Posts Tagged ‘The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug’

Well hello Internet and happy Hobbit day! That’s right, in a time in which there is still practically nothing going on in the movies let’s just sit down, pull up our second breakfast, and celebrate Frodo and Bilbo’s birthday!! And what better way to celebrate their birthdays than by arbitrarily judging their movies! That’s right, it’s time for:

Judge of the Rings

All right so, this is a list from worst to best and (to no one’s surprise) all the bottom 3 are Hobbit movies… cause those were kind of terrible.

Number 6: The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

The second Hobbit movie is probably the worst. It just… The movie doesn’t really do anything. There’s no narrative movement thing just sort of happen to people… and then the movie ends. Not because it reaches a climax, or because there’s some kind of resolution to conflict or something, but because when the film studio whipped out their chainsaws and hacked this book into THREE movies the second one happened to end here. The highlight of this movie was the scene with Bilbo and Smaug and that was like, 5 minutes and was preceded by two hours of people wandering around delivering long monologues, while Orlando Bloom stared at things, and Stephen Fry delivered some of the least funny attempts at humor ever. It was the worst.

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Not since my last trip to Wendy’s has there been such a waste of Frys.

 

Number 5: The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

Desolation of Smaug is EASILY the worst of these movies, there is very little difference between Five Armies (the 6th movie) and An Unexpected Journey (the 5th movie.) At the moment I feel like 6 is worst just because it took SOOO long to get to the last battle, and then dropped the ball on that battle. The horrendously un-funny humor was still there, the battle was filled with characters we didn’t know, doing things we didn’t care about, for reasons that didn’t make much sense. Armies regularly took breaks from the battle so that reinforcements could arrive, or people could give speeches, the whole thing was just a mess. And really all Jackson needed to do was Two Towers again.

Number 4: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I feel like the first of the Hobbit movies was the best one, but maybe that’s just cause it’s the one I haven’t seen in the longest. It’s also the only one I’ve watched the Extended Edition of and I did feel like it was at least better in that format. The beginning was interesting and it was the movie that made the most use of Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman so that was something. It also didn’t get as muddled in the introduction of unnecessary side plots or shoe-horned, non-functioning love stories. Sure the tone was still all over the place, and the dwarves were at best confusing and at worst annoying, but it at least felt like it was going somewhere the whole time, even if that somewhere was two WAAY worse movies.

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You want to know something sad? I had entirely forgot he was in this movie until now… why?? WWWHHHYYY????????

 

Okay… finally on to the good movies.

Number 3: Return of the King

Maybe it’s just leftover bitterness from being trapped in a movie theater, desperate to go the bathroom, waiting desperately for the movies 10th fake ending to end, but I’ve always thought Return of the King was the worst of the original trilogy. Still a GREAT movie by the way, but the worst of the three.  Some good battle scenes, some great set pieces, and while the finish of the movie is super satisfying the overall emotion of the previous two movies are missing. Plus: whatever happened to the horses at the end of that movie?

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“Wait… didn’t we have horses a second ago?”

 

Number 2: Two Towers

Two Towers and Fellowship are basically interchangeable for me. Two Towers has a great mix of action and story with emphasis on the action, while Fellowship has a great mix of action and story with emphasis on the story. The battle of Helms deep is one of the greatest action set pieces of all time, Sam and Frodo aren’t too there weepy annoying stages yet, it comes to an amazingly strong conclusion given it’s middle position in the trilogy, and (as we all know) they’re taking the hobbits, to Isengard.

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Nothing like a six year old, played out joke huh?

 

Number 1: Fellowship of the Ring

And here it is, really the best movie of the trilogy. Great introduction to the world, some cool action set pieces, great characters and acting, and phenomenal storytelling. Sure the Council of Elrond scene is like an hour long but to nerds like myself, it’s a great hour! Filled with places one cannot walk to.

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What? What do you mean I’m doing it wrong?

 

And there you go guys!! The absolute 100% only way to rank the Lord of the Rings movie!! In my opinion. At this moment in time. I mean let’s be clear, any of the original trilogy is great, ya can’t go wrong. And with any of the new trilogy, ya can’t go right. I’ll see you next week!

