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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Ringer Review - NAME


51, Washington
United States

Date Posted: 2012-12-16
Tolkien Fan Level: 7
Film Format Seen? 2D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

I enjoyed it very much. More than TT, less than RoTK and FotR. If grading B+.


Placing most of the backstory exposition: Dale/Coming of Smaug, Thorin/Azog early in the movie was well done as it allowed the plot from the Trolls onward to flow at a very nice pace. A lot of the backstory/exposition felt more like EE material, and I'm left wondering what other material would be in a UJEE. Maybe describing Azogs getting his scars from Gwaihir? Btw, I loved his look.

I liked the look of Erebor. It wasn't what I expected, and the Arkenstone seemed a bit off. Cool looking, but a bit too ethereal. I had always imagined something more spherically fist-sized and multi-faceted.

The Shire looked right and it was good to see it. It made me settle a bit more comfortably in my seat. It was also good to see Ian Holm and Elijah Wood. Maybe the final movie will end with them again and the start of the Birthday Party?

Impressed with the NZ scenery once more. Despite all the eye candy in LotR there are still lots and lots of beauty shots. The NZ tourist board should make annual tributes to the films.

The scene with Tom, William and Burt was great. Different than the book, but well done none the less. Loved the Troll Snot bath. I heard the peals of laughter from all the kids at one of my viewings yesterday.

Radagast was my biggest worry. Or more specifically, the rabbit sled was my biggest worry. It still looks stupid, but it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. If I hadn't seen it in the previews I probably would have really hated it. I did like the rabbit sounding the alarm. Rhosgobel was cool looking. Him in Dol Guldur was not something I expected, but I liked the scene. However, the navigational challenge of getting a rabbit sled from Dol Guldur OVER the Misty Mountains into the Trollshaws (?) seems to be ignored.

The amount of waterfalls around Rivendell felt a bit excessive. I figured the Elves on Horseback were Elladan and Elrohir, I didn't expect Elrond. Who was the blonde horseman? Poor old Glorfindel who always gets left out of movies? If so, maybe a EE scence where those three are identified by name? The White Council scene was fantastic. Like Cate Blanchett more here than in FotR. From her last words to Gandalf, maybe she'll be in one of the others when Gandalf goes to Dol Guldur? Thought her departure was a bit too much like a Batman departure.

I enjoyed much of Goblin Town. The scaffolding runs opens it up a good bit. Thought the Great Goblin was too big (though his last line was good) and the long scaffolding fall with Gandalf and the Dwarves was too much. However, the Riddle Scene was the absolute highlight. I was watching for the improvements in performance capture and was not at all disappointed. Loved some of the choices: Gollum putting his chin on the rock, the glow of Sting flickering and then going out completely as the Goblin dies.

The "Into the Fire" scene was also very, very good. Bilbo's speech and later his actions defending Thorin are new, but they are very well done. I'm not sure why Thorin had Orcrist when he landed on the Aerie. It wasn't that close to him when he was down (just out of reach). Thorin seems much more heroic here than in the book. I'm ok with that.

I was fortunate and saw the film twice yesterday, but probably in the wrong order: 3D first and then 2D. I don't know if the 3D was 48 or 24 fps. I should have seen the 2D first and then seen the 2D after I knew this telling of the story.

Likes: Riddle Scene
Galadriel/White Council
Troll Snot
Look of new Orcs/Goblins, Wargs and Azog
Look of things, Hobbiton & natural scenery
Old friends: Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, Older Bilbo and Frodo

Nots : size of Great Goblin
long expository opening
Rabbit sled
geographic problems
flooding of Imladris

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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