Monday, December 17, 2012

It's A New Day, It's A New Dawn...

I'm a bit early with the resolutions, but I've decided that I want to write more and expand what I write about. Because of this, there's going to be a few changes on here. I started this blog as a sort of diary to keep a record of things that I've done, and I'm still going to use it for this purpose but I'm also going to use it as an outlet for some of my writing :) 

So, to get things started, I've written a review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey which I saw on Friday...

Source: Google Images

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
My first experience with The Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit, was when I attempted to read it about ten years ago. I didn’t get very far and unfortunately gave up on it. On hearing it was being made into a film, I was excited to see it. Foolishly, I nearly let the not so complementary reviews of Peter Jackson’s adaptation dictate whether or not I should see the new film. Thankfully I did see it, and what a treat it was!

On arriving at the Odeon Leicester Square on Friday, I was greeted with a legion of dedicated fans queuing to get into the cinema. Many a hobbit and Gandalf were roaming the capital and I did feel a little fraudulent for being there seeing as I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to see the three hour spectacle. None the less, I took my seat and was pleasantly surprised.

Having watched The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, I knew what to expect from The Shire and the creatures that reside within Tolkien’s world. There was the usual mix of good and evil, but The Hobbit has a brilliantly funny side to it too. Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in particular has some wonderfully witty one liners. His scene with Andy Serkis as Gollum is a stand out moment purely for the comedic undertones that accompany their heated and jumpy exchange. All in all, it results in the film being a heady mix of light-heartedness and serious action. 

There’s been wide spread criticism of Jackson’s use of 48 frames per second (fps) rather than the conventional 24fps for filming, with people stating it looks like poor quality HD TV. I’m no expert in this matter but I found the filming to be clear and sharp. The 3D was incredible; it was like the actors were holograms. They stood out against the background like they could step out of the screen at any time. It was magical. I forgot I was watching, it was like I had delved into Tolkien’s pages and was wandering among the elves and stretching landscapes with the dwarves on their mission.

The major flaw in the film is its length. Three hours is a long time to sit through any film, let alone one where you are required to wear 3D glasses. The story isn’t even finished either. How Jackson has managed to turn a 300-odd page book into three films is an almighty stretch. When compared to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it does seem a little excessive. It brings up the question of whether this decision was made in order to honour the book or if it’s an elaborate money making scheme building on the success of an already popular trilogy? 

The Hobbit however, will draw audiences. Hard-core fans to the general public alike will go to see the film, and putting length aside, should enjoy the visualisation of Tolkien’s words. 


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