Objection! – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Starshine5050: Hello and welcome to another Objection where two authors duke it out in respectful way. I’m Starshine.

Elessar: And I’m Elessar. This is my first time doing this and I’m going to cut off that joke right there.

Starshine5050: Today’s topic is the new Hobbit movie. I’ll let Elessar go first and explain his point of view.

Elessar: As I said in my review, I’m not 100 percent certain I can be totally objective about it. Tolkien is just too big a part of who I am. But I was engaged, it held my attention and ultimately there was more stuff that I liked than I didn’t. Maybe it was the beneficiary of lowered expectations, maybe it was just that the year wasn’t very good overall for action movies but I liked it. It’s not gonna be on my top 10 of the year or anything though.

hobbit smaug poster

Starshine5050: I liked the film significantly less than the first one. It was all action and no character. Not to mention unnecessary love-elf who is just ridiculous — movie was already long enough, we don’t need more PJ forced conflict. It was all action and no feeling. Plus the Arkenstone crazies were brought in too early.

Elessar: Love-Elf, I like that term. It’s like the weakest warhammer army ever. I do feel that this one suffered, more than part 1, from the whole ‘stretching it into 3 movies’ thing. And while I like Tauriel as a character, the love triangle aspect…yeah no. It suffers a little bit by being the middle child. There’s no real beginning and by extension no real end. So the movie just sort of wanders around until it gets to the end. Also they have like 30 minutes of action scenes and they could have one of Beorn doing some killing gorrammit?

Starshine5050: The ending was just a nightmare, which is what all middle movies but good lord it was bad. I will say that Tauriel is ONLY in the film because they had a romance in Lord of the Rings and PJ loved the tension. And the barrel scene was just eternal. Also, can we talk about Lee Pace hamming it up so hard, even Shatner would be embarrassed?

Elessar: We can and we shall. We shall put a little ham shaped book mark on Lee Pace and come back to him, but first I wanna bring up the ending.

So the ending. I’m about to spoil where the cutoff point is, but for Maiar’s sake people, this book is nearly 80 years old, I think the statute of limitations has run out on spoilers. So they cut off right when Smaug is off to go lay waste to Laketown like Sherlock lays waste to…look I don’t watch the show, can you supply me with a reference?

Starshine5050: I guess it would be lay waste to London. You read Tolkien and no Conan Doyle?

Elessar: I read Conan Doyle, I just don’t watch the Cumberbatch show.

Anyhoo, that’s the cutoff point, which is kind of a cliffhanger. But my issue is this: What is the 3rd movie going to be other than 2 and a half hours of people getting killed? It’s been a while since I read The Hobbit, but isn’t everything from then on just variations of “Now you and him have a fight.”

I can't be the only one who hears the MGS 'WEEMP' sound here.

I can’t be the only one who hears the MGS ‘WEEMP’ sound here.

Starshine5050: I read The Hobbit a very long time ago when I was just a wee child and I just remember hating it and wondering why the Hell Laketown kills the dragon and not the dwarves. Personally, we all know what PJ likes to film and I can tell you its not deep atmosphere movies. I called the giant gore-battle extravagance the moment they said it was going to be three movies. While I appreciate them tying Sauroman into the movie I have to wonder why and if it’ll play a bigger part of the battle of five armies. Also, I swear they are going to stretch the last movie to three hours because that’s what PJ always does and it kills me. I love long movies but come on, The Hobbit didn’t need to drag out this long. It really didn’t. Honestly, I won’t be happy unless everyone dies like they are supposed to. The charming part of the movie is the characters, the dwarves and their interactions. Now they must as well be pawns in a chess game they have nothing to do or say. It’s disheartening seeing good acts get 5 minutes to flounce around. In all honesty, the poison arrow bit is so dumb and I really wish they had kept the company together. What a better scene that would have made for the giant gold statue trap.

Elessar: Well the knowledge of who lives and who dies does make the love triangle a little more bearable *evil laughing*. But I have to agree, the cutdown on the interactions between the dwarves and the splitting the party thing do seem like unecessary add ons. It’s possible that some of this stuff, especially the political stuff in Laketown, might get payoffs come movie 3, but I dunno. In a way, I almost wish that Guiellmo Del Toro had gotten to direct this. PJ is a good director, even a great director under the right circumstances, but ‘Fairy tale for kids’ is just not his speed. Del Toro can do the Fairy Tale aspect a lot better and he’s much better at just getting to the point.

Starshine5050: Well Del Toro was a busy man and he was all about character development so he would have made some dope movies. Still, I personally think that the whole political thing is so poorly fleshed out. Why do they hate Bard? Cause he’s a good guy? No, movie, we need REASON. LOGIC. EXPOSITION FROM TIME TO TIME. But seriously, let’s go back to Lee Pace and the Woodland elves. What was PJ smoking the days he shot those scenes?

Elessar: Ah, back to Lee Pace. Personally, I’ve been through the entirety of Jackson’s catalogue, so insanity from him is nothing new. In fact, this particular brand of insanity is almost…quaint. Ask me about Meet the Feebles sometime. But yes, there does seem to be something…off about Lee Pace’s performance, although he’s barely in the thing so we don’t get a ton of a read on him. I almost feel like Jackon didn’t want to spend too much time in Mirkwood, so he was just rushing through it to get to the Barrel Scene.

Is this what Lee Pace was seeing? Cause suddenly everything makes sense.

Is this what Lee Pace was seeing? Cause suddenly everything makes sense.

Starshine5050: But seriously, these elves are so dry and desexualized and angry. I’m like seriously PJ I don’t remember the book, more explanation as to why they are being assholes. I like that Thorin remains an asshole but Lee Pace was swooshing all over the place, with his terrible mugging and robotic arm movements. I had to stifle giggles I was so entertained by it. I know that Mirkwood elves are these racist weird but like Elron fights in the giant ring war, so why all the anger man?