Well hey Internet, and welcome to Thursday! This Thursday on Thoughts We Might Have Had, we’ll be talking about diets, choices, and how to make this year your year. Ha ha, no. That would be helpful and relevant and stuff. We don’t do that here. What we do do here is review movies in comically uninformative ways! And in keeping with that highest of traditions here’s my review of:

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

Desolate, isn't it?

Desolate, isn’t it?

After last years somewhat underwhelming first entry in the series, Peter Jackson blesses us all with the second iteration of the absolutely based on ONE book trilogy: The Hobbit.

The Plot:

Picking up directly after the events of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when our heroes were tragically abandoned on top of a cliff by some eagles, Desolation of Smaug sends our heroes deep into the forest of Mirkwood, through a hidden elven kingdom and all the way up to the Lonely Mountain.

Meanwhile, Gandalf must investigate the strange goings on in the ancient fortress of Dol Guldor and Legolas has to kill a lot of orcs for various reasons that don’t make a ton of sense, but are kind of awesome. Legolas is like the tooth-fairy of this movie. You’re not exactly how he gets to all the places he gets to but your certainly glad to see him. You’re glad he leaves that dime under that pillow or that arrow in that orc, you just aren’t ever really sure why he’s doing it.

"Wait did he just say he liked me killing things AND that I reminded him of the Tooth Fairy? Childhood issues much?"

“Wait did he just say he liked me killing things AND that I reminded him of the Tooth Fairy? Childhood issues much?”

Obviously the plot doesn’t really wrap itself up given the whole “third movie” thing but the dwarves/hobbits journey takes them through a cast of interesting characters, locations, and battles  as they continue towards the treasures of their four fathers. Or forefathers. Their one fathers forefathers four fathers. I think.

The Positives:

Let’s get one thing out of the way now: this is a better movie then the first one. The pacing is better, the dialogue is better, and the action is better. It is (and follow me closely here) better.

Martin Freeman continues to rock out Bilbo Baggins. He’s absolutely perfect for his role and while there are some other great performances (Gandalf, Smaug, and some surprisingly good work by Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, and Evangeline Lily) but Freeman carries this film and all of the best highlights are lit by him.

Easily the highlight of the movie for me was the scene between Bilbo and Smaug in the mountain, the flow is perfect and the conversation between the two of them is great (and (might I add) practically straight from the book.)

The combat in the movie is also pretty happening (with a few exceptions that I’ll get to later) but commendation needs to be given to Legolas who, while technically not in the book, kicks all sorts of orc-butt.

The Negatrons:  

I really only have two big complaints with this movie.

Complaint 1: Obvious CGI. We all know they don’t actually have Orlando Bloom jumping over houses and shooting arrows through heads, but occasionally the CGI here showed some MAJOR holes. I’m thinking in particularly of the barrel scenes in the river where the dwarves were so obviously CGI’d it physically hurt my face, my wife’s face, and my cat’s face (and my cat wasn’t even in the theater… that they know of.)

Complaint 2: The movie flows pretty well on the whole. The action is actiony, the talking is interesting (mostly), and the places are cool. On the whole it’s a well-made movie. EXCEPT for one glaring, horrible, terrible thing. The glowing peace of radioactive icing on a delicious cake; the huge, razor sharp spike of death taped to the back of an adorable puppy: the twenty minute chase scene in the mountain. At the beginning of the twenty minute chase scene the dwarves are inside of the mountain and Smaug is angry. At the end of the twenty minute chase scene the dwarves are inside of the mountain… and Smaug is angry. Believe me when I tell you that there is ZERO point to the twenty minute chase scene. The dwarves are running around trying to accomplish something which then does NOT work. Smaug flies around ruining any sense of awe that we might have had of him as the dwarves make him look both helpless and not overly bright.  It’s the first thing that should have hit the cutting room floor and would have made the movie shorter, the villain better, and the heroes less of a failure.

Okay now that we've filmed the awesome Bilbo/Smaug scene what say we have him wander pointlessly around the mountain for twenty minutes or so. That makes sense right?

Okay now that we’ve filmed the awesome Bilbo/Smaug scene what say we have him wander pointlessly around the mountain for twenty minutes or so. That makes sense right?

There are some other little things I could gripe on: we couldn’t really decide whether or not we wanted Beorn to be in this movie so we sort of snuck him in as best we could and then forgot why. The King of Mirkwood just sort of floats around saying words, without really ever seeming to mean anything. But those are all fairly minor gripes to what was (on the whole) a pretty good movie.

In Conclusion: I really struggled with what to rate this one. I’m giving it what I gave it because it was a good movie it just struggled so much at the end that it left you with a bad taste in your mouth. I recommend it though, it was fun and cool and people shot arrows at other people and I was happy.

I give it a 4 out of 5.

Thanks for readin guys! And swing on back by on Monday as I review Disney’s latest entry : Frozen.

Internet!! It’s that magical time of year once more, that time of year when we can finally answer that most important question: “what on earth will I blog about this week?” without having to sit around and think about it for twenty minutes! This is the time of year when the blogs practically write themselves and all I have to do is sit around and mess up the punctuation! So let’s start off the festivities with a nice bit of nostalgia! A look back at the things that we liked in theaters in 2013 before we look back at the things that we hated!

Micah’s Top Ten Movies of 2013 

In full disclosure: I have still not watched “Frozen” “Saving Mr. Banks” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” “The Wolf of Wall Street” or “American Hustle.” Yeah, remember how I’ve been dead most of this month? Trust me when I say that I spent a good week and a half of December with my eyes tightly closed while tiny ninjas slapped my retinas with fish covered in acid. Movies weren’t a priority. But regardless of that here are the top ten movies of the month that I did watch. It’s also worth noting here that these are just the movies I have seen this year. I know “Twelve Years a Slave” was supposedly awesome but it played in like four theaters so I didn’t watch it. Sorry sports fans.  

10. Monster University

Squeeking in at number 10 is Monster University with the HUGE asterisk next to it that I did not watch Frozen and that Frozen is probably a better movie. I liked Monster University but I didn’t think it was anything awesome nor did I think it was a ton better than the first one. In fact the primary result of me watching this movie was that I wanted to go back and watch the first movie again. That may not sound like super high praise and honestly, it isn’t. I feel like the bottom four on this list are a good ways below the top 5 as far as sweet sweet goodness goes.

9. World War Z

Hey a Zombie movie!! See, I’m not completely closed minded. A surprisingly heartfelt affair, World War Z starred Brad Pitt and Zombies that sounded like hungry squirrels and moved as fast as teenage girls racing for the last Taylor Swift CD. It was a pretty good movie and did some interesting stuff with an old old idea and I am thusly awarding it number 9 on this not at all renowned list.

8. Oblivion

Yup… Tom Cruise made this list. I don’t know what I stand for anymore. Can you imagine if I’d really liked Saving Mr. Banks so Tom Cruise AND Tom Hanks were on this list? I’d have to ritually light this website on fire. That would be the worst thing ever. Anyway, I really liked Oblivion and thought that Cruise and Morgan Freeman and whoever that lady who played Tom Cruise’s wife was did a really good job with it. It was a movie that surprised me, and I do love surprises. Speaking of which…

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Never mow your lawn again!! Buy a skyhouse (and stay the hay away from the railings)

7. Now You See Me

Definitely my surprise movie of the year right here. It certainly had potential to be good but it also had the potential to be forgettable and predictable two things it definitely wasn’t. I thought the cast was great and the story (while taking a strong left turn at bizarre junction at the end) held up very well throughout. It was exactly what you want out of an old school magician movie and well worth a number seven ranking!

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If the sequel to this isn’t called “Now You Don’t” I’m not watching it.

6. Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 was so close to being awesome but a few little things here and there along with one giant Gwennyth Paltrow ruining the end dropped it down to number 6. It was still a really good movie though and featured another stellar outing for Robert Downey Jr, so it really was well worth the watching and definitely an upgrade from the second movie which seemed to forget midway through the film that it was an Iron Man movie, in favor of being the story of an uninteresting Russian person and his parrot.  

