Film Review: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’

The Hobbit Battle of Five Armies

All's well that ends well as Peter Jackson rousingly brings down the curtain on his uneven but laudable 'Lord of the Rings' prequel.

This is the way “The Hobbit” ends: not with a whimper, but with an epic battle royale. True to its subtitle, “The Battle of the Five Armies” (revised from the initially more pacific “There and Back Again”), the final installment of Peter Jackson’s distended “Lord of the Rings” prequel offers more barbarians at the gate than you can shake an Elven sword at, each vying for control of mountainous Erebor. The result is at once the trilogy’s most engrossing episode, its most expeditious (at a comparatively lean 144 minutes) and also its darkest — both visually and in terms of the forces that stir in the hearts of men, dwarves and orcs alike. Only fans need apply, but judging from past precedent, there are more than enough of them to ensure that “Battle” walks off with the dragon’s share of the upcoming holiday-season box office.

“Third time pays for all,” the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is fond of saying in Tolkien’s novel, and much the same might be said of the “Hobbit” films themselves. After getting things off to a sluggish start with 2012’s “An Unexpected Journey” (complete with an interminable dinner-party sequence that was like a Middle-earth “Exterminating Angel”), Jackson quickened the pace considerably for last year’s “The Desolation of Smaug,” which built to a breathless, “Empire Strikes Back”-style cliffhanger, only with fire substituted for ice. Having finally arrived at their usurped ancestral kingdom, our band of intrepid dwarf warriors (plus one weary hobbit) found themselves face-to-face with the gold-hoarding dragon Smaug. Crankily stirred from his slumber, the great beast in turn winged off into the night to obliterate the (mostly) innocent human denizens of nearby Lake-town, punishment for helping Bilbo and company to reach his door.

“The Battle of the Five Armies” picks up exactly there, with Smaug swooping down in a blaze of fiery vengeance, while the panicked Lake-town locals disperse in various displays of cowardice and courage. It’s an exciting sequence, animated by a real sense of danger and by the nightmare figure of Smaug himself (one of the movie’s most special effects, again voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), who exudes a kind of grotesque majesty even as he flaps his great wings for the last time and falls thunderously to his death.  But the joy brought by the vanquishing of the dragon proves short-lived, as something far more sinister — namely, politics — soon rears its hydra-like head.

As has held true for promised lands of all sorts since time immemorial (and continues to do so), Erebor in the post-Smaug era becomes a contentious destination for various tribes who hold some real or imagined claim to the mountain and its vast store of riches, including large contingents of Iron Hills dwarves (under the command of Billy Connolly’s Gen. Dain Ironfoot), Woodland elves (led by Lee Pace’s Thranduil) and the displaced masses of Lake-town itself, reluctantly corralled by the dragon-slaying boat captain Bard (Luke Evans). It doesn’t help matters that the dwarf prince Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), presumptive heir to Erebor’s throne, is not long inside these hallowed walls when he succumbs to a familiar Tolkeinian malady — a lust for gold and jewels that renders its victims void of reason or empathy. And if “The Battle of the Five Armies” feels psychologically weightier than the previous “Hobbit” films, that’s largely a credit to Armitage, who plays Thorin with the paranoid despotic rage of a Shakespearean king, his heavy-lidded eyes ablaze with a private madness.

Even fair Bilbo, so skilled in negotiating with ruthless opponents like Gollum and Smaug, finds himself unable to speak truth to power, and thus spends much of “The Battle of the Five Armies” watching from the sidelines, a supporting character in his own eponymous narrative. But then, the battle’s the thing this time, and when Jackson gets to the nearly hourlong setpiece (commencing around the 70-minute mark), he stages it grandly even by his own Wagnerian standards. From all corners of the land — and the frame — they come: dwarves, elves, men and assorted forest creatures, initially at cross-purposes, but soon enough united against not one but two flanks of hideous, bulbous orcs on a mission from their god, the dark lord Sauron, who’s been hankering for a comeback.