Elessar: For the sake of your sanity, I’ll spare you the lengthy Tolkien rant about why they’re assholes and why they might be slightly less assholes in the Hobbit. BUT about Lee Pace’s performance, I can say that it seems to me like a lot of his choices were based on Jackson’s direction. I’ve seen Pace act before (he was on Pushing Daisy’s) and he’s not a bad actor. I think he was told to try and do an exaggerated version of Legolas’ performance from LotR and it…kind of went wrong.

Starshine5050: It went soured milk wrong in the best way. I know we all joke about Party King Thranduil but seriously how can we not this point when he acts like he’s high. Also I think they brought in the Arkenstone crazies way too early or way too late.

Elessar: I’d say too late. They don’t really bring it up in the first one (maybe in the Extended Edition? I dunno, haven’t seen it) but it seems kind of random for them to suddenly go “Oh and this stone is actually the freaking ring.” It’s an interesting angle, and it might make Thorin more intetesting, but bringing it up in part 2 is a little…cheap? Is cheap the word I want?

Starshine5050: I feel it’s the word you want. Also maybe lazy. We already have a ring. How many more mystical corrupting forces does Middle Earth need? Why can’t the Arkenstone be like a symbol or Thorin just be sort of wackadoo on his own. Also are we ever gonna find the father? In the first movie they said he’s dead and now apparently he’s not?

"CAN YOU PAINT WITH ALL THE COLORS OF THE WIND!" ... oops, wrong movie.

“CAN YOU PAINT WITH ALL THE COLORS OF THE WIND!” … oops, wrong crazy character.

Elessar: I feel like they are gonna find the father. It’s the Chekov’s principle, they wouldn’t talk about him this much if they weren’t gonna bring him in. Although that could lead to a fun angle, about the Arkenstone. “The Arkenstone is corrupting Thorin!” Father comes in: “No, the stone aint magic, he’s just a douche.”

Starshine5050: I much prefer if we had a literal Chekov’s Principle and someone randomly produced a gun in the middle of the Battle of Five Armies.

Elessar: Hey! Don’t blame the Chekov! That ma’am is a facile argument…

Starshine5050: Admit it, at least you’d be surprised instead of bored and waiting for something deep and meaningful to happen admist the blood and gore. I don’t like war movie cause they are over-sentamental and idealistic but for real, someone get PJ a copy of Saving Private Ryan so at least we can get some character development in the end. And it’s not all like “HEY THERE OTHER DWARVES I’VE TRAVELLED WITH….BYE.”

"I've been travelling with you people for months and I still can't tell any of you apart."

“I’ve been travelling with you people for months and I still can’t tell any of you apart.”

Elessar: Hey we’ve still got 3 hours of movie left…roughly…I assume…Anyway, we could get some characterization in there. Although to be fair, I could never tell the Dwarves apart in the book either. And speaking of the action scenes, any thoughts on them?

Starshine5050: Well edited, as usual. He’s got an eye for action, that you can’t deny. I will say the Barrel camera work when they switch to water cam is painful obvious and some of the effects on Smaug were down right awful.

Elessar: I can’t disagree with that. I still liked the barrel sequence though, moved at a good clip, reasonably inventive etc. But then I saw the Lone Ranger, for reasons I won’t go into, so my bar for good action scenes in 2013 may have been lowered.

Starshine5050The Lone Ranger is one of the worst things ever produced and I am ashamed to admit I paid money to see such racist trash.

But we are getting a little off topic. So, Elessar, any last comments?

Elessar: I at least have the excuse of not having paid. And so we are.

Eh. I stand by my review. It’s nowhere near Lord of the Rings in terms of quality, and in terms of 2013 action scenes it’s not quite Pacific Rim or anything. But I had a good time for all of it’s flaws. At least it didn’t bore. And I gotta watch something while I wait for the Coen brothers new movie to be showing someplace besides NYC.

Starshine5050: I am going to go out on a limb and say that the Coens haven’t made a great movie since No Country for Old Men which will get me so much hate. I disliked the movie — I was genuinely disappointed and wish PJ stopped trying to fix the mistakes of the first movie by killing what was good about it in the first place.

Anyways, that about wraps it up here for Objection! Join us next time when we subtly insult more content producers by criticizing their work to death.

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Starshine5050

As just a regular, hard-working work, often-stressing, procrastination-mastering history and journalism student, I often turn to the silver and small screens for relief, even though I'm only an average cinema-and-television loving viewer, commenting on what, and does not, makes good entertainment. I love horror everything - book, TV shows, games, movies - even though they frighten me terribly. I'm a long time believer of the old saying "When life gives you lemons, don't take life's lemons! Give the lemons back!" So, onward I go, returning lemons and logging an unhealthy amount of screen time for your enjoyment. So please be sure to read my stuff and let me know what you think, I'm alway looking to improve and be the best, most cynical critic I can be!

Latest posts by Starshine5050 (see all)

Starshine5050

As just a regular, hard-working work, often-stressing, procrastination-mastering history and journalism student, I often turn to the silver and small screens for relief, even though I'm only an average cinema-and-television loving viewer, commenting on what, and does not, makes good entertainment. I love horror everything - book, TV shows, games, movies - even though they frighten me terribly. I'm a long time believer of the old saying "When life gives you lemons, don't take life's lemons! Give the lemons back!" So, onward I go, returning lemons and logging an unhealthy amount of screen time for your enjoyment. So please be sure to read my stuff and let me know what you think, I'm alway looking to improve and be the best, most cynical critic I can be!

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