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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:28 pm 
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I'm not so sure. In any event, it would be good to ask. We have gotten lots of raven "motifs" in armor and structures, so it's possible. And, of course, we got the thrush.

Also, does Dcole mention how Dain gets the message from Thorin and company? There needs to be a scene around that plot point, in order to avoid the perception that Dain's arrival is another deus ex machina. And absent sending one of the dwarves, a raven messenger seems to be a perfectly adequate and economical solution.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:30 pm 
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Passdagas the Brown wrote:
By the way, can someone ask this Dcole chap to comment on whether or not the ravens are in?

Done.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:31 pm 
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Thank you, Sir!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:58 pm 
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His response was: "I have no comment :)". He said earlier that he was deliberately choosing not to say anything about the best parts.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:59 pm 
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To be even more accurate, he said "Regarding the ravens, I have no comment. :) " Definitely sounds like he likes the ravens.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:14 am 
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That would seem to imply that they're in! Since he specifically focused on the negatives in his review, and gave us many specifics there (including about what was NOT included), it stands to reason (if he is consistent) that he would tell us if the ravens were excluded. IMO, this is rather encouraging. If they are indeed in the film, I might forgive both bat-riding Legolas and ice-skating Azog and Thorin.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:31 am 
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Not just in, but something that he particularly liked.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:37 am 
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I had a feeling they would be in. After all, what other options are there for Thorin to get a message to Dain?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:42 am 
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Well, we'll see. I'm not getting my hopes up too much, at least about that. Although other than the Legolas shenanigans (and the silly Aragorn thing which is only a throwaway), I am mostly encouraged by what I am hearing.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:46 am 
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Strangely enough, so am I...

I also didn't mind that clip of the battle. Though there was lots of CGI, the setting looked more naturalistic than I was expecting.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:47 am 
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A little more from Dcole:

Questions:

1) Is Smaug's dialogue mostly "Grr! I'll kill you all!", or does he get in any nice last-minute monologues?

2) Is CGI Dain still recognizable as Billy Connolly?

3) How well is Thorin's descent into madness handled?

4) What is the context of the scene between Dwalin and Balin? Do we get any hints whatsoever about his eventual return to Moria?

Answers:

1) Smaug is has a bit more than Grr... I will kill you all, but it's not as much as DOS.

2) I think so, but he's very heavy armored and bearded.

3) Very well.

4) No hints, I don't distinctly remember that scene. But there are lots of nice moments for characters like Bilbo, Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Kili, Bard, Thranduil & Gandalf during the beginning and middle section of the film. Lots of great drama and great dialogue.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:49 am 
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Regarding the reported CGI Dain, several critics have mentioned Dain without saying anything about him being CGI, and one on twitter expressed surprise when someone asked him about it. Either it is extraordinarily well done, or Dcole is wrong about this.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:51 am 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Regarding the reported CGI Dain, several critics have mentioned Dain without saying anything about him being CGI, and one on twitter expressed surprise when someone asked him about it. Either it is extraordinarily well done, or Dcole is wrong about this.


But it's not just dcole (who is 100% certain that Dain is CGI). One or two of the professional reviewers also mentioned it.

My guess is that some people are simply not that perceptive when it comes to visual details. Just ask any police officer who has had to deal with the awful face-recognition skills of crime witnesses. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:56 am 
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I am quite sure that it won't bother me a bit.

Quite pleased by "But there are lots of nice moments for characters like Bilbo, Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Kili, Bard, Thranduil & Gandalf during the beginning and middle section of the film. Lots of great drama and great dialogue." And by "How well is Thorin's descent into madness handled?" "Very well."

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:25 am 
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Dave_LF wrote:
His response was: "I have no comment :)". He said earlier that he was deliberately choosing not to say anything about the best parts.


My guess is that he might respond with more detail to a private message. ;) But please, don't go out of your way! I'm just dying to get confirmation on this, either way.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:41 am 
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Here is a ridiculously detailed description of the film. I actually stopped reading it part way through because even I don't want to be spoiled this much, but PtB, he does confirm the ravens.

