So I saw The Hobbit a second time yesterday (in 24 fps 3D this time as well since 48 fps wasn't available here), and I noticed so much more than during the first viewing. The first one was a midnight screening on Tuesday/Wednesday, and if you combine that with first-viewing flailsquee, you get one overwhelmed fangirl who will end up missing some details. *g*

I got all of three hours of sleep before going to work on Wednesday, so even if I'd tried, I doubt I would have been able to produce anything particularly coherent then. (Not that this review is that coherent either, but you know what I mean.) That's why I watched it a second time before attempting a review.

Things I loved:
- The cinematography. Holy cats, it was beautiful. Erebor and Rivendell both took my breath away utterly, and the big sweeping landscape shots are pure scenery porn. There's so much colour, but it never looks cartoonish or garish, because each place has its own palette of colours and shades. Darker muted jewel tones for the Dwarves and their halls (all that emerald green in Erebor was gorgeous, and not just because I love all things green), clear bright colours for the Hobbits, warm tones for the Last Homely House that seems forever lit with soft mellow late sunlight. Oh, and when they look toward the Lonely Mountain that shimmers in the distance, I teared up, both because it was so beautiful and because the music swells in a way that felt like a punch in the chest.

- The music. It made me cry, because when the familiar themes and flourishes kick in, it's like coming home again. Actually, the whole film was like coming home again, and brought back memories of how excited I was when the previous films came out. I love how there are echoes and hooks in the music that tie it to the earlier scores, because it just heightens the sense of this being a trip back, even though chronologically speaking it isn't an ordinary return but a jaunt back in time. Howard Shore's a genius.
Also, the songs: Misty Mountains... I get shivers every time I hear it. Every time. I also liked the fact that they've managed to get the washing-up song in there and made it jaunty and silly but not too silly.

- Riddles In the Dark. It was amazing, and Gollum is just mindblowing. The way his face moves, and the way you can see that it's not just some CGI construct but actually Andy's face moving... wow. The tension in the scene was amazing as well, and it was genuinely chilling (and nail-biting, even if I knew perfectly well how it would shake out).

- Smaug, or what little we see of him. I actually like how there are only hints and little flickers, tail and claws and silhouettes, never the whole thing.

- The Elves. Lee Pace manages to look utterly composed and beautiful even though that crown could easily have ended up looking unfortunate. And that stag elk strange hybrid stag-elk* he's riding. Wow. I also love Elrond's armour and the fact that it wasn't merely silver or gold but this magnificent mahogany shade. And Galadriel... *sigh* So, so beautiful and radiant, and I was flailing all through the scene where she reassures Gandalf that if he needs her, she will be there. (And the background elves got a few good moments. Lindir Figwit Lindir's face when the Dwarves marched into Rivendell was just priceless. "What in Varda's name...EW. Dwarves." Ditto for the pained look on his face during the dinner.)
EtA: re that stag-elk: some people are claiming it's a Megaloceros. Hmm. Oh well, whatever it is, it's damn impressive. And so is the fact that Thranduil appears to be riding it side-saddle.

- The battles. Visually impressive, and they also carried a big punch, particularly when Thrain was killed. The final battle between the Dwarves and Azog and his Wargs was also very impressive. All that fire and smoke, and the way it was used to heighten the contrast between flames and darkness. (And gah, when Thorin stalked through the blazing fire toward Azog. Hnnnngh.)

File under "GUH":
- Thorin. *flails* I can't. Proud, stubborn, snarly, gorgeous Thorin. Yes, he's given to brooding and has a chip on his shoulder the size of the Carrock, but he's also fiercely loyal and determined. And hot. Oh god, so hot. Every time he spoke, my brain stalled for half a second and just refused to process the words because his voice was so ridiculously sexy. And let's not even get into the whole hair/braids/armour thing. Or that intense gaze. GUH. I want to do all kinds of terribly naughty things to him. His smile is also devastating. (I think I said to [ profile] littlemimm that my reaction was "Oh Thorin, you should smile more. ... actually, wait. I'm not sure that's such a good idea after all, because my heart appears to be skipping beats now." :D) When he smiles at the very end as he's hugging Bilbo, I swear I let out this odd little squeaking noise.

- Fili and Kili. (I'll be completely honest: I favour Fili, but Kili is certainly not to be sniffed at.) So adorable and so hot, and yes, I'll admit that the whole brother thing does play in. (Oh come on, it's not like you didn't see that coming. *g* This is me, after all. I have something of a track record when it comes to this kind of thing.) And Fili's roguish grin is wibble-inducing and makes me want to grab him by his braided beard and drag him off so I can find out if he's as wicked as his smile suggests.

