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We went to see this yesterday. I hugely enjoyed it. There will be 99999 reviews telling you how awful it is, mostly because it's the last in a series of six, and based on the last part of a thinnish book ( they don't mention the bits that are from the LOTR appendices, the bits extrapolated from the Silmarillion or History of Middle Earth, or the bits that are original worldbuilding, because obviously that doesn't fit the prescribed tired snarky narrative.)

So I shall just list the things I liked about it, in no real order.

1) Thranduil, and his War Moose, and the way that his friendship with Bard the Bowman develops out of suspicion and rudeness.

2) Thorin fighting his demons

3) Bilbo and the acorn

4) Everything about Balin

5) The incredibly agile War Goats and their enormous horns

6) DAIN PLAYED BY BILLY CONNOLLY ON A WAR PIG!!! In fact, War Pigs as a general concept.

7) The White Council at Dol Guldur and particularly Galadriel showing why she's the power in the land and Celeborn is really just her husband.

8) That moment when the dwarves of the Iron Hills build a shield-wall, and Thranduil makes his decision.

9) Smaug, and his voice and his Magnificence

10) Working out exactly Which Five are the Armies (Tolkien, really good at putting a precise number on something without actually explaining which things he's including, and why. See also "Towers, Two").

11) Tauriel, yes, in fact, actually, so there.

12) Fili and Kili being distinguishable and having their own motivations.

13) the women of Laketown grabbing weapons and getting stuck in. (and actually I really liked that Laketown is clearly a multiracial community too, which seems to fit perfectly with its location and trading economy)

14) Pippin (well, OK, Billy Boyd) singing the song as the titles rolled.

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( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
philmophlegm
16th Dec, 2014 17:17 (UTC)
I loved it too, but can I get in quickly before anyone else does with a quip along the lines of "Peter Jackson's film of Frank Herbert's 'The Hobbit'"?

The Dol Guldur bit was great.

And to anyone who complains that Tauriel isn't in the book, well possibly they should go back to most of the elf bits in the book and remind themselves just how crap they are.

Peter Jackson elves:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvzAsx0NX0A

J.R.R. Tolkien elves (in The Hobbit, obviously his LoTR and Silmarillion elf bits are much better):
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pD6arNyKyi8C&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=O!+Where+Are+You+Going?+the+hobbit&source=bl&ots=2k7hb8i0sC&sig=zVMrj6DzlG1IwnVXCKC_2-zQd-g&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PGeQVOmXBNavaauPgtAD&ved=0CDcQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=O!%20Where%20Are%20You%20Going%3F%20the%20hobbit&f=false




philmophlegm
16th Dec, 2014 17:19 (UTC)
The faggots aren't the only things reeking...
bunn
16th Dec, 2014 17:47 (UTC)
:-D I'd forgotten the reeking faggots.
andrewducker
16th Dec, 2014 18:15 (UTC)
Yes. I suspect there would have been a lot of complaining if we'd broken into choruses of tra-la-la halfway through the film.

There were a few bits I didn't like, but overall I liked it rather a lot, and I'm looking forward to the Extended Edition!

(Review posted yesterday after I got home from it. May go and see it again at the cinema.)
bunn
17th Dec, 2014 20:10 (UTC)
I think there are some justified criticisms that can be made of it, and it didn't wow me like Fellowship of the Ring. But I do think I may prefer it to Return of the King.

Definitely keen to see the extended edition - actually, all three extended editions, we have been holding on for the boxed set!
jane_somebody
30th Dec, 2014 00:53 (UTC)
I loved it too, but can I get in quickly before anyone else does with a quip along the lines of "Peter Jackson's film of Frank Herbert's 'The Hobbit'"?

Yes! I turned and whispered to Skordh: "we have wormsign!" :-) Though of course Skordh points out that nameless things that gnaw the earth beneath the delvings of the dwarves are perfectly canon :-)
philmophlegm
30th Dec, 2014 22:07 (UTC)
Not nameless - Bilbo refers to "were-worms" in the book.
ningloreth
16th Dec, 2014 17:37 (UTC)
I'm glad to hear someone whose opinion I trust say they liked it. I'm so tired of all the complaining -- "You're getting nine hours of Middle-earth for the cost of four and a half, you brats!"

Was there much of Legolas? I really want lots of Legolas. (Preferably without the CGI that makes his face look so odd. OB still looks like an elf in real life, for goodness sake!)

Edited because I can't spell.

Edited at 2014-12-16 17:38 (UTC)
bunn
16th Dec, 2014 17:46 (UTC)
There was quite a lot of Legolas - he got his own side-quest and heroically coped with romantic rejection, and we get to see him deciding to leave Mirkwood, etc etc.

Personally, I think I prefer the cgi to the 5 o'clock shadow that some of the elves had in original LOTR, I found stubbly elves disconcerting. But each to their own!

LOL, brats. :-D

When I was young, all we had was the Bakshi Film, and it stopped half way through! And we had to keep our coal in the bath! :-D
ningloreth
16th Dec, 2014 17:50 (UTC)
And we had to keep our coal in the bath!

Luxury! We didn't have a bath.

Or coal.

[And yay about Legolas! I may sneak off to the cinema by myself. My brother's planning to take us, but not until Boxing Day...]
andrewducker
16th Dec, 2014 18:16 (UTC)
Oh, and yes, Dain was _magnificent_.
(Deleted comment)
bunn
17th Dec, 2014 20:26 (UTC)
I hope you enjoy it!

I wouldn't say it was outstanding, but there were definitely lots of good bits, and as ningloreth says, more Middleearth is not to be sneezed at!

huinare
21st Dec, 2014 23:03 (UTC)
I really liked it, a whole lot more than I'd anticipated! I didn't like everything, but finding fault got exhausting with the other films, so I'm just glad I found it so much better than I'd feared.

I especially agree on 1, 3, 8, and 13. Especially 8! DWARVEN SHIELD WALL FTW.
bunn
21st Dec, 2014 23:28 (UTC)
I read some very negative review that spent two very long paragraphs explaining how absurdly thin the third-of-a-book that the movie is based on is (??) and then when the reviewer finally got on to the actual movie watched, he COMPLETELY MISSED that the shieldwall was made by Dain's dwarves, and the shieldwall leap was the elves - and complained the shieldwall was unimpressive and made by the elves!

What a way to completely not notice one of the main emotional turning points of the movie! I think most movies might appear thin to people who fail to actually notice the plot.

I am not in favour of uncritical applause, but sometimes you do get more out of a movie if you focus on the good bits. Or at least watch the screen, Mr Oh-so-snarky Reviewer Man. :-/
huinare
21st Dec, 2014 23:40 (UTC)
What?! No way, that shield wall was awesome. Made by elves, pfft. Dwarves are so frequently overlooked and underappreciated. <3 dwarves.
chainmailmaiden
28th Dec, 2014 13:51 (UTC)
We saw it yesterday (finally), and both agree with your review. Especially the war goats and war pig :-D
bunn
28th Dec, 2014 19:27 (UTC)
From now on, an acceptable review for any movie will be 'needs more War Pig'.
philmophlegm
30th Dec, 2014 22:10 (UTC)
There are war pigs in Rome: Total War. You set fire to them and set them at the enemy elephants.
jane_somebody
30th Dec, 2014 01:07 (UTC)
Having now seen this (thanks, parents-in-law, for the babysitting) I pretty much agree with everything you say. Especially the amazing dwarven testudo and then the elves coming over the top! And the White Council at Dol Guldur and Saruman showing why he is Leader of the Council and being badass on the side of the good guys, so we can see why they trust him for so long, but *also* the hints of attraction to Sauron's power. And YES! War Pig and Thranduil's Moose, and let's not forget the war bats :-) And Billy Boyd singing. And, well, all you said, really :-)
tommy50702
20th Jan, 2015 02:13 (UTC)
Much like the Lord of the Rings, I found myself drawn and enthused by the second movie more than the first or third.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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