Sunday, December 23, 2012

An Unexpected Short Journey

Saw The Hobbit with my oldest this afternoon. It was probably mean of me not to tell him the book was divided into three movies. He was a bit disappointed that Smaug remained unvanquished.

Overall I enjoyed the movie, especially the dwarves singing around the fire. Martin Freeman was compelling, though at times I did see Dr Watson peek through the pointy ears. Cate Blanchett was radiant and mysterious, hinting at a particular fondness for Gandalf and reminding us that no one in this movie was really "just human".

There were only a couple of items that I wished could have been better expressed or portrayed. It's not Peter Jackson's fault, they just don't translate well to the screen.

One is the dreadfully boring times of any epic adventure: days of endless walking and never changing scenery. Instead of getting the sense that they were walking across the Great Plains (a boring drive at 65mph, let alone walking). Instead Gandalf started to sound like me during cross country season: "Run!"

The second item was when Bilbo was wandering through the caves and discovers the ring. Yes, it is difficult to portray onscreen what actually happens in complete darkness. Having been in caves with all the lights out, there is no way to convey that feeling onscreen. Even if the room was pitch dark and all we had were voices and sounds, the audience would be lost. It had to be filmed with light.