Husband and I just got back from seeing The Hobbit. I really liked it, though I'm not entirely sure that it's for everyone. (There's some kind-of slow bits that seem an awful lot like nothing more than lore building until you finally come around to the plot-relevant payoff.) And it's one of the least hard-of-hearing-friendly movies I've seen this year; I couldn't understand a SINGLE WORD during the Smaug attack at the beginning and at one point near the end I said to Husband "what did Gandalf say?" and he answered "He said 'argle bargle farkle gaster'," which is not really a good sign.
But! I liked it. Five stars across the board. And you can say what you like about Peter Jackson as an adaptationist, but he clearly cares a lot about both the subject matter and the fans in the seats, and that's a rare and pleasant combination. The result is something that is crafted with love, but also with an awareness of the audience's needs. I approve. (Plus, he does amazing things with background music.)
The movie isn't perfect, by any means, of course. There's an undercurrent about how Good People are able-bodied and attractive and Bad People are various types of disabled and/or not so easy on the eyes. Cosmic background radiation issues for the genre, I know, but it's there. And this movie -- much like the work it's based on -- is extremely masculonormative; I'm fairly certain that Galadriel is the only speaking named female character in the movie, and that's hella disappointing for me.
Other random thoughts:
1. My favorite parts were the Radagast parts which were awesome.
2. They may have mithril and gems and shit in the Lonely Mountain, but there is also clearly sexy in the water.
3. When Gandalf gives Important Messages to moths, does he give them a protection spell? It seems really fridge horrific that the whole world is always one hungry bat away from total destruction.
4. Speaking of Gandalf, I know it's not part of the world-lore and all but I could not get around the problem that 90% of their problems would be solved if Gandalf would just learn a Feather Fall spell. Sheesh.
5. And on the subject of world-lore, I will point out that "moon runes" seem like a lot more trouble than they're worth, and I imagine it would be easier to just NOT WRITE THINGS DOWN.
Open thread for movie related stuff.