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RE: Mini Reviews - 11/3/2012 8:04:43 AM   
DJ Rob C: Mark II!


Posts: 34868
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Christmas town
I have to disagree, yes I agree it's amazing but I disagree because bar Happy Song, Me Party and Talk about Me were two of my favourite bits... Me Party is now my new word for evening's in! Talk about Me is just genius beyond compare, my favourite bit of the film!
As for cameos, read this list of the hundreds that didn't make it into the film:
http://www.moviehole.net/201149416-which-cameos-got-cut-from-the-muppets

Agree with the review in some ways, but I also disagree about sentiment, mainly because Pictures in my Head had me in tears

_____________________________

When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die

Third Highest Post Count on the Forum, sad but proud!

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 2011
RE: Mini Reviews - 11/3/2012 10:37:03 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Pictures in My Head was great, sad but it really, really worked, better than some other such moments. I should have mentioned that really.

And those cameos, jeez, th film would be about three hours long if they were all included!

I want more Muppet reviews in here




_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to DJ Rob C: Mark II!)
Post #: 2012
RE: Mini Reviews - 13/3/2012 4:06:45 AM   
threshold


Posts: 319
Joined: 26/10/2010
From: Sydney, Austraiia
Star Trek (2009)



Pros

# All Actors involved are having so much fun in this, it's hard to not get dragged in.
# The writers of Transformers 2 redeemed themselves
# Special Effects are good, but in this age, when is it not?
# There's a sword that flips up! FLIPS UP!!!
# Able to give a movie that is good in itself, and not sucked into trying to appease fanboys.
# The viewing didn't need any prior information (me)
# Michael Gianchino rocks the score. I still hum it.
# Leonard Nimoy's role. I haven't even seen him in anything before and I was still going ballisitic!
# JJ Abrhams can make exciting situations. Even in the non-action.
# Did I say the actor's roles are perfect?
# A ships destroys a planet with a drop of paint. PAINT!!!
# Even in a Sci Fi movie, they still will fight with elegant weapons.
# An extremely good script and story. It doesn't rely on cliche or explosions and is fun when watching the crew squabble.
# Winona Ryder embraced her age.
# It has Benedict Cumberbatch in the sequel BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH!!!!


Cons
# JJ, lens flares are good once in a while, NOT EVERYTIME!!!
# The motorbike scene in a desert was justing pushing it. I believed in all the Sci-Fi stuff, but it lost all credibility when I saw that scene.
# Uhuru is left trying to find her lines in here. She's a good actor, she's just hardly in it.
# With the name Star Trek it will put people off for simply being called Star Trek. But it's still good!!!


Overall a fun time, and it shows that special effects aren't everything in a movie.
4/5 (verging on 4,5.5)

< Message edited by threshold -- 13/3/2012 4:08:11 AM >

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 2013
RE: Mini Reviews - 13/3/2012 5:35:39 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo

quote:

ORIGINAL: threshold

Cons
# JJ, lens flares are good once in a while, NOT EVERYTIME!!!



Ha ha, very good point

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to threshold)
Post #: 2014
RE: Mini Reviews - 13/3/2012 8:38:25 AM   
darthbane


Posts: 5750
Joined: 27/10/2005
From: Twelve parsecs outside the Rishi maze

quote:

ORIGINAL: threshold

Star Trek (2009)



Pros

# All Actors involved are having so much fun in this, it's hard to not get dragged in.
# The writers of Transformers 2 redeemed themselves
# Special Effects are good, but in this age, when is it not?
# There's a sword that flips up! FLIPS UP!!!
# Able to give a movie that is good in itself, and not sucked into trying to appease fanboys.
# The viewing didn't need any prior information (me)
# Michael Gianchino rocks the score. I still hum it.
# Leonard Nimoy's role. I haven't even seen him in anything before and I was still going ballisitic!
# JJ Abrhams can make exciting situations. Even in the non-action.
# Did I say the actor's roles are perfect?
# A ships destroys a planet with a drop of paint. PAINT!!!
# Even in a Sci Fi movie, they still will fight with elegant weapons.
# An extremely good script and story. It doesn't rely on cliche or explosions and is fun when watching the crew squabble.
# Winona Ryder embraced her age.
# It has Benedict Cumberbatch in the sequel BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH!!!!


Cons
# JJ, lens flares are good once in a while, NOT EVERYTIME!!!
# The motorbike scene in a desert was justing pushing it. I believed in all the Sci-Fi stuff, but it lost all credibility when I saw that scene.
# Uhuru is left trying to find her lines in here. She's a good actor, she's just hardly in it.
# With the name Star Trek it will put people off for simply being called Star Trek. But it's still good!!!


