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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 16 2013, 12:59 AM   #31
JD
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

So how is that going to work? Is he just going to disapear or will they just kill him and move on in the first minutes of the movie. I haven't seen TDoS yet, but I saw a reference to the cliffhanger in a post above and I don't understand how they can resolve that if they're cutting Smaug's scenes.
EDIT: This post is in reference to Mr. Light's post about Smaug being cut from There and Back Again.
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Old December 16 2013, 01:01 AM   #32
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

The answer is in the links
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Old December 16 2013, 02:49 AM   #33
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

I might be in the minority opinion on this, but as much as I enjoyed the flick, and it had some great sequences, I think the first movie was a better story.

Negatives:

The first film had solid character arcs and a ending that gave closure, not to mention a lot of interaction between Gandalf and the Company. This movie just abruptly ends in the middle of a story when it seems to be about ten minutes away from its conclusion, which just befuddles me. I assumed that movie 2 would be about Smaug and movie 3 would be about the battle. So the best way to end movie 2 is to kill the dragon. Gives closure to the story.

Also I was surprised see an almost complete lack of character development in this movie. Bilbo barely appears in his own starring movie. Aside from a welcome appearance from Legolas and Evangelline Lilly (and their love triangle with Kili), these characters pretty much act as plot devices.

And Gandalf is barely in this movie, and only spends the first few scenes with the Company. I was expecting a lot more story on the Necromancer front.

The big Bilbo/Smaug scene was completely mishandled. I found the cartoon version to be much, much better. Smaug's voice and appearance were much better in the cartoon (and I love Cumberbatch!). The treasure vault is comically huge to the point of ridiculousness. Bilbo wearing the Ring is easily located by Smaug, thus negating the entire point of his usefulness to the quest (along with tripping over all the ridiculous piles of gold ruining his stealthiness). Bilbo is terrified and speaking softly, rather than being crafty and confident and loud (as in the cartoon). I loved the way that Bilbo at this point in the story was able to deftly butter-talk Smaug like that.

On that same note, they cut out the bit where Bilbo with the Ring terrifies the spiders and calls them names. I loved that sequence in the book.

And they cut out the sequence where the starving mad Dwarfs are chasing through the night woods trying to crash into the Elven party which just magically disappear only to reappear a little further away. I thought that was a great and creepy introduction to the Elves. And since they're dragging this out to nine hours I'm shocked they cut out an entire sequence from the book like that

Positives:

The lake barrel chase was absolutely amazing, fun, and hilarious. That was a brilliantly constructed sequence. My favorite part of the entire movie was Bombur single handedly taking out about fifty Orcs while still wearing a barrel And Legolas and Tauriel were absolutely bad ass in it as well.

I really enjoyed the added scenes of the Dwarves fleeing and fighting Smaug. I never realized this before, but in the book Thorin and Dwarves never actually encounter the dragon that they set out to destroy! This works much better. And I love the plan to drown him in molten gold.

The spider sequence was totally creepy and disgustingly good. Particularly in HFR 3D!

Gandalf fights Sauron! Yes! Awesome!

I saw Stephen Colbert in Laketown! That really made me smile.

And we got a name drop for Gimli!
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Old December 16 2013, 02:54 AM   #34
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Mr Light wrote: View Post
The answer is in the links
Ah, I see now. I just read the quotes.
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Old December 16 2013, 03:00 AM   #35
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Though Gandalf wasn't in the film as much as I would have liked, I thought his scenes in the High Fells, and especially in Dol Guldur were incredible - my favorite parts of the film. The Bilbo-Smaug scenes give the Bilbo-Gollum scene a run for its money. The Tauriel-Legolas scenes gave the movie a depth and purpose. Lake Town (especially its theme) were nicely reminiscent of Rohan. I liked the continued erosion of Thorin's character, too. Nicely done there.

All in all, this was a fun movie. No, it's not on the same level as the LOTR films. But that's hardly a serious indictment.

