Hobbit

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Review

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After waiting a year for part two, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug has been released in cinemas all over the world. I was really excited about seeing this film as I am a fan of the book and a fan of the films The Lord Of The Rings.

First of I will say something negative about the film. I first read The Hobbit before The Lord Of The Rings films. The middle earth I visited in my head when I was a child. After watching Lord of The Rings it did not match my vision of middle earth but when reading the Lord Of The Rings books I could not help put picture the visuals I had seen from the film. The Hobbit film is Peter Jackson’s interpretation of the book and not mine. I’m not saying it is bad but it is just very different.

Many people are angry with the fact that there is so much extra content in the film. I understand why they have done this beyond the fact to make more money. The Hobbit is a children’s book and at points does not go into great detail. Turning that into an epic would be difficult. We need to have more characterization and we need more gaps to be filled in. As the story has been split into three films each film needs to have a three act structure in order to be coherent. That is why I feel there are sub-plots that are not in the book. They do work well for what they are.

The film has a faster pace and is more action based. There is still plenty of story but I am happy that the film contains many set pieces which are visually stunning for the audience. Jackson has said in interviews that these films could not have been twenty years ago because the technology to create brand new worlds did not exist or at least did not look real. The fight scenes and the scenes in Erebor with mountains of gold and Smaug  looks so amazing.

I really did not know what to expect when seeing the dragon but I liked everything about him. Smaug does look incredible. His look and his voice are brought to life through the voice and motion capture of Benedict Cumberbatch. I do think that Cumberbatch’s voice is so perfect. It is the right tone or evil and it really adds depth to the character. Benedict Cumberbatch also voices the necromancer. There is a variation in his voice but it is still clearly Cumberbatch doing both voices. However The necromancer speaks mainly in black speech and is more like sinister noises and chants rather than audible language. The Necromancer sub plot was really good even though it was brief but I think that we will get to see a lot more in There And Back Again in a years time. I think that The Necromancer fight will be the set piece of the third film even over the battle of the five armies.

The film does contain a few sub plots that do break up the main story. We see character development of Bard the Bowman who in the book is a very minor character. We have the sub plot of the necromancer and this film introduces a love triangle between Tauriel, Legolas and Kili. The film has had no female characters and introducing  a love plot into the film was something that would allow the introduction of a female character and allow the film to appeal to a wider female audience. However the love triangle is very brief and in a film of this length if people are only interested in a female character and her relationship with male characters I would suggest seeing a different film.

The main characters in the film get plenty of development. We see Bilbo becoming corrupted by the ring slightly even though he remains pure. Thorin becomes more weary and angry over reclaiming Erebor. I thought that his change would be too quick but the film laid it out perfectly and believe his suffering and anger. Gandalf has less screen time I felt however when him on screen you are focused on what he is doing. Gandalf is such an interesting character and he has so much presence. You cannot help but be interested in what he is doing. Every action no matter how small feels important.

Overall this film is a major improvement from the first one and its tone and themes are more like The Lord Of The Rings. I do think that this film is good in its own right and that people new to it would enjoy it. I would not recommend seeing this without seeing the first Hobbit film but I would suggest watching The Hobbit series before watching The Lord Of The Rings. I am annoyed now that we need to wait another year for the conclusion and I hope by that time the series has not been turned into four films.

8/10

What did you think of the film? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smuag Trailer Review

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One of the most anticipated films of the year without a doubt is part 2 of The Hobbit series. Initially the series was only meant to be two films but has now been split into three. The final installment of the series will be released in December 2014, despite it originally due to be released in July of 2014.

This trailer is defiantly better than the first trailer we got for the film a few months ago. This may spoil more things but it will defiantly attract the audiences in with the new footage. We will still likely get a final trailer at the end of November just before the film is released as well as a couple of TV spots which may or may not contain more new footage.

