The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (Film #2)
Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, J.R.R Tolkien (based on his book)
Run time: 161 mins
Release Date: 13 December 2013
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.

Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; As my friend described it, was visually stunning, with a high frame rate, like watching and I quote her saying "Planet Earth, but with Wizards". This is no surprise as New Zealand is a beautiful place, one I very much wish to visit one day, a place that's beauty is showcased by the art of these films.
Here's the thing, I'll start with that I loved the most about this film.  The revelation of the necromancer as Sauron and the way that the burning shadow became 'The Eye' well played Peter Jackson, very well played. The tie in to Gimli and Legolas? I think the entire theatre burst out laughing at Legolas' reaction to the picture of 'wee lad Gimli', which for me begged the question where was Aragorn?! Come on people we needed a Viggo fix, the man was 87 years old he could have been in it he would have been like 27 and sure Viggo's aged but a little hair dye and some beard could have pulled it off not like Orlando is 23 anymore.

I do accept the fact that he was however, unnecessary and probably should have come to light in the first film in Rivendell since he was raised there so the moment has long passed for that hope. Martin Freeman's evolution of Bilbo was brilliant, the innocence lost as the attraction to the Precious grows and its hold on him begins to turn him a little darker each time.

The spiders, oh the spiders. Well, I'll start this off by saying that I am probably one of the worst arachnophobics around these parts. This is a girl who had a hyperventilating attack when there was a spider on the basement stairs and clawed her best friends arm off while sobbing in The Return of the King during the whole Shelob part. That being said the spiders in this film scared me, and I looked away for much of this scene but once I could hear what they were saying I was suddenly not afraid of them anymore.... Fear of the unknown perhaps? I wont psychoanalyze myself but that's the truth. Then suddenly when Bilbo took the ring off again they were suddenly terrifying and I'm sorry, but was that a giant white crab at the end? Seriously what was that? I don't even understand I just know Bilbo went full raged psychopath on it's ass.

In enters the greatest that is Legolas. Being the shameless fangirl that I am, I'm not that hard to please when it comes to the world of middle earth, give me a few shots of Legolas being a badass and I probably could sit happy for years to come, however looking at the film objectively here's my breakdown.

The film was good, in my opinion, it was nowhere near as good as the first installment which was a little disappointing since I felt like in the Lord of the Ring trilogy the films and stories just got better as they went on, we got to know the characters more and were included in their humor. The only character we seemed to see into the life of or any development at all was Kili as he spoke of home and his promises his dreams SPOILER ALERT seriously Peter you're just going to make us all fall in love with this beautiful, adorable, sweet and idealistic Dwarf just to watch him die? Who are you, George R.R Martin?

Thorin seemed to have backtracked, he went from being a complete jerk in the first film and just at the end you get a glimpse of redemption from him as he finally accepts Bilbo and then there is zero redemption in this film at all, if anything he becomes increasingly less likable as the film continues as his nephews Fili and Kili become more likable as they band together despite the quest, again stop it.

O Smaug, the stupendous - Bilbo. Benedict Cumberbatch you brilliant fiend you. He might not be an actual Dragon but my god did his voice, his portrayal strike fear and ominous feeling into my heart. He was just born to play bad what can I say. There were a few moments of logical inconsistency; for example if he had been using his sense of smell to find them in the beginning, why was it he could freely walk over them and not notice they were down there simply because they were not moving? Also the distraction attempt at the several different groups of hobbits running in different directions to distract him. That seemed like a weak attempt at giving them a chance to escape when we all know that real dragons would have burned all their asses in seconds. Cause you know, I'm obviously an expert on the acts of real dragons.

Over all the film felt like a place holder, the things that happened in the movie were there, they happened but were they necessary? Probably not all of it. The ending was not the best cliffhanger either since you pretty much know where Smaug is headed looking all fabulous coated in gold.

For those who complained about the length I was waiting for it to continue I barely noticed the length I thought the attack would at least have started before they dropped off to be continued.

The acting was fantastic, visual stunning the dialogue and plot progression was a little lacking.

It was enough to have me looking forward to the next film but not the wow I had been hoping for.

Favorite Quotes:

Legolas: Who is this? Your brother?
Gloin: That is my wife!
Legolas: And who is this horrid creature? A goblin mutant?
Gloin: That is my wee lad, Gimli!

Kili: Aren't you going to search me? I could have anything down my trousers.
Tauriel: Or nothing.

Thorin Oakenshield: Fili, don't be a fool. You belong with the Company.
Fili: I belong with my brother!

Recommendation: A Must see for all middle earth fans, and a thoroughly enjoyable film.

Doctor Who: Day of The Dcotor

Doctor Who: Day of The Doctor
Director: Nick Hurran
Writer: Steven Moffat
Run Time: 77 mins
Release Date: November 25th 2013
Rating: 4/5

Review:  So while this was technically a TV episode I have included it in my film reviews section. Well the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who was a extremely highly anticipated event all around the Fandom world.

