Monday, January 21, 2013

Review - "The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey"

I came into this movie never having read the novel, so keep that in mind. I will start with the running time....2hrs 45 mins. Didn't need to be that long. Director Peter Jackson has a tendency to draw things out, sometimes longer than they need to be (“King Kong” anyone? Even though I liked his take on it, was too long) and in this case, it wasn't needed, in my opinion. Now let me clarify that statement by saying I was never bored the entire run of the movie, it just felt like things could have been tightened up a bit.

On to the actual movie....highly entertaining. Like most, I couldn't remember the names of all 13 of the Dwarves, but I didn't need to , they were all distinct enough that I could always tell who was who. Obviously the focus was only going to be on a few of the Dwarves, and it seems like a few kinda got lost in the shuffle. But with that many characters to juggle, it's bound to happen. It was a slow build up to things actually getting moving, but it kept my attention, which is most important. There was a lot of humor, the action was fun and easy to follow, thanks for no shaky cam Mr Jackson.

From what I understand, the Radghast The Brown character was made for the movie and not part of the original story. While I didn't mind the character, and thought he was well done, I haven't decided if he was actually necessary to add to the movie.I felt that his whole purpose was to introduce this Necromancer character, which we never see, and I felt like they could have at least given us a glimpse of the character. I was also a little disappointed we didn't get to see more of Smaug the Dragon, we barely see him in the beginning and a tiny glimpse later on. It feels like they are saving things for the next two movies. I feel like they could have taken the material from three movies to make two leaner movies.

Despite my criticisms, I overall enjoyed the movie very much, heck I even teared up at one point thanks to a very touching scene. The visual effects were well done. I loved the Goblin city sequence, and the stone giant scene was also very good, and the Trolls were really funny, I loved that scene as well. The ending was tense and exciting. The musical score was also excellent. Performances were good all around...Martin Freeman as Bilbo was just great, he had the presence that the character demanded. Ian McKellen was his usual great self, and Andy Serkis brings Gollum to glorious life again, save for some unintelligible dialogue. Nice to see Hugo Weaving and Christopher Lee in there as well. I definitely want to see the next two movies, I just wish they hadn't felt the need to stretch this tale out over three movies. Regardless, a solid effort all around.

Review - "Zero Dark Thirty"

Well it's been a long time since I did anything on this blog, (almost 3 years? Wth!) but I decided to get it going again, and I am gonna start off with a few short reviews of some movies I have recently seen. I will also be posting my Best of 2012, once I decide what exactly they are, So until then, here we go...

In a word....excellent. Director Kathryn Bigelow manages to create tension in a situation where you know the eventual outcome. Especially during the raid on Bin Laden's compound at the end. Performances were solid all around, Jessica Chastain was excellent as the agent determined to see this thru no matter what. While there are not many likable characters in the movie, you can see why they are the way they are from all they have gone thru to complete the difficult task they set out on. Jason Clarke was also excellent, as he is able to show the toll it takes on a person who is frustrated and tired, it was obvious that torturing suspects was getting to him, and it made me understand more about what it does to not only the one getting tortured, but the one giving it.

The action was tense and not stylized, not made to be the usual overblown Hollywood action sequences, they were realistic and well played out, the end raid really felt like you were following real soldiers into the situation....even though I have never done that, I got the sense from the sequence that it would be just like that.

There has been talk about if this was a true accurate account of what happened, but when the movie starts off with "Based on a true story" You KNOW it's probably not going to be 100% accurate. It's doesn't matter in this case, from what I know it is fairly accurate, and even if it isn't as factual as it claims, it is one hell of an entertaining movie, one I recommend highly.