This sort of scene, drawing on every available trick in the CGI paintbox, has become such a reliable staple of Jackson’s work (to say nothing of the many lesser films of the past decade that have worn his influence on their sleeves) as to risk seeming almost ordinary. But Jackson, who’s surely aware of this conundrum, invests his five-army rumble with such a visceral feeling for landscape and physical action, a sure eye for elaborate battlefield choreography and, above all, a sense of purpose, that he leaves most of the competition — including some of his own previous battle sequences — seeming like so much digital white noise. Like George Lucas before him, Jackson has unmistakably brushed up on his Kurosawa, and there is at least one image here — of elf warriors leaping over the backs of dwarves and into a head-on orc charge — that could pass as an outtake from “Ran.” Better still: a mano a mano dwarf-vs.-orc duel atop a frozen waterfall that is, shot for shot, one of Jackson’s very best things.

Intermittently, “The Battle of the Five Armies” takes time out to catch us up on the whereabouts of old Gandalf (Ian McKellen, with his usual hammy gusto), the star-crossed interspecies romance of Amazonian elf Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and lovestruck dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner), plus flashy cameos for the ethereal Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and the white wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee, still spry and swashbuckling in his early 90s). On balance, though, this is the least episodic and digressive of the “Hobbit” films, and the one that shows the least evidence of the elaborate patchwork Jackson and his co-screenwriters have done (to disparate bits of Tolkein’s writing plus no small amount of their own invention) in order to transform the slender “Hobbit” narrative into something that might rival “Lord of the Rings” for sheer breadth and depth.

While that effort has ultimately proved only partly successful, it’s easier now to see the entire “Hobbit” project as a labor of love on Jackson’s part, rather than a descent into crass box-office opportunism. Where the first two films often felt like a marking of time by a director intent on fattening his own Smaug-like coffers, “The Battle of the Five Armies” contains a series of emotional payoffs and bridges to the “Lord of the Rings” films that work as well as they do for having been carefully seeded by Jackson in the previous episodes. And if none of the “Hobbit” films resonate with “Rings'” mythic grandeur, it’s hard not to marvel at Jackson’s facility with these characters and this world, which he seems to know as well as John Ford knew his Monument Valley, and to which he here bids an elegiac adieu. Indeed, it is not only Bilbo but Jackson too who returns to the safety of his Hobbit hole, weary and winded, with a quizzical grimace on his face that seems to say: “Where do I go from here?”

Set in a bleak midwinter, with nary a patch of Shire green to be seen until the closing frames, “Battle” sports the most austere and forbidding look of the “Hobbit” films (courtesy of series lenser Andrew Lesnie), entirely absent the overly bright, backlot feel that pervaded “An Unexpected Journey” and parts of “Smaug.” Howard Shore contributes another dynamically ranging (and ever present) score, from gentle Celtic melodies to speaker-rattling basso profondo bombast. Other tech contributions, repping at least five armies’ worth of set designers, costumers, armorers and VFX artists, once again give us the best that Hollywood (and New Zealand tax incentive) dollars can buy.

Film Review: 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies'

Reviewed at Warner Bros. screening room, New York, Nov. 26, 2014. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 144 MIN.

Production

A Warner Bros. release of a New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer pictures presentation of a Wingnut Films production. Produced by Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson. Executive producers, Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins, Carolyn Blackwood. Co-producers, Philippa Boyens, Eileen Moran.

Crew

Directed by Peter Jackson. Screenplay, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkein. Camera (color, Red Digital Cinema widescreen, 3D), Andrew Lesnie; editor, Jabez Olssen; music, Howard Shore, production designer, Dan Hennah; supervising art director, Simon Bright; art directors, Andy McLaren, Brad Mill, Brian Massey; set decorators, Ra Vincent, Simon Bright; costume designers, Richard Taylor, Bob Buck, Ann Maskrey; sound (Datasat/Dolby Digital), Tony Johnson; sound designers, David Farmer, Dave Whitehead; supervising sound editors, Brent Burge, Jason Canovas; re-recording mixers, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick; senior visual effects supervisor, Joe Letteri; visual effects supervisors, Eric Saindon, R. Christopher White, Matt Aitken; visual effects and animation, Weta Digital; armor, weapons, creatures and special makeup, Richard Taylor; animation supervisors, David Clayton, Michael Cozens, Aaron Gilman; lead stereographer, Sean Kelly; stunt coordinator, Glen Boswell; associate producers, Matthew Dravitzki, Amanda Walker; assistant director, Carolynne Cunningham; second unit director, Andy Serkis; second unit camera, Richard Bluck; casting, Amy Hubbard, John Hubbard (U.K.), Victoria Burrows, Scott Boland (U.S.), Liz Mullane, Miranda Rivers (New Zealand), Ann Robinson (Australia).

