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action scenes I’ve ever seen watching

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them feels like watching a laundry

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machine there’s plenty of movement but

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not a lot going on there overly long

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threat less gravity defying tone death

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and a bunch of other bad adjectives but

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their biggest sin is that most of them

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do nothing to advance the story they

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remind me of bad musical numbers you see

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even though musicals are as long as

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movies the music itself takes a path the

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running time leaving you with less time

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for you no story in shape so musicals

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oft and run the risk of having a

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super-slim plot because they can’t

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figure out a way to tell the story

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through the songs good musicals will

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advance the plot and the characters in

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the songs themselves

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here’s a simple test if you can remove a

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song from a musical without changing the

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story then the song isn’t pulling its

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weight to be clear the song can still be

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fun and catchy while also being complete

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filler this song was rightfully cut from

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the original Lion King and not just

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because it’s fucking annoying we haven’t

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paid the home bills and the volitans

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have a hum but also because Zazu zli ryx

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don’t advance the plot at all now if you

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were alive in 2013 then you’ve heard

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this song part of the reason let it go

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is great is that you can’t remove it

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from the story it’s literally about

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else’s character development

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she begins afraid and alone and by the

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end of the song she’s basically Beyonce

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action scenes can be used in the same

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way characters can reveal something

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about themselves or learn the lesson the

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film has been trying to teach them this

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is falling with style

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so let’s apply that same test to some of

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the action scenes of The Hobbit the

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stone Giants this is probably the most

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random seen in the entire trilogy as the

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dwarves are walking along they watch to

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Rock’em Sock’em robots fighting each

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other

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Bilbo gets in danger here and Thorin

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questions is worth but that dynamic has

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already been set up from the beginning

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of the movie so the scene is just here

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for spectacle and to look good in a

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trailer the orc Raiden Laketown

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the orcs pointlessly raved Laketown at

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the end of the desolation of smaug

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literally nothing happens in the sea

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Legolas and Bolg fight is the definition

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of filler it’s so pointless that they

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don’t even continue the plotline at the

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beginning of the next movie fighting

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smile but by far the biggest offender

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here apart from most of the third movie

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is the conclusion of the desolation of

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smaug so here’s a scene that exists

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solely because of the three movie

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structure gotta end a blockbuster with

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everything going kablammo so strap in

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because it’s time to watch the dwarves

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pointlessly wrestle a dragon for two

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loads of laundry but it’s certainly

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going to feel odd watching part three

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immediately after park – isn’t it I mean

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you just watched a 20 minute action

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scene with smile and now you’re going to

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watch another 20 minute action scene

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with Smaug I’m willing to bet that if

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they only made two movies like they

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originally planned then smile would have

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gone to blow-up Laketown the moment he

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stopped talking with Bilbo instead we

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get the most absurd scene of the trilogy

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Oh for fuck’s sake the movie goes

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through all this trouble to build up

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Smaug as a threat and then it renders

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him completely toothless and incompetent

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in the next scene compare this to the

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opening of five armies here are all the

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ways the plot or the characters are

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developed in this scene one alfred is

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betrayed and forced to fend for himself

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– bard escapes from prison three Smaug

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is slain as a result of his own pride

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and for the master is killed for being a

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greedy asshole you can’t have a movie

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without the scene but you can totally

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fast-forward through five minutes of

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desolation without missing a thing now

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maybe you’re thinking that not every

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action scene needs to move the story

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forward sometimes it’s just fun to have

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a good fight in the movie well that’s

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true but that’s the other problem with

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the action scenes in The Hobbit they

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don’t

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have tension tension is created when the

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film makes us ask I wonder what will

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happen next to do that you have to make

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us feel the danger by giving us enough

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time to figure out what’s happening and

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then letting our imaginations do the

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work and if you have tension you don’t

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even need to have elves doing backflips

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to make it exciting imagine that now

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probably the most fillery seen in the

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original movies is the one with the

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stairs when they’re escaping from Moria

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it doesn’t add much to the story other

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than Warner Brothers art walls but it’s

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an incredible lesson in cinematic

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tension okay so they’re on these stairs

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when they come across a small gap no

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problem right Legolas jumps across then

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we fear but don’t see the Balrog and the

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tension creeps up we get a reaction shot

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from Gandalf that tells us to be afraid

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a single arrow is fired at the

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fellowship and misses now they have a

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second problem they have to jump the gap

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and goblins are firing at them we get a

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shot of arrows almost hitting the

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hobbits toes and a reaction shot of them

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recoiling in fear Boromir hastily grabs

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merry and pippin and jumps just as he

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does so the stairs where he was standing

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fall away the gap is bigger making the

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problem more difficult soon only Frodo

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and Aragorn remain the two most

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important characters even more of the

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staircase falls away and we get a

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vertical shot to show how far they fall

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keep in mind this was back when gravity

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still posed a legitimate threat in

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middle-earth

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now the gap has become impossibly wide

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well Frodo and Aragorn have to turn back

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how are they gonna get out of this one

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then this happens we hear the Balrog

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stomping about dislodging a boulder that

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hits the stairs behind them then the

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stairs they’re all and now begin to

