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These two movies are particularly interesting cases as they were both entertaining films but overall lacked purpose. Normally I would be OK if a film had no purpose other than to entertain (Pacific Rim) but both these films have weighty moments and beats that say they are trying to go for something more than just popcorn fun. The only problem is they never really achieve it, Into Darkness stumbles into a weak retread its previous films and the Desolation of Smaug is really just padding till the next film. I did enjoy both but the fact that they both lack any resonance or meaning is really irritating. Their both films that I walked out of happy but have only found issues with since.
Cumberbatch makes for one hell of a villain in both. Overall I found Star Trek Into Darkness to be much more satisfying. I'm a bit disappointed to say that STID is still my favorite of the year, a title I thought The Desolation of Smaug would claim.
I can't wait to see Desolation of Smaug now. Just the thought of Cumbie playing the Necromancer and voicing Smaug is a dream come true.
Definitely Smaug, even though both are rather disappointing. The Desolation of Smaug, though much more bloated than Into Darkness, has better action, and a jaw-dropping dragon, which is more than enough to make it win this. Even with that love triangle...
Star Trek: Into Darkness was one of the most purely fun experiences I've had at the theater in a long time. And while Desolation of Smaug tries hard, it's got too many pacing issues and filler to keep the fun rolling consistently. Both are good, but only Into Darkness is great.
Cumberbatch is a beast (quite literally) in both of them, that i can agree. But I'm actually amazed "Into Darkness" is being treated as the "best in the series" by the majority of Star Trek fans. Really guys? I mean, that "big twist" regarding the villain was a big surprise? The over-the-top Michael Bayish sequences through the ENTIRE movie including that bizarre initial one were THAT memorable? The soap "Spock" opera that literally starts n' finishes the movie really worths? I didn't get it. Smaug is not a Oscar nominee but it's a way more solid movie.
FYI: I LOVED the first "Star Trek". It's on my top 50. So you can imagine my deception.
I'll take Thorin and his cronies any day!
I have these pretty much back-to-back on my Flickchart, mostly because I don't know which way to go with this. Overall I'm a bigger fan of Abrams's Star Trek movies than Jackson's Hobbit movies, although Jackson's LotR films would beat both in my opinion. But STID was following a movie I really, really enjoyed, whereas I was really disappointed in the first movie -- so I went into STID with much higher expectations than I had for DoS, which made it easier for me to just turn my brain off and be entertained by Jackson's film. Both franchises had great casts coming into their current installments, and both improved on them by throwing in a delightfully villainous Benedict Cumberbatch! The 2009 Star Trek was so original and innovative for me, and really only suffered from the lack of a great villain; ID provided that with Cumberbatch, but couldn't he have just been an original character? Or ANYONE else? After all the originality of ST '09, this movie just felt like a mash-up of that film and The Wrath of Khan. On a second viewing, that impression dimmed a little, but the scene with the warp core still rubbed me wrong. Create your own emotional high point, Abrams, rather than ripping off another movies'.... Now, don't get me wrong, DoS was far from perfect too. It repeated a lot of its predecessor's faults: inconsistent tone, bizarre detours from the book, a whole lot of padding, and too many damn orcs. But at least it was more action-packed than AUJ. The Laketown sequence was very nicely developed (minus the orcs), I thought it was cool that we saw the Nazgul's tombs, and Smaug simply stole the show. But the action sequence with the barrels was awful, especially the moment when Bombur went bad-ass, and the love triangle was a bit of a facepalm too. In conclusion, I think that the Smaug sequence in DoS is probably better than anything in STID, but STID is probably the better movie overall, in spite of the fact that I was more disappointed with it on an initial viewing. For now I'm ranking it higher. And I'll be more excited for another ST movie than I am for the third Hobbit movie.
Both are in my top 3 of 2013. Hobbit because it's more atmospheric.
Smaug was badass but so was the enterprise crashing into the city. Hobbit felt a bit too long.