BEVERLY HILLS – As “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” opens around (most) of the world, we continue or video conversations with its stars. This round has Luke Evans talking about Bard the Bowman and his character’s city of Lake-Town and Benedict Cumberbatch explaining Smaug and his take on the massive creature. TheOneRing.net had a chance to briefly sit down with both actors on the morning of the world premiere. Evans wouldn’t say it on camera but he was not feeling well but soldiered on all the same. Thanks to both for insightful answers. EnjoyPosted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Characters, Director news, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Locations Sets, Luke Evans, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Press Conferences, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Archive for the ‘The Hobbit’ Category
Editor Note: Our next review comes from long time collaborator and friend of TheOneRing.net, David Baxter. David has been involved in some manner with TheOneRing.net since the early 2000s, and is a staple at events in California. Being that he is 6’8″ – he makes a really impressive Gandalf too!
Let me get this out of the way, I did not go into the screening of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug expecting to see all or even many of the events I’d pictured in my head after reading JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and seeing the Rankin & Bass animated version in 1977 (dating myself here). It was impossible after seeing Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Too much of that film had been devoted to setting up or showing events that were never shown in Tolkien’s work and were only mentioned in the appendices of The Return of the King.Posted in Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Media Reviews, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
While we put our finishing touches on the official Ringer Reviews section, we thought it would be fun to collect your immediate reaction to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug right here on this post. (That is of course IF the film has released in your country)
If you are new to commenting on TheOneRing.net, we use a rather popular system called Disqus, located at the bottom of every article page. You can decide to login with Facebook, Twitter or Google, or you can simply comment as a guest.
Comments are moderated, so please play nice The basic rules? Don’t swear and treat others with respect. If you are posting spoilers, please be nice and post a SPOILER WARNING before your comments. Our staff will be working around the clock to get your comments approved. And as you can see by the diversity of our own staff reactions to the film, you can be as positive or negative about the film as you’d like. We will not be moderating based on your review.
Then, stay tuned in the next few days when we raise the curtain on the new Ringer Reviews for The Desolation of Smaug. Along with the ability to post your comprehensive review of the film, you will have the chance to rate 20+ specific aspects of the film. Details coming soon.
So what are you waiting for? Sound off!Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Media Reviews, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
We’ve teamed up with always awesome LOTRProject to track fan sentiment coming out of Desolation of Smaug. As evidenced by the varied reviews by our own staff, fans are either going to fall in love all over again or scratch their heads asking, “why PJ, why?!” In an effort to follow what fans worldwide really think of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, LOTRProject has assembled a visual twitter tracking page of fan opinions of #TheHobbit and any of the characters.
Tweet your true feelings with #TheHobbit
- Did you find the film amazing and fulfilling?
- Who is the most popular Desolation character, by tweet mentions?
- Do fans love the changes Peter Jackson has made to the story?
Tag your tweets with ”Desolation of Smaug” or “hobbit” or #thehobbit along with your immediate reaction to seeing Desolation. We will continue to monitor fan reactions through the weekend, and look for the relaunching Ringer Reviews section in the coming days to voice your full nuanced opinions!
Check it out: RECEPTION OF SMAUG http://lotrproject.com/analysis/dos/Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Media Reviews, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Staffer ImladrisRose attends NYC screening of Desolation of Smaug – with Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly
TORn staffer ImladrisRose writes: Last year when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had its US Premiere at the Ziegfield Theatre in New York City, I was fortunate enough to be on the black carpet representing TORn and covering the premiere. The event was busting at the seams with pure awesomeness and featured most of the film’s principal cast as well as Peter Jackson himself. However, there was no black carpet this year.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug had its world premiere extravaganza in Los Angeles this year and was covered by the Happy Hobbits. With the film’s cast and crew being sent on a whirlwind premiere tour after starting in LA, there was no mention of a New York premiere at all for this time around. I happened to stumble across a Twitter post from Evangeline Lilly on Tuesday afternoon which said “See you all at the #redcarpet in New York tomorrow night at the #timewarnercenter”.Posted in Evangeline Lilly, Events, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Orlando Bloom, Premieres, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Editor Note: Our latest staff review comes from staffer Ostadan… who himself calls this a “grouchy non-review” of ‘The Desolation of Smaug’. So you may want to take that as a word of warning or proceed to read with glee! This review also contains major SPOILERS. If you are avoiding spoilers of any type, please click away now!
