Date Posted: 2012-12-16
Tolkien Fan Level: 4
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
I saw the 48 fps 3d version today, here in the UK and I have to say... it's probably my favourite of the Middle Earth movies so far, or at least on a par with Fellowship as my favourite. It had a 'slightly' lighter more whimsical tone, but I love that... love that it has loads more Gandalf the Grey in it, love some of the whimsical touches, the songs, the humour...I just really liked it. This is coming from someone who respects and has enjoyed each movie initially but upon repeat viewings is not a complete convert. For me Return of the King in particular I find difficult to sit through all the way and I would say dragged. A lot. In spite of the weight and importance of the Rings trilogy I just felt myself more interested in finding out what happens next with this one. Coming out of it I really want to see the next movie, much like I did with Fellowship. I'm just only slightly bummed that it's now another whole YEAR from here on out.
I don't get some of the negative criticism... the length.... for me it went by. It just didn't outstay its welcome. If it had carried on any longer it would have but, for me, Jackson timed it just right. I did find myself getting more anxious and excited for the Riddles scene with Gollum and boy did that pay off... it was exceptional. Bilbo's escape... and his reintroduction with the company. How Thorin comes to think of Bilbo in the end. Just a bunch of stuff I liked. I'm trying to think of negatives. I only talked about the 'movie' there... the 48 fps... Did I like it? Yes I did. But not all of it for all scenes. As some have pointed out, it works really well, and I mean really well during certain scenes. I mean scenes of fast movement, scenic scenes, scenes that have a lot of detail to give that you would otherwise miss which are basically where we have a lot of action going on screen at once because it removes blur and makes detail really pop. BUT then we have the normal scenes. The 'interaction' scenes... the 'walking' scenes... scenes of normality that you shouldn't really have to think about as anything other than just scenes. You're immediately distracted by this smoother/faster movement when perhaps you shouldn't be. I think the perfect way to see this movie would be 48fps for some of it.. 24fps for others. Unfortunately it's all or nothing here, and I hope this modular type of fps is something that can be developed because the extra frame rate really does suit certain moments a lot, but I fear the all or nothing approach will be too distracting for most seasoned movie goers. Children? Maybe not so much. As for the 3D.. I've nothing against it here. It just might be the best use I've seen of it outside of Avatar. It's not an afterthought, it's something Jackson was clearly engaged in doing right from the start and it shows... it's just well done 3D. If I were marking this out of 5 I'd go for a 5/5 as I can't find enough wrong with it from my point of view, it's a struggle right now. Perhaps the music score felt a little too familiar, but then you can argue there is comfort in that, and this is figuring into an overall saga after all so yeah.... I might lose half a mark once I let it all sink in and I find 'something', but on initial impression, yeah... not a disappointment. For me it bests the last two LOTR movies, and I think I just preferred the overall tone and the humour fully accepting that the film started to get darker, and that the next two may continue that trend much like the LOTR trilogy. That remains to be seen but I suspect is the case.
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