Rants about Wargames, Photography and whatever else strikes my fancy

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Review

Okay, enough with the puns already and on to the movie.

I found if really enjoyable to watch! Much moreso than the Lord of the Rings movies. When I watched those I always had the feeling: "Where is that iconic scene? Why did they leave it out? Why are there elves at Helm's Deep and where the fuck is Tom Bombadil?" With The Hobbit it is a lot more of a "Hey, they also put that in!" feeling. Maybe that is because I last read the Hobbit a long time ago.

What I liked about the movie:

The Look
Seriously, the Shire looks like I imagined it, there is the Dwarven city of Erebor, which is gorgeous (though there is a serious lack of railings), Dol Guldur looks like a proper evil fortress, or ruin thereof, Rivendell looks cool (also lacking railings). We visit the Goblincity in the Misty Mountains (what's your fetish with falling to your death, guys?) which looks a bit like Moria, but less like a mine. (Hah, a mine he calls it!)
The costumes are great, the weapons look awesome. (where can I get a replica of that dwarven sword Thorin wields?)
And to make the whole package complete there is New Zealand's beautiful landscape. The only thing looking out of place is Hugo Weaving as Elrond. The guy simply does not look like an Elf

Martin Freeman
Playing the part of Bilbo Baggins, Martin Freeman is spot on. From the first conversation with Gandalf, during the arrival of the dwarves, to the contest of riddles with Gollum, he just fits. Just like in Sherlock, he gets roped into things.

Sylvester Mccoy
Having been a Timelord, Sylvester Mccoy plays Radagast the Brown as a more wacky, hippie version of Gandalf. Even though I have only watched the new Doctor Who series, I can certainly imagine him a the Doctor. Best line: "These are Rhosgobel rabbits. I'd like to see them try!"

Putting things in context
They really want you to know about what is happening in Middle Earth. There's Gandalf and Saruman holding council with Galadriel and Elrond at Rivendell about the possibility of Sauron returning.
A lot of time is spent showing the fall of Erebor and Thorin's Vendetta against Azog is explained. We alo get to know why he is called Oakenshield.

It has songs! Catchy ones! Sung by dwarves! No pseudo-elvish moaning by Enya.

What I did not like:

Comic relief
Radagast is at times too ridiculous. The trolls are gross, for the sake of comedy. And Bombur is funny because he is fat. What a hoot.

Inaccurate Swords
Sting glows blue when in the presence of orks and goblins. Except when it does not. So do Glamdring and Orcrist. But they forgot to add it in the postproduction, apparently.

Suddenly, Eagles!
With the movie explaining so much why certain things are happening the way they are, there is absolutely no explanation for the eagles to turn up at the end of the movie. Sure, Gandalf and Gwaihir the Windlord are buddies, but Gandalf just talks to an insect, eagles turn up, save the party and the simply disappear. What?

So, in total it is an enjoyable movie, but I highly recommend reading the appendices of the Lord of the Rings and you should have read the Hobbit anyway.

Final Verdict: 10 out of 13 Dwarves.

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