30, Ogden, Utah
Date Posted: 2012-12-17
Tolkien Fan Level: 6
Film Format Seen? 2D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
Overall, I was quite happy with the film. I think they did a good job with the expansion of the story to make a better connection with the LOTR trilogy. I particularly liked the beginning, with the narration of Bilbo being tied so directly into the first film as he's starting to write his book. And the back story with those tantalizing hints of Smaug were tortuously great.
All of the characters and acting and costumes were wonderful. The individuality of the dwarves was great. And Martin Freeman is perfect as Bilbo. And Radagast, that character depiction was so funny. I think the "Riddles in the Dark" sequence was the highlight of the film. The animation of Gollum has gone up quite a few notches in quality and realism with the facial motion capture of Andy Serkis. I have a few minor complaints however. I think some of the comic relief moments were a little distracting and over done, felt like they tried to hard to inject humor where it wasn't necessarily needed. Like the weight of a pickle making the bench break, and the death of the Great Goblin and his one liner, and him landing on the dwarves on the bottom without crushing everbody. There were also a few too many over the top parts of the action sequences that I thought were a little too much for the suspension of disbelief, brought me out of the story a little. Like the stone giants scene in particular. It looked really neat, but it was too much for believability. They could have showed the giants fighting and done a cool scene without having the characters riding on the giant's leg and impossibly surviving. I felt the same way about the moment in Return of the King when Legolas slides down the mumakil's trunk. If I could advise Jackson and Co on any one thing, it would be his tendency to over do it sometimes, i.e. the dinosaur stampede in King Kong. I think without those couple of very small moments that broke my immersion in the story, this movie, and the others mentioned, would have been even better. Sometimes bigger is not better.
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