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Chris Barsanti’s “The Desolation of Smaug” Leaves You With a Warm Glow

In response to Chris Barsanti’s 773‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Film Journal International

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Experiencing Chris Barsanti’s “Film Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is pure pleasure from start to finish. It’s not that the piece is filled with humor or that the words jump from the page like, well, a band of Tolkien elves. Rather, the joy comes from reading the insights of a smart critic who plies his trade with total confidence.

Barsanti, first of all, has found a way to incorporate analysis and plot, without either of the two getting in the way of the other. He analyzes as he goes through the film’s story, picking out the good and, perhaps, not so good, while keeping his eyes on the prize, so to speak.

He does know how to turn a phrase now and then. Likening the second film to “a bear shaking off a winter’s slack,” or calling the first first film in the trilogy “a dutiful exercise in world-building,” shows that he is an expert wordsmith. He even manages to do a little comparing of this movie to the original book source without turning it into a rant about was left out.

He also takes pains to compare this second film with the first in such a way that feels honest. The Desolation of Smaug won’t knock you off your feet, but it will leave you with a warm glow that should last the whole day through.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation