! I remember traveling to New Zealand for the LOTR tour and falling in love with the the jaw-dropping scenery that was Middle-Earth. In Beorn’s home and the Elven Halls were especially marvelous. How I love the beauty of New Zealand, so evident in Beorn’s sequence! The music as well I found so rich and wonderful.The Feast of Starlight I particularly enjoyed. Having grown accustomed to the tunes of High Elves, I really relished the sound of the Wood-elves. It truly sounds “less wise and more dangerous” and yet I found it truly beautiful. But before I go further, I also greatly enjoyed Bard, so marvelously portrayed by Luke Evans! And I anticipate a certain scene in third film…

Tauriel! I admit I was skeptical at first of the addition of a new character, even more so when it seemed she would be solely a love interest. But I was intrigued by what I had seen in the trailers. And after seeing the movie, I found myself even more intrigued and wishing for more. Even for her young age, she possesses something her elder’s lack. She possesses an open-mindedness to see things in a broader light than Thranduil or Legolas. She recognizes that they cannot care solely for themselves, that there are others in this world. It was undeniably refreshing to have another woman amidst so many men (well, technically not just men, elves and dwarves too :p). And Lilly’s portrayal was absolutely amazing!!

Thranduil…..well, he was interesting. The whole thing with the scar on his face while speaking with Thorin was very unexpected and a little disturbing. Yet the confrontation between them was exceptional. He comes across as a very haughty King, as he was meant to. Lee Pace did an excellent job.

Now to Legolas: I can’t deny the happiness I felt when I heard he would appear in the movie and then again when he first debuted in the trailers. And then sitting in the theater I couldn’t keep that joyful smile from my face when he arrived in Mirkwood. He had plenty of his Leggy moments that we’ve all come to expect and love. I particularly enjoyed when he balanced upon the dwarves’ heads and used them as stepping stones. But the barrel sequence was highlighted by Bombur’s shining moment. The whole theater erupted in laughter! I mustn’t forget the scene between Gloin and Legolas….. It was undoubtedly one of the best moments! And the ending battle with Bolg was amazing! The look on Legolas face when he saw his blood was priceless! “You seriously did not just do that to me.” Yet the Legolas we see in this film is undeniably different than the one we meet in the Fellowship. He is a bit more arrogant and cold and his hatred of the dwarves all the more fierce, though it will surely grow the fiercer as the story continues, likely due to one particular brown-haired dwarf…. I think we will see Legolas transform into the elf we, fans, came to care about and connect with in LOTR, likely due to Tauriel’s eye-opening actions.

Now to the controversial love triangle….. I admit, I was extremely skeptical and a bit put off by the prospect of a romance between an elf and a dwarf. I didn’t mind the idea of Legolas and Tauriel. After all, they are both elves and I found myself glad that Legolas had found someone. Yet in this film it seems as if a relationship between them is very doubtful. While Legolas cares very deeply for her, his father will not allow such a relationship. And it seems Tauriel may harbor no such feelings for her prince, instead drawn to Kili. Kili’s little “Aren’t you going to search me?” line was a bit much, something totally un-Tolkien like and which received a roll of the eyes from me. But I was surprised, pleasantly so, by how much I began to enjoy their relationship, a relationship I felt sure I would completely hate. As of this film, it’s not so much a romance as it is a friendship, though it may progress into something more in the next film. I found their talk in the dungeons heartwarming, particularly when Kili speaks of his promise to his mother. One thing I found I wasn’t exactly fond of was the likeness to Arwen when she heals Kili. A Morgul wound, Athelas, shining light surrounding her….

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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