THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Review

by     Posted 262 days ago

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After the disappointing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, director Peter Jackson has found his way back to ruling in Middle-earth with the sequel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugUnexpected Journey gave us the comfort food of familiar locales, but the story lacked urgency.  Desolation of Smaug reveals that while Unexpected Journey may have been a somewhat tedious set-up, the payoff is a fleet-footed, thrilling second chapter that confidently expands the world instead of creeping around the one Jackson previously created in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) are continuing to help dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his band of dwarves to reclaim their home of Erebor, which has been taken over by the dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).  An ill omen beckons Gandalf to leave the party and investigate the threat of a mysterious Necromancer, so without their wizard, Bilbo and the dwarves must make their way through the dark forests of Mirkwood, through an Elvish stronghold, and across the humble Lake-town.  Along the way, they encounter Legolas (Orlando Bloom), fellow Elven warrior Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), the coldhearted Elvenking, Thranduil (Lee Pace), and the bland-but-technically-heroic Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans).  Meanwhile, war is brewing as the orcs, led by Thorin’s nemesis Azog, plan to overrun the lands and bring destruction to Middle-earth.

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There’s a lot happening in Desolation of Smaug, but it all helps to broaden Middle-earth in a way Unexpected Journey never did.  Unexpected Journey is passable enough, but it was never going anywhere particularly new or interesting.  The goblin caves looked liked the Uruk-hai dwellings but with more wooden bridges.  The forests were unremarkable.  At one point they were climbing on stone giants for no particular reason.  By comparison, Mirkwood and Lake-town have their own personalities, and more importantly, people talk about other places in Middle-earth.  Jackson is showing and telling, and it makes the world feel lived in, but in a different way than Lord of the Rings.

Unexpected Journey (and I know it sounds like I’m going to keep trashing on a movie I didn’t find all that bad) had the unintended side effect of lowering expectations, so Desolation almost feels like a fresh start and we don’t have to hold it up to The Lord of the Rings.  The middle chapter of The Hobbit trilogy is a separate beast, and can, to an extent, play on its own terms.  We know to accept that most of the dwarves will remain indistinct (I challenge casual moviegoers to separate Dori, Nori, and Ori), but the group has more personality and they go slightly beyond being Bilbo’s backup players.  The script remembers that even though Bilbo is crucial to the quest, these characters were recruited by Thorin Oakenshield, and in some respects, this is really his story.

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The movie opens with a prologue focusing on Thorin’s first meeting with Gandalf, and it not only helps realign the story a bit, but it also further highlights the strength of Armitage’s performance.  If there’s going to be a breakthrough star from this trilogy, it will be him.  Thorin has a dragon-sized chip on his shoulder, and Armitage plays the character with a captivating mix of anger, self-righteousness, fear, and a bit of insanity.  He’s like a dark version of Aragorn: a dethroned king craving his birthright and willing to sacrifice others to reclaim it rather than someone who must reluctantly take up the mantle and be a leader.

As for the new additions, Smaug and Bard are somewhat unremarkable.  Evans, despite appearing in a slew of blockbusters, isn’t a particularly memorable actor.  He’s handsome, but there’s never any joy or distinction to his performances.  He’s grim-faced and most of his personality comes from his rugged facial hair.  Bard is a de facto hero, but comes off as nothing more than a plot device.

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But Smaug is a baffling letdown.  He’s got a charismatic actor for the voice and an impressive physical design, but he never quite comes alive.  Jackson nailed the battle of wits between Gollum and Bilbo in Unexpected Journey, but there’s no chemistry between the hobbit and the dragon (which is somewhat surprising when you consider Freeman and Cumberbatch play off each other wonderfully on Sherlock).  Smaug does a lot of talking, and Bilbo does a lot of scrambling.  Most of Smaug’s dialogue boils down to, “Let me keep telling you how awesome I am and how everyone else sucks,” and it gets old quickly.  He’s far more effective as a flying, fire-breathing, stampeding set piece.

When it comes to the new characters, the biggest success is Tauriel.  Because the writers created her from scratch, I was worried she would be the token female, but Jackson and co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have given her more to do than just massacre orcs.  She strikes up an emotional bond with Kili (Aidan Turner), has to make tough choices between following her conscience and going off to fight orcs, and I’m interested to see where she goes in the final film.  She also helps to temper a much wilder and angrier Legolas.

