Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - my review
It didn't open in Australia until Boxing Day, but since then I have seen it four times, and I am not sated yet!
I think it is quite brilliant. It respects the literary world created by Tolkien, but Sir PJ and his team have visualised it in a way that is perfect for cinema. Three hours wasn't long enough. I was genuinely shocked when it ended because I could have easily sat there for another couple of hours.
1. The Erebor prologue was perfection. It set up all three movies, showed the history of the animosity between Mirkwood Elves and the Dwarves, introduced the major themes and characters in a few short minutes.
2. Gollum/Smeagol and Bilbo. I could have sat there for hours watching Serkis and Freeman. It was like a theatre piece, watching two amazing actors play off one another.
3. The casting. I do applaud those casting directors who choose to forgo the Hollywood archetype and instead choose classically trained actors from the UK, Ireland, NZ and Australia for these big movies. There is a depth and respect there that allows an audience to completely believe in what they are watching, however fantastical.
4. Thorin! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
5. Fili and Kili! Double Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
6. The Stone Giants. Mentioned very briefly in the book. It was brilliant fun.
7. The score. Oh, Howard Shore, you freaky God of Music you.
8. Martin Freeman. Comedic without being deliberate. That is a rare gift. He is the perfect Bilbo.
9. Little throw backs to The Lord of the Rings: Weathertop, Frodo and the party sign...
10. Rivendell. I cried. Simple as.
It wasn't all perfection. I thought the CGI for the Wargs and Radagast chase was rather poor, and I didn't like Azog. However, it was an amazing film and I cannot wait for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.