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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Smaugy ROSSMAN

It's been another year, and another Peter Jackson Hobbit movie is upon us. Let us rejoice and be glad... Though I must admit that I'm finding these films to be losing their luster. I was told by some friends who went to the midnight release of this the second Hobbit movie that all the pacing issues of the first flick, An Unexpected Journey, had been fixed and that it simply flows and gets better with every second.

I disagree.

I honestly found this flick to have much WORSE pacing than the first movie, and thought that once the action hit Lake-town the whole story hits a brick wall. A wall covered in spikes that has assholes throwing rocks down upon the story from on high, and then they piss all over it and laugh.

I do want to say that I enjoyed most of Smaug (I did), but it's just not as fun as all the previous Jackson/Tolkien movies. There are some fantastically inventive action sequences thrown into the narrative (that weren't in the original book) that had me wanting more, but there is simply so much bloat... Let me start from the start and tell you what I liked, and what I wanted to fuck up its ass with a razor dildo as I witnessed it.

First there was An Unexpected Journey.

SPOILERS!

We start DoS with a flashback to the very first meeting of Gandalf and Thorin, which was only hinted at in the original book. This scene only restates what we've already learned in the first movie though and is totally unnecessary. Then we jump back to Thorin and Bilbo's crew of wizards and dwarves still running from the Wargs and Orcs that they barely escaped from at the end of the first flick (with the Orcs still unexplainedly running around in broad daylight). The posse is led by Gandalf the Grey Wizard to a pretty cool cabin in the woods filled with lots of animals and bees, and seems to be guarded by a pissed off GIANT fucking bear. This bear is of course Gandalf's shape-shifting amigo Beorn, but Jackson left out the classic introduction by the grey one of all his companions to the grumpy man-beast and instead went for a more direct route. But the awesomeness that is the live action Beorn more than made up for this loss of wizardly deceivery.

From Beorn's place the company splits up — with Gandalf going to the dark fortress that we saw the 7th Doctor find evil forces gathering at in the first movie, and the dwarves heading straight through the Mirkwood Forest as a shortcut to the Lonely Island Mountain. Things, as you can imagine, do not work out very well for either, what with the giant spiders trying to eat the dwarves and their Hobbit burglar, and Gandalf finding out that the 9 Ring Wraiths are now freed from their prison, and the dark Necromancer in the stronghold of Gol Guldur is not just any evil creature, but the spirit of Sauron himself (which he never finds out in the appendices of the Lord of the Rings, but I guess Jackson needed to blatantly tell his audience that it WAS Sauron because half the people out there have below average IQs)!

Anyway, after a prolonged fight with Shelob's kin in the Mirkwood, Thorin and Company are captured by Wood-elves (X-treme Legolas and Elf Kate! Yay!) and locked away in their HQ by a dickless king who (even though he fucked the dwarves over when they first lost their mountain lair to the dragon Smaug) wants to cut a deal with the proud dwarves for safe passage through his realm in exchange for riches and them kissing his ass. Thorin utterly refuses, but luckily Bilbo uses his new magic supah ring to stealthily sneak in to rescue them, and Fili (or is that Kili?) uses his (not very ample) charm to somehow beguile the foxy she-elf Kate. Bilbo gets the ever-doubting dwarves to finally start trusting him, even though his plan for a sneaky escape is to dump them in the forest river via very large empty wine barrels. Queue extended action sequence set in the raging river with Orcs attacking, dwarves bobbing, and X-treme Legolas and Elf-Kate stepping on the bobbing dwarves while they weave, jump, slice, and arrow all the attacking Orcs. This barrel chase is an entertaining and exhilarating piece, but it's looooooong. Though at the chase's end the Dwarves meet up with barge-master Bard, who is still a pretty big badass in this version of the story (though Beorn remains the MOST epically large mo'fo', with balls the size of watermelons).

Then shit slows down again while Bard spends 10 minutes of film time sneaking the dwarves and Bilbo into Lake-town because there's an uninteresting revolution at hand, and then there's a bunch of wasted minutes focusing on Stephen Fry being the inept Master of the lake burg — and Bard hates him like Gollum hates baths — and Bard has 3 children to worry about, and the Master is keeping an eye on Bard's family, but the dwarves don't like the weapons that Bard provides them with (because they're sucky fisherman tools), so they try to steal some from the town armory, but Fili (or was that Kili), who was previously injured by an Orc, falls and gets them caught and, and, and more silly, bloated elements are thrown into the mix for the sake of a longer run-time. This is ridiculous to me seeing as if they grated off at least 40 minutes of narrative they'd be able to get more showings in during a day (meaning more money in their pockets and STILL a 2+ hour movie for the masses), and these added elements add jack shit to the main plot.

