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: (yuletide2008 by liviapenn)
( Nov. 4th, 2009 08:24 pm)
Omg, the [ profile] yuletide signups are open. *glee* Time to start wibbling over which fandoms to offer and what to request, plus agonize over how many fandoms I've never even heard of and how few fandoms I can offer.

Oh great, another timesink. *g* I have so much I need to be getting on with, but come on, this is Yuletide, people.

Btw, am I the only one not getting any comment notifications? At first I thought I'd accidentally disabled comment emailing on a recent challenge post (I thought no one had bothered to comment, but it turns out I just wasn't getting notifications), but despite enabling comment tracking, I'm still not getting any notifications. Wtf, LJ?
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.
Hyvää Aleksis Kiven päivää kaikille suomalaisille! :)

I just discovered something rather disquieting. As I was listening to some random music on iTunes, Matt Munro's From Russia with Love came on, and as I was listening to it, I realized you could hear, very faintly, something that sounded like a high-pitched cartoon voice in the background. It was all but drowned out by the strings, but it was there. I listened to the bit over again, thinking I'd imagined it, but no, it was still there. I played around with the file in an audio editor, and after various adjustments (transposing it down to -11 semitones and fine-tuning that, then using the karaoke filter to remove most of the song), I could just make out a male voice saying something like "... I may have dropped (?) that. I'm not too sure about that, can we try again?". o_O How the hell did that end up in the track? And more importantly, who is the speaker?

In less creepy news: My Brotherhood of the Wolf dvd appears to be dead. I'd bought it ages ago but not bothered to open it, and now I discovered that the disc appears to be defective. Can't take it back to the store, either, as a) it was sales bin stuff, and b) I've long since lost the receipt anyway. Bah. And I was so looking forward to perving over Jean-François, too.
empyreus: (academia)
( Jun. 22nd, 2006 08:45 pm)
The results of the B.A. maturity exams were posted today, and I passed! *dances* Yay! I'm still waiting for the grade for the entire course (i.e. the thesis), but technically I've already passed it.

So, it would seem I have a B.A. in English now. Feels a bit weird. I first saw the result listed in the online grade system the university uses (I was killing time at work), and I was so paranoid I had to go check the paper printout on the noticeboard when I took my lunch break. Thankfully, I'm currently slaving away cleaning on campus (no indignity is too severe for a Humanities student, and hey, it's money), so the trip was short. Heh. I stood looking at the paper, but couldn't really get my head around the "passed" bit. (The maturity exam itself isn't graded, it's pass/fail.)

It's a pity Finland doesn't do the whole robe-and-hood thing. I'd love to have some sort of visible proof, really.
empyreus: (Ian relaxed)
( Apr. 28th, 2006 12:02 am)
Some random squee:

Billy Boyd's become a father! Aww. The baby must be so damn cute. :)

Also, there's this (from Y!News, found on [ profile] marythefan's lj):
McKellen wants gay sex scene
Friday April 21, 10:45 AM

Actor Sir Ian McKellen complained on the set of upcoming sequel X-Men: The Last Stand, because he wanted his character Magneto to have some gay sex scenes.

The Lord Of The Rings star, who has been openly gay since 1988, insists a homoerotic sub-plot would have enhanced the movie.

McKellen tells Empire magazine, "He hasn't been given a love line, which I think is a pity. It would be wonderful if the camera hovered over Magneto's bed, to discover him making love to Professor X."

However, McKellen admits he needed camera trickery to help him match Magneto's muscular physique.

He adds, "I'd like to see him at the gym, because in the comics he has the most amazing body. I'm the slimline version of Magneto, but of course, these days you could morph my body into something really fantastic."

*dies* Sir Ian, I hereby declare you the single most fabulous man alive. <3<3<3!!!1!!! And he's so right about Professor X and Magneto. They're so a couple in the comics.
empyreus: (think we're straight)
( Sep. 11th, 2005 12:35 pm)

[ profile] izzicat is my hero, because she uploaded bigger versions of these two pics:

Click on the small image to go to the bigger version.

I am so dead. Please tell I'm not just seeing things, and that Sean is actually sitting on Viggo's lap. Please? (Because omg they tease us so.)

EtA: [ profile] pfyre (aided by Dryope) posted a gigantic (3000x2504) version of the second pic on [ profile] bean_daily. Post is here.


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