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I saw it yesterday. I'm glad I saw it and there were definitely some cool moments in it, but it definitely didn't need to be its own movie. Despite that, it seemed somewhat more tonally consistent to me than the first two without so much slapstick action alternating with history.

 

It really made me want to rewatch LOTR, though. I'd be doing that right now if I had time this weekend to devote to doing the whole extended trilogy again.

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I saw it on Wednesday and my thoughts are a bit mixed. There were some good moments in there, BUT I got the sense that they really trimmed it for time. Which is weird to say for any of Peter Jacksons movies.

 

It's the shortest of any of the 6 and I think that the EE will help a lot here. Maybe all of the blowback about RotKs 50 endings made them a little shy about doing the same thing here. I really wish that they had.

 

I'll put my issues behind the spoiler warning:

 

 

The Arkenstone. They spend the first half of the film talking about where it is, why it's important to Thorin, what might happen if he gets it, how it's valuable to Bard and Thraduil. And once Bard says that he has it and puts it back in his pocket, it is never mentioned again for the entire film. Big mistake there.

 

In the books, there is a fantastic scene where Thorin is buried with the Arkenstone. I felt like that scene absolutely had to be in the movie to pay off all of the build up. Wasn't there and wasn't mentioned at all. I'm pretty sure that will wind up in the EE.

 

Same thing for Fili and Kili. There wasn't very much weight to their deaths at all. Sure, Kili had a little bit with Tauriel mourning him. But Fili had almost nothing. As far as we know their bodies are still out there on the battle field. A funeral scene for all three would have been so great and it just wasn't there.

 

Another problem, over half the dwarves didn't even get a line in the whole movie. They all run out of Erebor to join the fight. Other than Thorin, Dwalin, Fili and Kili you don't see any of the rest of them even fighting. There is a scene of them on some type of Chariot in the trailers that seems to have been cut. Would have been nice to see them fighting.

 

I also would have liked just a little more of Smaug. I was suprised how quickly they dealt with him. But more importantly I think his death lacked a bit of weight. Bard shoots him, as he does in the book. But then Smaug goes down very very quickly. You have everybody shouting "He's dead! He's dead!" to, I think, make it clear to the audience that he actually died. Without them literally yelling at the audience that he was really dead, I would have thought there was more to come.

 

I think it would have been really very cool if they showed him die a little more slowly. Like maybe he was chasing Bard around a little bit, but he was struggling to stand or keep his balance. They already established that his belly glows before he blows fire. So I thought maybe a good way to visualize him slowly dying would be for him to not be able to keep it lit. Maybe show it flickering as he's trying to finish Bard off. I understand the way it was was also how it happened in the book, but it just felt a little weak.

 

The last thing I'll bring up is Galadriel. When she goes to get Gandalf and is surrounded by all the Wraiths. She looks absolutely exhausted. Why?? They didn't show her doing hardly anything except for weirdly carrying Gandalf. She goes down to the ground with him and looks tired like she had been fighting off a ton of Orcs until Saruman and Elrond arrived. I got the feeling there was a lot more there that was cut out.

 

 

 

So in closing there was some good bones to the film. Hopefully the EE builds on that. I know people like to rag on these movies for being so long for such a short book. But I thought this film actually could have benefited from another 15 or 20 minutes.

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I kind of wish I was in a coma long enough to have missed the theatrical edition and woken in time for the extended edition's release. I thought of it as an entertaining, unintentionally hysterical feature length preview to a film that's not even coming out for another... maybe 7 or 8 months if we're lucky. Oh and I loved Christopher Lee's stunt double.

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It's a Peter Jackson Middle Earth movie. We should know what to expect by now.

 

Long. Drawn out battle scenes full of brilliantly choreographed but laughably unrealistic stunts, especially on part of Orlando Bloom. The costumes and sets are absolutely second to none, as always. Richard Armitage is okay as Thorin, as is Martin Freeman as Bilbo, and their relationship is remarkably portrayed. Jackson's talent for showcasing these kinds of things is here in abundance.

 

The issue I have with it is inherent in taking a book that does not clock in at 300 pages (at least not my copy) and making it into three films that EACH push or exceed the 3 hour mark.

 

A few more minor issues:

Just hiw much of Thorin and Legolas going mano-a-mano with the same orcs do we need to see? This book could have been done in two movies and been just fine. Some sense of closure vis-a-vis the woodland elves, the men of Dale and the dwarves would have been nice. Does Thranduil get his gems back? What becomes of the Arkenstone? Do Thranduil and Thorin's successor - whomever that ends up being, kiss and make up? What becomes of Bard and the men of Winterfell, er, I mean Dale? (more on that below...) Some closure there would have been nice.

 

 

It was far from perfect, but if you are at all a fan of the film installments of Tolkien's works, don't miss it.

 

As an aside, I'll suggest that what I've long suspected has been, I think, decidedly confirmed in this film: the title of reigning king of epic fantasy has passed to the other author in the genre with the middle initials 'R.R.' Among many hat tips to Martin's work noticeable here is Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman being a spitting image of Jon Snow. And speaking of winter ... just see the film and I'm sure you'll get it.

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Watched it last night. Enjoyed it, and overall, I enjoyed the hobbit trilogy. Everyone expected an epic trilogy like LOTR. That doesn't come around often.

