So what did the Ring ever do for us?
, 20 Jan 2013
This is the film which is showcasing the brand new High Frame Rate (i. e. 48 frames per second instead of 24) format and as my local Vue and Odeon only have normal 3D I decided to travel further afield to an Empire cinema which can show HFR. Well, to cut to the chase, it was a waste of time & money and my advice is don't bother paying the extra money to see it in HFR. As well as the usual extra £1. 50 on top of the normal cost because it is in 3D, Empire charged a further additional fee of 55p for the HFR screening. And to be perfectly frank I couldn't see a scrap of difference in picture quality. What a disgraceful rip-off from Empire Cinema. Luckily I already had some 3D glasses otherwise it would have cost even more.
Leaving aside the cost and the presentation, the film itself is not particularly good. Some of the special effects scenes look terrible, for example rocks, which at times look so artificial they resemble something out of a 1970s Doctor Who episode - that is, looking like polystyrene sprayed with paint. Except for the early scenes in the shire, the colouring is often dull, with a drab brownish hue. The sequence with the goblins is OK but the king has a voice which sounds silly and comical, not fearsome; ironically he does have one line which is meant to be funny but he delivers it so embarrassingly badly it falls flat. Some of the fights & battles are impressive and the scene where Bilbo meets Gollum and finds the ring is good. However it's not explained exactly what use the ring is or why Gollum desires it so much, when all it's done is turn him into a wizened physical freak with a split personality.
The main problem with this film is that despite its epic, and unnecessary, length, the characters (except for Gollum) have no personality to speak of. The Dwarves are, well, just dwarves - I cannot even remember any of their names, much less care about them getting their land back. Nothing much is known about Bilbo - he lives alone apparently, but is he widowed, does he have any friends, or ambitions? In order to care about a character we need some background history, a reason to think 'I like this guy, I want him to succeed'. And after a mostly boring 2 and 1/2 hours I still don't care.
Format: Cinema - Digital 3D HFR; Dolby Digital sound
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