Ben Oliver

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

It never ceases to amaze me, the courage of Hobbits…
24 April 2014

This film is unsurprising in every way. It’s:

This means:

The cast is strong of course, the sets are imagintively designed and the direction is steady. I did notice a couple of things that really stuck out however. The blue/green screen stuff was really shoddy at times. Not quite 90s weatherman bad, but I’ve seen YouTubers do better (actually some scenes in Labyrinth were less jarring). Also, the action scenes were sometimes poorly put together. There’s a scene in a river with all the dwarves going down in barrels. It’s all pretty entertaining until the action is interspersed with weird first person shots and comedy close-ups. They felt out of place and like they were shot three weeks later as an afterthought.

You know what you’re getting with The Hobbit. That’s not a good or a bad thing, it is what it is. I’m disappointed that they had the hubris to think it could stretch for three films though, I thought Jackson was cleverer than that. It takes talent and hard work to condense a book into a film successfully, just look at Lord of the Rings. Translating a fairly short book page for page just takes money, and that’s what we’re seeing here.

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