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Epic.

Horribly, horribly inaccurate, and basically just a 2 hour long fight scene but...if that's what you're looking for, which I was....you'll love it.

If not...you'll despise it.

This is what I had gathered from the clips people are sharing online.  Really, Jackson is doing his usual thing: imposing his view on the story.  The lame excuse is that it's "an interpretation," as if that excuses everything.  I will be able to critique it properly when I've seen it.  But realistically that is not going to happen till it comes out of disc or I can watch it streaming on Netflix.  I can't afford cinemas anymore.  But to make up for that, I may just post a complete critique of ALL Jackson's Tolkien interpretations on this list and on some other major Tolkien fan sites.  I'm quite sure I won't be alone in not adoring everything he's done.

Gandalf

Hello again Planet-Tolkien.

Just saw the hobbit in theaters. I was somewhat disappointed, despite my expectations. First and foremost is that it was not at all surprising. One of the prime virtues of the Hobbit (book) was that I had completely forgotten about Gandalf when all of a sudden *poof*, like a wizard, he shows up. Not only that, but the battle of five armies was actually surprising as well, since there was no pale orc to follow around. This was nowhere to be found in the movie. Furthermore, when someone needed to make a dramatic entrance/important decision/etc., there were about ten minutes where the audience was beaten about the face with the fact that there was DRAMA going on. I did not like this. There were occasional moments where I could see how it could have been truly marvelous, only to have it broken by being to drawn out and exaggerated. There just are not six good hours of movie to be had from the Hobbit (certainly not when Mirkwood takes five minutes or less and Beorn is reduced from an enigmatic and powerful host to an extra). There were one or two things I liked. The interaction between Legolas and Tauriel was very interesting, Legolas being more like a mentor than a lover, despite declaring his love. Regardless of the Fili (or Kili, can't remember and don't really care) and Tauriel affair, which I despised, this made me actually somewhat enjoy the acquisition of Tauriel. 

WARNING, SPOILERS v

What I did like was Galadriel. Not sure why, but the amount that I liked the movies up to this point was contingent upon how much screen time she got. She saved Gandalf from a lonely orc who was torturing him, which didn't seem to add up. Gandalf>Orc, even when one is deprived of all weapons and forced into a cage for days on end. That being said, I quite liked the way Galadriel was portrayed, and only a few minor changes seemed wanting. The white council having a fight with Sauron was a complete implausibility, and violated the chief virtue of Tolkien's work: it is honest and everything makes sense within its own context.

As for the actual battle of five armies, I only counted four armies. The choreography was annoying, as Azog seemed to be a good fighter by virtue of Thorin's unwillingness to stab him in the gut (seriously, Thorin had whole seconds of time where Azog tried to pull his weapon out of the ground, and Azog couldn't even have just moved out of the way, since they were fighting on ice) and Bolg was the only character with armor, despite the fact that it looked like most of them had on significantly more armor than he did. The elves looked more powerful than I think they should have, while the humans seemed unaccountably weak, and the dwarves seemed to carry about a fifth of the force one would expect from a war based kingdom the size of the iron hills. The orcs looked menacing, but were secretly made of straw and limp noodles. Thoroughly incapable of pointing their pikes at the enemy or wearing armor (though the cardboard they had on sure fooled me for a good while), they did manage to stay tightly packed as long as they were fighting unnamed extras, which is something a lot of movie armies don't do. Oh, and by the way, Beorn and the eagles seemed like a last minute "don't worry about the extra armies, they don't really matter, they were just here to increase the dramatic tension for a bit" and less of a really awesome force of nature who sling goblins around like...like...like humans sling around...rice. Yes...rice...

There were two more things I liked. Gandalf got some character development and Bilbo got some character development. Gandalf looked mostly dead when he got rescued, but by the time he got to the lonely mountain he was alive and well (probably got rest wherever he got his new staff). He then preceded to be mysterious and it hinted that Gandalf is subtle and always at work. Bilbo also had a great scene at the end of the movie, and while the death of Thorin was dissatisfying, the homecoming of Bilbo was quite impressive.

SPOILERS OVER ^

Overall, I did not like this one as much as the second but more than the first. The first was abysmal, the second had some good moments, and the third had occasional flashes of inspiration broken by monotonous and unthreatening fight scenes. I wish I hadn't given money to this one.

You depress me my good fellow Yes,dammit PJ always pisses off the Aussie Tolkien fan, wich is not a good or wise thing to do. Well, screw it, I am going to waste my money and see it tomorrow...J will get hit hard by me... chuckle chuckle.

