Desolation of Smaug: Review

Where it's not Ranger related. Rankin Bass, Bakshi, PJ, or independent. If it's not specifically ranger related, let's talk movies (or TV)!

Moderator: caedmon

Eärendur
Dúnadan
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 12:11 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Desolation of Smaug: Review

Postby Eärendur » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:36 pm

PJ's dwarves must have a higher heat tolerance... If Thorin can hold is knuckles an inch above a river of molten gold, maybe he does all his forging without tongs too...

Honestly from a visual/conceptual/technical perspective, I think the whole "metalworking" part bugs me more than anything else, because of how obviously fake/unrealistic it looks. At least Anduril being forged actually looked like hot iron.
User avatar
Fallsofdragon
Dúnadan
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:25 pm
Location: Misty Mountains, Oergon

Re: Desolation of Smaug: Review

Postby Fallsofdragon » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:41 pm

The directors cut, limited edition, added scenes and special binding
for the DVD should answer all
Maybe secret runes included
something like ... $$$
:P
Movies Schmovies :P
Image The Queen of Light took her bow and then she turned to go
The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom and walked the night alone
User avatar
Ringulf
Naugothrain
Posts: 2381
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:50 pm
Location: Central Florida
Contact:

Re: Desolation of Smaug: Review

Postby Ringulf » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:32 am

Well as a rule we do, as Dwarves, enjoy a bit greater tolerance to heat...and pain...and alcohol for that that matter, But even so one would have to be quite desperate, or quite daft, to go surfing on molten metal of any sort, :roll: unless you want to become a statue yourself real quick! :wink:
A heartening sight by Day or Night, Dwarven warriors bold! To add their Might to any Fight, Precious more than Gold! A Dwarven friend is to the end, Never shall they fail! Their word does not bend, wherever they wend,
through Cavern, Hill or Dale!"
User avatar
wulfgar
Amrod Rhandir
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:53 am
Location: Dardanelle, Arkansas
Contact:

Re: Desolation of Smaug: Review

Postby wulfgar » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:18 pm

I was watching the CGI version of Beowulf on Netflix the other night and noticed that Smaug looks ALOT like the dragon in that movie.
You can't take the sky from me.
User avatar
ineffableone
Silent Watcher over the Peaceful Lands
Posts: 287
Joined: Mon May 05, 2014 9:29 pm
Location: Back in the Pac Northwet

Re: Desolation of Smaug: Review

Postby ineffableone » Tue May 06, 2014 1:12 am

Since I just joined here, I thought I would chime in my own little opinion of this movie. There were some things I liked and some I didn't. OK a lot I didn't like. If it were an original story no issue, but being a well loved classic, the movie vered off the path too far to even still be considered the story Tolkien wrote.

I really wanted to like the newest Hobbit movie. I was prepared for the introduction of stuff not in the books and characters who were not in the books. I had accepted this in the first movie, and even liked the inclusion of other material in the story line.

However what I was not prepared for was how far the story deviates from the original cutting big parts out and replacing them with completely different story arcs.

For example, the Spider scene. While I liked how the ring was what enabled Bilbo to be able to understand them, I was hugely disappointed that Bilbo was separated from the dwarves before the end of it, and instead of him saving the dwarves and being recognized as a useful member of the team it was elves coming to the "rescue" and capturing the dwarves. Which cut the Bilbo as hero part, which I felt was important character development and then also removes how they eventually encounter the elves, by crashing their celebration in the woods. Again something I felt was a bit of an important thing.

And you can't say they had to cut it down due to time, since the reality is, they added a ton of material to stretch the book into 3 movies. If time were the issue easy enough to cut extra material and leave the story as it should be.

They did a similar thing again in the barrel ride. First annoyingly not retrieving their weapons, which makes it a bit messed up since they are supposed to have them later, and not sealing the dwarves in the barrels with only Bilbo riding on top. Instead there is a dramatic chase between Orcs (who look nothing like the orcs of LOTR) and elves after the dwarves in the barrels. All of which was so not part of the book. While this segment could be forgivable if it were the only change, being part of many changes it just made it one more straw that broke this movie for me.

Something I liked that was not in the book was the politics of Lake Town, which was an interesting story. But then the raid of Orcs in Lake town, with Elves showing up to rescue the dwarves who were left behind instead of being taken to the mountain, wtf the book had left no dwarves behind. The entire very loud attack drew no humans out from their homes to find out what was going on, and no soldiers from the police state town came to see what the commotion was. Really? A town where the government is worried about an uprising and a battle does not draw the soldiers to the action? This just was a horrible unbelievable piece of plot device.

