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The Hobbit: Journey, Desolation, Battle
#1

I just reviewed the most recent Hobbit Blu-Ray box set for the site: http://www.chud.com/162469/blu-ray-revie...t-trilogy/



Was I the only one who had that kind of arc? Appreciating the first movie, then being let down by the sequels? I brought up some numbers:

Journey (IMDb: 8.0/10, Metacritic: 58%, RT: 64%)
Desolation (IMDb: 8.0/10, MC: 66%, RT: 74%)
Battle (IMDb: 7.6/10, MC: 59%, RT: 60%)

Compared to the pretty much universally acclaimed Rings series:

Fellowship (IMDb: 8.8/10, MC: 92%, RT: 91%)
Towers (IMDb: 8.8/10, MC: 88%, RT: 96%)
King (IMDb: 8.9/10, MC: 94%, RT: 95%)



Looking at IMDb, there's really not that much distance between the first two movies of each trilogy. Really? I'm also surprised to see Desolation clearly ranking higher than Battle which I think is better in every way. I also can't fathom why anyone would rank Desolation as high as Journey.

How would you rank the Hobbit movies?

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#2
AI'd wager that Benedict Cumberbatch / Smaug is a deciding factor.
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#3
ADoS has got Smaug, the bonkers but entertaining barrel sequence and the pretty intense spider attack.

By the time Battle of Five Armies rolled around I think people just wanted it over. So much of BoFA just felt like a (lesser) retread of Return of the King but with 100% more loathsome monobrow twat.
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#4
AI only watched all of these in the past month and, God help me, I like them all a hell of a lot. Not quite as much as Lord of the Rings but a whole damn lot.

I've read people describe this as an OT and prequel situation. Those people need to lay off the pipe weed. These aren't even CLOSE to that bad.

I will agree that the third is the weakest but I'm counting on the Extended version to take care of some of it's deficiencies. I unabashedly love them..
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#5

Yeah, I'd rate them in release order as well.  AUJ is great.  I thought it got the spirit of the book right the most out of the 3.



But when it comes to Smaug and Five Armies, I give it to Smaug since it feels more like a complete movie.  BotFA was the first time I've felt that large chunks of the movie was actually missing. Coupling that with the sheer oversaturation of Legolas in it and it just felt like more of a slog to get through and for the FINAL Middle-Earth movie...I was hoping for more.

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#6

I'd rank them Journey first, then the entire length of the Mines of Moria, then Battle and Smaug.  Journey had that sense of wonder and adventure that the book did.  The other two films were 2+ hours of "Hey, remember liking Lord of the Rings?"

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#7

I like AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES about the same -- hardly classics, but I like the main characters enough to be reasonably involved with the plot.  THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG has a fun first hour followed by a miserably dull back half.  The dwarves confronting Smaug in Erebor has all the spark of a Michael Bay TRANSFORMERS action scene, and it goes on for just as long.



So, basically...  JOURNEY = BATTLE > DESOLATION for me.

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#8
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post


I've read people describe this as an OT and prequel situation. Those people need to lay off the pipe weed. These aren't even CLOSE to that bad.

They don't need to be close to that bad for the comparison to have merit.  The perceived trajectory is similar enough for people to bring it up.

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#9

I'll buck the trend and say that DESOLATION is far and away my favorite of the 3 HOBBIT films.  It feels the most like an actual adventure, and it plays out like a lot of my very best D&D games of yore.



JOURNEY takes too long to get going, and BATTLE suffers from combat-fatigue.

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#10
AJourney bored me. Desolation is probably my favorite and Five Armies was fine. Regardless, I won't own any of them. The re-watch factor just isn't there for me.
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#11
ADesolation is the one I recall the least from for some reason. I need to rewatch it..
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#12
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post

Desolation is the one I recall the least from for some reason. I need to rewatch it..


The thing I like about DESOLATION is that there's a nice sense of escalation about it, particularly in the second half with Smaug.  Freeman finally gets a chance to shine here, and his interaction with Smaug is first rate.  Tension develops and escalates, and there's a natural progression to things going out of control and getting more and more action oriented.  It also ends on exactly the right note for a clifflanger.