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Bloom clearly relishes stepping back into his famous role, and Jackson enjoys giving the character new ways to slaughter his foes to the point where the action goes absolutely wild.  Because the story lacks the stakes of “Save the world from ultimate evil,” there’s really no reason to use Legolas’ actions as a quick breather from the horrors of war.  He’s a pure shot of adrenaline, and he may as well have a kill-combo counter above his head.  Desolation of Smaug shows that if you’re going to turn parts of your movie into a video game, make sure it’s a damn fun one.  There’s also a tremendous action scene near the end, and while I won’t spoil it, the scene illustrates how Jackson has effectively built on Tolkien’s novel.

As a side note, I feel like this is an opportunity to apologize for and better articulate the comments I wrote about Tolkien’s writing in my An Unexpected Journey review.  Tolkien was talented in terms of world-building.  He also created memorable characters, and there are some absolutely riveting moments in his books like the “Riddles in the Dark” between Bilbo and Gollum, and the breathless escape from Shelob in The Two Towers.  But I also find that Tolkien’s over-descriptive prose and occasional detours can make his novels a slog.  So is he a bad writer?  No, but I think The Lord of the Rings movies were an effective and efficient adaptation, and The Desolation of Smaug shows that it’s possible to make worthwhile additions.

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There are several reasons why The Hobbit Trilogy will never be as good as Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, and Unexpected Journey stumbled out the door to the point where it almost felt like these new movies were a misguided effort at best and a cynical cash-grab at worst.  When the middle chapter was announced shortly before Unexpected Journey was released, the unplanned addition seemed like it would be burdening an already-stretched narrative.   While there are still some glaring flaws, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug shows Jackson has accepted that although he can’t go home again, he can still ignite an exciting adventure.

Rating: B+

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  • http://www.geekrex.com/ Alexander Knox

    Your review is the exact opposite of my feelings about the film. The additions here are glaringly bad I thought, particularly the love triangle that slogged down the entire narrative.

    As for The Unexpected Journey, while it definitely has major flaws (mostly dealing with Radagast, the JarJar Binks of this franchise), it at least has a narrative through-line for Bilbo where there is effective character evolution and growth. He’s completely backgrounded here in favor of Legolas and Thorin, and it’s really to the movie’s detriment as Martin Freeman is the best thing about this whole endeavor.

    C+ at best for me.

    • Grayden

      Somebody give Knox a grant.

      • Dan

        Bravo

    • Strong Enough

      martin the best thing? BWAWWAWAWA

      yeah right

      • Martin Freeman

        What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.

      • CKLOH

        This is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read on this site.

      • CKLOH

        This is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read on this site.

      • Strong Enough

        someone has a lot of time on there hands

      • Arthur Dent

        *their

      • Strong Enough

        they’re

      • Aquartertoseven

        On they are hands? Are you trying to be stupid?

      • Strong Enough

        LMAO

      • r.s.

        ….really. hey fuck stick why not track me down… i will be waiting and the moment you step foot in my home you will have a hole the size of a .45 in your forehead and one the size of a grapefruit in the back

    • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

      Not only Radagast the clown, but also the heavy use of CGI.
      Instead of using prosthetics for Azog and the Goblin king, they’ve gone all CG. It was a huge let down.
      And the white council missed the dramatic tone. it was a boring meeting. Even Galadriel was superfluous in this council.

  • Marissa Evans

    In all honesty, I knew I wouldn’t like the dialogue between the dragon and Bilbo. In the book it was very much like that as well, and I’m just hoping they compensate with great camera work and effects on the dragon as Bilbo tries to keep out of sight. I’m not expecting a scene as good as the scene between Bilbo and Gollum.
    Great review as always, Matt. And I really admire your honesty about Tolkien. I admit that like most people I never read the books (and to be fair I have no intention to either, though I did give The Hobbit a chance because it’s short), so my knowledge of Middle-Earth is limited to these films. Thus I’m taking them for what they are and enjoying the hell out of them.

    • JBug

      The Hobbit is pretty good because it’s way more concise than LOTR. I read it like a dry comedy as opposed to world-saving adventure, which is I believe how it was written. IMO, the LOTR books aren’t worth the time.

