The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: THE HTF ADDICT 3D REVIEW

bgart13

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 4, 2008
Messages
1,101
Real Name
Ben
The wording of the press release seemed to indicate an extended version would be coming without specifically saying so. Hell, the four prior Tolkien-Jackson movies have extended versions, so why wouldn't this one?
 

TravisR

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
35,531
Location
The basement of the FBI building
Dougofthenorth said:
So we can expect a later Extended version of this series, following the marketing ploy done for the LOTR
series?? & then the boxed "Mega" multi-disc set when all are done
For me this is a rent & watch - as they come out & buy the extended box set when all is done
My expectation/hope is that they do the same thing they did with the LOTR movies- they just take all three extended versions and put them in one box once the last one comes out. That being said, I'm sure everyone who waits for the three pack will save money in the long run.
 

Scott Merryfield

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 16, 1998
Messages
15,993
Location
Michigan
Like Tony, this is the first film in the Tolkien series that I have not seen in the theater. I adore the LOTR films, but the first segment of the Hobbit disappointed me enough that I did not make the effort to get to the theater for part 2. I will pick up the 2D version (I do not have a 3D-capable system), as I think I will just stick with the theatrical versions of this set -- I certainly had no desire to see an extended version of the already too long first film.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
56,475
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
As I noted in my review, the first film really did turn some people off to this series.

However, the second film considerably makes up the difference.

In the future, I think some fans are going to skip the first Hobbit film and jump right
into the second (and hopefully) third.

For those of you with just a 2D setup but 7.1 audio, you are really going to enjoy this
mix. I expect that the 5.1 will be outstanding as well since there is a lot of panning of
voice and effects across all the channels.

....and of course, anyone looking for a reason to get into 3D -- this is currently my top
choice. The 3D is outstanding even though there is minimal pop-out.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
49,328
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Ronald Epstein said:
As I noted in my review, the first film really did turn some people off to this series.

However, the second film considerably makes up the difference.

In the future, I think some fans are going to skip the first Hobbit film and jump right
into the second (and hopefully) third.

For those of you with just a 2D setup but 7.1 audio, you are really going to enjoy this
mix. I expect that the 5.1 will be outstanding as well since there is a lot of panning of
voice and effects across all the channels.

....and of course, anyone looking for a reason to get into 3D -- this is currently my top
choice. The 3D is outstanding even though there is minimal pop-out.
The first film is not as good as the second, but that would be a mistake by some fans as there are some important events that take place in the first film. The Bilbo and Gollum sequence is one of the best in the entire series of these films including LOTR.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
56,475
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
The first film is not as good as the second, but that would be a mistake by some fans as there are some important events that take place in the first film.
Let me rephrase my original statement as it came off wrong...

What I meant to say is that while it is essential the first film be seen,
upon repeated viewings, I think many fans may opt to skip the film,
knowing its background, and go right into the second and third films.

Personally, I can't sit through that first film again. However, the
meeting of Gollum is the whole setup for the rest of the Hobbit trilogy
and the LOTR series.
 

Wayne_j

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
3,569
Real Name
Wayne
The appendices that come with the extended version of the first Hobbit film is worth the cost of the set for anyone interested in how modern fantasy movies are made.
 

Douglas_H

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 29, 2000
Messages
235
Ron, glad you stated that you were familiar with The Hobbit.
I am very familiar with The Hobbit and did not like the first installment at all.
I understand that Jackson and crew are "re-imagining" the book but that was more like a hallucination.
There are parts of the film that could've easily followed the book but didn't for no reason that was apparent to me.
I saw the trailer for Smaug while seeing another film and will breakdown and get this as I think that it will be the better of the 2.
As far as seeing the first film, if you know the book don't bother.
Also as far as the extended editions of this, I'm positive they will be nothing like the extended editions of LOTR.
Those added extensive scenes that contained real story and are the versions that should've been released in the first theatrical run.
The Hobbit movies are already bloated and for me, waiting for 10-15 more minutes of cumulative bloat is not worth it.
 

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
19,041
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
Douglas - the extended edition of the first Hobbit film was I think ten minutes longer, as opposed to the half hour or more that I think each of the LOTR extensions were. I don't recall anything particularly earthshattering in the extended cut of Hobbit 1, which I've only seen once. I think the dwarves sang some more. I agree with you that the LOTR extended editions were quite good. I remember seeing Fellowship Extended and Two Towers Extended as part of a brief theatrical run they had a couple weeks before Return of the King came out, and they were truly epic on the big screen.

