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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey [2012][O]

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Just saw the 48fps version. Malaysians in KL, you can watch the 48fps (3D version only) at TGV (KLCC) or GSC (better choice - Signature or Pavilion). Look for the term HFR in GSC cinemas whilst for TGV, just read the fine print which version they're showing. How was it you asked? First, the 3D glasses does fit into my own glasses. Phew! Very exhausting though, for my eyes. There isn't much 3D as in popping out stuff but 3D in this instance gives it more depth, like looking at the movie through an opened window. The scenery are all magnified and so clear! But when close up, the actors, yes their movements are a tad too fast like on fast forward, some blurry images and the colour is more brighter, as if Peter Jackson did not tint the end product. I didn't like the close ups. The critics are right when they said it was like watching an episode of soap opera. It does remind me of those episodes where colours are too bright and much like a clear HD TV version. The the fast movements is funny. However when in far away shots, this is where 48fps really is stunning. Which convinces me one thing; nature documentaries will benefit most from 48fps but not live action movies or films featuring human beings and dialogue. Somehow it felt a little like watching a live theatre stage thing and it felt less magical. I personally prefer the usual 24fps without the 3D for the pleasure of enjoying this movie as it is, which is part fantasy, part escape and 100% movie magic.

By the way the movie is really very very good. I am now a firm fan of Martin Freeman for his very low key performance as Bilbo and I love him for it. And I love Thorin! Even if I hate his doubting poor Bilbo but he has every right to doubt the pampered Bilbo. And I wonder is there something wrong with me since I find Gollum cute?

Anyway, do watch it in the cinemas. The 2D version is seriously perfect although you can try the 48fps for the sake of trying something new.

I just saw The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey and I was blown away by the visuals and the quality of the screen. Everyone is right to go crazy over the visuals, so clear, so crisp, took some time for me to adjust my eyesight since some actions seem a bit blur until I got used to it. Amazing visuals. And no one makes movies like this anymore, except Peter Jackson . The story however may be familiar and lacking. I see some parts sort of recycled and terribly familiar but that is just a minor issue. The actors were wonderful and very nice to see a continuation with new and old casts and how it is related to the 1st 3 movies of The Lord Of The Ring. Amazing stuff! Now I am really excited about the character of Thorin Oakenshield I think. For a dwarf, he is darn handsome! And brave. And also a sourpuss until the end, but then for good reasons. The elves again are slow in giving a helping hand. Very selfish bunch but then I understand why. Love Martin Freeman and his unassuming Bilbo Baggins but I really love the moment he took his sword and stood in front of the fainted Thorin to face the evil orc. I am sure you will say so familiar, like recycled and why don't the eagles just fly them all there, the same question posed on Lord Of The Rings movies. Well I will tell you why.

Why don't the monk Tong Sam Jong asks the monkey king to fly him to India to get the Buddhist scriptures? That will save a decade's time and troubles, right? But you see, the reward to a quest is only a just reward for those who are deserving. If everything is too easy, then the winner will be complacent and the winner won't learn anything from it, in fact the reward will be the start of doom. Much like how Thorin's grandpa (or was he his father?!) who by the end had so much gold so easily found, he became complacent about it, he became crazy and greedy. That is why no eagles will fly them there. Because it is a journey they must set out, fend for themselves and earn their rightful place amongst heroes. Only then will the reward be just and sweet.

Another better question is how come Gandalf has no wizardly powers other than creating fire and breaking apart stones? Well like everyone in this movie says about Gandalf, what can he do since he is supposed to be a wizard? But this is not Harry Potter's wizard. The elves have powers too, why not summon water, fire and typhoon? Well if you see they must have those elements within sight if not can't summon. That's how I see it.

So, seriously, forget about those nitty gritty details. This movie is a must watch. 

Yes, it is long. So don't drink so much.
Yes, it seems to have little story to tell and we will have THREE movies.
Yes, the beginning is slow. Very slow.
Yes, you can call it mediocre. But don't forget, it took Lord of The Rings about 2 movies to reach the height of greatness and set a precedent for all fantasy films from now on an also precedent for all war scenes in fantasy films.

But the reward is you get to know the characters. They have time for development. So I welcome the slowness although I will argue it wasn't slow. This movie may be funnier than the Lord Of The Rings series but it is more violent with heads being chopped off. Very graphic stuff and for once Gollum is not just scary, he is murderous scary. He eats orcs!!

Anyway I love how the movie ties up to the 1st Lord Of The Rings movie. A very nice touch. Am now a fan of the intense Thorin!

Sigh, movie 2.. 1 year from now if I am not mistaken.

Anyway I am surprised of one fact. It ties up even to the reappearance of Sauron! A even better touch! Once this movie is done, it will be part 1 of the Lord Of The Rings series with the Lord of the Rings movies as part 4,5 and 6! Necromancer.. and I googled and it led me to Sauron's page! We finally may have a face to Sauron other than just his eye! Maybe this movie at the end (part 3 that is) will explain how Sauron tempted Saruman and how Saruman changed allegiance.

By the way everyone looks a tad older but still looks great. I am still in awe of the visuals. So so so crisp and clear. If Life Of Pi had that sort if clear, crisp visuals, it would have been even far greater than it is now! I am not even sure if TGV has the 48fps thing or the normal 24fps thing but I can tell that at the start of the movie, the screen adjusted itself and if it is 24fps, it was darn clear. Like watching a full HD movie. Earlier scenes I swear seems like a bit blur-ish for those fast action. Frankly I do not know. But all I can say it is clearer than Life Of Pi. Same theatre, different quality.


One of the best mood enhancer sort of music/song I have ever heard. Really very The Hobbit and dwarves and made me remember their looks and adventures!

The Lord of The Rings DVD has potentially the best and most complete BTS special ever seen on any DVD collection. I suspect The Hobbit will have the same but that will mean 3 years' later. Anyway meanwhile here are Peter Jackson's video blogs, very very interesting. They even have their own Kiwi blessing ceremony prior to the start of the shooting!


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