So I was finally feeling good enough to drag myself to the theater for 3 hours of Hobbity goodness earlier today! 😀
### SPOILERS?! Sort of, I guess… ###
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. The breaking point at the end of the Warg battle in the trees worked well and from something I later read where Del Toro ended up planning the two breaks at points where Bilbo’s relationship with the dwarves changes actually now makes a lot of sense, placing the second break presumably after Smaug is defeated and the dwarves once again acquire their fortunes, thus leaving Bilbo with a conundrum.
I wish we could wean off the 3D, simply because I hate having to wear a pair of 3D glasses for over three hours! It didn’t click until I was thinking during this movie that none of the Lord of the Rings movies used 3D – that was a phenomenon that they didn’t start beating us over the heads with until 6 years later with the coming of AVATAR … and the thing is, all three of the LOTR movies looked beautiful! Even on regular DVDs at home, but definitely a bit later as HD began to come into fruition … it’s too bad that simply shooting in 5K and a higher frame rate isn’t enough these days, that 3D is pretty much a requirement for any blockbuster.
…and yes, I know that I could’ve seen it in 2D instead, but my wife was with me and she actually likes 3D, so go figure! I’m sure I’ll be watching it in 2D plenty at home later on this year! 😛
The casting was decent – I really liked Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Richard Armitage seems to be a good fit for Thorin. As for the rest … well, that was my big concern coming into this movie because I can barely keep the seven dwarfs straight from Snow White, so thirteen dwarves – many of whom happen to have rhyming names?! I remember always thinking that this was more goofy than serious when I read the book, which admittedly played out well during the unexpected party scene at the beginning, but as for whether I’ll get to know and appreciate specific personalities for any of them other than Thorin??? Maybe with
Bofur Balin because he tended to look out for Bilbo when Thorin was particularly hard on him, but then again, I just had to double-check whether Bofur was in fact the dwarf in question, so there you go… 😳
I was a little disappointed how Bilbo’s escape with the ring played out, though it might just be my bad memory because I thought that he followed Gollum out of the mountain and then met up with the party outside, as opposed to just seeing the party run by while he was invisible and then tagging along afterwards!
Likewise, I remember the final battle with the wargs in the trees being more colorful, too, because I could’ve sworn the book described Gandalf as igniting the pine cones in all sorts of different colors, akin to his fireworks. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a pretty bad ass scene and I loved the part where Bilbo throws everyone off guard, followed by the rest of the dwarves jumping back into combat as the soundtrack picks up.
Speaking of, I need to remember to download the soundtrack, not only for the Song of the Lonely Mountain by Neil Finn, but also for a lot of the other tracks as well. I liked how they included bits and pieces from much of what we already heard through the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but also made some new twists and brightened them up a bit for this somewhat lighter tale.
Of course, I don’t even have to say that the landscapes were gorgeous – makes me almost want to do one of these and go visit New Zealand myself! I wonder if they get a lot of tourism from fans wanting to see where the films were shot … I know the aforementioned link shows the guys starting their journey in Hobbiton, but I wonder what else from the movies actually still exists vs. what were just sets that were dismantled afterwards. (i.e. clearly Mount Doom is still there, but how about Weathertop? Was anything from Rivendell real, or mostly just CGI???).
I think if anything at all, my biggest curiosity/concern is whether The Hobbit trilogy is going to have the same epic feel as its predecessor, or if it’s just going to be another blockbuster like Harry Potter or Twilight which will make a ton of money, but not necessarily go down as some of the best movies of all-time. Maybe it’s just because Lord of the Rings is really my generation’s Star Wars, but it’s tough to imagine another trilogy based off that same world coming in afterwards and having the same impact … especially when the story itself is shorter than any of the three LOTR books by themselves! Two movies, I might’ve bought, but three?! We’re really gonna have to wait until 2014 to see if that was such a good move in the long run.
A month or two ago I saw someone liken The Hobbit trilogy to the newer Star Wars prequels … so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised, but whether the next two movies will follow suit and one-up their predecessors just as The Two Towers and Return of the King managed to do with Fellowship … only 347 more days until we can take another step towards solving that riddle… 😉