The Hobbit

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby PeteP » Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:25 pm UTC

The "But the book also had stuff like that" defense becomes irrelevant when it's so far removed from the book. I am not judging it based on it's differences to the book. It's bad on it's own merits. Also, I don't mind classic fantasy stories with clear good and evil or even cliches if they are well executed and the author know how to use them. Smaugs dialog was just bad, oh I just reread the book dialog, it had some similar lines, they did take quite a few lines from the book though with changed context and delivered by a more agitated dragon, but I see it as an exercise in making dialog worse while maintaining quite a few parts of it.
If you are implying that Tolkiens Smaug dialog was as bad I will have to disagree, I could take that smaug at least a bit serious even if it was a child book villain. Or if you mean that because there was Wormtongue in lotr, the government subplot with the evil advisor isn't bad, well that the author did something doesn't mean adding something kinda similar to another work from the author will work.
Tolkien didn't write particularly complex characters and his world in LOTR and The Hobbit was filled with clear good and evil, but in my opinion when he wrote an archetype character he knew how to use them properly.

Not that the points are all that important, I wouldn't have cared all that much if I had gotten any entertainment from the movie. But Pacific r something brought me more entertainment so I had nothing other to do then think about stuff I found silly.

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm UTC

I remember reading somewhere that one thing the movies got wrong is that Middle Earth isn't supposed to be a vast expanse of pristine wilderness like NZ, but instead, a place drenched in history, with ruins and remnants and remains. The Dwarves and the Elves are retreating, and there's the hollow constructs of man cropping up to take their place. The old Kingdoms are supposed to be pristine and noble and AUSTERE. The new Kingdoms or townships of man are supposed to be petulant and upstart and bogged by politics.

The Hobbits too are obvious protagonists; evasive and indifferent to the world around them, reluctant participants in the schemes of great conflicts. Perhaps not unlike how Tolkein aw the English people during the world wars? My point isn't that this is bad writing/storytelling, but that it's very much a product of the times.

I didn't think Smaug's dialog was particularly bad, it just wasn't particularly great. Tolkein doesn't write particularly great dialog, or provide particularly compelling reasons for most of the characters in the stories. The Dwarves are returning because they are the rightful rulers under the mountain! The elves are the noble singers of creation and tenders of the trees! Sauron is black and evil (and fractal, evidently) and Gandalf is white and kind! This is totally the stuff of cliche binaries, and it should be enjoyed as such. Tolkein didn't write nuance particularly... well, at all.

PeteP wrote:The fucking statue made of gold which kept it's form forever before flowing apart.
But yeah, evidently molten metal isn't hot to a Dwarf either. And the mold's just been chilling there. And the Dwarves can just coordinate a perfect dumping of all that slag into the mold. And open it! Shrug.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby PeteP » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:17 pm UTC

The fractal, oh god I almost laughed.

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby emceng » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:58 pm UTC

I saw it yesterday. Blah. It was not good. Most points have been mentioned here already, but I want to give my opinion. I also re-watched the first before going.

The action rarely felt serious. In LOTR, there was tension during battle. Look at the battle where Boromir dies. It was serious and tense. The battle of Helm's Deep and Pelennor Fields both had tension. There was a little humor thrown in with the banter between Gimli and Legolas, but it didn't distract from the plot. The Hobbit action was split between silly and serious, and both fell flat. The first movie with the goblin caves - ridiculous, overlong, and just stupid. Similarly, the river battle in DoS - It went on and on and on and on. They had "funny" elf ninja acrobatics, and impossible physics, and so many things that just didn't make sense. It felt more like a spoof action scene, or something from that Jason Statham Cranked film - tongue in cheek action.

Beorn - they did basically nothing with him. 2 minutes of screen time tacked on. They could have cut the interminable battle scenes back a bit to add something to Beorn's scenes.

Spider scene - Great opportunity to show Bilbo greatly helping the group. Instead it was a few slain spiders, then done. And how'd the dwarves all get captured silently in the first place?

Elf romance - I didn't think it was as bad as everyone else. The elf healing though...that was funny in an odd way. It was so...suggestive. As a friend said, "I didn't know elves healed you by having orgasms".

The end with Legolas. He has a bow. He used it constantly. Then he decides "Hey, you know what? I'm going to ride after that orc instead of shooting a freaking arrow into him. Or ten arrows in a second, since I'm that good with a bow. Nope, terrible idea, totally going to ride after him to get captured in the next movie."

I was hoping for more 'battling the necromancer' action. That's how I expected them to stretch the movie, not pointless battles. The whole Bard thing - meh. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. The family felt tacked on.

I did like their attempt to tie all the evil together - Smaug with the orcs with Sauron.

