10 August 2015

The Hobbit - an unexpected journey

The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey 2012
  • Director: Peter Jackson
  • Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Bret McKenzie (two seconds), Benedict Cumberbatch (voice only)
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Martin Freeman  Fargo, The World’s End, Hot Fuzz, Breaking and Entering, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Shaun of the Dead, Love Actually
    • Ian McKellen – Vicious, King Lear, Extras, Lord of the Rings, X-Men, David Copperfield, Richard III, Cold Comfort Farm, Six Degrees of Separation, The Ballad of Little Jo, Macbeth, Othello
    • Ian Holm – The Aviator, Day after Tomorrow, From Hell, eXistenZ, The Fifth Element, A Life Less Ordinary, The Madness of King George, Frankenstein, Kafka, Hamlet, Henry V, Dance with a Stranger, Brazil, Alien, Holocaust, O What a Lovely War
    • Elijah Wood – Lord of the Rings, Bobby, Paris je t’aime, Everything Is Illuminated, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Black and White
    • Cate Blanchett – Robin Hood, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I’m Not There, Notes on a Scandal, Babel, Little Fish, The Aviator, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Heaven, The Shipping News, The Gift, The Man Who Cried, Elizabeth, Elizabeth the Golden Age
    • Bret McKenzie – The Flight of the Conchords
    • Benedict Cumberbatch –  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Creation, The Other Boleyn Girl, Atonement, Amazing Grace, To Kill a King
  • Why?  It should be seen?
  • Seen:   31 July 2015 

       In the olden days when Tolkien was required reading for hippies I did my duty and ploughed through the books. But I wasn’t a very good hippie and I wasn’t impressed.
       Decades later I gave the film The Lord of the Rings-trilogy a try. They were OK, I guess.
       So why start the whole thing now? Well, we’re done with the Batman films….
       And it’s a fantastic cast.
       Bilbo is remarkably like Lester Nygaard in Fargo. That’s fun.
       Otherwise it’s all a bunch of men setting off on a quest for honour and recovering their kingdom. Or something. A boring, actually distasteful concept, but the Hobbit house is very cool and Bilbo is very appealing.
       Heroes and kings with long beards, big noses, furs and fuzzy horses in magnificent landscapes fight the evil Orcs. There are some wizards, a bit of humour, great bloody battles, cute little hedgehogs, clever sets and props and trolls who speak Cockney.
       It really is terribly long. And not terribly interesting.  I certainly don’t begrudge McKellan and Freeman fame and fortune but they should stick to Vicious and Shakespeare and Fargo and Sherlock.
       Finally. At one hour and twenty-seven minutes a woman appears. Playing a harp. Then another one, playing a flute. And then a few minutes of the Elf Queen in the form of Cate Blanchett. Not that she gets to do much. It’s a very male film.
       The stone giants are a bit cool. As is Gallum. So it has its moments. Not nearly enough though.
       I do long for Harry Potter and Merlin. From which, by the way, much here is plagiarised.

2 * of 5

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