The Hobbit

Released on December 14, 2012 1 comment

Back in Junior High, our reading lists were dominated by Ian Fleming’s James Bond and Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe. (As well as page 27 of “The Godfather,” and the smutty Harold Robbins. We make no apologies.)

There was however another group of gawksters, split evenly between boys and girls, that migrated to the words of Arthur C. Clarke and J.R. Tolkien, the latter being the one who gave us “The Hobbit,” and all those other Lord of the Ring-a-dings. Admittedly, the middle of the earth series was not for boys like us, what with all those repugnant trolls marching around, and weirdos with names like Bilbo Bagkins, decked out like they were caught in some Dark Ages time warp.

The books however, were a huge going concern, and much like Harry Potter, the companion flicks have been one of the few things this silly town has actually gotten right. We say this having never seen one of the Rings or Potter tales. (A fact we’re snobbishly proud of.) Yet from everything we’ve been told by the hard-core faithful, director Peter Jackson has done the Tolkien tomes more than proud. They may be geeky, but people across the spectrum swear by Bilbo and his hideous buds.

Jackson has thrown a new element into “Hobbit,” using a double-shutter speed of 48 frames per second as compared to the normal 24. (How’s that for techno-geek?) From those who’ve seen it, the results are somewhat mixed. The daytime shots have made a few people dizzy, while the nocturnal scenes are said to be amazingly crisp. When we’d pass by a Blue Ray version in Best Buy, they looked pretty good to us, so we don’t know why he felt the need to amp up the production value. Then again, with so many hacks putting out crap that would be banned on YouTube, we applaud the man for the artistry. As the first three rings-dings made a few billion, Jackson can pretty much do what he wants.

We’d like to tell you what the story is about, but we’re middle earth tone deaf. We do know that Martin Freeman is the guy inhabiting Bilbo. Freeman’s known to us mostly as the humble but tough Dr. Watson in the updated Sherlock PBS series. We imagine he will more than satisfy the cult. (Hopefully Triumph The Comic Insult Dog will work the Red Carpet.)

And speaking of freaky half-pints, Andy Serkis returns as the growling and follicly challenged Gollum, one of the more disturbing misfits to hit the screen since Warrick Davis unleashed The Leprechaun. Serkis is something of an expert at this motion capture stuff, having also played Director Jackson’s “King Kong,” as well as the ultra-smart Caesar, the chimp in “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.” Putting on the electrode suit and jumping around in primate mode may not be everyone’s idea of work, but Serkis made some of these characters memorable.

We have no doubt Hobbit will destroy the Box Office for the next few weeks.

We wish it well, from afar of course.

  1. randi klein says:

    I liked it, well the parts I stayed awake for. I think the 48 frames a second put me to sleep. So I saw it again and the second time slept though different scenes. Gollum once again stole the show. The “cinematography” and special effects were the best I have every seen. Still not sure why the eagles dropped them off so far away from there intended goal. NOt crazy about the casting of Martin Freeman as Bilbo. Not enough food.