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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

In One Word



Adventure / Fantasy

Released By / Year

New Line Cinema / 2012

Movie Review

My experience of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was, in one word, Marvellous. I entered the theater with extremely high expectations and left with a huge smile.

Watching the movie in 3D HFR was a breathtaking experience. It "took" the feeling of watching a movie to a whole new level. And I’m not even a fan of 3D. But this is something new and exciting. The sharpness of the picture, the fluid movement and the richness of the colors, grabbed hold of me and drew me completely into the movie. I had no trouble adjusting. There was something exhilarating about this way of watching a movie and I hope it becomes a new standard.

So, where to begin? It’s Tolkien, it’s a fantasy tale written with sparkling imagination and a sense of humor. The movie version takes the book and remodels it for the screen, ties it in with the existing three The Lord of The Rings movies and delivers a tasteful, confident and highly promising first part of this trilogy of movies.

Martin Freeman is perfect as Bilbo Baggins. Perfect may be too cold a word to use. He is the young Bilbo, soul and all. He brings charisma and an emotional core to the movie, which gives the ending a poignant feel, filled with excitement and adventure. Not to give Freeman all credit, as everyone involved do a blinding job, in their own way. It must have taken some wizardry to juggle so many characters and have them show their own personality but it works, and the movie is a jolly, not too serious affair.

I loved every minute of this movie, from the framing scenes, connecting the two trilogies and creating an instant connection, through to the end where the tension is perfectly built up for the next chapter. The whole "riddles in the dark" passage with Gollum was chilling, beautifully carried out and completely in sync with The Lord of The Rings. The three trolls, the burning pine cones, the invasion of Bilbo’s home in the beginning of the movie, Radagast The Brown, the stone giants, everything just worked in a delightful way. Even a serious scene, like the one in Rivendell with Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond and Galadriel was electrifying.

There are many subtle references to the three Lord of The Rings movies and in some way this first part of The Hobbit feels like a grand setup, with much bigger things to come. It feels like the filmmakers have understood the story and the medium completely and had the courage to make exactly the right decisions.

Is the three hours running time too long? No! Since I enjoyed every second, I think the movie is exactly as long as it is supposed to be. Three hours flew by and by the end, I was surprised and couldn’t believe the time had already passed.

It has been a long time since I read The Hobbit and I am not at all up to speed on every little detail. I went into the movie without any intention of comparing it to the book. I just entered the theater to be entertained, and on that level, I couldn’t have wished for more.

The HFR format and the clearness of the picture puts a lot of pressure on the filmmakers to deliver flawless special effects. Any tiny little detail missing will be spotted in this scenario. Fortunately everything regarding special effects about The Hobbit is professional and convincing. There was nothing, which dragged me out of the movie. Well, except for the faulty, booming Thunderbox chair next to me, but that is another story.

Bottom line: The Hobbit is spectacular entertainment and the 3D HFR experience is spellbinding.

Here’s to the hope that Peter Jackson will throw himself at the Dragonlance Chronicles after he has finished with Tolkien. Now that would be a dream come true.

Written By Steen
Online: Thursday, December 20, 2012