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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Ringer Review - NAME

A. MythicWonder2

Date Posted: 2013-01-01
Tolkien Fan Level: 9
Film Format Seen? 2D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes


"Which is exactly what Jackson himself does by making the linkages between his two film-cycles absolutely unmistakable. And such linkages — such cyclical goings-on — are critical to understanding the only form of allegory J.R.R. Tolkien did intend to write, which is that purer form of allegory that confirms for us that all good stories contain within them the kernel of our self-knowing, and that it is the repetitive nature of such stories that makes our self-knowing easier to accommodate than would otherwise be the case.

"It would have been far easier for Peter Jackson to write and direct 'The Hobbit' artificially blind to the fact that he had already made its sequel; instead, the mercurial director generously reveals for us that the distance between a so-called children's tale ('The Hobbit') and a story of the world's near-ending and rebirth ('The Lord of the Rings') is not so great after all, and that whether one leaves one's chosen path for adventure or for duty, it is the courage to deviate in the first instance that charts one's course, not one's geopolitical circumstances.

"Critics who would have Jackson re-entrench the purported distinction between different tales and types of courage are not only not sympathetic to Tolkien's original cause — whatever their claims to the contrary — they are, far worse, diminishing the fantasy genre's primary contribution to our collective moral understanding. They are willfully cheapening, too, cinema's power to delight us with wonders even as it reminds us of old sorrows, old successes, and old glories. Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit', being a film, is of course not a book J.R.R. Tolkien would — or did — write; it is, however, the film J.R.R. Tolkien would have made had his capacities as a filmmaker and his knowledge of the cinematic medium equaled his prowess as a novelist and his knowledge of the rhetoric of fiction. And it is this, finally, that we ask for from a movie director — that he be the Tolkien of his unique medium, by way of bringing to his preferred artform a rare glory already well-captured in another. We are wrongheaded when we insist, instead, that a film director or screenwriter diminish his medium or his medium-specific artistic vision by treating his source material as something other than a portable wonder.... We may be hopeful that, in the future, [Jackson will] get the credit for his discretion — and his creative vision — that he deserves."†

Hope, after all, is what it's all about :)

†Excerpt from "Why Tolkien Would Be Proud: Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit' Is a Better Book Adaptation (and Film) Than Any of the 'Lord of the Rings' Films", THE BLOG, 'The Huffington Post' 12/27/2012,

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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