The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Skywalker, Dec 8, 2013.

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How would you grade [i]The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug[/i]?

  1. A+

    6.6%
  2. A

    25.6%
  3. A-

    19.8%
  4. B+

    13.2%
  5. B

    14.0%
  6. B-

    1.7%
  7. C+

    5.8%
  8. C

    6.6%
  9. C-

    2.5%
  10. D+

    2.5%
  11. D

    0.8%
  12. D-

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  13. F

    0.8%
  1. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    Didn't like the whole Black Arrow/harpoon thing. Gave the impression that dragons were a commonly encountered foe to defend from.
     
  2. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    Just saw it today and really enjoyed it. I liked it a bit better than the first film. My butt was pretty sore by the end though. I should bring some Advil (or maybe a nice pillow) with me for the final film.
     
  3. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    There are very few things which can slay a dragon, besides the black arrow was in the Hobbit and Smaug did receive a wound when he attacked Dale all those years ago.
     
  4. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    Of course, in the book the black arrow was just an arrow, fired from a bow.

    Now it's a dragonlance, fired from whatever those things are.
     
  5. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    I like the changes so far.

    In the original two-part structure, where would part 1 have ended? With the dwarfs leaving Lake Town? The hero shot of Thorin on the boat looking at the Lonely Mountain looked suitable for that to me.

    And the second film would have begun with all of them in front of the hidden door.
     
  6. ITL

    ITL Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    Finally got round to seeing it. Very good stuff, liked it a lot. Better than the first film, too.
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    Giving Bard more character and backstory is a total no brainer. In the book it felt like this guy is making a cameo from some other book that's all about him, so it makes perfect sense to develop something for him in the film.

    I liked how they handled the talking spiders. Having them be intelligible only from the perspective of Bilbo when he's wearing the ring actually meshes quite well with the lore if you think about it.

    Also good to see some racial diversity in the population of Laketown. It is hard in the LotR mythos to show non-Caucasians so I'm glad they took this opportunity. Laketown was a major trading hub after all, so it'd make sense that it'd have the descendants of people who have the settled there from far and wide.

    The only thing I felt didn't work so well was the Dol Guldur stuff. Mostly because there's an unavoidable sense of inevitability and a lack tension because we know Gandalf will make it out and we know the Necromancer is really Sauron. That was always going to be a hard sell though and I have no idea how it could have been done better nor would I have preferred it not be included at all.
     
  8. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    Might see this today. In scenes dealing with Bard, do they use the word "grim" a lot? I recall Tolkien being seriously in need of a thesaurus in that part of the book....
     
  9. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    I wonder how they would have handled the Necromancer/Sauron thing had they done Hobbit first, and LotR second.

    In many ways, Hobbit suffers the usual prequel symptoms. It relies on the knowledge of the LotR films.

    Gandalf is all shocked when he sees Sauron. The eye, his armor, and his name. But someone who has never seen LotR wouldn't know that stuff.
     
  10. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    I wouldn't think so.. Necromancer sounds evil enough and him commanding the nastiest Orc in the movie (who killed Dwarf Kings and nearly the main Dwarf hero from the movie) just shows how powerful he really is.

    Knowing that it's pre-LotR Sauron is just icing on the cake.. he works well enough in the movie. However in the unlikely event that people haven't seen LotR or won't see it after they have seen all Hobbit movies (i doubt he'll play any role in the coming third movie) they will wonder what the big hubbub was about a black smoke dude who was able to beat the greatest Wizard.

    Anyway.. on to my thoughts of the movie.

    To put it in a nutshell.. it has left me cold and unexcited. To be honest it felt more like a George Lucas Star Wars CGI fest than a real movie with full characters and a good story.

    I know that Fantasy adventures are usually not Oscar material (still believe it was only guilt to not acknowledge LotR at the Oscars when they made such a big worldwide impact that led them to such a shower of statues for the final movie) but it still felt only like jumping from one huge action scene to the next and the scenes in between were only used as filler.

    I know that the original book was also not a deep exercise into the greatest questions.. it was a basic fantasy adventure aimed at kids with tons of fantastical creatures and action so there was not much Jackson could do without a total rewrite of the story.

    However it was still uneven and too much studio interference has already drawn out the movies more than they needed to be for the same of box office and for some reason Jackson didn't or couldn't resist which runs contrary to everything he claimed he wanted to do and many changes he did for for the better of the movie. I didn't get this at all with this movie.

    So instead of the magic that was the Lord of the Rings we got a standard Hollywood blockuster movie set in a Fantasy world.

    A shame if you ask me.. the whole story would have been better if he focused just on two movies and tightened up the story.
     
  11. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    In the book the Black Arrow is exactly that, an arrow. Not the Harpoon sized seige weapon fired thing we saw in the movie.

    Citation needed for the bolded part. I've re-read the book this year and there is no reference to this.
     
  12. Greylock Crescent

    Greylock Crescent Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    There was no real backstory for Bard, or his ancestor, Girion Lord of Dale, as far as I remember. As for the arrow, it's hinted that it is more than just an arrow, and you can see where some poetic license was taken:

    "Arrow!" said the bowman. "Black arrow! I have saved you to the last. You have never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well!"​
     
  13. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    Back before the trilogy announcement was made, they released one of those scrolling images showing how the movie would progress. The original one ended with Thorin and Company escaping the Woodland Realm in the barrels. Of course, that image was changed after the third movie was added.

    So if the two-part structure had remained intact, An Unexpected Journey would have continued on from the Eagles rescuing the party and on to their visit with Beorn, their journey through Mirkwood, their capture by the Elves, all of the various drama we saw there, and then Bilbo breaking the Dwarves out and escaping. That actually turned out to be quite a bit of material (though I wonder how much besides the Legolas/Tauriel stuff was added during reshoots), so maybe it's a good thing the split happened after all.
     
  14. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    The Barrels Out of Bounds sequence was pretty damn spectacular, that would have made a good ending to the first movie.
     
  15. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    Here's that image I was talking about, showing the original progression of the first movie. Warning: huge image!
     
  16. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    I can see why they extended it out to three movies. In order to fit the book into two they would have had to dump whole chapters from the book. Unfortunately it left them with a need to add padding to fill it out the a full trilogy and left the first movie with one hell of a slow start.

    One thing I see people repeating quite often is that The Hobbit is a much shorter book than LotR. While, yes that is true, the fact is that the book is written with such brevity that you don't fully appreciate how much extrapolating is needed until you start to break it down into acts and scenes.

    Since LotR came out I've always thought that 'The Hobbit' would be better served as a mini-series rather than a movie series. It would allow the story a lot more breathing room and the episodic nature of the book's chapters would fit perfectly.
     
  17. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    Gandalf conversing and/or facing off with Beorn in bear form, now I remember what I missed from the film.
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    I was surprised that they didn't use the "introducing the dwarves to Beorn" bit from the book. It seemed like a natural way to refresh the audience up on the first movie. Guessing if it had been the original start of the second movie they would have kept it.
     
  19. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    Best on screen dragon ever--but so help me, it sounded like Tim Curry, not Cumberbatch...
     
  20. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    Re: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Grading & Discussion (Spoile

    I have seen the film in three different formats: 2D, IMAX-3D and HFR-3D. Frankly... the HFR-3D is worth every penny of the price. While I still think that the 3D tech is more gimmick than worthy leap in technology, it does seem to have been better executed this time. The IMAX-3D looked nice but the regular frame rate seemed to highlight motion blur on the larger screen, something you didn't see in the HFR.