I got a chance to go to a special early screening of The Hobbit last night, thanks to Saint John Hyundai. I was surprised that more people did not take advantage of the pre-opening night. Our theatre was probably not even half-filled. Nothing wrong with that though! I had room to move, and NO RESERVED SEATING to have to deal with.
Let’s jump into the movie, shall we?
This showing was in 3D. I’m generally not a fan of that format, and this latest experience has done nothing to change my mind. There were some neat effects… flying sequences looked spectacular… I flinched once when a knife was thrown at me… but overall I really could have done without the 3D.
If you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy you know that they spend a lot of time walking. A lot. This film is no different. An Unexpected Journey should be called An Unending Journey. They walk. They walk some more. And then when you’re pretty sure that they must be getting close, guess what? More walking. This begs the question.. is there no faster way to get around Middle Earth? Giant birds can whisk them to safety when needed. Why not just hitch a ride the rest of the way? Because that would cut out the walking. Did you know that The Hobbit is broken into three movies? I was unaware of that until a couple of days ago. A single book is broken into three movies.. that’s an epic amount of walking!
If you’re watching The Hobbit and feel as though you’ve already seen it, you’re not alone. Obviously it’s going to have the same look and feel as The Lord of the Rings. That’s to be expected. But there were points last night where I just felt like I could close my eyes for 20 mins, and I wouldn’t miss a thing because I’d seen this all before.
For all its similarities, it’s important to remember that The Hobbit is not The Lord of the Rings. The former was written for a slightly different (younger?) audience. There is dialogue in this movie that would never take place in The Lord of the Rings. Just silly things that some of the bad guys say… A Jabba the Hut-like character who speaks like Shakespeare .. Certain spots are less “dark and gritty” than The Lord of the Rings.
Something that I noticed immediately… I don’t know who Martin Freeman is (according to IMDB, he was in Love Actually.. which I pretty much slept through and refuse to believe is as popular as it seems to be) but he is such a convincing Bilbo Baggins, I don’t think that they could have cast anyone better. Soooo much better than Elijah Wood as Frodo.
Once again New Zealand shows off its beautiful scenery. I don’t know how much was computer generated, and how much was real… but wow… even if only part of it is real.. it’s absolutely breath-taking!
In short (har har… Dwarfs and Hobbits are vertically challenged.. get it?) … if you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings, then you’re going to want to see The Hobbit. Just make sure to use the bathroom beforehand… At 2 hrs 49 mins you’re going to be there for awhile.