VIDEO: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

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Another December, another Hobbit movie. Of course, our fantasy lover Sofie had to go give it a watch!

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  • Muthsarah

    Firstoff, the previous movie was called “An Unexpected Journey”, even in your neck of the woods. I’m just pointing that out since I’m still bitter over the previous film and, being reminded that someone else loved it and I didn’t, I feel like taking it out on you. :p

    Whoahwhoahwhoahwhoahwhoah….the spiders have nothing to do with the story? The spiders…have nothing to do with the story?! That was the first time Bilbo stepped in to save the dwarves. They would have all died there were it not for him rescuing them. Bilbo’s adventures prior to that were in saving himself alone. Before that, the most impressive thing he ever did (in the dwarves’ eyes) was to use the ring to sneak up on their camp and prove that, yeah, Gandalf was right that hobbits are sneaky. Probably nothing a bunch of proud, dwarven warriors would think too much of him for. Cool or not, if the movie make the spiders seem entirely superfluous to the overall story….then I’m gonna be massively disappointed, as they (and the rest of Mirkwood) are the only things I’m actually looking forward to in this one. Did they just breeze past them? Did it just seem like another action scene there to make the movie longer? Could they, like Bjorn, have been cut out of the film entirely without disturbing the narrative? Or do they have the elf chick (I don’t know her name either, because, y’know, she doesn’t exist) show up to Arwen them out of danger?

    Oh wait….the first movie did that thing at the end, with Bilbo, and the orc guy that wasn’t even supposed to be there. Oh, I see. I guess the spider scene IS pointless now, isn’t it? Just more filler and spectacle. Sigh.

    Wait….by that logic, GOLLUM had nothing to do with this story. The goblins had nothing to do with the story. The only parts of the story that had anything to do with the story are Bag’s End and Erebor, since it was about leaving one to go to the other. Every other event is purely episodic and just supposed to be like an adventure novel, with one harrowing experience after another. So the movie’s supposed to be like that. Which means…if the spider scene seemed pointless….what exactly does that mean? Fun to watch, but leaves no impression?

    • Sofie Liv

      Sorry.. and yes.. yes they have Danish titles these movies, so well yeah… Sorry.

      Well.. technically the first time Bilbo saved them was when he kept the troll occupied with talk until Sunrise.. but no.. no that doesn’t have any-thing to do with the larger story either.

      And no.. the Goblins have nothing to do with the main story, they are just an obstacle on the Obstacle course.

      Gollum has the one single person of giving Bilbo the ring, which is an important plot device later and is the thing to tie these movies together with the lord of the rings.. So yeah.. Blew your mind right ther didn’t I?

      Haha, Elf chick Arwen them out out of Danger, why didn’t I think of that one? …. yes, yes she did.

      With Legolas of cause..

      But yeah, cutting out the spiders and go straight to the wood elf town, wouldn’t have destroyed the narrative at all, as soon as the elf enters it’s a new narrative.. again. And yeah, Bilbo did kind of proof himself to the Dwarfs in the last movie, where he kind of jumped a massive white orc!

      That was the narrative they could come up with in that movie, to have Bilbo proof himself to Thorin, whom didn’t believe that Bilbo belonged there at all.

      Which is a strenght and a weakness really, I mean, the cool thing about having an entire movie which is all about Bilbo and Thorin developing this relationship of mutual admiration and respect, does make Thorins fall to greed more personal, and Bilbos choices more emotionally engaging.

      But well yeah.. these are flawed movies, I cannot deny that..

      • Muthsarah

        “Sorry.. and yes.. yes they have Danish titles these movies, so well yeah… Sorry.”

        Were you saying the film’s Danish title? I listened to the beginning of your vid three times, and I kept hearing “a little movie called The Hobbit [something] and Back Again”.

        “Gollum has the one single person of giving Bilbo the ring, which is an
        important plot device later and is the thing to tie these movies
        together with the lord of the rings.. So yeah.. Blew your mind right
        ther didn’t I?”

