Okay, I finally went to see The Desolation of Smaug…I liked the movie, as long as I prevented myself from remembering it was supposed to be an adaptation of a classic novel. I’ve been reading The Hobbit just about once every year or so for the last twenty-thirty years, so there were way too many times I had to avoid yelling at the screen (I couldn’t help but wonder if they could have done the story in one installment if they didn’t put so many of the gratuitous 3-D shots that every producer seems to think are required, but I wish warranted the death penalty–but I digress).
I liked most of the characters (hey, wasn’t that Doctor #7?), and the conversation between Bilbo and Smaug went almost as I would have imagined it.
As a generic fantasy adventure, I’d give the story a 3 out of 5 (points get knocked off every time someone throws something at the camera).
As a Tolkien fan, though, I give it a 2, for ruining the whole Beorn encounter, and for all the Sauron-is-coming foreshadowing. We’re not idiots, Mr. Jackson.