The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: A Movie Review

In the last installment of The Hobbit trilogy, Bilbo, Thorin, and the rest of the dwarves enter the Lonely Mountain and begin looking for the Arkenstone. When it can not be located, Thorin begins to believe he is being betrayed by the other dwarves and begins to mistrust them. The people of Laketown and Thranduil the Elvenking are also demanding to receive treasures that belong to them in the Lonely Mountain, but Thorin  would rather go to war than hand his treasures over. At the same time, a dark force is growing and heading their way to take the Lonely Mountain by force.

As a fan of The Hobbit, I wasn’t too crazy about the last installment. I was excited about it coming out and I heard that it was a really great movie… and then I saw it. And it was OK. I thought there were a bunch of parts that were kind of corny and silly. The fact that Smaug dies within the first five minutes in the movie made me wonder why they waited until this movie to have that occur. Maybe they were afraid people would forget what had happened? I’m not really sure.

The rest of the movie was mainly the battle (which makes sense given the title). But that’s two hours of fighting, which some people may find to be boring. Of course, there are other small scenes that occur in the middle of the battle that set up the story for The Lord of the Rings and I did enjoy the bit at the end where Thranduil tells Legolas to go find Strider.

However, I still feel like this Hobbit trilogy could have been easily kept down to two parts. The majority of the second film didn’t even happen in the book and I think if there wasn’t all that extra story line added it could have all been cut down. But, overall I still enjoyed it and am glad that it was made into a film. But now I feel like I should go re-read the book!

The Raven: A Movie Review

Just after 9:30 me and a few friends waltz into the movie theater to see The Raven on its opening night. I wasn’t really expecting the theater to be packed, and partially hoping we’d have an experience like when we say  Anonymouswhich was absolutely no one in the theater just a week after opening night. But, surprisingly, there were more than I thought: approximately 20 people, possibly a little more. It’s hard to keep count with the late comers.

Starring John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven tells the grisly tale of a murderer killing people the same way Poe’s stories are played out. Detective Fields (Luke Evans) is in charge of figuring out who the murderer is and, as a reader of Poe’s work, enlists Poe to help him. Poe is hesitant at first, until his secret girlfriend, Emily Hamilton (Alive Eve) is kidnapped by the murderer. With her life on the line, Poe will do anything to get her back. Even if it means sacrificing himself.

I wouldn’t exactly call this movie a horror, but I’m not going to lie, it is pretty gory. Especially since the stories that are chosen are not about puppies and kittens. The Pit and the Pendulum, The Cask of Amontillado, The Mask of the Red Death, and The Tell Tale Heart are just a few of Poe’s more well known tales reenacted. Not only did I enjoy the main plot, but I also enjoyed that they made Poe how he was known to be: as a raving drunk. If they hadn’t included that I would’ve called that out as a major flaw.

Definitely a film for a Poe lover, The Raven is not a cut and dry film that would make non-readers of Poe hate it. The movie is pure fiction (obviously) and they explain the stories reenacted well enough that even a person who’s never heard of Edgar Allen Poe before should understand what’s going on. There are also a few slightly comical parts (although probably not purposely intended) that gave me a small chuckle. My advice is to go in with a clear mind and not expecting pure gold. Allow yourself to laugh when you feel the urge coming on even in this serious film. Even the most serious films can have funny parts to some viewers.

Grade: A-