Overall a fun time, and it shows that special effects aren't everything in a movie.
4/5 (verging on 4,5.5)


I've been watching this on my ipod during my recent Gym sessions. It's a perfect example of how to reboot a series. I'm a massive star trek fan but have to say that the franchise had lost it way, especially after Nemesis. I thought that all of the cast were excellent particularly the main 3 of Pine, Quinto and Urban. Non of the main cast did anything new with the characters, but that was what was so good about them. They managed to avoid the trap of imitating the old actors, yet kept the characters fresh whilst making them their own. Also I liked the inclusion of Capt Pike, a great nod to the fans, as was the inclusion of Leonard Nimoy.
Great film

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Post #: 2015
RE: Mini Reviews - 14/4/2012 9:57:41 PM   
DJ Rob C: Mark II!


Posts: 34868
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Christmas town
Decided, on a retro read through some of my classic reviews, that a) I'm going to post them in my blog really soon and

b) I'm gonna aim to do more soon, expect the following at various points:
- Cabin in the Woods
- Avengers Assemble
- Prometheus
- Rock of Ages
- Amazing Spider-Man
- The Dark Knight Rises
- Brave
- Total Recall
- Skyfall
- The Hobbit

And maybe I might some classic's too!

On a retro read, I noticed too I kept saying this and didn't do half the ones I said I would... this may end up true again

_____________________________

When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die

Third Highest Post Count on the Forum, sad but proud!

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Post #: 2016
RE: Mini Reviews - 15/4/2012 1:45:35 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Blog?

Looking forward to any reviews that come this way. I really should try and do more, but I've lost the very small amount of ability I had for writing about films. Maybe when I see Pirates, that'll get brain working!

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to DJ Rob C: Mark II!)
Post #: 2017
RE: Mini Reviews - 15/4/2012 9:25:25 AM   
DJ Rob C: Mark II!


Posts: 34868
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Christmas town
Yeah, not posted since last Summer but http://www.robatthemovies.blogspot.com

Yeah, everyone should throw some reviews around too

_____________________________

When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die

Third Highest Post Count on the Forum, sad but proud!

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 2018
RE: Mini Reviews - 15/4/2012 10:30:14 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
I'll give that a read later!




Here's the miniest of mini-reviews



Good

Daniel Henshall is superb in the lead role of Australian serial killer John Bunting


Bad

Subtitles. Please, it should be made law that all films have the option for subtitles! Loud music and mumbling actors mean I have no idea of half of what was being said.


Overall

Bleak, but not as harrowing as some reviews suggest - 3/5

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to DJ Rob C: Mark II!)
Post #: 2019
RE: Mini Reviews - 27/7/2012 2:59:36 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20116
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Just been going through this C&Ping my old reviews. Happy times. I may spruce them up to shove on my blog, especially infamous ones like Beowulf and Speed Racer which are not on the blog at all.

Blimey, I wrote a lot of reviews on here!

_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 2020
RE: Mini Reviews - 27/7/2012 9:54:36 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
You should add blog reviews to this thread!


_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to homersimpson_esq)
Post #: 2021
RE: Mini Reviews - 7/9/2012 9:13:22 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo


Good
Look as gorgeous as we've come to expect from Pixar. Some of the scenery and distance shots are just stunning.

Great score from Patrick Doyle. Listening to it now and it works well away from the film too.

Top notch vocals. Billy Connolly was superb (never a sentence I thought I'd write!). Great work from Kelly MacDonald and Emma Thompson too, really helped to bring heart to that mother/daughter relationship

Some great humour provided by King Fergus, the three Lords, the triplets and the witch.

Bad
In all honesty I can't think of much wrong with it. There's certainly nothing I didn't like, I think it's main problem is that it never quite reaches the dizzying heights of greatness that we know Pixar can deliver. Seems a bit harsh to criticise a film for simply not being as good as others but if I had to find a fault, it'd be that.


Overall
Very, very enjoyable and the more I think back on it the more Iike it. I think on a rewatch it;ll get top marks but for now - 4/5*

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 2022
RE: Mini Reviews - 19/12/2012 5:23:18 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
It's been far too long since we've had a review in here but I couldn't not do one for this, could I?




It's been 9 long years since Return of the King and during that time LOTR has, it's fair to say, become a very important part of my life. Exactly how I can't quite describe, I just know that I'm better for it. So a return to Middle Earth was always going to be something to look forward to. But with all the legal and production problems that have set the Hobbit back a considerable number of years, there was every chance that Jackson could have fumbled this second trip to Tolkien and Lucased the precursor story. I'm happy to say that he hasn't.


Here's the good stuff


With LOTR, Jackson Walsh and Boyens did a rather nifty job of condensing the plot into just the story points that dealt with Frodo's quest. Diversions to Gondor, Rohan and Fangorn all dealt, indirectly or not, with the destruction of The One Ring. Possibly the only straying from this path was in the Aragorn and Arwen romance. With The Hobbit, a rather slender tome is now being turned into three epic films and this has been a cause for concern by many. What material exactly would be included? How much would the story be changed to accommodate this extra material? The story of Bilbo and his adventures is, based on An Unexpected Journey, not quite so focussed as Frodo's quest but it still is telling one concise story. It's not quite The Hobbit as we know, it's more The Hobbit and added extra bits of Middle Earth. And this works really well. The tone of the film is, as with the book, very much lighter than LOTR, but there's also a consistency with the earlier films, as new scenes such as the White Council or Radagast's discovery introduce story elements that become major factors 60 years later. And for a three hour film that covers a short segment of a smallish book, the film rattles along at an incredible pace. Others may disagree, but there's no filler here.

