Tag Archives: The Hobbit the Battle of Five Armies

Reaction Time: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

By Joe Strange


Well it’s Christmas time, which means one thing; we’ve got a new Hobbit film courtesy of Peter Jackson to enjoy. Well, actually Christmas time means a whole mess of things, but that’s what I’m talking about today, so there.

The Hobbit the Battle of the Five Armies marks Jackson’s sixth and, for the time being, last excursion into middle earth and the myriad of characters and lore that Tolkien has created, and after the Return of the King, which won more awards than the Eagles have ‘convenient rescues’ on their resume, The Battle of the Five Armies had a lot to live up to as a trilogy finale.

Running at 144 minutes it’s the shortest of the three Hobbit films, and while the pacing drags in some places, with a few of the set pieces during the eponymous battle seeming particularly unnecessary and with some of the overall themes lending themselves to some heavy handed dialogue and repetition, the general air is an energetic and exciting one. It also has about half a dozen fewer endings than Return of the King; Bilbo’s journey comes to a nice, brief and touching end in good time.

Jumping back to themes a minute, while An Unexpected Journey has a lot to say on the topic of moving out of your comfort zone and coming to terms with adventure, The Desolation of Smaug lacked a clear set of themes, suffering from ‘middle child syndrome’ that we see so often with part 2’s in trilogies, where it tried to set up too much without much pay off.

Thankfully the Battle of the Five Armies has plenty to think on; the main piece is the evils and greed of men (and dwarves), and how we keep our word. This is almost completely centred around Thorin and his ‘dragon sickness’, which leads to paranoia and distrust amongst the dwarves, and this is mentioned a lot. I mean, a whole lot, and by the end I found myself not sympathising with the Dwarven leader, and when his moment of clarity hits I found myself thinking ‘about time too.’

The more satisfying theme is what gives the Five Armies a sense of completeness; as the action winds down and the dust settles we see our characters closing chapters of their lives and looking onward, in some cases it’s a nice nod to what we know will come and in some cases it’s just really nice to see; Bilbo’s homecoming is especially great.

But now the nitty gritty, as I mentioned above, there’s an awful lot of CGI in the film, and some of it seems unnecessary and distracting, Thorin’s weird fever dream is especially out of place, now this is WETA effects, so they’re not going to age too badly. There just doesn’t seem to be the incredible attention to detail that we see in the original trilogy and there are a lot of cases of assets and scenery disappearing and reappearing at the will of plot convenience.

The action is intense and fun, and the scale is tremendously epic, with many little battles taking place on all fronts as oppose to one head on collision that we were used to in the original trilogy. There’s a lot of nice lore and creature design in these pieces, and the characters’ mounts, as much as they may randomly appear, are a nice change from the myriad of horses we’re used to.

As is expected, the design of the armour, the armies and just, well, everything is top notch, even if it’s a little more digital than we’d like, and it also makes it nice and easy to differentiate the different factions on screen.

While its generally accepted that the entire original trilogy was excellent the whole way through, the same can’t be said for the Hobbit. Between criticisms of long run times, an overindulgence in CGI and having a small book stretched into three films, the Hobbit trilogy isn’t without its faults, but the good news is the Battle of the Five Armies surpasses its predecessor, the Desolation of Smaug, in entertainment and book loyalty. It’s guilty of a few misteps, but overall it’s a solid finish to a series that was a little longer than everyone expected, and it may be the most fun of the Hobbit films just because of the ease of watching it.

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Coffee Time News 17/12/14

Film

Unsurprisingly, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has topped the UK box office chart, earning £9,753,642 in the first weekend. This is also the most any of the Hobbit films has made in the first weekend of sales.

Pirates of the Caribbean star Orlando Bloom seems to need some educating on what exactly a reboot is. He claims the fifth Pirates film will be a reboot, but with all the same characters, plot history and themes. So I think it might just be a sequel.

The Suicide Squad have pretty much found their Amanda Waller in the form of Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder).  Waller is a major player in the DC universe, being a sort of morally ambivalent puppeteer.

Television

The Flash’s Rogue Gallery just keeps on growing; Mad Men’s Peyton List will be taking the role of Lisa Snart AKA the Golden Glider, who’s kind of incorporeal, 

The Walking Dead is returning to a city setting, or at least the spinoff will be, as it’s taking place in Los Angeles.

Oh it’s time for the teasers to begin for Game of Thrones season 5; here’s a very small, very brief look at the next season.

Games

In case you missed it last night, GTA Online’s Heists are READY ENOUGH FOR A TRAILER.

Day three of the Assassins’ Creed Unity update story; it’s finally rolling out, and it’s huge; 6.7 GB to be precise, but we’ve been told not to worry, as a lot of that will replace existing data.

Shadow of Mordor gets a second DLC in the Lord of the Hunt expansion which introduces new beasts and a new set of Warchiefs.

Coffee Time News 01/12/14

Film

Not that you’ll need told, but the Star Wars; The Force Awakens trailer hit the world on Friday, so why not go and watch it again for the eleventhty billionth time?

The first official synopsis of the Fantastic Four can be found here and mentions alternate dimensions and Universes, perhaps a Universe where the first two films didn’t suck, or just didn’t exist.

The Hobbit; the battle of the Five Armies, has a heap load of new promotional material for you to feast on before it’s release on the 17th of Decemeber.

Television

Agent Carter has a new promo feature showcasing some of the main characters baddassery, Agent Carter will be an 8 episode miniseries that will air during the mid season break of Agents of SHIELD.

Fans of Daredevil, and the upcoming Netflix iteration might want to check this article on the show’s darker tone and Miller inspired atmosphere. 

