I'd been a bit wary after reading some of the reviews that are floating around... a lot seem to focus on:
- The length and whether it had been padded out
- Some of the liberties that Peter Jackson had taken with the plot.
- The way the film had been shot using different frame rates and the use of 3D
- The inclusion of assorted songs
- Radagast the Brown and his rabbit powered sledge
So... given all of the above I was a bit hesitant about whether it was going to be the success I was hoping for. I must admit however all my expectations were met and more.
The tone of the film feels quite different to the LotR films... it would be wrong to describe it as more child friendly but there was a lighter tone in places. It was nice to see Ian Holm reprising 'old Bilbo' and Martin Freeman was a natural in the main role. Other casting seems to have paid off well... the dwarves are distinctive enough that they were distinguishable as separate characters even though most didn't have much in the way of dialogue apart from Thorin and Balin. Richard Armitage captured Thorin's grumpiness well and to be honest most things with Ken Stott [Balin] in are guaranteed to be good!
|Rebus... sorry... Balin|
I thought the use of songs was excellent and suited the tone of the film... but then I was one of the few that missed Tom Bombadil from the LotR films :) Loved the Neil Finn song at the end too.
The addition of storylines from the LotR appendices and notes down the back of JRRTs sofa fitted well into the film and didn't feel like extra padding... yes, there were odd changes to the plot but nothing that I couldn't live with.
The frame rate and 3D had reportedly not worked well for some people but I didn't find it intrusive or experience the nausea that some had.
And then there was Radagast... birds nesting in his hair... little hedgehog friends...eating too many 'special' mushrooms... and the rabbits....
I thought he was a fantastic addition to the storyline... I've always though Sylvester McCoy a great actor anyway, and always had a soft spot for Radagast from the brief mentions he gets in the books, and he was played perfectly...even with the bunnies!
|Radagast the Brown|
So, overall I was hugely impressed and mightily relieved. A big success!!!
Note... none of the above has convinced me to shell out £75 on Games Workshop's latest Hobbit offering however! And definitely not £50 on a rule book that I'm guessing will be very like their LotR books. All of which makes me very grumpy....
Mind you... some of those miniatures do look nice..... now if they produce a Sebastien the Hedgehog figure....