Monday, January 28, 2013

Blog going dark for awhile, sorry

Some of you may have noticed that my posts have been a little infrequent as of late.  This is because I have been insanely busy, and it is only going to get worse when grad school resumes again tonight.  Thus, I will be suspending posts to the blog for the short term.

The good news:  I already have a written post scheduled to go up around Valentine's Day in an auto-update, and I also have over a dozen posts written and ready to go when the blog resumes in the end of April or early May, depending on when my semester ends.  During the summer my goal is to post 3 times a week to make up for the lack of content in the next four months.  Also, I may still pop up a new post from time to time if something hits me and I have the time.  But for now, things are going to get quiet around here.  Sorry for any inconvenience, but I will be back!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

PCP in Theaters - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

So I finally got the chance to catch a film in theaters again lately, having not gone to the cinema in about two months.  And for a nerd like myself, there was really nothing else to see other than the Hobbit (part 1).  I didn't spend the extra money to see it in the fancy 48 frames per second as the showtimes in that frame rate didn't fit my schedule of when I could see the film, but from what I heard from friends who saw it in both frame rates, it was better in 24 fps.  Anyways, on with the review!

The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey - 2012, rated PG-13.  My rating:  9 out of 10.

As a disclaimer, I am a huge J.R.R. Tolkien fan, having read all of his works, not just the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.  I'm not a superfan like some people that I know that learned to actually speak Elvish, but I try and reread the Hobbit and LOTR every couple of years.  The LOTR films are some of my favorite films of all time, and I own them on DVD (both theatrical and extended editions) and Blu-Ray (theatrical versions only), so I had been following this one throughout production since they had announced that they were making it.

Just like with LOTR, Peter Jackson did an incredible job bringing Middle Earth to life.  He even expands greatly on the LOTR sets of Hobbiton and Rivendell, showing us far more of those locales than was touched on in the previous films.  From a production standpoint, in terms of sets, scenery, film score, and cinematography, this film fits right in with the previous series.  It does however have a much lighter tone, with more humor than was found in LOTR, which makes sense given that the quest isn't as serious as one to save all of the world.

Some fans of the book are upset that the novel is being expanded out into three whole movies.  I was one of those people at first, but having now seen what Peter Jackson did with the source material, I am actually glad that he made the book into a trilogy.  He is sparing no detail from the novel (unlike LOTR which did see several major cuts and was still 10 hours long) plus he is also incorporating details from the appendices in the back of LOTR, filling in a lot of the backstory of Middle Earth that is only indirectly hinted at in the novel.  Despite making the film super long, it actually works great on screen.  I loved seeing things that weren't in the book, such as how the forest came to be corrupted into Mirkwood, and how Smaug actually first conquered the dwarves' mountain in the first place, as well as what happened to the dwarves while they were exiled from their home.

All of the acting in the film is excellent, and I love Martin Freeman as Bilbo, he is outstanding in the role.  He makes me want to go catch the BBC TV show Sherlock, where he plays Watson, and I've heard great things about that show.  Richard Armitage as the Dwarf leader Thorin was also an excellent choice.  Plus all of the favorites from the LOTR series are back, including the awesome Ian McKellan as Gandalf, as well as Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, and Christopher Lee.

It is hard to give a fair rating to a film that is inherently incomplete, as it is only part one of an overall whole.  Peter Jackson is off to a great start though for the Hobbit, and I can't wait for parts two and three.

Alright, that's all for today, thanks for dropping by CRAPOLA!