The first part of The Hobbit trilogy follows a gang of Dwarfs who want to reclaim their home and treasure stolen off them by the dragon Smaug. Led by Gandalf who insists that the hobbit Bilbo Baggins would be a great addition to the gang.
The journey the gang take is very similar to the journey taken in The Fellowship of the Ring, but the film does not feel the same. It stands on its own but still has that light but serious tone that was kept throughout the whole of the franchise. And like the rest of the franchise, this film had a top notch ensemble cast, of which you probably already know, but I want to pick out the two people I thought were the best in this film, and those two are Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage who played Bilbo and Thorin. Both were outstanding in their roles and the film would not have been as good without them. Everyone one else was also on form but they were the two performances that stood out the most.
This comes to my point about this being a hard film to review because although I loved it, I really did not like the higher frame rate that I saw it in. Films are usually filmed and shown in 24 fps but Peter Jackson decided to film in 48fps and give us the option as to which format to see it in. As a budding filmmaker this format intrigued me and I was very interested to see what it looked like. I can only describe it as being almost like a super HD version of the film. Everything was in focus and it seemed a lot like live television. A lot of critics have been saying that it looks so real that it looks fake and now after watching I can understand what they mean by that. Unfortunately because it looks so real, when there is animation involved it is obvious. Which is too bad because the animation is some of the best I've ever seen but unfortunately still doesn't look real, or at least not real enough to be shown in 48fps with human actors. When all that was on the frame was animation, it looked incredible but when you mix it, it looked awful. This isn't good because it takes you out of the story and back into the cinema where you are watching the film. If a company was to make a motion capture animation film in 48fps then it would definitely work but live action not so much. I can't help but feel I may have enjoyed the film just a little bit more in its regular format.
The 3D however does look stunning in 48fps but because the stuff on screen looks fake then they kind of cancel each other out. Still though, some of the best 3D I've seen.
If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings then you are going to love this film! I felt very nostalgic seeing Middle Earth in all it's beautiful glory on the big screen once more, a feeling I hope to get again when they release the new Star Wars film in 2015.
If you are a fan of the book and read it when you were younger like me, then you will be very happy with how they adapt some of the best bits for the big screen. My favorite bits of the book such as the scene with the three trolls and the game of riddles between Bilbo and Gollum (who looks better then ever!) are also my favorite parts in the film. Although Peter Jackson has stretched certain scenes out to make them bigger and more cinematic, it never feels too far from the source material. The film, like The Lord of the Rings, just felt a little bit too long, but I can now see why they were going to split the story into two, but splitting into three is yet to be justified in my mind.
What do you think of the 48fps? Which format is the first part of The Hobbit best in? Did you like the film at all? Please comment below!
Thanks for reading!