On a whim, I re-watched The Desolation of Smaug over the weekend.
On its own merits as a fantasy story, I have to admit it's a piece of escapist glory. Bad bad-guys. Anti-heroes. Questionable or bad decisions. Fancy FX magic. Shiny things. Elf-fu. Oh, and the dragon. Gotta love the dragon.
It bears only the vaguest, loosest connection to Tolkien's work, of course. I've blathered about that before, so no need to rehash.
I just find myself amused by Jackson's tweaks and changes. He's sporting such a little crush on Legolas that it's kind of embarrassing to watch. And Tauriel is... well, suffice it to say I dread what weird slashfic Jackson's got stored away re: Legolas, Tauriel, and rock-star Dwarf (I forget the character's name).
Having seen how stupid the folk of Lake Town are portrayed in the film, I gotta say I'm really rooting for Smaug.
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