Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

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Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by halfwise on Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:54 pm

This is the first review I've seen.

Film Review: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’


Variety
Scott Foundas
December 1, 2014

This is the way “The Hobbit” ends: not with a whimper, but with an epic battle royale. True to its subtitle, “The Battle of the Five Armies” (revised from the initially more pacific “There and Back Again”), the final installment of Peter Jackson’s distended “Lord of the Rings” prequel offers more barbarians at the gate than you can shake an Elven sword at, each vying for control of mountainous Erebor. The result is at once the trilogy’s most engrossing episode, its most expeditious (at a comparatively lean 144 minutes) and also its darkest — both visually and in terms of the forces that stir in the hearts of men, dwarves and orcs alike. Only fans need apply, but judging from past precedent, there are more than enough of them to ensure that “Battle” walks off with the dragon’s share of the upcoming holiday-season box office.

“Third time pays for all,” the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is fond of saying in Tolkien’s novel, and much the same might be said of the “Hobbit” films themselves. After getting things off to a sluggish start with 2012’s “An Unexpected Journey” (complete with an interminable dinner-party sequence that was like a Middle-earth “Exterminating Angel”), Jackson quickened the pace considerably for last year’s “The Desolation of Smaug,” which built to a breathless, “Empire Strikes Back”-style cliffhanger, only with fire substituted for ice. Having finally arrived at their usurped ancestral kingdom, our band of intrepid dwarf warriors (plus one weary hobbit) found themselves face-to-face with the gold-hoarding dragon Smaug. Crankily stirred from his slumber, the great beast in turn winged off into the night to obliterate the (mostly) innocent human denizens of nearby Lake-town, punishment for helping Bilbo and company to reach his door.

“The Battle of the Five Armies” picks up exactly there, with Smaug swooping down in a blaze of fiery vengeance, while the panicked Lake-town locals disperse in various displays of cowardice and courage. It’s an exciting sequence, animated by a real sense of danger and by the nightmare figure of Smaug himself (one of the movie’s most special effects, again voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), who exudes a kind of grotesque majesty even as he flaps his great wings for the last time and falls thunderously to his death. But the joy brought by the vanquishing of the dragon proves short-lived, as something far more sinister — namely, politics — soon rears its hydra-like head.



As has held true for promised lands of all sorts since time immemorial (and continues to do so), Erebor in the post-Smaug era becomes a contentious destination for various tribes who hold some real or imagined claim to the mountain and its vast store of riches, including large contingents of Iron Hills dwarves (under the command of Billy Connolly’s Gen. Dain Underfoot), Woodland elves (led by Lee Pace’s Thranduil) and the displaced masses of Lake-town itself, reluctantly corralled by the dragon-slaying boat captain Bard (Luke Evans). It doesn’t help matters that the dwarf prince Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), presumptive heir to Erebor’s throne, is not long inside these hallowed walls when he succumbs to a familiar Tolkeinian malady — a lust for gold and jewels that renders its victims void of reason or empathy. And if “The Battle of the Five Armies” feels psychologically weightier than the previous “Hobbit” films, that’s largely a credit to Armitage, who plays Thorin with the paranoid despotic rage of a Shakespearean king, his heavy-lidded eyes ablaze with a private madness.

Even fair Bilbo, so skilled in negotiating with ruthless opponents like Gollum and Smaug, finds himself unable to speak truth to power, and thus spends much of “The Battle of the Five Armies” watching from the sidelines, a supporting character in his own eponymous narrative. But then, the battle’s the thing this time, and when Jackson gets to the nearly hourlong setpiece (commencing around the 70-minute mark), he stages it grandly even by his own Wagnerian standards. From all corners of the land — and the frame — they come: dwarves, elves, men and assorted forest creatures, initially at cross-purposes, but soon enough united against not one but two flanks of hideous, bulbous orcs on a mission from their god, the dark lord Sauron, who’s been hankering for a comeback.

