‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Review (Post #67)
After numerous discussion, two viewings and tons of thinking and re-thinking, I am finally able to review The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. (Mind you, both times I have seen it, I have in 2D. I am a fan of 3D but I think I wanted my first experience to be just traditional cinematic normalcy.)
There has never been any movie in my lifetime I have been so excited about. I grew up on The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite movie of all time and I have never watched any films as much as I have Peter Jackson’s epic journey. The first time I read The Lord of The Rings was in fourth grade. And have had many revisits through both open page and audiobook renditions. So lets just Say Tolkein’s Middle Earth is very near and dear to me.
When I walked into the theater at 11:00 December 13th, I was shaking. I was beyond excited. I went in with no pre-conceived notions. It was hard not to read reviews and watch everything I could about The Hobbit before its release, so I knew what the critics were saying. But I wanted to keep an open mind for this story that is so beloved by me. I sat there an hour longing for it to start. I was by myself so I had no one to talk to during this time. (I think it is appropriate that I watched it first by myself becasue the first time I saw The Fellowship was the summer before 4th grade, sitting in my living room, devouring what would become my favorite movie of all time.)
Once the movie began I was soaked into the pure splendor that is Middle Earth. I watched and listened as Bilbo narrated the tale that was to come. I laughed and watched with full concentration, the movie I have been waiting ten years for. The movie was a bit slow to start with. (But maybe that was good? It gave us time to know our characters.) But I remember what first grabbed me was when Balin started the tale of how Thorin got his name Oakenshield. From that point on I was fixed.
The cinematic landscape was captured as beautifully as the previous series. The acting just as memorable, but nothing to fall head over heals about. Everyone fit there character. The movie was a Tolkein fan boy’s dream. It went beat by beat across the first 3rd of of one of the most cherished stories ever told. But by the end I wasn’t satisfied. Why wasn’t I satisfied?
I will start by saying that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey isn’t as good in a film as The Lord of The Rings. It lacks the precision and beautiful story telling that captivated me when I was younger. I have never said this, because when I like a movie I love seeing as much of it as possible but An Unexpected Journey is too long. It is a director’s cut in my opinion. I wish Peter would have chosen to be more precise and not include everything in this movie. I was so excited to hear there would be three parts, but now I think it doesn’t need them. I loved the inclusion of the stuff not strictly in The Hobbit novel. I think it made the story great, but Jackson gave too much attention to too many things.
The Hobbit is first and foremost a children’s book. An Unexpected Journey is very campy. I think it is appropriate at times but not at others. The Riddles in the Dark scene was very well done, but I always remembered the scene in the book and the animated version being scary and intense. Gollum has become such a beloved character, that we pitty and often think is cute. And that is what he is in this scene, cute. But I have heard from many that they thought this to be one of the best scenes in the whole movie. So am I wrong in thinking this? I don’t know? Next was the Golbin King! HE WAS FULL OF JOKES! He wasn’t scary. Just a fat and nasty British voiced orc.
I could go on an on and on about things that bothered me, but frankly I don’t want to type it out and have multiple times in Facebook conversations. So I will conclude here by saying I loved Martin Freeman as Bilbo. He played Bilbo just as he should be played. I loved the inclusion of the Mirkwood and Necromancer stuff. As well as the White counsel. The Hobbit doesn’t have much action in it, and frankly there was too much. They didn’t need to do this to get an audience. They had an audience just by releasing the movie. I’m hoping the next two parts will focus more on story and less on mindless action sequences.
The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey was beautifully made and there is still much hope for the next two parts. After two viewings, I don’t have much of a desire to see this movie for a long time. Which makes me sad. But hey! Why can’t I have a love hate relationship!? Middle Earth fan-boys will love it. Film lovers will have hoped for better. Go see it and love or hate it! Or both! It is truly a very entertaining movie.