The Battle Five Armies was the movie I couldn't stop thinking about the most at the end of 2014. I saw the first trailer hundreds of times and watched the second Trailer the most. So when I went to go see it which I saw the first two installments which were phenomenal, the last one was the conclusion I needed for these movies. I am also going to talk about the extended edition, so be forwarded that there will be major spoiler
Starting right where it left off from the end of The Desolation of Smaug. Smaug attacks Lake-town/Esgaroth as its known. The people of Lake- town are fleeing. Just as Tauriel and Bard's Children are leaving Bard's son Bain remembers the black arrow and leaves the boat he is on, finds the Black Arrow and takes it to his father, who tries unsuccessfully to shoot Smaug, and breaks his bow, but before shooting Smaug, Bard ties the string of the bow to the posts of the bell tower an using Bain as support for the black arrow telling Bain not to look at Smaug but to look at Bard instead and then tells Bain to move slightly to the left. Then with success Smaug is hit, he fly's up and gives out his last breath of fire and last death cry and finally falls back down and crushes the Master of Lake-town and his guards and they all die.
Peter Jackson's version of the master's death is more convincing versus J.R.R. Tolkien's book version: The Master surviving and after The Battle of Five Armies instead of rebuilding Lake-town, he runs away and dies in the wastes after his companions abandon him. That would've never worked on screen, besides its very nonspecific and for all we know that could be anywhere in Middle-earth.
"The Gathering of Clouds" scenes were awesome and the Extended Edition Scenes are even better, I love Billy Connolly's performance of Dain II Ironfoot, and Lee Pace's performance of King Thranduil the insults are hilarious.
There was something I didn't like and this is just a criticism of mine, This Is What Should've Happened that is: I wish PJ would've done the scene as it was in the book, accept the Dwarves Armies showing up earlier at the moment Bilbo was about tossed over the wall, Gandalf interfering then bringing the Dwarf and Elven Kings together explaining to the Elf and Dwarf kings that there fighting was madness and they should come together and fight, and as soon as that was said the Orc Armies show up. Then Gandalf, King Thranduil, Bard and Dain II Ironfoot all shake there heads and join ranks and make a quick strategy, Meanwhile Thorin hears this at first disgusted but eventually realizing its the right thing to do, have Bomber sound the horn and breaks the wall and comes out charging. Then the attack is lead by Thorin and charge the Orc Ranks. To me something to that effect would've been really cool!
Now that of course never actually happens but would've showed that Thorin was a true King, and not his grandfather or father and that he will stand with people until the end as Durin's folk would always do. Also it would show that Thorin was similar to that of Aragorn's character, in Lord of the Rings.
While I still like the Theatrical Edition version of the BOFTFA battle, as it is more true to the book for the most part, I do like the Extended Edition scenes. It shows the worldly theme that regardless of race etc. That in order to destroy an evil that is truly more powerful and much greater then all of us that we must stand together and put are differences aside and work together to bring lasting peace and harmony for the greater good of ALL people. As well as realizing life is more valuable then anything (Gold) we or someone before us owns or owned.
This the kind of conflict that the races of Men, Elves and Dwarves are faced with, (in particular the Elves and Dwarves). So seeing when the Orcs arrive, it shows they have a common foe and therefore all races (especially Elves and Dwarves) despite there differences, and their hate for each other as individual races must stand together and fight side by side for the greater good of the people of Middle-Earth and a theme that continues in the background of Lord of the Rings. ( Even though in the Two Towers movie scene: they do fight one final time together in the South at Helm's Deep in Rohan against Isengard). Again, the conflict in the North is something we don't see.
So that is a theme that resonates in my mind whenever I read The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings books and I do think despite the changes in the movies those themes from J.R.R. Tolkien's books still resonate in there own way in the movies Which I enjoyed very much. So I give PJ and Team a Big Thumbs up.
Dol Guldur was very neat to see on screen, what I loved was the creepiness of the ruined fortress. I did enjoy Galadriel's moment of rescuing Gandalf from the orc torturing Gandalf. That was cool but I would've enjoyed it more if Cate Blanchett's Character was in armor, and was wielding a Sword. Besides we never see her character kick any butt or see her in armor or even with a sword. But she still knows how to kick butt thats for sure. I love seeing her banish Sauron. Plus seeing Elrond and Saruman kick butt was awesome, but I honestly wish Peter had all four actors on the same set in London with Christopher Lee. I mean you get the impression they were all together but they weren't.
Before I conclude my review, I would like to say that I have to agree with other fans that The Hobbit Movie Trilogy while in my mind its awesome in its own right. It is still an under achievement mostly because PJ used too much CGI in The Hobbit movies. In Lord of the Rings, PJ kept an organicness to LOTR and I think because PJ was so bent on using newer technology on the Hobbit, he was trying to give fans a new experience something he couldn't have done all those years ago in LOTR. This is a somewhat similar debate to the Original Star Wars Trilogy Episodes 4-6 being better then the Prequel Trilogy Episodes 1-3. In terms of CGI use, I agree its hard to tell whats CGI and what isn't. So LOTR's on location shoots are more Organic. Again I still think The Hobbit Movies are awesome.
Overall I enjoyed every waking moment of the Theatrical version of the movie in Theaters, and I really enjoyed it again even more once I saw the Extended Edition. I give it 10 stars, compared the Star Wars prequels the acting was excellent and the action was awesome, and the picture looks absolutely stunning.