With bringing characters into the Hobbit film that never appeared in the books, Peter Jackson has provided himself with a number of problems. One is that An Unexpected Journey now has almost as many principal characters as the entire LOTR trilogy did. Trying to flesh them all out sounded like it would be an impossible task within the time constraints of the film and, as it happens it was an impossible task. With two films to go and even more characters to make their presence, it will be interesting to see if those that suffer in this first film will have their characterisation problems rectified. But even so, there's so much to enjoy from all the performers and the principal characters are given more than enough presence on screen.

It's the dwarves that suffer the most but a few do stand out. And for me greatest on screen is Balin. Oh, damn you Ken Stott for making Balin so likeable. You've just given me one more reason to cry when watching the Fellowship. It's a lovely performance and whether he's head-butting his brother in greeting or telling the group about Thorin's past, Stott is perfect in the role.

As the leader of the merry band of dwarves, Richard Armitage was not my first choice. I doubt he would have been in my top 100 candidates for the role. But he acquits himself well and was certainly better than in any of the TV shows I've seen him in. Thus far, Thorin as written for the screen shows some of the biggest changes of any Hobbit character from the book and Armitage does well in making the somewhat one-note book Thorin into a headstrong, proud, judgemental, noble and loyal heroic figure. These are great changes. When Balin recounts Thorin's battle with Azog and the loss suffered, it's obvious that this is a deeply personal mission about getting their homeland back, not just a quest for some gold. Comparisons with Aragorn are unfair on a specific level but perhaps justified overall. Jackson and the crew changed Aragorn to make him a flawed hero and a grand arc spanning three films, and it looks like Thorin is getting the same treatment. His desire to reclaim Erebor is as much a part of Thorin as the desire to overcome his troubled ancestry was a part of Aragorn.

Apart from the film itself, one of the things I was most looking forward to about the return to Middle Earth was Ian McKellen as Gandalf. As the wizard, both grey and white, McKellen in LOTR gives my second favourite performance of all time. He's superb in the role and I'm happy to say that a decade without his staff and robes has not lessened his performance. He still has that loveable twinkle in his eye, a slightly mischievous nature and an awe-inspiring command of the screen. I seriously wanted to stand up and cheer when he appeared at Bag End.

And speaking of Bag End, what about its inhabitant? I loved Ian Holm as an elderly Bilbo so whoever was cast as Bilbo the younger had a lot to live up to and thankfully Martin Freeman lives up to it well. I've not see him in all that much besides Sherlock, in which he's admittedly great but I was still a bit worried. I needn't have been because he's another perfect casting choice and it's easy to see why the whole shooting schedule was changed to accommodate him. Superb comic timing, the ability to convey an everyman sense of wonder but also excellent during the serious moments. Witness the pivotal scene in which he struggles with whether or not to kill Gollum. It's a sequence that plays right into one of Fellowship’s most heartfelt moments and it had to be perfect and Freeman in on excellent form. Overall he manages to both make the role his own and also be believable when compared to Ian Holm's take. In LOTR, it's easy to believe that Holm and McKellen are playing very old friends. In the Hobbit, it's easy to see Freeman and McKellen as forming a long lasting friendship.

After Bilbo and Gandalf, the other Rings character that had to return was, of course, Gollum An undeniable highlight of the LOTR trilogy, Gollum was a ground-breaking piece of CGI centred on a phenomenal performance from Andy Serkis. The return of both character and actor was always going to be good and the scene in which Gollum appears generally seems to be one of the most popular in this film. As well it should be. As you'd expect, Gollum looks even better than last time and Serkis is just as grand in the role. The stress and confusion in his face when he can't answer a riddle, or realises he's lost the rings is astounding. It's a better performance than most actors will ever give. There's humour; with Gollum answering his own question and telling himself to shut up, and horror; the evil grin as Gollum informs Bilbo how many teeth he has. It's a stunning scene, rivalling any moment with the character in LOTR.


A number of other character from the LOTR trilogy turn up in the Hobbit despite being absent from the book. There is justification for all to be there though and it's nice to see the subtle difference in performance from the actors. Hugo Weaving's Elrond is a noticeably more cheery person. His daughter isn't yet considering suicide, his kin aren't buggering off for parts unknown and Middle Earth isn't falling to wrack and ruin. It's nice to see him like this. Cate Blanchett as Galadriel ends up being just as mystical, beguiling and mysterious as before, but there's a very slight playful side to her here, especially when she's silently communicating with Gandalf, and I love their finale scene together.

It's rare to see Gandalf in awe, and she in return is treating him with the respect he deserves but doesn't seem to always get. Especially from Saruman. It's always good to see Christopher Lee, and I like how, much as in LOTR, it doesn't take him very long at all to start admonishing Gandalf. Lastly we have Elijah Wood as Frodo. Taking a break from seeing imaginary dogs, Wood's return adds very little but does help give is a nice second prologue to the film.