I managed to catch it right when it premiered and I was pleasantly surprised the viewing was uninterrupted by commercials even though it was showing on television.

 I missed my chance to see it in theatres in 3D as the one showing they had in the city was completely sold out and the other three showings weren't going to be until this evening and why waited three days after it premiered to experience the awesome?

What is there to say except for the fact that I thought it was brilliantly done, crossing the time thresholds to bring three versions of the doctor together at once. I was beyond ecstatic to see David Tennant and Matt Smith together on screen. These two actors are my favorite incarnations of The Doctor David being my first choice and Matt coming in a close second. To see them interacting was a fangirl's dream for me and they did it so well, I enjoyed their witty banter their appreciation and dis-appreciation of each other, they decorating or clothing choices.

It was a little priceless to see them all as their own unique individuals and yet knowing they were the same person, just changed slightly over time. The sand shoes comments from both the War Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor were hilarious and the continuous Fez comments. Clara's 'Some day you can just walk past a Fez' got a good laugh. Their comparisons of the Sonic Screwdrivers was brilliant 'compensating?' Tennant asked Smith.

The story, was a stroke of genius and essentially set the series up to start from the beginning were it to wish, the Doctor Who world is now their oyster and not only because of Time Manipulation but because they managed to save Gallifrey which I would hope means in the upcoming season they will be returning at some point.

I was happy to see one of the Classic Doctors return as the writers said we would NOT be seeing that directly and yet there it was in the Tower.  There were a few things I was disappointed about, one being the fact that Rose was not herself as the trailer seemed to suggest, it was an interesting twist but it was sad to not see her and David interact at all and the only hint he got that she was there was the Bad Wolf comment from the War Doctor. Eccleston was definitely missed and I was a little disappointed he couldn't put aside his disagreements to shoot a few hours of film for a brief appearance but I don't think it took anything away from the special aside from the fact that he did, technically revive the fandom for the New generation.

I also was a little disappointed not to have seen the transformation of Matt into Peter as the new doctor, though his eyes did make a brief appearance (which I honestly missed first time around I must have just looked down for a moment) at the end I was sort of waiting for it and nothing happened so that was sort of an anti-climax to the excitement of all the Doctors lining up at the end; which by the way, totally sent amazing chills down my spine.

I know that the Christmas episode is supposed to be the regeneration, not certain if I'll have space at that time to see it but I have to say I'll be very sad to see Matt go, as I was sad to see David go. Hopefully Peter will pick up amazingly and continue on the Doctor's spunk. It'll be a little sad to see the younger generation of Doctors going because I do feel like that drew in a lot of new fans to the Fandom and purist arguments aside, I think new fans are always a good thing, no matter the reason.

Overall aside from the few little disappointments I found the special to be spectacular everything I could have wanted, personally with my two favorite doctors working together it was just almost too much to handle.

There was certainly room for a little improvement. I loved it as it was but was slightly left wanting.

Favorite Quotes:

Clara: Doctor, what's going on?
Eleventh Doctor: It's a... uh... timey wimey... thing.
War Doctor: "Timey" what? "Timey wimey"?
Tenth Doctor: I-I have no idea where he picks that stuff up.

Tenth Doctor: Oh, you've redecorated!
[the Eleventh Doctor smiles]
Tenth Doctor: I don't like it.

Eleventh Doctor: I demand to be incarcerated in the tower immediately with my co-conspirators, Sand Shoes and Granddad.
War Doctor: Granddad?
Tenth Doctor: They're not sand shoes!
War Doctor: Yes, they are.

 If you are a fandom fanatic, see this. It was really well done, funny, and while I wanted more, it was really good. Doctor Who fans cannot miss.

Ender's Game

Ender's Game
Director: Gavin Hood
Writer: Gavin Hood, Orson Scott Card (based on his book)
Run Time: 114 mins
Release Date: 1 November 2013
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Young Ender Wiggin is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against the Formics, a genocidal alien race which nearly annihilated the human race in a previous invasion.

Review: I may be a little late coming to the Ender's Game party but I just watched the film and I must say I was blown away.  I walked into this film with no prior knowledge other than I was fully aware it was an adaptation of a much loved novel.

Now I've seen some reviews of it and I have to say for the most part I disagree with the points which the negative reviews seemed to focus on. The film, for a two hour film felt well paced and there was no story line confusion along the way, everything had the amount of time it needed the really develop a character relationship and story development.

The movie was slow enough that you had enough time to immerse yourself into the world but quick paced enough that you never really got bored with what was going on. Though the idea of an army completely controlled and made up of children soldiers in space was not necessarily an idea we would be familiar with the film did touch base on topics that are timeless in any generation.  Bullying, family, expectations, war.

Asa Butterfield, known only to me form his few appearances on the BBC show Merlin, was fantastic. The raw emotions he tapped into, the anger, hurt, sadness was something I have not seen from a young actor in quite a while and I was overall impressed by his performance as Ender, he was Ender.

