Well, my family and I went to see a highly anticipated movie on Saturday afternoon and caught the 3D showing of The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey!
I don't normally do film reviews on this blog, but in this case I will make an exception!
Warning - may contain SPOILERS!
I have to say we all thoroughly enjoyed the film, and the 3 hours went past in the blink of an eye!
Although rated PG13, my six year old daughter and nine year old son had no issues with any of it, though they have already been quite used to seeing LOTR at home...
The movie appealed on so many levels - there was great continuity between it and the prior trilogy of Lord of the Rings. The movie followed the story of the Hobbit, very well and typically was embellished with movie drama. Where it differed to the book, I did not not find any of that an 'issue', and I loved the fact that they brought into it the greater back story - information gleaned from the Appendices of LOTR and Unfinished Tales no doubt.
The discussion of the White Council was very appropriate as was the initial scene setting sequences too. It wasn't just the dwarves off on an adventure, there was clearly a sense of greater things afoot!
Whilst initially skeptical at the idea of Radagast played by Silvester McCoy and his 'rabbit sleigh' - it all simply worked and was quite charming and mildly humorous too. I also liked the idea of Radagast investigating Dol Guldur too.
Great to see the elves again, this time mounted and I can't wait to get my hands on the new Rivendell cavalry models. Seeing Thranduil on his Stag was very nice, and the scene set up the animosity between the elves and dwarves very well.
And Smaug? Well, I liked the fact that we didn't get to see him in all his glory from the get go, no doubt he will feature in the subsequent movies. But his power and menace was clearly in evidence.
Another aspect I really liked is the fact that the orcs genuinely seemed something to be feared, and weren't simply 'cannon fodder' as they were so often in LOTR... Plus the fact that the orcs spoke their own Black Speech, which was subtitled on screen. This gave them a greater authenticity and menace...
I would equate it to watching a WWII movie, where the Germans speak English... its always far more authentic to have them speaking German, with English subtitles on screen...
All the scene setting was simply marvelous, from Kingdom of Erebor, to the glimpses of Dale, and the greater views of Rivendell, and the general panorama of Middle Earth, provided by the New Zealand backdrop, and of course seeing Hobbiton again, knowing we had walked those paths ourselves, when we last visited the movie set location at Matamata...
Basically it had it all; drama , tension , humor, excitement!
We are off to see it again tonight for a charity viewing, this time in 2D though in perhaps a more comfortable cinema setting, which has better seating and spacing... can't wait!
So of course now I need to get the sound track, and then wait eagerly for the movie's DVD release... and then an Extended edition??? More than 3 hours? Bliss!
And of course now I think the figures are great, and can't wait to get them painted up!
My construction of Goblin Town is progressing well, and even my understanding wife is not raising her eye brows too much, at the the fact that there is bark mulch, balsa and polystyrene all over the house! ;-) The figures have been clipped from the sprues are and steadily being trimmed ready for paint.
So what more can I say, if you're a fan then no doubt you'll be seeing it anyway. If not already a fan, go see it and enjoy the beginning of the ride! I say this as my boss isn't particular a fan and I don't think has bothered to go see or sit down and watch the LOTR movies, but he did go an see this and thoroughly enjoyed it. If that's not an endorsement then nothing is!
Oh, a movie rating? It would have to a 5 out of 5, no surprises there then ;-)