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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars “Are we there yet?”
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...
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Mice Guy

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars APPALLING TRAVESTY OF TOLKIEN
Most of the other 1 star reviews posted here sum up my feelings about this awful film (and series). When Mr. Jackson made his excellent LoTR trilogy one got the impression that he loved and respected Tolkien's work, (even if the films weren't that faithful to the books) but now I have serious doubts. The Hobbit films are just a dire rip-off of the earlier films and I...
Published 21 days ago by Sou'Wester


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars “Are we there yet?”, 5 Dec. 2014
By 
Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 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 100 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. People who are lovers of the book, will find this tale nearly unrecognizable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extended edition improves a good film further, 28 Jan. 2015
By 
BookWorm "BookWorm" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Just as Tolkien's books set in Middle Earth defined the modern fantasy genre in literature, these wonderful epic film adaptations of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have set the bar for fantasy films. This extended edition DVD is worth the money. If you liked the cinema version of the film, 25 minutes of extra material just enhances the pleasure. There's some good stuff added here too; the reappearance of Thorin's long lost father, which helps flesh out the backstory, a longer scene between Kili and Tauriel which means their relationship makes a little more sense, and an expanded version of the journey through Mirkwood. I felt that all of the additional material added to the overall story, and as with the Lord of the Rings extended editions I preferred this to the cinema cut. It also makes it more of a treat at first viewing - almost like watching a new film rather than one you've seen already. Yes, it does make it longer, but I don't mind that - and it's spread over two DVDs which means there's a natural break in the middle, and I usually watch it in two parts.

As well as the extended film itself, there are a wealth of extras that will keep the geek in you happy for a very long time - nine hours in fact. There is a director's commentary - which is genuinely interesting and insightful - and then lots of 'making of' features. With a filming process as lengthy and involved as the one behind this film, this can't fail to be fascinating. The lengths that the team went to in order to make this the best film they could are quite remarkable and makes you watch it again with new eyes. It also helps you spot little details you may have missed.

If you love these films and want to immerse yourselves in them, this DVD is essential. And even if you just like the film without being an ardent fan, I'd suggest buying this over the standard version, for the sake of the extended film in itself. You don't have to watch the features, and I feel the film alone is worth the money. But the features are good too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars APPALLING TRAVESTY OF TOLKIEN, 6 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Most of the other 1 star reviews posted here sum up my feelings about this awful film (and series). When Mr. Jackson made his excellent LoTR trilogy one got the impression that he loved and respected Tolkien's work, (even if the films weren't that faithful to the books) but now I have serious doubts. The Hobbit films are just a dire rip-off of the earlier films and I cannot think of a single redeeming feature about these dreadful productions. Particular low points in this film, that never even rises to the level of mediocrity, include a cringe-inducing cameo by Stephen Fry, and a pantomime "Smaug" who was less frightening than Puff the Magic Dragon! Lovers of Tolkien's work can only watch this and weep. The only consolation could be that JRR Tolkien's reputation will remain untarnished; the same certainly can't be said for Peter Jackson and his cronies.
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better then AUJ EE, 8 Nov. 2014
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This is a far better extended edition then an unexpected journey's one.
Firstly, the design of the box is much better. The golden writing on the front is shiny rather then plain and the detail on the front and back pictures are good. When you take off the sleeve, there are some good pictures of the map of Erebor and Bilbo, Smaug and the Arkenstone.
Secondly, the extended scenes are worth nearly 27 minutes. AUJ's extended scenes were a mere 13 minutes that did not change the story whatsoever. The best scenes are perhaps the longest. After waking up at Beorn's house, Gandalf and Bilbo introduce themselves to Beorn and the dwarves follow in paris. This is a great scene because in the theatrical cut there was too little of Beorn. The next scene i loved was of more Mirkwood. Here we see the Company crossing the bridge and Thorin trying to kill a deer. The third and probably the best scene that was new is Gandalf meeting thrain (Thorin's dad) in Dol Goldur. Some of the scenes in the theatrical cut of Dol Goldur just had Gandalf, here you have Gandalf and thrain. This is emotional particularly when the scene ends.
Thirdly, the extras are even better. Nine hours of fun film making with some scenes devoted to the Battle of the Five Armies film.
In total, this is an extended edition fit to match the first two lord of the rings extended editions.
BTW, parents dont be pertubed by the 15 rating this has been given. The film itself is a 12 as it says on the actual disc and it is one of the appendices that has a 15 on the disc.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first, 20 Dec. 2013
By 
tallpete33 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
With a Tolkein adaptation you know exactly what you are getting from Peter Jackson and that is definitely the case here. Lots of wizardy stuff, swordplay (and bow and arrow play), short people, ugly people, monsters, excellent CGI, stunning scenery and that musical score. That said, this is definitely one of the weaker Tolkien installments with the source material being stretched too thin here - a two part adaptation for the one volume book would have been more appropriate but you don't need Gandalf's wisdom to work out why the producers wanted a trilogy.

This one didn't really intrigue to be honest. The plot was pretty scant - way too much was made of the excellently produced but slightly silly dragon sequence and the same could be said of the dull injured dwarf storyline. How only one of them got injured in a battle with literally hundreds of Orcs stretched the credibility too far as well. That said, those battles were very well done with one particularly inspired and hilarious moment with the dwarf in the spinning barrel but the spiders were a bit déjà vu I'm afraid.

The other weak point for me is Martin Freeman as the lead. He looks the part but is limited in his acting abilities having peaked in The Office when he embedded Gareth's stapler in jelly. Alongside McKellen, the excellent ex-Spook Richard Armitage (Thorin) and Ken Stott (Balin) in the dwarf gang his limitations become all the more apparent. Elijah Wood was a cracking Frodo but Freeman comes up a bit short (pun intended) as a hobbit IMO.

Overall, a solid three stars and I will go see the third next December so see what the dragon gets up to but this one definitely lacked the scale and story of the previous films for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars okay, 17 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Okay. Bit slow, and I don't know why it's called desolation of smaug, it doesn't quite pan out that way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ... a masterpiece written by an Oxford professor and add poor quality plot padding, 17 Jan. 2015
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It takes a lot of guts to take a masterpiece written by an Oxford professor and add poor quality plot padding. Great quality production, with eye-popping 3D. I enjoyed it, but - with another reviewer here - it is really missing EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Preferred Lord of the Rings trilogy, 25 Feb. 2015
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Excellent CGI, but story seemed a bit contrived and rather extended to allow the production of 3 films to represent only one book. The dialogue is not as good as it is in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it's enjoyable enough.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful., 12 Jan. 2015
This review is from: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
2 hours 30 minutes.
45 minutes written by Tolkien.
1 hour 45 minutes written by Peter Jackson.
Appalling. Please avoid this and read the book instead.
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