Date Posted: 2012-12-14
Tolkien Fan Level: 7
Film Format Seen? 3D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
First of all, the main reason to see this film, even if you are not a Tolkien fan, is Martin Freeman. Every moment he is on screen is pure delight. Sometimes an actor can play a role that you are very familiar with and every once in a while your brain says, "Wow this actor is really good," or "I remember this person from another film." Not so with Martin Freeman's Bilbo. From the moment the film began to the end, all my brain said was, "OMGOSH. That is Bilbo Baggins in the flesh!" He IS Bilbo Baggins. Period.
Second, many critics said that the film moved slowly, but I didn't find that to be true, with the exception of the White Council Scene. That was the only time I found myself thinking, "Shut up Saruman. Let's get back to Bilbo!" Other than that, the pacing seemed quite good and by the time they encounter Azog (the pale orc) and the eagles, I found myself thinking, " Aww man, It's almost over isn't it? :( " Third, speaking of Azog, at first I felt like he was a bit forced. They obviously needed some sort of antagonist, as there is none in the first half of the book (aside from the Goblin King). BUT, then I remembered hearing that name before and realized that Azog is actually mentioned in the Hobbit. In the first chapter of the book Gandalf mentions him: "Your Grandfather Thror was killed, you remember, in the mines of Moria by Azog the Goblin." So an orc named Azog DID kill Thorin's grandfather and it was a battle involving the mines of Moria. I think it may have been at a different battle that Thorin did his whole "Oakensheild" thing, but as with the LOTR films, Peter and Fran have meshed different plot points together to save time and confusion, which I am perfectly ok with. Fourth, some critics have compared Radagast the Brown to Jar Jar Binks. Something they need to remember is that 1) if every wizard was like Gandalf it would make for an altogether forgettable character and 2) Radagast isn't the bumbling useless idiot that Jar jar was. I mean...did Jar Jar have an awesome Bunny sled? No. Nuf' said. Over all I came away from "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" not just satisfied, but craving more Middle-earth. The performances where excellent and the story entertaining. This film is not as epic as LOTR, but for what it lacks in battles and such, it makes up for 10x in characters and story. Oh and BTW, the Riddles in the Dark sequence was THE best acting I think Andy Serkis as ever done. I can't wait to see it again just for that scene. I suppose the only thing that I really don't like about the Hobbit is that I have to wait a whole year to see the next film. Let the countdown begin :)
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