Date Posted: 2012-12-16
Tolkien Fan Level: 7
Film Format Seen? 2D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
I loved this film. I've seen it twice now, and expect to see it at least once more before year's end in the other format (3D HFR).
Having sat through it again, and thinking back on it frequently, it is both different from and so much more than what I was expecting. It simultaneously fits within the same world as The Lord of the Rings films, and yet there is an undeniable quality to this series that distinguishes it. It is lighter, more fantastic (in the fantasy sense of the word) and more colorful - both visually and character-wise. The acting, scenery and portrayal of Tolkien's universe is as magnificent as always (I also ought to throw in my opinion that the CG work in this film is magnificent; in contrast to what others are saying, fans included, the Goblin King, Azog, et al were some of the highlights for me, with great designs and as convincing and welcoming to see as Gollum was when first we saw him in The Two Towers). In other ways, this film, and its book source material, is the inverse of the LOTR films and novels. While the former book, The Hobbit, has a very fun, yet truncated and light-on-details feel to it, the latter series is well known for a deep and richly detailed history, occupying as many pages as actual narrative. These books' respective movie translations then have stark differences as well. As wonderful and as involving as the LOTR films are, I know there is still so much left unsaid, and it could never be as fully comprehensive as the novels even within the one film per book format. Never. With this movie (and its expected sequels), The Hobbit is thus able to include the greater lion's share of words and plots from the book to the movie, along with extra meat from other Tolkien sources and filmaker additions. So The Hobbit film feels a more accurate representation as far as translations from one media to another go. In a nutshell, basically everything I wanted is there. It may not be the exact same as what I pictured when reading the book, but it's all there just the same. That's why I don't feel the film is "padded" or stretched. It's visualizing the book in a way that is most appropriate for a movie. I could go on and on about this, honestly. But as it relates to this film, the one we're all abuzz about right now, I believe the cast and crew deserve a special 'thank you' for giving us this rare opportunity. I'm going to see this movie again. And the only thing I look forward to more than seeing Smaug come to life completely next December is having The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on my shelf next to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as it should be. Now go enjoy it!
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