Great overview Gandalf O, I agree with MOST of it, though DoS is definitely my least favorite of the 3. Personally I was not a big fan of the Dol Guldur story arc, seemed forced and cheesy. Yeah it was fun seeing Galadriel and Elrond being represented with their full power...but it was also kind of silly. Soooo random too. It's like they filmed it years ago and wanted to just shove it in the Hobbit movies. Was very unclear and confusing to the average moviegoer, who had no idea who the Necromancer was supposed to be or his relevance, they just went along with the popcorn action flick ride. I did laugh out loud at a few of the cheesy action sequences in the film, but most were incredibly well done.

Having said all that, I did still enjoy it and look forward to seeing it again. I don't think I'll make much of an effort to see it in theaters again, maybe if some friends REALLY wanna go, but meh. Will make a good Friday night at home popcorn movie, but not even close to the anytime/anywhere/any day marathon value of the LOTR trilogy.

But what's done is done. Could've been better, could've been MUCH worse. Lots of cash grabs but great seeing ME on screen again. If you don't care about inaccuracies, I HIGHLY recommend it.

Oh, and Martin Freeman alone is worth watching it. For me you  could edit out pretty much every scene that doesn't have him and I might like the movies even more!

I am yet to see the movie, but from what I just read in some bits, I think I'm going to like it. Like Balrogs, I quite enjoy long and heroic battle scenes to the max.

I haven't had the time to go and see it yet, despite many given chances to do so. But once my 'holidays' end, and I get back to my cozy lil' box, I'll go and see the movie in a local movie theater, which I've used as my movie grounds since I was a little child.

And I'll definitely choose the normal movie format, known to some as 2D, 'cause in my opinion, it never stopped being amazing as it is.

Cheers, everyone. By the way, I read again these days, by some miracle. And the eyes of my mind are focused on a few particular books: The Hobbit & The Unfinished Tales. But at the moment, I've a different kind of book under careful reading. Neil Gaiman's 'The Graveyard Book'. I'm probably going to read it through during my on-going journey via train.

Greetings from northern Finland to each and everyone!

Totally agree with ya man, 2d is much, far better than 3d, my opinion at least. I saw the movie and it was so inaccurate it will destroy your  brain...but it was epic and sad as hell. Delicious, a real treat with extreme backlashes mate. I love it though, i almost was crying, Tauriel.... wow  well mates... what can i say, good to be back for a little while... hoped you liked my stuff and stories, goodbye mates!

 

I'll have to watch it again soon. I can't remember any fight scenes that were truly epic, they just seemed bland. Sure, the army choreography was cool, but it looked more like a dance than a battle. You were right about the Legolas/Tauriel relationship, that was the highlight of the movie for me. I think if about half the scenes were edited out/shortened, it would be more satisfying. It just seemed to overdone. That being said, I had hopes (not expectations, hopes) because of the second movie. I wanted dramatic entrances, which there were, except the drama BEFORE the aforementioned entrances (nonexistant) was played up to an annoying degree. I also probably shouldn't have watched Princess Mononoke the night before, as that was a...harsh contrast.

Three dimensions are more than two dimensions, and this movie seemed to be just like that. More, more drama, more fighting, more susurration, more than necessary. More than good. Overdone. Martin Freeman is good, isn't he? I think that's why I loved the ending. Why wasn't the whole thing from his perspective? Can we all agree that would have been better?

We can definitely agree if it was all about Freeman it would've been amazing. I hope he reads these online comments so he knows that even people who hated the movies thought he was incredible.

SPOILERS!!!!

Cur if you didn't think they were epic the first time around, you probably won't the second lol. But I LOVED seeing Dain and Thorin kick serious ass, even Bombur. Dwarves are sooo underepresented in fantasy movies, so I was very grateul for any scene with them. And I also loved seeing Thranduil own the battlefield on his elk. Some found it cheesy, I thought it was awesome. That's the great, and awful, thing about opinions! There was also a troll with warhammer/maces for legs...which was also awesome haha. Or when the dwarves thought they only had to face the army of orcs and then a row of trolls appeared over the hill. Nice. Those stupid worms that came out were pretty dumb though, same with Beorn's 50 foot drop from the sky. Pft...

