The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Synopsis: Read on IMDB

Should you watch this movie? Fans of the original J.R.R. Tolkien book must watch to compare notes. Fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy must watch the beginnings of this story to understand some of the references from the books and movies. And if you never watched or read any Lord of the Rings? Then it’s a good idea to watch anyway, then you can follow up with The Lord of the Rings series. Bottom line, you gotta watch.

The Hobbit follows the story of young Bilbo Bagging, a hobbit living alone in the house he has inherited from his family in The Shire, a peaceful little town where nothing happens and adventure only happens in books. A visit from Gandalf the wizard turns into an invitation to join a company of thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Oakenfeld to retake the land they once lost to the dragon Smaug. What follows is a new chapter in Bilbo’s life, completely different from the uneventfull life of The Shire, one filled with excitement, plenty of danger, and the discovery of one pretty remarkable little ring.

This movie does not dissapoint with its stunning visuals and unbelievale special effects. Director Peter Jackson can be very proud with bringing parts of Middle Earth back to life, althought he already had a good blueprint with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The performances were great as well. Martin Freeman plays a great Bilbo Baggins, a 60 year younger version of the character played by Ian Holm (who by the way cameos to introduce the story) in the first movies. Ian MacKellen is still a badass I would not mess with as Gandalf the Grey…. well, I would not mess with Ian Mackellen in anyway (imagine dealing with this alternative)

The one wo steals the show is Andy Serkis in the role of Gollum. I’m not sure why the Academy hasn’t given him the “awesomeness” award for all his motion capture. Other stars from the Lord of the Rings make a cameo, including Hugo Weaving as Lord Elrond, Cate Blanchett as Lady Galadriel, and Christopher Lee as Saruman. All brilliant in their own right. The dwarves are pretty special themselves, particularly Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, the “hot hero / dwarf version or Aragorn” guy.

So far the visuals and performances get thumbs up. The story is a classic, so there’s no debate on that. Does this mean this movie is an amazing film of epic proportions? Not quite. Before going in to the theater I ran into a friend and when I said I was watching The Hobbit, he gave me his best “meh” face. I had read before how critics had mixed reviews on this one, although the movie has generally been considered good. But good doesn’t mean great and great doesn’t mean awesome. First of all somehow this movie missed a bit of the “magic” of the story the LOTR trilogy was so good in bringing. The viewers and criticts expectations and mainly anticipation for the first trilogy was way bigger. For this one, not so much. There are patches of slowness in the film (which let’s face it, LOTR also had quite some of those) which may have bored the viewers.

The good news is this story gets another go…..actually 2 more! Although filmed back to back, The Hobbit will be a trilogy as well. In 2013 we’ll get to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and in 2014 we’ll see the final one The Hobbit: There and Back Again. If we follow the same rules as LOTR, usually in of the movies presents a bunch of information (i.e. and introduction or flashbacks), another one is totally action packed and epic, and the other is the one where a bunch of stuff happens and you think it over and wooooaah some thing else happens. So again, there’s hope we have yet to see the epic one.

I still recommend the movie though, mainly because I’m a Tolkien geek short of speaking elvish.

Paola’s mood after watching this movie:

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