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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
BLU-RAY disk
04.15.2014 By: J.A. Hamilton
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug order download
Director:
Peter Jackson

Actors:
Ian McKellen
Martin Freeman
Richard Armitage

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The next step toward reclaiming Erebor finds Gandalf, Bilbo and the dwarves sneaking into the Lonely Mountain to reclaim the Arkenstone, resting silently in the den of the mighty dragon, Smaug.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I love fantasy, and although I didn’t read the LOTR or HOBBIT books, I loved everything about LOTR and much to my surprise, loved THE HOBBIT as well. Do I still feel mixed emotions about turning THE HOBBIT into a three picture extravaganza? Sure, but whatever misgivings the first film had (there were a few), the second installment grabs you from minute one and doesn’t let go until the epic final moments.

On the plus side, Peter Jackson probably knows the world of Middle-Earth just as well as Tolkien did at this point, and he brings it to life with all the wondrous beauty and vivid magic we’ve come to expect. This flick is gorgeous, especially on Blu-ray. Smaug himself, is a true triumph, both visually and conceptually. It wasn’t until the fourth Harry Potter film that dragons actually started looking real. Now I’m not trying to be a dick, I’m sure making them look the part isn’t easy, but it’s still the truth of the matter. I had no idea Smaug talked either—that is until early casting and promotional talk with Benedict Cumberbatch—which added a much needed depth to this character. A monster that can talk is always better than a monster who can’t. The new additions of Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel, Beorn, and Bard (to name a couple) were very welcome. I would have loved to see and know more about Beorn, and Tauriel’s character seems destined to die, but other than that, they were perfect.

I say Tauriel seems destined to die because of the one fatal flaw of this film, and the trilogy as a whole: the fact they went backward. If THE HOBBIT films came out first, we’d have had a near perfect trilogy on our hands, but they didn’t. So suffice to say, the fact that Tauriel isn’t mentioned in LOTR, I have to assume she doesn’t make it. That said, neither is Legolas’ dad—a mega dick btw—so I’m assuming he bites the dust too. The other flip side to this is that as cool as Gandalf’s Sauron fight is (and trust me, it’s f*cking badass), leaving him in a ‘life or death’ situation didn’t faze me as I know he survives. The same can said of Bilbo. I’m sure PJ would argue it’s not about the who survives, but the journey they take together, and that’s all good and fine, but it’s hard to create the proper tension when we know everything will work out for certain characters.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG is a fantastic ride and impressive second installment to this trilogy. The pacing was spot on, the actors really fell into their roles (loved the added storyline with Kili) and the return of familiar characters like Legolas was the pure definition of ‘fun’. Yes, the barrel ride down the river was corny as hell, the CGI heavy orcs were a bit of an eyesore, and as much as I love Thorin, I felt he gave up on the whole key situation far too easily, but Smaug was brilliant, as was the confrontation between Gandalf and Sauron—something we fans have dreamed about since the opening battle of FELLOWSHIP. There’s a hell of a lot of fun to be had here and I gladly recommend you check this one out. Is it December yet?
THE EXTRAS
Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set: PJ alongside the cast and crew show you a day in the life of Hobbits and dwarves fighting dragons. The makeup process looks brutal.

All in a Day’s Work: We take a look at the challenges this time around, as well as dive into Mirkwood, Lake-town and Dale as they showcase the film’s crazy action scenes. Everything but the barrel run was impressive.

Production Videos: A making-of from PJ and the production team. These are the same kinds of things we see him launch virally during filming, still cool to watch though.

New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 2: Another look at how PJ transforms New Zealand into Middle-Earth. Like I said, this flick is breathtakingly beautiful, so again, cool beans to watch.

Music Video: Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” theme song from the film. Cool, but do people even watch videos anymore?

Previews: There are a slew of trailers as well as a DVD and Ultraviolet Digital Copy of the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Whether we agree with this new trilogy or not, it’s happening, and I choose to enjoy it for the kickass ride it is. There are some juvenile moments to be sure, but for the most part, this is high tides fantasy at its best from the man who knows what the fans want to see. Bring on the next one!
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11:18AM on 04/21/2014
Solid flick. Solid review. There's no need of these films existing, but you're right, lets just enjoy the ride.
Solid flick. Solid review. There's no need of these films existing, but you're right, lets just enjoy the ride.
Your Reply:



7:58PM on 04/15/2014
Thank you for a decent review of this film. As a fan of the Hobbit and LOTR films it was disheartening to read the first review on JB by a reviewer who obviously had a great distaste for the material and tore it apart without a shred of evidence other than not liking it. I agree, bring on December!!!
Thank you for a decent review of this film. As a fan of the Hobbit and LOTR films it was disheartening to read the first review on JB by a reviewer who obviously had a great distaste for the material and tore it apart without a shred of evidence other than not liking it. I agree, bring on December!!!
Your Reply:



7:25AM on 04/15/2014
Oh come on. The first review was armature garbage, and this one is actually well written, but the criticism wasn't meant to have JB site flop around on the actual movie score. It's okay to post a review saying its a bad movie (even though I thought this one was better than the first and enjoyable for what it was) just get the quality of the review to JB site standards. Man now what am I supposed to believe?
Oh come on. The first review was armature garbage, and this one is actually well written, but the criticism wasn't meant to have JB site flop around on the actual movie score. It's okay to post a review saying its a bad movie (even though I thought this one was better than the first and enjoyable for what it was) just get the quality of the review to JB site standards. Man now what am I supposed to believe?
Your Reply:



4:44PM on 04/15/2014
It's not the same reviewer.
It's not the same reviewer.
7:21AM on 04/15/2014

A much stronger review than the previous one

and not just because it's more positive! ;) I used to write reviews (I still do the occasional review for a friend's website) and I'll accept a differing opinion as long as the writer backs it up. I enjoyed the movie, warts and all, but I'm surprised no one else caught the gigantic plot hole in the last act of the film. I don't want to give anything away but it's a doozy. That's the only thing that took me out of an otherwise great movie.
and not just because it's more positive! ;) I used to write reviews (I still do the occasional review for a friend's website) and I'll accept a differing opinion as long as the writer backs it up. I enjoyed the movie, warts and all, but I'm surprised no one else caught the gigantic plot hole in the last act of the film. I don't want to give anything away but it's a doozy. That's the only thing that took me out of an otherwise great movie.
Your Reply:



6:21AM on 04/15/2014
This does seem like a better thought-out review than Matthew Plale's. I write movie reviews too and I think anyone can say whatever they want as long as it's backed up reasonably, and this review does give Peter Jackson and company the credit they deserve for pulling off The Desolation of Smaug.
This does seem like a better thought-out review than Matthew Plale's. I write movie reviews too and I think anyone can say whatever they want as long as it's backed up reasonably, and this review does give Peter Jackson and company the credit they deserve for pulling off The Desolation of Smaug.
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