Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Richard Armitage in The Hobbit


For any of you who are aware of my weakness for all things Richard Armitage, (oh my, that deep basso voice!) you will not be surprised to hear that I took The Squire to see The Hobbit this past week. I admit freely to never having read The Hobbit. I think I will read it now however, as I thoroughly enjoyed it. Richard Armitage and the dear Martin Freeman may have something to do with that however.


I admit to some surprise when I heard that my Richard was going to play a dwarf. I mean really, a 6'2" dwarf? Some special effect trickery brings this off (I mean look at the photo above-he is a giant!). And he is the biggest, hunkiest, bravest dwarf of course. But even a very heavy costume and a load of hair cannot conceal this handsome man from the rest of the world now. Hollywood has noticed him. Or his voice at least. And he sings...oh he sings!


Oh, I guess I had better let you know how I liked the film. Ahem, sorry for digressing. Yes, the film is very good. In general, except for the Harry Potter films which I have watched faithfully, fantasy films are not really my cup of tea. I saw none of the Lord of the Rings films. But this one was very enjoyable even to someone not acquainted with the story. The special effects are fairly impressive. The acting is wonderful. The scenery makes you want to jump on a plane for New Zealand immediately.


Some of you may not know that my day job is as an optometrist. Normally, this has nothing to do with my interest in period film. But I do have to weigh in on the 3D, 48 frames-per-second, nausea controversy. First of all, I do not like 3D films. I see the world in 3D every single day. I know what that looks like. And 3D films, particularly this one, in no way resemble real life. In The Hobbit, there is a distinct foreground, and one or two midgrounds and then the background. And then every once in a while, something pops out and dangles above the head of the person in front of you. Hmmmmmm. Not impressed. And many amblyopic  and strabismic patients are paying extra for what they see as a regular 2D film. They cannot see the 3D, but have to wear the glasses anyway.

But on to the blur/nausea controversy. Some are saying that they have to leave the film during the action sequences because of blur and nausea. I can absolutely agree that the action scenes are not enjoyable. However, I don't think it is because of the 3D or the 48fps. I think that the super large screens as well as the quick movement in the foreground especially is just too hard for the human eye to follow. I have seen 2D 24fps films that gave me similar blur but this film may have been a bit worse for whatever reason. I would have thought the 48fps would have reduced this blur in the action sequences. I think to paraphrase The Emporer in the film Amadeus, "My dear fellow, there are in fact only so many things the eye can see in the course of an evening!"

Thank-you, my rant is over. As a side note, I like the large screens and the amazing detail of digital film for slow moving period films. I saw Jane Eyre 2011 in an Ultra AVX theatre and it was amazing! It felt like I was right there with Rochester and Jane by the fire. But there is not much action in Jane Eyre to cause blur or nausea!


And for those of you who would like to see RA without all the hair and make-up, here he is as the wonderful Mr. Thornton in North and South. If you have not seen him in this please do yourself a favour and purchase this DVD for your collection. You are going to want to see it a few times. Trust me.

24 comments:

  1. "There are simply too many notes!"

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    1. Let's hope we get to see him more now that he has finally left New Zealand!

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  3. O that voice! Lovely Richard sings, just for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fpJj0RhHeQg

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    1. Whew! Thanks for that Judith. What a voice, what a man!

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  4. Hi Jenny,
    I saw the Hobbit on opening day. I couldn't wait. I loved it as well. You hit the nail on the head about 3D. It's a gimick. A good story doesn't need any embelishment.
    I too am not a big fan of fantasy, but I adored the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I annoy die hard devotees of the books when I say the movies are much better, but they are. I've read the books twice through, and Peter Jackson has made a masterpiece. If you liked the Hobbit, do your self a favour an watch the Rings trilogy. You will not be disappointed. It is one of my all time favourites. I've probably watched the whole thing at least ten times! No, Richard Armitage isn't in it, but David Whenham isn't too hard on the eyes either:-)

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    1. Hi Olga. I really should see Lord of the Rings, now that I have seen The Hobbit.
      Glad they gave Figwit (Bret McKenzie- Flight of the Conchord and Austenland) another bit of screentime as an elf! I hope Austenland hits the theaters soon as it is premiering at Sundance in a few weeks time.

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  5. Hi.Jenny,
    Brent McKenzie also has a small role in The Lord of The Rings. Don't be put off by all the monsters and heavy make up in the rings trilogy. Yes, most of The cast is male, but the acting and costumes are both fabulous. If you were to watch the appendices at the end of The extended edition, you would be amazed at the level of detail (much of which can't even be seen on screen) that went into those costumes. David O'Selsnick eat your heart out!

    And at the end of the day, it is a girl that is responsible for the turning of the tide (without giving too much away). It is also well worth watching the extended edition, because it elaborates a little more on the love story between Faramir and Eowen.

    Thanks for the heads up about Asrenland. I hope it's good after this long wait.

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    1. Sorry. That should read "Austenland." I hate auto complete!!!