The trailer opens in Erebor with Bilbo addressing Smaug claiming that the tales and songs do not do Smaug justice. He must look more sinister and be larger than expected for young Bilbo. Later in the trailer we see Bilbo and the dwarfs in the caverns of Erebor which does not look like it is from the book. One thing in particular is that we see Thorin running from flames and in the book Thorin never met Smaug only Bilbo did. However this may be added in because Thorin has a grudge against Smaug and it would make sense for him to confront the dragon.

We see a lot more of the Elves now especially Legolas and Tauriel. They defiantly have a close relationship in this and this will have been added in the film for a romantic sub story. Thranduil even says to Tauriel that Legolas is fond of her and she should not give him hope where there is none. It seems that Legolas was only put in the film for nostalgia and it does add a romantic sub plot but the book did not have it and I still think the book is good.

We see slightly more of Laketown and Bard the Bowman. Still we do not have much to go on but we see that Bard is furious with the fact that Thorin and company want to go into the mountain. Thorin claims he has the only right to go into the mountain which is fair enough as it is his home. We also see some of Smaug attacking Laketown but we see nothing that gives the plot away.

Gandalf is also seen on his own adventures in which he will take on the necromancer who is actually Sauron. In the trailer we do not the necromancer but we do see the eye of Sauron. This film and the final Hobbit film will contain some details and hints that will link The Hobbit to The Lord Of The Rings. The Fact that Legolas appears in this as well as Ian Holm’s Bilbo means that they definitely want to go full circle.

Something that I felt that was out of place in the trailer was Thorin being cruel about Bilbo. At the end of the first hobbit film Thorin was really grateful that Bilbo saved his life. So I feel that him saying he will not risk anything for a burglar was out of character and seems that all the character development on Thorin in the first film is now redundant.

The highlight of the trailer is hearing the voice of Smaug. Finally we get to hear Benedict Cumberbatch. His iconic voice can be heard but it is very different and really sounds sinister. We do not really get a good look at him still but hearing his voice is exciting.

Overall the trailer has me excited and I look forward to watching the film when it is released in December. What do you think of the trailer? Please comment and thanks for reading.

Old Actors Better Than Young Actors

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In a world where everyone is obsessed with looks it is not surprising that younger actors are taking over from the older ones. Fair enough this is bound to happen as older actors retire and move on to roles that they would not get in the younger ages but still some of the young actors around today are really not that good.

And to bring age down further I spoke to someone about an actor who is 33 and I said they would be an appropriate Batman if it was to be rebooted, they said he would be too old for the role. How is that possible? People apparently would rather see a 20 year old actor in a role rather than a 33 year old. People are quite happy to see older action stars in such films as The Expendables and Red, but i was talking about an actor much younger than these old time action heroes.

Most actors of this generation are still trained but a lot of actors on circuit are only doing acting as a bi-product of fame, Models, singers and sports stars are all starting to take up film roles. Actors from a previous generation would have been trained properly and they work harder and are more concerned about their work than being famous. And this is how it should be. People just using acting as a new mode to increase their popularity is not on and it is a disgrace to films and television.

There are exceptions to every rule. A lot of A list stars still get roles but because they look younger than they are or rely much more on their ‘celebrity’ than their skills.And there are a few young actors that are good but not many. And when I say young I mean under the age of 30 (give or take two years). If someone is to be a good actor they need to have life experience. its a joke that studios would sell out the art by putting some 20 year old reality start in a film rather than a decent actor.

I do think this applies to most other mediums of entertainment as well. Young singers under the age of 20 have no life experience and they will muck up their lives eventually because they got everything too quickly, they did not have to work for it.

The term youth is wasted on the young applies to this so much. Older actors have better skills, experience, class and they know that fame is a bi-product of their craft not the other way around. Unfortunately most people want to see young and beautiful actors rather than skilled actors and this will likely destroy the industry eventually if we as a society become too obsessed with fame and youth.

I’ll finish by pointing out that Ian Mckellen who is currently 74 years old received top billing on The Hobbit which is a sigh of relief.