The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (A Short Review)

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For those wondering why it took me long to write this review, here are a couple of reasons. First, I have a PS3, and I’m currently running through Mass EffectSecondly, I still had work when I first saw the film (yes, first, I watched it twice… more on that later) and didn’t have time to write. Finally, it’s the Christmas season. What that means is Christmas shopping, early 4:30 am novena masses, and lots of food. Yeah, these are lousy excuses but shut up, I run this blog!

I’m gonna keep this short. The film wasn’t the disaster I was expecting it to be. It had just to right amount of pacing for a 3 hour film, with things getting exciting during the actions sequences. Additionally, cheers to the make-up department for the varied dwarven designs, considering that my image of dwarves would be like Gimli.

On the negative, I think that while shooting this film in 48 fps was an interesting experiment, that’s all it is: an experiment, and a not so successful one at that. The image quality admittedly looks pretty, but there’s still something off with the characters’ movements on the screen. It’s pretty difficult to describe, but the best way would be if you remember how strange your movies felt like when you first played them on your HD TV. Everything looks so clean, so bright, and so artificial that the artificiality of the image stands out. Like I mentioned, the images look stunning, but it’s because of the visuals that this experiment fails. You don’t let an individual film element stand out, they must work in unison with the narrative. The higher frame-rate just draws the attention from the story to the visuals.

Additionally, the non 48 fps 3D on the IMAX doesn’t add too much to the experience as well. At worst, some of the scenes were a bit dark (not the Gollum scene, however), and there was blur during the action sequences.

The Verdict

 

Let me say that while this film isn’t as bad as I hoped it would be, it isn’t as good as Fellowship of the Ring as well. At best, it’s an entertaining first chapter of an unnecessary trilogy almost ruined by a technology which ultimately distracts the viewers from the story.

Best see this film on 24 fps 2D when you can.

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