I did see it in Imax 3D cause of persuasion. I personally wanted 2D but meh. I'll say the still shots were AMAZING. Like for real, it looked like real life, particularly landscapes. Depth perception, layers...yeah, pretty cool. However any shot with motion was just soooo blurry. Almost gave me a headache, and I rarely get those. I feel like I missed out on a lot because it was so blurry and such a huge screen, my eyes were darting all over the place. So I do recommend 2D. Maybe 3D won't be so bad if it's free or something, but yeah, not worth full price.

Just got back from seeing it in 2d on a rather massive screen in a full house. Great seats, middle middle....
I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would and actually got rather emotional. Pretty much agree with all the positives mentioned so far. BTW I always thought the five armies were Elves, Men, Dwarf, Orc and Warg. It seems that PJ excluded Wargs for two Orc Armies. I don't know if ever Tolkien ever clarified which exactly who they were. One could count The Eagles as an Army as well. Kind of like which Two Towers did he mean....
 
I guess ill just list a few things.
Massive Spoiler Alert
 
Loved.
Galadriel using her vial to perhaps enhance and or focus her light and power against Sauron.
Everything else about Galadriel, Elrond and Saruman...... THE MUSIC!!!
Radaghast leading the Eagles into the battle.
Red headed Dain Iron foot on his pig.
Beorn dropping like a bomb off an Eagle.
Thorin's internal phsychological fight.
Elven Army unity.
Gravity defying Leggie moment.
Thranduil's Elk multi Orc takedown.
Tauriel standing up to Thranduil and his opening up about Love.
Further explanation of the necklace. I'm pretty sure Thranduil's wife's name was uttered by Thorin, cant remember it. 
Smaug's Death Dive
The mixing of the gold lust and Dragon curse effecting Thorin, Thorin even quotes Smaug a couple of times.
Flashback to Bilbo finding the Arkenstone.
The Women of Lake Town taking up arms.
 
Made me cry.... Really.
Killi and Filli for obvious reasons.
"Legolas, your Mother loved you"
Giant Elk going down, Dain's Boar too.
Tauriel after her massive going over by Bolg. Cue Feast of Starlight Music.
 
Hated.
Giant weird rock eating worms.
Super gigantic Trolls and weird Troll hybrid things. Just too huge, the Gungabad Orcs as well.
Alfrid, too much screen time.
I really wanted to see more of Beorn, especially wanted him to take Bolg or Azog down.
PJ's use of the bats. Wanted them to block out the Sun, as the Crebain do in the Book. Would have made the Eagles even more necessary as they broke up the mass enabling the Sun to shine through weakening the Orcs and Trolls, which BTW seem to be very Sun tolerant in this film.
 
Missing from Trailer
Mountain Goat Cart
Goat Dwarf Army

If you don't want spoilers, avoid the following.

The only thing that I liked the second time and missed the first was the final moment of Thorin, when he walks to the edge of the waterfall and sees the orcs running away, and then dies. That was nice, but following the irritatingly short moment for Beorn/Eagles, so it was hard to see. Everything else was just not good. Sure, there were a lot of moments that individually might have been good, but they were all montaged together and so all of them lost significance. The most irritating thing was probably the bit where Thorin is about to enter, he's silhouetted and about to make a dramatic entrance, and then there are minutes of dialogue (during which one notices that, in preparation for the oncoming fight, they have all REMOVED their armor). Oh, and also, they destroyed the bridge, causing it to fall into a chasm, which latter appeared as a river with a small bottom forded by the debris of the wall. Oh, and also, the dwarves took of their fricking armor! Seriously, Azog's final stab would have glanced harmlessly off the breastplate (which looked awesome), but Thorin decided he wanted to die. Grr.

Good continuity pickup Curufinwe, I didn't notice the armor.

I think the editing suffered a little from some unexpected script changes. EE will be interesting.

If you don't want spoilers, skip this.

Watching it twice allowed me to pick up on the lack of finer points. Like the armor, the disappearing chasm, humans making a truly idiotic decision in not only going to dale, but then putting their improvised weapons users on the front despite clearly having actual weapons, using Gandalf to notify the viewers of something at the last minute (Irnonfoot...Wereworms!), why didn't Smaug land on the bridge(?), the master has a trachea with the strength to rip off prison doors, Azog is capable of not just breaking through ice from underneath (proven near impossible) but also then jumping out of the water and not breaking the ice he lands on, hell, physics? There are so many things wrong with the movie that it jars me every minute or so just for paying attention. I hope the EE doesn't add any more failures, there are far too many as is. I might as well list some more...