Spoiler: show
The movie opens with no prologue, and continues directly where the last movie, The Desolation of Smaug, left off. Smaug is burning the shit out of Laketown. I saw the movie in 3D and the effects are stunning. He wrecks the place. People screaming, burning, trying to escape.

The Master or Laketown is trying to escape in a small rowboat with his lackey Alfrid, and as much gold as they can carry. The boat is going too slowly so the Master pushes Alfrid overboard.

Tauriel, Kili, Fili, Bofur, Oin and Bard's kids are also in a rowboat trying to escape.

Bard is still locked up but manages to escape, I won't spoil how as it's quite funny. He climbs atop the tallest tower of Laketown where the windlance launcher is and tries to take out Smaug with some regular arrows. Back in the Tauriel boat, Bard's son Bain spots his father and remembers where he stashed the Black Arrow at the end of the last movie. He leaves the boat, retrieves the Black Arrow and gets it to his father.

Around the middle of this scene, we zoom out of Laketown to see Bilbo and company on the outskirts of Erebor watching the assault. Thorin doesn't seem to care and has his eyes fixed on Erebor.

At this point, Smaug has stopped flying around and is pissed off at Bard. He hasn't had any lines up to this point, but now he taunts Bard, asking if Bain is his son. You can tell Cumberbatch is relishing in voicing all this dialogue as Smaug slowly stalks toward them.

The windlance has been smashed and so Bard has to construct a makeshift launcher using his damaged longbow, propping the Black Arrow on his son's shoulder. There's quite a touching moment here where Bain thinks he's going to die, and Bard tells Bain to keep his eyes on him. The Black Arrow pierces Smaug and he roars in agony, swooping into the air and writhing around. He opens his mouth to cry out, but there's no sound as the colour fades from his eyes and he plummets out of the sky, dead. Crushing the Master of Laketown dead beneath him.

We cut back to Bilbo and Co., having seen Smaug fall dead. Again, Thorin doesn't seem to care, he only cares about Erebor.

We cut to a very short scene where we see Gandalf imprisoned in Dol Guldur as a reminder of his fate in the last film.

Next we see the residents of Laketown washed up on the shores nearby, trying to recover whatever they can. There's some very funny scenes here with Alfrid trying to take control because the Master is dead, but quickly shifts his allegiance to Bard after realising the people are going to support him now. The four Dwarves set off in a boat to the Mountain to meet up with the others, and Kili declares his love for Tauriel, saying he's not afraid. She seems conflicted but as though she wants to be with him too. Kili gives Tauriel his mother's 'promise' talisman. They are promptly interrupted by Legolas who commands Tauriel to come with him. Bard tells the people to gather what they can and then find shelter: the nearby city of Dale.

Back to Dol Guldur (this entire sequence is stellar, easily my favourite), and we see Gandalf in his cage being taunted by an orc. The orc frees him and attempts to kill him. Galadriel appears, the camera focusing on her ring of power, she flicks her arm ahead of her and the orc is sent flying with a flash of light. She carries Gandalf to a wider area and Sauron begins taunting her in black speech, chanting the "Three rings for the Elven kings, Seven for the Dwarf lords" speech, which Galadriel finishes in the common tongue "and Nine... etc.". She and the unconscious Gandalf are surrounded by the spectral forms of the Ringwraiths/Nazgûl.

She states she is not alone and Elrond appears, drawing his sword. Saruman too. This scene is insane. The choreography and special effects are off the charts, the music too. Saruman and Elrond fight all of the Nine. It doesn't look awkward at all. They are badass. Radagast arrives on his rabbit sled and takes Gandalf to safety, Gandalf begs Galadriel to come with him, but she stays. The Nine seem to be banished, before Sauron's silhouette erupts into flaming form above them, the Nine hovering before him. Galadriel's eyes flash blue and she takes on the form she did in Fellowship of the Ring when Frodo presents her with the Ring. Sauron seems to be trying to tempt her but she calls him "nameless" and says he has no place in this world. Finally he is cast away and banished. Elrond states that he must be followed and permanently destroyed, stating that Gondor, etc. need to be warned. Saruman tells him to take the severely weakened Galadriel to safety and to "leave Sauron to me", hinting at his downfall in LOTR.

