Skip to main content

Mr. Brown and The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is now the shortest of the Middle-Earth series by a whopping 161 minutes (or 2 hours and 41 minutes). Yet, Peter Jackson's second entry into his prequel trilogy feels like a 3-hour opus, filled with rousing action sequences and stunning production value (it's really amazing the filmmakers could still find uncharted places within New Zealand to shoot these films). Cinematography, Art Direction, Costumes Design, Visual Effects, Sound Editing and the score, once again composed and conducted by the great Howard Shore - the look and feel of this film rivals Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for Hollywood decadence at their best. Like James Cameron, Jackson is that rare director who knows what to do with a massive budget, and not a cent is wasted in the final product. They all serve at the altar of Jackson's untamed imagination and he does let it fly (the barrel waterfall sequence alone will get applause for it's off-the-walls creativity in an action sequence) often in this installment of the adventures of Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armentage) company of thirteen Dwarves, still on their quest to reclaim Erebor, the Kingdom under the Lonely Mountain, which has been under occupation by the vile Smaug (a deliciously evil Benedict Cumberbatch), which is a visual marvel unto itself.


Going into The Hobbit 2, you should know, upfront, this movie isn't close to the perilous nature of 2002's The Two Towers, and if you saw last year's An Unexpected Journey, you know that first installment was bloated and you might have felt that it didn't have the same magic as Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. I still feel that, while trying to make this new trilogy as a bridge to connect to the original LOTR trilogy by using Tolkien's Appendix section from The Return of the King, this really should have been what Jackson intended it to originally be: a two movie, 3-hour affair. Still, I really enjoyed this installment and I feel Jackson finally found his grove again in telling a thrilling and exciting story that even when we see stupid shit like Thorin using a metal container to float down a river of liquid molten gold, I can forgive because I'm having too much fun to give a damn. There and Back Again will conclude The Hobbit trilogy on December 17 of next year, and already I wait in anticipation for what PJ has in store for us.
*** stars out of ****

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lost in Translation

I think it's fair to assume that a lot of us were very skeptical upon hearing that Masmure Shinrow's cyberpunk manga Ghost in the Shell was being updated for mainstream audiences, in the form of a live-action film. We've seen how this business has handled manga/Anime properties in the past, and the track record, outside of the Wachowskis' Speed Racer, has been dismal, to say the least. When it was revealed that Scarlett Johansson was chosen to play Major Motoko Kusanagi, the Internet went ablaze, the cries that studio suits were whitewashing a beloved Anime character, as well as petitions making the rounds to remove the actress from the role in favor of an Asian actress to carry the role. When the first trailer dropped in mid-November of last year, I think most of us were blown away with just how, on a surface level, it looked like the live-action version might do the original source material justice.

Then, the actual film was released.

It's hard to talk about the …

The Worst of 2017 (So Far)

I can't very well talk about some of the most rewarding films of the year without putting my $0.02 cents on the ones which rewarded the least; the ones that left a bitter taste in the mouth, months after first watching them on the big screen.


Transformers: The Last Knight - I was going to review Bay's latest toy commercial during a week-long retrospective on each of the installments of the Transformers franchise (and I will end up finishing said retrospective soon, I promise...), but here's the cliffnotes version on what I've got to say for movie no.5: It's still the same mindless junk he's put out since the surprise 2007 hit, just even more tedious and uninteresting than before. I'm tired of Optimus Prime and his cohorts, the Autobots, in yet another attempt to tell us stupid humans that the Decipticons are bad news and that they'll never leave our world alone unless they work together to stop them; I'm tired of the unrelenting obnoxious comic relie…

Best of 2017 (So Far)

Ah, so where was I? Ah, yes - Day two tackling Michael Bay's Transformers series.....

Wait....It's August?!

The Summer Movie Season is just about wrapped up and we're heading into Award season???

What do you mean a woman single-handily saved DC's interconnected universe???

Nolan made a war film how short???

Who the fuck is Tom Holland???

Transformers 5 was a box office disappointment in North America??? Fuck yes!

And Sony really made a cartoon which featured the shit emoji???

What's next: the President of the United States defends white supremacists live, in front of the press?

So, as you can see, I hit my annual writer's block, this time last over most of the summer (including most of 2017), which means I am extremely behind to the point I'm up to my damn neck in stuff I want to talk about. Good thing September is just around the corner and there's not too much to go out and seek in that time frame, but that doens't mean I haven't been watching…