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

Josh Steinberg

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John Maher_289910 said:
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?
I'm honestly not sure how enjoyable it would be out of context of the others. Unlike, say, the Lord of the Rings films where even though they're part of a trilogy, each individual film has a beginning, middle, and end, the two Hobbit films haven't felt that way - to me, it feels like they just stop, rather than resolving anything. I did find this second Hobbit film to be more enjoyable than the first. I think there might be a few plot points that are a little unclear if you haven't seen the first, but it's probably not incomprehensible. Basically, you're joining a group of people on a journey to reclaim their homeland from a dragon, and this movie begins with the journey in progress and ends before it's complete. So expect to watch a movie where the story is already underway at the beginning, and isn't resolved at the end. I personally didn't find the theatrical 3D good enough to recommend watching this movie without having seen the first film, or to anyone who isn't a fan of these types of film, but that's just my take on it. Don't get me wrong, the 3D was enjoyable -- but it wasn't the kind of film that was a game-changer for the medium in my opinion.
 
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Dougofthenorth

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John Maher_289910 said:
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?
John, I would recommend reading the books first before watching the films - they are so well written as to be literary works of art.
Reading them helped put my mental impressions in front of me & rather enjoyably - save parts of the first movie in this latest & newest trilogy, which predates the LOTR series in the real story timeline..
 

Aaron Silverman

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Douglas_H said:
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.
I think I mentioned it upthread, but the first Hobbit movie follows the book *much* more closely than the second one does. If you hated that the first film diverged from the book, the second (which, book aside, is IMO a better movie) will drive you batty.
 

Scott Merryfield

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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.
That's good to know, Ron, as I do have a 7.1 audio setup but only 2D. As for moving to 3D, that is just not going to happen anytime soon. If my display (a 67-inch LED DLP Samsung) dies it will probably be replaced with a 3D set only because all the better sets are 3D. However, as long as my current TV is functioning properly, I have no desire to replace it.
 

FoxyMulder

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John Maher_289910 said:
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?
I guess we all have different priorities for what makes great 3D but for me it has to have much more than just depth, it has to use 3D to it's fullest, to that extent it must give me great depth with several great popout moments, i'm not asking for popout the entire film, just give the audience something other than depth, as a filmmaker i feel if they are embracing 3D, they should not be pompous and think they are being artistic by only using depth and effectively turning their noses up at the popout aspect, they need to understand that most of the audience would appreciate a few good popout scenes.

I'm sick of hearing some people and filmmakers call popout a gimmick, it's part and parcel of the 3D format, use it or don't bother shooting in 3D, it's not a gimmick, if popout is a gimmick then depth is also a gimmick.

I see it this way, depth is appreciated more when you have popout because that is the full 3D experience and, if a filmmaker shooting native 3D and, having storyboards to visualize their film cannot utilize popout in at least several scenes in a natural way, then they don't know their craft as well as they think they do, they certainly don't know 3D, no excuse for not having some good popout moments in these films and, for me, if i was scoring them, they would get lower scores, i'd drop points, because i don't think they use the technology as well as movies like House Of Wax or A Turtles Tale as two examples.

I did not think much of the use of 3D in the first film, many missed opportunities, i was in the minority on that.
 

Bob_S.

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Sadly, this is the first Middle-earth movie that I didn't get on first day of release. I'll wait for the EE. Very disappointed in the over the top action sequences and over abundance of cgi. As much as I LOVED Shore's LOTR scores, these last 2 for the most part have been forgettable. I have this hope that I'm really going to like TABA but my fear is that the cgi, over the top action will be much more than DOS.
 

EdReedFan20

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I couldn't wait to see how Smaug's scenes were in 3D and they did not dissapoint. They did a fantastic job.
 

bgart13

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I was able to rent it after all, and was pretty happy with it. I was a little lost at the beginning, as it's been a while since I saw the first film. I enjoyed it though, the 3D was good, and for the first time in one of these hobbit movies (that I recall) I noticed some cgi fx that looked somewhat poor. I do wish I had seen these theatrically, but such is life.Speaking of hobbit movies, has anyone heard if Jackson is going to convert the LotR movies into 3D when this series is finished?
 

Jacksmyname

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Thanks for the review Ron. My copy should be delivered tomorrow (the set with the bookends). Your enthusiasm for the audio is what pushed me to buy it. I have a 7.1 system, so I'm really looking forward to it. No 3D for me as yet.
I also used to go to the movies a lot when I was younger, but no more. I've also become a homebody as I've gotten older. It also irks me to no end when others can't seem to keep their gums from flapping during the movie, not to mention the airheads who can't bear to do without their cell phones for a few hours.
 