- Dwalin. (Please stop staring, it's unsettling.) I don't know if it's the tattoos or the general badass vibe. There's just... something about him. And his way of sticking close to Thorin is rather aww. (Also: just a cracky theory, but was that Glasgow kiss that Dwalin greets Balin with a sly little nod to the fact that both Ken and Graham are Scottish?)

- the humour. I found quite a lot of it grating, and while I tried to give the film more leeway since the source is quite light-hearted, I couldn't forgive all of it. Some of the jokes/sight gags were funny, yes, and they slotted neatly into the film, but some were just tired or overdone. I should, however, point out that I have a fairly low threshold for that sort of thing. I don't care much for slapstick.
Thank goodness they didn't try to get all the gags from the book in. Like the four-Dwarf pileup at the very beginning, for instance, because even if having Thorin show up alone deviates from the book, it looks a lot better than having him crash in.

- Radagast. Not the character in itself, but the way they made him this scatty, bumbling fool. Yes, he's a little... peculiar, but they went too far with the fussing and the crossed eyes and the general air of "Oh, he's a funny sort". (I suspect this was caused by what I mentioned above: the fact that I tend to be a bit allergic to slapsticky humour.)

- Azog. Compared to his henchmen, he looked half-finished and glaringly CGI'd. The movements were smooth and realistic, but the scars and the skin looked so fake. He looked like a model that they intended to add texture/colour to and then forgot. (I also found it a bit baffling that they had to ram him in there as one of Thorin's active foes. Poor man Dwarf man has enough on his plate and enough grudges already.)

- The Wargs. I had issues with the Wargs in LotR and I have issues with these. :/ They just don't look right, or even like wolves. There's something about the shape of the head that just makes me think of tigers or dragons rather than big vicious canines.

- The Eagles. They were beautifully rendered, so no gripes there, but why didn't they talk? Why didn't they take the company to their eyrie, choosing instead to just dump them on a peak and then fuck off?

- The pacing. As soon as Bilbo set out on his journey, it was all breakneck speed. Granted, there is a lot to fit in and a lot does happen to him, but agh, could we have slowed down just a little. (I told [ profile] littlemimm that by the time they got to Rivendell, I needed a breather.)

You know, the length of that last section makes it look like I didn't like the film. D: That's not the case at all. Most of the gripes were about small things, and I just ended up rambling about them. On the whole, I loved the film. It's not perfect, but things rarely are, and I was still blown away by it. I was a-flutter and excited and flaily when I walked out of the cinema, and I think that's one of the best feelings to have after seeing a film. That fannish joy. (And this time I had someone to squee with ([ profile] littlemimm) unlike on the previous go. Oh, it was almost painful not to be able to grab someone and go "OMG Thorin I just can't and did you see Lindir's face when they trooped in and is it just me or is December 2013 much too far off?")

This ended up being rather long, but I'm still sure I've forgot to mention so many things. Oh well. I may end up writing up another post later, possibly after the next round (during which I'm sure I'll notice yet more details that I missed during previous ones).
empyreus: (aurora borealis)
( Feb. 25th, 2012 05:31 pm)
I've been very quiet of late because RL isn't treating me that well. It's nothing major, it's just the accumulated pressure of a lot of persistent stress and poor sleeping habits. Most of the time, my mood is more or less 'meh', and I feel terrible about how it makes me withdraw from people and from being social (RL and online - I absolutely suck at commenting or replying to comments). From updating. From posting fics (challenge fics from last year, gah). I've meant to write about so many movies and shows I've seen that I've liked (Thor, The Borgias, BBC Sherlock, War Horse...) but somehow I can't seem to gather my thoughts when I sit down to update. Ditto for looking into the fandoms for the ones mentioned above. It feels a little like they're too large, too active and that I'll just get something terribly wrong if I venture in. Yes, it's entirely possible to get performance anxiety about something like that. I'm worryingly good at it.

And now, on a much cheerier note: many, many terribly belated thanks to the lovely [ profile] caras_galadhon, [ profile] savageseraph and [ profile] eve_n_furter for the glass hearts. ♥ (And special thanks to [ profile] caras_galadhon for the userhead. *squishes*) They really cheered me up.

Finally, the mandatory weather note (I am a Finn, after all, and we're obsessed with the weather): the light has been returning at which seems like a much faster pace than usual. We're already up to almost ten hours of daylight. The shortest day was a little under five hours, and that was only two months ago. It's making my mood a little lighter, because the persistent darkness during the deepest winter has begun to get to me in later years. I don't know why. Not even the snow (which we still have lots of) seems to add enough light then.
empyreus: (coffee)
( May. 24th, 2008 12:55 pm)
gang aft agley. :( I'm sitting in the Elephant House (HP fans will know why this is important. *g*), but of course I can't use my memory stick with their terminals, so my cunning plan to paste in my pre-written update is foiled. Oh well.