Of the rest of the cast it's McCoy's Radagast that makes the biggest impression. At one with nature, seemingly started at every turn and with amazing poo-filled bird's nest for hair, he's a jovial sort and a character I hope reappears in the next two films. Of the remaining dwarves, James Nesbitt as Bofur and Aidan Turner's Kili probably have the most to do and they do it quite well, with Nesbitt in particular sharing a lovely scene with Martin Freeman

What else. Ah, the music! Howard Shore's score for the LOTR trilogy is, for me, the finest film music of all time. It's close to being the best music of any kind of all time. So the news that he was returning as composer for The Hobbit was very much a cause for celebration. There was cake and hats and everything. And such levity was obviously deserved, because Shore has once again excelled. Now admittedly I have only heard the score once, in the film (compared to what must literally be months of time with the LOTR scores blasting into my ears) so as of yet I'm not fully aware of all the themes that are revisited from Rings and all the news ones that emerged for the first time but even so, it was an amazing listen. Genuine shiver down the spine moments occurred when we heard the theme for The Shire, nature, Rivendell; the One Ring etc. (though it could be argued there are a few too many moments that utilise music from LOTR. More on that later). The main new theme, that for the dwarves, is easily a rival to the big three themes from Rings and the integration of the choir into the score is second to none. I'm eagerly awaiting the soundtrack release, I can't wait to give it a proper listen.

Way back in 2001, Brian Sibley released a book about the making of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. He recently released a book about the Making of the first Hobbit film. One presumes that two other making of books will follow. Another recently released book is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles: Art and Design. Written by Daniel Falconer, A Weta man who worked on LOTR it’s the first in a series of books about the look and design of the films. And then of course we (hopefully) have the superb documentaries that will accompany the DVD release. What’s all this got to do with anything? Well, this means there’s going to an awful lot of behind the scenes information regarding the new trilogy and this this is most welcome news for folk (me!) who love the look and the character and the world LOTR and The Hobbit 1. Because the recreation of Middle Earth for the second time in a decade is just as stunning to behold as it was the first time. As before entire realms have been meticulously crafted with as much care and attention as an individual character’s costume. Not since Rings can I recall being placed so utterly within the world of the film by the detail of that world as presented. And whilst in the great scheme of story and character such an endeavour is perhaps lower down the scale, it’s still of vital importance. No matter how fleshed out the characters are, if the world they exist in doesn’t ring true, something will always be amiss. Even if you don’t pick up on 90% of the detail, it just feels right. When I wrote my LOTR thread a few years ago I said “I once read regarding LOTR that the films would provide the same impact had all the cast been dressed in jeans and it had been filmed Dogville-style” I doubted that that was true and I doubt the Hobbit would work as well in such a fashion either. Even after 10 years and close to 50 viewings of each film, I’m still picking up details in LOTR. I’d love to be able have the same scenario play out with An Unexpected Journey and I think that will happen.

A few years ago there was a poll on Empire to find the most visually impressive films of all time. All three LOTR films appeared near the top, FOTR deservedly reaching number one. I do believe that were a similar poll to run in the future then An Unexpected Journey would feature highly. Much has been made of the 3D and the decision to shoot at a higher frame rate and that both if these contribute to a poor visual experience. I honestly can't say what they looked like (although I can imagine what the 3D was like) but in glorious 2d, 24 fps the film was gorgeous to behold. Andrew Lesnie, back on duties as cinematographer, once again lights up the screen with the splendours of Middle Earth. Whether it be the lush greenery of Hobbiton, the sweeping beautiful vistas of Middle Earth/New Zealand, gigantic CGI rocks beating the crap out of one another or a return to the spectacular conglomeration of sets, models and CGI that make the ethereal Rivendell, no longer in the autumn of its life, the film is a visual treat. Add to this some of fantastic camera moves - the swirling, sweeping overhead shots motion during the battle with the goblins is spectacular - and you have a film that's every bit as astounding to watch as it's three predecessors.

There's lots of other good stuff and far too much to mention in any one review. The dwarves singing of the Misty Mountains, the fantastic prologue detailing the trials of Erebor, the little glimpses of Smaug, the gobsmacking beautiful costumes and jewellery, the discovery of the swords (I have a Sting, I almost had a Glamdring and I really want an Orcrist). the foreshadowing of the Nazgul's return etc. All very good.

It's not all great though.

The film isn't perfect. As mentioned before a good few dwarves get short changed and barely register. After a good introduction, Dwalin is all but forgotten about. Does Bombur even speak? Some of the CGI is very shonky indeed. I loved the idea of sled bunnies, but they don't look great. The wargs still suffer. Indeed, one of my few hopes when Del Toro was in charge of these films was the promise of rebooted Wargs. The decision to go CGI for a great number of orcs and goblins is an odd choice when you consider the astounding work that the makeup and prosthetics department did in LOTR. Maybe they had too much work to do with 13 dwarves, who knows? And there's a spectacularly odd musical decision made near the end of the film when the music for the Nazgul, not present at all in the film, is used for pivotal heroic scene. For a casual listener it may not be a problem but for someone damn near obsessed with the music for LOTR it sticks out like a sore thumb. But these are all generally little, niggly cosmetic things, and not one of them really takes away from the bigger picture. And it's the big picture that works.