This sort of scene, drawing on every available trick in the CGI paintbox, has become such a reliable staple of Jackson’s work (to say nothing of the many lesser films of the past decade that have worn his influence on their sleeves) as to risk seeming almost ordinary. But Jackson, who’s surely aware of this conundrum, invests his five-army rumble with such a visceral feeling for landscape and physical action, a sure eye for elaborate battlefield choreography and, above all, a sense of purpose, that he leaves most of the competition — including some of his own previous battle sequences — seeming like so much digital white noise. Like George Lucas before him, Jackson has unmistakably brushed up on his Kurosawa, and there is at least one image here — of elf warriors leaping over the backs of dwarves and into a head-on orc charge — that could pass as an outtake from “Ran.” Better still: a mano a mano dwarf-vs.-orc duel atop a frozen waterfall that is, shot for shot, one of Jackson’s very best things.

Intermittently, “The Battle of the Five Armies” takes time out to catch us up on the whereabouts of old Gandalf (Ian McKellen, with his usual hammy gusto), the star-crossed interspecies romance of Amazonian elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and lovestruck dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner), plus flashy cameos for the ethereal Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and the white wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee, still spry and swashbuckling in his early 90s). On balance, though, this is the least episodic and digressive of the “Hobbit” films, and the one that shows the least evidence of the elaborate patchwork Jackson and his co-screenwriters have done (to disparate bits of Tolkein’s writing plus no small amount of their own invention) in order to transform the slender “Hobbit” narrative into something that might rival “Lord of the Rings” for sheer breadth and depth.

While that effort has ultimately proved only partly successful, it’s easier now to see the entire “Hobbit” project as a labor of love on Jackson’s part, rather than a descent into crass box-office opportunism. Where the first two films often felt like a marking of time by a director intent on fattening his own Smaug-like coffers, “The Battle of the Five Armies” contains a series of emotional payoffs and bridges to the “Lord of the Rings” films that work as well as they do for having been carefully seeded by Jackson in the previous episodes. And if none of the “Hobbit” films resonate with “Rings'” mythic grandeur, it’s hard not to marvel at Jackson’s facility with these characters and this world, which he seems to know as well as John Ford knew his Monument Valley, and to which he here bids an elegiac adieu. Indeed, it is not only Bilbo but Jackson too who returns to the safety of his Hobbit hole, weary and winded, with a quizzical grimace on his face that seems to say: “Where do I go from here?”

Set in a bleak midwinter, with nary a patch of Shire green to be seen until the closing frames, “Battle” sports the most austere and forbidding look of the “Hobbit” films (courtesy of series lenser Andrew Lesnie), entirely absent the overly bright, backlot feel that pervaded “An Unexpected Journey” and parts of “Smaug.” Howard Shore contributes another dynamically ranging (and ever present) score, from gentle Celtic melodies to speaker-rattling basso profondo bombast. Other tech contributions, repping at least five armies’ worth of set designers, costumers, armorers and VFX artists, once again give us the best that Hollywood (and New Zealand tax incentive) dollars can buy.

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Orwell on Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:01 am

Hurr durr ... ... dark humour now, is it? Extremely Crabbit

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Tinuviel on Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:59 am

yeah I just read that review from facebook. There's also a clip from the film released that was apparently shown at the premier.


Basically a dumb reason to re-insert Bilbo into the story, which according to the review above he's made even more of a side character than previously. Plus Thranduil being an eternal grouch.

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Eldorion on Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:02 am

I went ahead and split this out from the "Waiting for BOFA" thread so we could have a critical review thread like we did for the previous two films.

The Variety review seems to have been the first, but the review embargo lifted today, so the floodgates are open. As of the time of this post, Rotten Tomatoes has logged 10 reviews for a Tomatometer value of 70% and an average rating of 6.4/10. Metacritic has also logged 10 reviews (though they're not all the same as RT's) and is currently giving BOFA an aggregate score of 60/100. Either of these scores could change significantly as more reviews come in.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_hobbit_the_battle_of_the_five_armies/
http://www.metacritic.com/movie/the-hobbit-the-battle-of-the-five-armies/critic-reviews
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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by bungobaggins on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:01 am

Maybe I'll be interested in reading reviews in a few days. I remember being all over the reviews when DOS came out. But today's revelations have left a sour taste in my mouth.

