Review: Movie: The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey

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The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey Review

Based on the book written by the author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit is the prequel to the movie trilogy that was released by the same director, cast and writing talent 12 years ago. In that vain it does a very good job at connecting the Lord of the Rings movies using the same cast for Elrond, Saruman, Galadriel, Bilbo (Elder), Gandalf, and Frodo. It also adds a talented ensemble of men who play dwarves and the incomparable Martin Freeman who plays the title character of The Hobbit named Bilbo. The story progresses the same way as the Lord of the Rings movies, going from small fight, to slightly bigger fight, to very big fight with someone “almost dying”.  The story interspersed throughout is coherent, well written and has interesting philosophy of finding ones home after loosing it. 

However as a young reader of the book I never liked The Hobbit that much, because if you boil down all the extra stuff, the dwarves finding their homeland, a hobbit finding his adventure, the story is about a thief stealing gold from a dragon. The way the story is going to be told in the last two movies is really going to be telling of the theme of the book. I never really enjoyed the kids book The Hobbit, which was written for Tolkien’s children. 

Fortunately for fans of the book and unfortunately for me, Peter Jackson and his crew of writers stick very true to the book. That means I know who is going to die at the end and I am not looking forward to it. In the Lord of the Rings all the main characters that you learn to love over the three movies (save for Boromir) survive and live on. That is not the case in the book The Hobbit, and I am guessing it will be the same way in the movies. 

Now on to the special effects. In the original movie you knew when looking at the army coming towards Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers, that most of those orcs were extras in costume and make up. However in The Hobbit not only was it more obvious when they were trying to shorten the regular sized actors who were playing dwarves; it was obvious that most of the orcs in a pivotal scene were fake. This is a disappointment since some of the best parts of the Lord of the Rings is the vast amount amount of extras used in battle scenes. 

If I’m going to review The Hobbit I will have to review 48 FPS, the new technology used on this movie. First I will say, go see this movie in 3D it is worth it, spend the money. If you are only going to see it once, see it in IMAX 3D that will allow you to see the first 9 minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness.  I enjoyed the 48 FPS and believe that the fake look of the orcs and dwarves’s movement has nothing to do with the faster frame rate and everything to do with the use of CGI characters when extras could have been used. I like the 48 FPS and when I watched the film in 24 FPS it did not feel right. I have not seen the movie without 3D, but I believe it enhances enough of the movie to be worth it. 

So for a prequel to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, I enjoyed this movie. The movie is one of the closest book interpretations since the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. This for me does not encourage me to like the story line, but I am curious as to how Peter Jackson is going to continue the story and fill up two more 3 hour movies with plot and substance. I recommend this movie to fans of the book, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and the action adventure fantasy genre. 

Bathroom breaks: When the dwarves are walking, not riding ponies, not running from orcs.

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