5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Okay so that was like movie Tier 1 back there. 10-6 were all pretty close goodness-wise then there is a huge gap, followed by 5-3 which were all pretty close and then another slightly smaller gap before 2-1. Not that any of you wanted to know that or that it matters at all but I figured I would throw it out there. Back to the movie at hand though, Catching Fire is the rare example of a sequel that actually outdid the original. It builds very nicely on the groundwork of the previous movie both with its characters and with its storylines and it also definitely moves along much smoother than the last movie which helps a lot. Some people complained that the ending was too much of a cliffhanger but you kinda knew that going in right? I mean there are three books out there guys, and any time you have a trilogy you have a terrible cliffhanger at the end of book 2. It’s like a rule or something.

4. Thor: The Dark World

Ah, Thor 2. I don’t know if it was better than the first one or not but it was definitely awesome so who am I to complain? Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston continue to have some of the best back and forth on screen of any duo this year and while Hemsworth and Portman continue not to have awesome chemistry the world around them is so well built and the action is so stirring that your willing to forgive them a bit of on screen fakery. It’s a great movie with a genuinely entertaining lead and nemesis along with a well-established world and a great supporting cast. If you’re not on board the Thor train (not to be confused with the soul-train… trust me on this one) at this point I suppose this won’t convince you otherwise but seriously: watch this.

3. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

My issues with last year’s film are very well documented (on this website in fact) but I genuinely felt like this movie improved a lot over last years. It was still a different tone then the first trilogy but that was never really my issue with the first one anyway. This movie is a lot better crafted overall and while the middle is still a bit draggy it’s nothing compared to the miry, wet-concrete filled, middle of the first movie. The action is more actiony, the adventure is more adventury and the fact that Smaug is both in this movie and voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch does nothing but launch this film into the much coveted top 3.   

2. Star Trek Into Darkness

My most anticipated movie of 2013 WAY back in January actually did very well for itself. Great performances by the big three of Spock, Kirk, and angry Sherlock Holmes delivered carried a brilliant cast and the story was sweeping and epic and exactly as big as it needed to be. It got VERY slightly nudged out by the number one film but was about as close a second as you could get and should hold its head proudly as it boldy goes where no Star Trek film has gone before.

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Yeah I’ll admit I kept waiting for Kahn to suddenly turn around and yell “the game is afoot.” I’m not proud of it.

1. Gravity

As surprising to you as it is to me, here’s Gravity sitting at the top spot. No… for real. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in a tight, well made, brilliantly visualized film about some people trapped in space, trying to get home. More than anything else I just love how well put together this movie was, it built itself up into a fast paced yet surprisingly introspective adventure and didn’t waste a single instant of its screen time. It would have been so easy to pad this movie out with flashbacks and other characters, but Gravity stayed small and intimate and made you pay attention to everything it did. From start to finish, from stop to start, from space to… other space. Gravity makes you watch, makes you care, and makes you love the whole experience. As great as some of the other films on this list were there was never any doubt in my mind as to what was going in this spot.

Well guys thanks for reading! Another year another top ten, and now (as is my wont) I shall start prepping for Thursdays column this year’s bottom ten movies! Come on back, it’ll be a party!

Internet!! Sheesh, the time I have had!! So remember how the last two years or so I’ve been sick? Well guess what?? Last week I got sick again with something else on top of the something else that I already had from something else. It was wonderful. Like someone taking a hammer, wrapping it in the plot from “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and bludgeoning my face to death with it. Like your “socially aware” facebook friend not only littering all over your facebook feed with their “relevant thoughts” but also inviting you to play Farmville with them… hourly. Anyway though, I seem to be better now. Again. So before some other plague comes and attacks my spleen-heart let’s look at the box office shall we? What’s been going at the theater? What’s in theaters? And why is Pandora playing “When Will My Life Begin” from Tangled??? Stop that.

The Box Office Top Ten 12/23

10. Thor: The Dark World

Yup, Thor’s still hanging around. Punching people with hammers and having witty word-play with Loki or something like that. I’m totally okay with this. This is week 7 of the Thor 2 experience and given that I already wrote about a thousand words in which I practically proposed to this movie I feel there’s not really much more I need to say here.

9. Dhoom 3

I have no idea what this movie is about… let me look at the synopsis here… Okay I read the synopsis and I still have no idea what it’s about. I’m assuming if you liked Dhoom 1 and 2 though this movie is for you. If you haven’t seen those movies you probably already skipped this paragraph and are midway through the next one, so I suppose at this point I’m just padding the length of this article and creating a really REALLY long run-on sentence… and now I forget what I was doing… let’s just move on and pretend this whole thing never happened. Kind of like what I’m going to do with Dhoom 3!!

8. Walking with Dinosaurs

Apparently this moving is about Dinosaurs. Who walk. Frankly this movie has gotten TERRIBLE reviews so I’m just gonna leave it at that and move on. If you’re looking for a kids movie to watch, just hang out and wait for Frozen and if you’ve already seen Frozen hang out and wait for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty which at least has gotten mixed reviews. Whereas critics have universally agreed that  this movie may have, indirectly, been responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs due to said dinosaurs wanting to make sure they weren’t around to watch this film.

7. Tyler Perry’s: A Madea Christmas

Here’s a film confession: I’ve never watched a whole Madea movie. I’ve seen bits and pieces here and there but here’s another film confession: I find it SUPREMELY creepy that Madea is played by a man. Like I can’t sit there and separate myself from the idea that I’m watching a man dressed as an old woman dispensing funny but heartfelt advise to other young people. It’s like Mrs. Doubtfie except minus all the Robin Williams parts and I just can’t do that.

6. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Another movie that I already reviewed but let me summarize it for those of you who don’t want to scroll down the page and read me making fun of Pita for a couple paragraphs. It’s a very good movie, better overall drive then the first film and a much tighter experience then the first film; though it does falter the tiniest bit at the end. There, five people just started wondering why I don’t just summarize my reviews that well all the time the answer being: I have no idea… less room for Pita jokes I guess.

5. Saving Mr. Banks

Walt Disney’s movie about Walt Disney making a movie (yeah, you thought my sentences were confusing before. Well buckle up Cupcake) rolls in at number 5. Tom Hanks (who I don’t like much) and Emma Thompson (who I like a lot)  star in a  movie about the making of a movie that came to be called “Mary Poppins.” The movies gotten great reviews and actually seems to be very interesting so if you’re at all interested in the concept I’d definitely recommend checking it out.

4.  American Hustle

A con-man movie starring fat-Christian Bale, puffy haired Bradley Cooper, and Elvis-haired Jeremy Renner American Hustle has gotten pretty good reviews and seems to live up to the potential of its Director and Cast. I recommend it but it is rated R so it’s probably not your family Christmas movie destination. It and Saving Mr. Banks are both desperately trying to bait down an Oscar so expect a certain amount of film snobbery and the occasional long monologue about the meaning of life while the main actors wink at the camera and “accidentally” pose in the exact statue position of the Oscar-man.

3. Frozen

This is actually your family Christmas movie experience. Frozen has continued to perform well at the box office and get great reviews from critics and movie-goers alike so bring your family out to this one then home to prepare for the eventual world domination of the Walt Disney company who (all joking aside) have THREE movies on this list. What do they feed those people?

2. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

A comedy starring Will Ferrell, some other people who probably aren’t as funny, and your sense of nostalgia Achorman 2 couldn’t quite top  the number one movie but opened very respectively and actually got pretty decent reviews so I guess if you’re in the mood for a comedy this is the one for you. As a person who is rarely in the mood for a straight comedy I will probably not be partaking in the mustache but hey, who am I to rain on your parade? To moisten your march? To precipitate on your procession? Nobody. That’s who.

1. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

I haven’t actually gotten out to watch this yet (see above paragraphs on my raging disease filled December) but everyone seems to be of the mind that this is a much better movie then its predecessor “The Hobbit: Conversations with Old People.”  The movie picks up from where the last movie left off, directly after the eagles stranded the dwarves on top of a mountain for no reason. Seriously though, it’s definitely worth the watch regardless of your thoughts on the first movie, and Smaug (who actually appears in this movie) is the legit!!

So there you goes guys… or go guy… or go-go… So there you go. The top ten movies of the box office! Thanks for sticking around guys, hopefully all will be well, I will be well, and you will be well as we head into what I hope is a very merry Christmas for you all.