It Is Undoubtedly A Trap



Jeez, I'm on a role. First I put Sony in it's place (quiet), and then Peter Jackson and the Warner Bros marketing department. On Monday, with the release of the first teaser poster for Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, I said that the only way this campaign will be both 1) successful and b) last until December would be if they showed the dragon. They went hot and heavy with Gollum the first time around, despite the fact he was only in the film for 13 minutes. Smaug is the Gollum of the second feature (the Necromancer will be the hook for the third, mark my words). He needs to be revealed now, and get his dragony goodness out there for everyone to see. Dragons, if HBO's rating are accurate, are hot right now (you see what I did there). Low and behold, the first teaser trailer for H:DoS is released, and here be dragons. And lots of Legolas. And Evangeline Lilly doing an accent (I won't guess which she's trying to do). And the greasy looking Bard. And Lee Pace's eyebrows.

Over all, the trailer is structured pretty identically to the first trailer for Unexpected Journey. Right down to the villain reveal after the titles. But I have two problems with it. First, it is far too focused on the action components of the film, resulting in the trailer finishing with three identical CG rag dolls jumping into the air and preparing to strike. Same damned move, three different characters. It's lazy marketing, and distracts me. Second, the CGI looks... rough. We can blame Peter Jackson for a lot, and one of those things is the overuse of CGI in films (the Lord of the Rings trilogy made heavy use of CG fashionable and cheaper). He took this to George Lucas levels in the first part of the Hobbit, to the point where I'm certain as much of the film was made on green screen as it was filmed on location, if not more. And it doesn't appear that the second part will be any different. Which would be fine, if it looked good. Many will say it's still early days, and the CG won't be finished until November. But what is rendered already won't be replaced, only finessed. So the crappy physics, the apparent lack of bones in CG characters, and the unrealistic movements of rendered figures will all still be there. When it transitions from a real person to a digital version, it's not only apparent, it's distractingly obvious.

I've said all along that the first part will be the weakest of the three, because the least amount of stuff happens in that section. Part two will have Stephen Fry and dragons, and part three will have a massive War of Five Armies. So I'm optimistic that from a story telling perspective, Smaug will be an improvement. But from the looks of things, the weakness in the film making will all still be on show.

Also, I was not expecting Smaug's design to look like a pike.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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