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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Ringer Review - NAME


Date Posted: 2012-12-15
Tolkien Fan Level: 1
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

It is hard to even begin this review, but, suffice it if I say, "The Hobbit" was great! I was very pleased with it on the whole. And, aside from some deviations from the text (and by that I mean even deviations from the Appendices of LoTR), I quite enjoyed it.

"The Hobbit" started splendidly: I love how we see Bilbo taking out the Red Book of Westmarch and Frodo's curiosity at all of his chests stuffed with treasure. I did notice the change in Bilbo's actual countenance, and, while I would have approved of some continuity with FoTR (for, though 60 years have passed, Bilbo is not suppossed to have aged much as a result of the Ring), I was willing to accept a "younger" Bilbo as "not a big deal." That this opening scene (with Bilbo's wonderful narration) ends with Frodo running off to meat Gandalf (which ties into FoTR) was very satisfying.

I also must applaud Ian Mckellen as a perfect Gandalf, once again. What was lacking from "an Unexpected Party," however, was major: the Dwarves were not wearing their so-quintescential hoods. Aside from this small slip, the Dwarves are great: in acting, make-up/costumes, and, of course, accents. Amongst the commotion of the party, it was great to see Gandalf bump his head against the very lamp he hits in FoTR when he returns to Bag End.

One major flaw with the story (taking into consideration all of the appendices of LoTR, too) was the addition of Azog as a central villain. The scene of "Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire" was much dramatized (nor did I appreciate Gandalf's having to call the Eagles for aid with that small butterfly/moth-thing he uses to escape the roof of Orthanc).

However, it gets slightly worse: Azog, at the Battle of Azanulbizar (when the Dwavres retake Moria and Thorin earns the name "Oakenshield") is killed. Yes, Dain kills Azog as the Dwarves retake the mountain, and his head is palced on a spike. So, Azog should not even be alive to fight Thorin at the pines: that this rivalry was added (but, even so, incorrectly and not thought-through) was dissappointing.

The scene "Riddles in the Dark" was the best of the film: Andy Serkis is better than ever as Gollum (and the new technology helps, not just in this scene, but the whole film). The music was amazing, with many leitmotifs from LoTR, and the cinematography was beautiful (many fly-by's of NZ).

On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed the film and, though I may have to look past certain (large) flaws with the legendarium and the addition of non-cannonical aspects, I intend to see it again...and again.

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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