Yesterday I went to see the new Hobbit movie in Blanchardstown Odeon Theater. I was already exhausted with the bad reviews the movie had accumulated during it's first month. The Atlantic's Noah Berlatsky wrote of "Peter Jackson's Violent Betrayal of Tolkien", which left me expecting that this will be The Matrix two and three combined the bad way, with ninjadwarves devastating every little cute animal and troll in middle-earth.
Also, one Finnish review spoke of the new technique being too much for human eye, giving people headaches and other unwanted affects. That particular review was more of the critic's nauseous feelings than anything actually concerning the film except for those small parts where the credits we're mentioned.
We arrived ten minutes late in theater, and thought that we can skip the commercials. The movie started late because of technical problems. But the crew handled it well and made me feel at ease. If you know the nervous feeling when you are in the queue of a supermarket, and you have only one or two articles which you want to buy, and on that specific particular moment every grandmother and family, of at least seven, is in front of you, and every one of them have forgotten their wallets (or equivalent of moneyholders) underneath their huge amounts of groceries to be bought, and you are like "c'mon, move it assholes, before I get Michael Douglas-on-Falling-down on your asses. I had that similar feeling for the moment, and it was cumulative with the unpleasant feeling I got from listening a few creamass youngsters talking about how they got nothing for Christmas (except for earrings, pillows, pillowcases, etc. but not the membership card for Jimmy's, which is what she would really have wanted).
Hopefully you can grasp the moment how I felt before the movie, because after that everything went to better.
Commercials were cut off because of the delay. Opening credits, and then boom:
Bilbo Baggins is starting his memoirs in the old good Shire, dwarves are losing their mountain of home to some badass dragon, and there is something wrong with the picture. What is wrong with the picture? Everything seems so clear, and beautiful, details look like in real life (or at least as close as it has ever been), and the reason is that the action is unfolded in a 48 ffpbs format (forty-eight fuckin frames per bloody second, Peter Jackson's marvelous new format). This is probably the best thing I've ever seen this far.
And what about the action sequences. There isn't that much of it, as one would expect. My expectations were on the level of the later Matrix movies, but I was surprised. No yawning on that frontier. The level was just about right, take or leave a few clips of axesurgery. I have always thought that good books should be made into tv-series unless they are the evil darkspawn of Dan Brown (pun intended, cause I like to read his books, so I can complain about them). No living pictures can handle an average length of an american season format of 12-24 episodes of Dan Brown. Hobbit part one really digs into the Tolkien's book without missing anything critical. Even the lovely lyrics have been arranged to beautiful harmonies, which feel like as they were written by Tolkien himself. Also the naive and jolly feeling of the book's beginning is captured as emotionally as I remember it, when reading the book on my teenage years.
Now the expectations have lifted, and I am ready to crush the part two. If using the range from 9 to 10, I'll give this first one, hmmm, ten.
Howard Shore - Misty Mountains - The Hobbit: an unexpected Journey soundtrack