The fight with Smaug - too long, and the action wasn't very good. The 'Thorin falling up and down a pit a bunch of times' scene was too long. The gold statue thing was kind of dumb too. I wanted them to fight Smaug, unlike in the book, but how they did it just didn't make much sense.

Overall, movie gets maybe 2-2.5 stars out of 5. If it wasn't Tolkien, would be 2 or less.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:06 am UTC

Something a friend pointed out:

In the book, Smaug is the big bad - the bogey monster - the dread creature who destroyed two cities, reducing the former residents to refugees. He's the damoclean sword suspended over the whole Esgaroth region, and even with the secret tunnel to hide in out of his reach, and the One Ring to let Bilbo wander around invisibly, the party barely escapes being killed by him.

In the film, he was the nuke that wiped out two cities, exterminated much of Durin's folk, and scares some of the people of Laketown, but, far from actually being dangerous, the dwarves manage to play hide-and-seek with him for a good 20 minutes before he gets bored and goes off looking for something easier to kill. If fewer than a dozen dwarves, with minimal equipment and nothing can make him look like a complete fool, how on (Middle-) Earth did he take out an entire city full of dwarves in the first place, particularly when they had manned anti-dragon artillery emplacements?

Somewhere in the first minute of playing tag with Smaug he stops being a scary monster and becomes a slapstick clown. No wonder he flies off to hang around near the only anti-dragon weapon for many leagues (which, for some reason, he left intact despite it having been used against him) - he's committing suicide...

***

I'm also not entirely convinced by Jackson having Gandalf get captured by Sauron in Dol Guldur - in the books, he discovered that the Necromancer was Sauron a hundred years previously, when he met Thrain in the dungeons and received the map and key to Erebor - at the time, Saruman, wanting peace in order to pursue the One Ring himself, refused to countenance action against Sauron - it was only when the White Council met during the events of the Hobbit, not long after Saruman discovered that Orcs had been searching the great river Anduin for the Ring that they agreed to move against Dol Guldur - by which time Sauron was ready and just moved back to Mordor, sending some of the Nazgul to hold Dol Guldur.

***

I am generally not convinced by the rubber dwarves - from their juggling of crockery in Bag End through their bouncy escape from the goblin caves to their running battle with Orcs on the way out of Mirkwood, they seem to be choreographed by someone who's watched too many Jackie Chan movies...

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Bloopy » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:20 pm UTC

I enjoyed the films so far, but I'm not that fussy when it comes to movies. I felt it took a lot of patience to enjoy the 2nd film. At one stage I looked at the time and was relieved that there was still nearly an hour to go, because there hadn't been much substance up to that point.

My only complaint is about the first film: Gollum was over-the-top comic relief to the point of annoying. He was more balanced and convincing in the LOTR films.

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:53 am UTC

That's more or less how Gollum is in the book (of the Hobbit), it's a kids' book and all the characters who appear in both were originally written as characters in a kids' book and then given a darker and grittier reboot. One of the big problems with the Hobbit films is that they don't seem to have actually made a decision as to whether they wanted to embrace the fact that it was a kids' story or whether they wanted to make a new LotR; they ended up making up their mind differently in different scenes which results in silly cartoonishness (Bombur's whirling dervish barrel) distracting people who wanted something like LotR and twitching decapitated corpses traumatising the kids. There's no consistency in tone from one scene to the next.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Adacore » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:22 pm UTC

Yeah, I'm not sure it completely failed, but they've certainly tried to keep a 'light hearted with comedy elements' approach to the film, while also making an epic action-centric fantasy film. They're not genres that are very easy to combine unless you're going for out and out farce.

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:41 pm UTC

I think, if I had to pick a single thing that broke this movie for me, it's that the CGI was handled very poorly. I couldn't appreciate any of the action sequences because it felt like I was watching a cartoon, or maybe a video game as the late Roger Ebert would complain--it wasn't believable, it wasn't serious, and it didn't actually enhance the film in any way. It was patently obvious which points in the movie were CGI and which ones actually used real characters, and, overwhelmingly, the latter scenes were better. The action sequences didn't have any tension in them because they didn't feel real. Ironically, the actual cartoon of the Hobbit (1977) actually works a lot better IMHO, because it keeps a more consistent tone and doesn't veer into the ridiculous.

[edit]Also, was it just me, or was there something really wrong with Legolas' eyes in this film?

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:16 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote: the actual cartoon of the Hobbit (1977) actually works a lot better IMHO, because it keeps a more consistent tone and doesn't veer into the ridiculous.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby PeteP » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:36 pm UTC

Read giantitp forum, found how it should have ended and this:
Spoiler:
Image

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby emceng » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:42 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:Read giantitp forum, found how it should have ended and this:
Spoiler:
Image


That is great. We'll have to remember it for when the next movie comes out.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:37 am UTC

emceng wrote:
PeteP wrote:Read giantitp forum, found how it should have ended and this:
Spoiler:
Image


That is great. We'll have to remember it for when the next movie comes out.