      • Grayden

        Well, it’s a children’s book. When compared to a trilogy of adult novels with adult themes it probably reads a lot easier. I think for one to truly appreciate the Lord of the Rings, you almost have to read Tolkien’s other masterpiece, released posthumously, The Silmarillion. It gives you such insights into the nature of the Elves, Dwarves, and Men and even Middle Earth itself. You’ll understand why Old Man Willow almost eats the Hobbits, and why the Ents exist. Why Aragorn fears his birthright, and why there are Rangers in the North. Who Sauron is and why he is. Why Elves and Dwarves hate each other so.

        There was so much Tolkien wrote about this world, there was no way he could cram it into three novels.

      • $29319547

        Translation: Tolkien was a shitty writer who wrote novels for adolescence so full of holes he had to go back and write another book just to fill in all the gaps and gaffes. He was a genius alright.

      • fitzy

        the second highest selling book of all time, ever, not bad for a ‘shitty’ author. oh and ‘the hobbit’ was written first you numskull, it was a book written for his children never intended for a wider audience. oh and professor of english language and professor of anglo saxon at oxford university as well as being one of the most widely read authors in the history of english literature sounds like genius to me. what have you ever done to distinguish yourself you fuckwit?,

      • doctor_robot

        maybe he meant the bible?

      • hahaa

        Hahahaha. These fucking nerds defending this shit. You fat gut fucking losers should put your energy into getting laid instead of learning Elvish.

      • $29319547

        fitzy “I’m a sad sack of shit who has to live vicariously through another man’s accomplishment and cream myself knowing he’s the number pound for pound writer of shitty fantasy books fat friendless loser love” Fucking retard.

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        correction: the LOTR books aren’t worth “your” time.

      • fitzy

        donkey

    • blablacomputer

      How can you admire Matt’s “honesty” about Tolkien if you didn’t even read his best work? Moreover that is just his opinion, I think there are more qualified people out there to say whether Tolkien was a good writer or not. I don’t like Shakespeare’s work but that doesn’t mean that he was a bad writer, it just I don’t know much about play-writing and poetry.

      • Marissa Evans

        Heh, trust me, I’m not worth responding to. I’m a casual viewer, I don’t form good arguments about these types of things.
        But in any case, the majority of reviewers try to put some sort of insight into why Tolkien’s a masterful writer, and how these films fare in comparison. I like how Matt just outright admits his real opinion of the books is all. That’s why I said that, because I’m sick of these reviewers pretending to give a damn when many of them probably didn’t know about the books until these films came along.

      • $29319547

        No, Tolkien’s just shitty guys. He has a fervert cult of nerds who want everyone to take this shit seriously as high art. Newsflash: it ain’t happing nerds. LOL!

      • Brenno

        You seem like you’re trying, so let me help you out. Next time don’t finish with a caps locked “LOL” it just makes you seem desperate. Be more subtle with your trolling, people aren’t supposed to get halfway through your first sentence and decide it’s just another failed troll attempt from an amateur internet phaggot. Bait, bait and then strike. Hopefully your next post won’t be so cringe worthy Live.Laugh.Love

      • $29319547

        See what you fail to understand is that I’ve gotten to you so badly you feel compelled to respond to each one of my posts, even ones not directed at you. In my estimation that’s some pretty damn good trolling. Stay mad bro. Lulz ;)

      • Brenno

        hypocrisy :)

      • Brenno

        Brenno 1
        Bitch of Collider 0 :D

      • $29319547

        You won that round but too bad you can’t cash in your reward of gargling Tolkien’s salty ball sack like you’d love to do. *gurgle* *gurgle* *slurp*. Were you one of the kids he fucked or what? I heard that limey bitch had a whole dungeon of em.

      • $29319547

        You won that round but too bad you can’t cash in your reward of gargling Tolkien’s salty ball sack like you’d love to do. *gurgle* *gurgle* *slurp*. Were you one of the kids he fucked or what? I heard that limey bitch had a whole dungeon of em.

      • $29319547

        Hey Brenno, Tolkien’s a dead rotting corpse right now. Let it go bro. He won’t come and fuck you in front of your family like you want him to so quit trying so hard.

      • $29319547

        Hey Brenno, Tolkien’s a dead rotting corpse right now. Let it go bro. He won’t come and fuck you in front of your family like you want him to so quit trying so hard.

  • HORSEFLESH

    What happened to Orlando Bloom’s face in that photo?

    • Grayden

      CG-enhanced most likely. I noticed it from the first trailers. He’s ten years older playing a character who’s technically around 90 years younger. Granted Elves likely don’t “age” much over a century, but it’s likely done to make Bloom look as young as he did in the LotR trilogy.

