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