        Gollum and the ring both became important LATER, once the LotR was written. At the time, it was just “Bilbo meets strange critter, finds shiny thing, shiny thing becomes somewhat useful later on”. Gollum was not even a big deal until Serkis came along and did his thing. Gollum, as the world knows him, was born with The Two Towers (2002).

        I’m still on the fence about seeing this. Is it really, really impressive on the big screen? Are the visuals (especially in Mirkwood and with Smaug) worth the price of admission alone, or would it be just fine to see once it reaches video? I’m assuming you’ve seen the first one in home viewing (did you see it in 3D or 48fps?), do you think these movies will lose a lot once not on the big screen? I wanna see Mirkwood so bad, but I know I’m gonna hate the elf chick and Legolas.

        EDIT: Nevermind. I’m seeng this movie tomorrow. Overwhelming consensus from the critics I follow so dictates. I’ll try to go in with the same lowered expectations as I did last year (those expectations didn’t last long). I REALLY REALLY wanna love these films. But I just love the books so damn much, and any change just reeks of both heresy and condescension, and I don’t know which one I resent more.

        • Sofie Liv

          I said it wrong, I had forgotten the real American title, the danish title is “Hobbiten, ude og hjemme igen.”

          I could have tried to say that see how many times a person would watch that over to try and catch it X)

          I thought it was worth its admission, I highly enjoyed it, but then again, I felt the same way about the last movie, and lots of people clearly didn’t, so well.. when you come back from the movie you can tell me what you thought.

          Hope you are going to enjoy it!

  • david f white

    Merry Christmas Sophie!! I wish the best for you!!!

    • Sofie Liv

      Thank you!

      And a happy new year to you! :)

  • You’ve pretty much described why I liked the first Hobbit movie, but can’t get excited about any of these. I get the appeal of adapting two books into one trilogy of movies, but ultimately it takes something that already works best told in serial format (I love the comic adaptation I read of The Hobbit) and makes it more disjointed by adding things that aren’t even tangentially related to the mission and its aftermath. It could have been done, but it would have required more judicious adapting of story elements.

    • Sofie Liv

      Well yeah.. but you know, for what it is, I do like it.

      Though.. this should probably just have been two movies instead of three, that would have cut a lot of the excess that is honestly not really needed, and just stick a bit closer to the book.

  • Gallen_Dugall

    I enjoyed the first film but felt like it was trying too hard to be true to the LotR rather than the Hobbit. They are two very different stories in tone and structure. Loved the Hobbit, first real book I ever read, have never been able to get more than half way through Fellowship before flinging the unreadable mess across a room.
    What really spoke to me in the first film is the expanded motivation for Thorin. He approaches the whole thing like a suicide mission, one which he does not want to come back from. Understanding that he has been living with the burden of responsibility for his people, with no resources and under the worst circumstances, for hundreds of years I can imagine that would drive someone slightly crazy. These really are his story more than the Hobbit’s and for that reason I’m glad to hear this film is consistent with the first film even with it’s flaws.

    PJ and crew love the setting and that really comes through in how well they capture it. Watching people do what they love to do is always pretty amazing.
    Thank you for the review.

    • Sofie Liv

      Yeah, I honestly also love how Thorin is portrayed in this movie, and his slow progression from proud leader into well.. going kind of mad.

      You see the small steps he takes, and how that begins to unsettle Bilbo and well.. like it or not, Bilbo is still a WAY more pro-active character than Frodo ever was.

      Not only does Bilbo do a lot of stuff, like.. keeping three trolls talking into day-break, tricks his way away from Gollum and stands up to an effing HUGE dragon! Even keeps it going with talk ones again.

      Bilbo even takes his own choice and put himself up against an authority figure, he even respects, but disagree with on a certain matter.. He confronts Thorin straight on, because of his sincere beliefs and because of what he sees and observes.

      Frodo never gets to be that pro-active, he just kind of follows along and never has to think that much.. yeah he has mercy on Gollum, but then again, Gollum comes across like a starved old dog whom has all-ready been punched into the ground several times by iron fists.

