Monday, December 17, 2012

You're Getting to Be a Hobbit with Me, Dept.

Here are a few notes for you on The Hobbit:
  • Your sobsister saw it today in 3D HFR (high frame rate).  In my case, at least, I did not experience seizures, blackouts or pruritus ani from watching a film at 48 frames per second versus the 24 fps to which we as a species are accustomed.  I didn't notice, as a few had noted, that the high frame rate made effects and props seem less real in the same way HDTV was supposed to reveal how crap TV sets are.  It does afford one a more-unmediated view in the sense of showing how the actors might look were they standing in front of you.  In some ways, it's a bit like the difference between filmed and videotaped TV shows, particularly when video was still relatively new.
  • The longueurs reported may be in the eyes and wristwatches of the reviewers.  I was into it.  I liked the slower exposition and extra detail that are necessitated by taking a single book and turning it into a trilogy.  I am, however, in the target demo's sweet spot, so YMMV.
  • Martin Freeman is quite a good Bilbo.  I wondered whether I would carry over his Watson from Sherlock.  And then, as the credits rolled, I saw that Benedict Cumberbatch is in the film.  Can we get Matt Smith and John Barrowman in there somehow for the full-body BBC nerdgasm?
  • As you might imagine, love the dwarves.
  • Tim Finn sings the outro song, composed by him.  All Kiwi all the time, that Peter Jackson.
  • There are some eye-popping set pieces in this film and some amazing (virtual) camera movement.  I can't begin to imagine the work involved in realizing some of these images.
  • I will be interested in seeing how the rest of the book is stretched into two more films, though.  As The New Yorker's film critic somewhat peevishly noted, it's 45 minutes into the film before we see young Bilbo, as we're first shown the fall of Erebor and the older Bilbo and young Frodo on the eve of Bilbo's departure at the start of LOTR.  Fuck him.  I enjoyed it.  And I will likely enjoy seeing all the other cool backstory that Jackson and his crews will share with us.  Again: SWEET me SPOT.
Go see it.  Interesting run of trailers preceding it.  Including Man of Steel, which looks really good.  Supes never my favorite character, but this looks to have some chew to it.  Star Trek: Into Darkness ditto.  Two sci-fi flicks--Oblivion, After Earth--featuring, respectively, Tom Cruise and Will/Jaden Smith in returns to a way-future, way-hostile Earth.  The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp as Tonto, who actually does call the LR "Kemo Sabe" (and Helena Bonham Carter is in it, despite not being directed by Tim Burton, FTW!).  And two animated flicks: Epic and Escape from Planet Earth with, respectively, a too-thin teenage girl lead and a gang of "wacky" aliens who'll doubtless invoke plenty of pop culture references for all ages--pass.

Oh, and 2013 is also bringing us Iron Man 3, World War Z, The Wolverine, Spielberg's Robopocalypse, Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim and prequel 300: Battle of Artemisia.

I take my escapism neat and big.  Truly, this is a golden age for fantasy/superhero/sci-fi fanboys and -girls beyond imagining 20 years ago.


Uncle Roy said...

We went to see it yesterday. Like you, I'm right in the sweet spot for it. My 12-year-old (who has read the book, so really wanted to see it) said she covered her eyes for the gorier battle scenes--and also for the trailer for "Spartacus: War of the Damned" which was so gory that it even turned my stomach, and that's unusual for me. Also it was interesting to hear the dad behind me explaining to his 7(?) year old that Spartacus must be about the barbarians fighting against Rome. It took a lot of self-control not to turn around and set him right on that one.

Speaking of 7-year-olds, there was that kid ("Why did that happen? What is that?") all through the film, and then also behind us was a family with two kids under 6. They were VERY unhappy about having to see it, and I think their parents finally took them out. Who brings an under-6 kid to see a PG-13 movie?

Anyway, end rant. Good to see you're still out there raising the average IQ of the net.

the sobsister said...

Thanks for stopping by and writing. The kid factor at your showing sounds brutal. Mine was a matinee on a weekday (had the day off, thankfully), so it was me and the other work-duckers, all adult.