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The Desolation of Smaug movie - yes, spoilers!

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  • ftl_publications
    My birthday was yesterday, and I decided to celebrate it today by going to the Hobbit movie. Let me make 2 statements before I start my review (and yes, there
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 13, 2013
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      My birthday was yesterday, and I decided to celebrate it today by going to the
      Hobbit movie.

      Let me make 2 statements before I start my review (and yes, there are
      spoilers!!!):

      1. I thought The Hobbit novel was brilliant. In fact, I hesitated to read Lord
      of the Rings for six years after reading The Hobbit because I thought NOTHING
      could be better than The Hobbit, and I was afraid I would find Lord of the Rings
      disappointing in comparison (in fact, one of the reasons for the delay was that
      I did not find The Shadow of the Past very engaging at first, and it took me a
      while to get past that).

      2. I thought the 2012 Hobbit movie was enjoyable. From the first scene with the
      dwarf kingdom under the mountain, I went "wow." Delighted with The Unexpected
      Party.

      I didn't expect The Desolation of Smaug to be anything more than Peter Jackson
      fan fiction based on The Hobbit. However, I did not find this particular fan
      fiction engaging. The entire movie seemed to be strings of fight scenes, chase
      scenes, or fight scenes within chase scenes. There was no story to speak of.
      (The Battle of Helm's Deep and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields were not simply
      fight scenes, they were part of the story. The scenes in this movie were just
      amusement park rides.) About halfway through, I was saying to myself, "too much
      embellishment." David B. has a point about Jackson being too fond of monsters.
      It seemed Jackson never missed an opportunity to add a bunch of orcs to a scene.

      My willing suspension of disbelief was stretched many times, and snapped twice.
      I felt much the same as the movie Bilbo must have felt peeking out from
      underneath the tapestry...not quite believing what was going on, and hesitant to
      crawl out. Movie Thorin was right about one thing...Smaug was an incompetent
      worm (or wyrm, or whatever). There were several places where Smaug could have
      and should have killed the entire company of dwarves plus hobbit. They should
      not have survived several of those blasts of fire, yet somehow they did. They
      were within reach of Smaug's jaws many times (I'll only give Jackson the scene
      where Thorin stood on the tip of Smaug's snout for the sheer artistry of that
      particular scene, but having several such scenes where all Smaug would have had
      to do was move his head three feet to get them in his mouth...no).

      Further, Bilbo used the ring MUCH MORE in the book than he did in this movie.
      Why waste a magic ring? In particular, why TAKE THE RING OFF when standing right
      in front of Smaug?

      In brief, I agree with the reviewer who quoted Tolkien in saying that the movie
      was a small amount of butter scraped over too much bread. It struck me as a
      small amount of story spread over 2 hours and 40 minutes.

      Some birthday present (and no, I don't want a golden ring with elven letters
      inscribed on the inside in the language of Mordor, either).

      Joan
    • Mike Foster
      Joan, Thanks for the warning. My birthday is Dec. 28. I won’t waste it at the movie palace. Mike From: Joan.Marie.Verba@sff.net Sent: Friday, December 13,
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 13, 2013
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        Joan,
        Thanks for the warning.
         
        My birthday is Dec. 28.
         
        I won’t waste it at the movie palace.
         
        Mike
         
        Sent: Friday, December 13, 2013 6:42 PM
        Subject: [mythsoc] The Desolation of Smaug movie - yes, spoilers!
         
         

        My birthday was yesterday, and I decided to celebrate it today by going to the
        Hobbit movie.

        Let me make 2 statements before I start my review (and yes, there are
        spoilers!!!):

        1. I thought The Hobbit novel was brilliant. In fact, I hesitated to read Lord
        of the Rings for six years after reading The Hobbit because I thought NOTHING
        could be better than The Hobbit, and I was afraid I would find Lord of the Rings
        disappointing in comparison (in fact, one of the reasons for the delay was that
        I did not find The Shadow of the Past very engaging at first, and it took me a
        while to get past that).

        2. I thought the 2012 Hobbit movie was enjoyable. From the first scene with the
        dwarf kingdom under the mountain, I went "wow." Delighted with The Unexpected
        Party.

        I didn't expect The Desolation of Smaug to be anything more than Peter Jackson
        fan fiction based on The Hobbit. However, I did not find this particular fan
        fiction engaging. The entire movie seemed to be strings of fight scenes, chase
        scenes, or fight scenes within chase scenes. There was no story to speak of.
        (The Battle of Helm's Deep and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields were not simply
        fight scenes, they were part of the story. The scenes in this movie were just
        amusement park rides.) About halfway through, I was saying to myself, "too much
        embellishment." David B. has a point about Jackson being too fond of monsters.
        It seemed Jackson never missed an opportunity to add a bunch of orcs to a scene.

        My willing suspension of disbelief was stretched many times, and snapped twice.
        I felt much the same as the movie Bilbo must have felt peeking out from
        underneath the tapestry...not quite believing what was going on, and hesitant to
        crawl out. Movie Thorin was right about one thing...Smaug was an incompetent
        worm (or wyrm, or whatever). There were several places where Smaug could have
        and should have killed the entire company of dwarves plus hobbit. They should
        not have survived several of those blasts of fire, yet somehow they did. They
        were within reach of Smaug's jaws many times (I'll only give Jackson the scene
        where Thorin stood on the tip of Smaug's snout for the sheer artistry of that
        particular scene, but having several such scenes where all Smaug would have had
        to do was move his head three feet to get them in his mouth...no).

        Further, Bilbo used the ring MUCH MORE in the book than he did in this movie.
        Why waste a magic ring? In particular, why TAKE THE RING OFF when standing right
        in front of Smaug?

        In brief, I agree with the reviewer who quoted Tolkien in saying that the movie
        was a small amount of butter scraped over too much bread. It struck me as a
        small amount of story spread over 2 hours and 40 minutes.

        Some birthday present (and no, I don't want a golden ring with elven letters
        inscribed on the inside in the language of Mordor, either).

        Joan

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