"A List" Customer
The movie has been out since Dec 14th and it is still leading at the box office. Many, like myself, have seen it more than once. Its a case where fan appreciation is higher than the critic reviewers.
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I just realized I never commented on the film in my own thread...
While not quite a jaw-dropping instant masterpiece like the LOTR films were, the first Hobbit film is very much of a piece with them, and marks a welcome return to Middle-earth with excellent continuity in production design, acting, music, and storytelling. Sure, three films feels like it may be too much, but I think PJ and company did a fine job of remaining relatively true to the events and spirit of the book (which I just reread for the first time in 30 years) while folding in the elements from the LOTR appendices to set the backstory for the later saga. Martin Freeman is excellent, Ian McKellen (if anything) twinkles even more this time, and seeing all the returning actors was a hoot (though I wish they hadn't modified Ian Holm's makeup to make him look more like Freeman - he doesn't quite match his previous appearance precisely like the others do). Apart from Thorin, the dwarves - as in the book - are relatively lacking in character and are mostly defined by their individual appearance and skills.
I will not argue that this film is as good as, or as important to (fantasy) film history as, FOTR was. It is a slighter story, even with the additions. And the change in the movie industry landscape in the last dozen years essentially pushes Peter Jackson to indulge his worst impulses up to eleven: too many dizzying swooping shots, impossible hairsbredth escapes one after another, and general overkill in many regards. (Note that i saw it in good old 2D - I felt that the change to digital camerawork was a significant enough difference on its own, and I'm no fan of 3D to start with... And 48fps, while a great idea [does anybody recall Douglas Trumbull's Showscan process from thirty ago with its 70mm film at 60fps promising "a more immersive experience?!?"], seems totally antithetical for a fantasy film. When early reviewers reported being able to clearly see Gandalf's contact lenses, I decided I really didn't want to see it this way!) But even with its missteps and effects overkill, this film is far from the Phantom Menace-level disappointment that many reviewers claimed.
Anyway, I had a huge grin on my face for the entire length, and I can't wait for next year's installment!
(I saw the film the day after opening day with my kids, keeping up our tradition from the LOTR trilogy. They were very young back in December 2001 - 8 and 11 - but they adored these movies from the start, and we all own the Extended Editions. Anyway, we all enjoyed the new film... while recognizing that it's not quite the mind-blowing, enormously emotional experience that the LOTR films were a decade ago.)
Last edited by Doctor Strange; 01-04-2013 at 05:55 AM.
I loved it.
People seem to forget that The Hobbit was a children's story and therefore not nearly as grim and desperate a tale as The Lord Of The Rings. There is a degree of the whimsical fairy tale to it that I think Jackson captured but didn't let overpower the movie. The "Riddles In The Dark" scene was fantastic, as I fully expected it to be. Were there things I didn't like? Of course, but no film no matter how well done can be a one-to-one correlation to a book, it just doesn't work.
Will definitely be seeing it again before it leaves the theater and will own the extended editions when they come out.