Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

So the hubs and I went to see The Hobbit on New Years Eve this year.  We’re not much for partying or crowds so a quiet night at the movies on a normally crazy night is a nice thing for us.  We were both pretty excited to see this movie since we love the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Honestly we probably watch one of the three movies at least once a month.  Yep, we’re fans.  Not really the dorky kind though… we haven’t read the books, we don’t dress up like hobbits, and we don’t refer to each other as ‘my precious.’

First off, I should say that I was somewhat surprised at how many of the original characters signed on to be a part of The Hobbit trilogy.  Part of me figured that most of them would move on to other things and not want to look back.  Perhaps there was something in their contract stating that they’d have to be a part of this if it was ever turned into a movie?  Who knows.  It was good to see some familiar faces though. 

There are also lots of new faces including 12 or so new dwarf characters.  I have to say, those guys certainly have a distinct look don’t they?  I cannot even imagine the amount of time these guys had to spend in hair and makeup every day.  I thought they were all fantastic actors and the opening scene where you meet all of them is hysterical.  I was honestly angry at ‘the invasion’ and just kept waiting for Bilbo to throw them out (if you haven’t seen the movie, go see it… this will all make sense). 

dwarfs

Andy Serkis, who plays the ever-increasingly-creepy Gollum, is spot-on yet again.  I swear this guy can give you nightmares.  I wonder how he sleeps at night? 

gollum

The absolute highlight: the return of Andy Serkis, master of motion-capture performance, as the scary, disturbing, pathetic Gollum.  ~  John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal

I did love the battle of riddles between Gollum and Bilbo although I admittedly felt like an idiot because I didn’t know the answer to a single one. 

It was a bit obvious that The Hobbit didn’t have nearly the budget that The Lord of the Rings did in the sense that the technology that made the Rings trilogy amazing is definitely lacking here.  In addition, it’s a bit longer than it should have been.  I definitely did find myself thinking ‘end already!’ at one point.  Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way…

There is simply not enough story to justify the inordinate length…the enormous production effort is negated by [the] disastrous decision to shoot at 48 frames per second…This makes the entire enterprise look like the world’s most expensive home video.  ~  Jim Schembri, 3AW

So, what’s my final decision?  I liked it.  I didn’t love it, but I liked it.  In the words of Rob Vaux from Mania.com “’Disappointing’ isn’t the same thing as ‘bad’.”  I will definitely go back to watch the second Hobbit movie with hopes that Peter Jackson may have made a few changes based on the reviews he receives from fans about this first Hobbit movie.   

Have you seen this movie?  What did you think?

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