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Post Posted: December 10th 2012 11:32 pm
 
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The Hobbit I • Spoilers

Just came back from an advance screening this evening. They surprised us by playing the film in the new 48 FPS format. What a revelation that was! I couldn't help but toss everything I've read about the new format, all the criticisms to the fucking wind. It's crisper, cleaner, smoother motion. It's a totally new experience, perhaps most akin to some LED, 120 Hz television displays I've seen. I'm an amateur filmmaker who's obviously dabbled in video, so I'm familiar with the look and it's never really bothered me. The effect is so otherworldly and perfectly suited for a movie like this.

As for the movie/story/characters: The film has a really decent, flowing pace. Nothing slows things down too much. But don't worry, even if it gets slow there's plenty of eye candy. The portion of the film that I felt dragged a bit was a meeting in Rivendell between Gandalf and Saruman. But I'm starting to think that was the point because of the telepathic interjections by Galadriel during Saruman's droning on.

Regarding character development, there were definite arcs for Thorin and Bilbo. Simple, but well-written and well-acted. The dwarves are grouped together and some of them aren't that well defined. Perhaps because, frankly, there are too many of them. But they were handled in a way that didn't hamper the story or cause confusion.

I don't know what else to talk about. Overall, a stunning modern adventure film made with real magic (sufficiently complex CG artistry). Really a wonder to behold. The escape from the goblin mine was particularly stunning and really satisfies your craving for high adventure action sequences.

5 out of 5.


Post Posted: December 11th 2012 6:53 am
 
OBGYN
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^Awesome! Thanks for that. I was going to simply avoid the 48FPS altogether, but I think I will give it a shot now.

What do you make of the people who say that things seem to move too fast in early scenes?


Post Posted: December 11th 2012 11:00 am
 
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I think the 48 FPS is somewhat of an acquired taste. I've had some experience with it and I also happen to love any curious, new innovations in film technology. Maybe I'm over-hyping it. A little.

It's possible the early scenes are highlighted because an unfamiliar viewer is adjusting to this new mode. I've read that some viewers are acclimated after about 15 minutes in. But I didn't get the sense of any motion being too fast or distracting at any point in the film.

Man, I was positively glowing after walking out of the theater. Best movie-going experience I've had in years. And it didn't hurt that the tickets were free. :)


Post Posted: December 15th 2012 2:36 am
 
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I have a habit of admitting when I'm wrong here so I might as well do it again.

Just got back from a 3D 24FPS showing and I thought it was more enjoyable than much of the LOTR trilogy.

I know shit all, not do I care at all, about LOTR. If there's anyone who would lack patience for a slow-paced supposed adventure story, it's definitely me. So from a non-fan, here are my takes:

- I think Bilbo, thus far, is more interesting than Frodo ever was. Frodo is a bitch. Worst hero ever - always gets fucked up and whined about everything. Sam was just a fat annoying overdramatic gay Rudy, and the absence of those characters instantly made this a better movie for me.

- Gandalf is played better by Ian McKellen in this movie than he did in the first three. Much more human character and more easily accessible.

- There felt like there was more action in this movie than there was in FOTR.

- The pacing isn't that slow. It's certainly a sprawling epic with lots of exposition, but it never felt dull or boring.

- Howard Shore's score was very, very clever. Excellent editing. All I was thinking during much of the movie was how badly I wished the PT took advantage of the OT cues more and connected them to action on screen. This was music editing done perfectly.

- Gollum was fantastic, but I maintain he looks more real in close up shots than he does wide shots. WETA's compositing has never been as good as ILM's. Their digital characters always look painted - they haven't been able to master shadows and skin lighting to the degree ILM has. Incredible how precise Serkis' performance capture is.

- Orcs are not all CGI, as some reviews have stated, but the lead dude is. This was a bad idea in my opinion. He looks like a cartoon.

- All the Dwarves have personalities, some stand out from others but none of them ever seem unnecessary. I wondered a lot why they shit-talked elves for being pussies in battle yet only one of them shows up to fight in LOTR. Perhaps I'll find out soon enough!

- I care more about seeing the next movie than I did Two Towers when I saw FOTR.