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Eldorion on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:04 am

I hope that you're able to find some semblance of enjoyment in the film, if only in savaging it through reviews, bungo. If you aren't, I hope you won't metaphorically beat your head against the wall or anything, but I would love to hear your take on BOFA if you feel up to it. Smile .
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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Eldorion on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:24 am

I've been reading through a bunch of reviews of varying levels of praise for PJ and a few commonalities/revelations about the film stand out.  Some of this was stated in the Dcole review on TORn, and other stuff is from parts that he intentionally avoided spoilering (so naturally if you don't like spoilers stop reading this post).

  • There is no prologue.  The film begins immediately after DOS' end, with the attack on Lake-town, which lasts for about 10 minutes.
  • The film then slows down considerably and spends at least an hour setting up the battle, the armies, the politics, and all that jazz.
  • Gollum does not make an appearance again (not that I expected him too).
  • At some point in this first half we see the "battle of Dol Guldur", but it's apparently not very long.
  • However, it does feature a fight between Elrond and Saruman vs. the Nazgul, and Saruman apparently performs kung fu or something that looks similar.
  • There are apparently a number of surreal/explicitly fantastical moments, including some in Dol Guldur, and also Thorin imagining himself drowning in (molten?) gold.
  • There's no follow-up to Leggy chasing Bolg at the end of DOS, and Beorn really is only there for a single shot, like Dcole said.
  • The denouement after the battle is said to be not very long; most critics compare it favorably to the lengthy coda of ROTK (which still gets way too much shit IMO).

Interestingly, Empire gave this "only 4/5" stars.  They gave DOS and all three LOTR films 5/5, but AUJ also got 4, which was the first sign to me that it was going to disappoint, since not even PJ's biggest fans in the media could justify giving it top marks. Razz
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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by bungobaggins on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:35 am

I'm surprised Empire didn't feel obligated to give it 5/5 what with PJ being a guest editor for the previous issue of the magazine.

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by bungobaggins on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:36 am

A detailed summary of events in the movie. If you read this, you pretty much don't have to see the movie.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=141189787

Spoiler:
The movie opens with no prologue, and continues directly where the last movie, The Desolation of Smaug, left off. Smaug is burning the snot out of Laketown. I saw the movie in 3D and the effects are stunning. He wrecks the place. People screaming, burning, trying to escape.

The Master or Laketown is trying to escape in a small rowboat with his lackey Alfrid, and as much gold as they can carry. The boat is going too slowly so the Master pushes Alfrid overboard.

Tauriel, Kili, Fili, Bofur, Oin and Bard's kids are also in a rowboat trying to escape.

Bard is still locked up but manages to escape, I won't spoil how as it's quite funny. He climbs atop the tallest tower of Laketown where the windlance launcher is and tries to take out Smaug with some regular arrows. Back in the Tauriel boat, Bard's son Bain spots his father and remembers where he stashed the Black Arrow at the end of the last movie. He leaves the boat, retrieves the Black Arrow and gets it to his father.

Around the middle of this scene, we zoom out of Laketown to see Bilbo and company on the outskirts of Erebor watching the assault. Thorin doesn't seem to care and has his eyes fixed on Erebor.

At this point, Smaug has stopped flying around and is pissed off at Bard. He hasn't had any lines up to this point, but now he taunts Bard, asking if Bain is his son. You can tell Cumberbatch is relishing in voicing all this dialogue as Smaug slowly stalks toward them.

The windlance has been smashed and so Bard has to construct a makeshift launcher using his damaged longbow, propping the Black Arrow on his son's shoulder. There's quite a touching moment here where Bain thinks he's going to die, and Bard tells Bain to keep his eyes on him. The Black Arrow pierces Smaug and he roars in agony, swooping into the air and writhing around. He opens his mouth to cry out, but there's no sound as the colour fades from his eyes and he plummets out of the sky, dead. Crushing the Master of Laketown dead beneath him.

We cut back to Bilbo and Co., having seen Smaug fall dead. Again, Thorin doesn't seem to care, he only cares about Erebor.

We cut to a very short scene where we see Gandalf imprisoned in Dol Guldur as a reminder of his fate in the last film.

Next we see the residents of Laketown washed up on the shores nearby, trying to recover whatever they can. There's some very funny scenes here with Alfrid trying to take control because the Master is dead, but quickly shifts his allegiance to Bard after realising the people are going to support him now. The four Dwarves set off in a boat to the Mountain to meet up with the others, and Kili declares his love for Tauriel, saying he's not afraid. She seems conflicted but as though she wants to be with him too. Kili gives Tauriel his mother's 'promise' talisman. They are promptly interrupted by Legolas who commands Tauriel to come with him. Bard tells the people to gather what they can and then find shelter: the nearby city of Dale.

