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Hobbit lives up to expectations

Discussion in 'Film & Television' started by Black Dragon, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. MAndreas

    MAndreas Troubadour

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    Jumping in late here :). I saw it on the 14th in Las Vegas- yes, shows what a bunch of geeks my friends and I are- out of 22 of us gathering in Vegas-- 12 of us left the slot machines and booze for the movie :).

    I had a blast! Martin Freeman rocks, Richard Armatage was nicely intense, and the movie was (IMHO) a lot of fun. Yes, I am a Tolkien fan, but always liked LOTR far more than The Hobbit. That being said I really enjoyed this.

    For the most part, I was unaware of the time, so the pace worked for me. I didn't see a3-D version, but did notice a slight adjustment my mind and eyes needed to do within the first five or ten minutes just because of the faster filming style.

    OH! And Andy Serkis was amazing! I really enjoyed Gollum alot (ok, I always do, but that scene was perfect).
     
  2. Sheriff Woody

    Sheriff Woody Troubadour

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    48fps projection is only available in 3D.
     
  3. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    This is one of my favorite movies. It's not meant to be a fast pace movie with world shattering stakes. It's more introspective, a movie meant to explore what it means to be human through an internal journey. Now, obviously you didn't think much of the movie, but maybe you're watching it with the wrong mind set. For myself, I find that watching or reading something with the wrong mind set, bringing in certain expectations of what a story should be instead of letting it be what it is, always results in a disappointing experience.

    For example. After watching Pulp Fiction, I watched Tarantino's next movie Jackie Brown. I went in expecting Pulp Fiction 2.0 and left extremely disappointed. For while I really disliked Jackie Brown. I've since revisited the movie, carrying no expectations and realized just how good it really was.

    I've seen Take Shelter. I agree it's a really good movie. But it's a movie that could have fallen apart for some people depending on how they interpreted the end. I know if I interpret the ending as literally what I see on the screen, the whole movie becomes BS for me, but if the ending is just in the head then the movie becomes brilliant.

    Ok now, back on track. The Hobbit. To me, it was a good movie. Not great. First, the 48 frames pers second didn't quite work for me. Things were gorgeous when the scene was more static, but when things moved more quickly the movements didn't seem natural. Also the clarity of the framerate made the movie look like I was watching a stage play. Things were just a little too real for my taste.

    In terms of story, the pacing wasn't quite right for the first half of the movie. That could have been trimmed. And there was something about the dwarves and their banter that just wasn't engaging for me. I liked Thorin, but I'm kind of meh about the rest of them, so when there's no Thorin or Bilbo in the forefront, it feels like something is missing.

    I get the feeling this is a movie I'll like more on a second viewing with standard framerate. I went in thinking I would get more of a LOTR feel, but that feeling didn't start until the middle. I think I know why. First they started out to just tell the story of The Hobbit in two movies. Now, they're telling The Hobbit and trying to make a movie that leads directly into LOTR, so weaving in the extra material from the appendixes isn't as smooth as it could be.

    But overall, I enjoyed the movie. It gave me most of what I wanted. I'm sure the next movie will smooth over all the wrinkles this movie had, and be a lot better. Fingers crossed.
     
  4. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    I just saw it a second time in 2D, and the fact that it was filmed in 48fps was very noticeable anytime there was motion onscreen.

    Totally agree about the first half of the movie. One thing that occurred to me is that the entire Bilbo and Frodo prologue was utterly unnecessary. I didn't need to know that Bilbo made Frodo nail up the No Admittance sign right before Frodo went off to wait for Gandalf. It felt like fanservice, but I don't think any fans actually wanted it, and I for one was looking forward to The Hobbit in part because Elijah Wood wouldn't be in it. ;)

    I thought it would have been super neat if the flashback to Erebor had been shown while the dwarves were singing in Bag End--that way the whole song could have been used, as well. Jackson could have panned over to the flames and inserted some nifty animation (I'm picturing the Deathly Hallows backstory in Harry Potter). No need for narration, since the dwarves were already singing the whole story, and that sounded way cooler than Ian Holm's delivery.

    As for the dwarves, I thought Thorin stopped being a jerk way too early--such is the trouble with splitting one story into three movies and struggling to put an arc where there wasn't one by that point in the book. Unfortunately that also meant that the dwarves didn't learn what they were supposed to from Bilbo: physical strength isn't the only kind. Otherwise, I was delighted with Balin and Dori and Bofur (more screentime for Nesbitt! More!). It was swell to see Aidan Turner in a major film after watching him in Being Human for years, too, though Fili and Kili seemed like the least interesting members of the company. Overall, I'm glad Jackson is making an effort to individualize the dwarves, because I sure couldn't tell them apart in the book.
     
  5. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

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    I thought the same thing about Erebor and the dwarf song. Start with Bilbo and Gandalf's "good morning" conversation, continue from there, then add Erebor into the song, and yes, the Deathly Hallows sequence from Harry Potter is exactly the parallel I was thinking.

    Aidan Turner makes a much more attractive dwarf than he does a vampire too, for some reason. And yes, James Nesbitt was brilliant as Bofur.
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Finally saw it.

    I liked the bit at the start where they tie in to the opening of Lord of the Rings, with Bilbo sitting down to write and Frodo running off to surprise Gandalf. I didn't have a problem with any of the pacing in the film, either. I thought it was interesting through out. Some of the injection of comedy into the movie didn't work for me (though other parts did). On the whole I enjoyed the movie, though I didn't consider it to be as good as any of the Lord of the Rings films (a high bar, of course). The part with Smeagol was well done :)
     
  7. Like Steerpike, I enjoyed the beginning in Hobbiton, it didn't feel like baggage to me at all. I watched it in 3d and I have to be honest, I don't have a clue how different 48fps makes a film :), maybe just because I was distracted by my first 3d film.

