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Kevin "The Ninja" 12 months ago

Why didn't I think of that, lol?! Thank you, I was getting frustrated.

About Mike

Favorite Movies:
Braveheart, Gladiator, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Aliens, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Jaws, Groundhog Day, The Matrix, Titanic, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, GoodFellas, Seven (Se7en), Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Breakfast Club, Les Misérables, The Artist, Some Like It Hot, Psycho, Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens) (Nosferatu the Vampire), Alien, Parenthood, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Independence Day, Starship Troopers, Sällskapsresan (The Charter Trip), Big, Men in Black, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, Marvel's The Avengers, Die Hard, Donnie Darko, Avatar, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, King Kong, The Green Mile, The Sixth Sense, Ted, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Back to the Future Part II, The Pianist, The Usual Suspects, A Royal Affair, Life of Pi, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Argo, The Impossible, Carrie, Serpico, It's a Wonderful Life, Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries), E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, War of the Worlds, Contact, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Lost World - Jurassic Park, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith 3D, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, American Beauty, Saving Private Ryan, The Fugitive, Predator, Total Recall, The Abyss, Cocoon, X-Men: First Class, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, Iron Man, The Muppets, The Adventures of Tintin, Captain America: The First Avenger, V for Vendetta, 300, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Ghost, GoldenEye, Super 8, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones 3D, The Matrix Reloaded, The Lion King, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, Shrek, Monsters, Inc., Click, Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, Coming to America, Jackass: Number Two, Jackass 3, The Mask, Sällskapsresan 2 - Snowroller (Charter Trip 2), Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Galaxy Quest, American Pie, Not Another Teen Movie, Mars Attacks!, Spaceballs, Shaolin Soccer, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Chronicle, Pulp Fiction, Alien Resurrection, The Dictator, Brüno, 21 Jump Street, Men in Black III, The Amazing Spider-Man, Looper, The Hunger Games, The Expendables 2, Skyfall, Moonrise Kingdom, End of Watch, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Gangster Squad, Django Unchained, Flight, S.O.S. - En segelsällskapsresa, (S.O.S.: Swedes at Sea), The Croods, The Cabin in the Woods, This is 40, Kon Tiki, Iron Man 3, Side Effects, World War Z, 28 Days Later, The Skin I Live In, The Idiots (Idioterne) (Dogma 95), The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Scarface, The Way Way Back, Pacific Rim, Lilo & Stitch, Kick-Ass 2, The Departed, The Blair Witch Project, Children of Men, Dark Skies, Wreck-it Ralph, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Favorite Actors:
Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks, Keira Knightley, Angelina Jolie, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde, Christina Ricci, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, Ian McKellen, Bill Murray, Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Edward Norton, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Jeff Bridges, Jeff Goldblum, Steve Buscemi, Brad Pitt, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Robert De Niro, Geoffrey Rush, Patrick Stewart, Sacha Baron Cohen, Kevin Costner, Sam Neill, Paul Giamatti, Dave Chappelle, Clint Eastwood, Sean Penn, Adam Sandler, Dan Aykroyd, Matthew Broderick, Heath Ledger, Jackie Chan, Seann William Scott, Russell Crowe, Stephen 'Steve-O' Glover, Bam Margera, Pierce Brosnan, John Goodman, Randy Quaid, John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, Liam Neeson, Hugh Jackman, John Hurt, Kevin Spacey, Sam Elliot, Kurt Russell, Geena Davis, John Cleese, Chris O'Dowd, Jack Black, Jeff Daniels, Bill Pullman, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Farley, John Candy, George Clooney, Sean Bean, Elijah Wood, Rachel Weisz, John Rhys Davies, Gerard Butler, Alfred Molina, Ed O'Neill, Woody Harrelson, Viggo Mortensen, Richard Dean Anderson, Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Philip Seymour Hoffman, David Thewlis, Kenneth Branagh, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Robbie Coltrane, Zoe Saldana, Mickey Rourke, John Noble, Christopher Walken, Tobey Maguire, Billy Crystal, Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Joe Pesci, William Fichtner, Christopher Lee, Bernard Hill, Ray Stevenson, Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Rowan Atkinson, Richard Dreyfuss, Chris Elliott, Bill Nighy, Cillian Murphy, Al Pacino, Vinnie Jones, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Mel Brooks, Matt Damon, James McAvoy, Peter Stormare, Richard Gere, Jake Gyllenhaal, Claire Danes, Catherine O'Hara, Andy Serkis, Sean Astin, Bruce Lee, Stephen Chow, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillon, Naomi Watts, Ralph Fiennes, James Woods, Colin Firth, Max von Sydow, Jeremy Irons, Hugo Weaving, Jason Alexander, Jonah Hill, Julia Roberts, James Franco, Neil Patrick Harris, John Cho, Kal Penn, Eddie Murphy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tim Allen, Denzel Washington, Nick Swardson, Justin Long, Kiefer Sutherland, Winona Ryder, Eric Idle, Clancy Brown, Michael Sheen, Lasse Åberg, Björn Kjellman, Kjell Bergqvist (II), Rolf Lassgård, Clive Owen, Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Steve McQueen, Emma Stone, Jamie Chung, David Duchovny, Chris Evans, Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Joaquin Phoenix
Films, besides writing, are my one true passion. Always have been, always will be. Where some extracurricular hobbies fade in and out of interest, cinema is the one constant that engages me on a daily basis. When I'm not watching films, I'm thinking about them, and vice versa. Currently, I freelance as a critic for a local newspaper in Sweden, where I'm also born and raised. Aside from the grand works of Ingmar Bergman and a select few other film-makers from here, I'm more curious, however, about foreign films and have been molded in particular by Hollywood gems crafted between the 70's and 90's. I'm a consumer of all genres, but possess a self-confessed soft spot for action and adventure. Spielberg's early blockbusters, like "Jaws", "E.T", "Jurassic Park" and the Indiana Jones series, have been a major influence on me, along with the original Star Wars trilogy, of which I'm a die-hard aficionado. My written work can also be found on Facebook, where I actively run a film site called "Mike's Movie Reviews". Just go to the following page and click "like" to follow news, reviews, trailers and other film-related material that I post there on a regular basis: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mikes-Movie-Reviews/281824101875153?ref=hl I'm also an active member on Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/baggins/ <center> ## Film Consumption Overview ## Number of movies seen in total: 2093 Number of movies I want to see: 773 Number of 5 star ratings given: 28 Number of 4½ star ratings given: 39 Number of 4 star ratings given: 315 Number of 3½ star ratings given: 973 Number of 3 star ratings given: 601 Number of 2½ star ratings given: 115 Number of 2 star ratings given: 20 Number of 1½ star ratings given: 6 Number of 1 star ratings given: 3 Number of ½ star ratings given: 0 </center>

