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The Hobbit: Desolation of SmaugFollow

#1 Oct 03 2013 at 9:19 AM Rating: Good
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Trailer out...

Did I see romance brewing with Legolas? Very unTolkien that.

Edited, Oct 3rd 2013 5:19pm by Elinda
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#2 Oct 04 2013 at 1:14 PM Rating: Good
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Wait, was Legolas in the book as well?
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#3 Oct 04 2013 at 1:39 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
Wait, was Legolas in the book as well?

Lol, Peter Jackson doesn't need no stinkin' books.

Gandalf was the only one of the fellowship that was also in The Hobbit.
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#4 Oct 04 2013 at 1:48 PM Rating: Decent
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First one was terrible. Second looks terrible. Probably make 2 billion.
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#5 Oct 04 2013 at 3:59 PM Rating: Good
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I have to say, I expected to hate the first, and I really enjoyed it. There were definitely aspects I disliked, but the unexpected party was EXACTLY what I wanted it to be.

And the scene fleeing the mountain was precisely what I wanted from a Sword and Sorcery movie.

It was a much easier time forgiving everything else after that.
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#6 Oct 04 2013 at 4:24 PM Rating: Good
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Have to agree. There were elements I disliked, but upon reflection, these were elements that were in the original work. The constant string of "hide in a cave to escape something" comes from the book. The relative weakness of the group (and silliness in some cases) comes from the book. Constantly getting overpowered/captured, only to have some incredibly unlikely thing occur to get them out comes from the book as well. It was written as a children's story, and it's ultimately hard to get around that without changing massive portions of the story.

I think Jackson did about as good a job balancing the need for heroic figures in the film with the inherent storyline elements that undermine that in the book itself as you could expect. He added some extra bits in which will allow for character development (which is presumed to happen in the book, but Tolkien never directly addresses, cause... Tolkien). I think that's a good move. We get to see the characters develop from silly/weak in the first film, to resolved but still overwhelmed by their surroundings in the second, to (presumably) heroic in the final installment.
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#7 Oct 04 2013 at 5:26 PM Rating: Good
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The biggest problem the movie faces, imo, is the fact that the Hobbit is so much less-serious a book.

So they had to make the decision to ignore that and show the true events, or try and stay somewhat loyal to the fact that Bilbo was the narrator of this story. They took the middle road. They want the movie to have the epic feel of the LotR trilogy, but you really can't get rid of the playfulness and call it The Hobbit.

I'm far from Tolkein's biggest fan, but I think it was a relatively solid adaptation.

What I WILL say is that I don't like the extra tension they've been trying to breed with Thorin, both in his story and with Bilbo. It had me rolling my eyes at more than a few points. I get WHY they did it, since they need a central antagonist for the films, since they broke them up into 3. But still annoying.
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#8 Oct 04 2013 at 8:28 PM Rating: Good
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I didn't see Thorin as a central antagonist in the first part. More like a troubled hero with trust issues. The central antagonist of the first movie was the handicapped Orc guy. At least, that's how I saw it.
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#9 Oct 05 2013 at 5:48 AM Rating: Good
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Oh, sorry, I see why it would be read that way; my bad.

What I meant is that they're trying to use the Pale Orc as a central antagonist through the whole series, so that they can turn the last movie into Return of the King Version 2.0. And to do that, they're playing up his and Thorin's conflict as much as possible, and REALLY playing up his relationship with Bilbo to milk the "betrayal" and death scene for all it's worth.

I'm not at all surprised they'd do that. I just don't like it, personally. I also still don't care. The oak shield part was cool, but it really didn't need to go on for nearly as long as it did. And the whole "charging into battle from the flaming tree" thing, which was supposed to be a climax, had me rolling my eyes so hard. The climax of the movie, for me, was firmly the escape scene from the mountain.

I was also bored with the Giants scene. That went on way too long.

I like graphics!porn as much as the next nerd, but they did a little too much in this film. I really hope they tone it down for the next one. I want Mirkwood to be all about dark shadows and unknown evils, not "YOU GET A SPIDER, YOU GET A SPIDER, EVERYONE GETS A SPIDER!" followed by a Mountain-esque escape from Thorin's palace.
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#10 Oct 05 2013 at 1:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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There were no elves at helms deep!!!!!


Also, too many spiders.
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#11 Oct 05 2013 at 1:57 PM Rating: Good
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Smiley: lolSmiley: lolSmiley: lol

I didn't mind them bringing the Elves to Helms Deep. It gave Haldir back his character after truncating the arrival in Lothlorien, which is a script change I understand.

But, yeah, spiders need to be seriously taken down a notch across the entire fantasy genre...
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#12 Oct 10 2013 at 6:04 AM Rating: Good
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The first movie was a 90 minute story stretched over three hours, I fear the second one will be the same.

