I have been remiss in not watching this sooner. By now half of you have probably already seen it! But I was so sure it wasn't going to be subtitled, and when one is hard of hearing, there is nothing worse than watching a 45 minute film without subtitles. Unless it's longer.
However, yesterday I was sick, and very bored, and I thought "oh what the heck, I might as well give it a try!" So I went to the website, downloaded it, and found in the menu options that, sure enough, they had a gazillion subtitle options to choose from. Including English.
Any film that has subtitles automatically has me biased in their favor. And of course I'm always curious to see what other independant no or low budget films are able to come up with. But I'm also extremely skeptical - especially when something has the caliber of LOTR to live up to.
However I must say that "The Hunt for Gollum" was far and away much, much better than I had expected. I was staring at the screen, wondering how in the world they had managed to find those locations and get that kind of CGI work on a film of this budget! Really, folks, I think Peter Jackson himself would be impressed.
The film excels in pretty much every area. They have great actors (their Aragorn is really superb) and a script that both Fran Walsh and Tolkien would be highly impressed with - both in terms of dialogue and plot. The costumes are wonderful, particularily for the orcs. And they have a lot of orcs in there!
I think the weakest point of the film are its fight sequences. There's just a lack of "zing" that prevents them from working 100%. It's a mixture of the cinematography techniques, the actual choreography, the fact that I don't think even Strider could fight off fifteen Orcs at once and only get one tiny poisoned dart thing, and the way the orcs kept coughing up blood. The coughing thing seemed unrealistic, and unnecessarily gross. Gross in a throw up way, not a blood and gore way. Let's see some more blood in other places and less in the mouth, okay?
That said, I still have an extremely high opinion of this film and I would heartily recommend watching it.
It can be viewed here:
The director's blog can be accessed here: