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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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My Epic The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

So here we are in December with the second instalment in the Hobbit series of films with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. While I have been waiting for this film for ages, with all the other big films that were also coming out earlier this year I had forgotten about this one for a while. But now considering how lame 2013 has been for films in general, I need a film that’s gonna be truly awesome. So is The Desolation of Smaug the one? Read on and find out.

The storyline in nutshell continues the events of An Unexpected Journey, in which the hobbit Bilbo Baggins travels with the wizard Gandalf and a company of thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield into the Kingdom of Erebor, taking them through Mirkwood, Esgaroth, and Dale to combat with the dragon Smaug.

Unlike the first film where the film felt the need to make obviously tie-ins to the Lord of the Rings films and had a lot of slow pacing issues, this film throws you right into the story and is delivered a lot quicker while still providing moments of humour, action and drama. This feels a lot more like the Middle-Earth adventures that fans knew from before thanks to the much-needed injection of a proper threat, elves and proper foreshadowing. Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves’ adventures gets ever more complicated thanks to the evil that rises in the shadows with villains new and old on show for them to overcome and it is simply fascinating and entertaining to watch. While I still don’t think the story was as powerful as anything LOTR has done and the film only really gets interesting once the elves show up, otherwise the story is a solid improvement.

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The cast in this film is nothing short of fantastic as members new and old deliver some great performances. Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins has certainly grown since the last film, he’s more cunning, confident and courageous, but still has great funny scenes thanks to Freeman’s comedic timing. Sir Ian McKellen is still as awesome as ever as Gandalf the Grey, McKellen’s acting talents know no bounds as he has some really cool scenes and dialogue too. Richard Armitage is still a badass as Thorin Oakenshield, you can see that he is a man still on a mission and will stop at nothing to get his homeland back. Armitage still has an incredible screen presence and offers a lot of varied emotions for Thorin in this film. Also Graham McTavish as Dwalin and Ken Stott as Balin were awesome thanks to some additional screen time, the same can also be said for Aidan Turner as Kíli and James Nesbitt as Bofur too.

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So after years of doing nothing of importance, Orlando Bloom returns as Legolas and my god he is BADASS! This is a very different kind of Legolas, he’s much more of brute and he’s not as chilled out as he is in LOTR, but that’s what makes him so cool in this film and it is great to see Bloom in a role that suits him so well. Then there’s Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, I think I’m in love. Tauriel is a beautiful as she is deadly, Lily is great giving us a character who is tough, perceptive, but also a bit of a free spirit too. Luke Evans is another good addition to this world as Bard the Bowman, Evans had a great deal of charisma for his role and was definitely someone not to be messed with and you could understand what the deal was with this character considering his history. Also Lee Pace as Thranduil is a lot better this time because of the additional screen time he gets to show off why he is who he is, he is very calm and yet cruel, uncaring of other but very protective of his kind, Pace was really cool. Even Stephen Fry is good as Master of Lake-town.

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But the main person we need to talk about is Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, MY GOD! I swear everything he touches turns to gold. Cumberbatch basically delivers a gorgeous, charismatic and intense performance which makes you believe that Cumberbatch is truly invincible. Smaug is this beast of a dragon who is such confident, intimidating, scary and badass kind of villain you need in these types of films. The voice alone is enough to send shivers down your spine, but I think in addition to the motion capture Benedict kind, it just adds to the overall performance. Best person in the film by miles!

When it comes to the presentation, one word comes to mind… GORGEOUS! I think you tell that I’m talking about the visuals here haha. Honestly I thought Gravity was the most visually impressive film I’ve ever seen, but The Desolation of Smaug proves once again that fantasy beats reality any day. An Unexpected Journey was already looked incredible, but this film provided some simply stunning material with a great use of action, locations and CGI. And speaking of the CGI, the visual effects used for Smaug are nothing short of AMAZING! Never has there been a dragon portrayed in such a magnificent, grand and scary manner before, the scale, motion-capture and movements looked so astonishing, the film is worth watch just for him alone. I also want to touch upon the fact that I watched this in IMAX 3D in 48 frames and the end result is kind of mixed. While it is definitely an interesting concept, I don’t think the world need this doubled-up frame rate, it looks fin in scene that don’t move that face, but in scenes with a lot of movement, everything moves far too quickly and looks unnatural. Also the soundtrack by Howard Shore is sounds really good with some nice tie-ins to his previous themes in LOTR but also provides some really epic and beautiful new compositions in this film.

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In conclusion The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a bloody fine film which improves upon the last film with better pacing, better characters new and old, a more in-depth story, and an incredible dragon that should rock your world. This film is a visual treat and should definitely be seen in IMAX, and while it’s no LOTR, nor did it blow me knock my socks off in the way I wanted it to, The Desolation of Smaug is worth watching, no doubt about it. Again, HAIL CUMBERBATCH! 😀

Rating: 9/10 (Benedict Cumberbatch + Smaug the dragon = Awesomeness)

So what did you think of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug? Was it better, on-par or worst than the last instalment in your opinion? Whatever your thoughts, drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
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