I felt that all of the roles in the film were very well acted especially by the younger actors, It was a consistent level I hadn't seen in a long time. Also, Harrison Fords cold hearted calculating leader was fantastic but a little bit frightening.

The end of the film had the stress level high and the ending, though it caught me by surprise was somewhat anticipated. The further into the battle scene It progressed the more I predicted the aftermath but it was still heartbreaking to watch and watch the reaction of Ender and His team.

Favorite Quotes:

" In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him."

"We won that's all that matters!" "No. The *way* we win matters!"

"There is no teacher but the enemy. Only he will tell you where you are weak, where he is strong."

Recommendation: Over all would I recommend this film? Yes! To everyone and anyone who would listen, it was fantastic There was nothing about this film as a viewer that I thought 'oh I wish they'd changed this' I loved it all and felt it was all necessary to properly tell the story.

Thor: The Dark World

Thor: The Dark World (Marvel)
Director: Alan Taylor
Writer: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus,  Stephen McFeely
Based on Marvel characters.
Run Time: 112 mins
Release Date: 8 November 2013
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis: When Dr Jane Foster gets cursed with a powerful object, Thor must protect it before an army and its ruthless leader try to get their hands on it to take over the remains of Earth.

Review: So, I finally saw Thor: The Dark World. It has been one of my most highly anticipated films of 2013 but I have to admit, as much as I enjoyed the movie as a whole, it was pretty awesome, I was slightly disappointed with the flow of the film.

As a movie it had everything that a movie should have, action, depth, humor, emotion, sadness, cheek, aliens. What more could someone ask for, well let’s see shall we?

Loki's shape shifting was hysterical and I nearly fell out of my seat when he turned into Captain America, I meant really my favorite Villain and My favorite Superhero as one person. It was hysterical and well played. I was laughing so hard. From what I've read, Tom did an impression of Chris Evans in the role and Chris took that impression and copied it as Cap. So funny and well done, it was one of my favorite moments in the film for sure.

The big emotional moments in the film really hit hard but I felt like they lasted for a few fleeting seconds before they were brushed over and quickly moving onto the next joke or scene. Can't a girl have a moment to grieve? I feel like there was no time to let anything that happened sink in, for a two hour movie too many scenes were packed closely together. I think this had partly to do with the fact that the movie was taking place is so many different worlds.

 It jumped from Earth to Asgard to Vanaheim to Helheim, back to earth, then back and forth between the two. It was a little hard to focus on the story line when SPOILER ALERT about five minutes after their mother's tragic death Thor and Loki are joking around. Then, a few seconds after Loki tragically sacrificed himself to save Thor's life, and Thor held the body of his dying brother in his hands, he and Jane were wandering through a cave and Thor is acting all suspicious and jealous about her boyfriend. Seriously?

It was funny...but definitely misplaced there should have been a grieving scene beyond the moment alone. It was literally Thor going "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" and then a couple minutes later dropping his body and being like "Okay, Moving on now."

It was quickly followed by Thor returning to Midgard with Jane where Eric makes a joke about Loki's death. All the light hearted humor somewhat hints at the fact that yes, we all know Loki is not really dead, but still, the scene was beautiful and tragic and no one really seems to give a damn, we don't even get to see Odin's true reaction.

No wonder the guy is pissed off at his family. Once again Odin shows some wickedly poor parenting skills, I nearly thought he was going to cop out of his conversation with Thor by going into Odinsleep again, what better way to avoid a confrontation with your sons? Sleep for the year.

The ending was a wicked twist and all I could do was once more cheer for the villain, I have a sick problem.

The film was comedy and action packed, the witty repertoire between brothers was fantastic something I had been missing from the first film, but their bromantic quest did not last long enough for my liking. Both Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston were fantastic. Once again Tom takes the bad guy and makes you feel pain for him.

 I did however hope that the movie would explore to some extent a guilt for Loki having lead the creature that was responsible for his mother's death up the proper stairs into the palace giving them the opportunity to kill her but they didn't even seem to brush on that interaction other than the elves realizing he had been in the prison.

Zachary Levi as Fandrall was almost unrecognizable and actually, as much as I adore Josh Dallas, I think Zachary nailed it, and truthfully if I hadn't known about the switch prior I might not have even noticed aside from a far more attractive beard he was sporting.

I gave it a solid 3.5/5 if only for the fact that I was not given the proper time to allow my tears to even escape my eyes before a joke was being thrown in my face.

Favorite Quotes:

Loki (as Captain America): "Oh, this is much better. Costume's a bit much... so tight. But the confidence, I can feel the righteousness surging. Hey, you wanna have a rousing discussion about truth,honor, patriotism? God bless America"

Loki: Well done, you just decapitated your grandfather!

Odin: We are not gods! We're born, we live, we die, just as humans do.
Loki: Give or take five thousand years.

Yes, see this film, you more or less have to if you're a Marvel fan because they have made it so that if you miss one film, you'll be lost in the next but I liked it so if you haven't get, get on it!