Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Hobbit: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

I must say that I really enjoyed The Hobbit. I saw it in a swank new theater with fancy recliners, waiters, and great coffee. It was in 3D and 'high frame rate,' for what that's worth. This was the first 3D movie that didn't seem artificially 3D (no stupid things floating out at you, etc.). Yay!

First, off, kudos to Peter Lucas for taking the more serious and dark tones of Episodes IV-VI and brightening them up for little kids!

It will be far easier to market the little toys for this one, since these orcs are funny and goofy, and not scary man eating flesh eaters of the earlier trilogy. Evil is evil, but if you can't laugh at it, what have you got? No merchandising!

George Spielberg really took his 'lessons learned' from his previous works on dramatic action serials, such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and put them into practice, here! Action, action, action and more action! I was pleased to see The Temple of Doom's crazy tunnel/mine car scene redone, this time using orc tunnels and wooden bridges instead of the more limiting tracks and wheels that Indy had to ride. This time, he got to use modern CGI and 3D effects and hurray. for. that! I'm sure Spielberg couldn't wait for a chance to rehash that type of action!

Gandalf, Lady Galadriel, and Short Round narrowly escape the orcs!
Having gotten the adults hooked on the concept, via Lord of the Rings, it was time to rope in the kidlets; enter the fun and laughter of belching and other bodily functions, the charming slapstick that can only be found with tubby dwarves and collapsing furniture, and the goofball antics of the trolls, trolls, trolls!

Steven Jackson knows his casting, so it was good to see that he didn't replace actors just to replace actors. In fact, he pulled from the greats of his other movies to wonderful effect! It was especially nice to see Boss Nass of Star Wars Gungan fame working again...

...although I feel that the actor is being somewhat typecast as the leader of a race of underground humanoids living in a secret underground city! But, hey, I have never acted, so who am I to judge the decision to take or reject a role offered by such a legendary movie maker?

Overall, the movie has so many great elements to talk about, from the backstory of The Lord of The Ring's Anakin Baggins (aka THE Hobbit) to the sly hints of the evil that lurks within Darth Sauroman! ...but who will be the other Sith? As we know "always two there are." And who is the necromancer? Is that a hint of Emperor Sauron stretching his non-corporeal legs, or just an early manifestation of some other evil force, lying in wait for a lowly hobbit to wander by? We will have to wait for Episode II, now won't we? The Hobbit: Attack of the Clones, can't come quickly enough!


  1. That is a great review!

    I love the legos... Just got a couple of those for our kids recently.

    I knew the Troll Kimg looked familiar. Thank you for pointing that out!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, JP!

    I can't wait for the legos from Episode Two to come out!


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