40, Lake Grove
Date Posted: 2012-12-16
Tolkien Fan Level: 6
Film Format Seen? 3D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
When I first saw the magic hit the screen, my anticipation was at its height. AS a 40 year old man, I was embarrassed as to just how much excitement I had. I tried to play it off as no big deal but the truth is, I was smiling wide when the film started. I was in disbelief that it was finally here, years and years of waiting had finally culminated to this very moment! And I was not let down...at least not initially. I was jaw dropped in eye popping amazement when it started, soaking in every magic moment I could. When "The Hobbit" title hit the screen, it was LOTR all over again. Then I was a bit stunned. Bilbo didn't seem quite like I remembered. Very ironic since, early in the film, Gandalf visits the young Bilbo and felt the same way. Sir Ian Holm was great but different. He wasn't as 'Hobbit-y' as I remembered him to be. He played it quite straight, not as bouncy and energetic as FOTR. Frodo was spot on and the incorporation of FOTR and AUJ was fantastic! The dwarves were fantastic as well! Gandalf is Gandalf, which is the ultimate compliment. The flashbacks to the Orc/Dwarf war was incredible and one of my favorite parts. Smaug sneak peaks were very cool! I loved the Dol Guldur scenes and want more! The Necromancer and Nazgul bit was stunning and really added the tension to the extended story and really married the White Council scene with Thorin's quest. Radagast was played well and I look forward to his play in this. I thought Sir Peter taking some liberties from the ROTK Appendices and adding some of his own stuff really nailed it well. I believe the Dwarf story intertwined with Smaug and the Necromancer and the Azog piece. The world makes more sense to not only the LOTR cinematic world but also gives The Hobbit more weight. The film still remained lighthearted and funny and I appreciated the effort. My 11 year old daughter loved it!
The best parts of the film were Gollum's piece (Andy Serkis is a genius), Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Richard Armitage as Thorin and the beauty of Rivendell. Notable mention is Erebor, the vast scenic pieces of New Zealand (beatiful!) and bits of Mirkwood and Dol Guldur. The Shire is The Shire, which again, is a compliment in itself. The script could have seen some improvement but maybe character development took its toll on this film. We really haven't gotten to meet all the dwarves and their personalities just yet. I am sure the next two films will do that. I was not thrilled with Azog and the Wargs. The CGI was too CGI for me. I would have loved him as a man in costume than a bigger beast in CGI. The Wargs design is improved from LOTR but they look less real. But all of this didn't ruin the experience. Just like FOTR, I believe the films will just get better as we go along this journey. Overall, visiting Middle Earth again felt like visiting the Star Wars Universe years later. We are so entrenched in our memories that any new vision is an intrusion on our conscience. Once we get our feet wet, which may take a few visits to the theater, we will be There and Back again before we know it! I am sure I will not be the only one with this feeling. All will, who live to see this film. But that is not for me to decide. I have to decide what to do with the time that is given to me for the next year until film 2. I was meant to see this film now. In which case, you were also meant to read this. And that is an encouraging thought.
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