Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Hobbit, Or, More Walking Through Middle Earth

Shoulda Been Called 'Dwarves & Elves'

Went to the flicks last night for the first time in ages.  I had some time on my hands, and a desire to see Chapter Two in the latest Tolkien saga brought to film.

I liked this one more than the first installment.  There's more action, and it mostly avoids the talktalk and walkwalk that LOTR and the prior Hobbit film had.

Visually, it's stunning.  Pure candy for the eyes.

Plot wise?  This is not Tolkien's tale by any stretch of the imagination.  Oh, the framework's there, to be sure, but there's new characters and sideplots and all the tweaks and fillips necessary to make a short kid's book into a multi-billion dollar Hollywood film trilogy.

Still, I liked it.  Very much so.  The spiders of Mirkwood are really creepy, and Bilbo spends less time taunting them, as in the novel, and more time skewering them, as is right and proper for creepy arachnids.

And then, there's Tauriel.  As the source material was lacking in female characters, we are introduced via the film writers to a female wood elf huntress who kills orcs with a gusto.  Played by Evangeline Lilly, it's more eye candy, as far as I'm concerned.  As one who stayed glued to the TV watching  6 seasons of 'Lost', where Ms. Lilly was mostly covered in dirt & grime the entire time and still had me entranced, seeing her as an ass-kicking elf is very nice indeed.

And there's the dragon.  Can't forget ol' Smaug.  He's worth every penny of the ticket price, although I must admit to preferring Richard Boone's voiceover in the 1977 version to the current voiceover by Benedict Cumberbatch.

All in all, 'The Desolation of Smaug' does a great job setting the stage for the finale.  If the Battle of Pelennor Fields in 'LOTR:ROTK' was any clue, the Battle of Five Armies is gonna be a doozy!