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View Poll Results: How would you grade The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug?
A+ 8 6.61%
A 31 25.62%
A- 24 19.83%
B+ 16 13.22%
B 17 14.05%
B- 2 1.65%
C+ 7 5.79%
C 8 6.61%
C- 3 2.48%
D+ 3 2.48%
D 1 0.83%
D- 0 0%
F 1 0.83%
Voters: 121. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 31 2013, 09:41 PM   #151
Ancient Mariner
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

I just bought AUJ: EE and haven't watched it yet, but I thought the theatrical version certainly setup the madness in the intro: Bilbo's voiceover, "It was a sickness of the mind" (or something close to that effect) in reference to Thror, while showing Thorin's image on-screen. Perhaps it helps that I've read the books several times, but that moment seemed to be deliberate foreshadowing.
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Old December 31 2013, 10:42 PM   #152
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

A solid "A" from me. I wasn't quite as excited going into this one as Part 1 because some of the slapstick didn't work for me, but I had a fantastic time with this one.

I can see where some of the criticism is coming from - overlong/stuffed action, Bilbo getting lost in the shuffle - but for me almost everything clicked. Bilbo did kind of disappear overall, that one I agree with. The action was at times over-the-top but unlike Misty Mountain stuff I thoroughly enjoyed it all, especially the Barrels sequence. Legolas and Tauriel are veritable superheroes and I was thrilled by every second of it. And Bombur's (?) barrel roll and then brief Barrel Man had me giggling in a very good way.

Considering how much good expansion Lake Town and Bard got, I was a bit disappointed that Beorn's role was so small, but I though the actor did a good job with it. Speaking of Bard, all that we got was very good but as a minor wish I kind of hope they don't follow through with the catapult-esque "black arrow launcher" being what he uses to kill Smaug. I don't know, I just like the classic "Bard the Bowman" thing, but obviously it won't be a big deal.

I really enjoyed all the stuff with Thranduil, Tauriel, Legolas, and the elves in general. Lee Pace did a great job and it was nice to see Bloom back in elf mode. I wasn't sure what I'd think of Tauriel and adding her into the story... but you know what, I loved it. It's good to have a "common" elf get such a prominent role considering all the others are the aristocracy, and it's always good to have a well-executed female character in Tolkien stuff. I thought the growing relationship between her and Kili was a nice touch; the strained-at-best relationship between Elves and Dwarves is a big theme and I wonder if she'll have a part in convincing Thranduil to help at the Five Armies Battle. It also (and splitting the party in general) helps to differentiate the dwarves a little more since aside from Thorin and Balin they're still pretty much one-line figures.

Gandalf's stuff was small but very good, and the showdown he had with the Necromancer was just fantastic. Hope to see more of the White Council in Part 3.

The real standout though was of course the one and only Smaug the Magnificent. Best. Dragon. Ever. Terrifyingly menacing, great job by Cumberbatch. The mo-cap was pretty spectacular too, especially the facial work. I'm really glad we're saving the rest of him for Part 3 because that means more Smaug.
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Old December 31 2013, 11:00 PM   #153
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

777 wrote: View Post
Then how would you incorporate the ramifications of the Arkenstone and Thorin's madness if we stop at Smaug's death?
Er, I thought I was clear - I don't really care about either of those threads. The main things for these movies to set up is Bilbo's affection for Rivendell, his acquisition of the Ring, and his decision to retire from adventuring in the wake of Smaug's defeat. I'm not saying Thorin's madness need be omitted completely, but I don't see any compelling need for Bilbo to stick around while a large battle brews and ensues, either. It certainly doesn't seem like it'll deserve most of a movie of its own.


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^ Shhh .... Gaith is hard at work hating on another Prequel Trilogy.

teeehee

I would have trimmed 10-15 minutes from AUJ in the scripting phase (the orc-chase to Rivendell struck me as particularly unnecessary, nor did we need to see the dwarves' battle in the Goblin tunnels while Bilbo was confronting Gollum), but I really liked it otherwise. And since I highly doubt there'll be any "Darth Vader built Threepio"-level stupid moments, I don't hate these movies; I'm not angry at this post-AUJ stuff, just disappointed.
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Old January 1 2014, 12:00 AM   #154
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

I'll have to agree to disagree on this. I feel that the focal point of "The Hobbit" was the consequences of greed, and that the Thorin arc and the resulting culmination at BOFA highlights this theme. I feel Bilbo is just an "everyman" plot device allowing this theme to be showcased.
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Old January 1 2014, 12:28 AM   #155
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Also the contrast between the Hobbit's innocence and the Dwarves' greed and corruption.
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Old January 1 2014, 01:02 AM   #156
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

^ Also echoed, especially in DoS, in Bilbo's growing inner conflict over his "greed" toward his Precious Ring. Perhaps the consequences of Thorin's greed help Bilbo eventually give up The Ring, years later?
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Old January 1 2014, 01:12 AM   #157
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post
^ Also echoed, especially in DoS, in Bilbo's growing inner conflict over his "greed" toward his Precious Ring. Perhaps the consequences of Thorin's greed help Bilbo eventually give up The Ring, years later?
Not a bad thought considering the first film started with old Bilbo the day before the night he makes that very choice. Perhaps the third movie will come back to this as a bookend.
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Old January 1 2014, 03:26 AM   #158
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Honestly, at this point I really don't think these movies are Bilbo's story so much as they are an overall LOTR prequel story. I don't mind that, but if you were going into this expecting to get just Bilbo's story, I can see where it might be annoying. I knew pretty much as soon as they announced this was going to be a trilogy that we were getting a lot more than just Bilbo's story from the book, so I expected that going in and I really enjoyed what we got. If you just want Bilbo's story you can just read that book, and besides most of that stuff is still in the movie, in one form or another.
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Old January 1 2014, 03:40 AM   #159
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

The first movie was very Bilbo centric. The second movie basically ignored him. I'm guessing the third one will enormously beef up the Bilbo/Thorin argument.
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Old January 1 2014, 04:12 AM   #160
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Can't say I'm surprised that DoS was a bit lighter on Bilbo. I imagine most of the extra material they shot to create a third film ended up in this one.
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Old January 2 2014, 07:04 AM   #161
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

I have to say, these movies are really making Frodo seem pathetic compared to Bilbo. This Bilbo is a hardcore guy.
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Old January 2 2014, 07:24 AM   #162
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Bilbo's takedown of the albino arachnid was pretty epic. But it doesn't make me think any less of Frodo and the burden he carried to Mount Doom.
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Old January 2 2014, 01:38 PM   #163
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Bilbo has a lot more personality and spark than Frodo ever did. Frodo was the typical boring lead character surrounded by much more colorful supporting characters.
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Old January 2 2014, 02:41 PM   #164
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Sauron's spirit and connection to the Ring was also far stronger a hold on Frodo than it ever was on Bilbo, for reasons which have nothing to do with either of them. That said, of course I'd rather have a beer with Bilbo/Freeman than Frodo/Wood.
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Old January 2 2014, 03:16 PM   #165
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Mr Light wrote: View Post
Bilbo has a lot more personality and spark than Frodo ever did. Frodo was the typical boring lead character surrounded by much more colorful supporting characters.
That goes for all hobbits. Bilbo, Sam, Merry and Pippin are all more likable and don't whine around like little pussies every time the shit hits the fan.
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