Walking the path to Mor­dor

In light of new movie, 2 lo­cal men doc­u­ment real ad­ven­ture on Web. ‘Hob­bit’ movie stretched thin to cre­ate tril­ogy

Austin American-Statesman - - D MOVIES & LIFE - Bymatthewo­dam modam@states­man.com Fan­dom By David Ger­main Hob­bit

The fans of “The Lord of the Rings” se­ries are le­gion. Mil­lions have read the books, donned the cos­tumes, seen the block­buster movies and will re­gale you with sto­ries about their love of the J.R.R. Tolkien clas­sic and Peter Jack­son’s adap­ta­tions.

But Aus­tinites Kerry Shawcross and Chris De­marais don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. Lit­er­ally.

In the first part of Jack­son’s tril­ogy, the war­rior Boromir (Sean Bean) warns the Fel­low­ship of the Ring that “one doesn’t sim­ply walk into Mor­dor.”

Judg­ing part one of Peter Jack­son’s “The Lord of the Rings” pre­lude “The Hob­bit” is a bit like re­view­ing a film af­ter see­ing only the first act.

But here goes: “The Hob­bit: An Un­ex­pected Jour­ney” is stuffed with Hol­ly­wood’s lat­est tech­nol­ogy — 3-D, high-speed pro­jec­tion and Dolby’s At­mos sur­round sound sys­tem. The re­sult is some eye candy that truly daz­zles and some that ut­terly dis­tracts, at least in its test run of 48 frames a sec­ond, dou­ble the pro­jec­tion rate that has been stan­dard since silent­film days.

It’s also over­stuffed with ... stuff. Pro­logues and sidestep­ping back­story. Long, bor­ing coun­cils among dwarves, wizards and elves. A shal­low blood feud ex­trap­o­lated from sketchy ap­pen­dices to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” to give the film a bad guy.

Re­mem­ber the in­ter­minable false end­ings of “The Re­turn of the King,” the Academy Award-win­ning fi­nale of Jack­son’s “Lord of the Rings”? “An Un­ex­pected Jour­ney” has a sim­i­lar bloat dur­ing its nearly three hours, in which Tolkien’s brisk story of in­trepid lit­tle hob­bit Bilbo Bag­gins is drawn out and di­luted by dis­pens­able trim­mings.

Two more parts are coming, so we won’t know how the whole story comes to­gether un­til the fi­nale ar­rives in

Contributed by rooster teeth Pro­duc­tions

Chris De­marais (left) and Kerry Shawcross doc­u­ment “A Sim­ple Walk Into Mor­dor.”

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