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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Hobbit Movie Second Time Around

The plan was for my friend Jasna and me to go see The Hobbit movie again, this time in luxury, without the kids. As it happened, I had a Hoyts movie gift voucher, so last week I turned up at the box office and bought our tickets for Director's Suite, the Hoyts version of Gold Class. And because it was 3D I had to pay for the glasses as well. I'm not a huge fan of 3D because most movies I have seen that way just use the system to do cute things like have monsters shoot out of the screen at you; the only film I thought used it properly was Hugo. Also, I wear glasses to watch films and ae acing to put the second pair on. But that was all that was on offer.

Yesterday poor Jasna rang me to say she had had an accident in her car, which was probably a write-off, and didn't feel up to coming along. I suspected she was in shock and told her so, begging her to see a doctor.

Meanwhile, I had to find someone else to come along. My old friend Tessie, a beta reader for Wolfborn, is having a birthday in two weeks - birthday gift problem solved!

We made it in time, despite Tessie's public transport problems, and seated ourselves in the comfy armchairs, with the help of a kindly waitress who brought our gourmet ice cream and showed us the buttons to get the chairs spread out.

And there it was, Hobbiton in 3D, and Bilbo Baggins finding himself overwhelmed with Dwarves with accents ranging from Yorkshire to Scottish, raiding his pantry ad throwing his dishes around, breaking none, of course, and no doubt quaffing somewhere in there. Well, you have to quaff if  you're a Dwarf, don't you? Unless you're a Terry Pratchett dwarf who hates quaffing and refuses to         do it. (Quaffing, as Pratchett says, being drinking but most of it never reaches your mouth.)

I enjoyed it just as much as the first time and thought about the 3D. It was used pretty well, I decided. There was the occasional gimmicky bit, and I admit I blinked when someone threw a burning pine cone at the screen. Otherwise, it was used to give the images more depth, as if it really was on the other side of a window instead of on a screen.

Again I spotted the Dwarf women, though Tessie missed it. I had better luck picking out individual Dwarves. The guy with the funny hat was Bofur. I heard Thorin asking him to do first watch by name. And I think that's nice, that the Dwarves do have individual personalities. I am guessing that this is because the actors must have had a workshop at some stage and knew who they were. When they have been interviewed they each talked about their characters. It's something Cecil B. DeMille used to do with his extras. Not the workshops, but he would insist that if you walked across the marketplace in one of his epics and he asked you to explain why, you could tell him. "I'm hurrying because I need to get my sandal fixed and go home to cook dinner for my little boy."

Interesting emphasis on the Dwarves having lost their home. Tolkien said once that the Dwarves were the Jews of Middle Earth, meaning language-wise, in that they had their own language, but spoke the language of wherever they were. But knowing that makes you look at the story differently.

There were things that never happened in the novel, but you could see why they had been put in and for me, at least, they worked, such as Azog the Orc. And this time I noticed that in the non-canonical scene where Thorin attacks him, he's carrying an oak branch, as when he was young and got his name Oakenshield. Nice touch, though the trees were pines!

Galadriel and Saruman weren't in The Hobbit, of course, but Saruman's manner suggested what he would become. I do hope that Galadriel will play more of a role in the  next film, because really, she didn't have much to do in this one except be terribly wise, and could have been left out, lovely as it   was to see her. But what-the-heck, she was Elrond's mother-in-law!

Sitting in that comfy armchair enabled me to feel more of the sweep of it all, with those gorgeous NZ landscapes and all I can say of the breathtaking music was "Damn you, Richard Wagner, for influencing all these film composers, with the leitmotifs and all!"

I am looking forward to seeing it again on the big screen before the DVD comes out. This time I will find the name for each Dwarf.

I am hoping to take out my nephew's litte girl, Rachel, tomorrow, and perhaps buying her a copy of the book of The Hobbit. She has shown an interest in this unlike her older sister, and will be seeing the movie with her Dad, so time to start the next generation of my family in love of Tolkien.


Katherine Langrish said...

We saw it on Monday and thoroughly enjoyed it, in 2D, but with subtitles which we hadn't realised and made it harder to engage with. Loved the Gollum riddles scene, and I like Martin Freeman's Bilbo. (I spotted the dwarf women too - and without beards!)

Sue Bursztynski said...

Agree that Martin Freeman was a wonderful Bilbo. Having seen him as Arthur Dent, another character who is dragged kicking and screaming from his comfort zone, I thought that he would do it well, right from the start. Yes, Tolkien actually SAID that the Dwarf women had beards! Silly man!;-)

Anonymous said...

Now that you've seen it twice, does that mean you went there, and back again?

Sue Bursztynski said...

Ouch! :-)