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msilverstar

because you all need to know what I think about the Hobbit movie

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Dec. 15th, 2012 | 07:34 pm
mood: tired

overall reaction: I went in hoping for the best, it kept quite close to the book (which is slight), too much action and suspense (literally) for me, overall B+/A-

The book of the Hobbit is not the Lord of the Rings: it doesn't have the scope or the depth or the characters. So I didn't expect this to be profound, and it's not, and that's OK.

It felt like a journey for Bilbo, Thorin, and Gandalf, which I didn't expect at all and really liked.

the beginning is a little overbearing, and I missed the dwarf women :-(

Lovely to see old!Bilbo and young!Frodo again.

Is it my imagination or does Bilbo's pack come and go?

I would cut 2/3 of each chase and peril scenes, but that's between me and Peter Jackson

The dwarves are pretty good, the Bag End scene hews nicely to the book including the crockery being juggled but not broken. Great mention of the 1/14th share of the treasure, offhand but oh so important later. I loved the songs, which are a big part of Tolkien. Ed points out that there are enough dwarves to have an actual fighting force. Not as much low comedy, just a couple of fart jokes, Felt like I was getting to know a couple of the dwarves, I quite like Bofur and the kids are pretty, Ori is not a total bumbler, and there not nearly as many fat jokes as I'd feared

Heh, the Elves didn't sing "fa la la la lally, come back to the valley" (a case where book canon is embarrassing even to read). Did not like the Elf army watching Smaug destroying and turning away, but it works to make Thorin's hostility understandable. But badass!Elrond on a horse makes me happy. And Lindir played by Bret McKenzie aka Figwit!

Radagast was fun, and impressive when he faced down all that evil.

Gollum and the riddle game were perfect!

The stone giants were completely gratuitous and non-canon. And what felt like an hour of peril, peril, and more peril.

The end felt good, if a little didactic. I wanted Bilbo to take more decisive action and Thorin to get a bit less grumpy, and them all to survive, and that's what I got.

I liked the 3D pretty well, and the fast frame rate and how clearly I could see the faces. But maybe it was where I was sitting, all the backgrounds looked fuzzy. Did anyone else notice this?

The very best part for me was watching my daughter react, she loved it!

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Comments {12}

Scribe

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from: glass_moment
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
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I mostly came out of the theater thinking that it was....good. Not amazing steal my heart forever fantastic, but...good. With the potential to be better once in line with the sequels. I think that's part of the problem with the three-movies-from-one-book format; no matter what you do, they're just not going to stand alone as well as the LOTR movies did.

I think it's possible that I am actually more excited for the fannish experience of the movies than for the movies themselves. This probably says something odd about me, but, well, whatever. :D

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Lotripper

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from: msilverstar
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 04:27 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I think it was as good as it could be given the given the source. It will never be LOTR, it never could be, but it's a visit to Middle Earth (and a whole lot of running).

Fandom love!

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amusing musing

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from: sandelwood
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 04:54 am (UTC)
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Is it my imagination or does Bilbo's pack come and go? Not your imagination, my mom pointed it out as well. I wasn't paying so much attention to little details at this point!

The dwarf women were incredibly brief, and the one I thought I saw didn't have a beard!

I do agree, I really don't think (or at least I hope) any of us are going in expecting a LOTR clone. I never thought it could be that. But it is just so much fun to go back to Middle-Earth!

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Lotripper

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from: msilverstar
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 06:01 am (UTC)
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Hah, glad it's not just me on the pack.

It is fun to go back there, and I'm getting very fond of several dwarves!

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itstonedme

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from: itstonedme
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 05:51 am (UTC)
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I agree with you on every single point. I missed the elusive backpack but Orcrist came and went too. It didn't get captured in the eagle's talon when Thorin was picked up, but it was set down with him at the other end.

We are talking The Hobbit as source material so it was going to be a tough film to make because it's a bit of a flatline road trip with a few bumps along the way. I actually think the writers did a better job than I was expecting. I didn't realize that Lindir was played by Figwit, but it's proof once again that the Voice of the Fandom is monitored and heard. :) Yes, to the backgrounds. I have to see this in 2D now to discover if this is a 3D or HFR side effect. I suspect it is one or both. I was expecting background to be as crisp as foreground. I love the HFR, the 3D maybe not so much. I think it still has development issues, like "miniaturizing" characters in long shots.

But I was all ready at the end to see the next film. While I found certain scenes long, I could have watched another hour, I was so loving being back in Middle Earth.

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Lotripper

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from: msilverstar
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 06:05 am (UTC)
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Orcrist, yes, I noticed that too!

There's only so much you can do with that source, and they do it with love, so I can forgive a lot.

As far as I can tell, there's no HFR on 2D, which makes me sad.

It was fabulous being back there, and next time I'm sitting further back in the theater.

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ואם לא עכשו אימתי

Part 1/2

from: karin_woywod
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 01:48 pm (UTC)
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I've now seen it 5 times, 4 times in one and the same movie theatre, and the fifth time in another,

Clarity of the picture depends to a vast amount on the theatre. Both theatres screened the 3D HFR version, but in the first one, the picture was bright (using more projector / beamer light) and vast. I sat exactly in the center of all the seats (from back to front and from left to right) in both theatres, and yet, in the first one, I felt like I was in the middle of all the ' The Hobbit ' action, and I could choose to focus on a spot in the background, which was crystal clear as well, whereas in the second one, the picture was a bit darker (using less projector light), the screen was further away, and I felt more like watching a movie on TV or my laptop (although a bit bigger than that, obviously), I felt like I was distanced from the action, and the 3D effect was not as strong, and you could only take in one picture, and not differentiate that much between foreground and background, or let your eyes wander around.

The plot of ' The Hobbit ' is lighter than the plot of LOTR, so, as you said, you don't expect it to have the same impact on you. But I like Bilbo's character arc. He's the one we all identify with - the everyman torn from his known surroundings, having to do something he has never done before, way beyond his comfort zone, learning things about himself he never would have expected before - adapting to the new situations and changing with them.

Martin Freeman is a little bit like Elijah Wood had been in the first part of the trilogy (minus Frodo's grief about Gandalf), he didn't have to portray too extreme, serious weighed-down states of mind. Having said that, Martin's acting is every bit as skilled as Elijah's (in FOTR). You can see every subtle nuance of what Bilbo's been thinking on his expressive face or in his body language.

I like Martin's trademark ways to contort his face - they are so extremely fitting for a character like Bilbo.

I was extremely moved by the close-up of Martin's / Bilbo's face during the end of the Riddles In The Dark scene, the way his expression slowly changes from disgust / contempt for Gollum to pity / compassion !

Sometimes Bilbo's expressions and gestures are a simple director's device to tell what he is thinking without spelling it out, so I found moments like the one when Bilbo's gaze is first focussing on the rope holding the ponies, then on the knife at the troll's belt, and then on the ponies again, a bit too obvious, but I guess a director has to do things like that in order to tell a story to an audience as young as 13 years old, or, accompanied by their parents, even younger.

Anyway, having said that, Kudos to Martin's acting - he is brilliant in this !

I also liked some of Peter Jackson's realisms in what is essentially a 'pimped-up' children's story. When Bilbo picks up the One Ring, not only are his fingernails dirty, but his fingers are also bruised and a bit bloodied, what you would expect if this was a real-life situation (with all the falling / sliding down rocky tunnels that had taken place earlier). Also, the state of Bilbo's clothing (troll's snot and all) becomes progressively more worn and dirty.

The beginning - well, it was like the beginning of a Bond movie - a grand entrance / action scene to up the ante and bring you right back to Middle-Earth in an instant.

Dwarf Women - you can see them briefly during the flight scene, but as sandelwood said above, why were there no beards on the dwarf women ? ? ?

:o)

[To be continued . . .]

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ואם לא עכשו אימתי

Part 2/2

from: karin_woywod
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
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Old!Bilbo and Young!Frodo - yes, I so enjoyed seeing them again, and up-close, crystal-sharp and in 3D ! I really was in awe (as only someone with insider knowledge can be) of how effortlessly Peter Jackson combined the material he had filmed of Ian Holm and Elijah in London, with the scenes of Martin Freeman standing in for Bilbo and Elijah Wood in Hobbiton, Matamata, New Zealand. The audience didn't notice a single thing ! Also, kudos again to Martin Freeman, who had down the exact posture and movements as Ian Holm would have had ! I also enjoyed the extended view of Bag End. Combined with the effect of (the first movie theatre of) being in the middle of it all, it felt so vast. In LOTR, you basically only had been in two and a half rooms of Bag-End (the entrance hall, the study and the kitchen), but now, it really felt like a set of rooms tied together by tunnel-like hallways / walkways.

