Dec. 14th, 2012

hawkwing_lb: (In Vain)
It is delightful.

I work on the assumption that every translation is a fresh recension, which tells you as much about the translator and the era as the original work. Tolkien purists will therefore never be satisfied with any of the films, because no recension can ever capture exactly the ideal.

And it delighted me. It took the tone of the LOTR films - there is consistency of vision here - and mixed it with the lighter flavour of the Hobbit for a much livelier, more humourous experience. This is a film delighted with its landscapes, with its ability to dwell on both the sublime and the ridiculous aspects of turning a - relatively tidy - children's novel in an epic fantasy with the same sprawling vision as The Lord of the Rings, and pull in appendices material. And it is both sublime and ridiculous: it made me cry with delighted satisfaction and laugh with utter glee.

Some of the action sequences are... gleefully, enthusiastically, overblown. And some of the camera swoopiness (I saw it in 2D) made me think of videogames... and Goblin Town is, well. I had Dragon Age and Skyrim flashbacks for the visual style, let's just say - so either DA borrowed more from LOTR that I don't remember, or UNDERGROUND WITH REALLY HIGH WALKWAYS is everyone's favourite epic go-to.

The real joy, though, is the performances. And the scenery, and the depth of world, and the scenery - did I mention the scenery? - but especially the performances. I am FULLY BEHIND the choice to get Cate Blanchett and Christopher Lee and Ian Holmes involved in this, even as cameos. Cate Blanchett and Sir Ian McKellan play off each other wonderfully. Martin Freeman and Ian Stott turn in immensely compelling performances. Gollum is a terror and a delight. Richard Armitage, given a good script, is much less po-faced than usual. Dean O'Gorman and Aidan Turner steal any scene they're in as Fili and Kili.

HOBBIT HOBBIT HOBBIT HOBBIT. I'm going to see it again. Soon. And I have my reason to survive the next two years. WANT MORE HOBBIT.
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
Books 2012: 258


258. Melanie Rawn, Touchstone. Jo Fletcher Books, 2012. Copy courtesy of the publisher.

And I will probably end up reviewing it more thoroughly elsewhere. The short version: Rawn returns to second-world fantasy with her old talent for writing character and interaction, but a meandering narrative and a protagonist who, while interesting, is never quite likable. And since we spend most of the time in his POV...

I don't discommend it - it's definitely worth a look - but I'm not ragingly enthusiastic, either.




Haven't slept tonight. Still too keyed-up from HOBBIT. Sometimes I think I should be taken out and shot as No Use To Myself, honestly.

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