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Thorin Oakenshield

Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Ringer Review - NAME

Black Breathalizer

United States

Date Posted: 2012-12-16
Tolkien Fan Level: 10
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

Peter Jackson's Allegiance to the Spirit of Tolkien

The disconnect between the mainstream film critics and movie audiences is understandable. Critics are going to review films based on the usual performance indicators (pacing, camera work, acting, cinematography, editing, etc.) But while quality is reflected in every aspect of this film, if Peter Jackson cared about what the critics would think, he would have made a number of different choices.

I think PJ knew from the outset that he wouldn't get the same critical acclaim as he did for LOTR. He also knew from the example of George Lucas' Star Wars prequel that he would make a boatload of money regardless of how good it was. So those facts may have 'freed' him in many ways and emboldened him to make these films exactly as he wanted.

During the filming of LOTR, Jackson tried to deviate from Tolkien on a number of occasions only to end up realizing that the author knew what he was doing. Pre-vis artist, Christian Rivers, said that it often felt by many on the production that it was "meant to be." I don't believe that fact escaped Peter Jackson's notice.

So it seems to me that Jackson went into this effort with the idea of adhering to the spirit of the books and JRR Tolkien's unfulfilled quest to bring his two most famous literary works together. I think all true Tolkien fans realize now that a two-film series would have been a horrible mistake. It would have left out way too much of Tolkien to suit the fans.

While this introductory film didn't have the emotional payoff that FOTR did (how could it?), it was true to the spirit of Tolkien and was pure Jackson. Moments like Bilbo's rush out of his door...Bilbo's and Gollum's Riddles in the Dark...and Bilbo's pity are as solid as anything of Middle Earth ever shown on film. It was a solid introductory chapter that will lead to more dramatic and exciting things to come.

8 of 10

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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