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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was a fun movie for me. Really had fun watching it and I saw no harm in encouraging people to see it. Okay, now that I've watched the sequel -- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug -- there are a few things that have surprised me, and I don't mean in a good way. Nobody enjoys mindless Hollywood villain-bashing more than I do, but something felt off in this sequel, which most of us were awaiting so eagerly. As much as I appreciate what Peter Jackson has done with Tolkien's lore, I cannot deny one obvious fact about The Hobbit movies - they are struggling to maintain a story that could've easily been made into a single, epic movie. A lot of the dialogue feels forced and bland, so much so that it almost seems as if the characters themselves don't know what else they're supposed to do or say.
The direction is damn-nearly flawless, as are all the stunning battle scenes and special effects, complete with the glorious first appearance of Smaug, who was immaculately voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.
This movie won't make me hate the franchise. Far from it. I have too much respect for Peter Jackson, the massive project and the entire crew behind it. Yet, I cannot shake the feeling that more of Tolkien's source material is missing and it fucking shows. The Lord of the Rings trilogy used an abundance of awesome material from three books (+ appendix). In that respect, The Hobbit does seem like butter scraped over too much bread, as Bilbo would say. Sure, it's still all tremendous fun to watch. You shouldn't miss out on watching these movies in the cinema. Only don't expect the kind of story depth you witnessed in the LotR movies.
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