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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Date Posted: 2012-12-19
Tolkien Fan Level: 5
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

I've seen the film twice. The first showing was in 3D 48FPS and I was definitely underwhelmed. I hope that was due to excitement and lack of sleep! I saw it the second time in the 2D format in a more relaxed setting and liked it much better. This won't be my last viewing, so, despite my giving solid 'medium' grades across the board, there's a good chance my liking will 'grow in the telling'.

Just like LOTR, there were portions of The Hobbit that I loved and portions that I (equally) hated. By far, though, it was more loved than hated. But, unlike LOTR, it never felt as if it were achieving brilliance. It may be because the very nature of the story is of a less serious nature. It may be that LOTR brought something new that The Hobbit, perforce, cannot.

The Hobbit, to me, was never quite the story of an epic Adventure. But it also seems a pity to have taken the elements that were inherent in the story and ratcheted them up to a level where I was literally thinking that I was seeing a video game. I imagine that a great many people would love these elements, but my enjoyment of Tolkien lies in the quiet of the Shire, not in a lot of screen sleight-of-hand (which is some cases, seemed not sl(e)ight, but heavy).

How I wanted to absolutely adore this movie. How I wanted to HAVE to be at the cinema every day after work, as I was when FOTR came out. How I wanted to have the magic of Middle Earth wrap itself around me again. For a myriad of reasons, that sort of magic was not apparent. It's like asking for Gandalf at your birthday party and getting.....well, one of those two 'blue fellows'....whose name(s) no one quite remembers. Capable of magic, still, but not THE magic.

I really enjoyed the acting very much. I thought Freeman's Bilbo was wonderful. Sir Ian is always a solid delight. And what can one say about Andy? I thought he was terrific in LOTR but he's even better in The Hobbit. (and I loved McCoy's Radagast and (just sayin') Kiran's little cameo as the Goblin 'scribe')

I'm not a film critic. I don't know the nuts and bolts of what makes a movie great, good, mediocre, or bad. I only know that I did not feel the greatness here.

Do you remember when you were about to take a beating as a child, and your parent would say, "this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you"? That is how I feel writing a review that is less than five-star for The Hobbit. Lord of the Rings never felt like a film to me. It felt like a documentary that somehow had survived the Ages and that we were magically allowed to see. The Hobbit, on the other hand (or foot!) is....only ......a film.

*only* a film. A good one, yes. a pity that it was not great. But there are two chances left to retrieve the magic. What has The Head Hobbit got in its pocketsessssss? My fervent hope is: a magical redemption of films 2 & 3. Let The Hobbit REALLY happen!

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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