I didn't think too much of the 3D when I saw the movie in theaters, but I trust Ron's word (as well as many others here) and I'm looking forward to revisiting the film and seeing if it looks any better at home. I kinda had the same reaction to the 3D in the first Hobbit movie, and then found that the 3D presentation seemed better at home. The first movie I only saw theatrically in the HFR version, and it was almost painful. Didn't like the movie, didn't like the look, just couldn't wait for it to be over. And then when the disc came out, I took another look, and while it still had plenty of faults, it was actualy watchable this time. I so much wanted to like the HFR technology, but it didn't look good to me. When I saw Hobbit 2 in theaters, I opted for regular IMAX 3D the first time around, and only saw it in HFR afterwards with a free pass I had - and had the same reaction to HFR this time as well.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
56,475
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
I am very familiar with The Hobbit and did not like the first installment at all.
I understand that Jackson and crew are "re-imagining" the book but that was more like a hallucination.
Yeah, the first film followed the basic story of the first part of the book.
But Jackson did say he was throwing in a lot of material from the LOTR appendices
into these films.
I never bothered to read the appendices, but I don't think Jackson is reimagining the book
rather than just including material that existed there. Just my opinion.
It's a shame that someone got greedy and decided to make one book into three films to
match the success of LOTR. However, in doing that, it really ruined the flow of the first
Hobbit film. It should not have been padded the way it was.

I didn't think too much of the 3D when I saw the movie in theaters, but I trust Ron's word (as well as many others here) and I'm looking forward to revisiting the film and seeing if it looks any better at home. I kinda had the same reaction to the 3D in the first Hobbit movie, and then found that the 3D presentation seemed better at home.
Josh,
I have yet to see a single 3D film in the theater. I don't go to the movies. I don't enjoy
the cinema experience as I get too annoyed by disrespectful audience members.
So, outside of seeing demos at industry events I attend, I have very little experience
with watching these films in a theatrical setting.
Everything for me is in the home, which is why I spend as much money as I can on
getting the best display possible.
 

Dougofthenorth

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
124
Real Name
Doug
Robert Crawford said:
The first film is not as good as the second, but that would be a mistake by some fans as there are some important events that take place in the first film. The Bilbo and Gollum sequence is one of the best in the entire series of these films including LOTR.
Ronald Epstein said:
Let me rephrase my original statement as it came off wrong...

What I meant to say is that while it is essential the first film be seen,
upon repeated viewings, I think many fans may opt to skip the film,
knowing its background, and go right into the second and third films.

Personally, I can't sit through that first film again. However, the
meeting of Gollum is the whole setup for the rest of the Hobbit trilogy
and the LOTR series.
I was so taken aback by the this new series installment, that surprisingly, I found my self fast forwarding through some parts.
this I have only done a very, very few times in any of the films I have ever watched.
So much so, that when I buy the extended set, I will not be watching this first film again.

My wife who loves these films & films of this type, got up about 30-45 minutes into the film & said "I'm not watching this", & went upstairs & played Mahjong on her PC!

Ron, we do not go to theaters for the same reasons, plus the forced commercial watching, as well as the 30-40 minute commute to the city, which is why I also built a decent HT.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
49,328
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Everybody has to do what's best for them! For me, I love the movie theater experience and I haven't been exposed to enough disrespectful audience members to persuade me from never going to the movies again. There is something about watching a film in a group environment that you can not replicate at home despite how much money you spent on your HT equipment. Granted, I don't go to the movies at the same frequency as I did 20 years ago, but films such as this one, I have to experience it on the big theater screen.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
56,475
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Robert,

Completely understand that.

I know I am missing out on something that cannot be replicated in the home.

I just don't have the time nor desire anymore. And what's really sad, is that one
of my closest friends runs a theater within a 40 minute drive, so I don't even have
to pay for a ticket if need be.

I have just become a homebody over the years.
 

Dick

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
8,541
Real Name
Rick
Ronald Epstein said:
Yeah, the first film followed the basic story of the first part of the book.
But Jackson did say he was throwing in a lot of material from the LOTR appendices
into these films.
I am still burning over the fact that my absolutely favorite part of the book -- in which Bilbo, lost in Mirkwood, sees a campfire burning but as he approaches it, it is kicked out, leaving him in the dark and more lost than ever. This happens several times, and has a wonderful, magical quality I had been looking forward to seeing in the movie ever since it was announced. Could have been done with 5 minutes of screen time. But, no, Jackson and his way-y-y overindulgent sensibilities left that section out completely, but padded the early Shire sequence by about four times the running length it needed. (He did this with the barrel ride in the second film and, for that matter, the meeting with Smaug in his lair).

I won't forgive this omission. Makes me infinitely less enthusiastic about the entire, ridiculously ego-driven "trilogy" made from a single 300-page book.
 

