Friday, February 8, 2013
The Hobbit (2012) review 2
one of the more famous opening lines in all of literature these days. it's also one of my favorite books. I've read this one A LOT. enough that I can quote many lines without much prompting. I'm not sure that's a good thing or not, but my point is I love this book.
so when Peter Jackson announced he was adapting the book into not one, not two but THREE movies, I had some trepidation. this is a slender children's book, not even close to what LOTR is. and when it was stated there would be added material, some not even written by Tolkien, well, that sure didn't help. I knew I should see it, since it would at least look great.
so last night I went to see the movie, in 2D non-Imax version. and I liked it. well cast, well acted, mostly well directed (is there no such thing as the laws of physics in Jackson's movies? people fall around and down rocks, or get their heads snapped around (see, or rather don't see his needless KING KONG remake) and nothing really bad happens to them). I liked the score and was greatly pleased to hear at least some of Tolkien's excellent poetry/songs made it into the movie. sure missed "15 Birds" though.
there was a lot of humor in it, which I was really concerned with. if Tom, Bert and Bill hadn't been able to talk that would have been a bad decision. likewise the Great Goblin. I'm sorry the eagles didn't get to talk, which makes me wonder if the spider or even Smaug will. whoever voices him will have a hard time topping Richard Boone's performance in the cartoon version, though. say what you want about that adaption, he was great.
the dwarves looked great, not at all what I was expecting. Thorin didn't have to be made such a hard head about elves so early on. and while I know why they included Azog, it was also really pointless and padding.
the padding with Radagast could have been left out completely, as the council of the wise, nice as it was to see Saruman and Galadriel again. the changes to make Bilbo seem more heroic... well, I can see why they did it and for the most part weren't too bothersome.
and Gollum... he didn't look as good as he did in the LOTR. not sure why, the CG made him look rubbery. it was a bit disconcerting. when I first read "Riddles in the Dark" it scared me, but these days the interplay between the two of them makes me laugh. the end is always creepy. no reason to have Bilbo kick poor ol' Gollum in the head, much as he deserved it.
the movie should only have been about 2 hours, and there should only be two movies in the trilogy. we see the Lonely Mountain at the end of this one and I realized it would be another movie before they get there. how long are they gonna be chased around by giant spiders (ugh) and spend in the dungeons of the elf-king in Mirkwood? it will be nice to see Beorn, I hope.
so entertaining yes, especially if one is not quite as familiar with the book. I'll give it 4 our of 5 rings.