DavidJ

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I am waiting for the EE to buy this, but after Ron's review, I went out and rented it. I agree wholeheartedly with his review. It is one of the best and most enjoyable 3D titles.
 

John Maher_289910

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FoxyMulder said:
I guess we all have different priorities for what makes great 3D but for me it has to have much more than just depth, it has to use 3D to it's fullest, to that extent it must give me great depth with several great popout moments, i'm not asking for popout the entire film, just give the audience something other than depth, as a filmmaker i feel if they are embracing 3D, they should not be pompous and think they are being artistic by only using depth and effectively turning their noses up at the popout aspect, they need to understand that most of the audience would appreciate a few good popout scenes.

I'm sick of hearing some people and filmmakers call popout a gimmick, it's part and parcel of the 3D format, use it or don't bother shooting in 3D, it's not a gimmick, if popout is a gimmick then depth is also a gimmick.

I see it this way, depth is appreciated more when you have popout because that is the full 3D experience and, if a filmmaker shooting native 3D and, having storyboards to visualize their film cannot utilize popout in at least several scenes in a natural way, then they don't know their craft as well as they think they do, they certainly don't know 3D, no excuse for not having some good popout moments in these films and, for me, if i was scoring them, they would get lower scores, i'd drop points, because i don't think they use the technology as well as movies like House Of Wax or A Turtles Tale as two examples.

I did not think much of the use of 3D in the first film, many missed opportunities, i was in the minority on that.
Why is this in response to my post? Did I say I disliked popouts?????
 

Dave MJ

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Aaron Silverman said:
I think I mentioned it upthread, but the first Hobbit movie follows the book *much* more closely than the second one does. If you hated that the first film diverged from the book, the second (which, book aside, is IMO a better movie) will drive you batty.
Agreed about it driving you batty. It's rare that I have a strong dislike for a movie, but I disliked the first move and flat out hated DoS. I loved the LOTR movies, despite some questionable changes from the books, but the Hobbit movies are formulaic, bloated messes IMO. The massive changes from the charming story of the book come across like bad fan fiction directed by Michael Bay. I am sorely disappointed.
 
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FoxyMulder

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John Maher_289910 said:
Why is this in response to my post? Did I say I disliked popouts?????
Nothing intended by my quoting you, you just mentioned good 3D and i wanted to post what i feel good 3D should incorporate.
 

Matt Hough

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I know I am coming to the party way, way late, but today was the first day in a long time I felt I had enough time to just settle in with this movie and take it all in.

I do think it was more consistently paced than the first Hobbit movie, and though for me all of Jackson's action scenes go on too long (even in the LOTR trilogy), I didn't fast forward through any of them as I did with some of them in the first movie.

The 3D was excellent for what was offered, and I had no crosstalk on my display at all. When a head (or was it a sword?) was flung toward the screen, I ducked to get out of the way, so it really drew me in. And the depth was amazing especially when the camera would come to the edge of a precipice and look over and down - always super impressive. I was surprised the film was on two discs and was startled at the abrupt, choppy way the first part ended - almost in mid-word.

Still, I wouldn't have ranked it as high as Ron did in his Top 30 list. I'd put it maybe tenth or in the low teens. But it's HIS list, and I can see certainly see his points in his review for the immersiveness of it all.

The sound design was, of course, magnificent.
 

cb1

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I just watched the extended version of this title, I thought the 3d was excellent, very natural and smooth. I have to say that watching this for the 3+ hours did not bother my eyes as much as other titles.

I have a passive 3d set and I wear the glasses over my prescription glasses and the viewing was very comfortable where as another title I own makes my eyes strain badly.
 

RJ992

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cb1 said:
I just watched the extended version of this title, I thought the 3d was excellent, very natural and smooth. I have to say that watching this for the 3+ hours did not bother my eyes as much as other titles.

I have a passive 3d set and I wear the glasses over my prescription glasses and the viewing was very comfortable where as another title I own makes my eyes strain badly.
Just in case you weren't aware, they make 3D lenses that clip-on to eyeglasses. LG included them when I got my set.
 
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cb1

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RJ992 said:
Just in case you weren't aware, they make 3D lenses that clip-on to eyeglasses. LG included them when I got my set.
I didn't know that! now I'm googling! LOL
 

RJ992

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TonyD said:
Wait a minute, who are "they"?
I'm assuming LG. I got what is labelled a "Family Pack" with my set: 1 pair metallic frame, 1 pair clear frame, 2 sets kids, and 2 sets of clip-ons. Along with the 4 sets enclosed in the TV box, that's 10 pairs! Maybe I should start procreating!
 

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