Back to Dol Guldur (this entire sequence is stellar, easily my favourite), and we see Gandalf in his cage being taunted by an orc. The orc frees him and attempts to kill him. Galadriel appears, the camera focusing on her ring of power, she flicks her arm ahead of her and the orc is sent flying with a flash of light. She carries Gandalf to a wider area and Sauron begins taunting her in black speech, chanting the "Three rings for the Elven kings, Seven for the Dwarf lords" speech, which Galadriel finishes in the common tongue "and Nine... etc.". She and the unconscious Gandalf are surrounded by the spectral forms of the Ringwraiths/Nazgul.

She states she is not alone and Elrond appears, drawing his sword. Saruman too. This scene is insane. The choreography and special effects are off the charts, the music too. Saruman and Elrond fight all of the Nine. It doesn't look awkward at all. They are badass. Radagast arrives on his rabbit sled and takes Gandalf to safety, Gandalf begs Galadriel to come with him, but she stays. The Nine seem to be banished, before Sauron's silhouette erupts into flaming form above them, the Nine hovering before him. Galadriel's eyes flash blue and she takes on the form she did in Fellowship of the Ring when Frodo presents her with the Ring. Sauron seems to be trying to tempt her but she calls him "nameless" and says he has no place in this world. Finally he is cast away and banished. Elrond states that he must be followed and permanently destroyed, stating that Gondor, etc. need to be warned. Saruman tells him to take the severely weakened Galadriel to safety and to "leave Sauron to me", hinting at his downfall in LOTR.

I'm not sure of the exact order of the next few scenes.

Inside Erebor, we see the four Dwarves from Laketown arrive and are warned by Bilbo that they need to leave. Thorin is succumbing fast to Dragon Sickness and is scouring the gold looking for the Arkenstone. As they enter the deep chambers of gold, they are all visibly disturbed as Thorin looks manically obsessed with his vast wealth. There's lots of scenes after this where they focus on Thorin and his obsession. Richard Amitage plays this beautifully. They went absolutely all-in on Thorin's madness. It's heartbreaking to watch him go literally crazy. Bilbo has the Arkenstone hidden in his clothes, and he toys with the idea of giving it to Thorin, but Balin warns that it will make him even worse. Thorin commands the Dwarves to shore up the gate, and they fill it up with rubble, preventing anyone from coming in, or going out.

The Laketown folk arrive in Dale and take up residence. Alfrid is now repeatedly (and very humorously) calling Bard 'Sire', and when his back is turned you can see he's still the same weasel-like person.

Elsewhere, we see Azog approaching Erebor with his vast orc army. Bolg meets them and warns that Legolas and Tauriel are still out there and pursuing him, I think he also mentions that an Elf army is approaching Erebor too. Azog tells Bolg to head to Gundabad and ready their other army.

Thranduil’s Elven army arrives in Dale and he strikes up an allegiance with Bard, as they both have a stake in the treasure. It’s alluded that Thranduil wants the necklace of white gems because of his dead wife (Legolas’ mother).

Bard heads to the gates of Erebor to negotiate with Thorin, before they attack, as he doesn’t want anymore bloodshed. Thorin is having none of it, and refuses to part with any of the gold. All the other Dwarves are clearly very uneasy with what he’s doing, but can’t say anything or face his wrath.

We see Legolas and Tauriel arrive at Gundabad, a huge fortress near Angmar. They plan to assault the place at night. Legolas mentions his mother was killed here and there were no remains to host a burial. At night, hundreds of bats swarm out of the fortress. Legolas says they were bred purely for war. Bolg emerges with a huge orc army and they march off to Erebor.

Gandalf arrives in Dale to warn of the approaching orc army, and again, there’s a very funny scene with Alfrid who calls him a beggar and tells him to “clear off”. All of Alfrid’s stuff is hysterical. I won’t mention him anymore, but he doesn’t die, and he’s hilarious throughout. Thranduil essentially says that Gandalf started this whole mess, but he’s going to be the one to finish it.

