Alright, I’m home again. This last trip was at least a little less glitchy than the first one. It was a quick, two-day trip, but I got absolutely no work done, so I’m very happy to be home. Not only am I awaiting a book from a new author friend in the UK (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19396808-the-sugary-sherburts-and-the-stone-witch), I also won a new book on a Facebook giveaway (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18628472-the-darkness-of-light?from_search=true), which is really exciting, because I never win anything, and I’m reading/proofreading a book for a friend! So yeah, busy, busy, busy!
However, I really want to get on to tell you about the TWO movies I saw yesterday. Yep. TWO. In one day. Double Movie Day is sort of a new holiday tradition that my sister and I started last year.
The first movie was Disney’s Frozen.
I loved it. It was everything a good Disney movie should be; beautiful, funny, and full of GREAT music performed by several Broadway stars. My sister was really geeking out over that, especially Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff. It also managed to surprise me and keep me guessing, which I’ve always thought of as kind of a rare thing for a Disney film. They’re always enjoyable, but it’s usually pretty easy to predict what’s going to happen and I don’t remember the last time a Disney movie really shocked me. Frozen did it. It also made me laugh out loud and my sister already has the soundtrack memorized (“Let it Go,” performed by Idina Menzel, is not only my favorite song, but also my favorite part of the movie).
My other favorite part is Olaf!
“I don’t have a skull… Or bones.”
Needless to say, Olaf the Snowman is the best character in Frozen. My sister and I have pretty much been quoting him non-stop since we stepped out of the theater yesterday afternoon. When I first saw the previews, I thought he was going to be weird and a little creepy, but it is impossible to not love Olaf. “I’ll be a… HAPPY SNOWMAN!” So. Stinking. Cute.
The second movie was, you guessed it, the midnight premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I’m a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, so I knew I was going to love Peter Jackson’s take on The Hobbit as well. I fell absolutely in love with An Unexpected Journey. Seriously, I loved everything about it. I loved the new characters, the story, the music, Martin Freeman, everything.
I loved the Desolation of Smaug also, but I didn’t love everything about it.
NOTE: If you haven’t seen it yet, there are a few spoilerish things here, so stop reading if you don’t want to know.
First, what I loved:
1) SMAUG. Oh my gosh, I love dragons anyway, but Smaug is AWESOME. The fact that he’s voiced and brought to life by Benedict Cumberbatch might have a little something to do with that, but I think I would have enjoyed his scenes no matter what. Seeing this great literary monstrosity brought to life was a thrill, and I actually shivered the first time he emerged from the heaping mountains of gold. His last lines of the film were equally chilling. “I am Fire. I am Death.” Way to go, Benny. You’re the best.
Oh, I also laughed when Smaug looked at Bilbo and said, “You are familiar with me…” because as we all know, Bilbo and Smaug have met before… at 221B Baker Street!
2) THRANDUIL. Oh my gosh. I mean, I already knew I loved Lee Pace, but I kind of wish Peter Jackson would just make an entire movie about Thranduil. He’s such a bad-a. Seriously. I loved him (even if he is kind of a jerk).
3) The Gimli Reference.
4) Every time Richard Armitage spoke. Or moved. Or blinked.
I’m not creepy, I swear.
5) Seeing Legolas again.
7) Stephen Fry. I hated his character, but you have to love Stephen Fry no matter what role he plays.
8) Bombur! Oh my goodness, I laughed out loud whenever that fat dwarf waddled onto the screen.
9) The Ring’s growing influence over Bilbo. Oh, and STING! Martin Freeman is just a flawless Hobbit.
10) The way everyone in the theater yelled, “NO!” when the movie ended.
Now for the things I did not love. Just my opinion. I hope I don’t offend.
1) There was no singing! What the heck? That was one of my favorite things about the first movie. I loved all the songs, even the deleted ones. There was one point where I actually thought Smaug was going to burst into song. That would have been odd, but at least it would have been something! But no. The only song I got was the one by Ed Sheeran at the end, and I don’t like that one nearly as much as I like “The Song of the Lonely Mountain.”
2) So. Many. Orcs. WHY? I mean, one orc battle would have been understandable, two would have been tolerable, but seriously, orcs were shooting and being slaughtered almost every other scene! They seemed to play a bigger role in this movie than the dwarves! I understand that Peter Jackson is using this as a prequel/lead up to Lord of the Rings, which it is, but Tolkien’s story was a story about a journey, an adventure. I don’t think he didn’t even know the significance of the Ring when he wrote the book. He was just writing a kid’s story. Too. Many. Orcs. Go. Away.
3) Along with all these orcs, we got like, a million scenes of Legolas and Tauriel slaughtering these orcs. Yeah, we get it. They’re warriors. This is not supposed to be a movie about elves killing orcs! This is supposed to be about Thorin and the dwarves’ quest to take back Erebor. Again, I feel like Legolas and Taurel played a bigger role in this movie than the dwarves and even Bilbo did! My guess is that since Legolas was such a popular character from the original series, Peter Jackson wanted to use him as much as he could. Tauriel, on the other hand, is a Peter Jackson creation. I think he knew audiences, especially Tolkien purists, would be wary of a new, non-cannon character, so he tried as hard as he could to make people like her. Unfortunately, in doing so, I feel like he sort of forced her on us. She was a little too perfect, a little too compassionate, and not at all like a Mirkwood elf would be in Tolkien’s universe. Evangeline Lilly is lovely and did a wonderful job, but I really did not care for the character. I wouldn’t go so far as to say she’s a Mary Sue, but I didn’t feel she added anything to the plot. Other than a useless love triangle, which I will tackle in point 4.
(If anything, we should have had more THRANDUIL).
4) The love triangle. Seriously, is it so difficult to create a female character and NOT have her be anyone’s love interest? I’m not trying to be anti-feminist or anything. I just don’t understand the whole, every-movie-needs-romance thing. If I want romance, I’ll watch a Nicholas Sparks movie. But I watch Tolkien for the adventure and the journey and the story.
5) This wasn’t necessarily something I didn’t like, but I couldn’t help but notice that Bard looked exactly like Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean.
6) The SPIDERS! Oh my GOSH. I am not arachnophobic, but I was about to faint during that entire scene. It was even worse than the Acromantula scene in the second Harry Potter movie!!! And that was pretty bad! (Note… I put this under things I didn’t like about the movie, but it was actually an effective and fantastic scene. The fact that I put it under things I disliked is a good thing!)
Bottom line: I liked a lot more things about The Desolation of Smaug than I disliked, and I know I will see it again.
Okay, I’ve been typing at this post for over an hour now. Time for food.