The Dwarves decide to pike charge just after the elves leap over their heads, which would kill the elves as much as the orcs. The trolls are imbued with preternatural strength far beyond their stature. For example, one head buts a stone wall and puts a hole in it. This would be like me (140lbs) trying to go through several brick walls at once. The bat which carried Legolas would need a far greater wingspan. Several orders of magnitude at least. Oh, and he wastes an arrow on killing it only to run out at the critical moment a little later. Tauriel is a captain of the guard but doesn't know the history of Gundabad (not even going to mention how old she has to be), allowing for some free exposition from Legolas. Bilbo is capable of killing orcs by tapping them with rocks, (not mentioning the incredible head of Dain), and his sword still wasn't glowing, Thorin had a bow the size of a slingshot; the "wereworms" didn't annihilate anybody. Where did the golden bell of subpar entrances come from? The 13 dwarves are superhumanly strong (the bit where they knock a stone head onto the bridge?). Galadriel said FROM WHENCE. GRRRRRRR. Such an irritating movie.

Yep, sounds about right. Like I said, if you went in expecting to see a well thought out, well edited, accurate portrayal of The Hobbit....you WILL be disappointed. If the stuff in Cur's post is what you're looking for, stay far away. Based off the other 2 movies I knew this is exactly how it would turn out. Over the top, unrealistic CGI fueled fantasy action. Surprised they didn't have Michael Bay co-direct this one...

I only really enjoyed the battle scenes. I could care less about the dialogue, story line, continuation errors, plot holes, and dumb writing. I didn't mind Tauriel, but I did not like how Kili and Tauriel were so madly in love after like 5 brief conversations. THOUSANDS of years of lore and race rivalry/warfare down the drain. If the first two movies were even remotely akin to any of LOTR this would be different. But yeah, I knew it would be a fantasy action battle. Which it was. So I loved it.

Also Galadriel is possibly my favorite Tolkien character, only contending with Ungoliant and Turin. So I can definitely appreciate some Blanchett screen time and I personally loved the White Council meetings. But I dunno, the whole Dol Guldur scene just irritated me. Was so.....I dunno, cheesy! Once again the almighty elves show up randomly and the eagles save the day. Great plot twist PJ! I don't think you've ever tried that one before! Oh and you're doing it again later in the same movie?? Great! And I talked to people, most of them did not fully connect the guy in the tower, The Necromancer, was Sauron (or "the other bad guy from the LOTR movies"Wink Smilie. Most think it was the Witch King (or "the main bad guy from the LOTR movies"Wink Smilie. Or they knew it wasn't but were unsure if they were talking about Sauron or someone else. Most of them don't even know Cate Blanchetts character's name (the elf lady from the first LOTR movie) or are afraid to say it cause they might pronounce it wrong. You have to keep in mind 99% of viewers are not like us. What seems obvious to us is usually confusing to them. So it was a very poorly explained story that was too obviously added in just to give some wizard/elf action time.

BUT overall the CGI and ownage was so well done, the American moviegoer in me loved watching Dain headbutt fully armored orcs and the main 13 dwarves storm out with the strength of Tulkas, even though two movies ago Balin described how most of them weren't even real warriors. But hey...

Oh well, what's done is done. IMO Freeman and some of the panoramic shots were amazing enough to make up for every other fault.

Just saw it again and paid special attention to armor and Erebor's entrance. I cant fathom why Thorin would have taken his armor off between going mad and going out to fight... Huge chunks are missing and I have a feeling it may be because the studio wanted to keep it PG or M. It's rated M (mature) in Aus, yet they cut away from every mortal kill. Did anyone else notice Filli's death scene? No blood, no blade visible....

Curufinwe, re the gate. and bridge to Erebor. After the dwarves build the wall, the bridge is present over the small river which is frozen. Then they destroy the bridge with the giant stone Dwarf head. Then they break down the wall and the debris creates a passable bridge which they run across....

I cried again BTW.... It's the music!!!! And Bilbo realising Thorin is dead .....

Balrog's I loved the look of Galadriel, so angry and pissed, so dark and effected, the seen gave me chills but I was left wanting more, just like Beorn.

I think the worst of all Canon errors is the fact that all of the (way too many) dark forces are not troubled at all by the Sunlight. Can you imagine how fantastic it would have been if it was the Eagles who broke up those bats who should have been blocking out the Sun! So much more effective, kind of like the reaction when The Ring is unmade and all of the Orcs and Trolls flee, in ROTK. Would have made so much more sense.

Still hated the Wereworms and the humungous Trolls.

