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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Hobbit - early reviews suggest an over-stuffed turkey

As soon as I heard the Hobbit movie was going to be stretched into a trilogy warning bells went off - The Hobbit is a brilliant story but in scope it comes nowhere near The Lord of the Rings, and could easily be told in one two  hour movie. And sure enough the biggest number of complaints about the movie is that it is too long and the first hour or so drags by.

"While the clarity can be awe-inspiring, it has a tendency to make the sets look cheap, the armor chintzy, and the makeup barely worthy of an Asylum production. AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY in high-frame-rate 3D is a deep, vicious pendulum swing between transporting and flat-out unwatchable - and it's impossible to fully adjust to the format because you never know when it's suddenly going to look like a demo reel.'' Ain't it Cool

The New Zealand Herald called the movie, drawn out and diluted and went on-to add - "It's also overstuffed with, well, stuff. Prologues and sidestepping backstory. Long, boring councils among dwarves, wizards and elves. A shallow blood feud extrapolated from sketchy appendices to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings to give the film a bad guy."

There have also been many complaints about the new technology used to shoot the film - the movie plays at 48 frames per second, standard film is 24 frames per second, and whilst critics agree that it does add some clarity it also seems to make the sets looks cheap and tacky.

"At 48 frames, the film is more true to life, sometimes feeling so intimate it's like watching live theater. That close-up perspective also brings out the fakery of movies. Sets and props look like phony stage trappings at times, the crystal pictures bleaching away the painterly quality of traditional film." New Zealand Herald

"Though international B.O. success seems all but assured for a franchise that has already commanded nearly $3 billion in worldwide grosses, splitting the source material into multiple pics here mimics a frustrating trend among lucrative fantasy adaptations, from the two final "Harry Potter" films to the bifurcated "Twilight Saga" finale, stringing fans along with incomplete narratives. Whereas "The Lord of the Rings" naturally divided into the three books, "The Hobbit" contains scarcely enough story to support a single feature, as those who recall Rankin/Bass' 1977 animated made-for-TV version know all too well. " Variety

And even the positive reviews are remarking that the film is too long and lacks pace - one critic said it's as if The Wizard of Oz took an hour to get out of Kansas.

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