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Old 2013-10-01, 12:08   Link #421
Renegade334
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The Hobbit should be a doozy since it only has roughly half the thickness of LotR vol.01 (The Fellowship of the Ring) and it's written in relatively easy English (remember, JRRT wrote this for his son, not for his circle of literary friends...which is the case for the three other books).

The three LotR books will be another ball game since they're aimed at a more mature and well-read audience: the speech is far more refined (drawing inspiration from old texts like Beowulf, which JRRT translated and even wrote a well-known paper on, and ancient Norse/Germanic mythology/folklore) and uses slightly more archaic words and figures of speech (the story is, after all, meant to be read like an old tale from the Middle Ages and even older than that). Some parts of the books might confuse you because they make references to characters and events that appear in the Silmarillion (consider this: the LotR trilogy is the New Testament of Middle-Earth, while The Silmarillion is the Genesis + Old Testament of Middle-Earth), but I'd advise against reading The Hobbit before going to The Silmarillion and then hopping on to the three books - this additional book might tire you prematurely.
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Old 2013-11-05, 05:41   Link #422
killer3000ad
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Sneak peek.
YouTube
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?
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Old 2013-11-05, 23:16   Link #423
Mr Hat and Clogs
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Interesting little trailer that.
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Old 2013-11-07, 00:33   Link #424
Flower
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Am I the only one who thinks Smaug's voice sounds a lot like Sauron's? It was showcased in the FotR scene where Frodo accidentily puts on the ring at the Inn in Bree and suddenly discovers Sauron's eye looking right at him and hears Sauron say: "You cannot hide. I see you. There is no life in the void. Only... death."
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Old 2013-11-07, 03:17   Link #425
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Nah, Smaug's is much deeper. Sauron's is more.. er.. soft and sibilant? Smaug's is just deep barely contained rage.
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Old 2013-12-02, 06:50   Link #426
Renegade334
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Smaug flies over New Zealand.

Ya, rly.

Well, now we have an idea of what he looks like (his image in the trailer was kinda dark-ish; this picture, however, is clearer).
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Old 2013-12-15, 22:15   Link #427
mystogan
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saw the Desolation of Smaug, truly great movie. the universe, realms and the effects were godly, loved the woodland realm of the elves as well as Erebor.
the movie contained a lot of action of both dwarves and elves and great to see Gandalf in magic action as well.
Smaug was awesome, Benedict did a great job with the voice.
and this movie has got to be the biggest cliffhanger ever, i wasn't disappointed by the ending i was curious as to see how they would end it in the midst of so many events happening.
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Old 2013-12-15, 23:47   Link #428
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Opposite for me. I know it's anticipated that there would be a cliff hanger since there is going to be part 3, but IMO that was just terrible spot to put it at. I think a more casual ending like in part 1 would have been better.

Spoiler for In regards to the movie title: Desolation of Smaug:
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Old 2013-12-16, 07:17   Link #429
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Watching Smaug with 3d glasses on was so glorious I nearly wet myself.
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Old 2013-12-16, 07:41   Link #430
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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Just saw Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug yesterday.

What I like:
  • Tighter pacing. A lot of things are happening this time around from the get go which is natural for a middle of a trilogy.
  • Tauriel & Legolas are actually one of the saving graces of the movie. Their characters are used well.
  • The VFX for Smaug is a feast to the eyes. Definitely one of the best-looking dragon in any movies to date.

What I dislike:

Padding:
Even if I said the pacing is tighter than unexpected journey, it still feels obviously padded and stretched. Some prime examples would be the overlong barrel-trip action sequences and the whole ordeal and running around inside the Lonely Mountain involving Smaug, Bilbo & the dwarfs.

Smaug:
He talks too much for a good while and endlessly (over)hyping himself like a classic Bond villain. But when it comes to the actual action of eliminating (or in this case, incinerating) our dwarf+hobbit party, he’s not really that impressive.

Mixed Visual FX:
Smaug may be a VFX achievement, but the VFX in some other departments fall short. Back when TLOTR was released, I admired it for paying so much attention of actually blending all the otherworldly creatures & mega-structures with the surroundings so that the line between VFX and the RL background is blurred. These Hobbit movies, on the other hand, is a mixed-bag at best. While Smaug, the shape-shifter and the giant-spiders look impressive, the VFX for the Elf-fu, Barrel-fu, and the non-practical Orcs look obviously fake (at least to my eyes). Not as bad as in Unexpected Journey and won’t take you away from the action that much, but for a big-budgeted movie of this caliber, it’s surprisingly bad. One particular scene, where Legolas isc riding a horse near the end of the movie, looks so bad and out of place that I was convinced that WETA (or whoever did the VFX) didn’t even try to blend Legolas and the CG horse to its surroundings.

Ending:
The ending of this 2nd installment feels more like the film got cut suddenly instead of a proper cliffhanger ending like other “middle movies” in other trilogies like The Two Towers, Empire Strikes Back, or Back to the Future II. Hell, even The Matrix Reloaded’s hanging ending is still better than this one. Yes, I know, given the nature of this movie (one book -> three movies) I should’ve expected this kinda ending, but I still don’t like it.


PS: Many critics praise Stephen Fry’s performance as the mayor of Laketown, but I don’t see anything special from his character or performance. The character is just your run-of-the-mill greedy, power-hungry ruler with ugly mustache.
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Old 2013-12-16, 09:01   Link #431
mystogan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post

Smaug:
He talks too much for a good while and endlessly (over)hyping himself like a classic Bond villain. But when it comes to the actual action of eliminating (or in this case, incinerating) our dwarf+hobbit party, he’s not really that impressive.

.
at first i thought of dragon to be just a beast, but i think it is good that he talks,
i think it is because of his talk that makes him to be evil and makes us feel the dragon to be a character,or else he would seem like just a mindless beast attracted to shiny things.
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Old 2013-12-16, 09:03   Link #432
Mr Hat and Clogs
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Well, it's been well over a decade since I read the novel, but what I remember there Smaug wasn't all that impressive in combat either. He relied mostly on peoples fear of a giant flying firebreathing lizard, and hit and run strikes (even if the description of his initial attack sounds completely badass). His best (or most interesting) attribute, imo, was his personality - he was sly, and tricky which was contrasted with his greed and hubris - a diplomat or politician (or maybe a lawyer or a despot) rather than a warrior.

He's probably an expy of politicians or some upper class from back when Tolkien wrote the story, since LOTR was (supposedly) full of metaphors for WW2 or something - I can't remember it's been a long time.
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Old 2013-12-16, 09:30   Link #433
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One thing I didn't like was how the movie seemed to imply Legolas was a Wood Elf, rather than explaining that while he lived there, he wasn't a Wood Elf.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barcode120x View Post
Spoiler for In regards to the movie title: Desolation of Smaug:
The desolation was referenced at one point when they were overlooking the dwarf city (I think that's where they were looking, at least).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Hat and Clogs View Post
He's probably an expy of politicians or some upper class from back when Tolkien wrote the story, since LOTR was (supposedly) full of metaphors for WW2 or something - I can't remember it's been a long time.
Well, considering his name is basically Smog, he's definitely an expy for someone no one likes.
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Old 2013-12-16, 09:46   Link #434
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystogan View Post
at first i thought of dragon to be just a beast, but i think it is good that he talks, I think it is because of his talk that makes him to be evil and makes us feel the dragon to be a character,or else he would seem like just a mindless beast attracted to shiny things.
I think you miss my point a little bit. It's not the "talking" part that's the problem for me. It's more about Smaug being NATO most of the time. He talks like he's all that but when it comes to the dirty work, he is (for lack of better words) rather lame and considering he is such an intelligent dragon (second only to Sean Connery's Draco imo), he is so easily led and lured to traps by the very dwarfs he looks down on.

It doesn't help that some (if not all) characters in the movie refer to Smaug as some kind of apocalypse incarnate (kinda like Godzilla). So, watching him...
Spoiler for Plot point in the climax of the movie:
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Old 2013-12-16, 09:54   Link #435
willx
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So, got to see this movie over the weekend .. I'm going to say this:

1) I liked it much more than the first one
2) My fiance liked it much less

Reasons:
- I preferred the darker tone and more action oriented nature (fiance vice-versa)
- I enjoyed the content slipped in that'll later lead up to the "War in the North"


Overall:

For both of us (and the others we were watching it with) .. the movie felt admittedly stretched .. the content likely could have been condensed from 3 movies to 2, in particular the long conversation between Smaug and Bilbo. There was also a lot of content that I don't recall from either the Hobbit, the Silmarillion or JR's notes.
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Old 2013-12-16, 11:37   Link #436
james0246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
I think you miss my point a little bit. It's not the "talking" part that's the problem for me. It's more about Smaug being NATO most of the time. He talks like he's all that but when it comes to the dirty work, he is (for lack of better words) rather lame and considering he is such an intelligent dragon (second only to Sean Connery's Draco imo), he is so easily led and lured to traps by the very dwarfs he looks down on.

It doesn't help that some (if not all) characters in the movie refer to Smaug as some kind of apocalypse incarnate (kinda like Godzilla). So, watching him...
Spoiler for Plot point in the climax of the movie:
Have you ever tried swatting at a few gnats just buzzing around your head? It's kind of hard to hit any of them isn't it? Even with some sort of bug spray. Analogously, Smaug had a hard time "swatting" the bugs running around his nest. Plus, I am unclear were you saw Smaug getting "beaten up". Sure he was led into traps, but nothing the Dwarves did hurt him, in fact they only made him angrier which led him to deciding to destroy a town of innocent humans. If anything, the extended fight sequence merely showcased the extreme arrogance of both parties, ending with Smaug looking even more powerful than before.

---

As for a review, not much to say except it was far better than the original. Sadly, that still only makes the film "good".

