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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little too much padding
Enjoyable film, but the length of the book did require some padding out of the battle sequences to stretch it to 3 films. The concept of the three films would not have been impacted if this part of the trilogy had been kept to 2 hours. Having said that the actors gave fine performances, the action parts were well done, but like its fore runner the visual aspect was the...
Published 24 days ago by Oscar Freak

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn
Oh dear, I guess feeling too relieved after the first part was a success had to lead to over confidence and you can see it as this film sinks as it is drawn out too thin.
Published 1 day ago by Toby le Rhone


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little too much padding, 4 July 2014
Enjoyable film, but the length of the book did require some padding out of the battle sequences to stretch it to 3 films. The concept of the three films would not have been impacted if this part of the trilogy had been kept to 2 hours. Having said that the actors gave fine performances, the action parts were well done, but like its fore runner the visual aspect was the star of the film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars “Are we there yet?”, 5 Jun 2014
By 
Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
It is a long time since I read any of Tolkien’s books, and I came to this having watched the first film, as well as the sequel Lord of the Rings trilogy. If, as with any film, you disregard the original source material and treat it on its own merits, then this is a very good sequel to the first film. The story, expanded in places, but still in keeping with the spirit of the original story, if not the fine detail – I’m sure I remember the Goblins as being less monstrous in the written version – takes us through Mirkwood, on to the Lake village, and finally into Dwarf city ‘under the mountain’. Meanwhile, Gandalf has gone off to investigate the tombs of the Nazgul, and to look into Dol Guldur, where a Shadow is walking…

This is a fast-moving adventure, despite being over two and a half hours long. I kept checking the elapsed time, just in case I was approaching a cliffhanger, only to find there was much more time to go. Note that the end credits take up ten minutes, so adjust your expectations accordingly. It really is an epic story told in an epic way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it - but................, 8 July 2014
I liked it but...............I really think The Hobbit' could have been adapted into just two films. As with the first, there seems to be a lot of padding just to fill out the story which was something not required in 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. I agree, it would best be described as being loosely based on Tolkien's story. and I am not sure the introduction of 'Tauriel' is of benefit, (possibly only to placate the feminist PC brigade in view of the numerous battle scenes). I will admit to finding parts of it somewhat wearisome but I have awarded it four stars because it was so well made and the graphics are extremely good. I shall though watch the third episode.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn, 27 July 2014
By 
Toby le Rhone (StaffordshireUK) - See all my reviews
Oh dear, I guess feeling too relieved after the first part was a success had to lead to over confidence and you can see it as this film sinks as it is drawn out too thin.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fighting etc etc we should have really loved this film, 4 July 2014
By 
Stephen Parker (England) - See all my reviews
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So slow! With all the monsters, dragons, heroes, magic, fighting etc etc we should have really loved this film, but it seems to have got the unhappy knack of having lots of action, and yet still seeming slow! How is that even possible? Something to do with the weak story and stilted dialogue? Or was it that the action seemed a bit pointless at times, except to fill out the time?
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63 of 82 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The padding is really starting to show..., 13 April 2014
By 
S. Green (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I've been an avid fan of Tolkien's books for about 45 years now. I was apprehensive when I first heard that Peter Jackson was making a film trilogy of the Ring books, but on the whole my fears proved groundless and I think he did a very creditable job with them. So much so that I have all the Director's cut DVDs and they stand up well to repeated viewing. Then I heard he was doing the Hobbit...

Well many others have already made the point here and elsewhere that they had grave doubts about him spinning it out over three films, and I had the same doubts. Unlike LoTR however this time my fears have proved well grounded. I didn't really enjoy the first part. I found it unimaginatively scripted and directed with the dwarves being reduced to little more than a Disneyfied comic turn rather than being the weary, weather stained outcasts and nomads they were meant to be. Even Ian McKellan's turn as Gandalf lacked the necessary gravitas of the Ring films. The first instalment was only saved by Martin Freeman's excellent turn as Bilbo, plus of course Andy Serkis ending the film on a high note as Gollum.

But at least the meddling with the original story line was kept to a minimum and the padding out seemed less noticeable to me.

This second part however is a different matter. Great liberties have been taken with Tolkien's source material. A major character (Tauriel) has been introduced that didn't even exist in the book and appears to have been brought in simply to add a "love interest" story within a story. Legolas (who didn't appear in the book either) has been ridiculously pimped up to almost make him some kind of invincible superhero - so much so that it's hardly worth the Orcs turning up to the fight as they seemingly present no real threat whatsoever. They may be ugly great muscle bound snarling brutes with big pointy weapons, but they're apparently incapable of inflicting any real damage. They're just so much elf-fodder. "Sire, there's an army of five hundred heavily armed Orcs at the gate!", "Oh well, just send Legolas out, he'll soon see them off"

The nature of many of the main encounters in the book have also been altered to an extent that that the story itself is changed. There have been so many changes in fact that I think the credits should have actually said "loosely" based on The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien!