I'm not sure of the exact order of the next few scenes.

Inside Erebor, we see the four Dwarves from Laketown arrive and are warned by Bilbo that they need to leave. Thorin is succumbing fast to Dragon Sickness and is scouring the gold looking for the Arkenstone. As they enter the deep chambers of gold, they are all visibly disturbed as Thorin looks manically obsessed with his vast wealth. There's lots of scenes after this where they focus on Thorin and his obsession. Richard Amitage plays this beautifully. They went absolutely all-in on Thorin's madness. It's heartbreaking to watch him go literally crazy. Bilbo has the Arkenstone hidden in his clothes, and he toys with the idea of giving it to Thorin, but Balin warns that it will make him even worse. Thorin commands the Dwarves to shore up the gate, and they fill it up with rubble, preventing anyone from coming in, or going out.

The Laketown folk arrive in Dale and take up residence. Alfrid is now repeatedly (and very humorously) calling Bard 'Sire', and when his back is turned you can see he's still the same weasel-like person.

Elsewhere, we see Azog approaching Erebor with his vast orc army. Bolg meets them and warns that Legolas and Tauriel are still out there and pursuing him, I think he also mentions that an Elf army is approaching Erebor too. Azog tells Bolg to head to Gundabad and ready their other army.

Thranduil’s Elven army arrives in Dale and he strikes up an allegiance with Bard, as they both have a stake in the treasure. It’s alluded that Thranduil wants the necklace of white gems because of his dead wife (Legolas’ mother).

Bard heads to the gates of Erebor to negotiate with Thorin, before they attack, as he doesn’t want anymore bloodshed. Thorin is having none of it, and refuses to part with any of the gold. All the other Dwarves are clearly very uneasy with what he’s doing, but can’t say anything or face his wrath.

We see Legolas and Tauriel arrive at Gundabad, a huge fortress near Angmar. They plan to assault the place at night. Legolas mentions his mother was killed here and there were no remains to host a burial. At night, hundreds of bats swarm out of the fortress. Legolas says they were bred purely for war. Bolg emerges with a huge orc army and they march off to Erebor.

Gandalf arrives in Dale to warn of the approaching orc army, and again, there’s a very funny scene with Alfrid who calls him a beggar and tells him to “clear off”. All of Alfrid’s stuff is hysterical. I won’t mention him anymore, but he doesn’t die, and he’s hilarious throughout. Thranduil essentially says that Gandalf started this whole mess, but he’s going to be the one to finish it.

Bilbo, pushed to breaking point by the erratic and paranoid Thorin, flees the Dwarves and hands the Arkenstone over to Thranduil and Bard. Gandalf is impressed by Bilbo’s bravery in doing this. Later on, Bilbo states he’s not afraid of Thorin, and Gandalf warns that he should be.

The next day, the elven army including Thranduil, Bard and Gandalf march up to the Erebor gate. Thorin fires a shot at Thranduil’s Elk, which narrowly misses, he warns that the next shot will be at Thranduil’s head. Thranduil appears gleeful, and Bard unveils the Arkenstone. Thorin in his madness thinks it’s a ruse and calls their bluff, but Bilbo, back with the Dwarves, reveals he gave it to them. Thorin goes berserk and commands the Dwarves to throw him over the ramparts, they all refuse and he goes to do it himself, but they defend Bilbo and he escapes back down the wall to Gandalf. Gandalf essentially calls Thorin out on his bullshit and almost mocks him for allowing himself to fall so far.

