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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of your enormity, O Peter Jackson...)))
I liked this second part of "Hobbit" film trilogy, even if the changes made to the original story become here as large and sometimes as vicious and destructive as Smaug the Magnificent. Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS, which I tried to keep to strict minimum.

First, the good stuff:

1) Visually this film is breath-taking...
Published 9 months ago by Maciej

versus
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inferior to it's predecessor
I usually don't mind a few tweaks to film adaptations, the stuff added to the last hobbit film wasn't too bad at all but the changes made to this film don't even make sense. Orcs running around in daylight, elven love-interests, and that stupid gold statue thing just left me saying 'eh?'. Loads of chunks of the plot don't make sense in this adaptation, not to mention the...
Published 4 months ago by saz


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of your enormity, O Peter Jackson...))), 16 Dec 2013
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I liked this second part of "Hobbit" film trilogy, even if the changes made to the original story become here as large and sometimes as vicious and destructive as Smaug the Magnificent. Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS, which I tried to keep to strict minimum.

First, the good stuff:

1) Visually this film is breath-taking! Mirkwood, Dol Guldur, Erebor, and of course Smaug - pure perfection. Creatures were also very well made, with the attercops (ettercaps) from Mirkwood and Bolg, son of Azog being the most impressive.

2) The excellent casting. Not one mistake, and that includes Evangeline Lilly, who did a great job even if her controversial character Tauriel shouldn't be here at all... (see below). Special acclamation for Stephen Fry as Master of Lake-town of Esgaroth

3) Acoustics and music. Flawless.

4) Certain (but not all - see below) changes and additions to the story were well done and are very welcome, even if they take really big liberties with Tolkien's lore. Amongst them my favourites are the dark tombs in high mountains of Rhudaur and the long sequence in which Gandalf finally discovers who EXACTLY is the master of the "abandoned" fortress of Dol Guldur. I also rather liked the glimpse into the background of Elvish king Thranduil, as it explains why is he such an a-hole...

5) Some of most humorous action scenes. I liked the deliberately over the top character of some of the stunts during supposedly very dramatic fights - it very pleasantly reminds of the lighter tone of "Hobbit" as compared with the much more serious, darker and violent "Lord of the Rings".

6) Some insight into Orcs minds, especially when one of them, made prisoner by Elves, is interrogated... I found this scene very good and I wouldn't mind to hear more from the Orcs to know more of their point of view about all this Middle Earth business...

There were also things which I liked less, even if they can be defended:

1. Tauriel. Peter Jackson shouldn't create her and honestly, Evangeline Lilly shouldn't have accepted this role, because adding such an important character is no more "licentia poetica", this is RAPING Tolkien's books by conceding to political correctness... Nowhere in Tolkien's books are there elvish female warriors - extremely powerful and influent elvish females of course existed, but they were spell-casters and charm-weavers like Galadriel or Luthien, not shield-maidens.

BUT, that being said, considering that what is done is done, I must concede that Tauriel is definitely not half-bad looking and also that the strange game she plays with Legolas and Kili is interesting to watch. She certainly is one kinky, flirtatious wench and maybe even more than that - me I wouldn't be surprised if she was in fact a cynical manipulative vixen, playing poor Kili to try to inflame Legolas feelings and therefore bed her way into royalty...

2. Master of the Lake-town. In the book he was greedy and cowardly but he was an elected leader respected for his ability. Why destroying completely this character and make him a kind of little tyrant? BUT, on another hand, that gives Stephen Fry an occasion to fully deploy his great talent...

But then there were also some things and changes which simply went too far and can NOT be forgiven:

1. Portrayal of humans and their dwellings. Both Bree and Esgaroth are really kind of disgusting, with mud, waste and dirt everywhere, as opposed to perfectly neat cities of Elves, Dwarves and Hobbits. Sapristi, even the supposedly evil fortress of Dol Guldur, infested by orcs, wargs and attercops, is not as piggishly disgusting as those two human cities! And most of people living there are ugly and wear horrible, colourless, dirty rags! This was already a little bit annoying in "Lord of the Rings", in which we saw people from Rohan and even from mighty Minas Tirith dressed as beggars in deep mourning - here that is really too much!

2. Beorn. Even if he looks impressive in both of his shapes, his character was comprehensively jarjarbinksed and for some reason Peter Jackson deprived us of one of the merriest scenes in the book (the one in which Gandalf tells Beorn the story by introducing more and more dwarves...). Let's not lose all hope however - maybe at least this scene can be somehow re-introduced in the extended version...

3. Too many useless, repetitive fights between Elves and Orcs. All those scenes could be assets rather than issues, if the Orcs were able to score at least one point from time to time - but in this film they are completely hapless sword and arrow fodder. Many dozens of Orcs appear in fights in this film and even if they always come loaded for bear and have the numbers for them all they achieve is to bring down one elf and inflict a wound on one dwarf... Then, if they are so pathetically clueless warriors, why even run away from them!? That one sided character of fights makes them finally boring...

