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Laura Clifford’s “Smaug” Brings to Mind Lesser Critics

In response to Laura Clifford’s 384‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Reeling Reviews

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The writing and critiquing of Laura Clifford had seen a recent upswing, but her review “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” feels like a step back and her planned meteoric rise through the ranks of criticdom will have to wait.

Not that it’s bad. In fact, when you consider its amateurish surroundings, it’s surprisingly good.

Reeling Reviews’ website continues to make Al Gore regret inventing the internet with its putrid tiled background, festering resolution, and hideously unframed pictures all combining forces to create a perfect storm of gruesomeness.

Laura’s prose here borrows a little too much from her husband Robin’s gawky style and readers end up with a few too many run-on sentences and awkwardly formed phrases.

For the most part, though, the writing works well enough to carry Laura’s critiques clearly and forcefully. She makes some genuinely valid points as well: “The many fights taken on by our questers with Orcs, spiders, etc. , often feel like watching someone else play a video game,” and even fan favorite Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbach “wears out his welcome.”

Still, the piece as a whole doesn’t feel as complete as previous efforts. Die hard fans of Laura Clifford will have to wait just a bit longer for their beloved critic to hit it big.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation