Friday 12 December 2014

Review: The Hobbit - The Desolation Of Smaug (second-pass)

World of Blackout Film Review

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (3D) Poster

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (3D / second-pass)
Cert: 12A / 161 mins / Dir. Peter Jackson
WoB Rating: 5/7
First-pass here.

So it turns out that due to a projector malfunction when I first saw this film, I missed Peter Jackson's screen-cameo of almost Stan Lee proportions. Well, there we go. This second chapter of The Hobbit story feels like a much more focused film than its predecessor, but still with the same tendency to dawdle occasionally (in particular Laketown, which not only knocks the film out of gear, but also disconnects the engine and takes the wheels off).

I still maintain that the best part of the movie is the barrel-chase, even if it does feel a bit like watching someone play a video-game. Bilbo's growing obsession with The Ring is also nicely realised here, and is pretty much the one part where Martin Freeman gets to actually act rather than being Tim From The Office™.

On the downside, what the hell's going on with the Human/Dwarf/Hobbit size ratios in this film? In some of the shots where they're all together, the dwarves have been shrunk in the frame so they look like children, rather than the squat warriors they're meant to be. I enjoyed the film again though; it shows a nice progression

Best line #1:
"Kili's sick. He's very sick.
In fact, he's got Advanced Colour Desaturation, which is cinematic shorthand for the penultimate stage of a terminal illness…"

Best line #2:
"You have keen eyes, Master Baggins! What with you being able to spot a 700ft stone dwarf carved into the side of a mountain with a staircase for a leg. I only hope that visual acuity lasts to the top, where we'll all be looking at a wall of largely flat stone for a keyhole that has to be a couple of inches long, by definition of the key alone…"

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Well, yeah.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
More than the last film.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
More than the last film.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
It's between you and your DVD player, now.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
In the future, yes.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
Not hearing one, unless it's buried. Which given how clear it was in An Unexpected Journey, seems unlikely.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
If you know that someone transforms into a rabid bear and they hate dwarves, why would you take 13 dwarves to squat in their house for the night? That'd be like rocking up at N*gel F*rage's summer cottage with So Solid Crew in tow…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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