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Conde Koma
1/04/2013 1:59am,
http://i.imgur.com/vIier.jpg

Itís been many years since I last saw a Lord of the Rings film, and many more years since I read JRR Tolkienís The Hobbit. In an effort I hope doesnít lead him down the path of Lucas, Peter Jackson presents the first part in a trilogy based on the classic fantasy novel, An Unexpected Journey. The main story beats are certainly there, and performances are all impressive from the cast, bringing the story to life in ways I was pleasantly surprised by. Tolkien is a great writer, one of the most recognized names in literature, but for me, reading something in text can never measure up to seeing a story performed by real people, with real nuances and emotions. For just that, this endeavor by Jackson is already worth the price of admission. Even if we donít spend all that much time with every member of the admittedly large cast, the stars like Martin Freeman, Sir Ian McKellen, and Richard Armitage deliver in spades.

Unfortunately, the power of the core narrative feels weighed down by the expanded universe Jackson draws from to flesh out a trilogy of feature length films. A simpler and more streamlined script would have suited the adaptation better, and perhaps could have shortened production from three movies and two hours apiece to two films of 90 minutes apiece. And then comes the somewhat sticky nature of trying to stay true to the childish tone of the novel and yet tie in the more adult presence of the previous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Again, a more cohesive film could have been made had Jackson chosen one over the other. Still, the film is fun, and the central story is still very much a shining feature. The action feels a bit video game-y for my tastes, but I had similar complaints with Jacksonís earlier films. As the old saying goes, itís less about the destination than it is about the journey itself.

Blog Link: http://fightfilmfriday.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/mad-05-the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey/

Diesel_tke
1/04/2013 3:40pm,
Damn it! I had high hopes for this one. My father-in-law said the same type of things, but I was hoping that he was just too old to get it.

Soldiermedic
1/04/2013 3:57pm,
When I watched the LOTR trilogy, even though I didn't necessarily like the changes to the story, I could understand why Peter Jackson made the vast majority of them to move the story along or to keep focus or even just add a little more action. I didn't feel like the spirit of the narrative was unnecessarily compromised.

With The Hobbit I felt like they took out the sacrificed and ate the heart of the story(Bilbo's very gradual growth into the role of a hero) for cheap action and battle scenes with the least scary orcs ever.

Also, was Peter Jackson making up for leaving out Tom Bombadil by adding in this Radagast? I didn't necessarily mind the Dol Guldur scene, but the rabbit sled chase was an atrocity.

Ming Loyalist
1/04/2013 4:37pm,
Also, was Peter Jackson making up for leaving out Tom Bombadil by adding in this Radagast? I didn't necessarily mind the Dol Guldur scene, but the rabbit sled chase was an atrocity.

ok, it's been a long time since i read the hobbit, but i was pretty sure radagast was an addition to the story. truth be told i was concerned that it was something i had forgotten due to my "love of the halfling's leaf" (har har har.)

It is Fake
1/04/2013 4:50pm,
When I watched the LOTR trilogy, even though I didn't necessarily like the changes to the story, I could understand why Peter Jackson made the vast majority of them to move the story along or to keep focus or even just add a little more action. I didn't feel like the spirit of the narrative was unnecessarily compromised.

With The Hobbit I felt like they took out the sacrificed and ate the heart of the story(Bilbo's very gradual growth into the role of a hero) for cheap action and battle scenes with the least scary orcs ever.

Also, was Peter Jackson making up for leaving out Tom Bombadil by adding in this Radagast? I didn't necessarily mind the Dol Guldur scene, but the rabbit sled chase was an atrocity.Yes. It felt like a Michael Bay movie. A ton of popcorn action, but the story was meh. It's sad because the Cartoon, so far, is much better.

Styygens
1/04/2013 5:23pm,
I liked it.

I wasn't thrilled that my eight-year daughter, who loves the book and read it three times last year, had to witness multiple (unexpected) beheadings in this adaptation of a children's story... But overall I was very happy to sit through three hours of being immersed in Middle Earth again.

I didn't even mind the rabbits as much as the bird poop in Radagast's hair.

And I'm looking forward to the dragon in next year's installment. ("You have excellent manners for a thief and a liar.")

W. Rabbit
1/04/2013 5:33pm,
Radagast is given only single reference in the original Hobbit, but he is in the overall legendarium as important a figure as Gandalf in the fight against Sauron.

He was completely removed from the LOTR films, but appears in the original literature as well as The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.


"I am Gandalf," said the wizard.

"Never heard of him," growled the man, "And what's this little fellow?" he said, stooping down to frown at the hobbit with his bushy eyebrows.

"That is Mr. Baggins, a hobbit of good family and unimpeachable reputation," said Gandalf. Bilbo bowed. He had no hat to take off, and was painfully conscious of his many missing buttons. "I am a wizard," continued Gandalf. "I have heard of you, if you have not heard of me; but perhaps you have heard of my good cousin Radagast who lives near the Southern borders of Mirkwood?"

"Yes; not a bad fellow as wizards go, I believe. I used to see him now and again," said Beorn.

Conde Koma
1/07/2013 5:25am,
just got back from watching the film again in IMAX 3D 48 frames per second.

things hi-def hi-fps is okay at:
- long slow pans of scenery and landscapes
- smoke and mist
- static shots of people that are not talking or moving

things super hi-def hi-fps is NOT good for:
- action
- fast camera moves
- shaky camera
- CGI
- greenscreen
- extreme close ups
- just about everything else.

W. Rabbit
1/07/2013 9:44am,
My wife did not like HFR at all, but enjoyed the overall movie.

I am probably too thrilled to see Tolkien on the big screen again to really care that much about the technicalities.

I have to say HFR still seems almost experimental, as if Jackson and crew were editing until the 11th hour and still couldn't figure out what was wrong..."OH **** it we'll get it right by the third movie" or something.

The worst part was how fake certain CG and makeup effects look with that high resolution. By the same token, some of the CG now possible with HFR is out of this world..some of the scenes blew me away in their level of detail.

But overall there seemed to be too much information...literally...packed in every frame.

Conde Koma
1/07/2013 3:57pm,
it's like a cross between a modern video game trailer and a 1990s made-for-tv special by the BBC.

W. Rabbit
1/07/2013 4:21pm,
I'm glad he made it in standard film format as well.

Jackson knew better than to pull a Lucas.

Permalost
1/07/2013 6:46pm,
I might take some flak for this, but...

I liked the rabbit sled!

W. Rabbit
1/07/2013 6:55pm,
Radagast might return in the later films. Because of his actual role in the mythology (he protects nature and is paired with Saruman under the orders of a demigod), there is a lot that Jackson might choose to expand on. He's already quite a few scenes out of thin air, imo.

Then again the Hobbit is a relatively short book. Maybe this isn't a three-film Hobbit as much as it is three more films that include "The Hobbit" and more.

So far I think Jackson has kept it faithful to the original book, but some scenes are definitely all his work e.g. rabbit sled chases.

Permalost
1/07/2013 6:58pm,
The only thing I didn't like about the rabbit sled was living in a reality where that's not a practical way to get around.

Elemental Fist
1/13/2013 12:23am,
Also, was Peter Jackson making up for leaving out Tom Bombadil by adding in this Radagast? I didn't necessarily mind the Dol Guldur scene, but the rabbit sled chase was an atrocity.

Well to be fair, not everybody is a fan of Tom Bombadil, in fact many of them consider his scene in the LOTR books pointless.