That in itself is probably the worst crime as far as Tolkien fans are concerned, but other fans in general have cause for complaint over the shameless padding out. This instalment feels far more bloated than the first and really shows that Jackson could easily have done a single three hour film, or at most two films. A trilogy was just being greedy - shameless commercialism. The interminable fight scenes between Super Legolas, the Mighty Tauriel and a bunch of CGI Orcs or extras in Orc suits are totally unnecessary and add nothing of value to the film whatsoever. They're just there to stretch out the thin storyline so they can get (paying) bums on seats for the third instalment next Christmas (and God knows what further liberties we'll see in that one).

The high points for me - (1) most (apart from the Legolas vs Orcs invented scene) of the Lake Town scenes. Bard is well played, and Stephen Fry turns in a good performance. The hope amongst the people for a return of the good times and how this makes them disregard the obvious threat is well conveyed. (2) Bilbo's conversation with Smaug. Could have done with more of this and less of the derivative Indiana Jones style running battle between Smaug and the dwarves, which also didn't happen in the book.

The low points - the rest of the film I'm afraid
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63 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May not be perfect to the book, but its an EPIC film!, 17 Mar 2014
This film is largely criticised for not being true to the books etc, as I'm sure you are aware. However one thing that cannot be ignored is the fact that this is a GREAT film.

Some have criticised the Lord of the Rings trilogy for focussing so much on epic movie making, the story was neglected. However with the Hobbit, the best of both worlds has been achieved.

I went to see this film, and it has got to be one of the best movie experiences I've ever had. There's comedy, action, and the spectacular non-CGI scenery thats typical of Peter Jackson. The first film was perhaps a bit slow to start, but after watching this sequel, you'll forgive the filmmakers, as from the moment you see the words 'The Hobbit', the action starts.

Buy, watch, and enjoy!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay, 20 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I bought this for my boyfriend as he is a massive fan of Tolkien. Honestly though, I didn't like it to much my self. I have read the book and found that there were parts of the film that were in no way related to the book. I understand that it has been made as to represent more of a prequel to Lord of the Rings trilogy but I found the flaws far too annoying to enjoy it as much as I could.
I must admit though, Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug is one of the best parts of the film!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Desolation of Smaug, 23 May 2014
By 
T. Cosens (England) - See all my reviews
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The Desolation of Smaug is a supremely crafted fantasy film and improves on part one of The Hobbit in every way. It’s pacier, more action packed and full of incredible moments.

Each action scene is a standout and there is certainly no filler here. The dwarves continue on their dangerous journey to The Lonely Mountain encountering the Spiders of Mirkwood and wood elves along the way. The escape from Mirkwood provides us with one of the most thrilling action scenes from both The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. Peter Jackson knows how to set a scene and this one just flows so perfectly that you are easily swept up in the action unfolding.

The camera never stays still but you are always able to see what is going on. Orcs jump from barrel to barrel, each one containing a dwarf. The orcs are closely followed by the elves picking them off with ease and bouncing from tree to tree. It really is a sight to behold.

From then on the action never really stops. Where the Desolation of Smaug really succeeds is in showing us something new. Part one suffered from a feeling of de ja vu. It was a little too familiar. DOS on the other hand takes us to new locations including the formidable Mirkwood and grimy Laketown.

However it is with Smaug that DOS really does soar. A towering achievement, if they got Smaug wrong the whole film would have crashed in spectacular style. A character so memorable and so intriguing he glues you to the screen for the entire third act. Superbly played by Cumberbatch and bought to life by some stunning special effects Smaug is the pinnacle of this trilogy in the same vein Gollum was with the Lord Of The Rings.

Bilbo’s interaction with the dragon is also on par with his riddling with Gollum. Both characters trying to outwit each other in a battle to stay alive. The final action scenes within the mountain are again superb and is easily a standout of the entire saga.

Desolation Smaug simply brings The Lord of The Rings back to where it belongs. Focussing on the characters and the action and not feeling drawn out or padded out. If you were unsure about The Hobbit then let the Desolation of Smaug reinstate your love of Middle Earth!

In a word, stunning!
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5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT HAS PETER JACKSON DONE?, 22 Dec 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
The second installment is in the books as the dwarfs try to regain their home. In this installment we are introduced to a passionate elf named Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) one of the bright spots of the film. I thought the spiders were more realistic. Tauriel reiterates a basic theme "Are we not part of this world?" When good people stand by, evil wins.

It was interesting to see Legolas (Orlando Bloom) in this film as it establishes his relationship with the dwarfs to create better story continuity. At the same time the continuity is lost as we never have that scene in LOTR when Legolas says to Gimli, "Hey, I met your father." Radagast (Sylvester McCoy) once again appears in the Hobbit, a wizard cut out of LOTR for "brevity." If only we could go back and film it all over.

The film ends at an awkward point. Most people I have talked to claimed this was better than the first installment with more action. I will admit I enjoyed the first feature better, and of all the 5 films released to date, I would rate this as the weakest. Still, if you are going to see the third film, you pretty much need to see this one in spite on any shortcomings. Yes, the weakest of the five, I still loved it and rated 5 stars. People who are lovers of the book, will find this tale nearly unrecognizable.

What I don't like is how the franchise sucks money out of me with the DVD release, then a few months later coming out with the extended version. I will not be purchasing this DVD until the extended version is released.
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