Author Topic: The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies  (Read 791 times)

Offline willwallace

  • Ordinary Folk
  • Forum Specialist
  • Forum VIP.
  • ******
  • Posts: 133
The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies
« on: January 02, 2015, 09:55:47 AM »
The last of the Hobbit movies from Peter Jackson lives up (or is it down) to the expectations that I had set.  After being able to stay awake to make it through The Desolation of Smaug, I didn't have very high hopes for this movie and it delivered that.  Unfortunately, that's all it delivered.

Synopsis: We pick up where Desolation of Smaug (DOS) left off.  Smaug the magic dragon lived by the sea, no wait, that was another magic dragon.  Smaug, enraged that Bilbo, Thorin and their fellow munchkins (no wait, that was another movie) had dared touch his stolen pile of gold, was sailing down on the good folks of Laketown.  His plan?  Burn it to the ground to somehow make the wee folk he left on his gold pile sad.  Much chaos and death ensue.  Slowly (actually, kinda fast really) Thorin is driven mad with dragon sickness (i.e. gold lust) and seals up the Lonely Mountain, where his people's huge legacy-treasure is stored.  Soon, the original group of 14 tiny people that we met in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey are sealing up the Mountain to guard Thorin's mental illness gold.  Meanwhile, events continue outside the mountain that put into motion a gathering of 5 armies who are either trying to protect the riches of the mountain, take it for themselves or perhaps something much darker.

Review: While I never thought I'd think this but, for me, Peter Jackson has finally turned the LOTR world into BOTR (Bored of the Rings - apologies to Harvard Lampoon).  If you watched DOS and found it a good/great movie, then you'll like this movie.  If you found DOS lacking (as I did) then this is just more of the same.  To be fair to PJ, he built a masterpiece with the original LOTR trilogy.  The thing is, the LOTR was, in fact, a trilogy of books, so he had ample material to work with and source material built in 3 big chapters of an epic.  In The Hobbit, Jackson has one, 300 page book in which he tried to squeeze out more money 3 big chapters of a pretty good story.  In the end, we were left with 3 mediocre movies that paled in comparison to his LOTR pinnacle.  Perhaps I became spoiled.  But even so, Jackson would have served us, his fans, better if he's have made one kick-butt 3 hour epic or 2 really good movies.  Instead, he served, not us, but himself and the studio and made 3 movies that leave us saying, "Huh?"

Nitpicks:
What was up with Orlando Bloom/Legolas?  He looks like a computer generated X-Box version of Legolas.  I get that Bloom is a decade older now and this story is a prequel, but it's a bleached out, puffy version of the angry elf that we get in The Hobbit movies, not the leaner and younger version who was feisty and clever.  Instead, Legolas is serious all the time, brooding all the time and boring almost all of the time.

And what was up with the orcs being even more useless as fighters than in the original LOTR movies.  They get taken down by midgets throwing rocks as if they were facing withering machine-gun fire on the beaches of Normandy.  It reminded me of one of the worst moments in movie history, when a bunch of teddy-bears took down an army of harden storm troopers with nothing but sticks and rocks in Return of the Jedi.  Ewoks vs. Hobbits - what an epic movie that would be (perhaps Jackson's next project?).

And the length, Arrrrrrrrgh.  Almost 2½ hours.  Come on Peter, are you getting paid by the length of these things?  It's one thing to take material enough for one 3 hour movie and turn it into 3 movies, but it's another to make each of these 3 movies this long as well.  At least 3 two-hour movies would have been easier to sit through.  The extra 90 minutes of The Hobbit trilogy (30 minutes per movie) is filled with nothing but boring dialog and self-indulgent shots of New Zealand with computer generated Middle Earth characters running, sitting, standing or otherwise not moving the plot along at all.  Case and point - the 10 minute ride down the river of the Dwarfs escape.  Waaaaaaaaaay tooooooooo longgggggggggggggg.  Unfortunately, we get a lot of 10 minute scenes of one sort or another to fill the time.

Lastly, the ending is too contrived as to make a normal person throw up a little.  While the Middle Earth fan boys might shed tears of joy and excitement, Jackson, using all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, bangs us over the head to connect The Hobbit to LOTR - not once, but twice.  I am guilty of appreciating Jackson doing this in An Unexpected Journey to set the context, so perhaps I'm just too jaded now, but dang this was lame IMO.  And it doesn't even work unless we are to believe that the time distance between the two trilogies is a couple of years and not the decades that it actually was.

