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Thoughts on Hobbitses

narnia - peter sword
My building was doing testing on its fire alarms this afternoon, so I decided that made a good excuse to get out of the house and go see The Hobbit. I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy quite a bit, so I expected to like this one, too, and was not disappointed. I’m looking forward to the next installment, although I have a hard time seeing how Peter Jackson gets two more three-hour movies out of the remaining material, appendices or no appendices. The end of this film, with Bilbo making his very premature statement followed by the awakening of Smaug, just felt so much like a halfway point. I do appreciate all the bits and pieces of background that foreshadow Sauron’s rise to power, which, if I recall, wasn’t even hinted at in The Hobbit. It gives the story more weight, and connects it better to the first trilogy, but I think it could have been accomplished in two movies, and I can’t imagine what we get out of a third. But I guess we’ll see.

Seeing movies in 3D always reminds me of why I don’t usually watch movies in 3D.All the swooping and spiraling detracts from the experience, and busy action scenes are a lot harder to me to follow (I had the same problem with Avatar). There were a few places I found it effective, but for the most part I’d just as soon have watched the 2D version.

Martin Freeman was born to play Bilbo Baggins. Also, I now have a better understanding of Richard Armitage fandom, and may well be joining your ranks. I still prefer him without the beard and the bushy hair, though. ;) Balin is a great character, too. The rest of the dwarves kind of run together, except for the one in the swoopy hat who was kind to Bilbo when he tried to leave, and the cute scruffy archer one (Tumblr informs me that this was Kili). But given how many there are, and how they are mostly not separately developed, I think I can be forgiven. ;)

I think most of the criticisms I’ve seen of the movie are fair — character development sacrificed for action, too long (as mentioned above), a lack of diversity (a problem, to be fair, that’s inherent in the source, and at least Jackson made baby steps toward fixing it by bringing in a couple of female characters). I could also have done with fewer fat jokes. But most of these things didn’t bother me while I was actually watching it, just on reflection.

I'm glad we only have to wait a year for the next one. This thing Peter Jackson does, filming his movie series all at once to minimize waits and actor drift, is a good practice and more filmmakers should do it.

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