Oh, and count me in as someone who absolutely LOVES the decision to make three films. While some of the sequences ran long (the barrels out of bond and dwarves vs. Smaug), I'm thrilled that we're getting an extended look at Jackson's vision of Middle Earth.
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Old December 16 2013, 03:18 AM   #36
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Ah yes I forgot about Gandalf going to the tomb of the Nazgul. That was a neat little scene, but the construction of that tomb was absolutely baffling Who built that, the Dunedain? Why did they make it so insanely dangerous, so bad guys couldn't visit the grave? It boggles my mind how they constructed those things safely. How did they make those rock steps going up the mountain side? Did they take separate rocks and hammer them in there?

While we're talking construction... I was also confused by the golden statue at the end of the film but I think my friend and I worked it out.

My interpretation: there was an empty statue mold sitting there. They lit the furnaces to melt the gold sitting in the pots and they poured that liquid gold which went into that empty mold. It sat there long enough to partially congeal but not retain structural integrity. So when they blew apart the mold and Smaug walks up to it, it managed to stay solid for a few moments before the weight of the liquid inside burst through the thin solidified exterior.
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Old December 16 2013, 07:20 AM   #37
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

It almost seems like I was watching Middle Earth slash fiction, and I thought battle barrel mode was really dumb.

that said, Smaug was fantastic.
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Old December 16 2013, 04:33 PM   #38
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

After all the action leading up to smaug which awesome loved the barrel sceen but smaug him self stole the show I am fire I am death next the battle of five armies
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Old December 16 2013, 10:57 PM   #39
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Mr Light wrote: View Post
The first film had solid character arcs and a ending that gave closure, not to mention a lot of interaction between Gandalf and the Company. This movie just abruptly ends in the middle of a story when it seems to be about ten minutes away from its conclusion, which just befuddles me. I assumed that movie 2 would be about Smaug and movie 3 would be about the battle. So the best way to end movie 2 is to kill the dragon. Gives closure to the story.
Agreed. The ideal place to end movie 2 was, in my opinion, with Smaug dead and Bilbo steeling out of Erebor with the Arkenstone. It's a good turning point.
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Old December 17 2013, 12:23 AM   #40
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

They have their victory and you might think the story is over... and then they see the gathering armies on the horizon and flee back into Erebor.
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Old December 17 2013, 04:00 AM   #41
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

I finally got a chance to see this today. While I really liked An Unexpected Journey, I do think that The Desolation of Smaug is, overall, the better movie. However, there are some concerns I had about it, which some of you here seem to share. First of all, I thought they blew past Beorn and Mirkwood way too quickly. It felt like they were in Beorn's home for about two minutes before running off again. And I know there's more to their journey through Mirkwood than we saw; I recall seeing other scenes in some of the production diaries. No doubt they'll appear in the Extended Edition, but for now it feels like they just wanted to get to the Wood-elves as quickly as possible.

I have to admit, I really loved what they did with the Woodland Realm. Not only was there some absolutely fantastic design work, but the whole feel of the place was great. There was none of the warm comforts of Rivendell or the ethereal majesty of Lothlorien to be found here. The Elves of Mirkwood are a warier, more dangerous folk; no surprise, given that their home is constantly threatened by giant spiders and other dark creatures. Thranduil was very well-realized by Lee Pace, I thought; again, he's a very different ruler than Elrond and Galadriel. He's colder, more calculating, and a little angrier. He's just as greedy as he accuses the Dwarves of being, but he's too arrogant to see it. I look forward to seeing how he develops in the final film.

It was kind of funny to see Legolas, a character who never appeared or was even mentioned in the book, have such a prominent role in this movie. I'm pretty sure he had more lines and got to do more in this single film than he did in all of The Lord of the Rings! But it makes sense that he would have been present for all of this, and I actually really enjoyed Orlando Bloom's performance. This Legolas is slightly younger, more brash and impetuous, and also kind of cold and uncaring, much like his father.

While I had misgivings about Tauriel going into the movie, I did enjoy her in this. I still think her addition to the story was largely unnecessary, but I understand why it happened. I thought Evangeline Lilly did a great job bringing her character to life, and I'll admit it was kind of neat to see a "lowly" Silvan Elf take such a prominent role in a series where we've only really gotten to see the more aristocratic Noldor (Elrond, Galadriel) and Sindar (Legolas, Celeborn, and now Thranduil).