I do like that PJ has taken stuff for the Hobbit appendices and the Lost Tales and added them in (such as Gandalf and Radagast investigating Dol Guldur), but God almighty Peter Jackson, just because you can make a movie that was more expensive than the entire The Two Towers and Return of the King's budget combined, doesn't mean you should (for three hours, anyway).

Edited, Oct 10th 2013 8:44am by SolomonGrundy
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#13 Oct 10 2013 at 6:18 AM Rating: Good
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The big problem is that the flow to those other events just isn't right, yet. He might be able to fix that with the next movies, but it's still really problematic. He spent a LOT of time dwelling on setting up a big bad that just wasn't applicable to this movie at all. There was no payoff, at all, for all that time spent on Radagast, with the Council, etc.

I'm all for building long, intersected plot arcs. But they have to actually intersect along the way. You need to be giving me those important details in the context of what is happening now.

It's the difference between Radagast having a random cameo where he fights ghosts, and having the band of Dwarves run away from the ghosts they just happened upon in Dul Guldur.

They could have somewhat addressed that if they made the group split up in this movie, with Gandalf going to Dul Guldur and leaving them alone. But they didn't, so it was a good 45 minutes (at least) worth of content that had no utility at all within the context of this film.

That's just not okay.

I'm hopeful the next two won't do that, since Gandalf will probably split off from the main group early on, and we can guess the Battle of Three Armies will be the bulk of the third movie's plot.
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#14 Oct 10 2013 at 6:45 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
They could have somewhat addressed that if they made the group split up in this movie, with Gandalf going to Dul Guldur and leaving them alone. But they didn't, so it was a good 45 minutes (at least) worth of content that had no utility at all within the context of this film.


I think you hit the nail on the head there.
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#15 Oct 11 2013 at 8:03 AM Rating: Good
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No, the most serious problem with the film was that it was an action movie where the action was unrelentingly tedious. Honestly, the intro with Smaug and the dwarf fortress was kind of cool, after that I might as well have left the cinema.
#16 Oct 11 2013 at 8:25 AM Rating: Good
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I agree that a bunch of the scenes went on too long.

I also wouldn't have started with that scene about the fall of the Misty Mountain, because it doesn't work to establish a proper tone for the movie. They were trying to allude to the start of the LOTR trilogy, but it didn't work well.

But that would have been more bearable if they didn't waste so much time on stuff without any emotional payoff.
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#17 Oct 20 2013 at 7:59 PM Rating: Good
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Hell yea! That looks awesome. Can't wait to see it.
#18 Oct 21 2013 at 11:13 PM Rating: Decent
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I enjoyed the first one a lot, really looking forward to the second.
I even started to like Gollum and feel sorry for him. If Legolas could join the second, it would be perfect.
#19 Dec 12 2013 at 2:58 PM Rating: Decent
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Wife pre-purchased tickets for us to go see opening night tomorrow. Enjoyed the first one, I expect to enjoy this one as well, even with the addional fragments put in.
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#20 Dec 13 2013 at 7:53 AM Rating: Good
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I've scheduled the afternoon off from work to go see this, but the first show in the 3-D theater isn't til 4. That might mess up dinner plans with the hubby.

We'll see. I'll get to it before the weekend is out. I rewatched most of the first movie last night.

God I love those giant eagles. Smiley: smile
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#21 Dec 13 2013 at 2:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Ahh yes the eagles.....could have flown a few more minutes and dropped them off right at the mountain :)
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#22 Dec 13 2013 at 9:12 PM Rating: Good
And they picked the goddamn most frustrating place possible to end it at.
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#23 Dec 14 2013 at 12:18 AM Rating: Decent
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There was indeed an audible sound of "wtf" or something to that affect when it ended. But still, great show. Some weird extra scenes, but then I've read the book multiple times.
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#24 Dec 15 2013 at 11:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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I read the book something like 15 years ago. Near as I can recall, a goodly portion of this movie was not true to the book; or rather, the locations and events were and then extra stuff was added to pad the action quota. Which wasn't bad! I enjoyed the movie more than the first and I never thought I'd say it but I liked seeing Legolas in action again. The ending definitely leaves you on a cliff-hanger wanting more, but the anticipation is builds for the final movie is great; I think the third movie should be excellent.

Edited, Dec 15th 2013 12:25pm by LockeColeMA
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#25 Dec 15 2013 at 6:03 PM Rating: Good
One thing that got on my nerves: Riding a metal wheelbarrow on top of a river of molten gold, without getting your hands and knees fried from conducted heat alone.

Edited, Dec 15th 2013 7:17pm by IDrownFish
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#26 Dec 15 2013 at 6:13 PM Rating: Good
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LockeColeMA wrote:
I read the book something like 15 years ago. Near as I can recall, a goodly portion of this movie was not true to the book; or rather, the locations and events were and then extra stuff was added to pad the action quota. Which wasn't bad! I enjoyed the movie more than the first and I never thought I'd say it but I liked seeing Legolas in action again. The ending definitely leaves you on a cliff-hanger wanting more, but the anticipation is builds for the final movie is great; I think the third movie should be excellent.

Edited, Dec 15th 2013 12:25pm by LockeColeMA


Atm, I'm refusing to see the movie, because the trailer alone contained so much stuff that wasn't in the book that I just can't bring myself to do it. The first definitely stretched out a lot of the events (for obvious reasons), but the scenes that were not in the book were kept to a minimum - essentially just Radaghast and the council at Rivendell.
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#27 Dec 15 2013 at 8:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
LockeColeMA wrote:
I read the book something like 15 years ago. Near as I can recall, a goodly portion of this movie was not true to the book; or rather, the locations and events were and then extra stuff was added to pad the action quota. Which wasn't bad! I enjoyed the movie more than the first and I never thought I'd say it but I liked seeing Legolas in action again. The ending definitely leaves you on a cliff-hanger wanting more, but the anticipation is builds for the final movie is great; I think the third movie should be excellent.

Edited, Dec 15th 2013 12:25pm by LockeColeMA


Atm, I'm refusing to see the movie, because the trailer alone contained so much stuff that wasn't in the book that I just can't bring myself to do it. The first definitely stretched out a lot of the events (for obvious reasons), but the scenes that were not in the book were kept to a minimum - essentially just Radaghast and the council at Rivendell.


You have the general events: Beorn, Murkwood, spiders, elves, barrels, Laketown, hidden door, Smaug. It's the details that are different: New orc pursuer... or rather, the RIGHT one... dwarves wake up and get taken captive rather than being poisoned by spiders, Legaolas and new elf Tauriel, Tauriel and Kili kinda-romance, smuggling into Laketown, Bard is now a guerrilla fighter and smuggler, not a guard, Orcs arrive in Laketown, extended escape sequence from Erebor, Smaug the Golden apparently gets his name from Golden Giant Dwarf Statue, not the riches embedded in his belly... etc.
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#28 Dec 16 2013 at 9:28 AM Rating: Good
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The trailer made it seem like Thorin grandstands in front of Thranduil about what their goal was, when in the book he does everything possible to keep it secret. That pained me.

IIRC, Thranduil didn't even know who Thorin was...
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#29 Dec 19 2013 at 1:34 PM Rating: Decent
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That was a serious dissappointment. It didn't start off bad, maybe just a bit slow, but at the end I was glad it was over. If I wanted to experience a rollercoaster, I'ld go to Disneyland.

Might not be worth going to the cinema to see part three.
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#30 Dec 22 2013 at 1:55 PM Rating: Good
I enjoyed the movie, even having read the book a few times now. I like to think the added stuff is added for one reason: not everyone is going to read all the books. Lets face it, it is a commitment to do so (and I've only managed to read the hobbit twice, audio book once, and LotRs I audio booked and had to take a break half way through because I was getting bored with it..).

If you only watch just the movies, and you only know that in LorRs Bilbo is some old as @#%^ Hobbit with a magic ring, that he got way back when he was still a young (i hobbit years) man that took him on some adventure...and now he is giving this ring to his heir (Frodo, his distant cousin, that was orphaned as a child, that he raised. Bilbo is like 80years older). This ring drives it's owner mad, unless it is within the power of it's creator. Frodo is set off on an epic quest to destroy this ring so Middle Earth will not fall to darkness.
That is the shibby of LotRs. In the movie stuff was cut because each book could have almost gotten 2 movies each imo if they added more...

So what of this old adventure that you hear about, that Bilbo went on? Enter The Hobbit.
Now from what I know, the Hobbit was written 1st and that was it. Good times. Publishers asked for more and he decided to do what he could and we got LotR...and notes that were turned into The Silmarillion (another story before The Hobbit) and a book I do not recall the name of that is after LotRs (not had time to read either yet).
Again if we just go with people who watch the movies, and the hobbit is one of 2 prequel and you do not mention anything of a Dark Lord, or maybe of an army being built... are we to just assume most of history is just know, as a viewer?

They make it flow, the story is still being told. If people are that upset about it, but still want to enjoy a "live action", go with the audio book. You get the exact story with many voices and it is true to the book. No eye candy, but your ears will like it.
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#31 Dec 25 2013 at 8:00 AM Rating: Decent
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Is there something up with the boards? A Christmas theme perhaps? (can't seem to post a completely harmless reply here?)

Bad content, but cannot figure out for the life of me what it is?

