The Desolation of Smaug: Rant 2

Ok, here is my last major complaint about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The big battle with the dragon, Smaug, inside the dwarven city. It was exciting, spectacularly directed, acted and the special effects were mind boggling. Unfortunately it never happened in the book. None of it. In the book, for those who have not read it, Bilbo is sent down the secret tunnel to spy out the dragons lair. His first trip he steals a golden cup, and the second is when he has his conversation with the dragon and almost gets torched. They showed some of the conversation in the movie and then it all went into left field. In the book, the dwarves never see Smaug. Smaug can’t find them and decides that they must have came from Lake Town. It is then that he flies off and goes after the town. There is only one reason I can think of for doing it the way they did. Smaug himself. They knew they had a masterpiece with Smaug and decided to really show him off and stretch out his screen time. They were going for a great adventure movie, just not a great adventure movie named The Hobbit. Even with all the back story from Tolkien’s appendixes, two movies would have been sufficient to tell an amazing story that would have done as well. I am thinking that Hollywood got too much influence and really wanted to milk it for all it is worth. It is well known by now that The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit, are the only stuff that they have the rights to. So once the movie, The Hobbit is done, they are out of Tolkien material to make money off of. So if the bottom line and not the material is their main focus, of course they would twist things into whatever they believe would make them more money, and it certainly looks like it will work for them. There are many more things that happened in the movie that I could complain about, but Tolkien fans know what they are, and the rest of you get the point anyway. Once more, thanks for letting me vent.

 

If anyone is wondering, yes I will see the last installment. Like I said, it is a good adventure movie.

 

Thoughts?

The Desolation of Smaug: Rant 1

When The Lord of the Rings came out I was amazed and pleased. There were only a few plot points changed, but the feel of the movie was the feel of the books. Previous to those movies I had been sure The Lord of the Rings could not be done correctly in movie form. So I had high hopes for The Hobbit. Unfortunately, instead of just a few plot points changed, they only kept a few plot points and changed the rest. (That is an exaggeration, but not a big one.) I will only go over a few of the really big ones in this review, (rant?)

Azog the orc. In the book The Hobbit, he was only mentioned a few times. In a description of the history of Thorin’s family and at the end when Azog’s son showed up at Erabor for the battle. The reason for this is that Azog was killed by Thorin’s cousin Dain many years, chronologically, before the events in The Hobbit take place. Azog was not even alive for Thorin and Companies adventures! As for the orcs chasing the company shortly after the run in with the trolls? Never happened in the book. (Or the appendixes in The Lord of the Rings.)They were not being hunted from the word go.  They left Bag End and then ran into the Trolls, and then made it to Rivendell. All of that took little time in the book. The only time they were hunted was after they escaped the Goblin King under the Misty Mountians. They certainly were not chased by orcs in their escape from the elves prison in Mirkwood. That too never happened.

When I heard that Legolas was in the movie version of The Hobbit, I thought that could be conceivable since he is a Prince of Mirkwood so he might have been there. Instead of just being there he is a part of a lovers triangle with Tauriel and Fili, the dwarf. Seriously? I know Hollywood thinks every movie needs a love affair, but seriously? I do not have a problem when changes have to be made for movies, it happens, and mostly it can be ignored. This though is fairly extreme. I will have one last complaint tomorrow and finish up my little rant. I have been holding it in for a long time, thanks for letting me get it out.

Until then,

Thoughts?

Desolation of Smaug…A Hobbit movie or not?

Now that anyone who wanted to has seen the movie, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, I think it is a good time to have a discussion without to many people screaming about spoilers. This essay is going to come in several posts because there is so much that can be said about the movie. Lets start with looking at it just as a movie and leave out the reputation of Peter Jackson, and more importantly the legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

As a fantasy movie it is one of the best ever made. Lets face it, the movie was fast paced and action packed; the hero’s rode barrels down the river being chased by elves, (and orcs), giant spiders, intrigue. It was well acted and directed to be sure. Martin Freeman makes a most excellent hobbit, no complaints there. Most everyone involved did a wonderful job and even if that was not the case there was Smaug. Yep, did you see that dragon. Has there ever been a better use for CGI in any movie to date? I think not. Remember the scene where Bilbo (and the audience), sees the gold slide off the huge head of a sleeping Smaug, and then realizes the movement on the far side of the huge chamber was the dragons tail! A hell of an introduction huh. The dragon was amazing, exciting, and a little frightening at the same time. Between the look and feel of Smaug, coupled with Benedict Cumberbatch doing the voice of Smaug, it is unmatched in movie history to date. Just like the Lord of the Rings trilogy was. Star Trek, Star Wars, any other movie with CGI, just cannot stand up to it.

Peter Jackson can make an epic movie like no one else in the business today. He is to be congratulated on his accomplishments in that regard. Unfortunately this being a fantastic adventure movie is all that he is to be congratulated for because it is most definitely not a good movie version of The Hobbit. I will get further into that in my next post.

Until then,

Thoughts?