Monday, December 16, 2013

The Hobibit: Part 2

This was a favorite book to read aloud to my 3rd graders.  I know some will think it too mature and complex. I spent time answering questions, explaining, recapping to make sure the listeners could follow the story.  I started teaching in a time when teacher had some flexabilty to bring their own passions to their classrooms. The exposure to great literature and rich vocabulary was a worthwhile investment of 15-20 minutes a day. I have heard from many former students who loved the story. One told me he could not find the beautifully illustrated version I read from for his daughter.  I sent him my copy.

My first problem with the film was that I could never recommend it for a third-grader.  I am archaic, I know, but that much violence is just not appropriate for that age. The book has battles, characters die, but no heads are hacked off.

As a Tolkien aficionado, not a fan, the story changes did bother me.  It was Jackson's faithfulness to the Lord of The Rings that made it not only great cinema, but like seeing and old friend on he screen.  With the Hobbit I had to let go of the book to thoroughly enjoy the movie. That being said, I did.

Got Gold?
One reviewer used the term hyper-realism to explain how completely immersed in another reality the viewer is.  Attention to detail has never been so thoroughly executed.  Generally I pass on 3-D, but I am glad I saw this with my polarized glasses in place.  3-D was used much as I remember Avatar, to pul the viewer in, not push the picture our.  We saw in Sony Digital 3-D and at times the picture was too crisp, almost video in quality. I guess that's the new standard, but it seems less warm.

Stretching this story across 3 films seems motivated by nothing but greed.  There are unnecessarily long Rube Goldberg scenes and dialogue that is tedious.

I wish that Jackson had made one Hobbit movie and put his considerable talents to work on another project.  I still and glad that he did make (is making) The Hobbit and I will see part 3.   I will alos take out my Blu-ray copies of The Lord of the Ring and watch Jackson at his best.

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