Thread: The Desolation
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:30 AM   #48
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I got to see the film last night and while I did enjoy it, this installment is probably my least favorite of all the movies (including LotR). I loved the first movie; watching it felt something like going home. Meanwhile, this film seemed a bit lacking and more like a filler installment. I'm sure the added changes don't help.

What I liked:

-The barrel ride. It was a lot of fun to watch...enjoyable enough that I didn't mind the added fight scenes.

-Smaug. His introduction in particular was excellent and the visual effects were awesome.

-Thranduil. We didn't see much of him, but I enjoyed his scenes.

-As with all the other films, all the little details which includes the sets, costumes, special effects, visual effects, and so on. Those don't get mentioned often enough because they are separate from the writing, but they are just as important. And in my opinion, it's the details which make the films quality.


-Smaug chasing the dwarves. It was fun at first, but I think it dragged on too long.

-Tauriel. I like the actress and she did well with what she was given. But I could've done without her, or at least preferred her in the background rather than an additional storyline.

What I didn't like:

-Dol Guldur. Well, I didn't hate it. The visual used to create Sauron's Eye was (as my sister put it) trippy. It's just that I felt like it drew away from the main plotline. Every time it cut to that scene, I wanted to go back to Smaug.

-Kili's injury, Tauriel healing him, and some sort of weird attraction between them. Not to mention, the cheesy glowing elf bit (which I didn't like in FotR either). In a different world, I might actually enjoy that storyline. But not strays way too far from Tolkien. It seems pointless to worry so much about Kili's well being when he's just going to die in the end anyway (I assume). But I guess PJ is setting his death up to be a very emotional scene. Btw, why can't Kili have a real beard? Aidan Turner looks just fine with one.

-The pacing. As I mentioned, it felt like a filler installment. A lot of scenes dragged on a bit too long and when I think back on it, not much actually happened (it looks like I'm not the only one who thinks this). And the ended was a little too abrupt. I'm hopeful though that the final film will be stronger.

One thing I would've liked to see that wasn't there is a brief scene of the characters feasting at Laketown, with an added song and Bilbo's "Thag you very buch." I'm hoping this will be added in the EE dvds since there did appear to be the aftermath of a feast and PJ has added songs in the EE dvds in the past.

Originally Posted by Formendacil
I'm lurking so far because I have not seen DoS, but this strikes me as an interesting point and I'd like to hear the take of those who HAVE seen the movie: we know that The Hobbit was initially planned as two movies, rather than three, and everything I've heard would seem to suggest that the decision to stretch to that third blockbuster came rather late. That said, it has ALSO been my impression that the two movies we now have were largely carved out of the first "half" of the original plan--and if you think of The Hobbit as a two-parter, saving Smaug's death for the second half seems like a logical choice, whatever one may think about its place in a three-parter.

Granted there's a lot of additional material that makes this into a six-hour experience, but is it possible that seeing AUJ/DOS together makes more sense than one or other alone?
Yes, it's probably better to watch both films within a close time span. I watched the first film again on dvd before heading to the theatre. With LotR, it was clear on how the films would be divided. And while each installment was an extension of the previous, I think the writers did a better job of bringing us back into Middle-earth after a year away. The Hobbit was never meant to be divided up like this and I think the writers had a rougher time with making the middle film stand on its own. I really think it would've been better if they had just kept the film in two parts, not three. There's a lot that could've been trimmed down and I can't help but feel like the only reason a third was added was to make more money (probably because it's true).

A general comment about films based on books. There is a reason why it's called an adaptation; a film will never be a true representation of a book. Some films stay closer to the books they were based on, and there are some books that are very difficult to adapt to film without making changes. For book fans, it can be difficult for us to see changes made to the books we love, which is why it's sometimes better just to enjoy a film version on its own without nitpicking. Many changes that are made to film adaptations are done for specific reasons and not just because the director and writers thought they could improve what the author wrote (though it seems many of you think of PJ in this way); don't forget that they are not in complete control. Most changes in films are motivated by money. There may be many fans of the book, but like it or not, most of the audience who will pay to see this movie have not read the book and probably never will. And those added scenes...violence, romance, the added characters...they were put there to draw in new non-reading fans. Let's face matter how close they could keep to the book, book fans will never be completely satisfied and many will refuse to watch. The films are more likely to make money from those who haven't read the book and that's the audience the studios market them to. Making movies is just another business, and an expensive one at that.
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