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the hobbit


Movie review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition

I am quite behind on doing this, but I’ve finally gotten a chance to watch all of the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. And I can report with distinct satisfaction that it is definitely a more coherent cut of the movie than the one which was released in the theaters, which makes a clean sweep of my preferring the Extended Edition of all six of Jackson’s Middle-Earth movies.

As a general reminder my review posts for the theatrical cut are here and here, two posts since I saw it twice in the theaters. And by and large my overall opinion of the movie hasn’t changed much. So I’m going to focus instead on what the EE version brings to the table in this post.

Obviously, there are spoilers in this post for both versions of the movie, so if you haven’t seen Five Armies at all and you think you might want to, you might want to hold off reading this until then. Spoilers behind the fold!

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Trilingual Hobbit Reread

Tri-lingual Hobbit re-read: Chapter 18

HOLY ILUVATAR, has it really been over a year since I originally drafted this post? Apparently! This is what happens when I’m so caught up in working on my own books, and then trying to finish up all the backlogged stuff that got shunted aside while I was writing the Rebels of Adalonia trilogy, that I wasn’t able to finish these Reread posts. But now with The Battle of the Five Armies having finally having come out and indeed now hitting digital home release, it’s about time I cleared my slate of the last of the Hobbit Reread posts!

It’s weird, after the longer chapters at the beginning of The Hobbit, to see how fast the final chapters go. Chapter 17 is not very long at all–and barely after the Battle of Five Armies has begun, you get into the aftermath, where Bilbo (and the reader through him) learns what he missed. And in which, finally, Thorin stands down from being an asshole.

I’m not going to get into comparing how this chapter ties into all the bits in the movie–because I talk about that in my movie review posts! But that said, there’s a lot here over which I must go *sniff*. This is the aftermath of the Battle of Five Armies, and it’s a hard aftermath for the survivors, with Bilbo front and center among them.

In-depth notes behind the fold!

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Movie review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

I have seen Five Armies! All hail Paul who got invited to a private early showing courtesy of his brand new workplace, and since he was able to bring a guest, I came with him. So we just got home from seeing the movie!

First, the spoiler-free picoreview: if you didn’t like Unexpected Journey or Desolation of Smaug, you probably won’t like Five Armies either. But I for one enjoyed myself immensely, and as I told folks at work today, I was already a hundred percent on board with Jackson’s story. This movie didn’t do anything to shake me off of that.

Parts of the movie played kind of weirdly shakily to me. Parts were played out in ways I was not expecting at all. One side character was entirely unnecessary. But Mr. Freeman and Mr. Armitage were every bit as spectacular as expected, and all the parts that I expected to make me go *WAUGH* did in fact do so. My only regret is that we had to leave the theater before I could give a full proper listen to Mr. Boyd’s song over the closing credits. I will be making a point of listening to that properly on my second viewing.

Full commentary, with spoilers, is behind the fold (or over on, if you’re seeing this on LJ or Dreamwidth). If you’re reading this on LJ or Dreamwidth, come on over to’s master post to comment. Ditto if you clicked in from Facebook or Twitter or G+ or Tumblr–I ask that you leave spoiler commentary on this post in order to keep it away from folks who haven’t seen the movie yet.

(And one other thing: with all due respect, please don’t rant at me about how much you’re hating Jackson’s movies on my post. I don’t need to hear you ranting about how it should have been just one movie or two. I PARTICULARLY don’t need to hear it if you hate Tauriel and everything her character stands for.

Believe me, The Hobbit is a critical, formative part of my childhood, too. And I get the feeling of betrayal if a screen adaptation of a movie actively breaks part of your childhood for you. But I don’t subscribe to that myself. My childhood is not broken because Jackson’s movies don’t line up with the story in my head when I read the book. Because look, people, we still have the book. Tolkien’s immortal words are not damaged or erased from history because Jackson chose to implement a different version of the story. The original still exists and we can read it as often as we like.

I’m not saying these movies are perfect, and I certainly don’t think they quite measure up to The Lord of the Rings movies. But I do actively enjoy them. Ranting at me about how much you hate them will only make us both sad. For all the flaws I find in this trilogy, I do still actively love it, and I much prefer to celebrate what I love about the movies we got rather than wasting my time ranting about the movies we didn’t get. I will acknowledge their flaws, yes, but I will also take great pleasure in the things I love about them.

If the second movie actively pissed you off, just save yourself time and trouble and don’t go see the third one. Nobody needs to hit themselves over the head with a hammer like that. Hitting yourself over the head with a hammer hurts. So don’t do that, okay? Okay.)

And now at last: to the gates! For SPOILERS!

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Trilingual Hobbit Reread

Tri-lingual Hobbit re-read: Chapter 17

It has taken me ages to get through my edits for Victory of the Hawk, you guys. But now that the end is in sight, I’ve had some cycles free up finally. Which means I can get back to the last few bits of my Trilingual Hobbit Reread!

And Chapter 17 of The Hobbit, “The Clouds Burst”, is pretty much where the Battle of Five Armies gets down to Serious Business. Which is a good place to be, given the movie that’s about to come out next month, yes?

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Movie review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition

One of the things I just got for my birthday was the Blu-Ray of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Edition, which I saved until tonight to watch–because one does not simply commit to a three-hour Peter Jackson epic on a school night! So we watched it tonight, and lo, it was lovely.

There are, according to Wikipedia, 13 extra minutes of footage in this version. And for the most part, I think almost every minute actually helped the movie considerably. Dara and I are in agreement that they improved the pacing of the film by providing a better balance between the battle bits and the slower bits. And I was particularly pleased to see some extra detail in the prelude that sets up the backstory between Thranduil and the dwarves.

There are additional songs, which I mostly liked as giving a bigger tie to the book, with one notable exception. And by and large, I did quite like the extra footage in Rivendell.

Details behind the fold! Mind where you’re digging for spoilers!

ETA: Here’s Dara’s commentary as well!

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Trilingual Hobbit Reread

Tri-lingual Hobbit re-read: Chapter 16

When last we left Thorin’s company in the Lonely Mountain, Bard’s army and that of the Elvenking had shown up to deliver them a Siege-o-gram. Postage due: a share of the treasure of Smaug. Not terribly surprisingly, this didn’t go over well at all. Particularly given how Thorin’s getting crankier what with the lust for the Arkenstone being well and thoroughly on him.

Chapter 16, “A Thief in the Night”, kicks in with that very question. ‘Cause yeah, Thorin, about that Arkenstone? Bilbo might know something about that…

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