Date Posted: 2014-03-14
Tolkien Fan Level: 7
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
I appreciate the detail the Peter Jackson has brought to these films that he couldn't in LOTR. Yes, it is different from the book. Film is a different medium. I like to watch these films with an awareness of the long story arc.
Martin Freeman was a brilliant choice for Bilbo, the scene where he realizes his personality changes are brought about by the ring, and his lack of power over it, is beautiful. The spiders were perfect. Being able to understand their speech with the ring on was a nice touch. Loved the butterfly scene. Not enough Beorn. Thranduil is close to being over the top but just walks the line. I like Tauriel. I echo Aidan Turner's comment that little girls and boys watching these films need to see strong female characters as well as male. The healing scene was over the top, as much as I'd like Aidan Turner with as much screen time as possible. My favorite scene was Fili defying Thorin and staying behind with Kili. I'm grateful to Richard Armitage for his portrayal of Thorin, as I'd never had the deep understanding and empathy for the character that I do now. the verbal sparring between Smaug and Bilbo and Bilbo's cleverness is one part of the book I do miss. The whole Marx brothers schtick with the molten gold was, again, over the top, and Thorin standing on Smaug's nose, off the deep end. Loved how Bard has been fleshed out from the book and Luke Evans is delightfully appealing. the entire Laketown sequences are very well done. Smaug is indeed magnificent. even though I thought trying to kill him with molten gold was a great big WTF?, the scene where he shakes the gold off in flight was inspiredly beautiful. Looking forward to the extended editions. When the screen went black after "I AM FIRE. I AM DEATH." I leapt up and yelled "no, he can't end it here!" much to the embarrassment of my children. And Ed Sheeran deserved at least an Oscar nomination for that beautiful song, it captured the emotion of the film spot on.
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