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Thorin Oakenshield

Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Ringer Review - NAME


Date Posted: 2012-12-15
Tolkien Fan Level: 8
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

I had the chance to see The Hobbit on December the 12th at the Odeon in Leicester sq, during the royal premiere.
Well, what can I say? It has indeed been a long expected movie. On the morning of the 12th I was literally counting the minutes left, I couldn't think of anything but The Hobbit: I guess that's what an almost 10 years wait does to you! Now, I was happy, excited and thrilled but also worried: reviews have been quite discordant and I had the feeling, I would be somehow disappointed. Luckily, that was not the case.
I sat inside the Odeon cinema, filled with people, watching with wonder the lovely actors come in, when the lights finally went down. I think my heart might have skipped a beat right then. But now, on to the movie... The first few minutes, I must say, I focused on the HFR much more than on the actual story. The 48fps really change everything, and I believe this change to be negative. Other people spoke about the cgi looking fake and very cartoonish, but on the contrary, I thought the effects were great and instead the real scenarios etc, looked much more fake. I would advise you all not to see the movie in the 48fps format, or at least, not on your first screening.
Back to the story, the prologue (recounted by Bilbo) is very emotional and moving. We catch our first glimpse of Thorin and of Thranduil. Lee Pace really is an Elven king, proud and haughty. His final scene, riding an elk, I agree, was very Princess Mononoke-ish but visually stunning all the same. As for Erebor, I loved the design which so reminded me of Moria and yet was fresh and new.
As we proceed, we finally get to young Bilbo played by the wonderful Martin Freeman. I got the feeling, Martin worked on the role much more than we can possibly imagine. He studied Ian Holme's expressions, his mannerisms and portrayed them in a faithful way, trying to add something of his own to the role. This worked perfectly for me. I didn't doubt Martin for a second!
Ian McKellen, as always, striked me with his first-rate performance of Gandalf, so I won't spend many words on him.
Richard... now Richard was superb as Thorin! I could feel throughout the whole movie, his pain, his grief, his anger. It was all there, inside his melancholic eyes. But there was more in his face and demeanour: pride. A dwarf-king in exile, trying desperately to reclaim and rebuild something he lost so long ago. In a way, I felt Richard was the true protagonist, as if he outshined the other actors.
As for the story, it is quite faithful to the book, with a lot of quotes from it and many, many references to the LOTR movies. I cannot say it is action-packed (although we do get a lot of pseudo-fight/fight scenes), it is slow-paced but definitely not dull. The only thing which truly came out of PJ's mind was Azog's story line. I think, in a way, it worked well. He is the major and key enemy in the the first movie, along with the Goblin King and gives Thorin even more reason to be the way he is: constantly brooding and thirsting for vengeance.
The 'riddles in the dark' scene was of course perfect and extremely well portrayed. Andy and Martin really managed to convey that queer, almost frightening atmosphere. And I thoroughly enjoyed their last scene together, where Bilbo decided not to kill Gollum, pitying him. Andy's sad, somber face was unique and so intense.
All in all, The Hobbit, is a lighter movie than the LOTR trilogy and by this I mean: the events occuring in this period are prior to Frodo's story, they still have to unfold, the world Bilbo lives in is not so dark and evil. That is why, the two trilogies should not be compared. Rings is something entirely different, think of The Hobbit as a separate story and you shall see what the movie is really worth. You will laugh, cry or maybe be angry but don't try to cast LOTR's shadow on this new story, it would ruin its magic.

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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