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The Desolation of Smaug & other epics - SPOILERS!!

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Jano View Drop Down
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alias author Jan Hawke

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  Quote Jano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Desolation of Smaug & other epics - SPOILERS!!
    Posted: 14 Dec 2013 at 1:21am
Well all I can say is go and see it. It's not the story we know, but that's still there essentially although it's smothered in masterly CGI and mind-boggling, eye-swirling action sequences.

We succumbed to the 3D version and all in all I'm glad we did but boy did we have bad seats as you need to be in a good elevated centre seat to take in the sheer scale of the cinematography. Purists will hate it because it completely glosses most of the Mirkwood parts of the book, 'bearly' touches on Beorn (but then he's hardly there anyway). Some good bits with Thranduil (gods he's dishy! Embarrassed) interrogating Thorin and Bilbo word-fencing Smaug. We start in Bree (cue the rain) with Gandalf talking to Thorin a year before the quest starts then straight back in to go with Beorn and Azog getting a callback to Dol Guldur. Bolg's put in far too early to deputise with the ongoing dwarf chase saga that's does start to get seriously annoying in this episode, mainly due to Legolas, Prince of the Ninjas (more to say on that later... Angry). Thorin and Co get to and into the Lonely Mountain and the film finishes where Smaug strops off to Laketown all portentous with Bilbo having a belated but serious 'whoops what have we done?' moment, which was totally ruined by a soft rock ballad with the end titles.

So far, so normal, so lets get the bad bits out of the way first. The much-vaunted Tauriel character has no place in the original storyline so of course they can do what the hell they wanted with her in Mirkwood and... hat's off to them, they could have had an inevitable sprauncy prince elf meets sexy guard captain scenario, 'cos Legs definitely would like to go there, but instead the tawny-haired and eyed warrioress starts to get the hots for - Fili?!!!!! Shocked Well, he is tall for a dwarf apparently... Anyway fast forward to the barrel exit - think more sitting in them going over Niagra style, then gratuitously have Bolg and his evil hench-orcs chasing them down the wildest log flume ride in creation with Tauriel and Legs in Matrix on speed style hot pursuit. Dead Eventually they all give up because the river's too rough, so the dwarves escape as planned, but not before Fili takes a 'Morgul' knife wound, so he has to be left behind in Laketown with Kili, Bifur and Bofur (and a bit more for Bard to do to earn his fee). 

Rewind slightly for another major miff - Bard (played by Luke Evans who looks startlingly (in a good way) like a dark version of Eomer/Karl Urban) is brought in far too early as a kind of smuggler bargeman and underground rival for Stephen Fry's Master. All that's not too bad really, as it embroiders plausibly on what was, let's face it only faintly pencilled in for the book. It shows a darker side to the city on stilts, and Mr Fry is his usual national treasure self in portraying a self-serving local slimeball politician who's trying to be posher than he really is. Tongue And back to poor wraith-meat Fili - all of sudden Tauriel and Legolas steam in just as Bofur's been out to get some athelas from the pigsty (yes really! Wacko), because Bolg and his minions have hit town briefly. After another stunning Bruce Lee memorial exhibition bout, all orcses are despatched with Legolas chasing the remnants out of town while Tauriel suddenly becomes Elrond and goes all shiny tearing up the kingsfoil and manfully massaging it into Fili's stumpy hairy dwarf leg... It's a touching scene in a way, but really, PJ must really be sitting up and begging for yet another lore nazi drubbing. No! But as T's a total invention, who's to say it's not adding some context to dwarf-elf romantic interaction where Galadriel and Gimli dared not tread? LOL 

The really great bits that were expected, whether they were in the book or not -  
  • Smaug Jawdrop- totally awesome. Best dragon ever!!!!! YahMon Daenerys Stormborn cry your little blonde heart out. He's stupendously brilliant and so - right! Benedict Cumberbatch is an utter god of voice acting. Even the dragonfire works and the bit where he's starting to flame - well words almost fail, but his gullet glows under his scales and it's just soooo - whoooosh! suckers
  • Gandalf in Dol Guldur. This IS canon, so don't argue! nono It may not be in the Hobbit, but it is in Unfinished Tales and the Sil, so ner ner and shut up! LOL But what's not in canon is the glorious conceptual visualisation of a battle of pure magic. And, gods help us, this is the dark side of the Music of the Ainur. The sequence can only be a few minutes long, but I swear that Tolkien himself would not fault this gorgeous gargantuan gem of a power war between Gandalf and the Necromancer. Simpy breathtaking. Star
    So - PJ do what you like with Azog/Bolg and Co and Legolas can rollerblade to the Battle  of the Five Armies for all I care now - thank you for topping the Isengard wizard heavyweight bout by miles and miles! Clap
  • Smaug again, but really eclipsed by his hoard (the Arkenstone is so beautiful) and a much expanded and probably over-indulgent fight sequence in the Halls of Erebor with Thorin driven to the edge, playing tag with his friends and setting off the forges to nearly engulf the dragon in a tsunami of molten gold and send him off, literally spitting nuggets, to Laketown.
    This does take astounding liberties with the original and makes Moria look pretty drab in comparison, but it sure brings the glory of past Erebor to searing life - and it's fun in an over the top way.
Had to stop (looks at time Dead). More to say later I expect Wink
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment ~ Henry David Thoreau
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  Quote Miah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 2013 at 5:47am
Ohhh! I can't wait to see the movie. boing! I knew that Smaug would be awesome! I told everyone that this dragon was going to be the best dragon ever made. I saw the movie trailers and there looked to be loads of action (and I was right), but I didn't know about Gandalf's part!