Bilbo, pushed to breaking point by the erratic and paranoid Thorin, flees the Dwarves and hands the Arkenstone over to Thranduil and Bard. Gandalf is impressed by Bilbo’s bravery in doing this. Later on, Bilbo states he’s not afraid of Thorin, and Gandalf warns that he should be.

The next day, the elven army including Thranduil, Bard and Gandalf march up to the Erebor gate. Thorin fires a shot at Thranduil’s Elk, which narrowly misses, he warns that the next shot will be at Thranduil’s head. Thranduil appears gleeful, and Bard unveils the Arkenstone. Thorin in his madness thinks it’s a ruse and calls their bluff, but Bilbo, back with the Dwarves, reveals he gave it to them. Thorin goes berserk and commands the Dwarves to throw him over the ramparts, they all refuse and he goes to do it himself, but they defend Bilbo and he escapes back down the wall to Gandalf. Gandalf essentially calls Thorin out and almost mocks him for allowing himself to fall so far.

It all looks like stuff's about to go down, when a raven lands beside Thorin, and he realises his allies have arrived. Dain Ironfoot (played wonderfully by Billy Connolly) arrives atop an armoured boar with a host of Dwarves. The Elves and Dwarves are about to fight, when in the mountains to the south, enormous worms erupt out of the ground, having created tunnels for the orc armies to travel through. Orcs funnel out out, thousands of them. The (relatively) small host of Dwarves charge on their own, before being joined in a wonderful moment by the Elves who as you can imagine are like ninjas. Dain has a huge warhammer and he smashes loads of orcs, it’s very satisfying.

Azog is stood atop a large icy tower nearby called Ravenhill, overseeing the entire battle area. He commands the next host of orcs to attack Dale, which is filled with hundreds of women and children, and a comparatively small group of men, who aren’t really prepared for war. Thranduil, the Elves, Bard, Gandalf and Bilbo charge through to Dale to defend it, leaving Dain and his Dwarves to deal with the first orc army.

Inside Erebor, Thorin commands they stay inside and keep to themselves. Eventually, Dwalin approaches Thorin alone and this scene is heartbreaking. He states that Dain’s forces are getting slaughtered outside and that they should help. We’ve always seen Dwalin as Thorin’s most loyal follower, and here he says that Bilbo was right, Thorin cannot see what he has become. Eventually, Thorin snaps and threatens to kill Dwalin, who leaves.

Further on, we see Thorin alone, walking the halls. This scene is amazing. We hear previously heard quotes from Thorin “I am not my grandfather”, Smaug “I will not part with a single coin”, and many many more, set to a montage of Thorin confronting his madness and imagining himself getting swallowed by liquid gold. Finally he snaps himself out his stupor and tosses his crown aside.

Inbetween this there’s more fighting outside with Dain’s Dwarves and Bard and his men and Elves struggling in Dale. Lots of trolls messing stuff up. It all looks spectacular. Thranduil is a badass fighter, he cuts through orcs like butter.

Next we see Thorin approaching his company of Dwarves, and Kili confronts him, yelling that he will not hide while everyone dies outside. Thorin essentially says he doesn’t have to worry anymore, and there’s a tender moment where they rest their foreheads together. Outside, Dain’s forces are dwindling and are backed up against the gates of Erebor. It’s all looking doomed, before the makeshift gate is smashed down and Thorin and the Dwarves charge out. The Dwarven force is bolstered and they take out loads of trolls and orcs. Thorin and Dain meet, and Thorin explains that the plan is to attack Azog atop Ravenhill and cut the head off the army. Thorin takes himself, Dwalin, Fili and Kili (his best fighters) atop rams and ride toward Ravenhill.

In Dale, Tauriel arrives and confronts Thranduil, who breaks her bow in half as she is banished for abandoning the woodland realm. She demeans him for abandoning love due to his dead wife, and he says she knows nothing of love. It seems like he’s going to kill her before Legolas arrives and implies that he will have to kill him too if he means to hurt her. They both set off for Ravenhill after warning of Bolg and his impending army.

After a great scene with Gandalf, Bilbo puts on the Ring and heads to Ravenhill too to warn them of Bolg.