      • HORSEFLESH

        They just made him look gayer. Should’ve left him looking natural.

  • Nomis1700

    You misinterpret Smaug. He is so full of himself, he is a freaking dragon and loves gold very fiercely. He’s much more a villain than Gollum, who’s an entirely different character. Smaug has been put on screen like he was in the book, only much vaster and with an incredible voice and looking tremendously well. I loved DOS and Smaug is certainly the highlight of the film. Absolutely incredible.

  • Jim

    Hm. Lost me before I even finished the first sentience. Nice job.

  • Brenno

    …..why, Goldberg? Why did you need to make comment on Tolkien’s writing ability, again?
    You’re a hack movie reviewer, stick to what you know.

    • Strong Enough

      you mad bro?

      • Brenno

        Goldberg nuthugger

      • $29319547

        You do realize that Strong Enough is severely, and I mean SEVERELY, mentally challenged don’t you? Does it make you feel like a big man bullying the handicapped?

      • Strong Enough

        why are you constantly on my nutsack? lmao!

      • Strong Enough

        Nazi sympathizer

    • $29319547

      Tolkien couldn’t write for shit, like most fantasy writers out there.
      In before stupid : “Durr you write a better fantasy book then” comeback.

      • Brenno

        inb4 he’s a merton professor of english literature and you’re a half-assed internwebz trollhard. You need to work on your material, bro, it fucking sucks

      • $29319547

        What?
        Merton Professor does not equal genius writer.
        P.S. Why are you so mad bro? I realize that reading about Bilbo and Fredo’s adventures were the only thing that kept you going all those years you never got laid and got your ass whipped by guys like me but don’t expect us to give this shit a pass because of your boner for it.

      • Brenno

        that was soft bro. Srs, you really fail at this shit

      • $29319547

        Softer than your dick at the sight of adults? Pederast.
        Why no response bro? Cutting and running after getting your ass handed to you really makes you look like a twat. Par for the course for Tolkien fans, limp-wrist man children.

      • blakeavon

        Even for a troll, you are hilariously unfunny

      • $29319547

        I’m laughing at you fat fucking loser nerds pretty fucking hard. So there’s that.

      • Brenno

        taking your sweet time bro. Trying to think up of a comeback that is actually lols worthy?

      • $29319547

        Nah, unlike you I’m employed so I can’t devote all my time to defending a children’s fantasy book. LOL!

      • Brenno

        cool story, bro. No hate, but you should srsly think about changing your name from “King of Collider” to “Bitch of Collider”. You’re a bit like a flaccid penis, no good to no one

      • $29319547

        Haha, fuck me are you ever mad. You’re like that kid in Clerks II who throws up when someone makes fun o LOTR.

      • Brenno

        irony :)

      • $29319547

        P.S. look up the page a bit for a lulz worthy read. You’re welcome.

      • Brenno

        scrolls up

        reads post

        reads post again

        leaves site disappointed

      • fitzy

        brenno, i love you :)

      • $29319547

        Fitzy “brenno I love you. Can I suck down your juices and pretend your tolkien?”

      • $29319547

        Fitzy “brenno I love you. Can I suck down your juices and pretend your tolkien?”

      • $29319547

        disappointed like that 300 pound chick you took home from Tolkien cosplay when she found out you had an inch long cock that can’t get hard unless she wears a Aargorn mask? Or disappointed like your parents were when you mongloid ass popped out of your diseased mama’s twat?

      • $29319547

        disappointed like that 300 pound chick you took home from Tolkien cosplay when she found out you had an inch long cock that can’t get hard unless she wears a Aargorn mask? Or disappointed like your parents were when you mongloid ass popped out of your diseased mama’s twat?

      • pinkincide

        Tolkein was too much for the king. He’s sticking with Twilight.

  • Red Eye

    It’s funny how, a year later, I’m seeing plenty of people coming out of the woodwork and admitting that An Unexpected Journey was actually pretty good.

    • $29319547

      Ha ha no.

