December 19, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Guys Movie Night)

Well, hello, short, dark, and handsome!
A very good Peter Jackson Hobbit movie, although, after 11 hours of Lord Of The Rings in the last decade, I don't really feel the burning desire to see more Tolkien stories on the big screen. I have already seen enough endless caverns, rickety bridges, hordes of orcs, and swordplay for one lifetime. The plot definitely felt flabby. Peter Jackson stands by the decision to release three Hobbit movies instead of two, but this definitely felt like a Director's Cut-style "leave everything in" edit.
Martin Freeman was excellent as Bilbo Baggins, the Gollum 2.0 is a jaw-dropping improvement on an already terrific CGI character. Richard Armitage makes a star-making turn as short, dark and handsome lead dwarf Thorin Oakenshield. He exudes quiet power and authority.
I have only read the novel once, so maybe I'm in the minority, but this movie feels much less crucial than the Lord of the Rings movies did. Jackson works hard to give the restoration of the dwarves homeland moral and emotional heft, but I remember The Hobbit being much more inconsequential than this. B-plus. With Marc and Jeff at Regal Fenway.
The End Of The World is big business in Hollywood this year; We saw six trailers before The Hobbit, and five of them were about the end of the world in one flavor or another:
  • Pacific Rim (Godzilla vs Transformers)
  • The Host (Stephenie Meyer's aliens take over Earth by possessing human bodies thriller)
  • Warm Bodies (A Rom-Zom-Com in the spirit of Shaun of The Dead)
  • Oblivion (Tom Cruise Beyond Thunderdome, with Morgan Freeman in the Tina Turner part)
  • After Earth (Will & Jaden Smith's Avatar remake, directed by M. Night Shyamalan)
  • and Beautiful Creatures (Twilight with witches)
We didn't even see the trailers for the upcoming comedy This Is The End (from the Pineapple Express team), World War Z (Brad Pitt remakes I Am Legend with more action), or The World's End (the latest collaboration between Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright.)