At Ravenhill, Fili and Kili split off from Thorin and Dwalin to locate Azog. Bilbo arrives and warns Thorin and Dwalin of Bolg. They realise it was a trap and Fili is soon captured by Azog. He is pierced through the back and dropped off a precipice to his death. Kili is driven into a rage and charges up a flight of steps to reach Azog, but is faced with loads of orcs. Thorin reaches Azog first and they have an epic fight, loads of callbacks to their previous encounters.

Bolg arrives and Bilbo is knocked unconscious. Bolg fights with Tauriel attempts to reach him, Legolas isn’t quite here yet, I won’t spoil why (unless asked later on). He’s quite brutal with her, throws her into a wall, etc. It’s looking like he’s going to kill her, before Kili leaps on his back and wrestles with him for a short while. Bolg gains the upper hand, holds Kili down and fatally stabs him, Tauriel can only look on in agony as he dies.

Legolas finally arrives and has a crazy fight with Bolg, it’s very satisfying and Bolg’s death is very clever.

Down in the battle, the Eagles have arrived with Radgast atop one of them, and Beorn on another. He leaps off, transforms into a bear midair and descends into the battle, creating carnage amongst the orcs.

Thorin’s fight continues with Azog on some fairly thin ice and they end up mortally wounding one another. Azog dies first and Thorin can finally rest. Bilbo catches up to him and this is when I started crying. Their final scene is perfect. (I believe) Thorin’s words are from the book, and Bilbo is almost pleading with Thorin not to die. Both actors nailed this scene. It’s very well done.

Thranduil catches up to Tauriel, who is cradling a dead Kili. She looks utterly devastated. Elf/Dwarf lovestory haters will roll their eyes, but those invested will be suitably pleased. Evangeline nails this. She looks completely broken. She essentially pleads with Thranduil to take love away if it feels this bad. He says it feels like this because it was real. We don’t see Tauriel after this, no she doesn’t die.

In the background, the battle is pretty much over, the remaining orcs fleeing.

We get a fleeting glimpse of Bard and his family safe and well, with the impression that Bard will lead these people with a happy existence.

Legolas says to Thranduil that he won’t go back with him after seeing all of this. Thranduil tells him to seek out the Dunedain and tells him to meet Aragorn (without naming him). This is the last we see of them.

The Dwarves have a very short goodbye with Bilbo, and then there’s a montage of Bilbo travelling back to the Shire with Gandalf. They part on the outskirts of the Shire and Gandalf reveals he knew all along that Bilbo found a magic Ring in the Goblin tunnels (he doesn’t know it’s the One Ring though). They part on good terms, though Gandalf looks ominous as he walks away.

Bilbo arrives back in the Shire to find the Sackville-Bagginses auctioning off his things, it’s quite humorous until he’s back inside Bag End, and then the weight of the journey is felt and things take a dark turn as he searches for the Ring in his pocket. We transitioning back to Old Bilbo holding the Ring and then there’s a knock at the door. “No thank you, we don’t want anymore well-wishers, or distant relations” … “and what about very old friends?”

The end.

All in all, I loved it. It’s absolutely not going to convert anybody who hated the previous Hobbit movies. If you enjoyed the first two, you’ll love this.

However, it’s very much an action-movie first. I can feel moments where scenes will likely be Extended next year with the Extended Edition.

Very much like Desolation of Smaug, prior to the release of the EE recently, it feels like they cut out most of the ‘slow’, character-driven moments to avoid criticism. These usually turn out to be the best scenes too and it’s a shame that Peter was affected by the negative criticism so much.

The majority of Dwarves in Thorin’s company had zero lines. Only the main ones (i.e. Balin, Dwalin, Fili and Kili.)

Beorn has seconds of screentime and his introduction in the theatrical version of Smaug seems almost pointless with how little screentime he has here, there’s zero payoff for his character.

There’s no implication of Dain becoming King after Thorin dies. He has zero scenes after the battle. The Dwarves and Bilbo’s parting felt colder than it should have. It was very brief.

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Eldorion on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:40 am

I've got no problem with reviews, but I'm not sure I wanna read a detailed synopsis of the entire movie... Neutral

{{{There's no way I'm lasting two and a half weeks though, not with the embargo broken and the film releasing a week earlier in Europe.}}}
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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by bungobaggins on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:41 am

I'll probably forget most of what I read in that post in the next 2.5 weeks.

