liresius: Gumnut babies from May Gibbs' novel (Snugglepot and Cuddlepie)
[personal profile] liresius
I went to see The Hobbit! Belatedly, I remembered that Japan is usually in on World Premieres these days. It wasn't always so and not for FotR, so I looked it up on a cinema website here last night and sure enough! They had 5 sessions today. I went into town after work, had an Italian dinner and arrived just as the 8:10 pm session was starting. I had the choice of waiting for the 8:35, which I think may have been 2D, but in the end I went in on the 3D, just because I could walk right in and not wait. I like Japanese cinema culture. People are allowed to drink alcohol and so I had brought a beer to wind down after work. Very pleasant and civilized.

I enjoyed it immensely! The opening was fabulous - all those magnificent dwarvish caverns and treasure! The three hours FLEW by and I could hardly believe it had ended, when it did. I get antsy with three hour films, but not for this one. I really enjoyed just about everything except the fact of seeing it in 3D. Not sure if it was the combination of the speed at which it was filmed + 3D, but I have to agree with some of the comments I have read about the speed making some aspects look really plastic. At other times deep background just wouldn't come into focus at the same time as foreground for me, so if I go to see it again, I would definitely opt for my first and gut reaction to see it in 2D.

I adored Thorin, my god ... so sexy! He is one beautiful man/dwarf! Also, Fili and Kili were hot! It took me a while to sort out who was who for some of the company and for some, I didn't! LOL! I wasn't sure which was Bifur til near the end. I knew Balin from trailers and of course Gloin - he is a dead ringer for Gimli. I was really pleased they told Thror's story and end. I expect one of the next parts will tell Thrain's torture and end in Dol Guldur.

I was surprised about the pronunciation of Smaug's name. I always said it as /smorg/ in my head. It is pronounced the way the Japanese say /au/ i.e. "ow". I note Jackson is building up the anticipation by withholding Smaug in all his glory! I can't wait for the reveal! ETA: No brainer to say that will be the third film. Just read that the second film is titled The Desolation of Smaug and that quite a bit of the third film There and Back Again is made up a lot of ancillary materials from the appendices, so looks like we get to see Smaug's majesty sooner than I thought.

Elves - Thrilled that they worked in the meeting of the White Council and loved all that telepathy going on between Gandalf and Galadriel. It intimates how she always favoured him over Saruman.

And of course Bilbo ... SO cute! Absolutely blitheringly adorable, but apart from that it took me a while to warm to Martin's Bilbo. I'm not sure if it is his inimitable style of acting, but he wasn't my Bilbo of the book. I kept seeing Watson! LOL! I did end up very much liking the more self-aware and thoughtful hobbit he played though. He has more gravitas than the squeaking, protesting Bilbo of the book.

I guess the script was about what I expected. Not so different from LotR. I always felt there should have been more dignified and archaic Tolkien-ish phraseology and syntax in all the films, but I know the popularity of the film would probably suffer if they made it more inaccessible to the broader public by doing that.

And of course the other character in the film Middle Earth - New Zealand's glorious setting - such superb landscapes. I just wish they had been in better focus for me, especially when there were large foreground objects. The 3D glasses made it hard for my eyes to naturalize the focus on both at the same time. The eye, au naturale, does much better.

My heart always soars when the eagles come to the rescue. I thought it was a good place and way to end Part I. All the familiar themes of the score were very comforting and I was sitting right up in my seat for the slow sonorous dirge of the dwarves in Bag End at the beginning. Beautiful. Finally, it was nice to see all the names from Weta Workshop and other characters in the credits that I have got to know from my Extended Edition DVD commentaries and extras, and it was interesting to see Andy Serkis was the 2nd Unit Producer. Oh, of course ... Gollum! How could I forget? Brilliant as always! Loved the riddle game. I thought it was brilliantly acted on both parts.

ETA: What/who was that Goblin King with the thiamine deficiency under the Misty Mountains? I don't remember such a vivid fully-fleshed character in the Hobbit, but it is almost 30 years since I read The Hobbit. He seemed like a cross between Jabba the Hutt and Herod from JC Superstar Musical! Honestly, the "head on a platter" line and his general jollity and "Who me?" innocence - all Herod! Weird!

I can't wait for Part II!
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