Once again Robbie Amell talks about his role in the Flash as Firestorm, and talks about the potential for a team up with his cousin from Arrow.

Games

The Telltale Game of Thrones game will launch  tomorrow on the PS4 and PC and Mac, the 360 and One version will follow on Wednesday. With a full trailer airing later today.

You know you can still get free games for your consoles each month? Well here’s a list of Decembers.

 

Coffee Time News 14/10/14

Film

Here’s a round up of all of the character posters for The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies, there’s been a new poster every so often for a while now, so here they all are in one place.

Jennifer Laurence and Bradley Cooper are working together again, in a period drama again, and it’s called Serena. You can check out the clip here.

Well, it’s finally happened. In the pool of which big Marvel event the MCU was gearing up for, those who had Civil War can take home their winnings. Marvel is doing Civil War.

Television

Gotham is going well, with a lot of good things floating about in my social media feed, so here’s two more clips from the episode titled ‘Arkham’.

The Walking Dead season 5 premier has kicked off to a great start with the premier last night, being the highest viewed episode in the series’ history.

Games

Ever wonder why we jump so much in videogames? Well the Gameshow team did, and they’ve done an episode in it.

Destiny has another update for us, getting rid of a new ‘Loot Cave’ (Staircase) and nerfing a few weapons, most notably the Autorifles and Shotguns that are rife in the PVP Crucible. Check out all the notes here.

Finally, Assassins’ Creed Rogue will be released on PC early next year.

Coffee Time News 29/09/14

Film

Interstellar, the new sci fi film from that guy who did the film about Batman, has a new trailer, which gives just a little bit more away, but in classic Nolan fashion, not everything. We also have rumours that Avengers Age of Ultron’s trailer could be attached to Interstellar, in case you needed more reasons to go and watch it.

Oscar Isaac, one of the leads in the new Star Wars instalment, has spoken out about the myriad of changes Lucas has made to the original trilogy.

Peter Jackson has explained exactly what he’s doing to make the last few chapters of the Hobbit into a whole film, see his reasoning here.

Television

Arrow fans may not have seen the last of Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke, after his imprisonment at the end of season 2 he’s left stranded, but alive. And with such a tantalising villain at their disposal, the writers may have more in store for him.

The Walking Dead, Tv’s most popular show about people arguing with the occasional threat of Zombies, is getting a companion series, and here you can read a bit about the characters you’ll be following until they inevitably die horribly.

The Flash is nearly upon us, and here is a new batch of character posters, because we’re kind like that.

Games

A patch for Destiny this week will see its flawed loot system fixed, now engrams, the levelled loot that drops from enemies and is rewarded for activities will now actually be the rarity they advertise. This has come after the Loot Cave on Russia was nerf’d last week.

In a rather large sporting event this summer, a player bit another player and was subsequently banned, because biting people is something that we just don’t do in professional sport. In Fifa 15 the offending striker, Luis Suarez, is also banned for a time. (in case my sub par football knowledge has you confused, read about it here for clarity.)

Finally check this video out for a scary trailer for Alien Isolation, a game with barely any action, but will most likely have you screaming and crying like a little child.

Coffee Time News 16/09/14

Film

The Hobbit; the Battle of the Five Armies, has a new massive banner which you can check out here in the form of broken up pictures, it’s actually quite pleasant.

Dracula Untold, the newest attempt at making Vampires relevant again, by telling the story of the big man himself, has a new trailer.

The Mockingjay Part 1 has its first full length trailer, showcasing the rebels and their fight against the capital, it looks like they’re really focussing on the juxtaposition of Catniss and Peeta as the symbols for each of their sides.

Television

Sleepy Hollow season 2 has a host of new images for you, apparently these are slightly spoilerific, so only if you’re sure your sure.

Star Wars Revels shows off more cool stuff in this new clip, and it’s in the form of a spinning dual lightsaber. You’ve got to wonder what happened to all these wicked things in the original trilogy.

The pilot for Gotham isn’t even off of the runway yet, (the show doesn’t take off until September 25th) but we’ve already got a synopsis for the second episode for you.

Games

Microsoft purchased Minecraft creator Mojang yesterday for $2.5 billion, but that’s not the biggest news of the story as Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, as well as some more of Mojang’s staff have left the studio.

Nintendo’s Hyrule Warriors has its first TV advert, and it’s got deep voices and impending doom. 

The 3DS version of Super Smash Bros has sold over one million copies in Japan in its first week, which is hopefully a sign of things to come over here as well.

Coffee Time News 24/07/14

Film

Posters galore today, as we have an Ant-man SDCC poster, a Mockingjay SDCC poster and a Hobbit, the Battle of the Five armies poster.

There was a slight worry that Robert Downey Junior would be calling it a day on Ironman after Avengers 2 and 3, but apparently Ironman 4 wouldn’t be off the books if the conditions were right.

It’s entirely possible that Ghostbusters 3 will start shooting next year, according to Dan Akroyd 

Television

Have a look at the official costume for Arrow’s red hooded sidekick Speedy Red Arrow Arsenal, in preparation for season 3.

The 23rd of September is the date you’ll want to keep in your diaries for season two of Agents of SHIELD, just so you know.

The firsts in, apparently, a series of artworks for Gotham sees our main man commissioner Gordon, (not yet a commissioner) with a little bit about him.

Games

Titanfall is getting a bit of a shake up; in game purchases on the black market will use money gained from playing the game and doing certain things, but NOT from microtransactions.

Anyone can get the complete Sims 2 collection for free, providing they have the time to play it, details right here.

Deus Ex, which had a movie in the works but lost the director to Marvel’s Doctor Strange, now has a Writer, and it’s Predators’ Michael Finch.