The Hobbit’s a little over a week from being released, and it’s come under a lot of tough scrutiny lately.
Usually the heat comes from the geeks, but Jackson’s Hobbit has been coming under fire from the legit critics and the mainstream press, especially with the first reviews for the film, which just went live.
The Wrap headlined its review “Bored of the Rings,” while a number of other reviews said the first installment, which is pushing three hours, is a fairly slow movie to slog through. There have been questions from the beginning about whether The Hobbit merited three movies in the first place, and some fans have derided it as cash grab.
Yet Ian McKellen told the Hollywood Reporter, “Anyone who thinks Peter Jackson would fall for market forces around him rather than artistic integrity doesn’t know the guy or the body of his work. If we just made one movie, The Hobbit, the fact is that all the fans, the eight-, nine- and 10-year-old boys, they would watch it 1,000 times. Now, they’ve got three films they can watch 1000 times.”
Jackson defended the three-film plan by telling reporters, “The book is written in a very brisk pace, so pretty major events in the story are covered in only two or three pages. Once you start to develop the scenes you wanted to do a little bit more character development, plus the fact that we could also adapt the appendices of Return of the King, which is 100-odd pages of material…We wanted to expand the story of The Hobbit a little bit more, as Tolkien did himself.”
As far as reports that the movie’s 48 frames a second technology is causing audiences to get dizzy and nauseous, Warner Brothers released a statement that’s been all over the ‘Net, including Deadline.
“We have been screening the full-length HFR 3D presentation of The Hobbit extensively and feedback has been extremely positive,” the studio responded. “None of the thousands who have seen the film projected in this format expressing any of the issues described by two anonymous sources in media reports.” (Actually, I think it was three…)
The statement continues, “We share the filmmakers’ belief that by offering filmgoers the additional choice of HFR 3D, alongside traditional viewing formats, they have an opportunity to be part of a groundbreaking advancement in the moviegoing experience and we look forward to having audiences everywhere share in this new way of storytelling.”