I give up; I can’t review this thing coherently. Gene Siskel said that as a critic you should fight the temptation to write about what the film should have been about or obsess on the way you wish the characters would have responded in an ideal world. Review the movie that’s there, Siskel insisted. Not the movie you wish they would have made.
And I wish Jackson had made an adaptation of The Hobbit that was at least as close to the source material as the Rankin-Bass cartoon. Instead, he made a Hollywood Blockbuster; it reminded me of Tim Kirk’s cartoon in ‘Mythlore’ issue #1, illustrating an article about what a movie of LotR might be like. A director is explaining, “OK — After Steve Reeves and his vikings rescue you from the forest outlaws, you set out to rescue the princess from Sauron, who’s holding her for ransom.” When I explain the last half hour as, “While Thorin and the other dwarves are fighting Smaug by melting huge amounts of gold, back in Laketown Fili and Kili are rescued from Bolg and his band of Orcs by Legolas and Tauriel, who uses athelas to heal Kili’s poisoned wound. Meanwhile, Gandalf has a magical battle with the Necromancer and is caged in Dol Guldur,” I feel like I’m in Tim Kirk’s cartoon; and that is without even mentioning the Kili/Tauriel sorta-romance.
It’s not Tolkien. It’s not even an extension of Tolkien, it’s a downright contradiction to fundamental aspects of Tolkien’s world, not merely world building details. Whatever happened to the Istari who were forbidden to match Sauron’s power with power? For that matter, whatever happened to hobbits who were unexpectedly resistant to the corrupting power of the ring? After wearing the Ring twice, Bilbo is already going into ‘mine!’ (precious) mode. After sixty years, what will he be like? (The real explanation seems to be that Bilbo needs to be reluctant to wear the Ring, so that there’s an excuse for him to take it off improbably, since we’ve got this established ‘ring world’ visual that would not sustain well in Smaug’s lair; by contrast, he’s just fine wearing it at length in Thranduil’s palace.)
So, there is no point to reviewing this film as an adaptation. That’s not the movie that’s there, disappointing as that may be. This has to be reviewed as a Hollywood blockbuster, and I am not particularly an expert in such things. Nevertheless, as long as you insist on reading this anyway…
There are a lot of things that keep it from being immersive for me, starting with the really cheesy 3D in-your-face bumblebees at the beginning of the film. (come on, what year is this? “Coming at Ya” was 1981) Please, don’t remind me that I am watching a movie. When I saw ‘Iron Man’, when Tony Stark tried out the flight rockets in the lab and was smacked into the wall without injury, I was ‘taken out’ of the film experience. Unfortunately, there were too many moments like that here. The following are random observations that explain why I’m kinda grumpy about DoS.
There are certainly more than a few times that I was distracted by plot points that make little sense, even on Jackson’s terms. The tag-team pursuit of the dwarves by orcs is particularly clumsy and unbelievable. Bolg catches up with Azog (somehow) and they BOTH divert to Dol Guldur, where the Necromancer appoints Azog as his general, and then Azog sends Bolg back to pursue Thorin and company. And bless ‘em, they find the dwarves – and where are they looking? On the downstream side of Thranduil’s realm. Damn, these trackers are good! Just imagine: Bolg knew that Thorin was detained by Thranduil. But then, Azog had managed to track them across the Misty Mountains somehow in the first film, and even being carried some distance by the Eagles didn’t put him off their tail, so I guess Thorin’s carrying a GPS transponder. Of course, the orcs know Thorin’s final destination anyway, but for some reason never do anything to head them off at Laketown or ambush them at Dale or… oh never mind. What is the point of switching Azog out for Bolg, again?
As in the previous film, Jackson’s ability to convey (or understand) matters of time and distance is extremely limited, and sometimes distracting; we are not even given visual cues to the changing seasons until it is suddenly winter in Laketown (Thranduil’s crown of fall leaves from the book does not appear here). The tag-team Orc handoff is one example of time compression; Gandalf’s ride to the ‘High Fells of Rhudaur’ (presumably back across the Misty Mountains) and then back again to Dol Guldur is another. I hope Gandalf’s horse got home to Beorn OK; I think the wizards are riding the bunny sled back from the high fells. Expect the arrival of Dain and other dwarves to be similarly mystery-timed in the next film.
