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Sunday, December 16, 2012

An Expected Journey

Saw The Hobbit this afternoon.  Just regular old 24fps, 2D, no frills.  And I liked it.

Sure, it was much more ponderous and overblown than an adaptation of a little fluffy book should be, and I'm not wild about resurrecting Azog and inserting him into the storyline, and there were striking deviations from the novel, etc. It will be interesting to see if they can sustain this for 3 films.  But since it is following LOTR, I think it almost has to be inflated into a massive epic to measure up.

If you read The Hobbit first, you really had no idea that this little ring would eventually become The One Ring, and the Necromancer would morph into Sauron the Deceiver, and Gollum would snack on Frodo's finger and save the day.  Smaug is scary, but not terrifying compared to total apocalypse, so he has to be seen as a potential ally of Sauron.  With LOTR coming first cinematically, there really has to be a more direct, linear connection between the movies--the oliphant in the room is This Ring Is Bad Joojoo and will threaten all of Middle Earth.

I think the opening was a wonderful way to handoff Bilbo's character from Ian to Martin. I also love Figwit's return in a slightly meatier role.  While some of the fight/flight sequences felt like LOTR rehashes, they had to be lest we be jolted out of the world both series inhabit.  And as somebody who devoured not only these books, but much of the supporting literature, I do appreciate the expansion of the vehicle so we could see more Middle Earth lore come to life.

So in the end, I didn't find The Hobbit to be the same thrill ride as LOTR, but I didn't expect it to, either.  It was fun, and I look forward to the next installments.

ntodd

December 16, 2012 | Permalink

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Comments

Yay! Going in a bit to see it in a late showing. I'm excited.

Posted by: ellroon | Dec 16, 2012 11:34:28 PM

I had no problem with the narrative, even the weird Radagast parts (though I think Jackson expanded his role as a conduit to the natural world partly to make up for the early excision of Tom Bambadil--something which, frankly, can never be made up). It all made sense, and my more-than-a-decade-long crush on Martin Freeman was amply fed.

My only real complaint was that it is a movie from the early twenty-teens, which means certain expectations of action sequences clearly designed to be adapted for theme park rides. We saw it in in 3-D, and from the front row, and so the visual effect of the film was that I was actively queasy for a lot of it. I'm also cranky about the back-and-forth filmed-actors-to-CGI visual quality: I just find it unsettling. I don't want to live inside a video game. I have no idea if what we say was 24 or 48: I assume in a town this small, 48 was out of the question technologically. But I don't know that for sure.

So what I go to a movie for--the story and the acting and the atmosphere--that was all fine. But the technology unsettled me.

Posted by: Molly Ivors | Dec 17, 2012 4:52:32 AM

Still waiting for the movie version of Bored of the Rings...

..and they better NOT leave out Tim Benzedrine!

Posted by: Snarki, child of Loki | Dec 17, 2012 3:10:54 PM

Purposely did not see it in 3D, several in our group do not like the sensation. I'm going to have to read the book over again, could see some of the shifts in the plot, where it was condensed, where characters were brought in, but I've forgotten much. The CGI techniques were flawless and I enjoyed the character differences in the dwarves. Looking forward to owning the trilogy so I can watch it properly.

Posted by: ellroon | Dec 17, 2012 4:10:27 PM

My daughter found this for my edification...

Posted by: ellroon | Dec 18, 2012 12:21:32 AM

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