Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is the first movie in a trilogy of prequels to the extremely successful series, "The Lord of the Rings". I am not the hugest fan of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but I would still call myself a fan. Either way, I was really looking forward to seeing "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and I honestly had very high hopes for the first film. However, in the end, I was very disappointed by the movie.

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is set sixty years before "The Lord of the Rings", only this time the story is all about the Hobbit Bilbio Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is hired by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to accompany thirteen dwarfs led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on a quest across Middle-Earth to reclaim there home, Lonely Mountain, from the Dragon Smaug. This whole story is being secretly written by Bilbio as an older Hobbit for his nephew Frodo (Elijah Wood, who made that character famous in "The Lord of the Rings" films).

The script/story for the movie is OK. However, this movie is WAY to long and honestly that's pretty much the main reason why I didn't love the movie. The movie has a running time of about 2 hours and 50 minutes, and it should have been about 30 minutes shorter. Peter Jackson added scenes that just didn't need to be in the movie and in those scenes I was just bored, and sometimes I unintentionally zoned out. However, when the action kicks in the movie does get a lot better.

The cast in the film does a pretty good job. My favorite performance was definitely from Martin Freeman who played Bilbio Baggins, I think he fit the role very well. I also loved Andy Serkis, one of the best motion capture actor's, who played Gollum. As always he played Gollum fantastically. The rest of the cast includes Ian McKellen, and Richard Armitrage who both were great. There's also a brief appearance from Cate Blanchett as Galadriel. Everyone should also look for a really awesome cameo in the very beginning that I didn't know was gonna be in the movie. If you have seen the other "Lord of the Rings" movies you will know who that person is in the beginning! Overall the cast was pretty good (as was that cameo).

I will say my favorite part of the movie was the scene between Bilbio Baggins and Gollum. It is just so cool to see how the "precious" ring comes into play and it was also neat to see their riddle game. The acting in this scene was especially good as well. I think if that particular part of the movie wasn't included in the film, my rating would be a bit lower.

Another thing I loved about the movie was the action/adventure scenes. Yes, a lot of the movie was quite boring. But when the action and adventure picked up the movie was really good and most of the action scenes were well done, although sometimes unrealistic because (Mini-Spoiler-Alert) know one on the good side ever dies. The CGI to go along with the action scenes was also great, although I'm assuming they probably didn't need very much CGI on the scenery because New Zealand is naturally BEAUTIFUL and it makes for a very good looking Middle-Earth! Along with all that, I can also say the soundtrack to this movie is quite incredible. The music is completely EPIC!

There's even quite a bit of comedy in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey". A lot more then the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy had. However, some of the jokes in the movie fall flat. But certainly not all of them do.

Now lets get into the technology of the film: I saw this movie in regular 2D. However, there are tons of different formats to see the film in. I would have probably saw it in the HFR (High Frame Rate) 3D. But it was not playing anywhere near me. But then again I've heard that it's quite weird to see it in that format because instead of 24 frames per second (Like most movies), the movie is 48 frames per second. There was also the option to see the film in regular 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D, or IMAX HFR 3D, so theirs lots of viewing options (I counted 6). If you go see it in any of the IMAX formats, at select theaters you will get to see the "Star Trek Into Darkness" prologue. So that might be a reason to go see it in IMAX right there! The main reason I chose to see the movie in 2D is because that's how I saw the other "Lord of the Rings" movies and I wanted to see "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" just like that. But the decisions yours on how you want to view the film.

Like I said earlier, the main reason I didn't enjoy "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" as much is because of the WAY to overlong running time and that so many of the scenes were just boring. If it were a shorter movie and a little more fun I think I would be praising it right now.

Overall, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" did not live up to my expectations. I still mildly enjoyed the movie, just not as much as I would have liked too. I'm pretty sure the DIE-HARD "Lord of the Rings" fans will LOVE the film though. I just don't think the average moviegoer will love it, only because of it's running time. I do believe everyone should rent the movie though!

Verdict: 3 out of 5

Despite being quite disappointed by this first installment, I'm still very excited for the second installment of the trilogy, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug", because I will tell you "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" ends with a HUGE cliffhanger.

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