Thorin is an idiot. I mean, these dwarf guys are basically merchants, and here’s expert negotiator Thorin with Thranduil. “I’ll let you go free on a promise of the return of our own treasure from Smaug’s hoard.” “I can’t trust you!” Thranduil is an idiot. His reply should have been, “Spider poison has rattled your brains. I am not asking you to trust me, stupid nogoth! I am not even asking for a hostage for surety of your promise as any sensible king would do!” Thorin is not just being proud; he is being stupid. Thranduil is stupid too, but he has the luxury of holding the keys.
The spider scene was pretty good, though I have begun to weary of Jackson’ constant vertiginous drops. But the spider speech was, in the end, disappointing. Bilbo (and we) only learned that the spiders wanted to feed (duh), and that his sword hurt them (duh). Instead of ‘I shall call you Sting’, Bilbo gets that word from a spider, and just shrugs and says that it’s a good name. This should have been one of Bilbo’s high points as the nominal hero of the story. But it has been undercut by his using Sting to attempt to rescue Thorin in the previous film, and so the moment goes flat. Note that the ‘Eagles are Coming’ moment in the battle of the five armies will almost certainly go flat for similar reasons. Rather than being a eucatastrophic moment in which the heroes are rescued from certain defeat by an unexpected and unlooked-for joyous turn, we’ll have Gandalf whistling for the Eagles again with a convenient moth (does anyone still doubt this?), telegraphing their arrival in advance. Bless me, what do they teach them in film school nowadays?
Bard tells Bilbo about Smaug’s weak point, not the other way around. Bilbo seeing the weak spot for himself is therefore inconsequential, except as an unnecessary reminder and confirmation to the audience. No ravens need apply.
Jackson could not resist a toilet joke; admittedly, the small fry in the audience seemed to like it. Of course, we must consequently infer that the entire population of Laketown fills the lake with raw sewage on a daily basis.
When Bard gets the Black Harpoon, sorry, Arrow, Alfrid and his security cronies (who are remarkably oblivious to the arrival of a band of warg-riding orcs and a pair of elves) pursue and arrest him. Why? The original motivation was that Bard was fomenting revolution against the Master of Laketown; but that revolution was successfully quelled with Thorin’s appearance. Even Alfrid can’t explain. By the way, I was pleasantly surprised by Stephen Fry’s turn as the Master of Laketown. I could easily forget that I was watching Stephen Fry, which is often difficult to do with high-profile guest stars.
Galadriel’s telepathic cellphone seems to work only one way. Gandalf sends Radagast with a message rather than just magically contacting her. Jackson will spend time giving us an otiose explanation of Beorn’s back story, but leaves things mysterious when, well, they make no sense (Galadriel’s disappearance in the first film is another example. And Thranduil’s magical disappearing scars, there for shock value, but again making no sense from a storytelling standpoint).
Why does Smaug repeatedly refer to Thorin as ‘Oakenshield’, a name acquired long after he left Erebor? Has Smaug been reading the New Orc Times?
Thranduil doesn’t like hand-rails any more than Elrond.
The barrel escape was good, and Bilbo’s realization that he had no obvious escape was delightful. The whole sequence was marred by increasingly improbable action, though. Which leads me to…
Superhero elves. I have a friend who, I predict, will love Legolas and Tauriel’s fight scenes. He will say something on his YouTube channel like, “In this film, Legolas is a bad ass!! He and this new character Tauriel are just kicking orc butt left and right! It’s awesome!” My friend is a comic book fan. Look, Legolas’s stair-surfing and oliphant-slaying in the LotR films were over the top (and criticized at the time) but were only a small portion of the actions in which they took place. Here, he and Tauriel are at the center of the action, and constantly doing this stuff, A little goes a long way, and to me it just feels cheesy, more like a comic-book film than a fantasy set in a supposedly real world. Are we really going to have an army of Thranduil’s elves who all fight like this?
Turning Tauriel into Arwen doesn’t help.
Big fight scenes or battle scenes are like the fantasy-film equivalent of car chases and explosions. They have their place (and are kind of obligatory), but it is too common to overdo them.