Besides Smaug, there is simply nothing epic about "The Hobbit 2". There are certainly some fight sequences (and I applaud the fact that some of the best fighting is done by a female character), and the pacing is far better this time around, but beyond the last act of the film, the purpose of the quest is simply lackluster - I now appreciate the fact that Jackson has changed the Dwarves quest from simple greed in the source material to a more honorable reason like reclaiming their homeland, but that does not equal the power and breadth of "Lord of the Rings". More specifically, tying a foe we've already seen defeated (Sauron) into the story does not add anything, in fact it detracts from the tension and suspense of the film.

Still, Smaug is spectacular. Funny in his arrogance, endlessly terrifying in his design and voice work. Smaug owns this movie even if he is only in it for 20 or so minutes.

Additionally, Martin Freeman is quite impressive as Bilbo. Humble with a touch of bravado, Freeman elevates the material almost completely by himself, constructing a real personality for the character, and from that a heart and soul for the film. While the Dwarves are largely ineffectual, Freeman's Bilbo si a character we can all root for. Freeman's physicality in the role is also quite excellent, with all the little ticks and movements he gives Bilbo, he is able to fully express the character's emotions and depth with a gesture of his hand just as easily as the content of his words.

Beyond that, Evangeline Lilly was a welcome addition. I may dislike that she was regulated to a romantic role almost as soon as she appeared, but in the testosterone heavy franchise, seeing any powerful female character, even a pseudo-powerful female character, is a welcome bonus. Additionally, Lee Pace as Thranduil was a complete delight. Chewing scenery with complete abandon, Pace thoroughly owned every scene he was in (I did find it funny that the actor playing Thranduil was actually younger than the actor playing his son (Orlando Bloom, reappearing as Legolas)).

I do have a special shout-out for the Village on the Lake. What a wonderful set design and all around fun area. And, I did like the added backstory for Bard, turning the character from a complete one-note to something a little more interesting.

And of course the special effects were a complete delight. Seeing this in IMAX 3D HFR was a slight revelation (later on, seeing it in regular IMAX 3D was equally as good). While the 3D was not quite as well integrated as say "Frozen" or "Gravity" from this season, Jackson did an impressive job reworking the 48fps to an extraordinary level, creating a very pleasing and robust image with little of the texturing problem of the original (this could just be me, though).

In the end, "The Hobbit 2" is an extreme improvement over the original, but it is still no were near as good if Jackson had simply decided to do one 3 and a half hour movie or even two 2 hour movies. Much of this extra detail (concerning Sauron) is simply unneeded and frankly uninteresting. But, this is a step in the right direction. 78/100 (my score for the first film was 60/100).

edit: I guess I had more to say than I thought...

Last edited by james0246; 2013-12-16 at 14:10.
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Old 2013-12-16, 11:44   Link #437
GDB
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Maybe I'm missing something, but why did the Dwarves have to go in the backdoor? What was wrong with the front door? I mean, the dragon was sleeping either way.
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Old 2013-12-16, 11:48   Link #438
Flower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB View Post
Maybe I'm missing something, but why did the Dwarves have to go in the backdoor? What was wrong with the front door? I mean, the dragon was sleeping either way.
I thought it was mentioned in part one that the front door was blocked up or something?

Other than that (not sure if it was mentioned in book proper) I thought the main reason was stealth - in the book itself I believe they thought Smaug would have his "eye"/nose on the front door iirc....
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Old 2013-12-16, 22:29   Link #439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade334 View Post
The Hobbit should be a doozy since it only has roughly half the thickness of LotR vol.01 (The Fellowship of the Ring) and it's written in relatively easy English (remember, JRRT wrote this for his son, not for his circle of literary friends...which is the case for the three other books).

The three LotR books will be another ball game since they're aimed at a more mature and well-read audience: the speech is far more refined (drawing inspiration from old texts like Beowulf, which JRRT translated and even wrote a well-known paper on, and ancient Norse/Germanic mythology/folklore) and uses slightly more archaic words and figures of speech (the story is, after all, meant to be read like an old tale from the Middle Ages and even older than that). Some parts of the books might confuse you because they make references to characters and events that appear in the Silmarillion (consider this: the LotR trilogy is the New Testament of Middle-Earth, while The Silmarillion is the Genesis + Old Testament of Middle-Earth), but I'd advise against reading The Hobbit before going to The Silmarillion and then hopping on to the three books - this additional book might tire you prematurely.
One more thing...Silmarillion isn't just one book per se. The volume called Silmarillion is just a condensed history of Tolkien-verse....much more of the meat is in the History of Middle Earth additional volumes. The whole thing is more like a history book than an actual story BTW so if you want flowing narrative like LOTR, don't get your hopes up.


There never was an actual book called the Silmarillion....it's pieced together from JRR's notes and stuff posthumously
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Old 2013-12-16, 22:52   Link #440
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"Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."

Well, we know the One Ring can make people invisible. What powers do the other
rings have (aside from the human rings turning humans into ring-wraiths)?
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