Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

After three Hobbit movies and three Lord of the Rings films, it’s hard to view The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies as a standalone picture.  It carries far more weight than it necessarily should, and as the presumed final film in the Lord of the Rings saga it has higher expectations than perhaps are fair.  So while it’s a film that can be both thrilling and emotional while also plodding and uneven, its place in the saga serves to magnify both its faults and its virtues as a representation of the successes and failures of the Hobbit trilogy and the LOTR saga as a whole.  Narratively, it serves as both and end (to The Hobbit) and a beginning (to Lord of the Rings), but it’s status as a link doesn’t detract from the big dramatic moments of the film’s story, even if at times it feels designed more as a link than as a cinematic experience of its own.

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Trailer Tuesday: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies.

The final film in The Hobbit trilogy is approaching.  It has a new subtitle, The Battle of the Five Armies, which replaces the earlier title There and Back Again.  And until they come up with a way to turn The Silmarillion into a series of films or they decide to make The Ongoing Adventures of Legolas and Gimli (which I would totally watch), this will be the final film in Peter Jackson’s epic Middle Earth saga, comprising six movies over 13 years.  And now we’ve got the first teaser trailer for this final film.  Take a look, and read on for my thoughts below:

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Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Two Towers is my favorite film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  While most people either preferred the pitch-perfect styling of the first film, or the epic conclusion of the third, for me I thought the middle chapter stood out in an interesting way.  I feel like a lot of the film’s success owed itself to how writer/director Peter Jackson was able to take a book in which little happens and craft it into a satisfying story arc which fit perfectly into the trilogy but also stood alone as a unique accomplishment.  He took the handful of major events in the story and fleshed them out, allowing him to focus much more on character and drama and less on sticking to the detail of the text, and it really showed off his (and his team’s) writing skills.  I had high hopes that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second film of Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy would follow in the footsteps of The Two Towers, and while it’s definitely an excellent film, it lacks the creativity and emotion of his previous middle movie.

The Desolation of Smaug picks up right where An Unexpected Journey left off.  Continue reading

Trailer Tuesday: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies.

I’ve always felt like the second full trailer is always the hardest one for a film to pull off.  Teaser trailers are pretty easy, offering just a glimpse to get people talking, while the first full trailer is generally full of entirely new footage that will excite audiences.  But the second trailer often reuses much of the footage from the first trailer, hitting the same story beats as its predecessor with little new to add.  Often a second trailer will feature a few, specific revelations, trying to keep interest in the film high and promote continued discussion.  We saw the first trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug a while back, and now we’re presented with the second.  Take a look below and read on for my thoughts:

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Trailer Tuesday: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Welcome to “Trailer Tuesday” where I talk about trailers for upcoming movies, since I’ve always found them to be endlessly fascinating.

I figure that because I (intentionally) gave you a horrible trailer this morning, that I owed you an alternate.  So here, I present you with the freshly released trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  Watch below, and read on for my thoughts:

1) Do you think we can go ahead and compare this film to The Two Towers?   Continue reading