Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The extended version does have
more of Beorn, which is nice.
The last movie of The Lord of the Rings trilogy--Return of the King--is lots and lots of battle scenes. The last movie of The Hobbit trilogy is the same. However, unlike the last movie of LOTR, the extended version of The Battle of the Five Armies is not alleviated by non-battle scenes, such as Faramir and Eowyn's relationship.

Five Armies' extended sequences are MORE battle scenes and explain the extended version's "R" rating. In fact, the extended sequences contain one of the most Grimm-worthy, fairy tale horrific scenes I've seen in a movie (I don't watch a lot of horror), namely Alfrid being choked on by an orc-beast-thingy.

I was quite disappointed. I had hoped that there would be at least a few extra non-battle scenes, such as an expansion of Bilbo's surreptitious departure from Erabor (this scene is longer in the book); at least one more scene between Tauriel and Fili; more LOTR references at the end . . .

Nope. Nothing. And since excessive battle scenes bore me, I spent most of the extended version doing other things while the movie was on. Naturally, I watched Bilbo's parts; I especially enjoy the "Urm, yerse," scene between Bilbo and the Elven king.

I still consider Freeman and Armitage's scenes with the acorn, at the armory, at the gate, and on the ice flow to be the best scenes in the entire trilogy.

I am not displeased that Jackson turned The Hobbit into a trilogy. I'm a huge fan of his work with Tolkien's masterpieces and since I now own The Desolation of Smaug in extended format, I'm sure the others will follow. Nevertheless, I must admit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the stronger of the two, having a more cohesive storyline--despite the multiple subplots.

This is entirely comparative. If Jackson had never made The Lord of the Rings, would The Hobbit be my new standard?

But my assessment did lead me to ponder if The Hobbit has the same resistance to a strict storyline as The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I love The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the book (though I didn't when I was younger). The BBC series with Sam West is quite good. The 2010 movie is okay but ultimately doesn't work so well. This is the type of narrative that lends itself to a series, comprised of five to six 1-hour episodes, rather than a movie.

Bilbo and Lobelia: those spoons!
The last time I watched The Hobbit (non-extended version), I watched it in 1/2 hour increments, I think there's something to be said for breaking up a journey script into digestible parts, so one gets to watch the troll sequence entirely separately from the goblin sequence.

I am looking forward The Silmarillion--one can always hope! :)



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