It all looks like shit’s about to go down, when a raven lands beside Thorin, and he realises his allies have arrived. Dain Ironfoot (played wonderfully by Billy Connolly) arrives atop an armoured boar with a host of Dwarves. The Elves and Dwarves are about to fight, when in the mountains to the south, enormous worms erupt out of the ground, having created tunnels for the orc armies to travel through. Orcs funnel out out, thousands of them. The (relatively) small host of Dwarves charge on their own, before being joined in a wonderful moment by the Elves who as you can imagine are like ninjas. Dain has a huge warhammer and he smashes loads of orcs, it’s very satisfying.

Azog is stood atop a large icy tower nearby called Ravenhill, overseeing the entire battle area. He commands the next host of orcs to attack Dale, which is filled with hundreds of women and children, and a comparatively small group of men, who aren’t really prepared for war. Thranduil, the Elves, Bard, Gandalf and Bilbo charge through to Dale to defend it, leaving Dain and his Dwarves to deal with the first orc army.

Inside Erebor, Thorin commands they stay inside and keep to themselves. Eventually, Dwalin approaches Thorin alone and this scene is heartbreaking. He states that Dain’s forces are getting slaughtered outside and that they should help. We’ve always seen Dwalin as Thorin’s most loyal follower, and here he says that Bilbo was right, Thorin cannot see what he has become. Eventually, Thorin snaps and threatens to kill Dwalin, who leaves.

Further on, we see Thorin alone, walking the halls. This scene is amazing. We hear previously heard quotes from Thorin “I am not my grandfather”, Smaug “I will not part with a single coin”, and many many more, set to a montage of Thorin confronting his madness and imagining himself getting swallowed by liquid gold. Finally he snaps himself out his stupor and tosses his crown aside.

Inbetween this there’s more fighting outside with Dain’s Dwarves and Bard and his men and Elves struggling in Dale. Lots of trolls fucking shit up. It all looks spectacular. Thranduil is a badass fighter, he cuts through orcs like butter.

Next we see Thorin approaching his company of Dwarves, and Kili confronts him, yelling that he will not hide while everyone dies outside. Thorin essentially says he doesn’t have to worry anymore, and there’s a tender moment where they rest their foreheads together. Outside, Dain’s forces are dwindling and are backed up against the gates of Erebor. It’s all looking doomed, before the makeshift gate is smashed down and Thorin and the Dwarves charge out. The Dwarven force is bolstered and they take out loads of trolls and orcs. Thorin and Dain meet, and Thorin explains that the plan is to attack Azog atop Ravenhill and cut the head off the army. Thorin takes himself, Dwalin, Fili and Kili (his best fighters) atop rams and ride toward Ravenhill.

In Dale, Tauriel arrives and confronts Thranduil, who breaks her bow in half as she is banished for abandoning the woodland realm. She demeans him for abandoning love due to his dead wife, and he says she knows nothing of love. It seems like he’s going to kill her before Legolas arrives and implies that he will have to kill him too if he means to hurt her. They both set off for Ravenhill after warning of Bolg and his impending army.

After a great scene with Gandalf, Bilbo puts on the Ring and heads to Ravenhill too to warn them of Bolg.

At Ravenhill, Fili and Kili split off from Thorin and Dwalin to locate Azog. Bilbo arrives and warns Thorin and Dwalin of Bolg. They realise it was a trap and Fili is soon captured by Azog. He is pierced through the back and dropped off a precipice to his death. Kili is driven into a rage and charges up a flight of steps to reach Azog, but is faced with loads of orcs. Thorin reaches Azog first and they have an epic fight, loads of callbacks to their previous encounters.

Bolg arrives and Bilbo is knocked unconscious. Bolg fights with Tauriel attempts to reach him, Legolas isn’t quite here yet, I won’t spoil why (unless asked later on). He’s quite brutal with her, throws her into a wall, etc. It’s looking like he’s going to kill her, before Kili leaps on his back and wrestles with him for a short while. Bolg gains the upper hand, holds Kili down and fatally stabs him, Tauriel can only look on in agony as he dies.

Legolas finally arrives and has a crazy fight with Bolg, it’s very satisfying and Bolg’s death is very clever.