    It didn't really feel like 3 hours to me, but I do think they could have inserted just a little more story, the ending did feel like a bit of a stretched half hour of action.

    The Good: (minor spoilers)

    It was a beautiful film, looked lovely as always, and Howard Shore once again delivered a beautiful, if more subtle score. Actors were perfectly cast, Balin was likeable as was in the book, Martin Freeman was the perfect successor to Ian Holm, and Gandalf was as good as always. I also loved how it had a feel of its own, it didn't feel exactly like the Rings films, and Saruman's cameo with Elrond and Galadriel was perfect for a fanboy like me. The secondary storyline looks really good, the Dol Guldur scene was really creepy in 3d and surround sound, looking forward to more. The action was great too, seeing sparks come flying out of the screen made me flinch.

    The Bad (minor spoilers):

    It would be harsh to call the film slow, it really wasn't, but I did think a little more story progression would have been nice. Having said that I am glad they left hardly anything out. As I said before, the final half hour did feel a bit of a drawn out string of action scenes, but it was well filmed. There were a few moments that really made me cringe though. The troll shaws sequence felt very clumsily handled in a bid to be as funny as it could, it was a bit tedious in its attempts at humour. There's also that really awful action film cliche when a character gets killed, and before they drop dead they say something really random or stupid to try and get a laugh from the audience. Strangely the Great Goblin being slashed by Gandalf and then saying something like "that'll do" stands out as the weakest moment in the film for me. Yep, just that one line of dialogue. Oh well. I also found Azog's portrayal to be a bit unengaging and bland, and the way his confrontation with Thorin played out felt quite weak, but maybe I just need to see more of him.

    Overall:

    Despite the flaws, it was a very enjoyable film and I'm looking forward to the next 2. I think overall everyone involved made a great collaborative effort.
     
  8. Sheriff Woody

    Sheriff Woody Troubadour

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    Unless you watch the movie with 48fps 3D projection, you will not experience 48fps. In 2D, it will look exactly like a normal movie. Any perceived visual differences will exist only in your mind.
     
  9. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    No offense, but this sounds like the time a photography major told me that you could blow up a 4" x 6" 72dpi image to poster size in Photoshop and it would retain all its quality. The Hobbit was filmed at double the normal speed and then converted to 24fps for 2D projection. No, you're not experiencing 48fps; you're experiencing something with half the original frames. It's going to look funny, and it did--the motion was jerky and flickering instead of smooth, because the conversion process left gaps.
     
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    In that example, you're going in the opposite direction, though. Blowing up a small picture and making it large.

    If I film a sequence and I'm capturing 24 frames every second, and then I film the same thing and I'm capturing 48 frames per second (so I have twice the frames for the exact same amount of time), wouldn't dropping every other frame put me right back in the same place as the original sequence? I'm still moving over the exact same material in the same amount of time, but with the original 24 frame format.

    In other words, if I film my arm waving for one second, with 24 frames only available to provide the information in that one second of motion, how does it differ from filming that same one second time interval at 48 frames and then dropping every other frame to where I again have only 24 frames to show the movement?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  11. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    To use an Internet analogy, if I have a GIF that loops for five seconds and the file size is too big for Tumblr, I can cut half the frames and make it display at half the speed so it still fills five seconds, but it won't look like the original GIF. That's an extreme example since movies go much faster than GIFs, obviously. Point is, if you manually remove half of the material you filmed, certain sequences--very fast motion, usually--will not match up smoothly and your film will look weird. People can claim that the human eye can't see the difference, and for a large chunk of The Hobbit, I couldn't. But sometimes I could, and I ascribe that to the downconversion.
     
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yeah. I'm trying to visualize the conversion in my head to see where the discontinuity would be. Of course, I know next to nothing about photography or film-making, so I'm probably missing a lot of variables that go into the process.
     
  13. The Writer's Realms

    The Writer's Realms Minstrel

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    Saw it a few days ago and I believe they did a pretty good job. Right in the beginning of the movie, I absolutely loved the part where the dwarves sing the Misty Mountain song.
     
  14. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    And I am far from an expert on 48fps technology and technique, but the flickering I saw at the 2D non-HFR version of the film reminded me of a GIF with missing frames sped up really fast. ;)
     
  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I second that comment. I wish both of the dwarves' songs could have been just a couple verses longer.
     
  16. The Writer's Realms

    The Writer's Realms Minstrel

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    I know! There is a video on Youtube by the Str8 Voices. They did a pretty decent version with more verses.
     
    Ireth likes this.
  17. Phietadix

    Phietadix Archmage

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    I thought they extended the 'That's what Bilbo Baggins Hates' Song
     
  18. Jess A

    Jess A Archmage

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    Finally going to see it this Thursday. Reviews have been fairly mixed, I'll be sure to add mine when I watch it. I don't think we're going to bother with the 48fps - I am curious and would liked to have seen it, but I don't feel it will impact my enjoyment of the film.

    I was very surprised to see Aidan Turner was in it. I saw a 'making of' special on TV the other night and recognised him. There's a good cast in this film.
     
  19. Very good cast, they rose well to the challenge. I saw Sylvester McCoy in a play a few years ago, he was really funny.
     
  20. Jess A

    Jess A Archmage

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    Ooh. He also played the 7th Doctor.
     
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