The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies – Reaction Post


SPOILER WARNING. If you have not watched The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, please proceed with caution as this entry contains spoilers, or do not proceed to read at all until you’ve watched it.

I watched The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies today (at a press screening at 9 in the morning. In a cinema out of town. Because they made us. Trust me, I only wake up at 6 o’clock for Peter Jackson.) And here is my ‘reaction post’, which is a fancy phrase to say ‘notes about the movie that are not turned into a review yet.’

Again, the spoiler warning applies. I do not want to be responsible anyone getting spoiled.

If you have no watched the film, the next line is the start of Too Much Information for you.

(And if you scroll all the way down to listen to the sound bites, Richard Armitage’s sound bite may contain spoilers. Martin Freeman’s should be spoiler-free.)

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The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Teaser: A Reaction


There was just the one clip from the last installment of The Hobbit trilogy that Peter Jackson & Co. showed the audience at the Warner Bros panel at San Diego Comic-Con ’14... and now we get to see it too! Warner Bros has released the teaser trailer of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies for our viewing pleasure.

My first few thoughts are:

  • Chilling. Epic. But mostly just chilling.
  • The use of Pippin’s song in this trailer feels right. It’s a good way to use that song again and connect The Hobbit to The Lord Of The Rings. (And the fact that Pippin’s song came in the third film of LOTR trilogy makes its usage in this third movie of The Hobbit trilogy is even more appropriate.)
  • Realistically speaking, I suspect that the reason why Pippin’s song is used in the trailer is because they don’t have a scoring ready to be used yet. However, it still sounds good and feels right anyway.
  • Now I really want Pippin’s song to be used in the movie. It’ll be a great way to have Billy Boyd involved again.
  • I suspect this will be Luke Evans’ moment to shine. The trailer teases a lot of heroic moments for Bard the Bowman. I hope the end product delivers on that.
  • Galadriel and Gandalf are yet another reason why I get goosebumps. Again, Pippin’s song fits whatever is happening there perfectly, walking through shadows and all that.
  • Sauron’s eye at the end of the trailer made me shudder. For all that Smaug is evil, Sauron is still the bigger threat.
  • The Hobbit film writers absolutely love Richard Armitage. They keep giving him the best lines. After “if this to end in fire, then we will all burn together”, he now gets to play Thorin Oakenshield delivering the fierce line of “I will have war.
  • Bilbo’s monologue at the beginning of the teaser trailer is absolutely heartbreaking.

Are you not gross sobbing into your keyboards yet?

“one day i’ll remember, remember everything that happened: the good, the bad, those who survived, and those that did not.”

I can’t actually watch too much of this trailer because I don’t want to cry even more than I already did.

I’ve been very worried about the BOTFA film; PJ has been slow in keeping us updated. It is now end of July and we still haven’t seen much – not even by way of still images – of the film. The only thing significant that happened was the title change from There And Back Again to The Battle Of The Five Armies. Right now, I have very low expectation of the movie (also taking into account how The Desolation Of Smaug took a huge leap away from the book), mostly because of this sense of ‘unpreparedness’. I hope everything will go well and we can see something else soon. It really is time for a production blog, Mr. Jackson!

On the meantime, let’s just enjoy the teaser poster where Bilbo is kneeling holding Sting. Can we say epic again? EPIC.


The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies panel at Hall H, SDCC2014


The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies panel just ended at Hall H, San Diego Comic-Con 2014. According to reports, it was attended by Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Elijah Wood, Graham McTavish, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Luke Evans andLee Pace. Host is Stephen Colbert (who is the real hero of the panel, in my opinion). The three main actors Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage did not attend because of their filming/stage projects.

They shared a gag-reel (which is quite funny, according to descriptions) and a teaser trailer. I’m sure we will get to see them both eventually, but the description for the teaser trailer was massively epic because it ended with a strong Thorin Oakenshield and Bilbo Baggins moment.

(Descriptions by Silas Lesnick of via their live-blog.)

Set to a somber musical version of Tolkien’s “The Walking Song,” the teaser is all about building the intensity of this giant, giant battle

We see all the characters preparing for battle. Troops of Orcs, Elven warriors, etc

At the end, Thorin asks Bilbo to stand with him one last time

According to Total Film’s Tweet, the last line there goes:

“Will you follow me… one last time?”

More descriptions from CS live-blog:

Smaug doing a strife across Laketown

Thranduil in battle

Galadriel walking barefoot across a battlefield. She kneels and kisses a wounded, unconscious Gandalf on the head

Thranduil in battle? His Supreme Bitchface in armor, which Lee Pace himself Tweeted yesterday. (Along with the Comic-Con poster released before that.)



