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Scott Nash’s “The Desolation of Smaug” Is One-Sided and Unclear

In response to Scott Nash’s 792‑word review of The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug on Three Movie Buffs

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If you’re hoping to find out in Scott Nash’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” what the reviewer thought of the film itself, you might be a bit disappointed. He’s more interested in comparing the film to the original Tolkien book source, accusing the film’s director/co-screenwriter of being “more concerned with telling his version of this story rather than Tolkien’s.” Since that could be said of any writer adapting someone else’s work, perhaps the reviewer’s main problem is that the writer/director did not film the critic’s version of the story.

It’s an old argument in filmmaking, how best to adapt stories told in one medium into another, and it isn’t going to be solved here. But Nash’s constant referral back to the book only brings the overall piece down. Certainly there are going to be those seeing the film that have not read the book; they deserve an honest review as well.

Because of the film’s creators “dragging this story out,” Nash says “what could have been a great film is now a good one.” But it’s hard to find what “good” things he has to say about it. He perks up during the times when “the movie resemble the book,” then grumbles at the changes. He admits that in his version, every scene without Bilbo in it would be edited out. But since that hardly seems likely, it’s hard to tell what would really please him.

Perhaps he’s saying his version is the only real one worth making. If so, that hardly warrants the 792 words he uses to say it.    

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