Thanks to a vey generous friend I was able to attend a preview of the new Hobbit movie today in Central London. What could be better than a free movie? How's about a free movie on a massive screen!
So there doesn't seem to be much point going over the plot as even if you haven't read the book (shame on you) then you can guess it involves Dwarves, Hobbits, Wizards and Orcs in a grand adventure.
Jackson and Co have done an amazing job with the 3D technology with barely any elements of the movie suffered from the blurring that can occur when fast action is shown in 3D.
The feel and aesthetic of the movie is pitch perfect for a Tolkien movie (as would be expected) as old friends return and unlike other franchises *cough* Star Wars *cough* the two trilogies will fit seamlessly together to feel like one amazingly epic story.
The songs included in the movie are kept to a minimum but really help to convey the mood and tone to the audience without feeling shoehorned in or ridiculous.
Golem is the most amazing CGI character I have ever seen in a movie. There are a couple of scenes during Bilbo's game of riddles with Golem where the character doesn't just look real but IS real. I'm a very harsh judge of CGI in movies, for example the Hulk in the Avengers was awesome but never made me think he was real. Golem in those scenes actually made me believe he was a living breathing creature. It could have been partly due to the 3D technology, which would be the only instance of it adding to my experience of the film (see the next section for my opinion on this) but there are many other characters which whilst being amazingly well animated clearly aren't real and not a patch on Golem. Andy Serkis deserves an Oscar for best supporting actor, they couldn't do it without his performance.
Things that made me go hmm:
I hate 3D movies. There I said it, I hate the way it separates out the characters from their environment (yeah I know that's the idea of making it 3D). In the movie I kept getting the feeling that the characters were popping out of the screen and becoming detached from the background. When this happened the characters seemed less realistic and lost the gritty fell that the Lord of The Rings films worked so hard to created. I look forward to seeing it again in 2D to see if this still happens when viewed on a 4k digital projection (which I don't think it will having just stopped typing to re-watch the trailer on apple tv).
Whilst the Lord of the rings was written as multiple instalments the Hobbit is combining multiple sources to help build the ground work for the Fellowship movie. This leaves the movie with familiar elements to the Fellowship, some may not mind this but I have seen two movies this year now (Amazing Spiderman is the other) that have left me feeling like I was watching a revised version of a film I loved the first time around.
Overall I really enjoyed the movie, though I feel the 2D version will be more enjoyable as a whole film the 3D was handled so well that for those that like 3D movies they will go bonkers for this film. It does suffer for being a part of a larger story but in the end it's the Hobbit, you just have to love it!