The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

So, here we are again, Christmas Eve. 2 Year Anniversary for me. Didn’t even realize it until now, haha. Well, to keep with last years tradition, I went and seen The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.

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As such, thoughts: This one is a much quicker pace than the last one, and previous trilogy for The Lord Of the Rings. Being that this trilogy is mostly padding for the fact the Hobbit is only a single book. Much smaller than the others, being a children’s book after all. You do tend to notice as I do that there is less blood in these movies. Well with The Desolation Of Smaug, we do see the padding. It’s just woven masterfully into the rest of the parts from the book. Granted, anyone whom has read the original book will notice, as they know which parts would be the padding. I myself as I stated before, have not read the book yet.

I’ve read The Two Towers, from The LOTR trilogy. Unfortunately, it is not a very easy read for some. Hobbit, though I hear is much easier. The LOTR books, have tons of description, and set up, and very little pay off in terms of action. Anyone who knows me, will know that while I like the book, I just found we spent WAY too long in that stupid hole next to the gate of Mordor. Thankfully the movie made it much easier in that respect and we sat there for maybe 5 minutes.

Anyway, back to Smaug. The movie takes place right where we left off with the previous movie, the band of Dwarves, Gandalf and Bilbo are getting closer to the mountain. The movie’s padding is mainly in the fan service that it gives us, characters and places added in to give those of us who have seen the LOTR trilogy set up for that one. So, without spoiling too much, I will start with the usual technicalities.

The Acting: Everyone delivers a deeper, even more involved character arcs as we continue the story. Not to mention, Richard Armitage as Thorin is still bad ass, and much more so in this movie than last time. Ian McKellen still is the lovable Gandalf we know, but gets his own bad ass moment during the fan service moments. Despite his lack of screen time in comparison to the others, none the less. I enjoyed everyone’s performances, although as much as I liked the character of Legolas in the LOTR trilogy, he is an asshole in this movie. He hasn’t had his character arc that we saw in the other trilogy, so he hates the Dwarves right now.

Evangeline Lily does a good job as Tauriel. She doesn’t feel shoed in, although can be a bit predictable in a good way. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see the movie. Martin Freeman’s character of Bilbo grows more and more dark, much like his older self in the LOTR movies/books. Mainly from his use of the ring, and holding it. One thing is though, he has more resolve than Frodo. Frodo was feeling the effects of the ring a lot, it felt like a ball and chain to him, slowing him down. In this, Bilbo feels the addictive nature of the ring, but snaps himself out of it.

I suspect its due to the power of Sauron being very weak in comparison. In this, he’s non-existent with the ring. Where as in LOTR, he was almost holding it the entire time Frodo had it around his neck. With that it brings us to Benedict Cumberbatch, and the gravitas his voice brings to the movie. For those who have been following the production, he plays Smaug: The Dragon. While the movie went on I didn’t notice his voice as much, probably due to the special effects put in place to make him sound loud and deep, very much like a dragon. As a villain, he’s huge, all-powerful, and not completely stupid. Which is always a plus, when it comes to villains. The necromancer sub-plot that is added, I can’t say much on. Mainly because it’s a huge spoiler in this one, if I do.

Special Effects: Brilliant for CG and practical blending. The thing is, the CG is mostly in big scenes involving something huge, much like Smaug. The artists behind it, make the things happening on-screen look like they would happen in real life. Like buildings being destroyed, fire looks pretty close to what it would be, mainly for the huge bursts of flame. The little ones are practical, as it would be stupid to CG in a small flame, like we’ve seen before in other movies. 3D, I believe was a post effect again, as there were moments I took my glasses off, and some things in the foreground were 2D and the background had the 3D effect. Its miles better than Clash Of The Titans was for 3D.

All in all, a good popcorn movie for anyone really. Not as much humor in previous movies, but still good for a cheap laugh for some parts of the Dwarves. I’d say give it a shot at the theatre, but go on a Tuesday to save some money. Theatres are ridiculously expensive in this day and age, unless you feel like spending 30 bucks and getting the digital download of both the previous movie and this one from Cineplex.

Trailers: Godzilla, which looks amazing, and the pay off is right at the end. Which is bad ass in a trailer. A movie adapted from a book, that looks like its supposed to compete with Hunger Games and Twilight for the teens. That trailer was pretty forgettable, so was the title, as I don’t remember, haha. 300: Rise Of An Empire, looks pretty badass, granted its Zack Snyder’s production team returning to the movie that made them pretty big. So we have the return of the remaining cast, at least those who survived. Although I didn’t see David Wenham as Dilos, but according to the IMDB for the movie, he will be returning. Which is always a plus, as continuity is always good.

The Amazing Spider-man 2, which looks pretty good, although a lot of CG for the action sequences with Electro. Also, the glimpses of Rhino’s costume are not looking good. Granted, I know his normal costume makes him look like a body builder in a spandex suit with a horn. This is supposed to make him look badass, but it looks like he’s in a mech suit. Seems like all the villains in these two movies are horrid, despite the rest of it being good. Anyway, I’ll find out whenever I get to see it.

With that I’ll sign off, look for a small mini review of The Lone Ranger coming shortly. Being that it’s Christmas, I will wish those who celebrate it to have a Merry one! Those who don’t celebrate Christmas, I’ll just say Happy Holidays!

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