Having been a massive fan of the original book, having read it over 7 times, I was very much looking forward to viewing the film last Saturday morning. The LOTR trilogy was excellent, watched the extended versions a few times over the years and enjoyed every minute of them. So when Jackson revealed that the short book the Hobbit was spanning over 3 feature length films I was bemused to say the least. How could a 300 page book span the same film time as the 1,200 paged LOTR? I was expecting long drawn out scenes and additional segments inserted to pad the movie out, though best to reserve judgement until viewing it first hand.
Saturday morning, 12:30pm, booked viewing when it is not so crowded and noisy so I could focus on the new 48HFR & 3D effects. Accompanied by a friend and then my brother and his son, sat down not knowing how the new x2 increase in frame rate would transfer to the big screen.
So, sat down with a bag of peanuts and bottle of water the show started. Straight into a bit of dialogue I was not familiar with and then into a violent visual description on how Eberron was destroyed. The 3D and the 48HFR kicked in at the same time as if I wasn’t confused enough of how much it had deviated from the book. I felt that the higher frame rate for these scenes was kind of hard to get accustomed too . It showed to much info. In-fact it reminded me of the “Zena Princess Warrior” Series. It being that it looked more “Real” but also tacky at the same time. Way too much detail took away from the CGI and the make up departments gargantuan efforts. It lost its “Movie” feel for me. Took a long while to get accustomed to and whilst it was excellent in most areas it did look awful in others. As for the 3D, if I had the choice I would not have bothered. For me, 3D has no place in a film unless its a hologram scene or something that you do not need glasses for. If you want 3D go to the theatre and watch a play. 48HFR in the Movie House Dublin road came with 3D as standard. Pointless.
On we trundled down this pre prequel and then ” In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” I thought that this would be the commencement of the actual movie. It was. Hell was it slow tho! Tedious, and I found myself saying, “Surely it can be this bad!”. It was, Freeman was totally unfunny and did not carrying the humor well at all. Don’t think the scenes where scripted well by Jackson. Forwards we lurched towards the exit from the Shire. Thankfully I was glad to see the back of it. Then in comes Radagast, the brown wizard.
Reminiscence of a scene from “Alice in Wonderland”. Radagast was another victim for padding out the movie. Pointless in my opinion to have wasted so much air time on the ex Doctor who, who should have remained in obscurity. Too make matters worse, all the way to this stage and until the end of the film, the soundtrack is familiar…. all to familiar. It’s unchanged almost from the LOTR scores. That disappointed me that Jackson did the minimum in order to make the movie a tad distant from its older and darker bother. Laziness maybe?
Anyways, fast forward until they hike up the mountain face from the elves and encounter the stone giants. Now finally it starts opening up into an excellent rendition of book in dramatic fashion from here on in. The action scenes are fast paced as they are chased through tunnels and when Bilbo falls down into the depths of the caves and meets Gollum for the “Riddles in the Dark” scene. Which is amazing. Tingles up the spine as they both throw riddles to deceive each other, really well written and set.
Jackson, now can do no wrong by me as he has conducted the best scene in the book to new heights!
In fact the rest of the film now goes on in this vein. Later a couple of annoyances kinda put my nose out of joint but nothing major. Like the fire balls the party threw at the Worgs when stranded in the trees and the fact it was on the edge of a cliff. Sure artistic licence is to be expected.
Was so glad that the second half of the film was epic when the first was lacklustre. Would definitely watch it again. Next time in normal 24frames per second and minus the 3D. Overall it was a success in my eyes and I hope that the rest do not fall foul to padding out like Jackson done with the Unexpected Journey.
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