Title: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey (Official site)
Tag Line: From the smallest beginnings come the greatest legends.
Release Date: 14 December 2012
Runtime: 169 min
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy
Series or Standalone: Series
Where Seen: Theatre
Production Company: New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), WingNut Films
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director(s): Peter Jackson
Writer(s): Fran Walsh (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay), Peter Jackson (screenplay), Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), and J.R.R. Tolkien (novel)
Stars: Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Ken Stott (Balin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), William Kircher (Bifur, Tom Troll), James Nesbitt (Bofu), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), Aidan Turner (Kili), John Callen (Oin), Peter Hambleton (Gloin, William Troll), Jed Brophy (Nori), Mark Hadlow (Dori, Bert Troll), Adam Brown (Ori)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The Hobbit Series Order
Film 1: An Unexpected Journey
Film 2: The Desolation of Smaug (13 Dec 2013)
Film 3: There and Back Again (~Dec 2014)
Its no secret that I am a massive geek and when I first heard that the Lord of the Rings book was to be made into a series of films I was mad excited (and may have even given my friend a bruise from hitting her arm in excitement over the first teaser trailer.) I loved all of the adaptations and even found a way to accept all the various little changes that were made. I was also really excited when I heard that Peter Jackson and company were going to turn The Hobbit into a movie for even though it wasn’t my favorite book I still enjoyed it.
I loved this movie so very muchly Jackson does such an amazing job creating a rich and detailed false reality that you forget that you are sitting in your seat staring at a screen for almost 3 hours. Each scene just flows so well from one to another that it seems like no time has passed at all when the credits start to roll. I know that changes were made from book to screen and additions pulled in from the appendixes and I thought that all those little additions worked out well in really fleshing out this story. The Hobbit as a book is very short so these additions help add to the length though I am still uncertain how they’ll be able to get three movies out of the deal.
Part of what makes these movies so good though is the soundtrack that accompanies them, Howard Shore is absolutely brilliant at setting the scene. I can listen to most tracks from the LOTR movies and be instantly transported to the scene that they appeared in. The same is the case with the music for The Hobbit and I know that this is a soundtrack will be a favorite of mine in the years to come. There is just so much emotion in each note that it amplifies everything that is going on on-screen.
As with all the LOTR movies the scenes in The Hobbit were visually stunning and the CGI scenes blended in really well with the live action ones. They weren’t perfect, as a quick glance at the IMDB Goofs page will show, but it takes a real practiced eye to notice most of them. I myself only noticed a couple and that was only during the second viewing of the film. The first time I was just lost in the magic of it all.
For me, this is a must see film in the theatres, I think that any fan of the LOTR movies will really enjoy The Hobbit as well. Although it is weird to see some of the beloved (and not so beloved) characters from LOTR prior to their rolls in those films. It can be a bit odd knowing all that is to come before this movie even starts but at the same time its easy to forget all that and just enjoy each moment of this story as it unfolds. To learn the old characters all over again and to get to know all of the new. And I do love all of the new characters. The crazy, boisterous, group of dwarfs were always a favorite of mine in the Hobbit story. They were all cast perfectly although I will admit that my memory of the book isn’t as strong as it could have been.
2D vs 3D
The first time I saw this movie it was in 3D and I enjoyed it alot. As much as I dislike the 3D craze it does add a little something when the images literally pop off the screen. But with a movie that is as long as the Hobbit is my eyes were very dry and it hurt to blink when the credits rolled and I took off the glasses. When watching the 2D version of the film this wasn’t the case at all. I also noticed that the audience reactions were a lot different in the 2D from the 3D. In the 3D the audience was quieter. There were some chuckles during some funny moments but there wasn’t much reaction. While in the 2D there was lots of loud bursts of laughter, gasps during some of the more tense scenes, and when the credits rolled the audience clapped. For me, the 2D seemed more real than the 3D the colors were a bit more muted and lifelike and it was just easier to get lost in the story. So my recommendation is that if you haven’t seen this one yet then go to the 2D version, the 3D was good but it didn’t really add anything more to the movie and may have even taken away a bit of the magic.
Overall, a must see for all fans and I can’t wait until the extended version is available on DVD.