Whatever, I can agree with you Sandinmygum, but not entirely. Jackson made it all look ridiculous, fight scenes and all. (sure I had more, but the system just will not accept anything)

Edited, Dec 25th 2013 3:04pm by Zieveraar
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#32 Dec 30 2013 at 8:20 AM Rating: Good
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Sandinmygum the Stupendous wrote:
Lets face it, it is a commitment to do so (and I've only managed to read the hobbit twice, audio book once, and LotRs I audio booked and had to take a break half way through because I was getting bored with it..).

I don't really buy this. The Hobbit is one book - not a long one. What gives me a little momentary twinge of regret in regards to the movie versus the book is simply that they are two very different things. The book is a sweet, humble story of a little lion-hearted hobbit. It is naively good. The movie is none of this.

Those that 'skip' the book and think they're getting the same story by watching three intensely action packed movies about the growth and discovery of a world destroying evil menace are sorely misled about Tolkien the author.

As an action packed adventure movie - I enjoyed The Desolation of Smaug. The dragon was not a disappointment, it was as big and pompous and scary as one could imagine. I was really concerned about this babe-elf, but I liked the direction they took her in befriending Kili. Also the actress, whoever she is, gave a very good she-elf performance. I think her character actually enhanced the Legolas character a bit.

The meet-up and capture in Mirkwood was disappointing. The spiders were sufficiently creepy, but their was no chasing after disappearing lights as the wood elves toyed with the dwarfs. Similarly, the barrel escape (one of my very favorite parts of the book) was changed up significantly - though it was a really fun scene as the graceful elves were chasing after the scary orcs who were all chasing after the bearded dwarfs bobbing down the river. Also Legolas's comment about Gimli (Gloin's then infant son) got an out-loud chuckle from me.

I liked Bolg, the orc that stood in for Azog. He was pretty cool. Also Azog and the orc story getting a bit more play time was interesting.

Beorn was a really enigmatic character in the book. I think him and his story were over-simplified.

Lastly, I'm a bit miffed that the movie seemed to try and soften Thorin's greed by giving it purpose.


Over-all is was really fun to watch - as P.Jackson's Middle-earth movies always are. I saw it in 3-D but the 3-D was underwhelming - added very little to the viewing.
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#33 Dec 30 2013 at 8:29 AM Rating: Good
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That holds true for the LOTR movies, too. Maybe not to the same extent, but the LOTR movies were very heavily character-driven. The books are very heavily not.
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#34 Dec 31 2013 at 5:07 PM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
I was really concerned about this babe-elf, but I liked the direction they took her in befriending Kili. Also the actress, whoever she is, gave a very good she-elf performance. I think her character actually enhanced the Legolas character a bit.


It took me awhile to figure out where I'd seen here before, the red hair was throwing me off, but that's Evangeline Lilly. She's best known for playing Kate on Lost.

As to the movie, I liked it a bit more than the first one. I think it's because I gave up on them being faithful to the book and just went with it. As a fantasy action movie, it's very well done, and pretty damn entertaining, but it's so different from the book in so many ways that it's not even worth comparing them. Though, I will agree that Beorn got the shaft, he's barely even in the movie.
#35 Jan 02 2014 at 2:25 PM Rating: Good
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As to the movie, I liked it a bit more than the first one. I think it's because I gave up on them being faithful to the book and just went with it. As a fantasy action movie, it's very well done, and pretty damn entertaining, but it's so different from the book in so many ways that it's not even worth comparing them. Though, I will agree that Beorn got the shaft, he's barely even in the movie.


This. As Elinda said, this isn't really "The Hobbit", but the story of a growing evil in the world wrapped around the events that occurred in The Hobbit. And as such, it works very well and is a good story. It's faithful to the broader set of works of Tolkien, if not the specific book itself. I also enjoyed it more than the first film. The first one just seemed like it was a series of "rush here, run into there, hide, run again, repeat". This film had a lot more elements to it, and flowed better IMO. I also liked how they handled Legolas and the elf chick (and his father too). One of the problems in the original book was that the treatment of the wood elves in The Hobbit was glaringly different than that of elves in his later works. He clearly hadn't finished defining them when he wrote the Hobbit and that presents a problem for the film. I think Jackson's modifications help address this, giving the elves motivations for their actions which were lacking in the original, while keeping things consistent with the later works. It works IMO.

The one thing that did bother me, however, was the whole drug out fight with Smaug inside the mountain. I get why they did it (needed a conflict to cap off the film and they knew they were breaking prior to the death of Smaug), but it struck me as not just silly but incredibly unlikely as well. For something completely made up and inserted into the story, it's unfortunate that they couldn't think of an action sequence better than that. Other than that bit though, I really enjoyed the film.
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