With

Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Peggy Nesbitt, Mary Nesbitt, Manu Bennett, John Tui, Billy Connolly, Mark Mitchinson, Kelly Kilgour, Sarah Peirse, Nick Blake, Simon London, Conan Stevens, Allan Smith, Miranda Harcourt, Thomasin McKenzie, Erin Banks, Brian Hotter, Timothy Bartlett, Merv Smith, Martin Kwok. (English, Elvish, Orcish dialogue)

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  1. Andrev says:

    The Lord of the Rings could quite easily have made more than three films – the book is split into six main parts after all and, long as they were, the films still missed out some events and characters.
    However, the Hobbit should have been one film. I fell asleep during part one. Part two was a bit better and I am sorry to hear part three may have slipped again.
    (I am not saying the Lord of the Rings would have been better as more films, just that there was more material there than there was for more than one episode of the Hobbit).

  2. Susu.ro says:

    If you haven’t read The Hobbit and/or if you like the first two movies: I envy you of sorts…

    If someone had told me some years ago that I would consider walking out from a Tolkien movie opening night, I would have slapped them with a cod. Or a salmon. The Hobbit trilogy is crap.

    It’s little more than a long list of invented battles and love stories to attract a widest possible audience, as well as loads of idiotic storyline to make the story slide into the Lord of the Rings movies as smooth as an Elven ass.

    I understand that some adaption is required from book to screen, but when dealing with a book more or less only surpassed by the Bible and the IKEA catalogue, one should tread carefully.

    Do yourself a favor. Read the book. Let your mind be the big screen.

  3. yiheyis says:

    Thanks Peter for giving us this experience.

  4. jim pisani says:

    Thanks Peter for bringing the books to life. I read them as a kid in high school 40 years ago and I think all of the movies were well done.

  5. joyce dicicco says:

    I can only say that I’m amazed at the negativity I see in the reviews. As a true fan of Tolkein’s work and Peter Jackson’s adaptation, I was sad to say “good bye” to Middle Earth ( I read my first book back in the sixities and I’m in my sixties now). I felt Jackson did make this series of films as a work of love and it plays out in the beautiful scenes, richness of the music and skillful selection of actors chosen to play their parts. As I sat through the closing credits and listened to the music it was like Jackson was sending a love song to his fans…I found it beautifully crafted with the drawings of characters and scenes from the film. I feel sorry for those who need to nit pick everything to pieces and put a negative spin on the films. For me, I was thrilled to revisit the story and spend some time with characters I’ve grown to love over the years. Thank you, Peter, I loved it!!

  6. tflorida says:

    “While that effort has ultimately proved only partly successful, it’s easier now to see the entire “Hobbit” project as a labor of love on Jackson’s part, rather than a descent into crass box-office opportunism.”

    Really? I can’t believe the author of this review wrote that with a straight face. Jackson added new characters and plot lines that had nothing to do with the book. Why? To appease a wider audience and make more money. Jackson could have made the book into two movies but instead dragged the story out into three movies. Why, to make more money.

  7. lariste says:

    this trilogy shouldn’t have been made – isn’t it obvious that a good film can resell tickets, instead of three average ones that either disappoint fans of the original movies or possibly irritate fans of the actual book these movies are based on? What a bloated, cynical cash-in. . .

  8. I was an extra in films 2 & 3, as a Laketowner. Sir PJ and Andy Serkis were a delight to work for, and all the crew work incredibly hard. Also, the attention to detail for the sets, props and costumes is awesome. In return, we made this silly little video :-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUNxlT86Dtk

  9. crystal says:

    Some of these comments are just appalling.

    Honestly, these movies were made for the die hard fans who want to see as much Middle Earth as possible. And that is what they did. The filmmakers relied heavily on the Appendices of the Lord of the Rings to bring in all the characters and history that concerned the time of the Hobbit into the movie. Which although draws out the plot, it shows more of the journey and history of what is happening at the time.

    Tolkien spent decades developing a world so rich with language and cultures that it would be insane to restrict all the possibilities of characters and plot to the exact written words of the book.

    If you watch the appendices on the DVDs, you will see how much care they put into these movies for us. They are all die hard fans themselves. I believed they delivered. I can sit down and just become totally immersed in a very beautiful depiction of middle earth and it truly saddens me that this 16 year journey is coming to an end.

    • tflorida says:

      These movies weren’t made for die hard fans. New characters and plot lines were included to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. That means more cash. Turning the book into three movies again means more cash. Jackson wrecked what could have been two good movies based on the book.

    • lariste says:

      these movies weren’t made for die-hard fans . . .they’re made because corporate Hollywood knows that family holiday movies = $$$. Instead of one ticket, buy four.

  10. jim says:

    Haters gonna hate! Bravo to Peter Jackson and company! Watching the extended versions of the hobbit trilogy has filled in nicely and as a lifelong fan thanks is due- if you can do better please make your own film

  11. pacisfist elf says:

    Overblown. Overblown. Overblown.

    This is supposed to be a peaceful story of a hobbit from the gentle book.

    NOT A WAR PACKED HOLLYWOOD CGI MOVIE!!!

    Thankfully the last if i’s kind…

    • Smaug's Bane says:

      Thank god you didn’t have a say in the making of this film. Or else it would be 10 tickets sold to boring people like you. This series isnt the best, but it delivers on the realism format, or at least as realistic as you can get with a story about dragons, elves, dwarves and orcs. You clearly don’t know what brings in the money in Hollywood. Great stories with a strong balance of action. Stick to the cartoon version of the Hobbit.

      • tflorida says:

        “You clearly don’t know what brings in the money in Hollywood.”
        That tells it all. You don’t care if the movie adds extra characters and plots, changes the story drastically, doesn’t follow the original story, dragged what could have been two good movies into three poor movies. I’m not asking for the movie to word for word follow The Hobbit. Jackson has taken so much artistic license to make more cash that he created a horrible movie.

    • Chris Worden says:

      the battle of the five armies (even in the BOOK) was anything but “gentle”

  12. Lyn Storm says:

    Very well-written review, I enjoyed reading it. This trilogy is a work of art and it has so many layers. I’m glad the crew expanded the story, it only adds more to enjoy for those who can’t get enough of Middle Earth. The details are delightful, as the way the characters are built. Personally, I loved that slow start of the story, it lets one get to know the heroes and have a feel of the Dwarven race, which we haven’t seen much of. It’s a thing of praise that a children’s book was made to appeal to people of all ages.

  13. Dunleavy809 says:

    Please let it be over. Jackson has taken a wonderful little book that is about pacifism and courage, and made it into three overblown, bombastic films that are mainly about war. And the ONLY reasons this little book was stretched into three over-long movies were greed and ego — ironically, the two things both LOTR and The Hobbit (the books, at least) were most against. I love Tolkien and have read and re-read ALL of his books many times, and I adored the first three (Lord of the Rings) movies, which had heart and soul as well as spectacle. The Hobbit movies have just been an exercise in soulless greed and overkill. Too bad Jackson didn’t rest on his laurels after “Return of the King” summed up his first magnificent trilogy.

    • Tony says:

      I agree completely with your take on The Hobbit. I actually wished he hadn’t made the attempt at turning this book into a movie, as the book is far beneath the quality of The Lord of the Rings and was a simplistic children’s story compared with almost all of Tolkein’s other works. Personally, I wished he had done something with the first age of Middle Earth, when Sauron was just a minion of Morgoth, man and elves warred & Sauron had fooled men into believing him to be a advisor of sorts. Lots of interesting themes, hell even “The Children of Hurin”, released in 2007, would of been vastly better material to make into a movie.

  14. Matt says:

    I’ve spent extensive time recutting the hobbit movies for my own edification, and while PJ made some serious mistakes in: pacing, changing lore to his whim, randomly and haphazardly inserting new characters, and the most egregious error of having the elf-dwarf romance; underneath all that are two really solid films, with a reasonable running time, good laughs, touching moments, and beautiful camera work. I feel confident that BoTFA will be the strongest of the theatrical cuts, and with a few tweaks in Final Cut Pro after the film is released, will be among movies I will come back to time and time again (as soon as Tauriel and Kili have a friendship instead of a romance).

    In this age where we can remake and remix things to our heart’s content, what is the point of bemoaning what is wrong with what has been originally produced? I am so greatful that Peter Jackson was given a budget and put all the painstaking work of producing these movies. With almost 9 hours of footage (more once TBotFA extended edition comes out), there will be more than enough material to make whatever hobbit movies you do want to see. And maybe someday we’ll even be able to share those re-edits freely with each other without running the risk of being sued into oblivion by a bunch of lawyers protecting copyright claims for mega-conglomerates eager to suck as much money out of the franchise as possible.

  15. Pete Starr says:

    What a wretched gutting of a wonderful story. The true theme of a small person carrying the day is watered down to nothing and all that’s added are pointless new characters and scenes designed to be part of future theme park rides.
    Just vile.

    • Patrick Downing says:

      Oh the book purists weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    • Marc says:

      Disliking the changes and additions made to an adaptation of a book or story is being a book purist, genius.

      Not every change Jackson made was good. I wasn’t saying that. But the “fluff” he added created an overall fluent and characterized narrative. I’m sorry you can’t find enjoyment in these films. If you want a cheap word for word carbon copy, watch the 70s animated film. It seems more up your alley.

      By the way, the one-armed Orc is from Tolkien lore.

    • Marc says:

      Shove it, book purist. This isn’t about Bilbo’s story, it’s everybody’s story. Face it, as much as I love it the original story is just too simple and shallow and repetitious to translate well into PJ’s Middle Earth. And I’m grateful he is doing something different instead of a word for word carbon copy.

      Seriously, Tolkien book purists are some of the whiniest, niggliest people on the internet.

      • Lyn Storm says:

        I agree, Marc. If we had a word-to-word screen translation of the book, it would’ve been shocking. Some just don’t realise that. Regardless of how brilliant Tolkien was, this early book had many flaws in it. The characters are underdeveloped, to start with. It’s only a great thing that we got to have so much depth added to the story. Also, it’s only natural. Don’t mind the book purists, they’re somehow thinking it’s ‘cool’ to be against… and they’ve got too much time on their hands and find no other way to ‘socialise’.

      • Tachen says:

        I have mixed feelings about the films, but some expansion of the book really was necessary in order to adapt it into film. Most of the characters in the book were under-written, and Jackson rightly had to flesh them out.

        As a screenwriter, you want to give all your characters some depth. As a director, you want to give your actors some purpose. The dwarves had no personality in the book, so Jackson had to invent some. The orcs had no personality in the books, so Jackson had to come up with something. In fairness Jackson did draw on Tolkien’s appendices to develop these characters. Hook-handed Orc dude comes right from Tolkien’s pen.

        Bard could have been just some guy from Laketown with a bow and arrow, but would that have made a better film? I think not.

        The confrontation with Smaug could have been done in 10 minutes of screentime, but would that have made for a better film? Again, I think not.

        I think its fair to critise the film for the silly fight scenes and the awkward pacing. And to be honest, I find his art direction has grown tired. Something about the gritty realism of Game of Thrones has made Jackson’s LotRs films seem rather twee and plastic.

      • Pete Starr says:

        “The Hobbit” isn’t about Bilbo’s story? Curious title then.
        Maybe the addition of moronic fluff like the dragon chasing dwarves through the halls is really your speed but I hope not. Maybe Orlando Bloom prancing in to save the day got you hot and bothered but it shouldn’t have. Maybe you feel that comedy-dance, battle sequences are an underrated art but no. Maybe you think that the whole “One Armed Orc” thing rises above stupid but it doesn’t.
        This isn’t about book purity.
        This is about how he made a stupid movie and stuffed in enough eye candy action to get away with it.
        If you want these movies, there’s a dozen superhero movies a year that do it better.
        They made up most of this, they could have made up something completely different that made sense.
        But instead, they wasted the only time a movie will be based on this book.

  16. Rick says:

    It was great when Boba Fett came into the battle riding a talking monkey and leading a band of cartoon dinosaurs. F@$€ you, Peter Jackson. Read the book before you make the film next time.

    • John says:

      Rick, why don’t you become a filmmaker then? Get over it, stop seeing movies if adaptations bother you this much.

      • Odii Gis says:

        I’ve read the book several times and don’t feel at all that the movies are a “butchery”. As John stated (simply put), you don’t like adaptations, then don’t watch them. The LOTR and Hobbit movies stand in their own right AND are adaptations BASED upon the book. Not meant to be literal translations. Furthermore, the Hobbit was really NOT Tolkien’s greatest LITERARY efforts (in terms of structure, mechanics, etc.). There might be some scholars who will agree with this. Why? Because it was meant to be a children’s story. His better efforts were shown in the LOTR volumes. I believe The Silmarillion to be his finest (likely to never adapted into screenplay so safe for now, haha).
        But Pete S would find it a “wretched gutting” to a children’s story. Funny. We dare not insult Dr. Seuss with crass movie adaptations. Oh wait. Too late.

      • Pete Starr says:

        Right on, Rick.
        The butchery of Tolkien’s The Hobbit was truly crass. Jackson changed the main underlying theme just to pander to twits who just want a spectacle and never understand a story in the first place.

  17. Frank says:

    As a Tolkien fan of 40 years, I am happy with what Jackson has done with the six movies and see no profiteering, etc. By taking the childrens’ book ‘The Hobbit” and fleshing out the back story (and world) that existed simultaneous to it – he has brought to life the close of the Third Age with a broad and energetic brush. Do I occasionally feel that everything is “bigger” than it need be? – YES – but that’s what movies are these days and the genre seems to demand it. I can’t wait for the extended version of Five Armies to see the final product. I, for one, will be spending a weekend in 2015 watching all SIX extended versions of Peter Jackson’s movies in much the same way I read all four books every year from 1973 to this day.

    • FD says:

      Are you having a laugh. The theme of these films is about greed and that’s exactly what the books are about. Seriously, people on here are right when they say Tolkien Book Pursuits are wining because everything Peter Jackson has done with the films is so much better than the book, which infact leaves so many characters undeveloped for instance 13 dwarves only a handful are developed but Peter Jackson has developed them all and given every single one a unique personality. Also, people saying it’s not faithful to the book should know themselves that Tolkien was going to rewrite the Hobbit so that it felt connected to The Lord of The Rings because when he wrote the Hobbit he wasn’t planning the Lord of the Rings hence why it’s so short and a children’s book compared to the adult Lord of the rings, but Peter Jackson sort of had the reverse problem really of trying to make a childrens book suit his already established Lord Of a The Rings films. I think Peter Jackson made the absolute right decisions in terms of what he has done with the hobbit and I feel it’s so much better than the book.

  18. Wastrel says:

    Good. Jackson is done. I won’t live to see someone make good movies out of Tolkein’s books, I suppose, but at least these Hollywoodized, modified, sanitized, fake versions are over. Please tell me he won’t try to do the Silmariallion.

  19. alur says:

    Making The Hobbit into a three-film series is rife with flagrant profiteering, hence the terrible first movie. Those of us that love Tolkien can forgive the crass and obvious extension and amplification of the story. At least the third movie finally ended the tale righteously. Time for Peter Jackson to call it a day. He’s a prime example of too much of a good thing.

  20. J O says:

    Dain Ironfoot not Underfoot.

  21. Ironfoot, not Underfoot.

  22. Gundu says:

    “Like George Lucas before him, Jackson has unmistakably brushed up on his Kurosawa, and there is at least one image here — of elf warriors leaping over the backs of dwarves and into a head-on orc charge — that could pass as an outtake from “Ran.” ”

    Have you ever actually seen “Ran”, because I have, and I can assure you there are no elves leaping over dwarves at any point in that film. There aren’t even humans leaping over humans. The two battles in “Ran” are impressive for their scale and the use of colour, but they aren’t particularly dynamic and they certainly aren’t heroic.

    Maybe you are confused?

  23. therealeverton says:

    Love that dinner party; funny, moving, jolly & serious, not a thing wrong with it for us, even two songs, including the excellent Misty Mountains.

    • I agree that the dinner party was fun, touching, and well made. As for all this other “Jackson’s gone too far, exploited for profit etc.” He did better than most would have, brought the story to many who might never have seen/read it, helped NZ tremendously. What have any of these complainers done for their community?

      The highlights of Jackson’s Tolkien films for me have been the *perfectly* cast Samwise and Frodo and Martin Freeman made the perfect hobbit. I couldn’t imagine better.

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