Actually, what I got for Christmas was the following:
1. A speeding fine.
2. A weird cold/infection/plague thing that’s settled in my chest.
3. 5kg gained over three weeks.
4. No job prospects.
5. An abnormal pap smear result.
6. One of my aunts passed away from cancer. (For any of my friends reading this, no, I am not talking about my aunt Nessa who was diagnosed with melanoma in her eye. She’s still very much alive and kicking.)
Yeah… this Christmas has sort of sucked.
Ah well. Thanks to Peter Jackson, the Boxing Day Movie tradition has been reinstated with the manbeast with a viewing of the much-awaited release of The Hobbit. That was the one thing that I was actually looking forward to this Christmas.
What did I think of the movie?
I will say this… I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings series. The Hobbit was a great film and I enjoyed it a lot but I didn’t walk out of the theatre nearly crying because there was 12 months to wait for the next one. Unfortunately I feel that the Powers That Be are milking it for every penny that it’s worth (and it’s kind of worth a lot) and as a result, what is only one short book is going to be stretched out over three movies. Not terribly impressed with that. The pace of the film was extremely slow as a result.
Now, here’s what I did not like about the film…
It had a very Pixar-ish feel about it. I think it had a lot to do with the 48fps frame rate (which, granted, is sped up slightly for the 2D showings of the film) but it was just too crisp and clean and sharp. Yes, Middle Earth isn’t real, I get that, but the grittiness of the original films gave them realism and the audience the impression that it could very well have been a real environment.
The overuse CGI in the new film was also a huge problem. In the LotR series, the antagonists were guys in prosthetics. The awesome Lawrence Makoare played three of the main ones; Lurtz the big Uruk’hai, Gothmog the big boss of the super orcs, and he donned the Witch King’s robes for the final film) and it gave the characters that same sense of realism which I found the most appealing. Sure, the big critters like the massive elephants and the cave trolls were CGI but that was kind of necessary – it’s kinda hard to get a real elephant to play dress-ups and Andre the Giant died about 20 years ago.
The Hobbit’s main bad guy was 100% CGI. And I was bummed because he looked CGI. I don’t know what the difference is this time between the graphics from the LotR films to The Hobbit but it was too crisp and clean – too much colour and to be honest, he did not look nearly evil enough. Ugly, yes, but ugly in the sense that he had a few artistically placed body/battle scars and a missing limb. Gothmog’s abhorrent facial growths and the fact that he was played by a real person made him infinitely scarier.
Even Gollum looked like a cheesy cartoon caricature of himself and even though he was voiced by the marvelous Barry Humphries, the Goblin King was probably the worst bit of CGI in the entire film. I did not like him at all. He looked too comically gross to be taken at all seriously.
Though I will admit, I did rather enjoy the superfluous stone giants scene. It was pretty awesome. And at least it was actually in the book.