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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Movie Reveiw - PG13 - Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug

It was a fun roller coaster ride from the Misty Mountains to the Lonely Mountain. Peter Jackson's team had me on the edge of my seat and dodging 3-D projectiles for a good hour before I even remembered my nine year old beside me experiencing his first midnight showing.

He loved it, by the way, and is still sleeping off the after effects.

And just a word to people considering young children's viewing, it is very violent due to the huge numbers of battles. But at our house orc-elf-dwarf violence is firmly in the fantasy realm and doesn't really count as violence if done properly. Peter Jackson helped us out there, because the battles are not nearly as gory as the prime time TV commercials that annoy us so much as parents of a young child.

I won't give spoilers, I'll just say that so many changes were made to keep the movie fast paced that you should not expect the movie to follow the book closely. Some of the changes were an improvement, no offense to my favorite author.

(The females in my house continue to harp on Tolkein's dearth of female characters. I've frequently heard the argument about realism – that historically there were very few female adventures or even travelers in real life – but Middle Earth is also heavily populated by widower fathers and single male rulers. That is not realism!)
But the very few female characters Tolkein does include are incredible so we forgive him his flaws.

Jackson and company did a nice job trying to correct this, and I found myself liking the Tauriel character much more than I expected to. The actress playing the part did a nice job.

Also, I really liked their take on Bard the Bowman, Laketown, Beorn and the caverned halls of both elves and dwarves.

In general, I was comfortable with the changes made, and I found the movie a blast. I highly recommend it. Two thumbs up. I eagerly look forward to the finality coming out this summer and the extended editions.

And I, for one, would love to see Jackson do parts of the Simarillion. I think he would do an awesome job portraying Beren and Luthien attacking Morgoth.

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