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Ringer Reviews - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Ringer Review - NAME


27, Penang

Date Posted: 2012-12-17
Tolkien Fan Level: 5
Film Format Seen? 3D 24 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes

Warning : Contains spoilers

The Hobbit was released here in Malaysia on Thursday 14th of December but because of the time difference, I was fortunate enough to see it earlier and boy, was I not disappointed.

I felt giddy at the first opening shot of the Shire as Ian Holm reprised his role as the older Bilbo Baggins. Though you can see the 12 years difference in him, he lost none of the potency as Bilbo Baggins. The spunk and mischief were still there in his very much loved portrayal this time round. I was utterly surprised to see Elijah Wood coming back as Frodo. I knew he was in the cast but I couldn't anticipate we would see him this early on. I love how Peter Jackson tied the Hobbit to the Fellowship with the party bit in the beginning.

As Bilbo sat on the bench in his garden, he reminisces about his adventures some 60 years ago. We were then transported to the Shire where a younger Bilbo, played brilliantly by Martin Freeman was sitting down on a Good Morning to smoke some pipe weed. There we also were reacquainted with our beloved Istari, Gandalf. Ian Mckellan's presence on the screen is a joy to behold, larger than life, full of witty remarks and all the warmth in the world. The scene between them arguing about the phrase good morning had me in giggles. Gandalf was inviting Frodo to share on an adventure.

Later that night, the dwarves showed up on his front porch. The first of which was Dwalin, tall (for a dwarf) and formidable looking, he came in and finished the lovely looking grilled fish Bilbo was about to have for dinner. Balin came and was followed by Kili and Fili, both gorgeous younger dwarves and we could see how distressed this little Hobbit was by the appearance of strangers who were now beginning to raid his well stocked pantry. Later on, the rest arrived with the wizard, Gandalf save for one elusive dwarf but we'll get to that later.

I have to admit they did a very good job at distinguishing each dwarf to the next. You can distinctly remember which is which because the costumes and their beards were done exclusively for each characters. After much teasing and tormenting Bilbo, the pantry was bare and the dishes were stacked. A knock on the door signaled the arrival of Thorin Oakenshield, the would be king under the mountain, the lost dwarf kingdom of Erebor.

As Thorin spoke, the fan girl in me squealed as the handsome and velvety voiced Richard Armitage stepped into Bag End. In the original book, Thorin was older and perhaps not as glum as this version of Thorin. But with that quiet strength, you can see that this is no mere dwarf. He is a dwarf with a dark past and a mountain of responsibilities on his shoulders. You can feel the hatred and pain radiating through him when he spoke of Erebor and the elusive Smaug, the fire drake.

I loved the back history on Erebor. How we are shown the kingdom in its glory and how the greed of the dwarves with gold and gems attracted Smaug. This was done with a wonderful balance of grandeur and heartache. We also get to see Thranduil, the father of the hottest elf on Middle Earth, Legolas. He doesn't say much, but Lee Pace is beautiful as Thranduil.

Bilbo although reluctant at first to join the company of Thorin, went on his was towards the Lonely mountain to help the dwarves claim their homeland as the burglar. Along the way, we get to meet the trolls we first heard about in the Fellowship. We were also introduced to Radagast the Brown. I thought Sylvester McCoy's portrayal of Radagast was eccentric and awkwardly charming. The contrast between him and Gandalf were plenty and i think that's why it worked on screen. The scene at the old fortress in Dol Guldur was remarkable as well. There we meet an old enemy in the making.

The company were hunted by Azog, a pale Orc from Gundabad who killed Thror, Thorin's grandfather. Thorin has immense hate for this creature and its mutual with Azog. They barely escaped the attack when they found themselves in Rivendell. Here you get to meet the characters we've all grown to love, Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman, before the ring corrupted him. Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett and Christopher Lee were excellent in their roles as the guardians of Middle Earth.

The highlight of the movie for me would definitely be the scene between Bilbo and Gollum. Again, Andy Serkis was brilliant as gollum. This gollum is a bit playful, cheeky and might i add a little bit younger. Its was a delight to see the both of them together and you will always remember the riddles that they ask each other.

The ending was vague in a good way. You see a nostril and an eye and you secretly swear that you have to wait for another year to see what comes next. I was lost once in the beauty of the Lord of the Ring trilogy and I am once again with the Hobbit.

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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