Doesn’t Gandalf already know that the Necromancer is Sauron? He seems to tell Radagast so (only Sauron can summon the Nazgûl). So just what does he intend to accomplish in Dol Guldur? By himself? “It is certainly a trap.” Well, then, what’s the point of going in there? Again, we get a comic-book confrontation, like fans asking, “If Sauron battled Gandalf, who’d win?” Putting Sauron/the Necromancer on stage, with melodramatic dialogue, once agains cheapens the character.
Waste of a bloody brilliant dragon, if you ask me. From the purely technical standpoint, Smaug was the unquestioned ‘star’ at the film. Much of Bilbo’s dialogue with Smaug was retained, pleasingly (but Jackson or Bilbo should look up ‘enormity’).
My reaction to the whole is, “Well, it’s OK. Maybe on a par with Man of Steel or Iron Man. But nothing special; we’ve seen it all before.”
PS. Rereading this, it may seem that I am being fault-finding and negative. I really did find the film OK on the whole. I have taken for granted that everyone knows that Jackson does immensely well with art direction, scenery, and so on. And by and large, these continue to be excellent in the present film (though there are some CGI lapses in technique that are actually rather surprising). Generally, the craftsmanship and cinematography are excellent. As always.Posted in Hobbit Movie, Media Reviews, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Join your fellow Ringers from around the world as we gather to experience opening night of ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.’ For folks in the US, that’s happening at midnight tonight, and there are Line Parties happening at theatres across the country. Share your Line Party photos and fun by using #TORnHobbitLP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Share pics of costumes, your responses to the film, and other activities happening in your Line.
After opening night, share photos from your Line Party with us at email@example.com.Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Line Party, Meet Ups, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, TheOneRing.net Community
Dan Hennah, Academy Award winner and nominee just last year, talked about Middle-earth movies and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” with TheOneRing.net last week while he stood inside the re-creation of Beorn’s house! Hennah and his wife Chris run the Art Department of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies and from concept to shoot day, makes the items and sets happen. He is a pretty incredible guy, right up there with Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor as one of New Zealand’s most amazing individuals. Part of our series of video interviews to get you ready for the World Premiere of the newest Middle-earth film!Posted in Characters, Dan Hennah, Director news, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Locations Sets, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Press Conferences, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
BEVERLY HILLS — On the same day that fans and journalists lined the streets of Hollywood to celebrate the World Premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Martin Freeman chatted with TheOneRing.net about what it was like to play opposite a dragon. He also discussed the work of other fine actors on set including Sir Ian McKellen and Morgan Freeman! The video is part of a series today to usher in the midnight release of the film (more or less) around the world.
See also: An interview with Richard ArmitagePosted in Characters, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Lectures & Education, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Premieres, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
BEVERLY HILLS — TheOneRing.net had a chance to sit down with Richard Armitage and talk “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” last week in the hours leading up the film’s world premiere in Los Angeles. We present below the first of several videos with some of the key actors in the films, this one featuring Richard Armitage talking about his character Thorin, his own writings and ping-pong. Enjoy and check back all day for more videos as we lead you into the hours before the debut of the second of three Peter Jackson movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.”Posted in Characters, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Ringer fan Nate sends along this update from BoxOffice.com on the opening of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:
The Hobbit trilogy continues its journey to box office gold. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug posted a $2.8 million bow in its Wednesday debut in France, an 8% bump from last year’s installment. The Hobbit sequel scored 262.8k admissions from 909 screens in the territory. Paris contributed 57.5K of the admissions, 15% ahead of the opening day tally of its predecessor. [Read More]Posted in Events, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit
Join Happy Hobbit’s Fili and Kili as TheOneRing.net’s official representatives on the black carpet of the Word Premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, held on December 2, 2013 in Hollywood. You’ll also get a glimpse of Air New Zealand’s new Smaug plane, find out what goes on behind the scenes as press, and of course, hear a little about TORn’s latest moot (or gathering, for those who don’t speak Entish!).
Fili, Dis, Thorin, and Kili. Durin family photo! At the moot.
The “other” Fili and Kili are Happy Hobbits!
On the black carpet!
Kili and Fili and Kili and Fili!
This Kili and Fili love Azog!
Evie gives some Happy Hobbit love.
Dean recognizes Fili, making her a very happy hobbit!
Bofur (Justin): the unsung hero! Thank you so much for all of your hard work!Posted in Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Lord of the Rings, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Premieres, Ryan Gage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, Uncategorized, William Kircher