The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D (Higher Frame Rate)

Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 3D (Higher Frame Rate)

By RexH
04 Jan 13

Hobbitses.. what is a Hobbitses, preciousss?

So here we all are again, back in good old Middle-Earth.
(And is it worth the wait, precious?)
Well yes, it is. It's visually stunning (we expects that, precious), the cgi is a knock-out; notably Weta seem to have discovered how Wargs actually run, presumably by doing some research with wolves. Gollum is even better this time round than in LOTR, mainly in his range of facial expressions, which I thought were pretty good the first time.
I saw "The Hobbit" in 3D at 48fps. It was bright and crisp and movement was fluid, but I would have to watch normal and higher frame rates side by side to tell the difference.
"Movies move" and this one moved at quite a clip, with minimal dialogue, which surprised me, considering its length. I was all set for a ride and a ride is what I got, though not as much of a gallop as was Tintin!
It was like "Fellowship of the Ring" but with dwarves. I was kind of hoping for a cameo from Bridget the Midget, but no luck! Still. what it lacked in hot women, it more than made up for in orcs, trolls, giant spiders, astounding rock giants (where's Thor when you need him?), wargs and giant eagles. Now, regarding the eagles: once upon a time, long before pakeha had ever heard of Aotearoa or even Middle-Earth, there lived in the high crags of Te Wai Pounamu a species of giant eagle (Aquila moorei) that preyed upon the giant lowland moa. They would sweep majestically down from their alpine roosts to spread terror among the slower flightless giants. So when you watch the eagles carrying the hobbit and dwarves down through those beautiful high passes, you are also catching a breath-taking glimpse of New Zealand's prehistory. I suspect Jackson was aware of this (but you'd have to ask him).
Back to the movie. The Hobbit is one book, complex, yes, but written primarily for younger readers. The LOTR is three volumes, comprising several books within them plus lengthy appendices and maps. So, if The Hobbit requires three films to do it justice (and does it, really?) shouldn't LOTR have required nine?
The Hobbit is certainly padded out with back-story from the Appendices. And it certainly requires some lengthy exposition, but I wonder if Jackson isn't trying to outdo Lucas at his own game?
Anyway, how do I feel about the movie? Loved it! And wasn't the nasty one-armed orc right out of a Frank Frazetta painting? If Frank were alive, I'm sure he would have approved.
Where the movie followed the book, it did so beautifully, where it departed from it, it maintained a spirit true to it. In some ways, The Hobbit may be better than the LOTR, it's certainly better than "The Two Towers".
Performances are great overall. I'm glad to see Christopher Lee again as Saruman. And that scene played entertainingly. Martin Freeman is wonderful, reminds me of Michael Palin.
All the dwarf characters were entertaining and managed to convey appropriate personalities.
So yes, all this is a long-winded way of saying I totally enjoyed the film and I can't wait to see Smaug!