Post Posted: December 17th 2012 12:29 pm
 
OBGYN
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Saw it in 2D over the weekend. I'll see it again in 48fps 3D soon.

I absolutely loved every minute of this movie. Great fun, and I really like how Jackson has embellished the story with other chunks of Middle Earth history.


Post Posted: December 17th 2012 3:43 pm
 
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I thought it was well done. Easily Jackson's best work since Fellowship. Bilbo was a much more relatable and sympathetic character than Frodo. He had a strong Hero's Journey arc that was summed up nicely at the end with some heart.

48FPS is... interesting. It solves the flickering issues with 3D but at a trade off with the lack of motion blur. Given how I don't believe 3D is here to stay at all, I don't see a wide adoption of HFR.

I loved how the goblins looked like something out of Jim Henson's nightmares. Great production value all around, especially in Rivendell. I thought the spectacle kept those scenes interesting plus the awesomeness of Elrond, Galadriel, Gandalf and Saruman sitting together at the same table. Actually it was a decently paced story. Not a ton of action but a couple really good set pieces. The reviewers who say this film drags seem like the same people to lavishly praise RotK. That piece of shit was as bloated as Chinballs the Goblin King.

Howard Shore did a great job. I'll be first in line to download the Complete Recording score when it's released.

Plot hole alert: Old Bilbo is narrating the story and writes his entire memoir in a couple hours before his birthday party? WTF.


Post Posted: December 18th 2012 1:29 am
 
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I've never been fond of Jackson's take on Tolkien so I honestly don't understand why so many people are reacting so negatively to The Hobbit after the warm reception the Rings trilogy got ten years ago. I thought it was fine, cut from the same cloth as Jackson's Rings trilogy; no better or worse.

I caught it IMAX (film not digital) and the immense screen added to the presentation, more than I felt the HFR would but then I'm partial to large format screenings. I don't have much desire to see it again in 48fps but I have a feeling I'm probably going to do so before long.

EDIT: FYI, the Star Trek prologue didn't play in front of my screening and apparently is only attached to the inferior digital IMAX screenings.


Post Posted: December 19th 2012 12:15 pm
 
OBGYN
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Topeka wrote:
Plot hole alert: Old Bilbo is narrating the story and writes his entire memoir in a couple hours before his birthday party? WTF.



If that's a plot hole, then so is his narration in the extended cut of FOTR.

I always had the impression that Bilbo finished his book while in Rivendale, not on the day of his birthday party.


Post Posted: December 19th 2012 1:55 pm
 
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If he did that, it would make more sense. I got the impression he was leaving his memoirs in Bag End for Frodo to discover one day. I honestly don't remember that much of Fellowship, nor am I intimately familiar with the story.

I hope the Necromancer plot is an integral part of the story in the next movie. The slenderman design seems more of a del Toro idea than a Jackson one. Way cool.


Post Posted: December 20th 2012 8:41 pm
 
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After re-watching the extended editions of LOTR, I contend that the Hobbit is better than all of them.

More engaging, less boring, more likeable characters and a great score.

Are the stakes as high? No. Who cares: the rest of the movie is better.


Post Posted: December 21st 2012 11:26 am
 
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I agree. I'm not an LOTR fan (although there are a few interesting parts sprinkled throughout the trilogy) but I loved this a whole lot more.


Post Posted: December 28th 2012 3:25 pm
 
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Agreed about The Hobbit being better than the LOTR films.

Particularly enjoyed the characters (Bilbo, Gandalf, the dwarves) - they seemed more fun and better acted. In addition, Jackson's sense of humor and directing style seem tobetter suited for Bilbo's adventures than they were for the epic and dark tale of the ring. Finally, this film mostly avoided that annoying sentimentality that LOTR had a tendency falling into. It added credibility for me to some LOTR scenes I previously found emotionally overdone.

One gripe I had is they did something weird tp Ian Holm - to make him look younger or more like Freeman. Or was it Freeman made to look like Holm. It looked more like a wax figure of Bilbo than the real guy.


Post Posted: February 6th 2013 10:21 am
 
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DVD and Blu Ray details:

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/02/05/ ... y-detailed

Extended Edition also coming by Xmas.

I think I will behave myself and wait until all three films come out in one big fancy Extended Edition box set, which I assume will happen in 2015.


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