    • Marissa Evans

      I liked the first one well enough. But again, I’m a casual viewer. I liked Freeman’s performance, the dwarves were a lot of fun, and I love the effects and the shots of New Zealand as always. And whenever it lagged I just tell myself that that’s the part I’m going to be getting up and doing stuff around the house during when I eventually by it on DVD/Blu-ray. The same way I do with Lord of the Rings whenever the talking trees come up or Arwen’s moping about immortality. That’s the beauty of these films: I never feel the need to stay in my seat the whole time. When it slows down, I can do some housework or grab a snack. I consider Jackson’s Tolkien movies less as movies and more experiences/adventures. (But in the theatre of course it’s SO worth it to see all of it on the big screen, 3-D, IMAX, the whole works.)
      Plus I’ve grown to love watching my son re-enact that scene with Gollum, where he’s repeating Bilbo’s lines surprisingly accurately. It’s just grown on my family at this point. :) Very excited to take him to see this one tomorrow night.

      • Pk

        I never got the hate around the hobbit. I felt it was aces better than the original trilogy mainly because it had a fun upbeat tone and doesn’t take itself to seriously like the original. But that’s just my personal opinion since I’m not an ardent fan of the series and hell haven’t even read the books.

    • GrimReaper07

      Few people will say its terrible, but I still feel its just an ok film as opposed to legenday like the LOTR movies. Its murky, painfully slow paced, overlong by around 30 mins, has too much filler (honestly, the giant mountains scene felt completely unnecessary and wasn’t too exciting), the special effects are overdone and look worse than in the original trilogy, the supporting cast is completely underdeveloped, the story right off the bat is not too engaging and most of the action scenes are kind of poor (specially the one in the goblin caves). All in all I liked the film because it also has plenty of things going for it, but there’s also too many negative things that push it back from being “great” or “very good” IMO.

    • Oolie zool

      I thought it was fantastic. It’s making the rounds on cable now and I can’t help but be drawn to it every time I come across it. Is it a little bloated? yes, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining or enjoyable.

  • AnotherTrashArticle

    Matt Goldberg *face palm

  • IMPYEMU

    My favorite sequence from The Hobbit is Mirkwood. I hope it’s at least half as good as it was in the book.

    • TrekBeatTK

      Sorry, it’s not. And that ticked me off too, because what screen time could have gone there instead when to interspecies flirting and endless orc battles.

  • ʝoe ßloggs

    I just rewatched Unexpected Journey and it is not a “tedious setup”. While certainly not LOTR-level enthralling, it stands up as a good movie with an intriguing plot and action to keep one engaged. While I agree that it didn’t go anywhere new, people who love Jackson’s cinematic Tolkien world still find it interesting.

    To exclude Martin Freeman as a breakthrough star from this trilogy is harsh. His portrayal of Bilbo in the first film was the highlight for me. I thought Thorin was suitably heroic but barely so – though Armitage does have screen charisma.

    Also to suggest that this really is Thorin’s story is an off-balanced view. That this tale is told from the POV of Bilbo through his memoir “There and Back Again” is clue to who the protagonist really is i.e. Bilbo Baggins. The chosen one in this story is not Thorin – to reclaim Erebor and installed as its next dwarf king but rather Bilbo, chosen (initially by Gandalf) to undertake the Adventure. Hence I would argue that Thorin is a supporting protagonist/leader and that the second film rotates the spotlight to him more without losing focus on the central character.

    I will watch Desolation of Smaug (HFR 3D) tomorrow and later update this with my impressions of it.

    • GrimReaper07

      I might be mistaken, but doesn’t Bilbo leave the Shire around 40 minutes into the movie? Barely anything happens during that time (and not just plot-wise but also character wise).

    • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

      I think Martin Freeman already broke out. People know him from other things.

      • ʝoe ßloggs

        Hey Matt! On TV perhaps – role in Sherlock was before Unexpected Journey. Film-wise nothing notable except World’s End.

        Still, would be good to see both these actors (Freeman and Armitage) on film more.

        Side note: it seems most actors in the LOTR world don’t have much to sing about after the movies save for McKellen – already part of other franchises and established stars (Blanchett, Mortensen et al). Karl Urban is an exception. Of the four hobbits from LOTR, none of them had notable film careers post-LOTR.

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        Elijah Wood:

        2004 Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind
        2005 Hooligans
        2005 Sin city
        2006 Paris, je t’aime
        2008 Oxford murders
        2011, Wilfred tv series.
        2012, Maniac.

        To name a few.

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        Elijah Wood:

        2004 Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind
        2005 Hooligans
        2005 Sin city
        2006 Paris, je t’aime
        2008 Oxford murders
        2011, Wilfred tv series.
        2012, Maniac.

        To name a few.

      • ʝoe ßloggs

        Would you call that a notable film career?
        More notable that the other three I suppose…

  • Old Soldier

    “My name is…….Smaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaug.”

  • The Flobbit

    This film is absolutely incredible. A blockbuster masterpiece, and I don’t care what you think. There. I said it.

    • Marissa Evans

      Preach, Flobbit. :p You shouldn’t care. Nobody should care. I read reviews to gain insight about people’s overall impressions so I know what quality of filmmaking to expect, but if you liked something or disliked something, there’s no shame. People are far too easily offended.

      • The Flobbit

        I love how whenever anybody tells someone else to not care about other people’s opinions they are ignoring their own advice.

    • IMPYEMU

      No one cares that you don’t care. There. I said it.

      • The Flobbit

        I don’t care about you.

  • blakeavon

    HUH?! “Smaug does a lot of talking, and Bilbo does a lot of scrambling. Most of Smaug’s dialogue boils down to, “Let me keep telling you how awesome I am and how everyone else sucks,” and it gets old quickly” … Sounds exactly spot on for how I have always seen it in the book for last 30 years

    • IamZachrifice

      Exactly. Bronzeberg is known for not doing his homework when it comes to source material, which is why he can’t be taken seriously as a writer or a critic.

  • chosen1

    Absolutely loved the film in its entirety. Finally feels like the Hobbit is in sync with the LOTR. Also, loved Stephen Colbert’s credit as a Laketown Spy!

  • Person

    Can’t believe I’m saying this but this movie might have been even worse than the first. Had trouble staying awake until Smaug showed up. Aimless plot, no explanation for why the eagles couldn’t just take them all the way to the mountains… just a narrative mess. The CGI was also terrible for some reason, as if the entire VFX budget went into Smaug and nothing else. Saw this in 2D.

    Unexpected Journey improved slightly for me on second viewing, so hopefully this will too. But I can wait for the Blu-ray to give this another try. Weak effort, with a very frustrating ending.

    • CKLOH

      You think a massive Tolkien drake wouldn’t notice ten plane-sized eagles nearing its treasure horde? WHAT AN IDIOT.

  • http://whiterosebrian.tumblr.com/ White Rose Brian

    This review seems promising enough. I already have tickets for myself and a friend to see it in a theater that’s a fair distance from both of us. We’ll be seeing it in HFR-3D with D-Box seats on Sunday. That will be my holiday present to him.

  • Vicious Julious

    Peter Jackson had only months to finish THE HOBBIT:UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, since Guillermo del Toro bail off.
    For the time he had, he did a very great job.

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  • Christian Grey

    Was that Peter Jackson on the opening scene of THE HOBBIT: THE
    DESOLATION OF SMAUG?? It was only for a second or two… he was coming
    out of some house with the smoking pipe. I swear to god it did look like
    him.. ANYONE???

    • chosen1

      You are correct sir. He was biting a carrot. Definitely made me chuckle since he was the same character in Bree in Fellowship.

    • chosen1

      You are correct sir. He was biting a carrot. Definitely made me chuckle since he was the same character in Bree in Fellowship.

  • Christian Grey

    Was that Peter Jackson on the opening scene of THE HOBBIT: THE
    DESOLATION OF SMAUG?? It was only for a second or two… he was coming
    out of some house with the smoking pipe. I swear to god it did look like
    him.. ANYONE???

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  • IMPYEMU

    I think they nailed Smaug to a FUCKING T, but the rest of the movie, including Mirkwood which was my favorite part of the book, fell flat for me.

  • IamZachrifice

    Before I even read the review I anticipated Goldberg ( or as I call him, Bronzeberg) to put down the one thing everyone else in the world loved. Smaug was awesome, Bronzeberg, You’re movie snobbery is becoming overly predictable these days.

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  • ʝoe ßloggs

    It was ok but Matt makes some contentious points as usual. Good to see others speak up and rebut them.

  • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

    Now I am pretty sure you were raped by a bunch of al qaeda members. You talk a lot of them.

    It makes sense, yeah…

  • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

    Now I am pretty sure you were raped by a bunch of al qaeda members. You talk a lot of them.

    It makes sense, yeah…

  • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

    So there was the sherpa twins, muhammad and jihad!
    It wasn’t a rape, it was a gang bang.

    I understand now what’s wrong with you…
    Are you able to sit on your butt ?

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