Picoreview: The Desolation of Smaug: It is my personal hope that there will be a 2 hour Director’s Cut of The Hobbit that only has, you know. The stuff in the book.
We re-watched An Unexpected Journey last night, which is frankly a long, long movie in which almost nothing happens. Smaug possibly, if you look at it sideways, has more happen, but (major structural spoilers ahoy)
they cut the movie in the wrong fucking place. I mean, as in, they left me genuinely pissed off at the end. The movie’s title is the desolation of Smaug. They spend the whole movie building up to Smaug (in fact, it took so long that I was actually beginning to wonder if we were really going to *see* him in this movie), we finally get him, and you know, to my mind, the desolation of Smaug means we’re gonna get to see him do some desolating.
And they fucking cut it before he razes Laketown.
Seriously. *Jesus*, if they needed ten more minutes I COULD HAVE CUT THAT FROM THE FLAB, GUYS, YOU SHOULDA CALLED ME. THE BARREL SCENE DIDN’T NEED TO BE HALF AN HOUR.
Smaug himself was very good. I’m exceedingly picky about dragons, and while I prefer mine to have four legs and two wings, I’m willing to concede that Tolkien’s vision was different and by those lights, Smaug is hands down the best CGI dragon I’ve ever seen. He remains in scale (why, gentle readers, do dwarves, who are a short people, build such high fucking ceilings?), he’s nicely voiced, I like the shape of his pupil, and there’s a genuinely beautiful moment with him covered in molten gold.
It was nice to see Legolas again, I guess. I was happier to see
Legolas’s human half-brotherBard, whom I enjoyed, and the guy playing Legolas & Bard’s father is awesome levels of wood-elf crazy, totally for the win. (No, they have not really made them brothers. It’s just they look enough alike that when I first saw the trailers I kept thinking that couldn’t actually be Bard because he looked too much like an elf. Like Legolas, specifically. So in my head canon, half brothers.)
I loved the wholly invented Tauriel. I loved Kili. Ted tells me that Kili dies at the end of THE HOBBIT, which I do not remember (I remember very little from the book, which I read once 30 years ago), and I’m like KILI DIES? SO BASICALLY THERE WILL BE NOTHING IN THE LAST MOVIE THAT I LIKE?
And honestly, right now I’m pissed off enough about being cheated out of the Laketown scene that I’m disinclined to see the final movie anyway.
(x-posted from The Essential Kit)