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The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

8 months ago via Flixster

Peter Jackson and the famous carrot are back. So is the slapstick though; fat jokes featuring Bombur and lethargic, overlong set pieces. Along with all new flaws and shortcomings that no Tolkien devotee should have to suffer. Out of the frying pan, but into the fire of poor timing, video game vibes and a seriously pissed off dragon.

Do not confuse devotee with purist, however. The Hobbit may be my all-time favorite book (and the only one I've read twice actually), but I don't get hung up on petty changes, or even more significant ones as long as it's handled in good taste. Case in point: Tauriel, a new female elf character played by "Lost's" Evangeline Lilly. Great casting choice and quite an interesting, well-rounded addition to the ensemble. Marred though, unfortunately, by a much-too-forced love triangle that adds little of worth.

There are improvements, but they're not many. The action is better and more consistent and it's nice to have Legolas kicking ass and taking names again. What's the deal with the new contact lenses though? Is there a point to that I have missed somewhere? Oh well. It was fun to finally see Mikael Persbrandt as Beorn (a big moment for us Swedes), even if his intimidating, bearded presence is just around for a couple of minutes. I suppose they're saving him for the last leg of the journey... quest... thing.

The great highlight for me was Smaug. I didn't care for the way he looked in the trailers, but the cinematic representation was a different beast altogether. Awe-inspiring, brilliantly realized and majestically voiced by the-man-you-can't-believe-isn't-a-fancy-egg-dish. O Cumberbatch, the stupendous!

A darker, less fluffy second chapter which comes closer in tone to the Lord of the Rings films, but too often feels like a repetition or remake thereof. "Darkness is upon us" this. "We shall have our vengeance" that. If the original trilogy was a person, the Hobbit flicks are like a younger, less talented sibling that desperately wants to be as impactful and admired. There's as much potential here as there are golden coins in Smaug's lair, yet two films into the trilogy it hasn't found a soul to match the beauty and depth of its predecessors. "The Desolation of Feels" would be a harsh, yet reasonably accurate title.

Two straight letdowns aside, I still felt positive about the sum of the experience. The sets and scenery look more breathtaking than ever. I saw it in 48 FPS, but didn't get the bothersome "fast-forward" sensation like I did when I saw "An Unexpected Journey". The clarity in the picture was even more astonishing this time, with an exception for the blurry haze that appeared whenever a lot was moving on screen.

A score of 4/5 is what the previous chapter received as well. On both accounts for the tremendous entertainment value; not so much the story, which I suppose was doomed from the beginning to fall short of the magic that wrapped itself around The Lord of the Rings films like the finest of silk.

The ultimate sign of my immediate relationship to this movie came when I exited the theatre and felt no desire to watch it again. Which is a little sad as I had planned to, but now altered those plans to a second viewing of "Catching Fire" instead.

I wanted to love this film, this trilogy. I wanted to cherish it for decades to come and pass it down to future grandchildren like a precious family heirloom. Now, I sense my edge-worn book will be all that they'll inherit.


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Intel Hollywood Star Program (July 2012 - December 2012)
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