Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Unexpected indeed!  Now I know I'm a bit behind the ball seeing this movie.  I was sick when it came out and in no shape to sit through three hours, so today I finally ventured out of my house to experience Tolkien's epic tale.  And I fucking loved it.

Now of course, every one of my friends who wanted to see this movie didn't wait for me.  That's okay, I know I wouldn't wait for them to see something I'm obsessed with.  Unfortunately, when everybody sees something before you do they feel the need to tell you how you will feel about it.  Every single person said "well you if you didn't read the book you won't like it."  Well nerd-world, I admit I haven't read The Hobbit, and I still loved it, so poo on you.  I had ample time to read it, but I never read any of the LOTR books before I saw the movies and it wasn't a problem.  Actually, every time a book that I love gets made into a movie I am always disappointed.  I have my imagined view of characters and places, I have attached laughs, tears and hours of my time into series, but it's not your point of view that gets poured into the film versions, it's somebody else's.  Of course many of them are great movies in their own right, but it's never the same experience that you had curled up reading the book.

I was really mad at The Hobbit too.  Why you ask?  Because of the Hobbit Aidan Turner, my sexy vampire, left Being Human, which ultimately made the entire original cast leave.  Luckily, the Being Human writers snuck in a new cast that I fell in love with without my even realizing it, well done.  But I thought, there are so many dwarves in this film he probably wont be in it at all, and ladies and gents, doesn't he make a fine looking dwarf?
But ho!  Mr. Turner actually had a lot of screen time a Kili!  And he was quite good too.  But I still miss Mitchell.

The dwarves in general were wonderful, each given ample time to show great personality through a lot of makeup, and a LOT of hair.  They were all so entertaining!  They killed it (literally) in the action sequences, but also made you laugh and when they sang, my GOD those songs spoke to my soul!

But dwarf ranting aside, the movie was excellent and with a cast like that how could it NOT be.  My dear darling Martin Freeman who isn't new to breathing life into a fictional characters, starting with Arthur Dent and moving on to our lovely Watson, was just brilliant!  He is just genius.  His portrayal alone made me want to go home and pick up the book, which will actually have to wait because like an insane person I have a book queue.  That's right Freeman, you nailed it.

It was also great to see so much of the original cast back to reprise their LOTR roles.  Ian Mckellen always fabulous, Hugo Weaving a constant gem, Christopher Lee slightly terrifying and Cate Blanchett ever gorgeous.  And of course Andy Serkis who shines through CGI.  We even had a bit of Elijah Wood in there which made me smile.  And... was there a Doctor in the mix?  Why yes!  Yes there was!  Sylvester McCoy, the 7th Doctor, playing the delightful Radagast the Brown who made me not only laugh, but tear up a bit as he found his forest friends laying dead and dying around him.  We even got the itty bittiest bit of my love Benedict Cumberbatch as the Necromancer.  Sure it was just a grumble and a shadow, but I'd recognize that voice anywhere.  Oh I so can't wait to see you in your full glory.

Peter Jackson just does beautiful things.  Everything so filmed so gorgeously.  He is one of the few directors that blends CGI with reality so seamlessly that you wonder exactly which you're looking at.  The sound design was something I was especially impressed with.  That's random I know, but the sound was 360.  In the forest scenes it wasn't just general bird chirping but I could hear different birds chirping in different parts of the threatre.  During a fight scene I even turned around thinking one of the 1000 people who had gotten up to pee had fallen down behind me, only to realize it was sound design.  Not to mention that the script itself was written in such a way that as somebody who hasn't read the book could completely follow what was going on.  I only found myself confused one time during the entirety of the movie.  Honestly, I wouldn't have even noticed that the movie was so long if I didn't have to pee about an hour and a half in.  But I held it and watched on.

So to all you nay sayers who told me I wouldn't like it, tough cookies because I LOVED it.  I am very much looking forward to the next installment due out in December of this year.  Maybe by then I'll have read the book, though I'm afraid to possibly ruin the movie for myself.  We shall see!