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Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Eomer
I loved it. Of course I loved it. Was there ever gonna be any doubt? I will say I thought its pacing was greatly improved from the first film; everything flows together really well. I also like Smaug; I really, REALLY like Smaug, and my reaction to him (much like the funky birds in Avatar) was that we are SO READY for a Dragonriders of Pern movie*.

*Minus the creepy rapiness,please and thank you.

Anyways. Last year I saw the first film in both 2d and 3d; this year it was 3d, and I think we got the fancy filmstock version that's hyperfast and hyper-real. It takes some getting used to; in some places people move so fast while talking that I almost wonder if they were dubbed as the fluidity of their movements do not seem to line up with the measuredness of their words.

Before I continue my review under the cut, I'm also going to admit that I've never finished reading The Hobbit (though I've read and reread LOTR a couple times). I tried as both a child and an adult and could just never stand his writing-for-children style; it made me grit my teeth. So all of the notes that follow are from the perspective of someone who likes the films and who has a fair bit of extra-textual knowledge from scholarship and other sources. So.



So I had been looking forward to Lee Pace as Thranduil for ages and OH MY GODS IT WAS SO WORTH IT. So glam. And literally glammed; he has a bit where he talks about fighting dragons and part of his gorgeousness melts away to show some Two-Facey damage and damn. I thought that was a beautiful sequence there though; the literal outer beauty and inward ugliness, y'know? And I mentioned fluidity of movements before and just--wow. Did Lee Pace ever dance? Because I mean he doesn't walk in those robes, he fucking FLOATS and it is just gorgeous to watch.

Speaking of elves, I had to repress a River Song-esque "Hello, sweetie," when Legolas appeared. HI BABY I'VE MISSED YOU. There's a cute bit when they've captured the dwarves and are going through their stuff and he has a locket-thing of Gloin's and asks about the picture of the mutant. Gloin's all "That's me wee bairn Gimli" and I was like, "LITTLE DO YOU KNOW, LEGOLAS, LITTLE DO YOU KNOW."

And Tauriel. TAURIEL. I know people have been freaking out about her but I LOVE HER OKAY I DO. The internet had been anticipating the romantic allusions to Legolas and--she's all "Nope, nope, so can't touch that shit" and then there's Kili and she's like "HELLOOOOOOOOO NURSE." Which deeply amused me, because of course Hot Dwarf gets the Elf. *gigglesnort* I'm really wondering how that's going to affect the conclusion; is she going to die with him or survive and be all heartbroken forever because that's how Elves roll? And if the latter--I like it because from Legolas's perspective "goddammit hot dwarf took my girl GODDAMMIT I HATE DWARVES" and then how that would feed into his friendship/relationship with Gimli later on, whether or not you ship it (I think Tolkien totally shipped it; I don't think you can read the Appendices and Legolas and Gimli living together for 200 years together before going West as ANYTHING but gay marriage). So. AWWWWW.

Elvish martial arts. UNF. One thing I particularly appreciated about the new filming style is how you can really SEE all of the stunt work and the martial arts training in a way that the first series of films couldn't quite manage. LET US LINGER OVER ELVISH GRACE AS LONG AS WE CAN, YES.

Let's see. I like how when Gandalf sees the Eye of Sauron the black iris is shaped like the Witch-King. That was fucking gorgeous.

Smaug. I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT SMAUG. I love his beauty as a dragon and his design and how seamless he looks with everything around him. I love Benedict Cumberbatch delivering those Old English rhythms. Yes yes yes.

The crummy village. I know every city can't be Minas Tirith or Edoras, but--ew. I hope aethelas cures hepatitis because I'm sure Kili's got it and so do all the other dwarves plus Bilbo after being in that water, Jesus.

The total cliffhanger. OBVIOUSLY IT WAS GONNA BE ON A CLIFFHANGER BUT GODDAMMIT PETER JACKSON. Well, what's another twelve months, anyway?

Comments

( 2 comments — Add your .02 )
browngirl
Dec. 15th, 2013 03:25 pm (UTC)
BWEE. I CAN'T WAIT!

eta to remove random title

Edited at 2013-12-15 03:26 pm (UTC)
anutty1
Dec. 17th, 2013 05:53 am (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes to all of this! I was really surprised by how much I liked this movie, given how bored I was by the first one. But I went into this because, hello, Benedict Cumberbatch voicing a dragon!, and Jackson didn't disappoint me. He fixed the pacing issues! A believably badass chick who is allowed to also be feminine, Hot elf-dwarf-elf love triangle tjat was near perfectly teased, Thorin being kind of sexy, Gandalf pwning orcs and goblins, and Bilbo finding his 'courage'. Just a lovely time all around and I may need to see it once more before it leaves theatres.
( 2 comments — Add your .02 )

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