Happy New Years and Thoughts on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

It’s the last day of 2013. 2013 has been a decent year for me. I’m making progress on my PhD degree, and went on some fun trips during the warmer months. Hopefully 2014 will be even better. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll finish my doctorate degree in 2014 and have found a job. It’s probably going to be a transitional period of my life. There are a lot of things to do in the new year, and I’m going to work hard and hope for the best. I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2014.

One of the last things I did in 2013 was to watch the second Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug. My parents and I actually went to the movie theatre three times and finally watched it on our last try. On the previous two trips we decided to turn back because the theatre was too crowded and we didn’t want to sit in the front. There were still a lot of people when we finally watched the movie, but we went early and got seats in the back. It’s the holiday season so a lot of teenagers and college students are out and about, so it’s no surprise that the theatre was doing good business.

(Spoiler warning)
As for the movie itself, the second Hobbit movie was definitely better than the first. The first film dragged too long at some points, especially during the long action sequence where the company was running away from the goblins inside the mountain which went on and on… and on. In comparison, The Desolation of Smaug didn’t feel like it was repetitive or dragging its feet. Having a giant fire-breathing dragon certainly helps, but the best sequence of the movie was when Bilbo and the company were flowing down the river in barrels with both orcs and wood elves in pursuit. The movie expanded the role of the wood elves and added Legolas and Tauriel (movie-original character), both of which of course did what Legolas did in the Lord of the Rings movies. The combination of the bumbling but resourceful dwarfs flowing down the river, the agile and graceful elven warriors, and the numerous but not-too-bright orcs made for a really fun action sequence. The Hobbit films have made quite a few changes in order to add enough material for the Hobbit (which is a shorter book than any one of the Lord of the Rings volumes) into a trilogy of films, but at least the changes in The Desolation of Smaug made it into a pretty entertaining movie.

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