Anyway, Thorin and most of his compatriots continue on to Erebor, the dwarf city under the mountain, with the Master of Lake-town's blessing after Thorin promises him that the prophecy of the death of Smaug was at hand, and that there were metric ass-tons of treasure to be shared with all those who help his quest. Fili and Kili are left behind though due to Kili's injury, but then the Orcs strike Lake-town, but then X-treme Legolas and Elf Kate show up and Elf Kate makes goo-goo eyes with the lamer Kili, and then Thorin and Company sneak into the Lonely Mountain, and Bilbo plays mind games with the most exceptional Cumberpatch Dragon, then the dwarves come and try to kill the Cumberpatch Dragon, then there's a cliffhanger ending with just 30 pages of the book left. Honestly, is the final Hobbit movie that's coming out in a year from now going to be 3 hours of the Battle of 5 Armies and the fight at Gol Guldur? Action is good, but Peter Jackson seems to be ramping up for overkill in the next movie. Whatever.

Rereading what I just wrote it sounds like I hated Smaug, but I didn't. I did NOT appreciate stretching out the narrative as much as Jackson did, adding in dwarf/elf love for the sake of retarded Tumblr fanatics, or adding in all that bullshit politico mumbo-jumbo taking place in Lake-town, but beyond that, it was a fun story with some pretty good action, entertaining characters (especially Beorn [can't wait to see him in full-mad-Grizzly action in There and Back Again] and Smaug himself), and some nifty special effects (goddamn I loved Smaug!). Smaug (pronounced "smog," as the Chief points out to me whenever we talk about it) himself did indeed rule, but they didn't really need Cumberpatch for the voice, considering how distorted the dragon's vocal performance was, and how you couldn't tell that Sherlock even had the role. That She-elf/dwarf love though, gawd, that was simply embarrassing. Elf-Kate falls for an unbearded dwarf in like 5 seconds flat for no reason except "derp." This really sad "love-triangle" between Elf-Kate, X-treme Legolas, and unbearded Fili just felt tacked on and silly. I couldn't believe that anybody would have cared about these ridiculous moments, but apparently fangirls who like nothing better than to 'ship the dumbest combinations of characters together in whatever piece of fiction that they're currently watching or reading ate this elf-dwarf shit up like it was Pocky-flavored ice-cream. They sicken me.

Like I was saying though, except for the really drawn out parts, Smaug was good. Those really elongated and unneeded moments though did wear on me, and they did bring down my enjoyment of the flick considerably. This is a royal shame. I just hope that There and Back Again sets it right again... But somehow I'm willing to bet not.

In the end I find that I have to give The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug one out of two thumbs up. Sacrilege, I know, but it was almost a chore to get through. Even An Unexpected Journey had me come back for another showing just a few weeks after I first watched it. Smaug, though, well, I might watch it again on Blu-ray when I can watch it in half hour or 45 minute increments and take some naps in between inflated action scenes. Damn it, Jackson! How could you do this to me!


MEGAPLAYBOY, The

Smaug, hog, dog, log, fog, snog, pog, bog, cog, blog! Whatevs, G! I don't know what the Rossman was goin' on about, bitches, seeing as this movies was the king of the con!

I loved every goddamn mothafuckin' minute of this here new Hobbity movie! Yeah, there was no Gollum in it, but I am grateful that that bitch Peter Jackson didn't pull him back into this thing too, seeing as he added Orlando Bloomolas into the fuckin' story even though he never showed up till Lord of the Fuckin' Rings! And don't get me started on Gandalf actually saying the name "Sauron!" What the goddamn FUCK, Jackson! Nobody knew that necromancer that they's was fightin' while Bilbo jerked around with Smaug was Sauron! Goddamn it, mothafucka! If you're gonna add the appendices into the movie at least get them RIGHT! Grrrrrrrrr!

I liked this thang, but just wanted more stick-to-it-ivness to the book. Which still rocks to this day. And it ain't no kiddie book! It's like the original Dungeons & Dragons, yo!


Battle-Ready HITLER

Was ist das ganze Gerede über kleine Hobbit Menschen? Und Drachen? Und Zwerge? Zwerge! Ich töte alle Zwerge in Deutschland! Vor allem die, die mit großen Nasen, die alle ihre Zwerg Gold horten! Warum teilen Sie nicht, dass Gold mit dem Vaterland? Nein? Und diese dummen Elfen mit ihren spitzen Ohren. Ich lache, aber sie sind offensichtlich die Herrenrasse in dieser Geschichte. Kein Wunder, die blauen Augen und blonden Haaren Götter sind die wahren Herren dieser vermeintlichen Mittelerde! Ha! Seig Heil die mächtigen blonde Elfen! Und können diese bärtigen Brünette großnasige Zwerge brennen in Drachen Feuer! ... Sagen Sie, dass gibt mir eine gute Idee für das nächste Mal!

Ich verabscheue Fantasy-Filme, aber ich liebe es wirklich, wenn hässliche Gold horten Bastarde zu verlieren, um mächtige blonde Elfen und Drachen! Ich habe keine Zeit mehr dafür. Zeit, meinen Weihnachtsbaum zu schmücken.