This week, I found even more unique Tolkien-related items; Etsy, which I have only recently started using, is a treasure-trove of goodies! You can find a wide variety of items priced for any budget. Several of my friends and family members have given me gifts purchased from Etsy, and I have been impressed with all of them, so that tends to be my go-to source when I'm looking for something new and interesting.
This week's theme is housing decorations. Each week I'll try to come up with a different theme of Tolkien-inspired finds!
60th Anniversary Lord of the Rings Wood Clock (Etsy)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was my favourite
film in the Hobbit trilogy – of the three, it had the least amount of
deviations from the source material, and was also the most exciting to watch. (You
can read my initial review here.) The extended cut, with its
additional twenty minutes of footage, tied up many of the loose ends which had
driven me crazy in the theatrical cut. Although not every little subplot had a
resolution, I enjoyed this film so much that I really can't complain.
Despite there not being many additional moments with Bard,
re-watching the film gave me a greater appreciation for Luke Evans' portrayal
of the dragon-slaying bowman. His performance is one of my favourites, and it's
a shame he didn't get just a little more screen time (seeing him crowned King
of Dale would have been nice!).
My favourite extended scene was the attack on Dol Guldur; it
is revealed that Sauron has not only resurfaced, but he is also seeking the Elven
rings of power worn by Gandalf, Galadriel, and Elrond – an appropriate way to
introduce the White Council into the scene and further connect The Hobbit films
to The Lord of the Rings. In particular, I really
enjoyed Cate Blanchett's additional screen time as Galadriel. "I come for
Mithrandir," she announces upon arriving at Dol Guldur, "and I will leave with him." If only Tauriel
had been written out and her screen time given to Galadriel: she is the heroine
that female audiences deserved.
The battle featured far more violence (the R-rating seems
appropriate), but was kept rather light-hearted thanks to little sprinklings of
humour (such as Bifur getting his head-axe stuck in the head of an enemy Orc)
and sass from both Thranduil and Dáin Ironfoot; it's not very Tolkien-esque,
but I laughed nonetheless. The battle scenes alone further highlighted Jackson's
skill as a filmmaker. He could have turned The Battle of the Five Armies into
its own 9-hour film trilogy and there would never have been a dull moment.
Thankfully, the film offered some of the closure I was
looking for: Alfrid met a demise as ridiculous as himself; Thorin, Fíli, and
Kíli were all given their proper on-screen burials, and it was every bit as
beautiful and saddening as I had hoped. However, one thing still missing from
the extended cut was the fate of Tauriel. Did she die of a broken heart? Was
her banishment from Mirkwood upheld, forcing her to roam Middle-earth alone?
Why didn't she just go with Legolas to Rivendell? After taking the time and
effort to write in a new character, leaving her fate unknown was anti-climactic
and a bit of a letdown to those who may have looked to her character as a role
model and hoped for a meaningful ending.
In the end, I gained more of an appreciation for this film
after seeing the extended cut. Naturally, it's impossible to fit everything
into one cut, so to get the most out of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth, you
really have to watch the extended versions. As I said in my last review: if you
enjoyed The Hobbit films, you will love the extended cut; and even if you
didn't, you may be pleasantly surprised with this one.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition will be
available on Blu-Ray and DVD on Tuesday, November 17.
A HUGE thank-you to Warner Bros. for allowing me to review all of The Hobbit films and their extended editions.