The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (2014)

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AKA The End of an Age.

Frodo Baggins once said, "I'm glad to be with youSamwise Gamgee, here at the end of all things." Well, Samwise Gamgee wasn't even born yet during the events of The Hobbit. What I'm saying is that I'm glad to be on this journey since it's first steps out the door where it began. (See what I did there?) And of course, all the friends I met along the way. It's like an actual fellowship, you know. Fans of either the book and/or movie will understand the thrill of meeting another person who understands and who is as passionate as you are over something. LOTR is not for everyone (but I try to make everyone watch it anyway) and that feeling of finding someone to talk to about Thranduil, Legolas, Thorin, etc... is just priceless. 

Now, will this be a review? Eh, like I said... I have a hard time reviewing things that I love so no, definitely not a biased review. A recap maybe? Well, I don't think you'd want to read a full on fangirling complete with Tolkien jargon and mythology. A send off? Absolutely not. It may be hashtagged #OneLastTime but it's never really "the last time" with this fandom.

Whatever, guys. Here's Lee Pace

He's perfection. We all know it. The end. 

No... lol. Notice that this "premiere" post is different from my other ones. Why? Because I didn't do my usual thing of arriving early to the venue to get a good spot. Well, I did get there the ass-crack of dawn but not to reserve spots. (Again, hats off to those troopers who actually do camp out. I can never do that but I can bring coffee and donuts!) I arrived at the impromptu line at around 5:30AM of 9 December 2014... and scored tickets to the screening. With the cast in the audience. And I even scored some for my brother.

If you can remember, last year's premiere fell on my brother's birthday. And I couldn't take him with me. It's just so perfect that this year, I cold take him not only to the premiere but also to watch the movie. About 15 minutes after I got my ticket, I scored another one. I immediately called my brother and had him follow me to the venue later that afternoon. I promised him that last year and I delivered.

By the way, Jennifer Lawrence tripped on that stage behind us. I'm adding the Dolby Theatre (formerly known as the KODAK Theatre) to my list of favorite places to watch a movie. LOL, that just sounds so pretentious of me but whatevs.

I did try a little bit of red carpet action but it wasn't the most ideal. But hey, it's something. "Something" being a lot of Lee Pace. As much as I wanted a photo with my favorite Graham McTavish, it's not in the cards. Sigh. Oh Dwalin McKenzie. ^^

Here's more Lee Pace and some Andy Serkis. If you squint hard enough, you'll see some dwarves in there too.

William Kircher and Stephen Hunter
Jack Black
Andy Serkis
Mark Hadlow
Lee Pace

As for the movie... it's my favorite from The Hobbit trilogy, easy. Thorin wasn't an annoying emo a-hole. For once, I sympathized with him. It's not a shade on the fabulous Richard Armitage's acting but in the previous films, I found it hard to relate with Thorin and found that he always pulled the mood for the worse.

At the end of the day, it was still a Legolas movie. And Thranduil's as well. With or without bias. Legolas' part in the trilogy is pretty much 100% fanservice anyway so there's no harm in adding some more in the form of Thranduilion family issues. It was only mentioned ONCE in the whole LOTR trilogy about Legolas' pedigree... and it was in the extended FOTR version. Here, we have the amazing presence of Thranduil (Lee Pace) stealing the show with every scene that he's in. He was the perfect guy for the role and he played the seemingly cold, selfish, and heartless Mirkwood king flawlessly. His smirks, retorts, grandeur, and just his presence made the movie. Stole the movie.

I admit, I wasn't a fan of Tauriel (the actress moreso the character, to be frank). But she redeemed and endeared herself to me in this final film. I finally felt something for her and just her, not anything Legolas-related. She played off her relationship with Kili with such emotion that had been missing from Elves all this time. Thranduil showed some emotion as well. I loved that total fanservice moment between father and son but immediately after that, it was slightly out of character. I mean, we became used to him being this stoic and rather heartless character and for him to almost shed tears out of nowhere put me off a bit.

I cried. In fact, I started crying within three minutes of the movie. There are many moments where I cried and equally as many moments where I laughed out loud. And applauded. And cheered. It's definitely a movie that I will never ever get tired of. Luke Evans was exceptional as Bard. His whole film family and other Laketown citizens were awesome as well.

Unfortunately, the dwarves and mister Hobbit himself sacrificed their screentime for all these "taller creatures". Even Galadriel, Elrond, and Saruman were able to get scenes with a stronger impact. I mean, Martin Freeman is Bilbo Baggins, albeit a younger one, only had one uber powerful scene. It was a few seconds but it was more powerful than any gravity-defying stunt from the Elves. Some of the dwarves didn't even have a line. I guess that's why we have an extended edition...?
I have one unanswered question though. In Desolation of Smaug, they showed a Thranduil with a rotting/burning face. What's up with that? I mean, I assumed it has something to do with Smaug; fans theorize even further that it might connect to his wife. Legolas then gave an explanation about his mother on this movie (again, exceptional fanservice) that has no connection to that face burning scene. So... what's up with that? Again, extended edition, anyone? ;-)

The ending made me want to watch Fellowship of the Ring right away. And I did, after I watched BOTFA for the second time. And The Two Towers after that. Then Return of the King. All in one day. This journey has been somewhat my journey for half my life. When ROTK ended, it never felt done. But now with BOTFA... I felt it. I was sad but I'm glad that the Middle-Earth Saga became a huge part of my life. I will gladly go on this adventure. One last time. Forever.