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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Ringer Review - NAME


15, Pretoria
South Africa

Date Posted: 2012-12-16
Tolkien Fan Level: 7
Film Format Seen? 3D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

On Wednesday, the 12th of December 2012, dressed as a dwarf and over-burdened with popcorn and lembas bread, I watched one of the most epic movies of our time. A movie that I am sure has thrilled fans and others all over the world.

The Hobbit can't be compared to LotR in terms of atmosphere, or anything else. Even when there are moments that are reminiscent of LotR, they seem different, but in a really good way. I love the fact that you're re-entering a different Middle Earth, but still the same one. A lighter one with a dark vein running through it.

The acting is absolutely amazing. Andy Serkis did an even better performance than in LotR, hard as that is to believe. Along with Martin Freeman, Riddles in the Dark is my favourite scene. There cannot be another Bilbo. Gandalf was as good as ever, and the dwarves were just perfect. I was afraid the opening sequence with Frodo and Bilbo might have gone wrong, but it was better than I could have imagined it. I really loved those small moments the characters share throughout the movie. The over-all dialogue and script were some of the best in a movie I've heard. (So good that you might just as well quote the entire movie to your friends and embarrass them. We’ve all done it before.)

Everything from the LotR appendices was executed very well. I don’t think the movie would have been the same without the battle of Azanulbizar or the prologue with Erebor.

I was delighted by the scenes added that I thought would never be in the movie, or would be in the extended editions. Bilbo’s buttons popping and Gandalf telling Bilbo about Bullroarer and the invention of golf were things I had really hoped for!

For the most part, the movie ran smoothly and at a good pace (I really don’t have a problem with the beginning of the film – it didn’t seem slow at all), but as some places I felt that there were a few stretches and unnecessary parts. The pine forest scenes with Azog, for example.

It seems Andy’s directing was all for the better. PJ did a brilliant job as usual which was only bettered by the screenplay.
Shore composed a soundtrack as good as LotR’s. I love the fact that the filmmakers always put in the music in the right places – they don’t just paste it somewhere and hope it works. It’s almost as if it flows freely.

I found the special effects a bit inconsistent. There was something cartoonish about Radagast's hedgehogs, and Azog was an almost generic-looking villain, but the eagles, trolls and Gollum were brilliant. (Also, the entire "revenge of Azog" seemed cliché). Luckily the brilliant cinematography and shots will lift up all those wonky special effects. The 3D was appropriate for the most part, but very confusing during the battle scenes. I preferred it at the scenes where Bilbo’s buttons went flying and looking into Bag End. Sadly our cinemas in South Africa don’t have 48fps. It would be interesting to see what it looks like.

The details that go into the costumes, prosthetics and sets are mind-boggling. You can already see this in Erebor – everything from Thror’s costume, The Arkenstone to the halls themselves. Weta did a really good job. No story of Middle Earth could do without it, and that’s where Peter Jackson really captures the essence of it all.

Overall, it's in my top four movies of all time(hehe...). In the end, it does what fantasy should do best - draw you into a world that is magical and wonderful.

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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