Overall

Like I say, it' not perfect. No film is, not even my beloved LOTR. But it flew by in a massively entertaining, enthralling and, at times, emotional fashion. It's not the same as LOTR but it would seem churlish to criticise this film for that. At the same time it would feel wrong to criticise it for the way it tries to link itself to the previous films because it's done it so well, bridging the gap between the childhood novel of the Hobbit to the epic doom and gloom of Jackson's films. All the parts come together to create a magnificent whole, a whole that desperately leaves me wanting more in a way I haven't really felt since I saw The Two Towers 10 years ago. And I could never have really asked for anything more than that.

< Message edited by Gimli The Dwarf -- 19/12/2012 6:58:54 AM >


_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 2023
RE: Mini Reviews - 23/1/2013 5:35:25 PM   
wgamador


Posts: 20320
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

It's been far too long since we've had a review in here but I couldn't not do one for this, could I?




It's been 9 long years since Return of the King and during that time LOTR has, it's fair to say, become a very important part of my life. Exactly how I can't quite describe, I just know that I'm better for it. So a return to Middle Earth was always going to be something to look forward to. But with all the legal and production problems that have set the Hobbit back a considerable number of years, there was every chance that Jackson could have fumbled this second trip to Tolkien and Lucased the precursor story. I'm happy to say that he hasn't.


Here's the good stuff


With LOTR, Jackson Walsh and Boyens did a rather nifty job of condensing the plot into just the story points that dealt with Frodo's quest. Diversions to Gondor, Rohan and Fangorn all dealt, indirectly or not, with the destruction of The One Ring. Possibly the only straying from this path was in the Aragorn and Arwen romance. With The Hobbit, a rather slender tome is now being turned into three epic films and this has been a cause for concern by many. What material exactly would be included? How much would the story be changed to accommodate this extra material? The story of Bilbo and his adventures is, based on An Unexpected Journey, not quite so focussed as Frodo's quest but it still is telling one concise story. It's not quite The Hobbit as we know, it's more The Hobbit and added extra bits of Middle Earth. And this works really well. The tone of the film is, as with the book, very much lighter than LOTR, but there's also a consistency with the earlier films, as new scenes such as the White Council or Radagast's discovery introduce story elements that become major factors 60 years later. And for a three hour film that covers a short segment of a smallish book, the film rattles along at an incredible pace. Others may disagree, but there's no filler here.

With bringing characters into the Hobbit film that never appeared in the books, Peter Jackson has provided himself with a number of problems. One is that An Unexpected Journey now has almost as many principal characters as the entire LOTR trilogy did. Trying to flesh them all out sounded like it would be an impossible task within the time constraints of the film and, as it happens it was an impossible task. With two films to go and even more characters to make their presence, it will be interesting to see if those that suffer in this first film will have their characterisation problems rectified. But even so, there's so much to enjoy from all the performers and the principal characters are given more than enough presence on screen.

It's the dwarves that suffer the most but a few do stand out. And for me greatest on screen is Balin. Oh, damn you Ken Stott for making Balin so likeable. You've just given me one more reason to cry when watching the Fellowship. It's a lovely performance and whether he's head-butting his brother in greeting or telling the group about Thorin's past, Stott is perfect in the role.

As the leader of the merry band of dwarves, Richard Armitage was not my first choice. I doubt he would have been in my top 100 candidates for the role. But he acquits himself well and was certainly better than in any of the TV shows I've seen him in. Thus far, Thorin as written for the screen shows some of the biggest changes of any Hobbit character from the book and Armitage does well in making the somewhat one-note book Thorin into a headstrong, proud, judgemental, noble and loyal heroic figure. These are great changes. When Balin recounts Thorin's battle with Azog and the loss suffered, it's obvious that this is a deeply personal mission about getting their homeland back, not just a quest for some gold. Comparisons with Aragorn are unfair on a specific level but perhaps justified overall. Jackson and the crew changed Aragorn to make him a flawed hero and a grand arc spanning three films, and it looks like Thorin is getting the same treatment. His desire to reclaim Erebor is as much a part of Thorin as the desire to overcome his troubled ancestry was a part of Aragorn.

Apart from the film itself, one of the things I was most looking forward to about the return to Middle Earth was Ian McKellen as Gandalf. As the wizard, both grey and white, McKellen in LOTR gives my second favourite performance of all time. He's superb in the role and I'm happy to say that a decade without his staff and robes has not lessened his performance. He still has that loveable twinkle in his eye, a slightly mischievous nature and an awe-inspiring command of the screen. I seriously wanted to stand up and cheer when he appeared at Bag End.