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wobble to tally up the problems this

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scene has built until this point we’ve

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got one the Balrog is coming so they’ve

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got to hurry to there’s a gap in the

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stairs that they have to navigate three

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the gap is getting bigger every time

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someone jumps for the goblins are

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getting pretty close at hitting someone

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with an arrow

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five the stairs are cut off behind them

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so they can’t go back six the stairs are

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beginning to fall in the wrong direction

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finally Aragorn comes up with a plan

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they lean forward using the falling

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staircase to make it over the gap

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the music swells the moment they are

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safe dispelling the tension of the scene

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in a terrific climax as a final shot we

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see the staircase smash into pieces and

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fall into the abyss further

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demonstrating the fate our heroes have

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just escaped in the hobbit we get

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another escape from the goblins in Moria

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scene and it comes in almost the exact

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same point in the movie so I feel that

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it’s fair to compare them only this time

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Jackson managed to forget everything he

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knows about cinematic tension and

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instead just cranks up the number of

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things that happen by a factor of 10 and

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then plays it all super fast

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it starts with dwell and pausing when

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some goblins are running directly at him

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he solves the problem instantly by

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picking up part of the railing and

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swatting the goblins away they drop the

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log and keep running now we’re back to a

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wide shot some of the characters are on

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the walkway up top while others on the

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walkway down below which dwarf is on

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which walkway fuck you doesn’t matter

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because boom next shots are all running

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across the same bridge Wilhelm scream

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blam 12 super quick shots of dorbz

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stabbing goblins it’s Thor and then

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volun then biffer I think well ah fuck

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it please note that the ease with which

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everyone can kill goblins

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including the old dwarf makes the threat

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that they pose completely non-existent

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seeing as goblins are about as strong as

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and there’s really only one comparison I

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can make curious there

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but no time think about that because

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boom were into another sad piece goblins

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are swinging in on ropes Thorin yells

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they cut the ropes then there’s a shot

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of goblins getting all tangled up I’m

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starting to see a pattern here each of

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these little mini sequences are all just

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three quick shots the first one sets up

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a problem the second one is a character

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coming up with a solution and the third

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one is them executing I never for a

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moment we get a shot showing our

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characters scared about what’s happening

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or struggling for a solution like we do

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in fellowship but no time to think about

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that because kablammo Keeley’s locking

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arrows with his sword it’s set piece

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number three Kili bashes through the

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goblins with the ladder that then

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becomes a bridge this is overrun like a

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second and now we’re hold on a second

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we’re reuniting with other members of

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the company who I guess were on the

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other side of the walkway how when they

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were all together a second ago who’s

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with who hold on stop for a second what

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the fuck is happening we’re all swinging

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on a bridge that’s what some dwarves

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jump off then some goblins jump on and

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for a second you’re like oh shit now

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they’re stuck on there with the oh wait

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oh they’ve escaped more swooping crane

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shots of scenery you’ll never see again

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two more stabby shots and then Guam

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we’re into the Bombur set peace he’s a

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factual bicycling this baby at the bush

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thanks Steve Bombur strips and falls

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through two flights of wood some goblins

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get launched in the air all right

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worried if bomber’s okay too bad

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motherfucker cuz time to watch Thor and

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stab a dude and then Gandalf stabbed a

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dude

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then Gandalf shoots a magic laser at a

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rock just lodging a boulder and the

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music swells but you’re like what why is

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the music being old triumphant how is

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this any different from the shenanigans

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Dwalin and Kili were pulling and the

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battle isn’t even over yet there are

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still nine more stabby shots before

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heading into the confrontation with the

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Goblin King even as bad as it is at

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building tension it’s also terrible at

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relieving what tension is there now it

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might surprise you but even with all of

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that going on the scene from journey is

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only ten seconds longer than the one

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from fellowship where Jackson used to

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take two and a half minutes to clearly

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introduce elements of tension that made

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the stakes clear he now took the same

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time to have five different set pieces

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played back to back to back to back to

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back along with a bunch of miscellaneous

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stabbing to boot

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nothing in this scene builds on what how

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than before it which means you could

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reorder the entire sequence without

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changing the story at all scenes with

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tension are memorable because they

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engage you on an emotional level you

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actually become worried about the

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well-being of the characters in the

09:53

scene I think one of the reasons people

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aren’t as connected to the dwarves as

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they were the Fellowship is because they

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never seem like they’re in any real

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danger in the action scenes they always

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escape without a scratch

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most of the time we barely know where

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any of the dwarves are what dangers

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they’re facing or if they’re struggling

10:09

to overcome those dangers or not as a

10:12

result the action scenes just wash over

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you forgotten about by the next load

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laundry thank you for watching part 2

10:19

next up all the get nitpicky that’s

10:22

right I’m picking all the nits in part 3

10:24

so make sure you subscribe to the sage

10:26

rants channel so you don’t miss it when

10:28

the video goes up tomorrow but first

10:30

time for a little bonus soup iddah tea

10:32

don’t let most of it

10:34

no more than 100 oh there’s only a

10:37

hundred of them no problem right yeah

10:39

I’m really at the edge of my seat here

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