Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug came out last December, and it's the sequel to one of my favorite movies of 2012, An Unexpected Journey. The last movie in the Hobbit Trilogy is coming out later this year, and it's not being called "There and Back Again." And I'm not sure I support the title they chose. I'll get to that in the review for that movie.
As for the actual films, I freaking love them. The Hobbit is one of my favorite books of all time, and I love what Peter Jackson is doing with these movies. I really don't have any kind of complaints to level against it, honestly.
In the Harry Potter movies, after a while they started cutting out more and more to the point of it undermining the quality of the films. Things just started not making sense after a while.
In this, there are a few things that got cut out that I noticed, but all of that was essentially just space filler that would have made the movie flow a sloppier.
The movie clocks in at about two hours and thirty minutes, which leads me to my justification for why they cut stuff out. While The Hobbit went from one movie, to two movies, to three during production, it would have been as anemic as the later Harry Potter movies had it been any shorter. I really like what they added from the movie that fleshed out the characters actions. Not to mention that this is one of those movies that just grabs you and holds your attention until the end, to the detriment of one of my weekend movie nights, which ran until 1:00 AM. It's looking like we're gonna have to watch the last one in the theater, and then the rest of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. So the movie gets a recommendation from me, because this is a movie that I want future generations to remember like we remember Star Wars.
Now, onto the special effects. It's awesome. I can't tell actors from CGI. The makeup on the elves looks like it's real, and Smaug is an awesome looking dragon. Pretty much the rest of this review is gonna be me gushing about how much I like the movie, so I'll post the score here and then ramble on for a while:
Benedict Cumberbatch does a great job as The Necromancer and as Smaug. Nobody else could do it. It's like how I can't picture anyone else playing John Harrison in Star Trek: Into Darkness, or Sherlock Holmes (Well, Johnny Lee Miller does a good Sherlock too. But he's not my favorite.) Cumberbatch brings a lot to the character of Smaug that the infamous dragon would be lacking if somebody with less talent was voicing him.
And in addition to that, Sir Ian Mckellen is the man to play Gandalf. As is Martin Freeman the man to play Bilbo. In fact, there's not much to say against the cast. Aside from the one thing where they cast Stephen Fry and Ryan Gage as some stereotypical corrupt medieval officials, but while in most fantasy movies that's a detriment to it, this was actually a little bit fitting for the setting, considering that I've gotten tired of the dirty, corrupt medieval fantasy settings, that's quite an accomplishment.
All in all, nothing really ruined the movie for me the way that a lot of medieval fantasy movies do. So I'm just gonna say that after about seven months of waiting for it, the movie satisfied my expectations. It ends on a massive cliffhanger, but it's a great one. I can't wait to see what the last movie does with the end of the series. So onwards to the future!