Movie Review: The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit (2012 film)
The Hobbit (2012 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I never got the chance to see the movie in the theaters and can say that at home it is a bit more delightful. Watching it at my own pace and stopping it at random for chores, food, and breaks makes for a good watch. Seeing the movie times in at almost 3 hours, (+160mins) can be a long time for one to step away from the family and watch a movie, only to watch it again when it comes out on DVD.  Overall the movie, is about what I expected . Good story adaption, great FX, and a fun movie.

The use of Bilbo writing the introduction to There and Back Again as the beginning of the movie makes for a great way to start. This as well as the back story of Smaug takes up the opening 15-45mins. You can tell that cues have been taken to not make the same mistake as the Star Wars Prequels. Its been ten years since the original and there is still a large group who will only watch the movies and have no clue as to the world they are entering. As for the story itself, I was pleasantly surprised as to the authenticity. Mistakes and rewrites from the original work will only be noticeable to a Tolkien enthusiasts. I have yet to hear any of what The Tolkien Professor podcasts have to say about the movie but their was nothing too glaring from the canon. I imagine that his breakdown and review would be similar to the original movies. These are suppose to be a journey through the realm of Middle Earth and as such will move away from the original for more of  film perspective. 

The story follows from the beginning of the book to the rescue by the eagles. A nice little peak at Smaug is given at the beginning and end but no full body on camera views are shown of the dragon for the entire movie. In fact, the pursuit of the group by the Orcs is the key conflict for this part of the story and plays well to create suspense and a need for the story to keep moving forward. This time around the battle scenes underground look real from a distance instead of washed out and a majority of orcs and goblins are CGI instead of actors on set. The only odd scene was the discussion between Elrond, Saruman, Galadriel, and Gandolf. The conversation takes place, but the actors never really seem engaged by one another. I wonder if their parts were filmed separately and then CGI together. (There is a noticeable odd distance shot from the side on two occasions that just doesn’t look right.)

As for me, I’ll probably get a collector’s edition of the movie sometime this year and add it to my collection. I must say that the 48 specs look great in HD and the FX from Weta are even better. I am going to try my darnedest to get to see Desolation of Smaug in theaters this winter. It has been too long since a really great dragon has filled the movie screens and terrorized the people of Middle Earth.

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