I expect the movie to be CGI, that is simply the way all movies are going. Someday all the actors will be CGI as well to save on the cost of production for these high action movies. So that factor does not bother me. I really enjoyed the first movie despite the changes from the book... I got over that. I just enjoy the movie for its awesome scenery and action that it had to offer, which surely no one can dispute. Rivendell is breath taking and still makes you want to be there. The music is still just as great as it was in LoTR.

Yeah, I suspected that this second installment of The Hobbit would be fantastic visually, with mind-blowing action. Thanks for the update Jano, now I'm looking forward to it even more. Thumbs Up (and I don't get too excited about many things, lol)

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  Quote Galen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2014 at 6:19pm
Thanks for the review.  I haven't actually seen it yet but it sounds like about what I'm expecting.  I don't mind Tauriel but I do mine the Athelas and the Elrondish bit a great deal.  Am now looking forward to the magical fight in many ways that I wasn't before.  Will give more input after I've seen it.
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  Quote Jano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2014 at 10:10pm
I really don't know why they had to regurgitate Frodo's wounding the least of it being what an orc (or a boldog even) was doing carrying a ringwraith's weapon Stern Smile They could have incapacitated Fili in some other way easily enough during the violence in the River Running  sequence and I don't quite know how they're going to get him to the Lonely Mountain to die with Thorin and Kili - obviously Tauriel's going to have to go as well in some tragic 'Last of the Mohicans' manner as well I expect?

The Sauron v Gandalf part was really well done and perhaps the only part that would please hardline lorists in that it follows the Eye of Sauron concept as described during Galadriel's temptation in LotR almost religiously and also kept the encounter strictly between the bigshot magic wielders rather than the usual battlefield gore-fest that PJ loves to indulge himself with. Only in CGI could they have done such a lucid and cerebral treatment and I was close to tears for the only time during the few minutes it took to play out because it was so excellent in every respect, including the dramatic. That and Smaug for me makes it the best film in the franchise so far - can't wait to see what happens when Elrond, Galadriel and Celeborn show up to prod buttock in the next one! Heart
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment ~ Henry David Thoreau
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  Quote Aikari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2014 at 8:30pm
I have seen the movie and had some great laughs. Big smile
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  Quote Fuin Elda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2014 at 6:25pm
I can admit it.  There were only two parts I really liked.  Gandalf in Dol Guldur.  (Which was epic and wonderful) and the introduction of Smaug.  Once the dwarves show up it just kinda gets disappointing with Smaug.  The rest was so bloody far off I was mostly disappointed.  I refused to by the first Hobbit if this one was no good (Me the person that was at the stores at 6 in the morning three hours before the extended editions went on sale every time for LOTR)  and I will not be buying this one either regardless of how amazing part three is.  I'll wait until they are in the $2.00 theatre and then probably the last run.  or maybe I'll wait for a friend to buy them and watch them on my projector... I honestly don't know.
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  Quote Galen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2014 at 1:20pm
"Legolas, Prince of the Ninjas"

This made me laugh and laugh.  I'm such a Legolas fangirl but seriously....

Loved Thranduil, loved Smaug, agree on Gandalf in Dol Guldur.  

Had to just bite my tongue with Tauriel going all Elrond on us.  I felt a little sick.

Bits of brilliance, bits of "what the heck was he drinking when he came up with this bit"
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  Quote Hoth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2014 at 3:31pm
I dread if Beebs should see this!  She can be dangerous when it comes to films that have hobbits in themLOL

I haven't seen either movie so far but I will when it's free!!!! (I do love dragons though, wish PJ would go for some 1st age fun and games)

Jano, wow, nice reviewThumbs Up
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  Quote Fuin Elda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2014 at 3:45pm
This is the only Desolation of smaug that I like:

Also I really really feel that the thing at the end after the credits... Really REALLY needs to be turned into an actual game.

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  Quote Jano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2014 at 6:38pm
 LOL Yeah that looks about my level of competence and a nice simple scoring system
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment ~ Henry David Thoreau
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  Quote Dagrun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2014 at 10:34am
ooh, the film is great! The Dragon is wonderful and the story so right. thank god for the appendixes.  And what with the vaguely Viking hints here and there, I was a happy bunny! Seen it twice in a fortnight, it's THAT good.
We all know what happenes in part three. Thorin DIES! Noooooooo!No!.
(o.k., can I help it if I fancy six foor two Richard Armitage playing a dwarf?)
 
Anyway, the long and short of it is that you start fancying an Elf and end up as Poldark!giggles  Go Aiden!
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