Thursday, February 14, 2013

Theater Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Well, I saw this film the day after I saw Les Misérables and I am now almost two months after the fact. Seriously lacking in my review time - again.

Anyway, I boned up for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by watching the original Lord of the Rings trilogy over a few nights. It had been a long time since I had watched them - I find them more to be one single movie instead of three, so watching one really is not an option.

But, it also reminded me just how frustrating the films being cut up into three can be. This especially happens during The Two Towers where it is pretty much just the middle part of a film - no real beginning and no real ending.

So, I was sort of prepared (unlike a few of the other theater dwellers in my showing) that this movie could again have an ending that felt flat - and I was right.

Anyway, this set of films follows a Hobbit with the last name Baggins - heard it before? Of course - but this isn't about Frodo, this is about Bilbo and it happens many, many years prior to Frodo's adventure.

Bilbo (Martin Freeman) is even more reluctant to head out on this journey than Frodo was for his. He is visited by Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a slew of dwarfs to become their 'burglar' to retake the dwarfs' mountain that was stolen from them by the evil dragon, Smaug.

The rest of the film is a lot of what we have seen before in a bit of a different way - we see trolls, goblins and, of course, Orcs. Then it finishes with a shot of what we can expect to be a lot more of in the second film.

Did I like it? Absolutely. I now know that I can not really judge these films on one portion - because like I said at the start - this is really one epic film broken into three parts. So, I must wait - but I still need to give this portion a grade, don't I?

A lot of this is familiar, which is a good thing. But, I did find myself longing from characters of old - I was even excited when I saw Frodo, who was probably the least likable character in all of the Lord of the Rings. But, we are able to spend most of our time with Gandalf - and Bilbo is not that bad - but I am still getting to know the dwarfs, there are just so many of them and I look forward to learning about their personalities - if I ever get to.

Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli had such great chemistry in the first three films - and I may have been looking for that a little during this first film. But, we did get some familiar faces like Frodo, Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond, Galadriel and, of course, Gollum.

I definitely look forward to the next two installments, and although frustrating that I still feel incomplete - this was a great first start to this series.


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