Picturing The Hobbit | Tor.com
A whole lot of Hobbit art. Pretty great.
OK...time to weigh in. Saw it yesterday and I am loathe to judge it because I feel like I have only seen PART of a movie. Unlike LOTR which had the benefit of the obvious arcs of the individual books, this movie suffers because it is a third, in essence, of an overall work. I will say...I liked it enough to want more despite a LOT of misgivings that I will go into. First off, our showing was not labelled as the controversial HFR/48 fps...but man oh man did that trick show its head a LOT, mostly to detrimental effect. It almost would have been better to see the WHOLE movie in that technique rather than have it pop in and out of it. I have to say...it may be the future and I can certainly see the benefits, but I think it's Jackson's folly that he wants so badly to be thought of as a pioneer so badly that he sacrificed an entire project to it. It's a work in progress...and to use what is essentially a high def/ultra realistic process on a movie where very little is real simply exposes too much of the 'behind the curtain'. There are times where scenes look straight out of a videogame(the taking of Erebor) or the cartoonish makeup is tremendously exposed(Balin?'s entrance)...at times I can see what he wanted to show...the beautiful landscapes in particular, but save it for a travel video until they can find a way to incorporate the more fantastic elements of movie magic.
Ok, that's the major gripe...the rest can be considered nitpicks and may contain SPOILERISH descriptions. First off...I truly hate the reliance on cgi. Weta has finally dropped the ball. The cgi is just too prevalent and the actual physical effects almost seem an afterthought at times. There is a scene with a giant eagle towards the end where a character is being held in the eagles talons and the Jeff Bridges King Kong with the giant robotic gorilla hand...is far more believable. It literally looks like a papier mache' set of claws that they made for folks at malls to take a picture in. As mentioned earlier, the dwarves makeup has visible baldcap lines at times partially due to the hpr...but also partially due to it seemingly being half assed. Unacceptable in a movie of this scope($$$) with so much invested in the characters. I find it terribly telling that Jackson felt the need to make Thorin and Fili/Kili look more human than dwarvish. I mean, in relation to the others, the King of the dwarves looks absolutely nothing like his people. It's like they thought nobody could have sympathy for the major character if he was basically...ugly. And speaking of Thorin, there is stoic/tortured hero...and then there is Thorin. It seems like he is constantly assuming a 'Captain Morgan' and instead of being relatable...he just seems like a sulky little brat. Some of the dwarves get more face time than others and they shine. Good character work here. But there are dwarves that you see late in the movie and wonder where they have been the whole time. And while LOTR was all about walking, this is all about running. The gang is constantly being chased. Jackson loves those aforementioned landscapes. Another gripe about the cgi...almost anything not dwarvish/elvin/or hobbitses, looks alike. Orcs/trolls/goblins and gollum all look terribly similar. And fake. Nice work by Manu Bennet(Spartacus) as the lead Orc, and what can you say about Serkis. Simply amazing how Gollum can slide in and out of subservient/cowering and psychotic/dangerous. Ok...so there are a lot and I mean a LOT of giant things in this movie. When they got to the, as Kingsqueen rightly said, 'the rock'em sock'em' giant living mountains I nearly threw up my hands and checked out. Just to wrap things up...towards a critical moment, Gandalf summons giant eagles to save them from yet another cliffside(god, half this movie is shot to induce paralyzing fear in folks that have height phobias) danger...well, those eagles drop them AT THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN which is seemingly hundreds of miles away from their destination. Oh and with nothing but flatlands in between. So, if the giant eagle taxicab service couldn't take them to their location, could they have not put them at the top of a frigging mountain???????
I know this sounds negative, and mostly is...but there is enough to like, Freeman's Bilbo especially, that I want to see more. But it is frustrating that I have to wait basically 3 years to see a complete movie...just because Jackson loves every frame he shoots. Really wish Guillermo del Toro had not walked away. I think he would have injected this with more fun. I think that's the big complaint...Jackson is trying to force feed the gravitas of the LOTR source material into what basically should be an ADVENTURE movie. It just isn't enough fun.
Last edited by jerseydevil; December 23rd, 2012 at 02:31 PM.
Can I mention another thing that has consistently bugged the crap outta me? Why is 'proper British' the go to accent for any and all Hollywood movies with characters either from foreign lands(Rome/300) or made up types such as the Hobbit? Is there some unwritten rule? For ****s sake...with the Kiwi location, Hobbit should have come with, at least, an Australian accent. Instead we get middle class English and even some Scottish. What the hell?
The 'proper British' accent thing amuses me. There's a lot of that in Biblical Movies, which is why, haha, it's so amusing to hear Harvey Keitel play Judas in The Last Temptation of Christ while speaking with a Brooklyn Accent.
Is it me...or is there anti-semitism to be read into Tolkiens work? Bear with me...the dwarves are swarthy, big nosed, and live under the mountain worshipping gems, gold and precous minerals. Whilst the elves are all that the Aryan race loved and coveted? Just seems a little ewwwwwww...
Racist stereotypes in Tolkien's work has been argued. Personally, I think it's complicated. And he's certainly not outright racist than say Lovecraft, haha!
I always go to the old thing about finding what you're looking for in movies. Elves have always been ***hole royalty types, gnomes and dwarves are always skeevy and battlers, humans are always flawed and righteous heroes. Orcs are always bad. I mean, always.
Plus, Shakespeare, dude. That's old historical s** which is ABOUT older historical s***. And if ya do Shakepeare, ya do it in an English accent, usually even if you're playing Italian people or whatever.
I mean, heck, you see the same things in the Songs of Ice and Fire - different locations breed different cultures, just like in real life.
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