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Old December 21 2012, 04:08 AM   #268
Emh
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Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

Just got back from seeing the 48fps version and I have to say I didn't see any improvement and was very distracted whenever there was any find of fast movement (although I eventually got use to it). Not really seeing the benefit ever doing 48fps. But then I say the same thing about 3D...

Now that I've seen the film a second time, I have to turn a more critical eye on it. There were several things this time around that really bothered me about the film:

1. As already mentioned by others (including myself), the slapstick action that one would expect from a Wile E. Coyote cartoon. The worse perpetrators of this were the Company falling through the trap door, Bilbo falling through the crack, and the Company sliding down the gorge and crushed by the Goblin King at the end.

2. The ending could have been much tighter. There was no need for worthless face-off between Thorin and Azog, other than to show Bilbo's worth in Thorin's eyes but I feel like there was no need for that yet. After the long action sequence underneath the Misty Mountains, the added drawn out action in the trees quickly becomes tiresome. It would have been far better for them to be chased up the trees, the fire gets started, everything looks dire, and then suddenly the eagles save the day. End the film with the same final closing scene (Bilbo can prove his worth in smaller way, I guess while up in the trees like knocking down a warg that would have otherwise gotten Thorin or another dwarf).

3. I really hate to say this, but unlike the previous films, I feel like there was only a series of great of moments instead of a continuous stream of great storytelling. There were some moments where I felt like I was waiting for a scene to end in order to get to the part I knew I enjoyed. "Yes, yes, enough of the orcs and wargs chasing the Company, let's get to Rivendell with Cheery Elrond and the White Council already!" or "Hurry up and get to the Riddles in the Dark." Whereas in the previous films, there were only a few scenes I felt like I wanted to quickly move through (usually anything involving Arwen).

This all being said, however, I still enjoy the film immensely and don't think its overpadded at all (with the exception of the climax as already described). Martin Freeman is the heart and soul of the film (stealing all of Ian McKellan's thunder), and whenever it's focused on him, the film shines.

Incidentally, I think Cheery Elrond and the White Council would make for an awesome band name.
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