So, Battle of the Five Armies already hit the theaters down here in the south.

I knew Smaug would play a small role in this movie, but damn, I wish we got more dragon screen time. In the 10 or so minutes he appears, he is once again amazing. If one day we are lucky enough to see The Children of Hurin on screen, I will be entirely satisfied if Glaurung speaks like Smaug does.

Rest of the movie: kinda meh, actually. Some good scenes, some unnecessary and/or unconvincing.

And while the above "How it Should Have Ended" doesn't happen, Legolas does kill things he shouldn't be killing.

All in all, the first movie of this trilogy remains the best one in my opinion.

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby mathmannix » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:46 pm UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:All in all, the first movie of this trilogy remains the best one in my opinion.


Is there a trilogy where this isn't true, other than the original Star Wars (and even that's debatable)?
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:48 pm UTC

The Alien trilogy. Personally I think Aliens is better than the first or third.

Also, the Terminator films. The second is definitely the best, though I forget if it's a trilogy or a scam.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:29 pm UTC

The Dark Knight.

I've heard some say The Godfather Part 2 was better than the first film.
Not sure I agree, but it's been sometime since I watched part 2.

Counting "A Fistful of Dollars", "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" as a trilogy, the last is certainly the most remembered.

But Alien > Aliens for certain.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Adam H » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:47 pm UTC

Hunger Games.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby charliepanayi » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:58 pm UTC

Toy Story 2 (I prefer The Terminator and Alien over their sequels)

Battle of the Five Armies was like the previous two, by no means a bad film but a frustratingly mixed bag. Martin Freeman has been by far the best thing about these films.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Angua » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:37 am UTC

I thought it was overall pretty boring, to be honest.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Diadem » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:29 pm UTC

My main thought after watching the movie: What the hell happened to Legolas between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings?

In LOTR Legolas was pretty bad-ass. But in The Hobbit his stunts are so ridiculously over the top they make his performance in LOTR retroactively suck. He was clearly slacking off in LOTR. He could have single handedly killed every orc in Mordor.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby ArgonV » Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:09 pm UTC

I was confused about the orcs as well. Presumably they were bred and trained for war, yet despite their numerical advantage, they get crushed by the dwarven and elfen armies, which admittedly is possible. But even the pissed-off fishermen can stand their ground. An untrained teenage boy is easily able to kill two orcs himself.

And where were those burrowing worms in LotR?

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby charliepanayi » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:59 pm UTC

ArgonV wrote:And where were those burrowing worms in LotR?


It was pretty funny seeing them and thinking 'Dune!'
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Biliboy » Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:05 pm UTC

Saw 5 armies last night, and my takeaway is that now I want a movie starring Thorin's cousin, the guy with the cute pig mount, hammer and really hard head. Maybe Peter Jackson can option the Warhammer Gotrex and Felix books?

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Angua » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:27 pm UTC

Those wyrms were ridiculous.

Spoiler:
Why not have the wyrms come up in the centre of Dale and destroy the city? Or in Erebor itself?
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Diadem » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:50 pm UTC

Good point. Why did Sauron bother with a giant siege hammer in LOTR when he was trying to take Minas Tirith, if he had those handy wyrms lying around?
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby PolakoVoador » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:49 am UTC

Biliboy wrote:Saw 5 armies last night, and my takeaway is that now I want a movie starring Thorin's cousin, the guy with the cute pig mount, hammer and really hard head. Maybe Peter Jackson can option the Warhammer Gotrex and Felix books?


While I liked the general concept for Dain, those headbutts on armored orcs... I don't know, it kinda broke my suspension of disbelief.

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Angua » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:10 pm UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:
Biliboy wrote:Saw 5 armies last night, and my takeaway is that now I want a movie starring Thorin's cousin, the guy with the cute pig mount, hammer and really hard head. Maybe Peter Jackson can option the Warhammer Gotrex and Felix books?


While I liked the general concept for Dain, those headbutts on armored orcs... I don't know, it kinda broke my suspension of disbelief.

Yeah, I couldn't get myself to accept that his head would be hard enough for that.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:50 pm UTC

charliepanayi wrote:
ArgonV wrote:And where were those burrowing worms in LotR?


It was pretty funny seeing them and thinking 'Dune!'

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:26 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:The Alien trilogy. Personally I think Aliens is better than the first or third.

Also, the Terminator films. The second is definitely the best, though I forget if it's a trilogy or a scam.