The pre Smaug adventures are also very well done.  Again, things progress at a nice pace (in my opinion), culminating in the barrel scene which is simply first rate.



I've only seen the theatrical cut (on the big screen and on HBO), so I can't comment on the extended version.

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#13
AHow I'd rank them:

AUJ: "erm, yay?"
DOS: "uh, really?"
BOFA: "bleeargh no."
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#14
A[quote name="Fraid uh noman" url="/community/t/153520/the-hobbit-journey-desolation-battle#post_3868544"]I only watched all of these in the past month and, God help me, I like them all a hell of a lot. Not quite as much as Lord of the Rings but a whole damn lot.

I've read people describe this as an OT and prequel situation. Those people need to lay off the pipe weed. These aren't even CLOSE to that bad.

I will agree that the third is the weakest but I'm counting on the Extended version to take care of some of it's deficiencies. I unabashedly love them..[/quote]
Agree with this totally. Except I still haven't seen the extend versions of the first two.

I read the Hobbit for the first time after I saw "An Unexpected Journey" and after seeing how the movies played out I'm ok that Jackson stretched it to 3 movies. Two would have been perfect. But more Gandalf is not a bad thing. Shoehorning in Legolas is a bit wonky but I think it works.

I'd rank them in order AUJ, DoS and B5A.
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#15
AI think the first hour to ninety minutes of each film (with the exception of a handful of scenes clearly added through reshoots) are all great and inspire some degree of confidence; then all the Stupid happens.

BEST OPENING HOUR:

1. Bo5A
2. DoS
3. AUJ

BEST FINAL HOUR:

1. AUJ
2. Bo5A
3. DoS
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#16
If nothing else, the two big stand out scenes from this trilogy are also the most pure from the book.


Bilbo's confrontations with Gollum and Smaug. Both sequences are perfect in their execution and Freeman's performance along with Serkis and Cumberbatch is magic. On par with any of the best scenes from LotR.
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#17
ADisagree on Gollum. Yeah, nice performances, but it's another failure among many to understand the source material. All that Smeagol/Gollum' schizophrenia shouldn't have been so underlined, as he was more Stinker than Slinker at this point, seeing as he still owned the Ring.

Besides: that scene needed to be scary. He's a cannibal who wants to eat our hero, for crying out loud. He has a Taste Boner for Bilbo and literally starts drooling so hard at one point that the hobbit nearly shits himself.
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#18

Um, that scene was scary. Certainly the scariest we've seen of Gollum in this series. Beating the goblin to death was chilling. Jackson nailed this scene spot on.

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#19
A[Image: 400]
Terrifying.
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#20
A[quote name="User_32" url="/community/t/153520/the-hobbit-journey-desolation-battle/0_50#post_3869980"][/quote]
I agree, but I'm also bummed the Bilbo vs Smaug scene was continuously interrupted with Laketown meanwhiles.

BOT5A does feel incomplete. Cant wait for the EE.
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#21
A[quote name="DARKMITE8" url="/community/t/153520/the-hobbit-journey-desolation-battle#post_3870170"]
I agree, but I'm also bummed the Bilbo vs Smaug scene was continuously interrupted with Laketown meanwhiles.

BOT5A does feel incomplete. Cant wait for the EE.[/quote]

Half page in a book stretched to fit 2.5 hours and it feels incomplete? It's The Hobbloat!
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#22
Quote:
Originally Posted by erik myers View Post


Terrifying.




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#23
A[quote name="Mike J" url="/community/t/153520/the-hobbit-journey-desolation-battle/0_50#post_3870364"]
Half page in a book stretched to fit 2.5 hours and it feels incomplete? It's The Hobbloat![/quote]

MOAR BEORN
LESS ALFRID
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#24
AUgh. The entire Laketown thing felt like PJ looked at The Phantom Menace and said "you know what the problem with all this political subplot is? We know the characters too well and care about what happens to them too much! If only it had featured a whole secondary cast we've never met until the last third of the second movie!"
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#25

DA!!!

DA????

WHERE OUR DA??????

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