Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

A Review

Maybe the title of this post should be "An Unexpected Review".  Anyway, as I am writing this post, I'd better get down to business.

  • The movie stayed mostly true to the book; the changes that I did notice all made sense, both with the book and with the movie itself.
  • The effects were stunning, with the best compositing I've yet seen; shots would switch back and forth between an actor in a costume and CGI almost seamlessly.
  • Each of the dwarves was given an unique character and personality, Thorin especially, had his character expanded and deepened, but all that I saw was simply extrapolated from what was given in the book.
  • The movie was rather violent, with epic battle scenes and some gore, but no more than I think was nessecary to really tell the story.  Most of what is shown is stated in the book, it's simply more disturbing when you actually see Gandalf kill the Great Goblin, or Thorin's grandfather Thror killed.
  • They also went for the scary/tense factor, with some scenes being built up to a feeling of oppressive "what's going to happen!".
  • Divinity is ignored through this film, with a reference to "fate" being with Thorin and his company.
  • The movie was a little darker than the book, in feel, as the main goal of the dwarves was changed from reclaiming their treasure, to reclaiming Erebor and revenge on Smaug.  Also, the thread of the Necromancer gave the whole thing a rather darker flavor as Gandalf and his peers learn of the darkness threatening Middle Earth.
  • The 48 fps and 3D was a little hard at first, it made the movie almost more real than real life, but once you got used to it, the movie was stunning.
  • Radagast the Brown was a funny character, and added a little more lighthearted comic relief to the film. 
  • Most of the songs in the book were also included in the film, the dwarves did sing while stacking Bilbo's dishes, (making for quite an entertaining scene) and the goblins did sing after capturing the dwarves (although their singing is dreadful!).
In all, I would have to give the movie 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

I decided on four and a half stars because some of the exciting scenes were played up a bit too far in the scary side, one scene in particular when Radagast the Brown is entering Dol Guldor might give children nightmares.