Given all the mainstream hype I went to see this film with low expectations, and I wasn't disappointed - in that I was, if you see what I mean.
I'm even worried that this interpretation of what is at least a book with reasonable historical pedigree might even be weaker than that other film, Terry Pratchett or whatever it is, that's really popular at the moment. And I'd hate that to be the case, although I haven't seen it, so it would be wrong to make a comparison.
You have to be of a certain mindset to get into the whole 'fantasy' scene, and to be honest, Middle Earth just doesn't do it for me, especially not in big-screen form.
If people live in a world of magic and spellbindery, why would a long, arduous and risky journey for several people ever be necessary to achieve a given end?
Sure, the special effects are OK, but that's normal in this sort of film, and exactly what I would've expected. All the acting is eminently forgettable, and again pretty much exactly what you'd expect, and Ian Holm as Bilbo is the most convincing.
What a pity so much of the film is full of once-you've-seen-one-you've-seen-them-all battles, instead of developing the individual characterization within the Shire. I'm not looking forward to the next installment, I'll tell you now.
I would much rather see films produced under the constraints of low budgets which inspire far greater creativity. Peter Jackson should know this better than anyone - or has he forgotten about Bad Taste now that he's a millionairess?
If you've got 3+ hours to spare, and want to watch a fantasy movie and Peter Jackson, watch a double header of Labyrinth or Dark Crystal followed by Bad Taste. It's a lot more rewarding than this long, drawn-out, predictable affair.
Of course, mine is a minority view, and if you like mainstream things that pretend to be somehow subversive, while in actual fact remaining highly conventional and watered-down AND wasting/making money in the process, you'll probably love it.
And so will your children, unless they go to a really good school.
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