Saturday, December 14, 2013
Weekend Weigh-in: Open Thread on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The middle chapter in Peter Jackson's not-really-a-trilogy of Lord of the Rings prequels is now in theaters, and I was much more excited about seeing it before the reviews started coming in. Chicago is getting dumped with snow right now, so I might not even get to see it this weekend. I'll have to live through all of you -- how was it?
In the interest of allowing for an open discussion of all aspects of the film, please assume there are SPOILERS in the comments below.
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On the whole, I enjoyed Desolation of Smaug quite a bit. My big issue with An Unexpected Journey was that I didn't feel like it balanced the Lord of the Rings prequel stuff with the lighthearted adventure story of The Hobbit that well. I think Smaug still kind of drops the ball in that aspect, as tons of prequel loose ends are left flapping in the wind by the end. I can see how they are maybe beginning to come together, but they seem to me to be given the bare minimum amount of screen time to justify their inclusion here so that we can go to Part Three next year and see the three movies as one whole story. I hope PJ can pull it all together, but I still remain skeptical at this point of the game.ReplyDelete
Like Part One, Smaug is still a little long (some Act III action sequences are cool, but I still wanted things to wrap up), but what's fun about it is so enjoyable that it's easier to forgive the faults this time around. Smaug's interrogation of Bilbo is unbelievably intense, but with a wicked sense of humor as well. It's amazing that Smaug is more watchable when he's talking than when he's going nuts and spraying napalm everywhere, but what are you gonna do? Several sequences that I rolled my eyes at in the trailer like the Spiders in Mirkwood or the Barrel Ride were unbelievably fun and genuinely had me laughing. Desolation of Smaug has a better mastery of tone than Unexpected Journey. I didn't feel like there were any stakes in Part One. The Goblin Halls escape was fun, but I never felt like the heroes were in any danger. Smaug involves us in the adventure much more, and I'm actually kind of excited to see the conclusion now.
I was a little surprised at how violent the movie was, but every brutal beheading had my theater roaring in laughter so I guess it all worked in that medieval adventure poem kind of way. I respected the message Unexpected Journey had about leaving the comforts of home and seizing the opportunity for adventure, and I'm equally on board with Smaug's Casablanca-like stance that isolationism is not the answer, and that you must always stand up for what's right, even at your own peril. I don't think Smaug fixes all the problems that Part One has, but it is a step up and an enjoyable night at the movies.
I thought we F-heads were all about Mr. Walker's Hours this weekend? :PReplyDelete
THE DRAGON WAS AWESOME.ReplyDelete
I think the work they've put into bringing Gollum into life has paid off in the creation of Smaug. Lots of fun.
I want Riske or Heath to write a top 5 movie dragon column. BEOWULF was pretty awesome, right?
That's EXACTLY what I wrote my column on this week.Delete
wait, did you back into my computer?Delete
Hack, not back. You can back that thing up anytime.Delete
Does one of those films include Matt McConaughey? Alright, alright....Delete
Smaug was a special effect that actually looked special!Delete
I thought there was a dragon in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. Did I see the wrong movie?ReplyDelete
I backed into Adam's computer also. We also decided that we love DRAGONHEART.
I liked the dragon in Philomena.Delete
An alternate column could be movies that be most improved with the presence of a dragon.Delete
My vote would be Dragon: The Bruce Lee StoryDelete
Movies most improved by the presence of a dragon? That would be ALL OF THEM.Delete