Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Desolation of Smaug

For those of you who have serious issues and/or fears of reading books, which seems sometimes to be basically everyone under the age of 30, there is a wonderful series of books by J. R. R. Tolkien.  It starts (chronologically) with the Hobbit, and ends with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Once again, for those of you who fear books, that means there are three books, not just one.
Despite that the Hobbit is only one book, it has been split into three movies by Peter Jackson, I was initially worried that this was going to draw things out so long that I would never be able to keep my ADHD addled mind in a seat long enough to actually watch them, but there is enough going on to make the movies flow well.
The world of Middle Earth is once again beautifully set  with incredible vistas and scenery that makes you want to visit New Zealand.  The CGI, I am sure is very much in effect (ok, it is most of the parts that aren't New Zealand), but it is still incredible.
The Dragon Smaug, (sadly when he first spoke no one in the theater screamed Khan!), is really a visual treat.  He is so wicked, and so serpentine in his portrayal.  Your a cold hearted snake dude...
Now, let us look at the physics.
The Earth has an amount of gold that is equivalent to a 88 meter cube.  Apparently on Middle Earth the dwarves have already mined about 10 times that amount, which Smaug is sleeping in.  An object the size of that dragon will not be able to fly.  Scales should grow back.  Barrels will fill and sink.  A gold statue will not hold its form and then have the gold poor out a few seconds later, it will come apart the instant the mold is removed.  A fire breathing anything will cook itself, as, for that matter, any creature that size would do in the process of physical exertion.
However, possibly the reason that Smaug sleeps in the gold is that he needs the gold to radiate the heat away from himself, I did not see Bilbo whip out a thermometer, but he should have.  This would cause some serious evolutionary issues for dragons, part of which is the small populations would limit the amount that they can change from generation to generation, but I am not going to get into that part.
The Man beast does not follow the rules of conservation of mass, but I will forgive that one for now, he did seem to hate orcs.
The orcs are as ugly as ever, the dwarves are stubborn, and short, the hobbits are clever enough, and the humans are short-sighted and third-world enough to obey the books.  The elves see very mush more standoffish , at least among the higher echelons of their society in the Hobbit than they are in the LoTR series, but it is nearly 100 years earlier.
The necromancer was a pleasant surprise as for how he was portrayed.  When finally he was revealed it made for some gasps in the audience.
The movie ended right at the moment I figured it would.  The immediate crises had been solved, but there were larger issues looming.  Over all I thought that the movie was great although it is not for everyone as for those who had never read the LoTR you will find yourselves confused.