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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review

Howdy people, time for an important film review in the form of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. It has been a long journey to the end of the Hobbit trilogy, the first film I liked a lot and the second film I liked a fair amount too, and now we have the final film in the series. I think that my interest in this film and the series has waned a fair amount since last year and I’m not sure why, but whatever it was, it wasn’t going to stop me from seeing this film. So how does The Battle of the Five Armies fare? Read on and find out.

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The storyline in nutshell goes like this:

“Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth.”

The story in this film was serviceable. It done the job of tieing up all the loose ends from the previous films and leading us into the Lord of the Rings films. The film has a strong start continuing off from the last film, but then gets kind of boring with all the standing and talking, the pace felt very slow at times and my interest was dropping until the action picked up. My favourite moments of the film involved stories relating to Bilbo, Thorin and Gandalf, everyone else was either decent or uninteresting. There were times where it felt like there were too many things going on, with separate sets of characters in different locations, dealing with individual issues, just hopping forward and back continuously was kind of annoying, I just wanted to stay in one scene for longer than five minutes. I also can’t help but feel a sense of dissatisfaction for the way that this film turned out, the way Smaug was handled was very anti-climatic and disappointing, some of the ties to Lord of the Rings felt a bit too on the nose and forced and none of the epic moments in the film felt that breath-taking.

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The cast do a good job, but some definitely stand out more so than others. Martin Freeman continues to be one of the strongest elements of this trilogy of films as Bilbo Baggins. His performance is fabulous as it is humourous, confident and engaging and I think it is the small moments where he does things subtly with his face that makes the most amount of difference. Richard Armitage is great as Thorin Oakenshield, in this film Thorin deals with psychological demons that really changes his persona, makes me paranoid, aggressive and distant from all of his comrades and Armitage does such a great job with his material. Sir Ian McKellen, once again brings his A game as Gandalf the Grey, McKellen is one of those actors who just makes me happy to be watching an actor at work, the man is all-powerful and has a screen presence that not many other people do. Whether he is delivering monologues or chilling smoking his pipe, the is all-round awesomeness. Also thanks to additional screen time Graham McTavish was even better as Dwalin and Aidan Turner does a good job Kíli. I missed James Nesbitt as Bofur, he deserved more screen time.

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Orlando Bloom is once again good as Legolas, not as amazing as he was in the last film, but the guy still had some awesome moments and it seems like Bloom was having fun being a badass in this film. Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel was good, she had some cool action scenes and acted well, but I didn’t care for character as much as before. Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman was good, while his character is one of the people I cared for least, as a leader and one of the more vocal people in the battle for the Lonely Mountain he was pretty good. Lee Pace I liked more in this film as Thranduil and Pace was put to better use here than he was in Guardians of the Galaxy to a degree. I also enjoyed seeing Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Hugo Weaving as Elrond and Christopher Lee as Saruman the White. Oh and quick shout out to Billy Connolly as Dáin, he was cool.

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When it comes to the presentation, it is impressive, however, it isn’t perfect by any means. The cinematography is nice and the action sequences are vast, vivid, detailed and visually beautiful, especially with the use of CGI on Smaug and the large masses of combatants on the battlefield. That being said, the way some of these camera movements are done didn’t feel necessary and the overuse of CGI made it easy to notice the difference scenes and the not so detailed scenes. At times the CGI made the film feel very artificial and felt no different from watching a super impressive pre-rendered cut scene in a video game. The score from Howard Shore is good and covers all emotional basis with new material and ties to Lord of the Rings too, that being said there is nothing that stands out that I will remember from this film.

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In conclusion The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a satisfactory conclusion to this trilogy of films. I can’t deny that I was left a bit disappointed by this film, the story was good, the performances were great and the action was awesome, but none of it wowed me or felt new. If you loved the last Hobbit films then you’ll love this one, but for everyone else this film is a good ending, but not one that is amazing.

Rating: 7/10 (a decent finish to a decent trilogy)

So what did you think of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies? Was it better, on-par or worst than the last instalment and what do you think of the Hobbit trilogy in general? Whatever your thoughts are, be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review

Alrighty then here we are! This is the big one! I like many other people around the world have been waiting for this film for the majority of the year. Out of the big three films of 2012 (The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and this one), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey I think would have been the most anticipated. There’s been so much hype, it’s been building up continuously for months, with all the video blogs, images, trailers and TV spots. It’s been absurd! And it’s all led to this moment in time… So was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey worth the wait? Well read on to find out!

