The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

"Beyond darkness... beyond desolation... lies the greatest danger of all." The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.

It was Christmas Eve, and in the end, I decided I'd rather spend the rest of the evening with the animals than endure another minute of THIS. It was only the Exit door that gave me relief from this mess of a film.My wife was visiting family abroad, and I had to work the remainder of the week. As such, I thought I'd take advantage of a smaller Xmas Eve crowd than that found on a usual night for the latest "blockbuster." It was a decent plan, but ultimately, a big waste of money and time. In the end, I found that the warmth and companionship of a loyal German Shepherd mix and a small cat trumped spending another second in this pap of a film.Although having read the books at some point in the past, I am not a purist with regard to interpretation onto the big screen. The films of the LOTR's trilogy was well-done, and the first Hobbit was tolerably good, in spite of some added characters and sequences that detracted form the film.This, however, was beyond the line in terms of what I could endure. To condense this without similar pap I'll just bullet the following:1) The story was lost. I just wanted it to end at whatever point was chosen by the director, but it never did - and this was at the 2 hr mark at which I just couldn't take it anymore. 2) There were multiple fabricated story lines that weren't part of the book, and which did not add to a better film story, either. Rarely, I would detect a thread of truth to the original story - and actually, those were good. That said, it was only a small percentage of the film that contained these - certainly less than 20-25% of it. And, the parts that did support the core story were rushed. Character development was nonexistent. I did not give a flying care for any of the characters by the time I finally extracted myself from the torture of sitting through this. 3) The first installment was truer to the story than this by far. Perhaps two movies would have sufficed? One well done film would have been preferable.I suppose the writers and director intended to use this to build more foundational depth to the LOTR, but "The Hobbit" was completely lost, and the "depth" turned out to be a load of Cheese Whiz on a saltine cracker. Against the occasional Tolkein dialogs, the screenwriters' work appeared as 8-year-olds writing for 8-year-olds. Truly horrid.At least it is over. I'll not spend a dime to see the third part, unless it is through my Netflix subscription.
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