The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

So, I went to see this film at the IMAX cinema at Bluewater last night. I have written about the previous films Part 1 and Part 2 if you click on the links. So, it would turn out that I haven’t written about the first film. That means I have no idea when or where I saw that film. Maybe (seeing it was released at the end of 2012) I didn’t get to see it at the cinema as that was a disaster year for me. I may have seen it at the cinema but not written about it in this particular forum. I just don’t know. I can recall listening to podcasts talk about High Frame Rate from the distant past. Sorry, let’s move on.

This, latest and last, part of the film series was OK. I think my rating of OK just reflects the fact that over the last 15 years we have seen plenty of orc armies fighting the elves and hobbits helping out. The Lord of the Rings films had the element of awesomeness as that sort of thing just hadn’t been seen on the big screen before. For this film to be brilliant I needed to see something new. Overall, this film ended the series perfectly well.

There was quite a bit of wistful staring straight into the camera. The film could have been a lot shorter without all that stuff.

As a hint to the peoples of Middle Earth, if you think you’ve killed a big monster, cut the head off or stab the thing through the heart again. It makes simple battle sense.


I saw this at the local IMAX. I knew nothing about it when I went and only a vague memory of the original film and thinking it was a good film.

This film was a 12A certificate. The original was an 18 (and directed by Paul Verhoven). So, it was clear that there was not going to be the same amount of violence or language involved in the new film.

[Note: I have since watched the original again and the new film stinks in comparison to the old one (which I consider a classic, probably due to where it appeared in my lifetime)]

Overall, the new film was rubbish. There were some nods to the original but they were poorly done. The news-caster opening the film and being generally very republican and Fox News about it all was there in the original but more cleverly done 20 years ago. I don’t think the news section added a thing to the film whereas it gave a much better view of the future world in the earlier version.

The original film had more menacing corporate politics, more menacing criminals and a far better plot line. This latest version of the film was too politically correct. Murphy’s wife gave consent for him to be turned into Robocop in this film and knew about him. When Robocop tries to overcome his programming in the new version we just see him flash loads of video over his display. In the original you can see a man dehumanised and then struggle with memories and his inevitable return to humanity. His wife and child have gone. He’s left alone. The original film makes more of the “struggle” to overcome his computer identity.

To improve the new film there were certain aspects that needed to be included. Murphy spinning his gun after shooting is surely a pre-requisite. That and the ED-209 saying “you have 20 seconds to comply”. I missed these as I thought they were certain shoe-ins.

So, as a film for the latest generation who can’t cope with the 80s excess this is a very neutralised version. Less language, less nasty. It’s a shame, but then they probably wouldn’t make any money if it was an 18 certificate.

The final scene of the film, much like this final paragraph, was a waste of time.

The Desolation Of Smaug

It’s a long time since I read The Hobbit. All I can remember is that it is about Bilbo Baggins and that there is a ring involved. So my impressions of the film are not contaminated by things like accuracy to the book.

This was the first ever film I have seen in IMAX 3D HFR and it looked absolutely brilliant. I am just so impressed with what the thing looks like. I loved the film. The 160 minutes passed really quickly and I was fascinated and enthralled for the whole thing.

There were a few places where I think the HFR acted against the “look” of the film. The first film looked oddly “other worldly” during the bright daytime scenes and I think that’s something we can get used to. There were a couple of shots during the Barrel Escape set piece that I thought looked like 1970s special effects on TV. The problem is I can’t explain what I mean by that.

I can’t wait for my children to be old enough to cope with the spiders, dragon, orcs and Sauron. This film was brilliant. I’m so looking forward to watching the three Star Wars films and also the six Middle Earth films.