Frodo - To us in the know (having dealt extendedly with Elijah's face for years), he's noticably older, but I like this amalgam of wisened Elijah and young Frodo (on the day of his coming of age) quite a lot. Also, I like how there are glimpses of really good acting (and drawing on Elijah's still-there-goofyness) that bring back momentarily young, carefree Frodo !

I missed the disappearance of Bilbo's backpack - to me it was always there.

Quote : "I would cut 2/3 of each chase and peril scenes, but that's between me and Peter Jackson" - Too right, but I guess that's what you have to do to attract not only the LOTR and Tolkien fans, but also a new audience, who knows nothing about the source books or the previous films.

I liked the dwarves at Bag End. Here, with the help of a feast and a considerable amount of alcohol in their stomachs, they act more like the dwarves in a children's book (as in The Hobbit - the book), and it was wise to concentrate most of the singing that happens all the time in the book, to the scenes in Bag End.

Dwarves overall : I still can't name them all. I know that Fili and Kili were deliberately chosen to attract the audience, in their young, enthusiastic, sometimes heroic, sometimes schoolboy ("Maybe we should tell Thorin about the ponies!" - "No, no need to bother him with that!") ways, but what can I say ? It worked ! ;o)

I also liked Bofur's moment with Bilbo, when Bilbo intends to leave his companions.

Lindir - really liked Bret McKenzie's appearance (but wouldn't have recognised him immediately as the former Figwit). However, I wonder why Bret in real life chooses to wear a full beard, when he clearly looks so much better without one.

Radagast - really liked him. Some folks said his appearance made up for the missing Tom Bombadil in LOTR, and I can see their point. However, why Radagast chose to make the Orcs move in a circle, instead of away from Gandalf and the fleeing company of Dwarves and Hobbit, escapes me completely. But it was said he was not too sound in mind, wasn't it ? ;o)

The Riddles In The Dark scenes - perfect, as you said !

Also, can anyone tell me why the Eagles chose to set down their assorted freight of Wizard, Dwarves and Halfling on the top of one of the highest mountains there ? It will take them ages to climb down that mountain again.

But, from a director's point of view : Only from the top of a mountain the company would have spotted the top of another, namely Lonely, mountain, so that was a nice way to drive the plot forward (and to introduce the cliffhanger, pointing to the next episode and at what's still to come.)

Overall, most entertaining, mainly on a humourous, fairy-tale, look-at-those sceneries level (and yes, those action sequences worked too, but I could have done with less of them), but there's also some Peter Jackson depth in there. A nice introduction of the trilogy. Can't wait of what is still to come.

I also wonder how much of Benedict Cumberbatch will be in the trilogy. At the moment, I can't even imagine Smaug to speak, especially with the glimpses we've seen of him here. And Benedict's Necromancer were only a few seconds, and unrecognisable seconds, of course. Not that it mattered if there was no recognisable Benedict at all in the Hobbit trilogy, but I'm just wondering . . .

Love,

- Karin.

Edited at 2012-12-16 02:01 pm (UTC)

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Lotripper

Re: Part 2/2

from: msilverstar
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
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I agree with you on nearly everything, but I couldn't possibly see it five times in a week, much less a day! Your comments about 3D makes me wonder if I got a bad theater or my eyeglasses prescription did something weird to my view.

I hadn't mentioned Bilbo's fingers when he picks up the ring, but yes, they reminded me beautifully of Frodo's fingers.

For me, Bret looks hugely better in a beard and his normal hair, the Lindir look does nothing for me. Funny how differently we react ;-)

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Arabia

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from: arabia764
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
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Good to hear your thoughts. We haven't seen it yet and I'm in no great hurry now - although we will go.

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Lotripper

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from: msilverstar
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
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I hope you see it soon, it was definitely worth even crunching my ankle for.

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loreley_se

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from: loreley_se
date: Dec. 16th, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
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I agree with all of this :-) The chase and fight scenes were a bit too long for me too but oh well they have to attract all kinds of audiences I guess. I do need to pay attention to Bilbo's back next time! Still not terribly happy with 3D and 48fps to be honest but I'll see it again...and also see it in 2D to test the difference.

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