The Ninjabot

Categorized | Editorial, Movie Reviews

The Hobbit: First Impressions After the Midnight IMAX Screening

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm by Randy

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Now, first I want to preface this by saying I have never read The Hobbit, and I was only introduced to the animated movie earlier this year. When I hear people describe the book, the first thing they mention is incredibly long descriptions about dwarves, their beards, what they’re wearing or eating, and a whole lot of singing. Of course, the animated film from the 70s did nothing to help my mental image of this story, but my fondness for the original Lord of the Rings films made it inevitable for me to want to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I must say, I was not disappointed.

First I was impressed and caught off guard by the fact that the entire opening sequence of the movie featured Frodo and old Bilbo straight out of the LOTR movies. Just that one aspect alone seem to give me the warm fuzzies, and make me instantly nostalgic for Peter Jackson’s original trilogy. All in all, it was a very nice way to start the new series. I did my best to stay spoiler-free on this one (a rule I have adopted since Star Wars Episode 3), so I had an incredibly open mind. I even enjoyed the singing, which was not as overdone as it could have been.

Overall, the movie felt slow. I really don’t think it was necessary to split The Hobbit into 3 films. Still, there was just enough action and excitement to keep me engaged. It was fun seeing Christopher Lee reprising his role as Saruman, even if he did look a little worse for the wear. Seriously, he’s aged drastically and noticeably since LOTR. The entire cast shows their age, even the timeless elves.

The 3D was well done, and not too gimmicky. Some of the effects seem shoddy, or rushed. Maybe it seems more prevalent on an IMAX screen than it would on a smaller one, but I’ll reserve judgement until after I see it in the higher frame rate (48fps). Also, coming from a technical background in film I noticed a LOT of greenscreen work throughout the movie… Which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but it tends to feel unnatural to me when overused; see Star Wars Revenge of the Sith.

I enjoyed every second of the movie (even the slow ones), and seeing it with fellow geeks(several of which came dressed as elves) at midnight was the best way to celebrate the new journey we are all taking as we follow Bilbo, Gandalf and friends. Oh, and the free posters were a nice bonus too. Swag FTW!

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