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  6. Richard Armitage, yey :D North and South is one of my absolute favourite films, and I am actually reading the book right now :)
    When I saw the Hobbit (THAT SINGING!) I saw it without 48fps and without 3D, and then the fighting scenes were quite enjoyable, but that may have been because the Cinema was a really small one...Anyway, loved the film, so many wonderful views!
    (don't blame my English if there are any mistakes, because it's not really perfekt...:P)

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    1. Hi Karin. Oh, I love the book North and South just as much as the film. The ending is so adorable even though it is slightly different from my beloved train scene.
      I think a small theatre without 3D would be perfekt for The Hobbit! :)

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  7. I finally got to see The Hobbit today, and oh the glory to see Richard as the star of a Hollywood film. I think I will have Misty Mountains on repeat tomorrow. I saw the normal movie. 3D gives me headaches (found that out when that 3D episode of Chuck was on), and I can give myself headaches easily enough on my own so I wasn't going to pay to get one. Even when they are panning over I think it was some of the gold at the beginning, there was a bit of blurring in it.

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    1. Hi Sarah. I think that will be my last 3D film, although I want to see Life of Pi and I think it is just in 3D right now. Hmmmmm!
      It is nice to see our dearest Richard A getting some recognition. He is such a great actor and so gorgeous. Even with a beard!

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  8. I haven't seen The Hobbit yet, but I promise you I won't go near 3D! (I doubt I'd see much anyway, and I have trouble seeing anything on a NORMAL screen, which gives me very little fear that I'd ever rethink my prejudices... ;) I'm visually disabled, by the way.)

    I do not agree with Olga that the LOTR movies were better than the books - and they are my favourite movies of all time. :) Different mediums, and I am a book-lover foremost, so I don't see the need for comparison. The only two instances where I prefer film adaptations to the books, is when I'm not overly fond of the book. But I digress, and I fear if I keep on, I'll digress even further!

    So, a Fun Fact, maybe, but John Rhys Davies who played Gimli in LOTR, is also quite tall:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0722636/bio

    The reason for this, I understand, is that it keeps the proportion between the dwarf & hobbit actors correct, and so, to show the proper height difference between them, they do NOT need to resort to trickfilming/CGI. I'd imagine, this would be an even more important consideration for The Hobbit. :)

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the movie - you might enjoy the book too. :)

    And Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold, as sung here, gives me goosebumps! I just wish they'd sung the whole thing!

    http://thorinoakenshield.net/misty-mountains-lyrics/

    So, it would be a tad long maybe, but who cares? Right? ;)

    LRK

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    1. Hi LRK. I definitely need to read The Hobbit. And I love that song. Thanks for the link!

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  9. Hi LRK,
    Yes, I figured I would get a comment about liking the movie better. I have read the books twice, So I do love them. I just think they took a wonderful book and made an even better movie. I just like some simple things about it. I like that there is a greater female presence in the movie. They found ways to keep Arwen present throughout the series to state an example.

    I'm really hoping they expand the back story or Arwen and Aragorn in the other Hobbit movies. They are incorporating the appendices at the end of LOTR into the Hobbit, so that's a real possibility.

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    1. I think it would be unlikely for Arwen and Aragorn to show up in The Hobbit movies. They (Liv and Viggo) were never on the list of LOTR cast members returning, unless they decide to film more to get PJ's 3 hours a movie. Be hard to add them, since they didn't factor in to The Hobbit plot at all

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    2. Yes, I don't think Arwen and Aragorn will show up either - besides, Aragorn would have to be YOUNGER than in LOTR, even if he doesn't age as most humans, still there'd be some difference.

      Oh, and Olga, I came back to comment, because I'd forgotten to say that I definitely second your rec of the extended edition of the LOTR movies.:) For anyone who doesn't know, the "added" bits aren't really more action, but rather quieter - or funny - character moments, and really flesh out some things more. The Faramir and Eowyn scenes I agree are lovely. The funeral scene in TTT makes me teary eyed. And then there's the extra material - the handicraft and detail that's gone into the movies is marvellous!:)

      LRK

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    3. Thanks Sarah and LRK,
      Yes, I had forgotten that they've already started shooting the other two movies. Too bad. I would have loved to have seen that story. I thought they might have added it as Elrond's flash back, or some such plot device:-)

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  10. Jenny - always nice to stumble upon a fellow RA fan. I can't help but mention a project I hope will be his next project - playing Matthew Clairmont from A Discovery of Witches. You can check out the campaign on www.armitage4clairmont.com or www.facebook.com/armitage4clairmont. The book is fantastic and it is as if the main male character is written for him!

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    1. Hi Sheila! Looks like a great idea. He does listen to and value his fans so cross your fingers. Now I have to read that book!

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  11. Dear Jenny, your blog is fantastic! Good topic about Richard Armitage. I "met" him in North & South. Watched it about 20 timed now :) Want to hear a funny story? I went to see The Hobbit when finally the mass hysteria here in Hollamd was over. I love the LOTR saga. So, this movie would be a great sequel.. Ok, we were settled with our popcorn,
    stupid glasses on, the movie started ( I definitely
    hate 3D) and then an amazingly attractive dwarf stepped into the room... The whole 2 hours after tjis moment I was thinking: mmm, this dwarf looks familiar; he is a dwarf, but so yummie; who is that dwarf??!) When the movie finished I then discovered that it was Richard playing a major roll in one of my favourite movie genre. Sigh.. I can't wait to see him on a big screen again :D Take care and I keep on reading your posts! Mina from Holland

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