Chloe-girl (grass_angel) wrote,

The Hobbit: commentary etc. spoilers ahead!

So, watched The Hobbit yesterday. I went with my parents - my dad is the harder scifi/fantasy geek, whereas my mum just likes to go see interesting/exciting movies - and so I managed to go 'no, the high frame rate version is supposed to be the best, we should see that one'. So technical things first.

I don't get why people were so concerned with the high frame rate. Everything was amazingly smooth and, aside from a few moments where characters movements looked a little jerky and too-fast which I put down to encoding errors, everything was gorgeous and glorious. I'm not likely to go see it again in 2D and at the regular frame rate, but the difference in detail captured between the LotR trilogy and this first Hobbit movie is astounding. It's pretty much like you're in Bag End itself and I've been to the behind the scenes LotR exhibit and the level of detail is better than that even. Somehow.
Out of Bag End however, the HD just tends to make me think that I'm fairly sure the path where Bilbo catches up with the dwarves is a place I've actually walked along myself, the Shire river looked like any river/stream on any New Zealand farm and that, oh, they filmed that sequence up there in the North Island.

Unlike most people, especially Sherlock fans, I was actually somewhat concerned about Martin Freeman's casting as he just didn't fit into how Bilbo looks in my head. And he still doesn't, but within the first five minutes I could see why he was chosen outside of his talents at acting the woebegone 'normal' guy. Because there is a resemblance to Frodo in his Bilbo. (And a little to Merry and Pippin, whom Frodo and Bilbo are related to distantly if I remember correctly.) That and the delivery of that 'Home' quote, which everyone has seemingly gif-ed, while rather overly British was delivered beautifully.

The music was gorgeous as always and I am expecting an Oscar for sound design/score somewhere along the way. I am looking forward to what the music, which I call 'Going on an Adventure', that is heard as Bilbo runs out of the Shire is actually called. The combining of the Misty Mountains melody with the LotR scenery theme was really well done, even though I think it was almost a little overused.

Just before the attack of Smaug on Erebor and the mountain, where the wind is flapping all the flags on the battlements? I'm pretty sure that was filmed outside in Wellington. Because we're called windy Wellington and that wind looked an awful lot like Wellington wind.

Sebastian the hedgehog was adorable. I don't recall anything about Rastaban, but the hedgehog, squirrels and rabbits were cute and well done.

Finding hobbits in the dark must be an awful lot like finding kiwi in the dark - you listen rather than look because that brown is impossible to find in the bush and leaf litter.

The foodie trolls were highly amusing, mostly because foodies trolls arguing about cooking methods and seasonings.
Also, T, I want to know about the rocks in the troll scene. And whether the Hidden Pass is an actual place or just a set piece.

Necromancer-batch! (There are dozens of plays on his other lines that are possible, but I like the "I'm the only necromancer; I created the position" variant.)

Wizards and elves against entropy! Or at least that's how I read that meeting.
As an aside I'm not quite sure how many people 'ship Galadriel/Elrond/Gandalf, but I do. (I know Galadriel/Gandalf is a thing, and Galadriel/Elrond is a thing, but I don't know if all three of them are a thing.)

Storm giants! Which I completely forgot about because it's been over ten years since I read the book. (But I did read and complete it, unlike LotR.) And reminded me of the giants in Mirrormask. Also that Farbauti was one and why aren't there more crossovers with Norse mythology anything? Is it just too easy or is it too confusing, since Tolkien 'borrowed' a lot from the mythology and it'd be a pain to have two different Gimli running around?

Also, were there runes around Bilbo's blanket? Even if there weren't I now have an idea for doing that as a variation on blanket stitch. Because 19/24 runes have nice vertical lines. (Which is also applicable to Thor and I will use that in a fic somehow.)

I have problems with meeting Gollum. There is too much light in that scene. I know it's reasonably well lit so the audience can see Bilbo and Gollum and the actors acting, but I do think the lighting should've been turned way down and a stereoscopic microphone used. That was my biggest disappointment of the whole movie.

I feel like the goblins reproduce like bees or ants. With one queen which does all the laying and drones do all the work. Because I know having lots of numbers is impressive on screen, but my reality check keeps butting in with 'How are there so many people in Ancient Greece?' or 'There are no identifiable young, how the heck do they reproduce?' whenever huge armies are presented.

In a Nickle-Nackle tree, being chased by wargs there were: thirteen dwarves scared out of their wits, one little hobbit shaking in his skin, and a grey wizard with a very clever plan.
Or something like that, I was mostly reminded of my favourite book as a toddler.

Just prior to that the 'RUN!' made me giggle a little at the thought of it suddenly turning into an episode of Doctor Who.
Also, I did not notice Thorin had his oakenshield and that it was made out of that log he used to defend against the pale orc until that very fight sequence at the end.

*insert joke about Air New Zealand and eagles*
And those are very convenient stairs cut into that rock they end up landing on.

I did end up with a few favourite dwarves... mostly the ones I recognise from other stuff. Which means Thorin, Bofur and Kili. Although the youngest whose name I can't remember does get an honourable mention, as does Fili, because all the young dwarves are adorable.
Award for "Actor who I don't like in the other things you've done, but you do pretty good here" goes to Richard Armitage because I hate Lucas North but do rather like Thorin.

And while the tease for Smaug was very nice, The Hobbit isn't a movie that left me keening for next year. Which is good in my opinion. It gives you time to fall back into the book, to re-read the appendices and figure out the timelines and family trees. (And to reacquaint myself with Dwarfish runes.)

Additional trailer related thoughts: Star Trek - the only thing I'm interested in is why Cumberbatch's character has knotwork on his sleeves, Man of Steel - I am utterly uninterested in this and why did Dragonball Z have such a crap movie adaptation, because I'd rather have Son Goku that Clark Kent.
Tags: commentary, magic and dragons and princes oh my, review
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