Day two is going well, despite my slight tendency to fail at directions and my stubborn refusal to read my map in public.

Anyway. Am safe, am good, and will probably paste my update in once I find an internet cafe that lets me use my memory stick.
empyreus: (tattoo)
( Dec. 20th, 2007 10:59 pm)
Just came back from the cinema and my first viewing of Eastern Promises.

It was a stroke of luck, really, since I was convinced they wouldn't show it here. (Small town, two cinemas, and anything artier passes us by.) If I hadn't idly browsed one of the free local papers that come with all the junk mail, I wouldn't have seen that it was showing here.

I'm too tired (see timestamp on previous post) to write up a coherent review, so here is my entirely spoiler-free one:

Just. *flails*
empyreus: (do not want)
( Jul. 31st, 2007 09:59 pm)
Just. What.

That's not my Boromir!

*winces* He looks so... simian. I also suspect his cloak has been lined with an old curtain, that he's wearing jeans and that he's stolen the boots off a drag queen.

Do not want.
Happy 48th birthday to the sexiest of Men, Sean Bean! May you never find out how we celebrate you. *g*

In honour of this day (and since I'm stuck up here in the wild northlands and also sadly not a part of birthday boy's innermost circle of friends, bah), I decided to give someone else a gift: I gave blood. Granted, it's not sparkly or pretty, but it's useful.
(I did this last year, and will reprise it now, as the fic I had thought about posting didn't want to cooperate. Also, I know the date is by Shire reckoning, not Steward's reckoning, but I always realize too late that I've missed the 'proper' date.)

Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows
The West Wind comes walking, and about the walls it goes.
'What news from the West, O wandering wind, do you bring to me tonight?
Have you seen Boromir the Tall by moon or by starlight?'
'I saw him ride over seven streams, over waters wide and grey;
I saw him walk in empty lands, until he passed away
Into the shadows of the North. I saw him then no more.
The North Wind may have heard the horn of the son of Denethor.'
'O Boromir! From the high walls westward I looked afar,
But you came not from the empty lands where no men are.'

From the mouths of the Sea the South Wind flies, from the sandhills and the stones;
The wailing of the gulls it bears, and at the gate it moans.
'What news from the South, O sighing wind, do you bring to me at eve?
Where now is Boromir the Fair? He tarries and I grieve.'
'Ask not of me where he doth dwell-so many bones there lie
On the white shores and the dark shores under the stormy sky;
So many have passed down Anduin to find the flowing Sea.
Ask of the North Wind news of them the North Wind sends to me!'
'O Boromir! Beyond the gate the seaward road runs south,
But you came not with the wailing gulls from the grey sea's mouth.'

From the Gate of Kings the North Wind rides, and past the roaring falls;
And clear and cold about the tower its loud horn calls.
'What news from the North, O mighty wind, do you bring to me today?
What news of Boromir the Bold? For he is long away.'
'Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry. There many foes he fought.
His cloven shield, his broken sword, they to the water brought.
His head so proud, his face so fair, his limbs they laid to rest;
And Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, bore him upon its breast.'
'O Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze
To Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, until the end of days.'

(Lament for Boromir, from The Two Towers, book three, chapter 1: "The Departure of Boromir".)

'A broken sword was on his knee. I saw many wounds on him. It was Boromir, my brother, dead. I knew his gear, his sword, his beloved face. One thing only I missed: his horn. One thing only I knew not: a fair belt, as it were of linked golden leaves, about his waist. Boromir! I cried. Where is thy horn? Whither goest thou? O Boromir! But he was gone. The boat turned into the stream and passed glimmering on into the night. Dreamlike it was. and yet no dream, for there was no waking. And I do not doubt that he is dead and has passed down the River to the Sea.'

(Faramir, from The Two Towers, book four, chapter 5: "The Window On the West".)
empyreus: (A fair and noble face)
( Feb. 23rd, 2007 12:40 pm)
Oh BBC writers, how you fail today.

It takes roughly three seconds to look at a map of Middle-earth and notice that it's Rohan, not Rohirrim. Argh.
This is the funniest thing I've read all week. (Found via Flist.) I literally laughed so hard I cried.

The degree of amusement may, however, be directly related to how exhausted I am. Six hours of teaching = argh.

Also: is it just me, or have I really been spamming the Flist of late?


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