Tuesday, 11 December 2012

By Thorin's Beard, I've Missed Middle Earth...

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Not a Review.
In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.
It wasn't just any hobbit, mind,
And this is the story of how he went there and back again.

Ah, it's good to be back in Middle Earth.
The Hobbit theme still brings a fond tear to my eye.
And Gandalf! Dear Gandalf.
Ian Mckellen is still as wizardly as ever.
And he kicks a lot more ass too!
And of course... Bilbo!

Martin Freeman is EXCELLENT as Bilbo Baggins.
Every single thing he does, his speech, mannerisms,
His little twitches, hand gestures, and even his eyes,
Were exactly like I imagine Bilbo Baggins to be like.
Tentative, yet curious; timid yet courageous,
He's now my favorite Hobbit in the ENTIRE series.

Ok now, deep breath...
Dori, Nori, Ori, Gloin, Oin, Kili, Fili,
Bombur, Bofur, Bifur, Balin, Dwalin...
And Thorin Oakenshield.
Other than Balin, Dwalin, Kili, Bombur,
Bofur (or was it Bifur?), and Thorin,
I really couldn't tell which dwarf was which half the time.

Thorin is great though.
Kinda like what I imagine him to be, actually.
Though he's like a surlier, emo version of the one in the book,
With a lot more backstory and baggage.
And oooh, I'd love to have a replica of Orcrist.

Oooh, Riddles In The Dark!
One of my favorite parts of the book!
And it turned out to be one of the best parts of the movie!
Gollum! Gollum!
The poor wretched thing...
Give Andy Serkis an Oscar already!

It's lighter and funnier than LOTR,
(Just like the books, mind you),
And there certainly are some slow parts.
But it's no slower than the first half of FOTR was.
In fact, unlike all the Arwen toilet breaks in LOTR,
Here, I could only identify one certifiable toilet break.

In fact, the slower, quieter scenes were actually my favorites.
(other than that toilet break scene, of course)
Sure, the action was BIG and LOUD,
But somehow they didn't really register as resonantly,
As say... The Bridge of Khazad-dum.
I can't wait for the Battle Of the Five Armies though.
And SMAUG! Can't wait for SMAUG!

At first I was confusticated and bebothered about the "Trilogy"
I thought they really should have kept it at TWO movies.
But after watching the first one,
AND then re-reading the book,
I realized that it DOES make sense after all.

The Hobbit is such a short book, sure,
But there is A LOT going on in there.
The first movie only comes up to Chapter SIX of the book,
And almost ALL the major set-pieces ARE in the book.
Stone giants, the Great Goblin, the three trolls...
They could have done without the Radagast scenes though.

Yes, there ARE embellishments to the story,
As Gandalf would say, the best tales always have some.
But for the most part, they've stayed true to the book.
Though I figure certain scenes were probably there,
Just so the old gang could get together.

It's like a companion piece to LOTR,
With some very familiar faces.
Just don't set your expectations too high though.
It aims for the grandeur and epic scale of  LOTR, but doesn't quite get there.
(I don't get why people complain about the "frame rate" though).
(Seemed fine to me)

Do I like it?
Yeah I liked it.
It's probably 30 minutes too long,
And certain scenes ARE rather slow.
But it's still par for the course.
Besides, it's THE HOBBIT.
And it's worth it watching just to go back to Middle Earth...


jeevs said...

WHAT is with the faster frame rate? Haven't watched it yet - but could you advise as to what I should expect with regards to the frame rate and viewing experience?

Watching it in IMAX and 3D - it's going to be better than TRON!

Michael Cheang said...

Apparently, Malaysia doesn't have the 48fps version, so don't bother worrying about it haha. IMAX is definitely the way to go, dude.