December 15th, 2012, 11:16 PM
Too many books to read...
I have to say, Martin Freeman as Bilbo is miles ahead of any hobbit in the LOTR movies (Sam is good but doesn't get enough development, Elijah Wood is simply miscast, and Merry and Pippin are reduced to sidekicks). But since I loved Bilbo I also wanted to see more of him. The story is about the Hobbit, not Thorin and his tribe or Radagast or Azog or the Necromancer. It's as if PJ is afraid to make the movies about a non-traditional hero like Bilbo and wants to build up Thorin as a stand-in for Aragorn. The other problem is that they want to include as many links to LOTR as possible and make it as epic even though it's completely unnecessary. I feel it could have been a much more solid movie with 30 minutes of filler and padding (like that scene with Elijah Wood) cut from it. Besides, PJ has a propensity for over-the-top and completely unrealistic action sequences that also go on and on. I know it's supposed to be an adventure movie, but the video game battles go for too long and lose any kind of tension. He also seems to think that the best way to create a feeling of danger to the characters is to have them hang over the cliff (repeatedly) or show someone seemingly dead - right, like we've never seen these cliches before.
Similar to LOTR, there're changes to characters' motivations or attitudes that don't make much sense. For example, the dwarves quietly living Rivendell without telling anyone, getting new ponies for the long mountain haul or even waiting for Gandalf! That just makes them look stupid.
That said, I still liked it almost as much as FOTR and certainly more than TTT and ROTK. Those two have little to do with the books as far as I'm concerned and even as the movies they have lots of flaws that people seem to overlook because, you see, it looks like Middle-earth and it's e-p-i-c!
December 17th, 2012, 10:37 PM
Saturn Comes Back Around
Well, after waiting 9 years, I FINALLY saw The Hobbit (Part One, anyway).
Overall, I loved it. It definitely has flaws, and I can kind of understand why some critics have given it mixed reviews. However, I think this movie is really for the fans, not the critics, and being a massive Tolkien fan, I enjoyed it immensely!
I absolutely loved Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee, and Cate Blanchett. The dwarves were fun, sometimes a little goofy, but I thought they struck a good balance between under-/over-developing them. The special effects were stunning (stone giants, trolls, goblin town, vastly improved wargs, and the prologue/flashback sequences). The Riddles in the Dark segment with Gollum was flawless. I loved everything about Dol Guldur / the Necromancer / the Witch King. And some of the fan-service moments were just wonderful (mentions of Bullroarer Took, the Istari/blue wizards, etc.).
I thought the length was perfect. It did not drag or feel slow - it almost felt too short! And, unlike some of the critics, I loved the whole first hour in Bag End, I loved the songs, I had no problems with Radagast, and I liked Azog (I thought he looked cool, even if he was all CGI).
I found the movie more "fun" than LOTR, probably because I'm less invested in The Hobbit as a book. It was simply a hugely entertaining fantasy/action/adventure movie. Not as great as The Lord of the Rings, but still very good. Can't wait to see it again!
My rating: 4.5/5
Last edited by Evil Agent; December 24th, 2012 at 12:22 AM.
December 19th, 2012, 08:58 AM
Boba Fett Lives
I am going this weekend with the kids!!! I can't wait to see it.
December 19th, 2012, 11:03 AM
Damn fool idealist
When this was first announced, I railed against the two film idea, against adding in the White Council and Dol Guldur. It was the King Kong bloat all over again, and it looked like Bilbo was going to get lost in his own story. Then I saw the trailers and started feeling a little better, until two films became three and that dread started to creep in again. Of course I was going to see it, but there wasn't the breathless anticipation that I had leading up to FOTR, where every single decision seemed to be so right. With The Hobbit, it was more, "I hope he didn't screw it up too badly."
Three hours later, it was, to quote Thorin, "I have never been so wrong."
Yeah, it's not Tolkien's The Hobbit, it's Jackson's. But it's so wonderfully, gloriously Jackson's. The additions don't feel obtrusive, but set Bilbo's story on a larger canvas, yet one that never diminishes his journey. Some say the pace is slow, but I say it's luxurious, not afraid to pause for grace notes or reactions or details. The changes to the story, like the ones in the Rings films, make cinematic sense. And every single performer just knocks it out of the park. It's great to see the cranky old Gandalf the Grey back, and McKellen seems just as happy to be in the role again. Freeman is perfect, and I dare you not to be slack-jawed at Galadriel's first appearance.
I was so dead set against the very idea of this film, and Jackson won me over. He can do what he wants with the next two, and barring an utter train wreck, I'm on board. The Hobbit won't make you forget the Rings films -- and really how could it, what with the surprise of those films being long since gone -- but it won't make you wish you were watching them instead either.
December 19th, 2012, 12:00 PM
I watched it last night. I didn't feel like it was too slow, or too long or any of that. I'm fine with changing the actual Hobbit for the film, it made it better. Let's be honest if you followed the book too closely it would make for a dreadful film. So with that said I have a few complaints, and they only relate to a couple scenes.
1) The Giant Mountain Rock fighting men. So these mountains become giants and "Rock Em Sock Em Robot" each other. That's bad enough. But then add 13dwarves and a hobbit basically straddling their knee cap, and they somehow all make it out perfectly fine, no scratches. Cut that whole scene and it wouldn't take anything from the film.
