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Movie of the Week: The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug

I missed writng this up - which is odd because we saw it twice, once in December and once in January. Was it that good? I think so. There was certainly enough to see second time around that we missed the first time. Though it's that difficult middle movie there's plenty in it to keep up interest. It's visually stunning with effects so seemingly effortless you don't actually stop to think, Hello, that dragon's not real.

I was a bit skeptical when they said they were going to make such a comparatively slight book as The Hobbit into three movies. The problem with Lord of the Rings as a trilogy was what to leave out. The problem with The Hobbit is what to add in. Since it's a long time since I read the book, I'm honestly not sure what's new and what had slipped my memory, so I'm taking the movie at face value. It woks for me. Of course, Tolkien purists are going to disagree with me, and that's fine.

I have to say that I'd forgotten Bard altogether, so he was a nice surprise, but - is it just me? - doesn't Luke Evans (Bard) look way too much like Orlando Bloom (Legolas) - at least when Bloom's wearing his own dark hair.

Martin Freeman is a perfect Bilbo Baggins and much kudos to Peter Jackson for casting not only Richard Armitage as Thorin, but Aidan Turner as Kili. Nuff said. My friend H also thanks him for Lee Pace as Thranduil.

Looking forward to part three.


Bard is rather forgettable in the book; he doesn't get character status, more of MacGuffin with legs.

Technically, The Hobbit could make three movies by itself with no padding if you left in EVERYTHING, going by typical page counts for movies; in general, sixty pages of prose will make about an hour of movie,and by the 250-words-per-page yardstick The Hobbit comes out to 380 pages, or over six hours.

Now, chopping out the boring or not cinematically fun bits will reduce that, but it was ALWAYS going to have to be two movies unless you really got out your axe.

Add in some of the stuff that Tolkien just TEASED us with (i.e., the discovery and siege of Dol Guldur) and 3 movies always seemed reasonable to me.

And "The Desolation of Smaug" was worth full price of admission just for Smaug, anyway. :)
blue eyes

April 2017



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