 

I do feel like the ending was rushed a bit. Epic 5 army battle, etc., then when war is over, white orc is dead, bilbo is all like 'bye, see ya later!'

 

In terms of making, I feel like the hobbit trilogy relied too heavily on cgi and special effects and not enough miniatures, extras, etc. And was Billy connolly/Ironfoot cgi? He didn't look like a real dwarf at all.

 

All that negativity aside, I really enjoyed Martin Freeman as Bilbo in the trilogy. I liked the many silent expressions he made throughout and the witty charm.

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In terms of making, I feel like the hobbit trilogy relied too heavily on cgi and special effects and not enough miniatures, extras, etc. And was Billy connolly/Ironfoot cgi? He didn't look like a real dwarf at all.

He was a spitting image of a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay character. I'm certain of it.

 

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Saw this today, and thought it was a good conclusion to the middle earth saga.

The extra bits taken from the LOTR appendices and flashbacks in chapter 2 of the first book are a nice addition. Very much looking forward to the extended edition as there was a noticeable chunk of scenes missing at the end which others have mentioned.

Well done PJ - very nice starter to the LOTR main course!

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I'd say it's a rather average film.

 

Some of the effects were horrible, and it makes it seem like LOTR starts immediately. Shouldn't Legolas and Aragorn be BFFs by the time Fellowship starts?

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It wasn't a great conclusion.

 

I loved the first two but they left too much out of this one to make it feel complete. You spend three films looking for an Arkenstone and then you toss it in the bin! I was fine with including Legolas but he almost took joint top billing at the end which seems a bit much for someone who wasn't even in the book.

 

It really needs to benefit from extra scenes which hopefully will be restored in the DVD release but they could balls that up too.

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I finally saw the first two this week. They're alright, fun romps. To me it just felt like they took the bare bones structure of Hobbit and turned it into 'Various Goings On in Middle Earth'... really more like an anthology. My only real complaints are how cartoony a lot of creatures, particularly the orcs, look... the incredibly pointless Tauriel/Kili "romance"... Legolas being shoehorned into the story for no particular reason. And I like Martin Freeman but Elijah Wood was much better at conveying dramatic depth through subtle expression. And that goes a long way in a film that relies heavily on slow building, moody atmosphere.

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Overall I really enjoyed it, as I have all three Hobbit films. It doesn't hold a candle to LOTR, but as part of the greater Middle-Earth saga it's a worthy "transitional" film.

 

I think its a bit naive to say that the whole book could've been done in one movie, especially given the book covers whole set-pieces in a couple of pages, zero character development for any Dwarves outside of Thorin and Balin, and a whole sideplot (Dol Guldur and the White Council) only there as a means for Gandalf to leave the company. A single film would've been flat and lifeless.

 

As for whether or not to do 2 or 3 films, I'm torn. There's enough content IMO for somewhere in the middle. My biggest gripe with the films is Jackson showing Lucas'esque tendencies when it comes to overuse of CGI and greenscreen, not to mention the failed 48 fps experiment. As cliche as it sounds, the LOTR films feel far more "real".

 

Back onto the Five Armies, I thought that the 'meat in the sandwich' was top notch. great action, pacing and characterisations. My only gripe are the 'bread in the sandwich', with the beginning and particularly the end both extremely rushed. I think Smaug's demise at Lake Town would've made an ideal climax to film 2, and the stage set for the battle in film 3. This way, the final 30 minutes of the film wouldn't feel so abrupt and characters to all have some form of resolution. Obviously this was done in response to the "OMG A MILLION ENDINGS!!!111" criticism from ROTK, but they went too far.

 

 

Bilbo: After the battle was over, just seemed to say "smell ya later" to the Dwarves and piss off, and two minutes later is back in the Shire. This could've been given some extra gravitas (a guard of honour from the Dwarves/Evles/Men, perhaps?).

 

Thorin: No burial with the Arkenstone?

 

Fili/Kili: Other than Tauriel, does anyone even care? The line of Thror has been eradicated, this is kinda a big deal.

 

Balin: Next time we see him he's suddenly buried in Moria. Perhaps a small cursory nod to where he's headed next, just to make that connection a bit stronger.

 

Tauriel: So where to now for her? Is she going to be crying on that mountain forever? If you're going to introduce a whole-new character, then give them a full character arc.

 

Thranduil: Did he get his jewels? Will he return to Mirkwood and keep being a douchebag, or has this experience changed him in some way?

 

Legolas: Can never return to Mirkwood. WHY???

 

Bard/Dale: How about dropping a hint about what the future may hold here? What now becomes of Dale and Esgaroth?

 

Radagast/Beorn/Dain: Where to now for these guys?

 

 

I'm not saying every character needs a drawn out explanation of what happens next, it's just that the farewells could've been given more emotional weight, especially for moments where the book covers this.

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I thought they were all about the same quality wise. The first movie felt the most LOTRsy to me of the three. The second a bit more Lucasish CGI and the third a lot more Lucasish CGI.

 

The second one is worth a rental price for Smaug alone though.

 

I saw a great comment though when this one was released. The first had a fantastic scene with Gollum. The second had a fantastic scene with Smaug. The third had nothing at all resembling either one. Which is sad because the third had so many opportunities for a good meaningful scene and they missed them all.

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