Then another big issue, the dwarves send Bilbo in the mountain as the book describes, but then they all end up joining him inside and there is a running epic battle between the dwarves and Smaug with some amazing use of the forges. While interesting and I might have been able to accept this part if it were the only major change, it just took me over the top with annoyance of the changes in the story.

In all I an very disappointed and am now of the opinion while LOTR will likely be considered an amazing true to the books telling of the LOTR and Peter Jackson will be well remembered for his work on the LOTR, Peter Jackson will be considered the man who destroyed the story of the Hobbit and hated by fans the world wide for his horrible atrocity he dares to call the Hobbit.

I no longer have any hope for the final movie and do not look forward to seeing the butchering of that part of the story. Yes I will watch it, but I will wait for DVD or on demand. I will not bother to see it in the theater.
Image
User avatar
Mirimaran
Thangailhir
Posts: 2107
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:38 pm
Location: North Carolina
Contact:

Re: Desolation of Smaug: Review

Postby Mirimaran » Tue May 06, 2014 12:41 pm

Through all its (many) faults, I do love the opening scene in Bree. A whole movie set in the Pony would go right by me :) The dialogue is a bit chunky, as with the rest of the script, but I did appreciate the nod to the Appendices. Is that Peter Jackson's daughter as the serving girl? I wonder if she is the old woman we see there in Fellowship? :)

Ken
"Well, what are you waiting for? I am an old man, and have no time for your falter! Come at me, if you will, for I do not sing songs of dastards!"
User avatar
Elleth
êphal ki-*raznahê
Posts: 1598
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:26 am
Location: in the Angle; New England

Re: Desolation of Smaug: Review

Postby Elleth » Tue May 06, 2014 3:59 pm

the serving girl? I wonder if she is the old woman we see there in Fellowship?


Nice observation! I'll have to look close next time I watch FOTR. :)

... regarding the Hobbit movie. Enh. I thought it was pretty good (at least in the bell curve of book-to-movie adaptations).... right up until the barrel scene, then it just collapsed into a mess. Spectacle over substance, story, or even plausibility. Incredibly disappointing.

I think Jackson has the same problem as Lucas, and frankly lots of creative guys - once he got big enough people stopped saying "no" all sorts of stupid ideas that should have been shot down in story meetings make it into the final product.

All that said, The Hobbit is a hard story to film, especially if you're trying to maintain stylistic congruence with the LOTR story/movies.
The tone starts out with a children's tale feel, but gets fairly adult by the Battle of Five Armies. Trying to smooth that out into something that works inside a sub-2 hour experience is tricky at best, especially if you're dealing with an audience that already knows/is expecting the more adult LOTR tone.
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
Straelbora
Haeropada
Posts: 831
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:00 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN USA

Re: Desolation of Smaug: Review

Postby Straelbora » Tue May 06, 2014 4:13 pm

Elleth wrote:
the serving girl? I wonder if she is the old woman we see there in Fellowship?


Nice observation! I'll have to look close next time I watch FOTR. :)

... regarding the Hobbit movie. Enh. I thought it was pretty good (at least in the bell curve of book-to-movie adaptations).... right up until the barrel scene, then it just collapsed into a mess. Spectacle over substance, story, or even plausibility. Incredibly disappointing.

I think Jackson has the same problem as Lucas, and frankly lots of creative guys - once he got big enough people stopped saying "no" all sorts of stupid ideas that should have been shot down in story meetings make it into the final product.

All that said, The Hobbit is a hard story to film, especially if you're trying to maintain stylistic congruence with the LOTR story/movies.
The tone starts out with a children's tale feel, but gets fairly adult by the Battle of Five Armies. Trying to smooth that out into something that works inside a sub-2 hour experience is tricky at best, especially if you're dealing with an audience that already knows/is expecting the more adult LOTR tone.


I think you're spot on with Jackson become too big to be criticized by others involved in the project. And so instead of capturing, perhaps, a childlike wonder of Middle-Earth, he resorts to childish pranks and 'adventure' scenes that look and feel like video game play.

