Sunday, December 23, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Directed by:           Peter Jackson
Written by:             Fran Walsh, Phillippa Bowens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro (screenplay)  JRR Tolkien (book)

Cast:                      Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage.....

For those who've been living underground, here's the synopsis:  Bilbo Baggins is a happy hobbit who lives among his own kind until he's recruited by the wizard, Gandalf, for an adventure. He's going to help the dwarves reclaim the homeland the dragon Smaug stole from them.

As a certifiable fangirl, I admit I was excited to hear that Peter Jackson was doing The Hobbit.  My interest waned when I learned the film was going to be yet another two-parter. 

While I can think of very few films that are better than the book, Jackson did more than a credible job with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He changed the narrative flow of those three books so the character's timelines were in synch with each other. This is the big reason why I love all three of the films -- I can't say they are better than the books, but they are organized more linearily for me and they are truly beautiful to behold. 

If anything, The Hobbit is even more scenically beautiful. Jackson and his staff pulled out all the stops with the assistance of the almost-unspoiled New Zealand landscape. 

Unfortunately, I think he could have cut about 45 minutes from this film and it wouldn't be missed. While beautifully depicted, sections just dragged.

Yes, I will buy the DVD.  I doubt I will end up with three versions as I did with the LOTR videos, but I will at least have the movie theater version. 

Yes, I see awards for at least the cinematography and possibly the soundtrack.  It's a good film--just not a great one. 

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, December 2012

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