I was so excited to see this film and had very high hopes for it, all of which were fulfilled. I was lucky because I got to see it in 3D and in Xtreme screen. Warning that this post may contain spoilers.
The Hobbit: An expected Journey was directed by Peter Jackson and is an adaptation of J.R.R. Tokien’s novel, The Hobbit. It was produced by Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson, with the screenplay written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. The cast includes Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Ian McKellen (Gandalf the Grey), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Ken Stott (Balin), Aidan Turner (Kili), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), Mark Hadlow (Dori), Jed Brophy (Nori), Adam Brown (Ori), John Callen (Oin), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), William Kircher (Bifur), James Nesbitt (Bofur) and Stephen Hunter (Bombur). Ten points to anyone who can remember all the dwarves’ names and place them to a face.
One thing is for sure, The Hobbit is a very long film, going for 170 minutes (almost three hours) and it didn’t pass quickly either. It felt like a long movie. Despite this, I wanted it to keep on going. I wasn’t waiting for it to end but to continue because it was that good. There were parts here and there that bored me a little bit, but they were well worth the rest of the film. There were also a lot of parts added to the film, but they all fitted in with it perfectly. This is because those parts are still cannon. There were taken from mainly the appendixes at the end of The Lord of the Rings, and explained parts that weren’t explained in the novel, like where Gandalf went to when he left the dwarven party. The reason why I don’t usually like it when a movie is different from the book is based on is because it leaves out important plot points or completely changes a scene (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince anyone?) This was not a problem in The Hobbit.
As far as acting goes, it was all round very good. I was a bit disappointed, however, that Martin Freeman’s acting was not exceptional. I mean, he played the part very well part it wasn’t amazing. Although, the character he’s playing isn’t extraordinary either. He’s just an ordinary hobbit. Maybe Freeman was just playing the character as he is? I think this quote from Steven Moffat sums it up:
Whereas I think Martin Freeman does the exact opposite: he makes ordinary people fascinating. He finds the poetry in just being ordinary, and that’s an extraordinary, exquisite gift. He can tell the story of our lives and make it fascinating.
One thing’s for sure, The Hobbit was fascinating. Then there’s the acting of the dwarves and Gandalf, which were all pretty amazing. But it’s not really the acting the makes the film, it’s the perfectly woven story, special effects and music that makes it what it is.
I’m normally not a big fan of 3D but I highly recommend it when seeing this film. Unlike other movies in 3D, The Hobbit rarely has objects flying straight at you, but rather the 3D just adds more depth to the film. It makes it seem more real, and really shows off the movie’s doubled frame-rate (from 24 FPS to 48 FPS) which is only shown when watching it in 3D. I was originally a bit worried about the frame-rate because of what I heard critics say, but I thought it looked stunning. Yes, in some parts the scenery look a little fake, but not in the bad CGI kind of way. It did it in the magical and fantasy type of way. It sometimes looks less realistic, but more full of wonder. Something that The Hobbit is supposed to be. The scenery in it was absolutely amazing.
The music was written by Howard Shore, who also did the score for The Lord of the Rings. I think this was a good idea to use the same composer, because it was one of the ways that films for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are similar. Some of the music is nearly identical and the songs that are different, have the same feel to them. I was a little disappointed in that respect, because I hoped there would have been more new songs, but I also liked it because it brought back memories of The Lord of the Rings. This is one of the new songs that I really liked (turning your sound up all the way is necessary):
Favourite character/actor: Radagast the Brown (Sylvester McCoy)
Least favourite character/actor: Azog the Defiler (Manu Bennett)
Favourite scene: The giants in the mountains
Least favourite scene: The beginning was a bit slow
Rating; 5/5 stars