Sunday, I journeyed to the theatre and discovered a little film that I can’t wait to share with all of you. This low-budget, from-the-heart gem of a movie is the reason we all love the cinema. For it never fails to delight us when a movie comes out of nowhere to take on the big-budget bloated titans of the film-world and take its place in our hearts.
Okay, I went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Peter Jackson and the nation of New Zealand have just released part two of The Hobbit trilogy. Potentially about nine hours of film devoted to a two-hundred-fifty page novel. The first installment covered about six chapters. This time, by my count, we got seven. Shit’s getting real now!
That being said, I’m such a Middle-Earth nerd that if they’d just filmed Martin Freeman reading the novel in 3D, I’d have paid for that and given it four stars. Well, three and a half.
So is it good? It’s a bit more well-paced than the first installment. And I recall some criticism was leveled at the miraculous escape of Thorin’s group from the goblin caves in the last one. Not one dwarf got a scratch. This time, they topped that with a barrel escape down a falls with a legion of orcs attacking our weaponless party. More realistic this time, a dwarf gets scratched! But none die. *spoiler!* (not really.)
Less is made this time of the group’s meals. I think they may have even skipped a couple. In the last film they were quite well fed. In part two, we get to meet characters that never would have made the final cut if Jackson had chosen to tell the tale in one movie. Beorn the Skinchanger and Bard the Bowman.
We also meet some elves who are real dicks. I don’t mean like we’re-superior-so-we’re-going-to-fuck-with-you like Elrond and his folk. Elrond will play mind games, but he’ll still feed you and all. No, the woodland elves are some major assholes. Even Sam Gamgee would say so.
In this movie, there’s only two references to characters from The Lord of the Rings. Of course, if you’re interested at all you already know Orlando Bloom is reprising the role of Legolas, and looking curiously both older and younger than before. Like he got a digital face lift and new contacts. Legolas is the son of the King of the Asshole Elves. His role here is larger than a cameo, but not a main part either.
The other reference I’m not going to say. It’s a quick gag so if you’re not paying attention you could miss it. I won’t spoil your fun.
And Gandalf is there. I know he’s from Lord of the Rings, too, but I wasn’t counting him. He was actually in the novel, The Hobbit, unlike Legolas.
The Jackson team also added a female elf called Tauriel to the lineup this time out. There were no women in The Hobbit so this is a good thing. I cracked up when I read an interview with one of the screenwriters and she sort of was embarrassed by having to explain this addition. She said something like Professor Tolkien was great at writing women, he just forgot to add one to The Hobbit.
Let’s get it straight. The Professor was not good at writing women. They had to expand their roles in Lord of the Rings because in the novel, besides Galadriel (who is more of a goddess than a woman), the females aren’t allowed to do anything! Remember Arwen from the movies? None of that shit was in the book. In the book, she pretty much just shows up at the end and marries Aragorn. She barely has dialogue.
But the addition of female characters is a plus to me. I’m not knocking it. Otherwise we’re watching The Expendables or some shit like that.
But is this movie good?
I keep getting sidetracked. Yeah, it’s good. In the third act, we even get the weirdest episode of Sherlock to date.
My old stalker the Cumberbatch voices the dragon Smaug. He and Bilbo Watson have quite the philosophical dialogue towards the end of the film. To me, that’s worth the twelve bucks right there.
If you’ve read the novel, you know the major steps that have to occur in this story and they’re all here. Just expanded. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is debatable. Personally, the more Middle-earth I can get, the happier of a camper I am. Someday, a film may get made that’s more faithful to the source. I doubt it could be more entertaining than this one, though.
Simply put, I like this movie a lot. No surprise there. Not as lustrous as Lord of the RIngs but a welcome journey, regardless. You know what you’re getting with this one. You either love this world or not, and I can’t sway you.
So why’d I do this? Because Love.
And I needed a post.
Hey, EveryDamnDayDecember is half in the books! I’ve only posted one cheap haiku and two reblogs that no one read the first time! I’m doing pretty good. So are these guys:
Now, some of you I know are EvDaDaDecs, a couple I think are, a couple I’m not sure but I put you here anyway, and I may have missed a couple. *I get so confused sometimes*
Congrats to us! Thanks for joining me!
See you tomorrow. I’ll put up part two of the Christmas Carol challenge and…something else. I don’t know yet.