I actually don't mind the idea of Kili developing a crush on Tauriel, and Tauriel gradually warming to his advances. Why can't a Dwarf fall for an Elf? We already saw it with Gimli and Galadriel, though of course this time it was taken to another level. I think most the issue people seem to be having with it is Tauriel reciprocating. Why is that such a bad thing? Tauriel is apparently a rather young Elf (only a few centuries old, judging by dialogue), and she's also a Silvan, not a haughty Noldo or Sinda. I quite liked their interactions, and I thought Lilly and Turner had pretty good chemistry together. But where I think the love story went wrong was introducing a needless love triangle. From what I've read this was kind of a studio decision rather than a directorial one, but it doesn't really matter. Why did Legolas have to have romantic feelings for Tauriel? Isn't it enough that they're friends and comrades-in-arms?

I also wasn't a huge fan of Kili being poisoned and forced to stay behind in Lake-town while Legolas fights off the Orc hunting party and Tauriel heals him. I don't think it was a particularly necessary subplot, and felt more like an excuse to keep the Elves in the movie for as long as possible. And I think it's this addition to the story that really hurt it the most, because without the added time spent on it perhaps the movie would have had a proper ending.

Smaug was great. Simply great. I thought Cumberbatch did a terrific job with his voice, and Weta Digital have produced what I think might well be the greatest dragon ever put on film. I was apprehensive about the action sequence with the Dwarves luring Smaug into the forges, which sounded like another superfluous addition to me, but I actually really enjoyed it. I thought it gave Smaug a stronger motivation for flying off to wreak havoc on Lake-town, and it also gave the Dwarves something to do besides wait around outside for Bilbo.

But we really needed to see Smaug's attack on Lake-town. Everything was building up to that moment, and just as you're starting to think "Here we go..." the movie ends. What? Why? Now this movie has no actual ending, no payoff. It just stops. And now apparently we won't see the attack at all. What?! How can they just skip over it like it's nothing? It's arguably the climax of the whole story. It seems Smaug has become the Saruman of this trilogy.

All that said, I still really, really liked the movie. I thought the Barrels Out of Bond sequence was just thrilling, possibly the best action sequence in the trilogy so far. I saw this in 3D and in High-Frame Rate, and it might just be the most beautiful movie I've ever seen in theaters. I was a little hesitant about HFR (I only saw AUJ in 3D), but I didn't have any problems with it at all. The picture was noticeably sped up, but I loved the more realistic look that gave it, along with the amazing sharpness and clarity. And I thought the use of 3D was well done, particularly in the vast halls of Erebor.

Overall I give The Desolation of Smaug an A-. An improvement over An Unexpected Journey with some terrific visuals and some outstanding action scenes, but I felt they cut out a little too much stuff they should have kept in, and added in a little too much stuff they didn't need to add. And the removal of Smaug's attack on Lake-town really, really hurts the ending.
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Old December 17 2013, 04:57 AM   #42
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Hanukkah Solo wrote: View Post
And now apparently we won't see the attack at all. What?! How can they just skip over it like it's nothing? It's arguably the climax of the whole story. It seems Smaug has become the Saruman of this trilogy.
If you're going by Mr Light's post, it seems that it would have been more appropriate 3 1/2 months from now....
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Old December 17 2013, 05:15 AM   #43
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Click the article links

I never trust a quote!
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Old December 17 2013, 05:23 AM   #44
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

Damn it! Sorry, in my haste to write my review I just skimmed over the previous posts and didn't click any links.

Well, that's a relief. I still think they should have kept the attack for the end of this movie, but obviously they have a better idea of where they want to go with these films than I do.
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Old December 17 2013, 02:21 PM   #45
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Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

They definitely should have put Smaug's ending in this movie. Though the way Jackson is drawing events out, the ten minute battle I'm envisioning is probably going to last an entire hour

Maybe on the way to Laketown Smaug changes his mind and attacks the Elven kingdom first instead and we get a big action scene there, THEN he heads back to Laketown
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