OK, I know - "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" was a decent-enough film and didn't deserve that snarky headline, but I just couldn't help myself.
That being said, the film does not compare to Peter Jackson's original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. While it bears an epic length in common, this latest adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien does not include lingering shots of blue eyes and panoramic sweeping shots of New Zealand landscapes, which took up much of the original trilogy's running time. Rather, it's one action scene after the next after the next after the next.
It's still good enough, at least, on the terms of being a major Hollywood blockbuster. I prefer it to most of last summer's fare, let's say. But it's still just a pretty good movie, rather than a great one.
I also caught Stephen Frears's "Lay the Favorite," which was, perhaps, the weakest entry in the usually solid director's oeuvre. The problem is that picture is mostly tone deaf.
Here are my Patch reviews.
My moviegoing schedule for the rest of the year is:
This Week: Zero Dark Thirty, Amour and This is 40
Next Week: Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Promised Land, The Impossible, Not Fade Away and On the Road. And, of course, my best and worst of the year list.
Sometime Soon: Jack Reacher