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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Distillation of Smaug


Goddamn this movie pissed me off.  It was so damn long, so filled with meaningless filler with little-no-transition or flow.  That barrel riding scene was absolutely ridiculous, way longer than it needed to be.  And the battle was so ridiculous, like when Legolas is jumping from barrel to barrel, pulling off perfect shots on tipsy dwarf heads Wisconsin Delling it down a raging river, killing orcs before he can see them.

Where's the camera so I can flash my tits?

Then tedious political conversations with elves & men, orcs-orcs-orcs, some new guy who's not Aragorn.  And basically all I'm thinking 'where's the dragon, get to the dragon, I know there's a dragon, it was in all the commercials, all I want to see is the dragon'.  Because while all the action scenes look great, the choreography has become ridiculous.  People are doing impossible things, which takes out all the suspension of disbelief.  It's over the top.


And then they get to the dragon, and it's an hour of running around.  Now it's been a long time since I read The Hobbit, but I don't remember an extended action sequence with chase scene with barrels and orcs and Legolas and Tauriel.  I don't remember a long chase through the mines with nine surprisingly agile dwarves.  I just remember Bilbo confronting the dragon, never taking off his ring, and engaging in a battle of wits.

And that goes on for an hour.  An hour of just chasing each other around, each party doing impossible, implausible things all for the sake of cinematics.  (And it's a good thing they made every room ten stories high so the dragon could fit easily through each one.  Because dwarves, who are short to begin with, love their vaulted ceilings.)

Sure, it's big enough.  But look at the location.

And the ending especially pisses me off.  They go through all that effort, all that rigamarole, and it means nothing.  When Smaug emerges from that melted gold UNSCATHED, and he flies out to the village to raise terror, you know what's going to happen.  You know Smaug's got a scale missing.  You know that Bard guy has one black arrow.  You know he's got a chip on his shoulder.  You know he's going to climb up to that tower, load the arrow in cannon, and shoot Smaug down.  Don't even have to read the books to know that.
So why didn't you end the movie like that?  Why do we have to wait to see what we already know is going to happen?  And probably in an unnecessarily extend action scene.  But no, the movie just ends with a "what have we done?" while Legolas tends to his bloody nose.  A thousand orcs slain without a scratch, and that's what bothers him.

"You made me bleed my own blood..."

There's so much transparency in the movie, the surprises disappear.  You know the necromancer is Sauron.  You know Tauriel's going to save the town from orcs at the last minute, because no one had seen Tauriel for a walk.  You know Kili's not going to die, because no one dies in The Hobbit (I think, like I said, it was a long time) AND you saw the same thing happen in The Fellowship of the Ring.

There go all my fucks.
Yeah, of course I'm going to see the last movie, but I dread it.  Good editing is worth its weight in gold, and Peter Jackson's been getting a free pass for too long, ever since the hideously over-wrought King Kong.  I've seen it happen to greats before, they're afraid to say anything because he's the master.  Time to come back to reality.


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