I read today in the BBC’s ‘Magazine Monitor’ that it takes approximately 8.5 hours to watch Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy in its entirety, whereas (on average) it would take someone only 5.2 hours to read Tolkien’s novel.
Saving time (and money) isn’t the only reason I’d choose the book over the film – but luckily for me, one has the opportunity to do both.
‘The Hobbit’ trilogy is best enjoyed when viewed as its own entity: strong and inspired films that are firmly based on the fundamental elements of the novel.
In this light ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’ was exceptional.
This is coming from someone who found both ‘An Unexpected Journey’ and ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ rather boring. The effortless adventure and incandescence of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy had long gone, and my thoughts were that Peter Jackson had tried too hard – and failed – to turn ‘The Hobbit’ into ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
‘The Battle of the Five Armies’ made me change my mind. It differs from its predecessors quite simply because it better achieves the dragging-out of events, and in the process, for me, it single-handedly saves the trilogy.
‘The Two Towers’ was my favourite of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy because it kept me on my toes from start to finish – we were in the midst of the action, at least on some level, throughout the whole film, and it was the same here.
There’s only so long one can sit and watch Thorin barking on about the Arkenstone, and there’s only so long one can sit and watch a light sequence, or a black-and-blue Gandalf dangling in a cage – so the story, and its battle, are drawn out and scattered to encompass the drama. Our time spent in each scene is incredibly well timed, and even at 144 minutes, not once did I feel that the flm was dragging on.
In many ways the fnal battle sequence was nothing we haven’t seen before. A large chunk of the film’s target demographic are presumed to know the storyline inside out anyway, so it’s not about surprises or shockers. What Jackson has done is captivate and command his audience with how he portrays the battle, as opposed to what the battle consists of. The intricacies of the battle are some of the best I’ve ever seen, there are some interesting new beasts, and a magnifcent Billy Connelly cameo lightens the tone at precisely the right moment.
This brings me to the performances, none of which I can complain too much about. Martin Freeman was always going to be a perfect Bilbo, and those whose character’s were already established in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ are as good as expected. ! My stand out performance came from Ryan Gage as the creepy and cowardice ‘Alfirid’, the Lake Master’s “deputy” turned spineless and feeble survivor. Some of his supposed laugh-out-loud moments seemed somewhat forced and juvenile, but this was at script level, the performance itself was brilliant and hilarious.
The film is laden with hints and explanations of key elements of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, such as the demise of Saruman’s morality, and the catalyst for the Legolas coming to fnd Aragon. It links the trilogies and offered fans an excuse for a smug nod of self-gratification.
With the inevitable return of Bilbo to the Shire comes our return to the start-point of not just ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy, but also ‘The Lord of the Rings’ . The completion of the cycle, back to where it all began. Or in the words of Tolkien, “There and back again”… and then somewhere else, and then back again.
To conclude, the ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ is over the top, it’s cheesy, it’s not that accurate to the novel, it’s clichéd – and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
8.5/10 – I wouldn’t change it for the world.
At a live event in London today, Bond director Sam Mendes announced the next James Bond movie will be called ‘SPECTRE’.
The movie will see Daniel Craig return as 007, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q, Ralph Fiennes as M and Rory Kinnear as Tanner.
New casting includes Christoph Waltz as Oberhauser, Andrew Scott as Denbigh, David Bautista as Mr Hinx, Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra, and Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann.
The movie will be filming at Pinewood London, Mexico City, Rome, Tangier & Erfoud, Morocco, Sölden, Obertilliach and Lake Altausee, Austria. and will be released 6th NOV 2015.
Watch The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – World Premiere Live Stream here now!
Additional content will be tweeted throughout the event from @HobbitMoviesUK, and fans can get their own personalised, signed character card by tweeting #OneLastTime with the name of the character they want: #Bilbo #Gandalf #Thorin #Thranduil #Tauriel #Legolas #Bard.
‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ is released in UK cinemas on December 12. #OneLastTime
Prepare to be really REALLY excited! JJ Abrams official trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is here, and it’s rocks!
Can’t say anymore right now… Too busy jumping up and down with excitement!
The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Danny Strong and Peter Craig and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the third in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone
The Wizard of Oz is celebrating its 75th birthday and to mark the occasion the family favourite has been digitally re-mastered to bring it up to speed for a modern audience. The classic film that once revolutionised colour in films is now available to watch in 3D for the first time ever.
The ultimate tale of courage, magic and friendship looks stunning in this collector’s edition. The picture is so sharp and clear that tiny details that once went unnoticed, such as the sparking of a shoe and the rich colour of the costumes, now dazzle on screen. It’s almost hard to believe that this film was shot in 1939.
The Wizard of Oz is arguably one of the most beloved and celebrated family movies of all time, but in case your memory needs refreshing the story follows Dorothy and her dog, Toto as they are transported to the magical land of Oz. They follow the yellow brick road to see the Wizard, who will help them to return home. Along the way they meet a scarecrow without a brain, a Tin Man without a heart and a cowardly lion who desperately wants courage.
The special edition Blu-Ray and DVD comes with two discs packed with bonus features. A feature-length documentary, The Making of The Wizard of Oz, takes us through the history of the film and how it was created. It includes interviews with cast members, deleted scenes and an exclusive peak into how this flick came to be the celebrated classic that it is today.
This 75th anniversary edition of The Wizard of Oz is the ideal film to watch if you want to relive your childhood years and to introduce the magical story to the next generation. Its digital remastering ensures that the sound of visuals are stunning and clear to adhere to modern movie-making standard. Now put your feet up and sing-along to this old-time classic.