With the success of each subsequent LotR film, he moved farther away from the source material and more into puerile jokes and unending action scenes. It's what killed his "King Kong" project.
Vápnum sínum skala maðr velli á
feti ganga framar því at óvist er at vita
nær verðr á vegum úti geirs um þörf guma
Hávamál
bjaurelio
Dúnadan
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: Alexandria, VA

Re: Desolation of Smaug: Review

Postby bjaurelio » Wed May 07, 2014 5:32 pm

Mirimaran wrote:Through all its (many) faults, I do love the opening scene in Bree. A whole movie set in the Pony would go right by me :) The dialogue is a bit chunky, as with the rest of the script, but I did appreciate the nod to the Appendices. Is that Peter Jackson's daughter as the serving girl? I wonder if she is the old woman we see there in Fellowship? :)

Ken


I don't know if she was there in the Hobbit, but she was one of the small hobbits in Fellowship at Bilbo's party when he was telling the story about the trolls.

My take on the movie is similar to many of yours. It's good as an action/fantasy movie, but it's not the Hobbit. Smaug was amazing, especially the early interaction between him and Bilbo. The biggest changes I didn't like were:

-Beorn's introduction chasing them into his house in bear form rather than Gandalf telling their story as they keep showing up. "You're crashing my place and I don't like dwarves? That's okay because I tried to kill you earlier when I was in bear form and thought you were orcs."
-Dwarf-Elf love triangle
-Elves in Laketown
-Black arrow being a ballistae that everyone somehow knows is the only way to kill a dragon, but no one thinks to have it at the ready in case Smaug attacks again. It should have simply remained a special arrow in Bard's quiver that was well made because it came from the Dwarves of Erebor long ago.
-30 minute Dwarf chase scene that completely undermines Smaug.

Changes I have no negative feelings toward:
-Existence of Tauriel's character. I get it that the elves need some named characters to flesh out that part of the story when depicted on film. They can't all be nameless. Just don't have her falling all over a dwarf because he alludes to having something in his pants.
-Barrel ride/chase scene. I get it that the orcs shouldn't be there, but it was a well executed scene and fun to watch. The story changes it created weren't significant.
-Laketown politics

As others have mentioned, I agree that PJ is likely just not getting enough pushback on some of his ideas because of how big he has become. After the 1st Hobbit movie I actually made the Jar-Jar Binks comparison to his portrayal of Radagast. They are definitely on different leagues with Jar-Jar being far worse, but I think they were used for similar functions by Lucas and Jackson.

Somewhere I did read that Evangeline Lilly agreed to play her character knowing about the love story they were adding with Kili under the condition of no love triangle. Then, in callbacks they changed it to add the love triangle. Props to her for trying to stay away from love triangles in film.
User avatar
Peter Remling
Athel Dunedain
Posts: 3333
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:20 am

Re: Desolation of Smaug: Review

Postby Peter Remling » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:41 pm

I didn't see the Desolation in a theater. I got a copy for Father's Day and just watched
finished watching it. I thought the Lord was decent, you do have to allow for the non-book readers. The first of the Hobbit series turned me off, with the Goblin town crumbling about everyone. The stupid side stories and barrel riding were just ridiculous.
While I'll eventually see the War of Five Armies it will be after it comes out on DVD and as I don't drink hard alcohol, maybe I should start, just before watching it.
User avatar
ineffableone
Silent Watcher over the Peaceful Lands
Posts: 287
Joined: Mon May 05, 2014 9:29 pm
Location: Back in the Pac Northwet

Re: Desolation of Smaug: Review

Postby ineffableone » Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:38 pm

You know the most disappointing thing about the whole Peter Jackson messing up the Hobbit, is the critics have not been as vocal as they should be. Especially the big name critics.

Rotten Tomatoes has a 74% for Desolation of Smaug. Only 55 of their 214 critics giving the movie a poor review and most not even for the deviation from the source material but just for not liking the movie.

The fact that the movies deviate from the source material so greatly is hardly ever even brought up by the professional critics, except to make excuses for the new material added. Rarely is it ever even mentioned huge plot points have been ripped from Tolkien's story to make way for Peter Jackson's abominations.

This sort of pandering by the people who are paid to tell the public what is wrong with things, reminds me so much of the reporters. Reporters are afraid to ask the hard questions out of worry of having access to key people cut off. Is the same thing happening with movie reviewers? Are the critics worried about not getting access to the screenings of movies if they don't write puff pieces?

It is really mind boggling to me how a butcher job of a classic book not get vast amounts of negative press. How from fans everywhere I hear similar complaints as I have and others here have voiced, but there seems to be no one listening to the fans complaint. No one letting those discontented voices know they are not alone, no one letting those voices warn others to save their money.

As disappointed I am with Peter Jackson, I am more disappointed with the critics who let this go with out scathing denouncements. Siskel and Ebert At the Movies would have ripped these movies apart but sadly critics seem to have no back bone anymore.
Image

Return to “Tolkien Movie Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests