Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (2014)

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Plot: Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth. (IMDb)

Acting:7.5/10

Graphics:6/10

Sound track:5/10

Costumes: 8/10

Scenery:9/10

Pacing: 3/10

Time run vs. Time needed: 144 minutes vs. 120 minutes6/10

Stance within genre: 5/10

Book adaption: 5/10

Likeability: 5.5/10

=60/100 = 6/10

What I liked:

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Thorin’s decent into madness and his redemption. These were some of the only scenes that felt true and authentic, it was part of the actual literature and Richard Armitage’s portrayal was something I continued to enjoy.

Luke Evans as Bard: The village people couldn’t act if something slapped them in the face, but Evans impressed me as the no-nonsense leader the Lake town needed.

Ken Stott as Balinwas so dignified. I actually enjoyed all the dwarves, but just as a note, dwarves should NOT be so attractive. (hem hem, Fili, Kili, Thorin)

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Azog the Defiler and all his merry Orcs: I can’t remember if he is in the book, but he worked in the movie really well. He was scary and gross and the end of him was actually one of the scenes I thought worked well.

Erebor: SO majestic and beautiful.

The legions of Orc armies – It will always give me goosebumps.

Bless Viggo Mortensen with twenty children for refusing to take part in the Hobbit (hem, hem Orlando Bloom). I knew they would sneak in a mention of Aragorn somewhere, but at least he stayed out of the show like it is supposed to be.

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Ian McKellan as Gandalf, Kate Blanchett as Galadriel, Hugo Weaving as Elrond all stayed excellent casting.

What I didn’t like:

The Graphics: It was jumpy and all over the place. I could not believe that this was a large budget film by the quality of the material – it was obvious that it was fake. It did improve about half way through

Dain: Talk about a character that looks like something from a fairy tale and not real.

The End: Bilbo’s return to the Shire gets at least 15 minutes of unwanted screen time, but you get no peek what happened to Bard, Thranduil, Tauriel and the Dwarves. Furthermore: Bilbo’s return and him finding his stuff being auctioned off? NOT happy with it, it defies everything about Hobbits and their nature.

The music score: One of the main reasons Lord of The Rings was so successful was thanks to the epic music score in the movies. It moved you, helped run the plot and carried every scene through. The music in the Battle of Five Armies was jumpy and didn’t really help the scenes at all.

Bulky Legolas: I mean 1) what is he doing in the Hobbit, 2) he looks so heavy he could break branches of trees and elves should be tall and slender by definition.

All dat love: I’ve harped on this for ages but WHY DID PETER JACKSON THINK A LOVE STORY WOULD BE APPROPRIATE BETWEEN AN ELF AND A DWARF???

Extended fighting scenes: Meh, not really necessary.

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Lee Pace is a drag queen: Thranduil did not impress me at all. He was too emotionless and callous and his nasal pronunciation of everything irritated me senseless.

Overall impression: Despite the large budget, the Battle of Five Armies is haphazardly composed. Mostly fan fiction and unimpressive. Peter Jackson needs to step back from the Tolkien material now and leave sacred things sacred.

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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What happens?

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is abducted from earth by Ravagers seconds after his mother’s death. He is raised by them, and grows up under their leader Yongu (Michael Rooker).

Twenty-six years later Quill steals an artefact on the planet Morag. He is intercepted by Korath (Djimon Hounson), who is a servant for the cruel Ronan (Lee Pace). Yongu is furious that Peter did this without him and issues a bounty for him, while Ronan sends the assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to kill Peter and retrieve the stone.

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I am Groot!

Quill, Gamora, the bounty hunter Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a genetically engineered racoon and his tree-like friend Groot (Vin Diesel) are captured when Rocket and Gamora tries to catch Quill the same time on Xandar, the home world of the Nova Corps. They are sent to a high security prison where they eventually team up with Drax (Dave Bautista), an inmate who initially wanted to kill Gamora for her connection with Ronan. Quill convinces Drax that Ronan wants Gamora dead for her betrayal and that he would be doing his enemy a favour and Drax decides to tag alone in the hopes of killing Ronan himself. Gamora reveals that she has a buyer for the orb and that if they work together they can share the cash.

After breaking out, they attempt to sell the orb, but disaster strikes and they realise how dangerous the orb is that Peter stole – it is an infinity stone that is exceptionally dangerous. They agree that getting the stone back to the Nova Corps is crucial because if Ronan gets it he will destroy Xandar.

Will they be able to elude Ronan? Can Xandar be protected by the fanatical Ronan who is intent on destroying the planet? Will the Nova Corps believe that Peter is trying to help them?

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Rating: 7/10

I have to confess that I solely went to see this movie because I wanted to go to the IMAX theatre that opened in Pretoria recently at The Grove. It was so much fun. It is FAR and PRICEY but totally worth it – the mall itself is beautiful and new and wonderfully designed and the theatre is epic, although the leg space is a bit small. I really enjoyed the experience and the movie as a result.

Guardians of the Galaxy seem like something Marvel worked really hard on. it is beautifully done – the graphics are amazing and for once the 3D was actually obvious – have you felt as well that sometimes 3D seems so NOT 3D? The movie is packed with events and worlds and drama, humour and attitude.

Ronan the Accuser was frightening. He seemed genuinely cruel and without mercy, fanatical and bent on destruction. His outfit contributed towards the horror he carried with him, and his eyes genuinely seemed dead. I liked the fanatical side to the character – he wasn’t overly interested in world domination but wanted a brand of justice. It felt like a nudge to all the people in the world who murder on some misconception of giving justice to their own people.

Chris Pratt is suddenly this sexy man that has a real career beckoning in Hollywood. He is really funny as always and his character has so many quirks. He worked extremely hard to pull off a type of Iron Man superhero – who saves the day but is funny while doing it.

I really laughed at Drax – he is an ode to every person on the planet that doesn’t grasp sarcasm and is made up of pure logic. His story was sad and his initial despise of Gamora understandable. It was sweet to see how they all became closer as their adventure progressed, especially Gamora and Drax, who didn’t meet under the best of circumstances.

Good things in the movie:

Completely new story being told – very original stuff

The graphics was flat out awesome.

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Groot – especially in the tiny form. He might go into the cuteness overload club alongside Toothless and Stitch.

Stan Lee – duh, as always.

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Drax: NOTHING goes over my head!… My reflexes are too fast, I would catch it.

Things that didn’t work:

Zoe Saldana – I feel like I can’t ever connect to her performances. She is firstly too fond of playing aliens and she doesn’t really ever feel authentic.

It sometimes feels too much – there is so much happening in this movie that you can lose track what is going down.

It is very long – three hours maybe?

The spoiler at the end of the movie was so not satisfactory considering the amount of credits you must sit through.

It didn’t give me that rush of emotions I was hoping for. I probably unfairly wanted to feel like I did the first time I watched the Avengers. This was good but the action never approached wow levels.

Have you seen it? What did you think?