      And this movie as well.. is exspanded again, on the LotR things, Gandalf going on his own little-side quest to find out that, oh gasps, the necromancer they talked about in the first movie, IS Sauron, and he is building an army.
      Oh my god shocks, it’s almost like we don’t have three movies showing the result of that, is it? -_-;

      All-though, the little reference to Gimli was cute, Legolas taking the family pictures that Gloin is always carrying around of his wife and son, then asking whom the ugly looking brick is (Or some-thing like that, I only remember it was an definit insult.) And Gloin telling that it’s his wee lad, Gimli.

      I wish that had made it into the lord of the rings movies, Gimli being pissed at Legolas, because Legolas made fun of his father ones..

      That actually his cannon in the book, that Gimli didn’t like Legolas, because Legolas’s father had made fun of his father Gloin, in the hobbit. It’s in cannon.. that it switched it from being Legolas’s father, to Legolas himself making fun of both Gloin AND Gimli.. I can life with that, I thought it was kind of a cute call-back, and a cute un-official first meeting between two future friends X)

      But yeah, the love shines through, and that alone, is worth a lot.

      • Gallen_Dugall

        “the love shines through, and that alone, is worth a lot”
        that’s what I say about your reviews

        • Sofie Liv

          Awww, Thank you!

          :3

  • ThePhantasm

    My review (SPOILER warning):

    § The opening scene in Bree is completely unnecessary and tells us nothing that we do not already know.

    § The
    scene with Beorn would have been the perfect opportunity for some
    action. In the books, after all, the dwarves and Bilbo wake up to find
    orc heads on pikes outside. Instead such an opportunity for a badass
    action scene is inexplicably skipped. Why add action scenes in later if
    you are going to skip opportunities for scenes faithful to the book?

    § Mirkwood:
    Pretty good. Bilbo’s scenes with the spiders, while brief, are good.
    Bilbo, however, falling to the power of the ring is too heavy-handed.
    Really overdoing that motif. Stop it. This isn’t LOTR.

    § Gandalf
    goes to the tombs of the Ringwraiths. Oh wait, that’s not in the book
    because THEY CAN’T MUTHA-****ING BE KILLED. They just disappear and
    reappear when Sauron leaves and returns to power.

    § Tauriel
    and Kili. Are you kidding me? They didn’t even try to make it subtle.
    The whole white-light Tauriel scene earlier, with Kili saying (just like
    Aragorn) “this is a dream”… GREAT GOBLINS, IT’S DISCOUNT ARWEN AND
    HALF-SIZED ARAGORN!

    § Barrel
    escape is overdone. The Bombur scene is ridiculously stupid. I get that
    the Hobbit is a lighthearted book for kids but it isn’t moronic like
    this.

    § Bolg looks awful. Bad CGI. Why didn’t they use practical Bolg? Makes no sense.

    § Gandalf
    goes into Dol Goldur. Multiple problems. First, he states in FOTR (the
    book AND the movie) that there are powers in the world against which he
    has not yet been tested. Those powers are the fallen maiar, which take
    form as balrogs and… guess what… Sauron. So the Gandalf / Sauron
    fight renders that meaningless. But it also makes Gandalf COLOSSALLY
    STUPID for knowingly going into a trap and getting his ass kicked. Why
    didn’t they just kill Gandalf? Why imprison him? Saruman imprisoned
    Gandalf to make him change his mind in LOTR but here Sauron has
    absolutely NO REASON NOT TO KILL GANDALF. This is bull****.

    § Too
    much of the Master. He’s a boring character, not to mention he feels
    like someone copied and pasted Governor Ratcliff from Pocahontas into
    the movie.

    § Dwarven turret-bow. If Bard uses that thing to shoot down Smaug I will be majorly disappointed. Such a stupid looking weapon.

    § The
    “keyhole” scene. The dwarves look stupid and immature here. A scene that
    should have had a lot of dignity is tarnished for absolutely no reason
    at all. Drags out the time meaninglessly.

    § Bilbo
    goes in. The Bilbo / Smaug interaction is great, except for Smaug
    knowing about the Ring??? Bizarre plot point. But the scene is ruined by
    being intercut with an episode of Kili’s Anatomy, complete with love
    triangles and hospital drama. So boring.

