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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles

Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Ringer Review - NAME


46, Marietta
United States

Date Posted: 2012-12-18
Tolkien Fan Level: 6
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

Goodness, where to begin.
Well, in the interests of full disclosure, I am unfairly biased in favor of the movie for several reasons. I have been an ardent fan of all things Tolkien since age 11, when I read The Hobbit for the first time. Through high school, I read the LOTR trilogy and The Silmarillion. I have read literary works on Tolkien like The Road to Middle Earth by Shippey and The Inklings.
Coming full circle, this year my sons and I read together The Silmarillion and then The Hobbit, in their proper order. From the trailers alone, my sons had memorized Lament for Erebor ("Far over....."). We had been looking forward to this movie more than Christmas itself.
We were not disappointed.
Seeing the movie in not only 3D, but in the High Frame Rate version, was well worth driving the extra miles. Even my wife was impressed with the clarity of the method. Those who complained of nausea from the 48fps or 3D, should probably cut back on their popcron. While 3D movies have caused me discomfort before, that was not the case here. Neither my sons nor I had problems, and two of us had to wear our glasses under the 3D specs. No issues here.
The cinematography made the best use of 3D -- to complement, and accentuate, not to dominate, the experience. The best use was giving the first person view, from the dwarves perspective, on the bridge section plunging into the abyss -- I felt my stomach leap into my throat, like I were really plunging from a great height, it was so convincing.
Characterization and screenplay were very well done, considering the difficult task of rounding out characters and plot elements that Tolkien had carried only so far. Here was a good example of Jackson and his team fulfilling Tolkien's intentions, of filling in with more detail the landscape that he had created for future generations. Perhaps most difficult and sensitive, are finer details of dwarf culture, like clothing, diet, weapons style, diplomacy, and such. Jackson and Weta handled this in a way that will make this film a classic. They forged new paths that many others will follow.
Most pleasing to me was the acting and editing. An experienced eye can catch "false moments" that an actor might slip and an editor might miss. I saw none in my first viewing, not even amongst the extras. This is one more mark of a truly great film.
My only note of less than perfection is that there are a few places where I do not see the harm in keeping the plot a little closer to the book, but overall Jackson's departures from some details are minor and this is forgivable, and perhaps necessary to make it work cinematically.
Do not mistake me, it is possible to disappoint me. I can be a harsh critic when it is warranted.
However, in this case, for this first film at least, I am very pleased.

The Ratings
The Other Ratings
Martin Freeman 's performance as Bilbo Baggins?
Richard Armitage 's performance as Thorin?
The Overall representation of The Dwarves ?
Andy Serkis' performance as Gollum?
Ian McKellen's performance as Gandalf?
Bilbo's retelling of the history of Erebor and of Thror/Thrain/Thorin
The Eagles rescue sequence?
The Goblin King ?
Initial impression of Thranduil?
Hugo Weaving's performance as Elrond?
Radagast's portrayal in the movie?
The representation of Goblintown?
Cate Blanchett's performance as Galadriel?
The Bag End Supper scene?
The scene of the Trolls?
The representation of the Arkenstone?
The Stone Giants?
Escape from the Goblin cave?
Riddles in the Dark scene?
The return to Rivendell?
The attack on the party by the Wargs
The first glimpses of Smaug?
The ending of the movie; in regards to leading well into the next film, and serving as a good ending point.
The overall pace of the film
Peter Jackson's vision in bringing the Hobbit to the big screen.

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