Monday, December 17, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey




I’m not a big Lord of the Rings trilogy/Tolkien fan. I’ve never read the books. I’ve seen the movies all the way through just once (have viewed pieces of them here and there many times). So my knowledge of the whole story of The Hobbit has been limited to what I see people complain about on the internet. How the book The Hobbit is not very long and there is no way it can be stretched into 3 movies or that they are bringing back some character that is not in this book just to fill space. I know nothing about any of that. All I knew going into this movie was that it stars Martin Freeman, who I adore, it was filmed with some new technology, and that the majority of people hate it.

I really liked it.

Maybe my expectations were so low going in that I was just somewhat surprised by how much I didn’t think it sucked.

I had forgotten about the 3D and the higher frame rate when I picked my show time. When they handed me my 3D glasses, I was super bummed. I hate 3D. I find it pointless. I like the sweeping and grand IMAX way of filming these days, but the 3D I can do without.

Then when we got into the theater, we were late because I had ordered mozzarella sticks and they took forever. So we ended up front row. For a 3D movie. At this point I was sure I was in for a terrible time.

Then when it started and it looked so…weird (due to the higher frame rate)…I thought for sure I was going to hate the whole experience.

But I didn’t.

The movie starts out with a lot of action and the crazy visuals really suck you in as you explore this new look. And then when things settle down and you revisit Bilbo and Frodo on the day of his birthday (the same time that Lord of the Rings starts), you become even more aware of how different this movie looks. It reminded me of old BBC/PBS shows. It’s so hard to explain. It was like I was  watching a stage play.  

It’s hard not to dwell on how the film looked because it’s such a giant aspect of it. But the story is quite engaging, as well.

I had read complaints of all the singing and sweeping shots of the landscape and people walking (which, really , isn’t that all Lord of the Rings is? People walking with long shots of New Zealand/Middle Earth?). The two scenes of singing lasted all of 30 seconds – completely harmless. There were a lot of landscape shots – but they were beautiful and wonderful to look at.

Martin Freeman and Ian McKellan (Gandalf) are so likeable that they  are just fun to watch.

As someone who has not read the books, I found the story very easy to follow.

Yes, it is a long movie. But the only times I wished it would hurry up and end was towards the end when my neck was cramped from sitting in the front row and then my contact popped out and I was watching a 3D movie with one eye. But I highly enjoyed the story and could have continued watching.

It is also directed more towards children than the other films so there was some cheap humor moments involving belching, snot, and other general gross out stuff that I could have done without.

But it’s a good movie with a good story that is amazing to look at.

I would like to see it again in standard 2D format. I’m curious if that would change my opinion in some way.

And I will see Part 2 in December 2013.

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