4. SPOILER HERE! Considerable change in the whole conversation of Bilbo with Smaug and especially the stupendously idiotic Bilbo's decision to reveal himself to the dragon by taking off his ring -followed by Smaug NOT eating him... That was one SUPER BIG BLUNDER which absolutely cannot be forgiven...

CONCLUSION: that part is of a lesser quality than the first one, but still, it is a great show which I enjoyed mightily and all the good things ultimately overweighed the bad ones. I am going to buy the Extended Version DVD as soon as it is available and I will now wait impatiently to see the last part of the trilogy next year.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars “Are we there yet?”, 5 Jun 2014
By 
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 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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69 of 91 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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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why all the fuss?!, 10 Sep 2014
By 
Rt Giles "RTG" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Why all the fuss about not following the story 100% ?

Most of the important parts of the story are here plus ALOT of bits that are only referenced in the appendixes of LOTR's. As a massive Rings and Hobbit fan (both books and films) I love Peter jackson's adaptations. Of course there are elements that are not in the book but isn't that artistic licence? If he made a mess off all the previous films I could understand people kicking off about the changes but to be honest, all the films (including this one) to date have been outstanding quality both as adaptations and as films. The attention to detail is phenomenal. People have done the same with George R.R Martins song of fire and ice series (which I have read and seen) and I feel people just want to kick off because they feel they have to because they have read the books, as long as it is done well what's the issue?!
Yes the film could have been made n two parts but I love Peter Jackson's films so I'm happy to sit through 9 hours or so as it is entertaining and isn't that what films are about???!!!!!
People should stop fussing, just because they have read the books doesn't give them license pick holes in a fantastic film trilogy/ series. But I guess you will never please everyone!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inferior to it's predecessor, 25 April 2014
This review is from: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I usually don't mind a few tweaks to film adaptations, the stuff added to the last hobbit film wasn't too bad at all but the changes made to this film don't even make sense. Orcs running around in daylight, elven love-interests, and that stupid gold statue thing just left me saying 'eh?'. Loads of chunks of the plot don't make sense in this adaptation, not to mention the lovely lighter tone of the hobbit is ruined by making it overly dark and lord of the ringsy. Plus, in a world that is different because it is predicated on the use of magic, why are the magical elements consistently downplayed, like the many many groups of sentient talking animals missed out. Plus, Beorn is one of the best characters in the book, their interaction with him is hilarious and whimsical, an enjoyable break between the more arduous parts of the journey, yet Jackson ruins this by making his character an unpleasant and serious one, just another tedious piece of adversity. Ruined. And the dwarves still don't look dwarfy enough, damn pretty boy Thorin,
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70 of 97 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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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If it ain't broke don't fix it., 10 April 2014
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It is undoubtedly a good film, but for a hobbit fan like me I just can't understand what all the changes to the plot were for, because they only detract from the overall enjoyability of the experience. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 5 Aug 2014
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not bad
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97 of 136 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I am fire...... I am death...., 14 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
After crossing over the Misty Mountains, Thorin must seek help from a powerful stranger before taking on the dangers of an illusioned filled forest.

If they reach Lake-town it will be time Bilbo Baggins to fulfil his contract with the dwarfs. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and Baggins must seek out the Secret Door.

A door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug....

After reassessing the first movie, which to be honest was a bit of a slog to get through, my expectations were not very high for this second instalment. I was looking forward to it, but this trilogy didn't really have the event feel that LOTR had..... Until now.

After a very slow opening, with a flashback, it soon goes back to what Jackson does best, event set pieces of the highest order. As soon as the group go into the forest, that's it, the film is rip roaring fun right up until the final haunting scene.

The film then is wrapped around three very impressive, and huge set pieces. The first in the forest with the spiders and meeting old friends,the second is a wonderful barrel chase, involving Orcs and Elves, and the final piece, which rivals anything from the original trilogy, when we meet Smaug.

This is stunning stuff, and Freeman excels in this part, one reason is because he's not really focused on until this part, and his fear makes his meeting with Smaug all the more urgent.

And what a creation Smaug is, as soon as he unveils himself from under millions of coins, you know instantly he will be right up there with Gollum, The T-Rex, and The T-1000, as the best CGI creations ever committed to screen.

Gandalf has his own little side story, which is very sinister, but not touched on too much, which will probably be the focus of the next film.

My only problem is that it doesn't have a lot of urgency to it, because you know a few characters that get in peril will be fine, because of LOTR.

Its a return to form from Jackson, and it has the best cliffhanger from any Jackson movie.

Well worth seeing.
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