Film Review: ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’

jackconner:

I refuse to read the entire review because I don’t want the movie spoiled for me, but I did read the first paragraph just to get a general sense of the review’s vibe, and thought I would pass it on because the reviewer seems to have liked the new film quite a bit. I’ve been trying not to get my hopes up for Part Two, but I can’t help it. The geeky energies are building up to critical levels again. Damn you, Peter Jackson! Please, for the love of the Valar, no more stone giants or cgi orcs or cartoonish action scenes! But, by all means, bring on elves and giant spiders and dragons (oh my).

One week to go! Finally, after a lifetime of dreaming about what Smaug might look like onscreen, I’ll finally get to see it. Of course, I don’t mean to discount the Rankin-Bass animated version. I’m actually quite partial to that more bestial, furred Smaug, and in fact their Smaug influenced me quite a bit in the creation of my own mercurial, powerful dragon in “The Song of Doom” books — find Part One of Two here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B95VE4Q

But seeing Smaug in a live-action movie is different, and other than “Dragonheart” I can’t recall a well-realized dragon — that talks — done on the screen in pretty much ever (mind, I’m not saying “Dragonheart” was a good movie, but the dragon was nice). “Dragonslayer” was pretty great, but no talking. Other than that, there’s been a real lack of dragons on the big screen, and since it’s the team that brought us the Balrog and the fell beasts realizing Smaug, it’s hard not to get little pumped.

Originally posted on Variety:

If “An Unexpected Journey” felt like nearly three hours’ worth of throat clearing and beard stroking, the saga gets fully under way at last in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the similarly massive but far more purposeful second chapter in Peter Jackson’s latest Tolkien enterprise. Actually shorter than the first film by nine minutes, this robust, action-packed adventure benefits from a headier sense of forward momentum and a steady stream of 3D-enhanced thrills — culminating in a lengthy confrontation with a fire-breathing, scenery-chewing dragon — even as our heroes’ quest splits into three strands that are left dangling in classic middle-film fashion. Jackson’s gargantuan undertaking can still feel like completist overkill at times, but that won’t keep the Middle-earth enthusiasts who pushed the first “Hobbit” film past the $1 billion mark worldwide from doing the same with this Dec. 13 release, which should see Warners’ and MGM’s coffers overflow…

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