And speaking of Bag End, what about its inhabitant? I loved Ian Holm as an elderly Bilbo so whoever was cast as Bilbo the younger had a lot to live up to and thankfully Martin Freeman lives up to it well. I've not see him in all that much besides Sherlock, in which he's admittedly great but I was still a bit worried. I needn't have been because he's another perfect casting choice and it's easy to see why the whole shooting schedule was changed to accommodate him. Superb comic timing, the ability to convey an everyman sense of wonder but also excellent during the serious moments. Witness the pivotal scene in which he struggles with whether or not to kill Gollum. It's a sequence that plays right into one of Fellowship’s most heartfelt moments and it had to be perfect and Freeman in on excellent form. Overall he manages to both make the role his own and also be believable when compared to Ian Holm's take. In LOTR, it's easy to believe that Holm and McKellen are playing very old friends. In the Hobbit, it's easy to see Freeman and McKellen as forming a long lasting friendship.

After Bilbo and Gandalf, the other Rings character that had to return was, of course, Gollum An undeniable highlight of the LOTR trilogy, Gollum was a ground-breaking piece of CGI centred on a phenomenal performance from Andy Serkis. The return of both character and actor was always going to be good and the scene in which Gollum appears generally seems to be one of the most popular in this film. As well it should be. As you'd expect, Gollum looks even better than last time and Serkis is just as grand in the role. The stress and confusion in his face when he can't answer a riddle, or realises he's lost the rings is astounding. It's a better performance than most actors will ever give. There's humour; with Gollum answering his own question and telling himself to shut up, and horror; the evil grin as Gollum informs Bilbo how many teeth he has. It's a stunning scene, rivalling any moment with the character in LOTR.


A number of other character from the LOTR trilogy turn up in the Hobbit despite being absent from the book. There is justification for all to be there though and it's nice to see the subtle difference in performance from the actors. Hugo Weaving's Elrond is a noticeably more cheery person. His daughter isn't yet considering suicide, his kin aren't buggering off for parts unknown and Middle Earth isn't falling to wrack and ruin. It's nice to see him like this. Cate Blanchett as Galadriel ends up being just as mystical, beguiling and mysterious as before, but there's a very slight playful side to her here, especially when she's silently communicating with Gandalf, and I love their finale scene together.

It's rare to see Gandalf in awe, and she in return is treating him with the respect he deserves but doesn't seem to always get. Especially from Saruman. It's always good to see Christopher Lee, and I like how, much as in LOTR, it doesn't take him very long at all to start admonishing Gandalf. Lastly we have Elijah Wood as Frodo. Taking a break from seeing imaginary dogs, Wood's return adds very little but does help give is a nice second prologue to the film.

Of the rest of the cast it's McCoy's Radagast that makes the biggest impression. At one with nature, seemingly started at every turn and with amazing poo-filled bird's nest for hair, he's a jovial sort and a character I hope reappears in the next two films. Of the remaining dwarves, James Nesbitt as Bofur and Aidan Turner's Kili probably have the most to do and they do it quite well, with Nesbitt in particular sharing a lovely scene with Martin Freeman

What else. Ah, the music! Howard Shore's score for the LOTR trilogy is, for me, the finest film music of all time. It's close to being the best music of any kind of all time. So the news that he was returning as composer for The Hobbit was very much a cause for celebration. There was cake and hats and everything. And such levity was obviously deserved, because Shore has once again excelled. Now admittedly I have only heard the score once, in the film (compared to what must literally be months of time with the LOTR scores blasting into my ears) so as of yet I'm not fully aware of all the themes that are revisited from Rings and all the news ones that emerged for the first time but even so, it was an amazing listen. Genuine shiver down the spine moments occurred when we heard the theme for The Shire, nature, Rivendell; the One Ring etc. (though it could be argued there are a few too many moments that utilise music from LOTR. More on that later). The main new theme, that for the dwarves, is easily a rival to the big three themes from Rings and the integration of the choir into the score is second to none. I'm eagerly awaiting the soundtrack release, I can't wait to give it a proper listen.

Way back in 2001, Brian Sibley released a book about the making of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. He recently released a book about the Making of the first Hobbit film. One presumes that two other making of books will follow. Another recently released book is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles: Art and Design. Written by Daniel Falconer, A Weta man who worked on LOTR it’s the first in a series of books about the look and design of the films. And then of course we (hopefully) have the superb documentaries that will accompany the DVD release. What’s all this got to do with anything? Well, this means there’s going to an awful lot of behind the scenes information regarding the new trilogy and this this is most welcome news for folk (me!) who love the look and the character and the world LOTR and The Hobbit 1. Because the recreation of Middle Earth for the second time in a decade is just as stunning to behold as it was the first time. As before entire realms have been meticulously crafted with as much care and attention as an individual character’s costume. Not since Rings can I recall being placed so utterly within the world of the film by the detail of that world as presented. And whilst in the great scheme of story and character such an endeavour is perhaps lower down the scale, it’s still of vital importance. No matter how fleshed out the characters are, if the world they exist in doesn’t ring true, something will always be amiss. Even if you don’t pick up on 90% of the detail, it just feels right. When I wrote my LOTR thread a few years ago I said “I once read regarding LOTR that the films would provide the same impact had all the cast been dressed in jeans and it had been filmed Dogville-style” I doubted that that was true and I doubt the Hobbit would work as well in such a fashion either. Even after 10 years and close to 50 viewings of each film, I’m still picking up details in LOTR. I’d love to be able have the same scenario play out with An Unexpected Journey and I think that will happen.

