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What movies have you seen recently?

With my son home from college for the holidays, Senior Management and I got a rare chance of a trip to the movies together.

We both liked the look of Saving Mr. Banks, the story of Walt Disney’s 20-year campaign to persuade Mary Poppins author, P. L. Travers, to sign over the movie rights, and the author’s involvement in the process of taking her book from page to screen.

However, much as we love all things Disney, in our house, Hobbits trump magical governesses any day of the week, so we opted for The Desolation of Smaug.


As with the LoTR trilogy, I thought all the changes/omissions/additions made for the movie version fitted in well. The second movie opens with a flashback, complete with Peter Jackson (plus carrot), in his traditional Hitchcock cameo. We see Gandalf and Thorin at the Prancing Pony in Bree. The scene does a great job explaining why the dwarf who would be king needs a burglar, as opposed to an army.

Later, at Dale, it was good to see more of Bard than we saw in the book. Also, the introduction of iron harpoons as the movie’s version of Bard’s dragon-killing black arrows makes a lot more sense.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the romance between Kili and the she-elf, Tauriel, worked just fine – perhaps because I’d watched the deleted Rivendell dinner scene in the extended version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. 

There was plenty more to enjoy, including: The spiders of Mirkwood (eek!); Stephen Fry as the Master of Dale, and of course, Smaug the impressive.

I love Peter Jackson’s over the top approach to fight scenes – In King Kong, the gorilla’s battle with the T-Rex trio remains one of my all-time favorites – so I was looking forward to see what he did with the barrel riding scene. He didn’t disappoint.

Lol, out loud movie moments include: Legolas’ reaction when he sees drawings of Gloin’s wife and son (a young Gimli); Bombur’s barrel-rolling, Ninja impression; Legolas’ unusual approach to white-water rafting; Dwalin’s head-in-the-toilet appearance; the unfortunate orc who thought he was out of danger when he made it to the row boat beneath Bard’s window.

Overall, I’d give this movie a 9/10, which is a half-point up from An Unexpected Journey. Definitely looking forward to the DVD, the extended edition DVD, and of course, the third movie.

How about you?

What movies have you seen recently?


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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2014 03:47 pm (UTC)
The two best movies I've seen recently were documentaries,
and neither of them was particularly recent.
One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern
and Beatles Stories: A Fab Four Fan's Ultimate Road Trip.

Meanwhile, I'm glad you had a good time with your son,
and I don't blame any auther who hesitates to sell rights to Disney.
True story:
Before Walt put Wolfgang Reitherman in charge of 1967's adaptation of The Jungle Book,
he asked, "Have you read it?"
Reitherman hesitated, then apprehensively admitted that he had not.
Walt replied, "Good. Don't."

Edited at 2014-01-13 03:48 pm (UTC)
Jan. 13th, 2014 08:12 pm (UTC)
I think Disney wanted a more light-hearted approach, which is pretty typical for the studio.
Jan. 13th, 2014 06:48 pm (UTC)
Ah! The extended edition! I never got a chance to see it. I wish I had, before seeing this one. Ah, well--I will soon as I get the chance.

I enjoyed the movies for themselves, a talent I'm acquiring the knack for. A movie is never going to be like a book in anything but general storyline and a few lines here or there.

I recently saw The Anchorman 2. I thought it was hilarious. Great movie? Nah. But I love that dumb humor. All the old jokes were touched upon, but they were different enough, and thus funny all over again.
Jan. 13th, 2014 08:11 pm (UTC)
I never got a chance to see it.

It's well worth the extra cost :)
Jan. 13th, 2014 07:24 pm (UTC)
We took Miss Capricorn out during the break to see Frozen. First movie we've seen since Brave. She was able to sit through most of it without panic and that was a great step for her. She loves the soundtrack and plays it all the time. She says that the song " Let it go" helps her deal with all the bullies at school.

Edited at 2014-01-13 07:25 pm (UTC)
Jan. 13th, 2014 08:10 pm (UTC)
I've heard lots of good things about Frozen :)
Jan. 13th, 2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
I don't get to see many movies in the theatre (wanted to see the new Hobbit, but it came out at a bad time, so will wait for the DVD) but they did repeat one of my favourite foreign language ones on TV a couple of weeks back, After Life, and was reminded just how much I do love it. One of those "I wish I'd thought of the idea first... except I wouldn't have done it as well" plots...
Jan. 13th, 2014 09:42 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a great film. I'll have to look that one up :)
Jan. 14th, 2014 08:51 pm (UTC)
It's simple and moves quite slowly, but that works for the film as a whole - the idea is unique, beautifully done, and makes you think :)

I adore it, spent a year or so hunting up the DVD.
Jan. 16th, 2014 05:08 pm (UTC)
I loved the barrel-rolling scene - a little over the top maybe but still very funny. And Stephen Fry rocks!
Jan. 17th, 2014 10:53 am (UTC)
Stephen Fry is always worth the price of a ticket :)
Jan. 17th, 2014 04:14 am (UTC)
I saw The Desolation of Smaug with my sister! We both thought it was great fun, although not as good as the book - both coarser and sillier. I've got a sporking of it up on my livejournal. But we did enjoy it.

That was the first time we'd been to the movies in a very long time. I wanted to see Ender's Game, and we both wanted to see Catching Fire, but it's hard to find the time. We were, however, quite determined to see the Hobbit and friends!
Jan. 17th, 2014 10:54 am (UTC)
The third one should be even better. Only eleven months to go :)
Apr. 17th, 2014 12:57 am (UTC)
The Birthday Ninja has seen no recent movie.

The Birthday Ninja has stepped by, because,ah, you know the deal. BD
Apr. 17th, 2014 11:10 am (UTC)
Lol :)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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