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Eldorion on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:48 am

True. I'd better read through it as soon as possible then. Razz

Fake edit: oh god, that thing about Galadriel using her Ring as a weapon was true. :facepalm:
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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Tinuviel on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:54 am

I'm going to avoid the spoilers I think, at least anything in great detail. I've already bought my ticket, so if I'm going to be immensely disappointed, I would rather be so after finals are over.

That being said I might take a peak.....

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Orwell on Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:18 am

I must admit, probably against my better judgment, that I'd like to to see Christopher Lee do a bit of kung fu. Very Happy

But no skateboards! Mad --- but then again, Christopher Lee on a skateboard doing kung fu... mmm... I think I could go for that too.... cheers

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:32 pm

just :facepalm: Poor Galadriel what have they done to you?

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:37 pm

Poor everyone involved frankly. And I include PJ in that- he looked on the red carpet like he has worked himself into an early grave making this pile of mince.

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:43 pm

have you got a link? i heard from a lot of people that he was weird.

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:48 pm

9.10 there is an interview with him



I have read elsewhere all sorts of speculation- I think he just looks exhausted and stressed myself. Some of the other stuff folks are saying seems a bit too close to wishing ill on the man for my tastes- I don't wish him any ill at all, I just wish he hadnt made these films. For his sake too by the looks of it.


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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by bungobaggins on Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:54 pm

I don't feel bad for him. He brought this upon himself. It's his choice to make these movies back to back to back. It's his choice to constantly rewrite the script and push things to the eleventh hour. PJ causes his own problems, and he should have to live the the choices he has made.

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:04 pm

yeah he just looks tired. Its his job but he may have taken on too much. I am sure the pay packet will soften any temporary discomfort. Nobody has forced him to do this Marathon, anyone would think he has done this for mankind. Its a business. I wish him well and I hope he gets some rest, but my sympathy is limited.
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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by halfwise on Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:38 pm

A fun couple of paragraphs from Rich Trenhold from CNET:


Most of the time we're busy elsewhere, to the film's detriment: there was already too much of Laketown's local politics in the previous film, and way too much time is again spent here on the tacked-on love triangle between Orlando Bloom's Legolas, Evangeline Lilly's Tauriel and Aidan Turner as the one dwarf who's romantic material because he conspicuously doesn't have a silly rubber nose.

Not only are those tangents less interesting than the main story, but they're often downright baffling. Legolas frowning into the distance and saying "We must journey beyond the Cornershop of Birkenhead and summon... (music swells) the Bogof of Samallardyce!" may be pant-wettingly exciting for fans, but it doesn't do anything to advance the story. And even after watching all six films I've still got no idea what's going on with Sauron.

Basically, if you know that your future will never involve elf-eared cosplay or an extended edition box set, any time the action shifts away from Bilbo you're good to nip to the bathroom.

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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Eldorion on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:31 pm

Ouch. Laughing

His point about Sauron makes me think though: from the reviews/summaries I've read, it sounds like Sauron gets banished from Dol Guldur and then just sort of ... disappears from the movie. Even though DOS was pretty clear that he's the one who sent the evil armies to Erebor. I would have thought there'd be a cutaway to Mordor at the very end or something, but I don't recall anyone mentioning such a scene. scratch
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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Eldorion on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:35 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I have read elsewhere all sorts of speculation- I think he just looks exhausted and stressed myself. Some of the other stuff folks are saying seems a bit too close to wishing ill on the man for my tastes- I don't wish him any ill at all, I just wish he hadnt made these films. For his sake too by the looks of it.

I'm sure that making these films wasn't easy, but he could easily just be jet-lagged.
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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:07 pm

''Basically, if you know that your future will never involve elf-eared cosplay or an extended edition box set, any time the action shifts away from Bilbo you're good to nip to the bathroom''.

I had better stock up on Tena Lady pants then. Shocked
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Re: Critics review 'The Battle of the Five Armies'

Post by Eldorion on Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:20 pm

Dcole from TORn offers an expanded and polished version of his forum review for the main blog over there.

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2014/12/02/95369-the-hobbit-the-battle-of-the-five-armies-review-much-to-enjoy-but-a-stumble-at-the-finish/
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