I'm not saying that I didn't expect it to basically just be a long fight. I mean, they set it up so the could have Smaug, Galadriel&co vs Sauron, and the BoFA in one movie. The fighting wasn't even good though. It didn't have the emptiness of, say, 300, or the gritty precision (can't think how else to describe) of the end of Kill Bill. It can't capture the wild and chaotic battlefield of Gladiator; it just falls flat with goofy trolls and orcs that look scary but are about as useful in a battle as a boneless weasel. The suspensions of disbeleif are so frequent and powerful that everything on the screen becomes dissconected from reality. Oh, and Balrogs, I'm positive that Michael Bay was secretly the director, it felt about as bad as one of his.

Agree to disagree friend...I liked 300 but I thought this fighting was FAR more well done. Same with Gladiator, which was more shaky cam and 2 second scene flashes. Again I love it, but that was a cheap battle. They did a great job with what they had though. But sorry I don't even understand the Kill Bill references and those are two of my favorite movies.  Totally different. That ending was a smart ending to a smart movie. This was a dumb ending to a CGI action film. I hated the love story throughout the 3, I always turned away or went to the bathroom when those came up. Even the end. Their relationship was totally unjustified. I'd rather him have made a bearded female dwarf who appears at the end or something to help out, something like that.

suppose agreeing to disagree is a good idea. Those were the first movies that popped into my head as semi-similar in their action scenes. I was referring not to the end of Kill Bill where she Kills Bill, but where she kills the 88 guys in a well done and interesting fight scene. Compare it with the scene on the ice where orcs are running at Thorin one at a time. I have one I prefer, and it's not just because of the music. As for 300, I thought the fighting there was well done and consistently awesome, despite being obviously farcical (not like the BoFA).

I loved the Dwarven army and Richard Armitage was just as good as Martin Freeman (which is really saying something)

I liked how Dain was Billy Connoly.

I was, however, seriously disappointed with Fili's death scene. He was my favorite character (gotta love his awesome beard and mustache. I hope theres more to see of it in the extended edition, because Dean O'Gorman is such a fully fledged lege and deserves better than a stab in the back and a fall from a tall building.

I also think the elves are way OP. They way it looked, Thranduil may as well have sent three elves into Mordor during the War of the Ring hahaha :P 

I liked how Thranduil redeemed himself and the whole:

"Why does it hurt so much?"

"Becasue it was real"

This really got the waterworks display going for me.

Bilbo's relationship to Thorin was awesome, the acting was legitimately 10/10 from both men in my opinion.

Finally, I loved the way Mr Jackson depicted Azog's death (although totally untrue and Dain still deserves the 150 point headshot kill) with Orchrist stabbing deep and in through the ice.

Yes all. I think we are in for one massively different EE. I detected huge chunks had been edited and it got very clunky after half way through the film.

Re 300 etc there is a huge difference in all of PJ's films very little or any red blood. Plenty of black. Must be a ratings thing.

I agree with the comment about the dol guldor scene. It was kind of out of place. But I did like how it was done. I was actually looking forward to seeing both Elrond and Saruman fight. We only had a small glimpse of them fighting in the LOTR. It shows that, although they were mostly seen as "advisors" to the other characters in the movies, they were in fact also great warriors when needed. And there were only few who would be brave enough to face the Nine, let alone just one of them.
Galadriel vs Sauron This was interesting. Throughout the years, I've always thought that during the third age, Galadriel was the only being in middle earth that could match and capable of defeating Sauron face to face. The wizards were obviously "depowered" and/or restricted from using their full power. I assumed Glorfindel was the same. And as far as Elrond and Cirdan, although powerful, I don't think they could defeat Sauron, for they were never "empowered" by the light of the two trees. Maybe the only other being that could do it would be the mysterious Tom.
[quote="glorfindel":yjr4n7eb]Galadriel vs Sauron This was interesting. Throughout the years, I've always thought that during the third age, Galadriel was the only being in middle earth that could match and capable of defeating Sauron face to face. The wizards were obviously "depowered" and/or restricted from using their full power. I assumed Glorfindel was the same. And as far as Elrond and Cirdan, although powerful, I don't think they could defeat Sauron, for they were never "empowered" by the light of the two trees. Maybe the only other being that could do it would be the mysterious Tom.[/quote:yjr4n7eb] I agree. Elrond and Cirdan could not defeat Sauron. I liked the fight too. One of the better scenes of (in my opinion) a pretty bad movie.