Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review

I've often said that I want my nine hours of Lord of the Rings back.  So why would I watch a prequel to the franchise?  Especially when it is based on a book that I still lament being forced to read in high school?  Well, 9 hours on a plane from London to Calgary makes you do odd things.

One thing I do have to give Peter Jackson credit for is that he knows how to use landscapes to his advantage in a fantasy movie.  That is one of the things that the Hobbit excels in.  The sweeping visuals on the screen and settings are quite well done.  I did notice, however, that the effects tended to be inconsistent.  There were times when it all looked so real but then there were other times when the green screen effects were fairly obvious.  I also thought that the animatronics were also substandard for such a big budget epic fantasy (especially among the Orcs and their dogs).  None of the animals seemed lifelike at all.

That aside, I do have to admit that the story is actually quite entertaining.  I guess it's something I didn't appreciate in high school.  It moves quickly (except for the scene with Gollum) and that could be because it's a set up for another trilogy.  So this one is all build up and doesn't have that mid-movie lull that most stories have.  So I imagine the second one will be fairly boring much like The Two Towers was.  The acting was also very good but I would expect nothing less from Martin Freeman and Ian McKellan.

I'm a bit torn.  Some of the technical aspects were a let down.  But, coming out of it, I did feel that I had been entertained.  So I would say you should see it.

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