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Stephen Whitty’s “Elf-Consciously Epic” Leaves You Guessing to the End

In response to Stephen Whitty’s 636‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Newark Star-Ledger

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If one thing stands out about Stephen Whitty’s “‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ review: Elf-consciously epic” is that it’s very fair. There are no cheap shots, no nasty comments made just to be nasty. No hyperbolic nonsense. There is real film analysis going on here, an even look at the good and the bad that entertains and informs. By the time he reaches the end, you might feel a little out of breath. But you won’t feel cheated.

Whitty creates a great deal of suspense along the way. Will he ultimately recommend the film or won’t he? Does he even know himself? The reviewer does a great job of bringing the audience into the debate with him. He shares the pros and cons with a refreshing clarity.

For example, he’s more than willing to accuse the filmmakers of padding the film to make it longer with questionable characters and more than enough fights. Or calling the film at times “exhausting.” On the other hand, he offers special praise to one or two scenes and welcomes the addition of one character in particular.

Ultimately, though, does he recommend the film? Like in any great work of suspense, Whitty keeps the audience guessing to the very end. You’ll have to get there yourself to find out; it’s well worth the ride.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation