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A well made movie
I thought The Desolation of Smaug was a very well made movie.
It wasn't a literal adaption of the book, which I think is only normal. After all you can't compare reading a book to watching a movie. Reading a book 'only' requires to let your imagination run free to create the story, the characters, the scenery, ... in your mind. If you missed something or didn't get something right away, ... you just read back. A movie has the challenge of showing you the story and doing so in a convincing way.
In my opinion The Desolation of Smaug is a rather intelligent retelling of the story, with amazing quality of visuals (nature, sets, ...).
Sure the pace of the movie isn't all that high, and it makes one wonder if it was really necessary to make three parts. However, allowing the time to get to know the (many many) characters (especially if you didn't read the book), to let the magnitude of the scenery sink in, and to properly tell the story, I thought the slow pace was a plus and reason enough to forgive the sometimes lengthy passages.
The Hunger Games (2012)
Nice adaption from the book, but...
One of the things I liked the most about reading 'The Hunger Games' was the intensity of how it was written. Feeling the story seemed maybe even more important than reading it, so when I went to see the movie, my expectations were very high.
On the upside: Great performance by the main characters, excellent visuals and well directed.
On the downside: The book gives a lot of context as to how the characters feel and how things have come to be the way they are. The movie changes a number of things to make it at all possible to show the story and for me the choices made took down the quality of the story a bit. To give at least some context, it took the movie a while to get really started and even despite that, some of the characters, again in my opinion, didn't really develop in depth the way they should.
Long story short, I liked the movie and thought it was a nice adaptation from the book, but it lacked a bit the intensity from the book.