17 August 2015

The Hobbit - the battle of the five armies

The Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies 2014
  • Director: Peter Jackson
  • Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett (for two seconds), Benedict Cumberbatch (voice only), Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Ian Holme, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in (they were all in the second Hobbit movie too):
    • Martin Freeman  Fargo, The World’s End, Hot Fuzz, Breaking and Entering, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Shaun of the Dead, Love Actually
    • Ian McKellen – Vicious, King Lear, Extras, Lord of the Rings, X-Men, David Copperfield, Richard III, Cold Comfort Farm, Six Degrees of Separation, The Ballad of Little Jo, Macbeth, Othello
    • Cate Blanchett – Robin Hood, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I’m Not There, Notes on a Scandal, Babel, Little Fish, The Aviator, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Heaven, The Shipping News, The Gift, The Man Who Cried, Elizabeth, Elizabeth the Golden Age
    • Benedict Cumberbatch –  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Creation, The Other Boleyn Sister, Atonement, Amazing Grace, To Kill a King
    • Orlando Bloom – the  Pirates of the Caribbean films, Extras, Troy, Lord of the Rings et al, Ned Kelly, Wilde
    • Ian Holm – The Aviator, Day after Tomorrow, From Hell, eXistenZ, The Fifth Element, A Life Less Ordinary, The Madness of King George, Frankenstein, Kafka, Hamlet, Henry V, Dance with a Stranger, Brazil, Alien, Holocaust, O What a Lovely War
    • Stephen Fry – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Alice in Wonderland, Extras, V for Vendetta, Tristram Shandy, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Longitude, Black Adder, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith, Wilde, Cold Comfort Farm, Jeeves and Wooster, Peter’s Friends, A Fish Called Wanda, A Handful of Dust
  • Why? Part of the trilogy
  • Seen: 14 August 2015 

       Elves are taller than dwarves. She’s taller than he is. That must be a cinematic first. And a lovely couple they make.
       It’s quite exciting but why does everyone – well, everyone but nice little Bilbo and nasty sleazy Alfrid – have to be so pretentious and portentous? Why can’t they talk like normal people?
       The film is filled with pretty elves (but sneaky and self-serving), ugly thick-bodied monstrous Orc soldiers, vast treasures, lost kingdoms, honour and pride and heroics.  How tedious. The armies and landscapes are massive. Less is more has evidently not yet been invented.
       But Bilbo is still so endearing, even more so than in the first two films. It’s all visually impressive. The wereworms and warrior pig are cool. And just when the machismo is getting nauseating the women arm themselves and go out to war too. I suppose we must be grateful for small tokens.
       Again Martin Freeman, with the help of Ian McKellan and a few others, save this ponderous heavy handed film from tripping over its own big clumsy feet.
       And it’s quite gripping in the end. Can it be that in spite of everything I’ve grown fond of this trilogy?

Almost 3* of 5


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