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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Ringer Review - NAME


18, Princeton
United States

Date Posted: 2012-12-15
Tolkien Fan Level: 2
Film Format Seen? 3D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a welcome return to Middle-earth, though it feels much like an extended version offering overstretched scenes and extra trimmings that critics and non-Ringers alike won't have the patience for. I firmly believe that a two-film adaptation would have achieved the perfect balance between character development and plot, but three films is pushing it. In satisfying three films, the less-than-welcome presence of Radagast the Brown and the dreadful addition of Azog, a CGI monstrosity were warranted. Though they are each mentioned only once or twice in the book, the blessed appendices in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King elaborate on their affairs, which Peter Jackson is more than happy to incorporate into his movie, if only in a less cringe-worthy fashion. Azog is a bland, videogame-ish villain (who not to mention bears a striking resemblance to Kratos, the character from the God of War series) that the screenwriters saw fit to resurrect despite him being dead in the book. He along with all the 'orcs' in this film do not speak English and are all computer generated as opposed to actors in make-up like we are used to in Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Doing away with 'bigatures' and other good old fashion filmmaking tricks that served the Rings films so well consequently yields a less gritty movie. Nevertheless there is much technical wizardry to gape at. Gollum is the one CGI-laden character that works spectacularly, thanks to the masterful Andy Serkis who ought to at least receive an Oscar nomination for his efforts. Though Gollum steals this film, performances all around were excellent, particularly those of Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, and Richard Armitage which were a trifecta of perfection. While recycling many familiar themes, Howard Shore still delivers an impressive score that complements the film wonderfully. Overall I give this movie a B-, and recommend you all see it in IMAX. I'm now interested to see how Peter Jackson takes the criticism of this film and applies it to The Desolation of Smaug, which I'm now desperately anticipating.

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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