It was really, really rough on me the other night. As many times as I’ve seen The Hobbit: Battle Of Five Armies, it seems that the conclusion still has the power to bring tears to my eyes. Many times over. When I saw myself in the ladies restroom mirror after the final credits had rolled, I was actually startled. We’re talking the puffy, bloodshot eyes, the spiky lashes, and a level of mascara-mess that could easily suggest I’d actually just attended a real funeral. Sigh.
I loved it, though.
There weren’t many in the theatre, though it was a better turnout than the previous two EEs. I think it was seven, including me. I guess the concession stand lady didn’t come through for last week’s candy-popcorn guy, because he didn’t show up. In fact, I didn’t recognize any of the other few people who’d been at the previous two, so I suppose I was the only one in this neck of the woods to see all three. As the resident Hobbit EE veteran, I was a bit worried when 7pm came around and it should have been time to start the Hobbit trivia stuff. The film was slated to start at 7:30pm, and both times last week that trivia reel began at 7pm. Instead, whoever was in charge of the projection room this week must have misunderstood, and began the trivia reel at 7:30pm. I didn’t want to wait through 30 minutes of that, so I took it upon myself to go and notify management that the film hadn’t started at 7:37pm, and thankfully he hustled off and we got to watch the computer screen fast forward through the rest of the trivia roll, and the feature presentation finally started at about 7:40pm. So yay for me! I guess it pays to be an “in-the-know” Hobbit EE veteran.
When it comes down to it, I think the EEs were better than the theatrical cuts for all three. But my favorite of the new footage was definitely in the final film. (SPOILERS).
- There was a more extended scene on the battlement as Thorin wrestled with the dilemma of whether to negotiate for the Arkenstone or “have war”… and Armitage was amazing in this scene.
- The battle in particular had a lot more to it, including the fact that the dwarves and elves actually engaged before the earth-eater worms disrupted everything.
- Legolas had even more over-the-top moves than we previously knew of. Give that elf a flying war bat, and he can take out entire companies of orcs.
- Once Thorin got his head on straight and the company emerged, we got to see more footage of their battle “genius”… much of which was laugh-out-loud funny, with even the small crowd in our theatre making some laughter noise (which is unusual… seems easier to laugh with a big audience!)
- For instance, Bombur belly-bounced orcs into submission, then had to be helped to his feet…
- Bofur was an unexpected badass, evidently has some experience as a professional goliath-rider….
- The goat-drawn chariot was fantastic! Balin had a great line there… I love the old guy! (Previously my favorite amusing lines in the movie went to Thranduil (“I can see you know nothing of wizards. They are like winter thunder on a wild wind, rolling in from a distance, breaking hard in alarm.”) But I think I loved Balin’s simple line during the chariot scene even more. =)
- And of course, there was also a bit more amazing athleticism and battle prowess than previously shown from Richard Armitage. All in all, the EE battle sequence was truly thrilling and spectacular.
I’ve included a few shots of the Durin funeral in the gallery above. It wasn’t very long, but it really got to me. Thorin, Fili and Kili were laid out on stone slabs with candles all around. Thorin had the Arkenstone set upon his lower torso, and looked as regal and heartbreakingly handsome as one would expect. However, it was the facial expressions of the hobbit and the surviving company of dwarves that had the most impact for me. Beautifully choreographed and performed by all involved. There was no excuse for cutting that brief minute and a half from the original. None.
I was really quite desolate at the end, sad that there would be no more big screen for the Middle Earth saga, and just as anguished about Thorin’s tragic story arc as I was last December. On top of that, I then had a pretty gut-wrenching day at work today as a follow-up. So I’m still rather trying to get my equilibrium back.