Sunday, December 16, 2012

Movie Review: The Hobbit

I had been bugging Matt about going to see The Hobbit midnight premiere all week long, and he kept telling me he'd rather wait until next week and see a matinee (especially since he worked closing shifts almost every night).  But around 9:30pm on Thursday, I got a text from him saying "do you want to see the hobbit with my coworker?"  To which I replied, "YES."  We ended up seeing the 3D Standard version, since there are no theaters with the new 48fps/high frame rate technology nor are there any IMAX theaters nearby.  I had read some negative reviews about the HFR anyway, so it didn't really matter.  Despite sitting behind some "brahs" that reeked of alcohol, we put on our 3D glasses and were quickly immersed into the world of Middle Earth.  I wrote up a review on letterboxd (which is an AWESOME site for any cinephile), which I've copied below.  It's spoiler free, but if you are a person that doesn't like to read reviews before seeing a film, just come back and read it when you do! I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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I was so excited about this film. Peter Jackson brought Middle Earth to life in the LOTR trilogy, and I couldn't wait to continue discovering more about that world in The Hobbit.
I wasn't necessarily disappointed in this first installment, but I wasn't blown away either. Most of my gripes come from the fact that I still firmly believe it should not be a trilogy. The pacing is quite off, there are numerous scenes in the first half of the movie that could have been cut. From a storytelling standpoint, there wasn't a concrete exposition, climax, and resolution. Some are arguing that "well it's because it's only the first movie. You can't analyze it until you've seen all three." And that's EXACTLY why it shouldn't be three movies. A successful trilogy lays out the grand epic tale across three movies, but should also treat each film as a viewable stand alone. While I know the tone of this adventure tale is different than LOTR, I think some of the slapstick comedy could have been avoided. Humor does not need to be gimmicky. This also made the shift in scenes from lighthearted adventure tale to serious historical context quite abrupt. There just wasn't a good flow to the film.
I was once again completely captivated by Howard Shore's score. The dwarf theme (same melody as the Misty Mountains song) was epically gorgeous. Gotta love low brass. Also, one thing Peter Jackson always gets right is his ability to make breathtaking sweeping cinematographic shots. The film finally picked up about halfway through, and the real takeaway for me was the Riddles in the Dark scene. Martin Freeman is a perfect Bilbo, and his interaction with the always-emotionally-spot-on performance by Andy Serkis as Gollum made that 15 or so minutes of the movie stand out as exceptional.
Five-Star Rating: 1/2

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