2) The encounter with the Goblin King. First of all the slaying of the Goblin King was unfulfilling. But, my main issue is with what happened before and after. Their unrealistic escape. I could have swallowed it all if not for the final exit. Where they tumble a mile straight down on some busted up bridge falling through rocks and other bridges, 13 of them, undamaged like they are skateboarding. Finally hit the bottom and make a joke of it. At this point I was thinking. "Are they trying to make this YA or adult" because they keep mixing between the two. It's like they are trying for the adult believable(in this fantasy setting) theme. But then to make the YA crowd happy, they throw in these bits that just completely kill the moment.
All in all I liked the film.
Lastly, I watched it in 24FPS 3D. If I had to do it over again I think I would stick with 2D. The blur and uncomfortable glasses(my OCD doesn't help) take away from the story. If there was some really comfortable glasses and I was able to get the 48fps version it might work. Assuming I didn't succomb to the other issues with 48fps I've heard.(seeming like it was in fastforward. headache, nausea, cartoony look)
December 20th, 2012, 11:59 AM
Boba Fett Lives
DR - your review has me bouncing with anticipation. Luxurious - that sounds great.
December 23rd, 2012, 10:01 AM
Loved it! I was incredibly disappointed when del Toro backed out and was worried that we would see the worst of Jackson's indulgences, but I didn't mind the dwarf humor (which I absolutely hated in The Lord of the Rings movies but which was indeed present in the book The Hobbit - plus Jackson thankfully toned down Tolkien's Bombur fat jokes), the preposterous action scenes didn't bother me quite as much as those in The Lord of the Rings, and the additions from the Appendix and Tolkien's other writings were nicely done.
The funny thing is that I had considered the stretching out of the films to be at best a directorial conceit and at worst a cynical cash grab. Having seen the film, I almost feel as if Jackson were instead cashing in on his past success to make a film that would appeal to the fans. Yes, there were some changes that will probably annoy fans, such as having Bilbo be the one who stalls the trolls until dawn (but which makes sense given the story arc they created for the first film) or making Radagast a prominent character (an addition I actually liked, though I'm not sure about that rabbit-sled of his), but aside from The Fellowship of the Ring, this is probably the most faithful of the movies so far.
December 23rd, 2012, 10:27 PM
This was the first movie I've seen in the theater since RotK. I decided to go all out and watch it in IMAX 3D. The thing I loved most about it was all of the "added material" that wasn't in the book. I've read the book. We've all read the book. We all know what's in the book. If the movie was a page-by-page retelling of the book, watching it would be anticlimatic.
All of the new plotlines and added characters made the movie infinately more enjoyable to me. I've read and love the book. I always will. While I don't think that I'll watch THE HOBBIT as much as I've watched the first 3 movies, I loved the fact that even though I know the book inside and out, the movie kept me glued to my seat beacuse I never knew what would happen next.
That said, the scene with the stone giants was excessive and I will probably skip it when I watch the movie at home.
December 24th, 2012, 08:43 AM
Boba Fett Lives
LOVED IT! What a joy to take my kids to see it. We had the best day ever. Thanks PJ. Cant wait for part 2!
December 31st, 2012, 09:41 AM
I really enjoyed this movie. The pacing was nicely done and the additions from Tolkien's other writings were a good fit. I don't think he needed to change as much either, since The Hobbit is a linear story with a manageable number of characters and events, especially when spread on a 9-hour trilogy. The only thing missing, and it's a small gripe, is a truly thunkable guy. You simply can't thunk a Hobbit and Thorin is a poor substitute for Aragorn.
December 31st, 2012, 11:42 AM
It was Ok. To echo what some other people have said above, I could have done without the fighting rock-mountain creatures and even the Goblin King segment (the dwarf party was easily captured and yet stages the the most unrealistic escape I've ever seen since the old World War 2 epic Where Eagles Dare (where a tiny band of commandoes escape from a Nazi mountain fortress slaughtering half the Third Reich in the process without hardly a scratch).
Other than that gripe however it was a pretty good movie but it gave me a strong dose of LOTR deja vu. Sort of been there done that.
January 7th, 2013, 02:59 PM
Felt bored throughout the movie. The repeated chase & fight scenes were overdone. Too long and badly paced. There wasn't enough in the book to fill a 3 hour movie and we still have 6 more hours to go? This is coming from someone that can easily remember the snow day, back in the early 1980s, that I spent reading The Hobbit for the first time.
January 16th, 2013, 07:17 PM
I took my two sons to see The Hobbit the other night and we loved it.
I was a bit worried going in because I love the book and even the old animated movie from my childhood, and I was concerned that the added storylines would take away from it, but it was great!
The whole movie held our attention, and it didn't feel long at all.
I was also a bit concerned that some of the action might be a bit intense for my youngest son (age 9), but he liked the movie; I think Jackson balanced some of the violent scenes with just the right amount of humor and showing the goodness of the characters (I wish there were more movies that did that now a days).
I am looking forward to the other movies now.
Good work by Peter Jackson and his team!
January 17th, 2013, 01:02 PM
Did anyone else dislike how derivative it was of the LotR movies? I mean, did Gandalf really have to catch a moth to summon the birds AGAIN? It was such a special moment from LotR, and now it seems moth-catching is just how you get birds. The escape from the Goblin King really reminded me of the flight through Moria, although even more slapstick and improbable. The fight between the stone giants reminded me of their attempt to cross the mountains before going to Moria in Fellowship. Not the same, of course, but stuck on a narrow, exposed mountain path with rocks falling all about, worried they would be crushed at any moment. There just seemed to be too many things that I felt I had seen before.
January 17th, 2013, 01:42 PM
I would agree. But it's been so long since I have watched LOTR movies that I had forgotten most and so it was like new. I just didn't care for the slapstick improbability of the escape scenes..and the mountain giants were just silly. Rock Em Sock Em Robots.
Originally Posted by phil_geo