An EXTREMELY LONG and Unexpected Journey

In Movies on January 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Let me begin by clarifying my title, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” runs 2 hours and 49 minutes, making it an extremely long movie. So, stay away from the soda while you are sitting through this because you will definitely need to pee and you will definitely miss some amazing scenes. Let me also clarify by saying that although this movie does have an extremely long running time, it does not feel like a long movie. There are very few slow parts and they are dispersed between amazing scenes of action.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Story” is the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson directed this movie as well, and tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, played in his old age by Ian Holm and played by the youthful Martin Freeman in this movie and the two others that will follow, as he travels in the company of  13 dwarves and Gandalf the Grey, reprised by Ian McKellan. The dwarves imare led by Thorin, played by Richard Armitage, who is determined to kill the dragon Smaug, who will be voiced by Benedict Cumberabtch in the other two Hobbit movies, YES!!!, who has taken refuge within the Lonely Mountain that was once the home of the dwarves. At first resistant to the idea of change and leaving his comfortable bed, Bilbo decides to join the dwarves on their quest in order to help them reclaim their home and to be on an adventure. However, because of this simple choice, darkness begins to spread and take shape. Because of this simple choice, Frodo must take his own journey in the Lord of the Rings.

So before I went into the theater, I wasn’t expecting a lot, that is to say I went in very open-minded. When I went to see the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I knew what scenes I wanted to see and what characters I wanted to be developed. I had some of this in mind for the Hobbit, but because this was one book that was being split into three parts, I had no idea what Jackson was going to include and what he was going to add in. Despite this, I wasn’t disappointed. I thought that Jackson exceeded in this film just as much as he did in the others. The cinematography was astounding, including some great all encompassing landscape shots.

Martin Freeman played Bilbo quite well, showing the audience a few of his Martin Freeman quirks while also allowing them to get a glimpse into his nature, his being. Being that I have read the book, I know what Bilbo does and is capable of doing so I am very interested in seeing how Freeman portrays this.

Ian McKellan returning as Gandalf played him just as well he did in the other films. While in this film, the audience gets a glimpse as to the power within Gandalf and also the strained relationship that exists between him and another wizard, which I will talk about in more detail later on in this review. In this film, Gandalf shows the audience his courage as well as his fear, allowing for a much more thorough development of his character.

Richard Armitage portrayed Thorin quite well, giving the audience much more Thorin then existed within the book. This is due in part because Bilbo was the main focus of the book and that the Peter Jackson Hobbit movies are a trilogy. Armitage shows Thorin’s pride, courage, and nearly unforgiving nature during the course of his troop’s journey. Armitage became Thorin son of Thrain, leading his dwarven clan into battle while absconding the help of others, giving the audience, again, a hint of what is to come.

So three great performances by three great actors, stunning cinematography, and a long film that doesn’t feel like it, there isn’t a reason why you shouldn’t see this film. Unless you don’t like fantasy. In that case, you should like fantasy and you should see “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”.

Now onto the spoilers!

I loved the presence of Saruman,  played by Christopher Lee, before the fall, in this film. Jackson was really separating this film from the book by including Rivendale and the meeting of the wizards and I do not hate him for it, which many fans have. It also explained how Gandalf the Grey became Gandalf the White, because Saruman is no longer in power. I never knew that Saruman was referred to as Saruman the White but due to his little cameo in the movie, I understand it now.

I also loved the butterfly shot and then the eagles swooping in. I adore slow calm shots that occur amidst great scenes of actions and Jackson did the same thing in  the Lord of the Rings. It was another scene alluding to the great power that Gandalf has and will utilize eventually.

Super-pumped about the Necromancer story-line, I am. This part was mentioned briefly within The Hobbit but appears to be a section that will be covered within the next 2 Hobbit movies. I liked how Jackson introduced that and in the same instance foreshadowed the evil that was coming. Great work and looks like a great battle is already building up.

Finally, I have to congratulate Jackson for making the imaginary, real. Rivendale, the caves, the trolls, the orcs, all of it. He used computer generation and stunning landscape shots to take what has been written on page many years ago and make it into reality. I absolutely adored what he did with the New Zealand landscape and I am very much looking forward to what the other two movies bring to the table, especially Cumberbatch.


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