Aliens is the best, but Alien was also really good. All downhill after the pinnacle that was Aliens, though.

I presume you're not counting whatever the hell the fourth was called, or the god-awful AvP stuff, though?

Diadem wrote:My main thought after watching the movie: What the hell happened to Legolas between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings?

In LOTR Legolas was pretty bad-ass. But in The Hobbit his stunts are so ridiculously over the top they make his performance in LOTR retroactively suck. He was clearly slacking off in LOTR. He could have single handedly killed every orc in Mordor.


I had that thought, sure. Also, the switch between "this orc is a legitimate danger" and "this orc is overt cannon fodder" happened so frequently and often that I had trouble, other than the obvious leader, telling which was which. Sometimes you have them portrayed as an actual danger, other times they're dying by the bucketload, and it just swaps between them constantly and randomly.

Also, had the idle thought "I wonder if Peter Jackson can even feel happiness without watching short people run around in New Zealand."

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Xenomortis » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:35 pm UTC

Went to watch it this evening.

So orcish platemail must be made of cardboard for all the protection it offers.
And I have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that "battle-bred", large, muscular orcs, die in their thousands to midget dwarves.

Also I guess the orcs lose their Nydus Network before LOTR takes place? And it seems that the Nazgul where hit by a pretty hard nerf.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:46 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I presume you're not counting whatever the hell the fourth was called, or the god-awful AvP stuff, though?
Naaaaah, though, I did enjoy the AvP movies :D
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Xenomortis » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:48 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I presume you're not counting whatever the hell the fourth was called, or the god-awful AvP stuff, though?
Naaaaah, though, I did enjoy the AvP movies :D

I'm pretty sure that's sufficient evidence for you to be committed.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby mathmannix » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:04 pm UTC

I prefer the original Godfather, Terminator, Alien, and Toy Story movies to their sequels. Each of those movies gets bonus points for being the iconic film which started a series and drew people in. They are all classics. The sequels might be classics too, but only because the first ones in the series were. (I haven't seen Hunger Games.)

Although I did say "trilogy", usually if there are more than three movies, the first one is still the best. Jaws, Home Alone, Pirates of the Caribbean, Rocky, Die Hard.

However, in addition to Star Wars, there are two big exceptions: Star Trek (of course), and Harry Potter - this is less set-in-stone, but IMHO, the best Harry Potter film is the 3rd one, Prisoner of Azkaban.

P.S. - I also did enjoy the AvP movies. Not as classics of great film, but as fun FPS-type movies. (They definitely remound me of Call of Duty!)
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby ArgonV » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:10 pm UTC

Xenomortis wrote:And it seems that the Nazgul where hit by a pretty hard nerf.


I'm guessing that had to do with their power being tied to Sauron's.

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Xenomortis » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:32 pm UTC

And Sauron was weaker in LOTR?
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby ArgonV » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:44 pm UTC

Xenomortis wrote:And Sauron was weaker in LOTR?

Oh, then I misunderstood you. I thought you meant they were weaker in The Hobbit, since they were defeated in ghost form by two (high ranking) elves and a wizard. They seem considerably tougher in LotR, unless I misremember.

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Diadem » Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:12 am UTC

ArgonV wrote:
Xenomortis wrote:And Sauron was weaker in LOTR?

Oh, then I misunderstood you. I thought you meant they were weaker in The Hobbit, since they were defeated in ghost form by two (high ranking) elves and a wizard. They seem considerably tougher in LotR, unless I misremember.

Not just any elves though. Galadriel and Elrond are by far the two strongest elves in Middle-Earth, and each is in possession of one of the Three Rings of Power. Saruman is no push-over either, especially before his fall. I think it is entirely realistic that they could defeat the Nazgul. Remember that in LOTR Aragorn fought of 5 of them on his own on Weathertop. The Nazgul weren't fighting all-out in that last fight, but they weren't fighting all-out in this one either - Sauron 'fleeing' to Mordor was part of his plan.

I did think Gandalf was defeated a bit too easily though. He's on par with the other three, after all.
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:46 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:
PolakoVoador wrote:All in all, the first movie of this trilogy remains the best one in my opinion.


Is there a trilogy where this isn't true, other than the original Star Wars (and even that's debatable)?


Oooh - that's an interesting question.

The Mick Travis trilogy.

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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Zarq » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:09 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:
PolakoVoador wrote:All in all, the first movie of this trilogy remains the best one in my opinion.


Is there a trilogy where this isn't true, other than the original Star Wars (and even that's debatable)?


Lord of the Rings? X-Men?
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Re: The Hobbit

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:56 am UTC

Ugh, no, the X-Men films (how many are there?) decidedly all sucked.
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