Tag Archives: The Hobbit

Top Ten Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings Moments

Peter Jackson finally brought his middle-earth journey to an end with ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’. After 3 very successful LOTR films and three Hobbit films which got a more mixed reaction, i thought to celebrate their ‘last goodbye’ i could pick out some of my favourite moments from the two trilogies. I picked 5 moments from each trilogy.

Warning: Major spoilers (seriously how have some people not seen these films by now…?).

Anyway here’s my top ten…

10: Riddles in the Dark – Just when you were ready to give up on an unexpected journey after the fiasco which is the goblin tunnels – Gollum appears to engage Bilbo in a game of riddles – unaware Bilbo has stolen his precious ring… – the tensest, darkest part of AUJ and one of it’s redeeming features that make the previous two hours of filler seem almost worthwhile…

9: Sauron Revealed – The Desolation of Smaug’s final hour is arguably the finest hour in any Peter Jackson film – the sense of foreboding is overwhelming (yet ebbs away in 5 armies after 10 minutes!). Here we see Gandalf confronting the Necromancer of Dol Guldur and his servant Azog, only to discover the Necromancer is Sauron himself, who defeats Gandalf with ease…

8: The Death of Boromir – Well it was Sean Bean. He was never going to survive. A downbeat note to end the 1st LOTR film on but a very poigniant one – Boromir’s ultimately futile last stand and his touching farewell with Aragorn makes it a very memorable ending.

7: Shelob – Between this, the Hobbit films, HP and the Chamber of Secrets, how do some people still like spiders!? The only part of the 3rd LOTR film which scared me as a kid – Frodo, alone, having sent Sam away and been abandoned by Gollum, cornered by a giant spider in her cavern… absolutely terrifying!

6: The Forest River sequence – Hilarious but action packed, the dwarves escaping the elves by river in barrels while an Orc Horde attacks make this the moment you realised DOS was a cut above AUJ. Cinemasins famously just said ‘everything about this sequence’ when they tore into this film on Youtube. Guilty pleasure? Maybe, but i still love this part of the film.

5: Forth Eorlingas – The Battle of Helm’s deep was such good cinema it meant neither the Siege of Minas Tirith nor the Battle of the Five Armies seemed as epic by comparison. It was that great. But if i had to pick one standout moment from the awesome battle, it would be it’s ending when Gandalf and the riders of Rohan rode forth to smash the Orc army attacking Helm’s deep. Simply Epic…

4: Bilbo meets Smaug – Benedict Cumberbatch is brilliant. As if Sherlock, Alan Turing, Khan etc. weren’t enough, he brought Smaug to life in a way Andy Serkis would have been proud of. Smaug is easily the best villain in any of the Peter Jackson films, and his confrontation with Bilbo is a highlight of DOS in terms of character, dialogue and tension.

3: ‘That still only counts as one!’ This is dedicated to Legolas (ah a time when Orlando Bloom wasn’t constantly playing irritating pricks in films…) and Gimli, and their on screen bromance. After Legolas fells a Elephant and all it’s riders single handed Gimli is immediately on hand to diminish his achievement – the funniest one-liner in any of the films!

2: Smaug destroys Laketown – In my review of the final film, i said the opening 10 mins were it’s best. I stand by that – Smaug’s fury being unleashed on Laketown combined with a pulsating emotive soundtrack (‘Fire and Water’) from Howard Shore led to the best opening scene i can remember from any film. Epic in any sense of the word – but still not as epic as…

1: Gandalf vs. the Balrog – Iconic. With a famous line that is constantly spoofed or stolen and another brilliant piece of music from Howard Shore, Gandalf and the fellowship fleeing the Mines of Moria, only to be chased by the fearsome Balrog (with pretty impressive CGI for 2001). Then when Gandalf turns to face it and seemingly conquers the beast… only to be dragged down with it… if people don’t appreciate Fellowship after watching this scene then there is something very, very wrong with them!

You can probably tell which films are my favourites now. Not that i dislike any of them – all would get at least 4 out of 5 – (ok – maybe not an unexpected journey – but it would get a valiant 3.5). Think i overlooked anything? Feel free to comment any of your own favourite moments!


Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Battle of the Five Armies starring Martin Freeman

Warning: Major Spoilers!

The Final End. Peter Jackson signs off his adaptation of the middle-earth fantasy world with the third and final Hobbit film. I loved The Desolation of Smaug (particularly Benedict Cumberbatch’s winning performance as the dragon Smaug) so my hopes were high that this film would continue the standard.

For the first 15 mins, this hope was effortlessly sustained as Jackson delivered one of the best opening sequences in any of his films. Smaug’s attack on Laketown was everything i’d hoped, with a rousing musical score from Howard Shore setting the adrenaline pumping nicely as Smaug burns the town to the ground as part of the dwarf company and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) attempt to escape. The only problem with the sequence was that it had to end. It ended in dramatic fashion as Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) escaped the town prison and confronted Smaug, leading to the dragon’s death as Bard shot him down with a black arrow. Smaug remains the best thing in this trilogy and he deserved more than a hour’s screen time in three films worth of story.

The film loses something after Smaug’s death which it struggles to reclaim until well into the eponymous Battle of the Five Armies (which are The Dwarves, The Elves, the Men of Lake-town, the Orc hordes and the Eagles for anyone who is interested). The only other sequence of note in the first hour is the White Council (Saruman, Elrond and Galadriel) saving Gandalf and battling Sauron and his Ring-Wraiths at Dol Goldur, which was a suitably cool moment bridging the two trilogies together. The film’s secondary focus falls on two storylines; Thorin (Richard Armitage) being corrupted by the ‘dragon sickness’ of Smaug’s hoard of gold and the continuing love story between Tauriel and Kili (with Legolas still making up the inevitable love triangle). One of the problems (which has been the case in the whole Hobbit trilogy) is you just don’t care about most of the dwarves (especially as characters like Tauriel and Bard got most of the character development). Personally, while i like Thorin, Kili, Bifur (James Nesbitt), Balin (the old wise one) and Bombur (the fat comic relief one), i couldn’t really care if the other dwarves lived or died.

Once the battle eventually starts the film gathers pace again, but the battle itself, while equalling those in Return of the King, still can’t quite match Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers in terms of spectacle. Wisely it instead focuses on the important characters i.e. Bilbo, Thorin, Kili, Tauriel, Legolas and Bard. One thing the Hobbit has done better than the original trilogy is its villainous cast. I felt far more hatred for Smaug, Azog and Bolg than i ever did for Gollum, Saruman or Sauron in the Lord of the Rings. This led to the final duels having a lot more tension in them as Kili, Tauriel and Legolas faced down Bolg while Thorin battled his nemesis Azog. The Legolas-Bolg fight was particularly enthralling even if you knew how it would end. Indeed the entire Hobbit trilogy probably worked a lot better for people who hadn’t read the book or seen the LOTR trilogy, as knowing which characters survived and which didn’t lessened any suprise factor.

Overall, a good film with some stunning battle scenes and heart-wrenching character deaths, but the film falls short of the high standard of both its predecessor and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. If nothing else, at least it had less f***ing endings than Return of the King!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Sorry for the long absense, university work got on top of me a bit. I am going to scale back my reviews to a more manageable 1 or 2 articles per week (though i may publish more on holidays or during weeks when i don’t have that much to do – thank you for your patience).