Desperate for more Desolation: A Film Review of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I’m seeing this movie again today and am quite looking forward to it. It’s far from a perfect film, what with its terrible CGI and some awkward moments (notably the romance between Kili and Tauriel), but it’s a very FUN movie, and a very well-realized Middle Earth. Erebor is just beautiful, and I look forward to spending more time there in movie three. Really, the design of that place just make me tingle.

I’m hoping the expanded edition will fix some of my gripes with this one, although that wasn’t the case with the first one (just where the hell did those walking mountains COME from, anyway? sigh). I want the relationship between Tauriel, Legolas and Kili to breathe more, and flow better. I want some fleshing-out of Lake-town . . . but not too much. I want to see Bilbo going through the tunnel, working himself up to his encounter with Smaug. That was the most critical scene in the book, where Bilbo becomes a real hero, and it was completely absent in the movie, save a short dialogue scene with the older dwarf.

Also, hopefully the CGI will look better on the small screen.

Of course, none of it compares to Lord of the Rings, either the movies or the books, but as works of fantasy fiction go, “Smaug” does quite well for this particular writer of epic fantasy (find my novel “The War of the Moonstone” here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZX6OLU
) Can’t wait for “There and Back Again”!

The Spectatorial

When Smaug’s giant reptilian eye slowly slid open and his gravelly growl vibrate through the theatre in the final seconds of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I was ravenous for more of the prrrecioussss. Instead, I was handed a black screen, credits, and another year to wait. I found myself saying aloud in the darkness, “Are you kidding me?! It’s over?!” My contribution to the audience-wide chorus of exasperation, however, proved once more the brilliance of the film’s director, Peter Jackson.

I joined the throngs flocking to the theatres to revel in the second installment of the tripartite film series with the excitement and trepidation of an expectant fan. Early reviews had dubbed it a marked improvement over its precursor, which some had felt lacked excitement, but I had not shared such opinions of the first film. As a J.R.R. Tolkien devotee, I was particularly ambivalent about…

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