    § Smaug. What can I say. The way those dwarves played him for a fool is awful. And then he just leaves. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    § Legolas
    fights Bolg. Bolg gets the upper hand. Legolas is stunned. Perfect
    opportunity for Bolg to… abruptly turn around and walk nonchalantly
    away? WTF?

    § The
    film doesn’t end on a climax. It ends just before a climax. Everyone in
    the theatre was upset by this – quite a few yelled “oh come on!” Its
    quite lame.

    § Overall,
    the first half is okay enough. Not the best in the series but not the
    worst. The second half, however, is abysmal. If they had cut the crap
    Bard could have killed Smaug by now. Instead we get meandering,
    meaningless drivel that literally goes nowhere. The film treads water as
    far as the storyline goes. The most disrespectful take on Tolkien’s
    mythos thus far, and that’s saying a lot. A huge disappointment.

    4/10

    Overall:

    Good casting, great CGI in places, abysmal CGI in others (Bolg, that
    tapestry that fell on Bilbo), lame plotting, atrocious dialogue, takes a
    steaming pile of **** on the mythos. Howard Shore’s music accounts for
    one of the points – still brilliant.

    • Muthsarah

      …….

      There’s….we….GIVE ME MY OPINION BACK! Or something. Did I post this yesterday in a blackout state and completely forget about it? No, that’s not possible, I was actually seeing the movie when you posted that. Weird. I’ve never had my opinion anticipated so perfectly and in such depth.

      Except for the Master. The character (and the sidekick too) I didn’t like. But it’s Stephen Fry. I’ll put up with a little extra annoyance if it puts Stephen Fry in a $200 million movie.

      The movie was…damn impressive. But I didn’t like it much. The sets, costumes, performances, all fantastic, as before. But the action scenes were way overblown and always wore out their welcome several minutes before they actually ended, getting bigger and bigger and faster and faster and goofier and goofier and shaky-camier and shaky-camier and stone-faced-slapstickier and stone-faced-slapstickier. The final action scenes were infuriating how long they took, how unnecessary they felt right from the get-go, and how they each built to $#!+ all. So, Thorin and company, you spend at least twenty goddamn minutes running from one room to another, flipping switches, putting the Rube Goldberg machine that is your home to great, extensive use…all so you can turn the dragon gold – which the movie already established is not the one, true way to kill him. And then he just shakes the gold off in five seconds anyway. Fade to black. Did that even look interesting on the page? Violet Beauregarde didn’t get this bloated.

      Not a terrible movie, again. There are too many good parts. But they’re sandwiched between so many, many pointless scenes. Sitting through the movie was a major chore, I was exhausted and bored more than once. The Gandalf subplot was completely pointless. Legolas and Tauriel added nothing. Cut them both out, and you still have a 100% solid movie. Had the movie been about Bilbo and the dwarves, it could have been AMAZING. But, like the previous four (EDIT: Well…maybe two), this was a fantastic movie that just collapsed in on itself. A movie made without any restraint whatsoever. Four people wrote this movie, and I’m betting that every time one of them came up with an idea, they shoved it in the movie somewhere without considering if it fit or not. Too many cooks in the kitchen, too many ingredients in the soup.

      EDIT: I notice that one of the few things you didn’t touch on was the expansion of Bard himself. Now, as anyone who’s read the book would understand, this was the one, absolutely necessary expansion of character. Because while he killed Smaug, he was barely in the book at all. Oh, don’t worry Thorin et all, the dragon you’ve been itching for years to avenge yourself on was killed off-screen. By some guy. Hooray! While I think the movie went way overboard (shocking…) with just how far it went to flesh him out, even giving him two instantly loathsome villains that added nothing to the overall story, and a TWICE-TRAGIC BACKSTORY, the movie, as consistent with everything else, did get just enough right that I didn’t hate him. Give him a family, set him up as a community leader, have him get the dwarves to the next save point, whatever. Just….make it concise.

  • David F White

    Smaug ( the talking dragon) was really cool!!! Smaug should have been the Lord of the rings!!!

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