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. 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

    I gave it a B. Padded, meandering, uneven. They could have easily kept this story down to a tighter two films.
     
  2. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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

    I am shocked and pleased that Hobbit 2 continued to be the top movie at the box office despite eight or so major releases coming out after it. I was really worried that the unpopular reception of the first film would color this one, but it certainly looks like people are turning out in droves to see it!

    (yes, attendance is about 15% lower than the original, but I was worried we would be seeing AOTC drop off levels)
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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

    Why does the box office matter? It's not like we have to worry about the last movie being made.
     
  4. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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

    Because I want everyone to see these movies :borg:
     
  5. 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

    BTW, my bladder didn't call, but I was mentally using the bathroom during that jail scene.
     
  6. Greylock Crescent

    Greylock Crescent Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    That's because Hobbit 2 isn't anywhere near as problematic as AOTC - even if AOTC had a thoroughly crowd-pleasing, heart-pounding final reel. Fact is, even with its extra padding, Hobbit 2 is an above-average, bordering classic SFF film. If, for no other reason: Smaug. Fortunately, there are plenty of other reasons for enjoying the film, too.

    As such, it's no wonder the film continues to do well at the box office.
     
  7. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    I'm afraid I must agree. After his pretty good character arc in AUJ, Bilbo was mostly stagnant in this one. And I, too, don't care about some injured dward and his crush on an elf-chick, don't much care whether Leggy gets any love, don't care about some boatman's angst over whether or not his ancestor made a shot, don't really care if the dwarves find their Arkenstone, and don't really want to see another big-ass battle between elves and orcs and goblins and men or whatever. I do care about whether or not Bilbo makes it home and he finds any hobbit-romance before his 111th birthday, and I do hope that Gandalf survivies Dol Guldur, but the rest... meh. As cool as it was to see another elf kingdom and Laketown, I'm seriously tired of the endless battles and orc chases.

    On a similar note, as much as I enjoyed the Scouring of the Shire in Tolkien's RotK, PJ and Co. were absolutely right not to film it even for the extended edition, as such a post-climax plot could perhaps fit in an episode of a LotR miniseries, but not RotK movie proper. In the same vein, I've kinda gotta wonder if they should have ditched the upcoming Battle of Five Armies entirely, and let the confrontation with Smaug be the climax of a two-movie adaptation. Granted, this would hardly be expected behavior from the guy who turned the 100-minute King Kong into a three-hour epic, but doing so could only help differentiate the Hobbit adaptation from LotR.

    I hate to say it, but I give DoS a C-, and a thumbs down. What's more, I can't even say I'm now looking forward to TaBA. :(
     
  8. 777

    777 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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

    Then how would you incorporate the ramifications of the Arkenstone and Thorin's madness if we stop at Smaug's death?
     
  9. Greylock Crescent

    Greylock Crescent Vice Admiral Admiral

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

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

    teeehee

    ;)

    Actually, he's right about Bilbo's rather stagnant character arc in DoS. And that Gandalf's story was too sparse. And that the action set pieces could be edited. But I found the rest to be rather engaging, particularly Bard's exploits as well as Tauriel and her interactions with both Legolas and Kili. Thorin's continued descent was also handled fairly well, IMO.
     
  10. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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

    Agreed about Thorin's madness coming more into the forefront here, but I think it might seem a little abrupt to people who have only seen the theatrical version of AUJ. It wasn't until the Extended Edition that they pointed out the strain of madness that ran in Thorin's line.

    I'm assuming that said madness only manifested in direct descendants, because neither Fili nor Kili, Thorin's nephews, have displayed any such thing so far.
     
  11. Greylock Crescent

    Greylock Crescent Vice Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  12. Thestral

    Thestral Vice Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
  13. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    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.


    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. ;)
     
  14. 777

    777 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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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.
     
  15. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
  16. Greylock Crescent

    Greylock Crescent Vice Admiral Admiral

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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?
     
  17. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    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.
     
  18. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
  19. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
  20. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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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.