Kiwi winery Villa Maria were sponsoring the wine at tonight’s preview showing of The Hobbit, so I got to go.
Pictured above: Warren Adamson (Craggy Range), Kate Sweet (PR person and significant other of Warren), Sarah Shepherd (NZ Winegrowers), me, and Penny Fear (Villa Maria UK).
Good bits: lots of action and incipient peril (if this is your thing); serious cgi (if this is your thing); the sequence involving Golum (just brilliant); the Goblin’s underground city, with its rickety wooden structure; the stunning Kiwi scenery; the fact that despite all the fighting and dangerous scrapes, no dwarves, wizards or hobbits are injured.
Bad bits: the 3D was rubbish (this may have been a problem with the cinema, who were showing the film at 48 fps) and almost ruined the watching experience; the licence taken with cgi to the point of absurdity (the escape from the goblin city is just silly); the utter maleness of the whole thing; Richard Armitage as Thorin; James Nesbitt as Bofur; the 1950s style painting that is the backdrop for the Elfin kingdom; and the fact that this isn’t a stand-alone film because of the ending, which is very abrubt.
I’m not surprised the New Zealand trade commission got behind this film: it just makes you want to visit New Zealand. Which I shall do, next month.