Dougofthenorth

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
124
Real Name
Doug
Dick said:
I won't forgive this omission. Makes me infinitely less enthusiastic about the entire, ridiculously ego-driven "trilogy" made from a single 300-page book.
Maybe then, we can expect a Quadrilogy from The Silmarillion :rolleyes: ^_^
 

Douglas_H

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 29, 2000
Messages
235
Home theater vs Theater:
Over the couple years I've return to regular theater viewing with a group of fellow cinephiles.
All of us have dedicated theater rooms with projection etc. Several of them are SOTA, really.
We're fortunate in the Puget Sound area in that there are good number of great theaters with true 4k, ATMOS, IMAX etc.
The guys in the group are much pickiermore knowledgeable than I am about the SMTP specs.
A couple times we've asked and been shown the projection rooms.
I will say that viewing Gravity on a large screen 3D ATMOS was the best audiovideo immersive theater experience I've ever had, period.
That is the way to do 3D.

The theaters we go to are doing a really good job of keeping the phone addicts and blabber mouths at bay.
On a side note, we do run into people who get incensed if anyone even whispers a word during the TV ads.
Obviously we don't converse during the movie trailers or the feature but some people are too uptight.
 

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
19,041
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
Ronald Epstein said:
I have yet to see a single 3D film in the theater. I don't go to the movies. I don't enjoy
the cinema experience as I get too annoyed by disrespectful audience members.
So, outside of seeing demos at industry events I attend, I have very little experience
with watching these films in a theatrical setting.
Everything for me is in the home, which is why I spend as much money as I can on
getting the best display possible.

I totally get that. At the moment I'm more in the "apartment rental" stage of my life, so building the home theater I'd truly like isn't yet a realistic possibility. But I can very easily imagine that being my future. (I can also imagine how that would go if I ever have kids. They'll grow up thinking a magnificent home theater is normal, and then get invited to their first sleepover, where the parents will wheel out a 20" CRT with a VHS player, and they'll sit there and say, "I thought we were watching a movie?") There's definitely something about a movie being projected on a large screen (even a nice sized home screen) that I miss from watching on a TV. Even a 50" TV, which strikes me as being huge when it's turned off, seems small when I sit down in front of it. I once had an SD projector in a previous apartment before the advent of Blu, which had a generous lens shift, and that allowed it me to be able to place it in a space that otherwise really couldn't accomodate it. Recently I've been thinking of seeking out an HD projector with similar lens shift capabilities to see if I can get something that works for me now, even without an ideal dedicated space. Anyway, apologies for rambling, I'm just trying to say -- I totally get where you're coming from!

I go to the movies fairly often, but I get frustrated more and more frequently at how people behave at theaters. It's so hard to find one that gets more right than wrong - underlit screens, stale popcorn, noisy audiences, misframed picture, sound bleeding from one auditorium to another, etc. It feels like prices keep rising while the quality of what's presented keeps sinking. Even my beloved IMAX auditorium in Lincoln Square NYC, the only one in NYC which is equipped to show 15/70 prints, has recently installed a digital projector which only fills a portion of the center of the screen, so now every feature shown there is essentially windowboxed. I love going to repertory theater and seeing older films, but now they've gone almost exclusively digital. It was one thing to go out and spend money to see a brand new 35mm print of an old classic (or even 70mm for some movies), but now it's DCPs sourced from the same master as the Blu-ray -- so for example, the wrong color on the "Vertigo" main titles on the Blu-ray is now part of any theatrical screening for that movie you might go to. Eventually I will get an HD projector, and when that happens, there will probably be no more reason for me to go out and see an old movie since they'll be showing the same source that I have at home. It's a shame it's coming to this. There used to be nothing better than going to a sold out film with an audience filled with people who *wanted* to be there. I'm still the kind of person who wants to see certain movies as soon as humanly possible - I can't imagine waiting the extra months for a Hobbit or Batman or Marvel movie I'm interested in to come out on Blu before seeing it. But I can very easily imagine a future where I only go to the theaters for an opening night, just to get that first-time screening out of the way. And hopefully the very first showings will continue to be attended by people who are dying to be there.

I totally believe that you're getting a better technical presentation at home with top of the line equipment than I've gotten in theaters for non-premium screenings - when they turn down the brightness on the projectors, the 3D presentation really does suffer.

Ron, have you seen a HFR (high frame rate) demo? Obviously that's not something we can get at home just yet, but I'm just curious if you've seen it in some capacity and what your reaction was.
 

John Maher_289910

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 7, 2013
Messages
591
Real Name
John Maher
I don't like this type of film, but I wish I did, as I'm always on the look out for good 3D. Although, I would never ranked GRAVITY anywhere near HOUSE OF WAX for great 3D. Just in case I crumble, and give it a try, do you have to see the first film or read the books for it to make any sense?
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,829
Messages
4,721,471
Members
141,345
Latest member
PhishHead00