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The film is set sixty years before The Lord of the Rings and the story is about the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, who is hired by the wizard Gandalf to accompany thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield on a quest across Middle-earth to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon. The story of this film was interesting and was definitely a tale worth telling, however it does take a while for the story to get going and initially things do move at a slow pace. Though once the plot finds its feet and picks up the pace it never stops, and then it becomes the kind of film you were waiting to see. It was great to see of the dwarf back story, get Bilbo’s adventure, the introduction of Gollum and see key events that tied into LOTR. And speaking of LOTR, the story of An Unexpected Journey wasn’t nearly as engaging or as impactful as the previous trilogy, but again it was a tale worth telling and I enjoyed it very much.

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The characters of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was one of the strongest elements of the film and we’re going to start with Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. Freeman played the role very well embodying all of Ian Holm’s mannerisms while introducing new elements of Bilbo’s personality too. I liked the journey that he went on as a character and to see him grow and change into a much more capable adventurer. Now to move onto my man of the hour Gandalf the Grey played by Sir Ian McKellen. McKellen was just as amazing as ever as Gandalf, his dialogue was great and his interaction with the dwarves was cool, and I liked how he happened to take on this mentor role for Bilbo. Also Gandalf had some proper badass scenes and when he was throwing down in the heat of battle he was SO. DAMN. COOL! And then there was Thorin Oakenshield, the living definition of badass played by Richard Armitage. Thorin had a great back story and the way he acted on and off of the battlefield was nothing short of awesome. Armitage was great and also liked how initially he was cold toward Bilbo and how their relationship would grow over the course of the film. As for the other dwarves they were all wonderful, strange and funny individuals who had a great deal of personality and charm and while they don’t quite compare to the fellowship in Fellowship of the Ring, they were still pretty cool.

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And then there’s the character that’s been causing talked about a lot in this film Radagast the Brown played by Sylvester McCoy. His character in the film is pretty weird and while he seemed relevant to the plot, when he was on-screen he was just weird and sometimes annoying. Now some people have compared him to Jar Jar Binks of the first Star Wars prequel and whether you’ll feel the same about him you have to decide for yourselves, as for me I just thought he was a bit strange. It was also great and nostalgic to see all of the characters from LOTR making appearances here with Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving and Elijah Wood reprising their roles as Galadriel, Elrond, Saruman the White, old Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins. And lastly but by no means least we have Andy Serkis as Gollum. When he came on-screen I was so giddy, Serkis feels like he never left the role and delivered some of Gollum’s best scenes yet, and his interaction with Bilbo with the riddles in the cave was perfect and very funny. I also feel like Gollum was a little more humanized in this film, but still just as strange, aggressive and fucked in the head as he was before and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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When it comes to the presentation this film, Weta Digital already set the standard for CGI and special effects in The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, but now in this film they somehow seem to have outdone themselves. Never have I seen such sharp, crisp and beautiful CGI in any film for a long time, this easily rivals anything that Industrial Light & Magic have put out in recent years. It also has to be mentioned that the CGI tech used on Gollum looks so incredible and realistic that you could assume he was really there in the scenes which he was involved in. Also the cinematography and overall look of the film was grand and picture-perfect. All of those amazing camera shots and sweeping camera movements that were made famous in LOTR is back and looks better than ever, along with the vivid colours and gorgeous locations Middle-earth never looked so good. And there’s the soundtrack by Howard Shore, it was lovely, I was worried that the soundtrack wouldn’t hold a candle to the previous film but luckily it was really good. While nowhere near as memorable as LOTR it does have its own themes that stick out and kick ass, the dwarf songs are very lively and catchy and I especially like “Misty Mountains” which I think is used as the main theme through the film in instrumental which was incredible! Shore takes several themes from LOTR and inserts them into this film and they work wonderfully.

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In conclusion The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was totally badass, though not without its faults. After a night to think about it I do believe that I enjoyed The Avengers and The Perks of Being A Wallflower much more than this film (those two films being my number 1 and 2 favourite films of 2012), however do not be disheartened by the reviewers giving this film a low rating. This film was a lot of fun and returning to Middle-earth after nine years really did bring back some nostalgia! The story was interesting, the performances from the actors involved were strong and the presentation in both the visual and audio department were superb. An Unexpected Journey was just pure and simple fun and I can’t wait to see what happens when The Desolation of Smaug comes out next year. BRING IT ON! 😀

Rating: 8.5/10

Well there’s my thoughts on The Hobbit Part 1, what did you think of the film? Drop me your comments below! Anyways I’ll see you lot on the next review.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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