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 [livejournal.com 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?)


Gripes:
- 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 [livejournal.com 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 ([livejournal.com 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).
Apparently we were freakishly lucky and early again, because the Finnish premiere of The Hobbit was at midnight (well, twelve minutes past, to make it 12:12 on 12/12 2012) here. I attended one of the midnight screenings (24 fps 3D) and am so tired right now that I'll make this post a short one and then post another more thinky review either tomorrow or when I've seen it a second time this weekend. Three hours of sleep (and then eight hours of work after that) means a very sleepy and fuzzy-headed Empy.

So, my short and spoiler-free reaction is this: visually lovely omg. Not perfect and a bit uneven in parts since the balance between humour and more sombre notes was odd (occasionally off, even), but very enjoyable nonetheless. (Also: dear god Thorin I can't.) And as with the earlier movies, the length really isn't an issue. It doesn't feel three hours long.

As for whether to see it in 3D or not: some of the shots were stunning in 3D, others felt gratuitous, and I don't think you lose that much if you see it in 2D instead.

... I need a new icon. (And fic recs, if anyone's been scouting already. *g*)
Let's see if I still know how to work this thing.

I've been meaning to post at least a wee note about Avengers for over a week, but failed to do so. For some weird reason, it premiered in Finland on April 27th, ie ahead of the US premiere, and that almost never happens with big blockbusters. I was also lucky enough to get to see it two days before the Finnish premiere thanks to a workmate.

My reactions are under a cut because they're spoilery. Spoiler cut #1 )

In other movie news: this week, I saw Cabin In the Woods, and I'm a bit torn on that one.
Spoiler cut #2 )

Huh. That ended up being a bit longer than I thought it would be.
empyreus: (rare exports)
( Jan. 7th, 2011 02:40 pm)
Finally got around to watching Rare Exports last night. It's a funny movie, but dear god, it fails the Bechdel Test so hard. There isn't a a single female character in the movie. (Okay, there could possibly have been a female child in one of the sacks of children, but I never actually saw one.) I think the only female we were shown was in a book illustration. Two female named characters were mentioned (one in speech, another was just a name on a list), but never shown or heard. I have no idea why. It's not like the plot hinges on all the characters being male, FFS. Fail, Jalmari Helander. FAIL.

It's a pity the movie fails so hard on the above-mentioned front, because it's quite quirky and occasionally hilarious. Genre-wise, it's a crossbreed of fantasy, horror and comedy. Personally, I think they should have gone for more horror than comedy, because there was definite horror potential. The beginning was very promising, but then it started getting weird (the wrong kind of weird, I should add) and a little sloppy towards the end. (And let's not mention the kaamos plot hole.)

Two short films have been making the rounds on the internet for years: Rare Exports Inc. (2003) (YouTube is being a dick when it comes to this one and refuses to show it unless you're logged in because it's been flagged as having inappropriate material - possibly because it briefly features some naked wrinkly old men and a bit of blood) and Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions (2005) (this one has some Finnish dialogue that isn't subtitled, but the narration is all in English). The 2010 movie (confusingly named Rare Exports as well) seems to be a prequel of sorts to the shorts, but you don't need to see them to make sense of the movie, and you don't need to see the movie to make sense of the short films, either.

I should probably include a warning here: the short films are rather wtf and violent, and can potentially be disturbing. They're meant for adults, not children.

A note about the trailers: the international trailer is shite. Or, rather, it's a real curate's egg: good in parts but failed as a whole. The main problem is the cutesy music at the beginning and the narration. *sigh* Thankfully, there's an English version of the Finnish trailer, and that one captures the spirit of the movie a little better. You can see that one here.

Spoiler cut - here's a run-down of the basic plot (and my usual teal deer explanations of Finnish traditions) )

... and this was meant to be a short review. It turned into teal deer instead. Oops?
empyreus: (temptation)
( Aug. 17th, 2008 11:23 am)
I don't have an appropriate icon, argh.

Finally saw The Dark Knight last night and I'm still all giddy. Wow. Just wow.

There are so many things I could squee about. They go under this cut, because I'm considerate. )

I was so giddy after the movie that I decided to go have a drink at one of my local haunts (I'd been to the late showing, which ended at half past eleven), but when I checked my phone, I saw my sister had tried to call me. I called her back and found out she was at another bar, so I headed over there instead. Instead of ordering a pint of cider as is my wont, I decided I wanted something a bit weirder. My sister had mentioned the bar did I mean absinthe milkshake, but when I asked about it as the bar, the bartender looked confused. I amended my order and asked for a shot of absinthe straight up instead. She looked askance at me for half a second, then grinned and said "You're a crazy woman!". I just nodded. (Btw, for those of you who know my track record with absinthe: I drank it slowly this time. *g* And my lips went a bit numb from it, oddly.)

I left at about half past one (I'd only intended to stay until half past twelve, but I got caught in conversation), and fell into bed. And dreamed of black cars and huge glass walls and glass knives. It wasn't unpleasant at all, oddly.
So, I saw Iron Man with my sister tonight. I expected a nice action movie.

I was wrong.

I... I can't seem to fit words together properly when I try to describe it. Just. Oh god. I reacted entirely inappropriately to a disturbing number of things one should not... err, react to, if you know what I mean and I think you do. Like the way Tony's hips moved even when he was in the suit, the curls just behind his ears, the suit itself... And I'm not even going to attempt to get my head around all the subtext. Holy hell. How did he manage to have such chemistry with everyone and everything? Jesus, even the AI was all over him. o_O

Also: someone write me Tony/Jarvis. Now.

[And none of my icons fit properly. I need to remedy this.]
I finally watched Batman Begins today. (Yes, only three years late, I know.) Within minutes, I was assaulted from all sides by flail-inducing actors, and then the killing blow was struck. No, it wasn't Cillian Murphy (though he was very, very tasty, oh yes). Nor was it Rutger Hauer or Morgan Freeman or Michael Caine or Gary Oldman.

No. It was Liam Neeson. Not because he was stylish (though he was, I'll admit), but because Henri/Ra's bloody well was Dark Side Qui-Gon Jinn. My poor brain squeaked with friction as old loved fandom tropes woke to life and pounced. I didn't see Bruce Wayne being tenderly abused trained, it was a bastard mix of Obi-Wan and Xanatos, and I sat flailing each time Dark!Qui-Gon Henri stalked across the screen in his Jedi ninja gear. I waited for him to slip and say "Padawan".

My brain clearly has faulty wiring.

As for the rest of the movie: I won't even mention the pairings that leapt at me, because they cause me to simultaneously want to look for fic and shudder.
empyreus: (Sharpe)
( Feb. 18th, 2008 05:39 pm)
My Brit uncle is made of win. He really is. His wife (my aunt by blood, he's only related by marriage) was over in Finland visiting my grandfather last week, and Da and I were there as well. I'd spoken to her briefly before she arrived, and she'd mentioned that my uncle was sending me "a box of things" along with her as he wasn't able to join her. Now, I held out a bit of hope that there might be something Sean Bean-related in there, since he knows about my obsession fannishness and never misses a chance to tease me about it. When I got my hands on said box, my jaw dropped.

It was Bean-related, oh yes. It was the 15-disc boxed set with the first 14 Sharpe movies.

*keels over*
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:
*ded*

Just. *flails*
empyreus: (puukot)
( Jul. 21st, 2006 09:22 pm)
Rejoined the human race and avoided having my fangirl card revoked today: I finally went to see PotC 2. I wanted to do something terrifically selfish to treat myself, so I went to the movies all by my lonesome.

My reactions in short (there's a lot missing, but I'm too tired to go into meta):

Cut because Flisters might not have seen the movie yet, savvy? )

Also: I know a lot of you have written fic, but I'm a bit too shagged out to tackle them now. Some day I will, poppets. (Of course, the same thing goes for about four months' worth of various fics in various fandoms, thanks to the B.A. course from hell, Italian and work. *sigh*)

Damn. I need a pirate icon, but am too lazy to make one or go look for one. The knife icon will have to suffice for now, as it's got sharp and dangerous metal objects in it. They may not be cutlasses, but one makes do with what one has.
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Someone stop me before I make up a story about Aleksei (it was that or ''Aleksandr" instead of Alec) and Yuri (I had to normalize the name, Yorgi is not Russian) chasing each other around Archangelsk. Hey, I have to find a way to make this Russian assignment more interesting. *g* We have to write a short story (composition, more like) in Russian, about a person who goes somewhere, presumably to demonstrate that we have grasped the concept of active verbs. (Which I haven't, but we don't talk about that. I can understand written Russian if I get to look up a few words, but spoken Russian is still horribly difficult.)

Also, please stop me before I dig up that old Bondverse/xXxverse crossover fic.

Yorgi and matters xXx-related provide me with a nicely obvious segue: I watched Evilenko* today, and what an appalling piece of dross it was. Marton seemed ill at ease and Malcolm McDowell alternated between chewing the scenery and seeming sedated out of his skull. The attempted Russian accents came and went, and other accents were all over the shop. Not even the nude scenes helped me enjoy the movie, even though Marton's naked back tickled my fancy.

Cut for possible spoilers )

In other news: the weather is awful. It's windy and absolutely icy, and when you adjust for the wind chill, the temperature is near -30°C (-22°F). Brr. It makes me want to hibernate, because it's starting to be too cold even for me.

*Which might just as well have been called "Chikatilo". Who did they think they were kidding? NB: there is another movie, Citizen X, based on Chikatilo's case, and it uses the real names. Apparently it's also more truthful, but as I haven't seen it, I can't verify that claim.
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