A few years ago there was a poll on Empire to find the most visually impressive films of all time. All three LOTR films appeared near the top, FOTR deservedly reaching number one. I do believe that were a similar poll to run in the future then An Unexpected Journey would feature highly. Much has been made of the 3D and the decision to shoot at a higher frame rate and that both if these contribute to a poor visual experience. I honestly can't say what they looked like (although I can imagine what the 3D was like) but in glorious 2d, 24 fps the film was gorgeous to behold. Andrew Lesnie, back on duties as cinematographer, once again lights up the screen with the splendours of Middle Earth. Whether it be the lush greenery of Hobbiton, the sweeping beautiful vistas of Middle Earth/New Zealand, gigantic CGI rocks beating the crap out of one another or a return to the spectacular conglomeration of sets, models and CGI that make the ethereal Rivendell, no longer in the autumn of its life, the film is a visual treat. Add to this some of fantastic camera moves - the swirling, sweeping overhead shots motion during the battle with the goblins is spectacular - and you have a film that's every bit as astounding to watch as it's three predecessors.

There's lots of other good stuff and far too much to mention in any one review. The dwarves singing of the Misty Mountains, the fantastic prologue detailing the trials of Erebor, the little glimpses of Smaug, the gobsmacking beautiful costumes and jewellery, the discovery of the swords (I have a Sting, I almost had a Glamdring and I really want an Orcrist). the foreshadowing of the Nazgul's return etc. All very good.

It's not all great though.

The film isn't perfect. As mentioned before a good few dwarves get short changed and barely register. After a good introduction, Dwalin is all but forgotten about. Does Bombur even speak? Some of the CGI is very shonky indeed. I loved the idea of sled bunnies, but they don't look great. The wargs still suffer. Indeed, one of my few hopes when Del Toro was in charge of these films was the promise of rebooted Wargs. The decision to go CGI for a great number of orcs and goblins is an odd choice when you consider the astounding work that the makeup and prosthetics department did in LOTR. Maybe they had too much work to do with 13 dwarves, who knows? And there's a spectacularly odd musical decision made near the end of the film when the music for the Nazgul, not present at all in the film, is used for pivotal heroic scene. For a casual listener it may not be a problem but for someone damn near obsessed with the music for LOTR it sticks out like a sore thumb. But these are all generally little, niggly cosmetic things, and not one of them really takes away from the bigger picture. And it's the big picture that works.


Overall

Like I say, it' not perfect. No film is, not even my beloved LOTR. But it flew by in a massively entertaining, enthralling and, at times, emotional fashion. It's not the same as LOTR but it would seem churlish to criticise this film for that. At the same time it would feel wrong to criticise it for the way it tries to link itself to the previous films because it's done it so well, bridging the gap between the childhood novel of the Hobbit to the epic doom and gloom of Jackson's films. All the parts come together to create a magnificent whole, a whole that desperately leaves me wanting more in a way I haven't really felt since I saw The Two Towers 10 years ago. And I could never have really asked for anything more than that.



REVIEW OF THE MONTH!!


Gimli and all of you---- thanks for keeping my little humble thread alive.

Would all you old friends please send me an invite to my Facebook please, you can find me at Real Walter Amador.....Thanks. Id love to add you all as friends.
No doubt about it.

Thanks!


_____________________________

"And as he, who with laboring breath has escaped from the deep
to the shore, turns to the perilous waters and gazes..."



(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 2024
RE: Mini Reviews - 23/1/2013 6:05:13 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
WAGS!

You back for good?

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to wgamador)
Post #: 2025
RE: Mini Reviews - 23/1/2013 6:59:43 PM   
wgamador


Posts: 20320
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

WAGS!

You back for good?



You know...I think im never leaving again. I forgot how much time i had spent in here before and how much i really really miss it.


_____________________________

"And as he, who with laboring breath has escaped from the deep
to the shore, turns to the perilous waters and gazes..."



(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 2026
RE: Mini Reviews - 23/1/2013 7:05:05 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Good to hear!

Now if only we can persuade some more people to come back!

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to wgamador)
Post #: 2027
RE: Mini Reviews - 23/1/2013 8:17:02 PM   
wgamador


Posts: 20320
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

Good to hear!

Now if only we can persuade some more people to come back!



Who else is missing?


_____________________________

"And as he, who with laboring breath has escaped from the deep
to the shore, turns to the perilous waters and gazes..."



