Date Posted: 2012-12-27
Tolkien Fan Level: 6
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? No
As soon as "A wingnut production" came onto my cinema screen accompanied by Howard Shore's music, a smile beamed across my face. I knew from this moment I was going to fall in love with the return to Peter Jackson's middle earth. Bilbo then appears, rushing around bag-end, the little glimpse of sting and I'm there again. Ready to welcome the new characters, however i was abit tentative to a few.
I have seen this film 3 times now, in many formats: 2D 28fps, 3D 28fps, HFR 3D. Going in with an open mind, detacthed from Lord of the Rings, was always goin to be difficult and to form an opinion of the Film without its influence took me three attempts! Overall I thought it was brilliant. A beautiful film with wonderful acting and a screenplay which does a very good job of converting Tolkien's masterpiece into film. The film has been criticised for it's "slow pacing" and I can see where that comes from, even if i don't wholly agreed with it. The bag-end squences are brilliant, the Erebor flash back was very well done and the Dwarves indroduction may have been dragged out but, I deem, very necessary for their charcter development. Radagast's apperances in the film I warmly welcomed. I was a big fan of his quirkyness and the Dol Guldur sequences was handled well, IMO. Also, you got to love Sebastian! The Trollshaws sequence I liked but for some reason I think it was missing something but still very enjoyable and as hilarious as the book! In regards to Azog I was very tentative at first. Not only to the change from Tolkien but also the CGI. However his presence I feel is necessary to drive the company forward and the motion capture is brilliant. Many say he doesn't have the physical idimatation that Lurtz possesed but the CGI makes him a more believable character. The motion capture displays Azog's motives and emotions which add to his agression and malice. Something which prosthetics would never have achieved to the same standard. The return to Rivendell and the appearence of the white council was wonderful to see. The story behind the swords and the moon runes adds so much more to middle earth. I really loved the shots of Bilbo here as you can see his amazement of this beautiful place and the beginning of his fascination with Rivendell we see in Lord of the Rings. Also loved the brief glimpse of the elves in armour and I'm interested in seeing where they go with the White Council. The little interactions between Gandalf and Galadriel,was beautifully shown by Sir Ian and Cate. One of my few problems were the Stone Giants. Wonderful visually but I thought it was an necessary side track and here the pacing was a wee bit off however, I do think the sequence is important as not only does it bring out the Thorin/Bilbo conflict but also shows the emotional conection, yet not shown in the film, between Fili and Kili and also Thorin to his nephews. Goblin town was fantastic visually. The CGI for the goblins, the enviroment and of course the tremendously hideous goblin king. Here I also think Shore music is also worth a massive mention. A cartoonish sequence but I think keeps well with the theme of the book. Gandalf showing off his powers was great too! Riddles in the dark, espicially Andy serkis was outstanding. Perfect. Martin, Andy and Peter pulled off Bilbo's "pity moment" very well. The ending I thought was very good. Visually amazing, eagles get a special mention. Warg showdown very well done, charcter development left off at a good point for the next film. Carrock looks brilliant, didnt notice the bear first time! The wee look at Smaug was tantalising and extraordinary! Loved it! In 3D HFR I thought it was real! Overall a very enjoyable film. The comedy in the film makes it more light hearted and maybe sometimes cartoonish. Its a very good adaptation of the book, IMO. Such an imersive experience going to middle earth, can't wait to go back.
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