GorT and family saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey last night and it lived up to the other Jackson adaptations of Tolkien’s works. We ended up seeing it in 3D which I actually feel benefited the movie in some of the more dramatic scenes – notably, the orc pursuit with Radagast, the fight through the goblin kingdom, the mountain fight, and the giant eagles. Amazingly, the theater was rather empty so the audience reaction wasn’t there but the movie deserves plenty of reaction. The humor is well done and the more poignant scenes like Thorin’s re-evaluation of Bilbo are touching.
While I thought the movie was a bit slow to start, it picked up speed quickly. It moved from action scene to action scene – as Thorin and Gandalf say in the movie, “out of the frying pan and into the fire.” Clearly much attention was paid to the small details, even in the special effects as they could be appreciated, particularly in the 3D format. About the only drawback to the 3D was wearing those glasses which I find annoying. Martin Freeman does an excellent job in the role of Bilbo (as a side note, if you enjoy his performance, I highly recommend the BBC series Sherlock where he plays Dr. Watson to Benedict Cumberpatch’s Sherlock Holmes in a modern version of Sherlock Holmes). The supporting cast was great – Fili and Kili were amusing and GorT particularly enjoyed James Nesbitt’s Bofur.
There are two threads of “controversy” on teh intranets regarding the movie. First is the dust-up over director Peter Jackson filming the movie at 48 frames per second. Look, Jackson is crazy. But the 48fps doesn’t detract from the movie. It adds a level of detail to the action scenes that is worthwhile whereas the normal 24fps could lead to a blurring effect. There is plenty of debate over what is the best framerate to film movies and what the human eye can discern but it gets into some complicated questions. The second controversy is the changes Jackson made to the content of the film from the original Tolkien book. GorT’s position is that people should view this trilogy broader than just the book, The Hobbit, but rather Jackson utilizing various elements from the Tolkien universe sourced from a number of Tolkien works. The addition of the pale-orc antagonist is fine and helps move the story and the portrayal of Thorin is a great change.
GorT has a number of other movies on the docket:
- Les Miserables – I enjoyed the Broadway musical and look forward to the movie, it looks well done.
- Jack Reacher – ok, bear with me here. I’m a huge fan of the Reacher novels. And yes, I’m the first to crazy-go-nuts over the casting of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher – author Lee Child describes his protagonist as being 6′ 5″ tall with a 50-inch chest, and weighing between 210 and 250 pounds. He has ice-blue eyes and dirty blond hair. Ok, clearly not Tom Cruise. But I’m excited to see these action novels brought to the big screen.
- Oz: The Great and Powerful – the Volgi, ‘Puter, and GorT have a tie to Wizard of Oz stuff and the casting looks interesting.