Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Distributor: New Line Cinema
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer(s):  Fran Walsh (Screenplay), Philippa Boyens (Screenplay), and Peter Jackson 
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Other Dwarves, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lily, and Benedict Cumberbatch as the Voice of Smaug / Necromancer
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images
Running Time: 144 min
Synopsis: Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth.

What Others Are Saying?

Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 59% "Rottenh", Top Critics: 54% "Rotten", Audience: NA "Like It"
Metacritic: Critics: 60 out of 100, Users: NA out of 10
MRQE Metric: 68 out of 100
My Review

Source Material: Based off The Hobbit, and other "Middle-Earth" books written by J. R. R. Tolkien.   

Entertaining Value:

  • Action Elements: The title of the film is called The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. It delivers an epic battle.    
  • Comedy Elements: This film has more of a serious tone, a tone much like the Lord of the Rings films, being a war film after all.     
  • Dramatic Elements: I liked that characters inner struggle drove most of the drama in the film. A lot of the film's tension comes in the form of trying to stop the inevitable battle from starting.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: "This film is set in a high fantasy world called "Middle-Earth" with humans, dwarves, eleves, hobbits, and dragons.       
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 7: A lot of the greats are back, performing at adequate levels. Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, and Hugo Weaving are all fantastic actors. It was exciting to see their characters actually live up to their names. Even the "new comers" did a fine job. Even if you don't agree that some of the characters don't belong. Overall the performances were fine, they may not be Oscar worthy like we got in the Lord of the Rings films, but this isn't the Lord of the Rings.
  • Art Direction: 8: "New Zealand is the best backdrop for high fantasy worlds." I said that very thing for the last Hobbit and it still reign true. I also would like to add that the ruin city adds a new depth to the film.       
  • Cinematography: 7: I really liked that the battle sequences were focused on. I felt the scope of the battle without being overwhelmed. The fight sequences were well choreographed, making for better shots.          
  • Direction: 7: I believe this film has the shortest running out of the three the Hobbit films with a running time of 144min ( 2hrs and 24mins). For the most part every minute of the film was entertaining. I think Jackson did a fine job, like the performance, he did an adequate job, but not Oscar worthy, Good not Great.                       
  • Editing: 7: For me the editing was fine. I felt that most of the scenes had enough time devoted to them. There were only a few scenes I would have cut, but primarily those pertains to the character development.    
  • Screenplay: 6: (Note:I know I'm hurting my credibility here a bit when I say I haven't read the Hobbit. With that being said, I have limited knowledge on how accurate the films are to its source material. I do have access to a friend who is a BIG Tolkien fan, who is very well educated in all things Middle-Earth. I tend to refer to his knowledge, when I need validation on lore.) From my understanding a lot of this film was fabricated but with good tasted. Presumably, most of the interaction added to the film can be found either in the appendixes of Tolkien's other works or in Tolkien's personal notes. I know some are still "butt-hurt" with the additions of Legolas and Tauriel. Legolas makes sence. I'm even fine with Tauriel as a strong women elf, who is an orc killing machine, even thought her character was 100% fabricated. It was absolutely unnecessary to make her Kili's love interest. Personally, I don't think there love story is coherent with Tolkien lore. Secondly, there love story didn't add any to the overall story, if anything it detracted from it. Kili already has enough motivation to fight. I think that's only the tip of the "nerd rage" iceberg pertaining to Tauriel and Kili's love story.
  • Sound and Music: 8: I have always love the score to the Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit.
  • VFX: 10: It visual effect was fantastic, I see an Oscar nomination if not win in the future.
Overall: 7: I really enjoyed this film overall.            

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