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Burden of expectation
THE BIG SCREEN
Long: Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen as Gandalf star in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
After seeing The Hobbit: An
thought of a notion
expressed by a friend, Dave, over a
long macchiato, when he mused
that some things and experiences
are disappointing because they
are exactly as you expect them to
The Grand Canyon is vast, eye
boggling, and astounding yet dis-
appoints because that is what you
expect it to be.
The same applies to avocadoes
that are brown on the inside.
The Hobbit reminded me of this
comment because it is epic in
nature, draws upon Tolkien's vast
mythology of Middle Earth and is
delivered by Peter Jackson in a
visual splendour that we have seen
through his Lord of the Rings film
Yet there have been disgruntled
viewers who have said that is it too
long and doesn't deliver anything
we haven't seen already in the first
three films. It is, like the Grand
Canyon, disappointing because it s
exactly what we expect it to be.
There used to be a saying along
the lines of something being bigger
than Ben Hur. These films are bigger
than Ben Hur yet, we, at least some
of us, want them to be even
enormously huger than Ben Hur. We
expect ever more colossal spec-
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Jour-
ney is epic in nature and contains
the trademarks of an epic.
Epics place objects, environ-
ments, and people within a
broader, universal context.
It explains characters and events
that build the foundations of Middle
Earth's mythology, similar to Edith
Hamilton's Mythology and Tolkien's
own Silmarillion. This accounts for
some of the longish sequences and
lots of explanations in the movie.
Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, under-
takes an heroic quest across a vast
setting in the world that is Middle
Earth, descends to the depths of
hellish landscapes inhabited by
trolls, goblins and orcs, performs
extraordinary feats for an unassum-
ing hobbit and carries with him the
burden of saving his universe.
His quest involves Smaug, a
dreadful dragon who has decim-
ated the dwarves' kingdom.
We are introduced to Gollum
and Smeagol and Bilbo encoun-
ters the mesmerising power of the
Granted, several sequences, like
the mountain troll dinner banquet,
could have been cut without affect-
ing the overall impact of the film,
although it does provide some
comic relief. It's disconcerting that
many of the computer generated
trolls and orcs have a distinctly
working class British accents.
There's enough that is familiar
that will keep fans satisfied and a
few new ideas and background
briefings that will fill in the gaps for
those unfamiliar with the story and
there's another two films to come to
finish the adventure.
If you didn't like the Lord of the
Rings films, you won't like The
Hobbit and you won't like the next
two films in the franchise, which will
be delivered on Boxing Day over
the next two years. As a young man
behind me said to his friends as the
credits rolled and they all laughed,
"Same time next year?" Although it
is what you expect, The Hobbit, An
Unexpected Tale nonetheless
provides an entertaining extravag-
anza, in which actors like Cate
Blanchett and Hugo Weaving are
having so much fun playing dress-
ups, buttressed by the underlying
structure of a solid epic.
After all, the Grand Canyon,
despite being what you expected,
is still wondrous and breathtaking.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Jour-
ney, rated M.
Canberra Gang Show 2013 presents The Quest to Con--ACapital
Why is Canberra always so cold? Why so many roundabouts? And why are those public servants
Two evil geniuses, Syd and Mel, have been plotting against Canberra for decades, trying to destroy
the nation's capital to get what they want.
Now it seems a local girl guide unit may have stumbled across Syd and Mel's grand centenary plan
to destroy Canberra once and for all.
Watch as the guides team up to foil Syd and Mel's plans and save Canberra. Will they stop the evil
villains and save the day? Will Canberra finally get to celebrate and show off all it has to offer?
Or will Syd and Mel succeed and reduce Canberra to a never-ending land of roadworks and
Canberra Gang Show is an annual theatre production and is part of the Scouts ACT and Guides
ACT program. It provides an opportunity for learning, developing and sharing theatrical skills, both
on stage and behind the scenes.
If this sounds like something you would like to be involved in, you can be a part of the next Gang
Applications for cast and crew opened on January 1, 2013.
There are a variety of things you can do in Gang Show, from selling programs to sewing costumes,
making props, building sets, hanging lights, playing in the band or acting in the cast. Some
positions require technical skills, however Gang Show is a training activity and can teach you all
the skills you need to fulfil your role.
Visit www.canberragangshow.com.au for details and online forms.
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