100 movies: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (13/12/12)

A curious Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, journeys to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of Dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.

The Hobbit was one of my most anticipated films of the year at the beginning of the year. With a whole year to wait, the anticipation and excitement was only going to rise. And it did. With every production diary video I watched, the more impatient I got. December rolled around and tickets were booked as soon as they were available. Though… in boring old 2D.

While I’m all for pushing the boundaries with technology and all that new stuff, I’m fairly old-fashioned with my cinema viewing. I don’t want to have to wear anything on my face. I don’t want to be told where to look. I just want to enjoy the story and film making.

So this is a non-HFR, non-3D review of The Hobbit.

What of The Hobbit? Well, in a nutshell, I enjoyed it. It was a welcome return to Middle Earth. It felt like going back to an old TV show and already knowing what to expect. But in a good way. That nice familiar feeling watching the camera roll around Hobbiton. It felt like home!

Howard Shore’s score made it all the more familiar with themes from The Fellowship of the Ring creeping in every now and then. I really loved Over the Misty Mountains Cold. Really beautiful bit of music. Solid score. I expected nothing less.

The characters were all brought to life brilliantly. Young Bilbo was a bit more sullen than I expected. Gandalf was as I remembered him. Exactly how I wanted it. Gollum – wow. Sure he was only onscreen for a short amount of time, but he lit up the screen. Loved the riddle scene so very much.

The dwarves were all brilliant, but they came off as more comic relief than anything else. Which was a shame. While watching this troop I couldn’t help but compare to the Fellowship and how they were all such individual characters and, yes at times, comic relief, but they had purpose. The dwarves all blended together a bit for me. Which was a shame.

I’m amazed that from this one film we have only got a portion of The Hobbit. The good sort of amazed. There’s a lot of Middle Earth history, which I appreciate and look forward to seeing more of. I’m not sure how successfully it was intertwined with the story of The Hobbit. I think LOTR did a better job with their pre-title prologues.

The set pieces of the film let me down a little. Not visually. But just that there were quite a few of them. Lots of fighting. Not in the spirit of the book. But guess they have to cater to the mass cinema going audiences.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed The Hobbit. Probably more so because I saw it in 2D. It’s a welcome return to Middle Earth, but it’s not on par with The Lord of the Rings for me. So far. It lacked the heart of Fellowship but hoping that will change with the next two installments.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

100 movies: The Lovely Bones

100 movies of 2012

Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

The Lovely BonesThe Lovely Bones (05/06/12)

Centres on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family – and her killer – from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.

Well this film made me cry. Thankfully I was alone while watching so no one could see my face go completely ugly. I don’t think I’m one of those fortunate enough to be classed as a pretty cryer.

I though The Lovely Bones was a touching little story about a girl trying to deal with her own death and try to cope with watching her family move on with their lives. Or rather, not move on, in the beginning. Saoirse Ronan carries the emotional baggage of this film very well. She’s a rather talented young actress! Stanley Tucci’s creep-tastic George Harvey was exactly that. Though, seriously, he looks like what a psycho killer would look like so why not suspect him more in the beginning! Film logic?

The dream sequences of that space between Earth and heaven were beautiful. Really stunningly done.

I understand that there was a lot of backlash against this film when it was released as it isn’t a patch on the book. Or so I’ve read. I am intrigued about the book after seeing the film. Might even check it out. Though having not read the book I obviously can’t compare. So from just a film viewers perspective, I rather liked this film.

One of my favourite moments was when Rose McIver’s character, Lindsey, was rifling through George Harvey’s house. I could feel the tension!

Overall, not a jaw dropping film. Mildly enjoyable. With a rather emotional ending.

Oh and Mark Wahlberg’s hair? Is he not allowed to have anything but totally dire hairstyles in the films he’s in?
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

120+ movies: The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

120+ Movies of 2011, Annual Movie Challenge

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the UnicornThe Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (27/10/11)

Tintin and Captain Haddock set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Haddock’s ancestor. But someone else is in search of the ship.

This was the kind of film I was hoping the last Indiana Jones was going to be. It’s fun. It’s not just for kids. And it’s fun. Though one irk to get out of the way – I don’t understand in the point of doing an animated feature if the point of your animation is to make it as realistic as using people. Why not just use people and live action! Answers on a postcard please!

Minus my little irk, I really enjoyed the film. There was a father sitting near me who kept telling his children, who didn’t seem to care, that it was exactly like the old comics and cartoon. He couldn’t stop telling them how much it was like he hoped it would be!

All the voice talent was spot on. Most of the time I couldn’t tell the difference between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost! Jamie Bell’s voice was almost unrecognisable as Tintin. He did good!

The story was a simple one, but it didn’t need to be anything more than it was. There wasn’t anything unexpected. There didn’t need to be. There’s enough character in the characters and a few laugh out loud lines. Or at least moments that will deserve a snort.

Go and see it. Not in 3D. I think I might be blind to 3D. Barring a few moments of floaty dust and swords protruding, I just didn’t see the 3D!

One last thing – the opening sequence is beautiful. John Williams score and some gorgeous animation. Yes, it’s a bit Catch Me If You Can, but it’s still a wonderful opening title sequence.
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far: