Date Posted: 2012-12-15
Tolkien Fan Level: 8
Film Format Seen? 2D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
It's wonderful. Not without flaws, but wonderful. I have seen this film now in 3D 48fps and in 2D 24fps. I liked both but much prefer the 2D 24fps and will go back for subsequent viewings in 24fps. I am nearly 60 and I think that's a factor in my preference. Peter Jackson is right that the HFR creates a greater "reality" but the reality for me translated to my watching a film be shot in Middle Earth instead of watching a story unfold in Middle Earth. I want to be transported magically, not to be wondering as I watch "how did they do that?".
Anyway, I found the 24fps a great relief. Most of the mixed reviews I have read truly puzzle me, because this is a very good film, thoughtfully paced, with an excellent mix of faithful storytelling and amazing technical achievement. As a Tolkien fan and knowing ahead of time that I would only be seeing 1/3 of the story, I was delighted at how much the film adhered both in letter and in spirit to the book. And to see favorite parts of the appendices on film (Radagast, the White Council, The Battle of Azanulbizar) was thrilling. I also loved seeing Durin's Folk receive more noble treatment, especially the rendering of the glory of Erebor. Just like in all the LOTR films, I have quibbles with some choices and there are spots where PJ indulges his baser instincts, but the most important aspects he gets right. Martin Freeman is an utter joy, Richard Armitage makes a great Thorin. Andy Serkis again astounds us as Gollum. The Riddle scene is excellent - that and the scene in the tunnel, leading up to the Pity of Bilbo are perfection. Of course Gandalf is wonderful, and its nice to see he is on a journey too. I was sorry as it came to an end. It's long, but I didn't feel its length. I could have done without the troll snot, the stone giants battle (cool as it is), and disliked a modern-joke line from the Goblin King, but these are all small enough to overlook. I would have liked to get to know several of the Dwarves a lot better. But I figure there is still time for that. There is much more to comment on but I think I'm out of space. Yay PJ, et al! Hooray for The Hobbit!
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