(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 2028
RE: Mini Reviews - 24/1/2013 6:01:23 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
From the old days, almost everyone. UncleJun, Maddy, Silverado, jeanne Emogeek, Peppermint, Jessica, Sikurina, WilliamMunny, Jediwarrior, bubs, . The list goes on...

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to wgamador)
Post #: 2029
RE: Mini Reviews - 20/9/2013 1:44:38 PM   
Bloke from Oz

 

Posts: 5255
Joined: 6/12/2006
WARNING: PROBABLE SPOILERS.

DO NOT READ if you have not seen the film being reviewed, but wish to do so.



WHITE HOUSE DOWN (2013)

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

An action film, released in 2013, focused on the story of a group of armed militants who take over the White House, and leaving a specially-skilled hero to save the life of the U.S. President, and the day? Does all of this sound familiar to anyone?

Hot on the heels of Olympus Has Fallen comes White House Down, the second of two films released in the same calendar year, which are almost identical in every way. (To be fair, I haven't seen Olympus Has Fallen, but it wouldn't surprise me if both films are virtual carbon copies of each other.)

In recent years, Roland Emmerich has been labelled cinema's "Master of Disaster", helming films such as Independence Day, Godzilla and The Day After Tomorrow. Here, he once again exercises the opportunity to trash the White House, and in spectacular style. The film is a mash-up of Die Hard and Under Siege 2, with a liberal serving of "24" thrown in for good measure.

John Cale (Channing Tatum), a policeman working in Washington, D.C., - charged with protecting the U.S. Speaker of the House (Richard Jenkins) - has aspirations of joining the Secret Service, because he can't imagine a more important job than protecting the U.S. President, James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). So one day, his boss arranges for Cale and his precocious pre-teen daughter, Emily (Joey King) to visit the White House for an interview; they even have passes for a tour of the residence. Cale unfortunately fails the interview, but he and Emily stay on for the tour. Lo and behold, a little later, the building is overtaken by an armed group of mercenaries.

Orchestrating the takeover is Walker (James Woods), Sawyer's Secret Service Director, and he's hired a private army of operatives who have been blacklisted by the U.S. Government. Walker's nefarious plans are to siphon off all the money in the U.S. Reserves into a personal account, and then launch the country's Weapons of Mass Destruction against the major cities all over the world, and lay all the blame on the Commander-in-Chief. Cale manages to escape and rescue Sawyer, and the two must work together to retake the Presidential dwelling.


WHAT'S GOOD:

-The film does actually deliver some entertaining action scenes and stunts.


WHAT'S BAD:

-Just about everything else (read details below).

If Michael Bay had directed this film, nobody could tell the difference. The film is big, loud, and (at well over 2 hours) overlong.

The film features much hardware. Machine guns, rocket launchers, hand grenades, military helicopters, fighter jets, long-range missiles, a nuclear submarine and a tank - this film is an adolescent boy's wet dream.

Emmerich wants to have his cake and eat it, too. He and his screenwriter include a verbal dig at Independence Day, and there is a very tongue-in-cheek tone throughout, which recalls True Lies. However, this does not really come off well. One moment we see Sawyer sporting white sneakers and toting an RPG; next Air Force Two/One crashes - it's a jarring moment in the film.


FINAL VERDICT:

Would I recommend White House Down? If you are not part of the film's target audience (13- to 25-year-old males), then the answer is no. This type of film has already been done, and many times before. Watch it only if you and some friends are bored and have got a free Saturday night. Otherwise, wait for the DVD/Blu Ray.

2.5/5

< Message edited by Bloke from Oz -- 20/9/2013 3:44:12 PM >


_____________________________

http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/1342/jamesbondsia6.jpg

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 2030
RE: Mini Reviews - 20/9/2013 3:23:50 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Haven't seen so won't read, but great to see a new review in here!


_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to Bloke from Oz)
Post #: 2031
RE: Mini Reviews - 22/9/2013 8:29:50 AM   
DJ Rob C: Mark II!


Posts: 34868
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Christmas town
If I had to do a new review, which would be cool... I would do WHD and probably give it 4 or 5... it ain't art, but damn it's fun! And not enough blockbusters manage to be as funny and entertaining as this was in their running time, it was nice to see a unashamed popcorn romp for a change... but fair play, you'll either have a romping time or just think it's silly...

I personally want to see it again

_____________________________

When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die

Third Highest Post Count on the Forum, sad but proud!

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 2032
RE: Mini Reviews - 17/2/2014 11:11:39 PM   
wgamador


Posts: 20320
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...
Wow. Thanks EmpireOnline for keeping this going....I have to remind myself not to forget this place....when I start writing again I will need these forums!!
Hope all my friends are doing great!!!!!!

_____________________________

"And as he, who with laboring breath has escaped from the deep
to the shore, turns to the perilous waters and gazes..."



(in reply to DJ Rob C: Mark II!)
Post #: 2033
RE: Mini Reviews - 18/2/2014 1:23:49 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77049
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Hey, Wags! Good to see you again! I keep meaning to write more reviews for this place.

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to wgamador)
Post #: 2034
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