Pop culture and other perspectives with an artistic P.O.V. By Mike Pascale.
All contents ©2012 Mike Pascale. Visual content ©2012 their respective owner(s).
Merry Christmas to you and yours. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, may the joy and cheer of the season find its way to you and your family in any way that works.
1. Finally saw THE HOBBIT. No idea how it’s being received by the masses, but I thought it was entertaining. Yes, it’s looooooooong (I felt all of the three hours) but overall, worth the price of admission. For the record, I read the book back in junior high and hated it (put me to sleep). Didn’t remember a thing about it, so I came into this cold, and overall enjoyed it. Didn’t see it in 3D or the much-ballyhooed 48 frames-per-second. If you’re into 3D, though, I saw enough scenes that would be impressive for sure. (As long as your peepers didn’t pop after three hours of wearing the glasses.)
–The visuals, the stunts, the (incredible) choreography, the cinematography, sets/vistas, makeup and that sort of thing.
–Some welcome, genuine humor. Loved the banter amongst the trolls.
–Great design of the Orks, especially the head bad dude.
–Peter Jackson makes a cameo in the first 6 or 7 minutes (I forgot to look and missed it! A testament to the interesting storytelling right off the bat.)
–Eliah Wood makes a cameo as Frodo.
–The technology behind Gollum has improved even since LOTR, and it shows. You have to strain a bit to understand his dialog but the confrontation scene is riveting, as is Bilbo’s escape.
–The wizard with dried bird-poop in his hair. Not something I need to see ten feet tall while munching popcorn or candy.
–First rule of fiction is not to give your characters similar-sounding names. Obviously this didn’t apply to J.R., but it should have. I couldn’t tell which dwarf was which, between Florin, Borin’, Soarin’, Goon Mornin’, Beely, Keely, Touchy, Feely, Sleepy and Sneezy…It made me Dopey!
–The orcs and goblins looked much too alike; hard to tell some apart. Even the giant trolls had a similar design, and all three had the similarly-colored skin! Maybe in that world they’re all descended from each other, but visually and aesthetically it could have been so much more interesting–and less confusing to the casual viewer.
–The theme song, “Misty Mountains (Cold)”, sounded good the first time it was sung in Bilbo’s house as shown in the trailer. But the melody was used at least another four or five times throughout the film! An old trick from TV that became noticeably repetitive.
–Speaking of the song, I noticed the lyrics to “Bad Company” (by the band of the same name) seemed to fit suspiciously well with the melody. Try it yourself when you see the film. It’ll stick in your noggin for hours!
If you’re a Tolkein or LOTR fan, you obviously must see it. But even if you’re a casual fan or just like giant spectacle films, you’d have to see it on the giant screen; probably wouldn’t be the same on a home screen. So for that reason I’d rate it “See It.” If you’re just curious, then “Catch It” when it’s on video or OnDemand.
Since it’s Christmas, it’s time for another LAST KISS collaboration! As regulars here know, the jovial and genial genius behind the single-panel phenomenon called LAST KISS COMICS, John Lustig, and I team up when we can during holidays to make merriment using Silver Age Charlton romance art. This year I was honored to retouch (or deface, depending on your POV) some inks by the late, great Dick Giordano. John’s versions (colored by Alan Freeman, I believe) and my “Christmasized” versions are below.
The final versions with our gags, can be seen here:
And in the meantime, have yourself a merry little Christmas…and a big week of holiday fun no matter what you celebrate!