Down in the battle, the Eagles have arrived with Radgast atop one of them, and Beorn on another. He leaps off, transforms into a bear midair and descends into the battle, creating carnage amongst the orcs.

Thorin’s fight continues with Azog on some fairly thin ice and they end up mortally wounding one another. Azog dies first and Thorin can finally rest. Bilbo catches up to him and this is when I started crying. Their final scene is perfect. (I believe) Thorin’s words are from the book, and Bilbo is almost pleading with Thorin not to die. Both actors nailed this scene. It’s very well done.

Thranduil catches up to Tauriel, who is cradling a dead Kili. She looks utterly devastated. Elf/Dwarf lovestory haters will roll their eyes, but those invested will be suitably pleased. Evangeline nails this. She looks completely broken. She essentially pleads with Thranduil to take love away if it feels this bad. He says it feels like this because it was real. We don’t see Tauriel after this, no she doesn’t die.

In the background, the battle is pretty much over, the remaining orcs fleeing.

We get a fleeting glimpse of Bard and his family safe and well, with the impression that Bard will lead these people with a happy existence.

Legolas says to Thranduil that he won’t go back with him after seeing all of this. Thranduil tells him to seek out the Dúnedain and tells him to meet Aragorn (without naming him). This is the last we see of them.

The Dwarves have a very short goodbye with Bilbo, and then there’s a montage of Bilbo travelling back to the Shire with Gandalf. They part on the outskirts of the Shire and Gandalf reveals he knew all along that Bilbo found a magic Ring in the Goblin tunnels (he doesn’t know it’s the One Ring though). They part on good terms, though Gandalf looks ominous as he walks away.

Bilbo arrives back in the Shire to find the Sackville-Bagginses auctioning off his things, it’s quite humorous until he’s back inside Bag End, and then the weight of the journey is felt and things take a dark turn as he searches for the Ring in his pocket. We transitioning back to Old Bilbo holding the Ring and then there’s a knock at the door. “No thank you, we don’t want anymore well-wishers, or distant relations” … “and what about very old friends?”

The end.

All in all, I loved it. It’s absolutely not going to convert anybody who hated the previous Hobbit movies. If you enjoyed the first two, you’ll love this.

However, it’s very much an action-movie first. I can feel moments where scenes will likely be Extended next year with the Extended Edition.

Very much like Desolation of Smaug, prior to the release of the EE recently, it feels like they cut out most of the ‘slow’, character-driven moments to avoid criticism. These usually turn out to be the best scenes too and it’s a shame that Peter was affected by the negative criticism so much.

The majority of Dwarves in Thorin’s company had zero lines. Only the main ones (i.e. Balin, Dwalin, Fili and Kili.)

Beorn has seconds of screentime and his introduction in the theatrical version of Smaug seems almost pointless with how little screentime he has here, there’s zero payoff for his character.

There’s no implication of Dain becoming King after Thorin dies. He has zero scenes after the battle. The Dwarves and Bilbo’s parting felt colder than it should have. It was very brief.

I’m happy to answer whatever questions you have :)


http://67.227.255.239/forum/showthread.php?p=141192592

I read it after all. Seriously, don't read it, it is too much. But he likes it much more than Dcole.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:00 am 
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Woah...Strangely, this positive review has me more worried than the negative ones...

Also, though this person confirmed that a raven is in, he seems to imply that no raven was sent for Dain (and that it simply arrives, heralding Dain's approach). A strange way to go about it, I think.

However, I'm just thrilled that there's a raven in there somewhere!

Which reminds me:

PTB: 3
Voronwë: 0

I know Peter Jackson! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:08 am 
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I told you not to read it!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:14 am 
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I'm definitely the "better to be spoiled" type. The more I can anticipate this stuff, the easier it will be to accept it and pay attention to how the film unfolds.

Oh, and:

Good morning: check
Bilbo gets knocked out: check
Ravens: check.

You're welcome. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:16 am 
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And am I only one that's gleeful about the omission of the goat-cart on ice scene?


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