All in all, I'd recommend waiting for the DVD.

2 out of 4 (that high only because of sentiment for Jackson's previous work and some decent FX)

 $$@&% $$@&%

 nfx#   

Offline gitano1

  • Administrator
  • Forum VIP.
  • *****
  • Posts: 11791
Re: The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2015, 10:59:45 AM »
Thank you, Willwallace for taking the time and making the effort to watch all three of these films and to post your comments on them. You seem to be well within the consensus of critics on these films, though your credibility is far greater than theirs.
It is disappointing that Jackson has massacred the story which I liked well enough to read three times over the years. I was hoping when it originally went in to production that it would be great, but when I heard it was going to be broken up into three films, I despaired. I would like to believe that Jackson's motivations were not just financial. The story, though only 300 pages, is still pretty complex and would be difficult to compress into one standard length film, but, certainly, two films could have encompassed all of the important elements of the book. Instead, from what I saw in the first film, Jackson had to invent  good deal of business to take up the extra footage of film. That extra business did nothing to enhance a great story. I am reminded of the words of Antoine de Saint Exupery in his lovely book, Wind, Sand, and Stars, "True perfection rests not in having nothing left to add, but in having nothing left to take away." Had Jackson striven for that ideal of perfection, he might have produced something as creditable as LOTR.
Gitano
"Race has now replaced rule of law officially. In one speech our president has reversed 60 years of healing the racial divide and destroyed the dream of Dr. King. The result will be an exact reversal of the conditions existing before The Civil Rights Act. And the hardest hit will be the children in whose name the left always claims to act. Well done Obama". - Pendark

Offline bbell

  • Forum VIP.
  • ****
  • Posts: 1214
Re: The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2015, 03:02:44 PM »
Once I heard that the Hobbit was going to be a trilogy I was puzzled. Like you Willwallace and Gitano I could not see this story being a trilogy. But after reading about Peter Jackson's back story on the LOTR I could see why he went for the trilogy. Apparently as part of his payment for the LOTR he took points on the net profit. How or why he did this makes no sense to me. Those net profit points are known as idiot points. Long story short, on paper the LOTR trilogy has made no profit and never will. So Peter Jackson is very angry at the financial people behind the LOTR. I am sure he took gross points on the Hobbit, so he should be smiling a little more now.

As for me I will wait for them all to be on DVD so I can watch them back to back in a short amount time.
You must forgive them. So many people did not slay the bogey man living under their bed as a child. Thus they feel him everywhere, hence the need to always carry a gun. Living in fear of the bogey man is a heavy burden for people to carry. So sad. 

Offline willwallace

  • Ordinary Folk
  • Forum Specialist
  • Forum VIP.
  • ******
  • Posts: 133
Re: The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2015, 09:17:20 AM »
Gitano, I'm pretty sure Jackson's trilogy ploy is about money and not story-telling.  If it was about story-telling, he failed.

bbell, make sure you have a FF button ready.  You could watch a lot of this trilogy in double speed and not miss that much.

Offline gitano1

  • Administrator
  • Forum VIP.
  • *****
  • Posts: 11791
Re: The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2015, 10:24:45 AM »
It really is a sad commentary on Jackson. I have no problem with a great artist makes lots of money. Hell, a lot of really mediocre artists make fortunes. LOTR was a work of love and genius and real art. I have to accede to BBELL's analysis of the financial aspects since I have never really taken much interest in that. That being the case it is truly unfortunate that an artist as capable as Jackson can be so seduced by greed that he forgot all of the elements that made LOTR so wonderful, so true to the source material. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. We see movies of incredible mediocrity starring actors of proven talent who can't possibly believe that they have done something notable in being part of that film and are likely crying all the way to the bank. Integrity seems to be the missing piece in so much of what is happening in the modern world.
Gitano
"Race has now replaced rule of law officially. In one speech our president has reversed 60 years of healing the racial divide and destroyed the dream of Dr. King. The result will be an exact reversal of the conditions existing before The Civil Rights Act. And the hardest hit will be the children in whose name the left always claims to act. Well done Obama". - Pendark