At the end of the panel, Peter Jackson announced The Hobbit Fan Contest, which will give the fans a chance to go to New Zealand. The contest will invite 75 winners (each with a guest) to The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies premiere in New Zealand in November. Go to the website and register!

Some photos from the panel (via Warner Bros Twitter):

the-hobbit-panel-hall-h-cast01 the-hobbit-panel-hall-h-cast02 the-hobbit-panel-hall-h-colbert-hosting


Photos via Tifferini Twitter:

the-hobbit-panel-hall-h-photo-by-tifferini-cast the-hobbit-panel-hall-h-photo-by-tifferini-pace-mctavish the-hobbit-panel-hall-h-photo-by-tifferini-wood-serkis

Photos via Wilson Morales Twitter:

the-hobbit-panel-hall-h-cumberbatch-blanchett-photo-by-wilson-morales the-hobbit-panel-hall-h-colbert-photo-by-wilson-morales

Photo of Hall H via Lee Pace Twitter:

the-hobbit-panel-hall-h-photo-by-lee-pace the-hobbit-lee-pace-lilly-cumberbatch

The Three Musketeers (2011)

The Three Musketeers in 3D will probably make Alexandre Dumas, père, roll in his grave for the heavy tweaking that’s going on in the story of the Musketeers and the usage of random American and British accents instead of French. But fortunately for me, I got it.

The Paul WS Anderson version of Dumas’ tale of bravery and loyalty is mindless, outrageous and highly irreverent to the original source and its predecessors. It has way too much Milla Jovovich and not enough Musketeers. It also features Orlando Bloom with eyeliner and costumes that are bigger than an airplane, Christoph Waltz with a very poncy wig and Mads Mikkelsen with an eye patch that I wish had been in place when he played that one-eyed guy in Valhalla Rising. There’s also Logan Lerman as D’Artagnan who, in his American accent, dares to demand Luke Evans’ Aramis to speak “in French!” (I can easily affix the word “dude” right at the end there.)

Despite all this, I spent the entire two hours sitting in the cinema thoroughly entertained by the movie. It defies logic: how can a campy take on a solemn story be so much fun to watch? But as much as purists and Dumas scholars and pompous critics will try to convince me otherwise, I can’t help but appreciate the direction Anderson & Co. took in handling the material for the movie. I think I would’ve been indignant and disappointed if they tried to make a solemn movie with full-fledged drama that matched the 1993 Disney version starring Chris O’Donnell and Kiefer Sutherland (or any of the previous versions that had been made before–take your pick, each generation does have its own Three Musketeers). I’d rather not see a diabolical Richelieu from Waltz as Tim Curry had played him because I grew up with that version and I loved it and I didn’t need another version like that.

Or worse, what if they tried to match the book and failed? That would’ve been catastrophic and I would’ve been even angrier. Mind you, this sort of catastrophe had happened before. It’s called Clash Of The Titans. I definitely wasn’t looking forward to see another one like that.

This 2011 edition never claimed to be ‘the definitive’ or ‘the original’ Three Musketeers. Even before the movie was released, it’s already been marketed as a version of the tale that “your parents or grandparents have ever seen before”. It’s made in 3D – one of the best uses of the technology in movies that I’ve seen this year – and it has steampunk influences. Think more ‘sci-fi’ than ‘period drama’ and you’re on the right track. I, for one, prepared myself more for a Resident Evil-esque fare than a Marie Antoinette-like dish so the movie came out exactly as I wanted and that’s how I managed to catch all the tongue-in-cheek humor of the film and end up gushing about it with my friend for two full hours after walking out of the cinema.

It’s a film that I call an “eye candy film”. If all else fails, you will at least still be treated to a highly good-looking cast (watch out for Luke Evans; he’s a far sexier Aramis than Charlie Sheen ever was), beautiful costumes (you will envy the Duke of Buckingham’s collection of shoes) and gorgeous set decoration/production design. The action is fast paced, and enhanced by the flawless 3D, and the choreography fluid and dynamic. The under-25 portion of the cast – Lerman, Gabriella Wilde, Juno Temple and Freddie Fox – are showing massive potential that I hope will make them stars in the future. Fox, in particular, stole the show from everyone. If his portrayal of Louis is not evidence of a great huge talent, I don’t know what is.

I never thought I would say this but I sincerely hope Anderson will considering making a sequel. One Three Musketeers movie where the fighting is done in corsets and fancy tailored suits is definitely not enough.