First and foremost, I have not read the book The Hobbit nor have I read any of the other books in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I don’t like reading. I like movies. And I really liked the Lord of the Rings movies. And I’m happy to say that this part of the adventure did not disappoint.
If you haven’t heard yet, the ol’ salty sea dog Petey J, or Peter Jackson as the common folk like to call him, decided to film this movie in 48fps (frames per second) and in 3D. In other words, super high quality detail and it’s in your face. At first I was hesitant to watch the movie like this, but in hindsight, I wouldn’t have had that experience any other way. The first thing you’ll probably notice is that it looks “too real.” Everything is crisper, detailed, and fast – it almost looks like you’re watching a soap opera. But once your eyes get focused on it, you’ll be blown away by how detailed everyone and everything is. So basically, in the beginning, getting used to 3D and the FPS was rough, but once they leave the Hobbit hole/Bilbo’s house, it’s nothing short of amazing.
So let’s talk about the story now. Nerdy? Yes. Awesome? Yes! Spoilers? Possibly, so reader beware!
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey tells the story of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) 60 years before the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. As a young hobbit in Hobbiton, Bilbo is approached by a traveling wizard named Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and is selected to be a part of a company of Dwarves led by one of their kings, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), to travel to their old kingdom of Erebor and take back the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug who displaced them.
As for the characters, they are certainly a more goofy bunch compared to the Fellowship. Being Dwarves, they loved eating, singing, drinking, and being silly. Did I mention singing? Oh good, because there were two songs within a span of 10 minutes. The first song was silly since it was about Bilbo hating things. The second one though, Thorin’s song, was super awesome, an orchestral theme they used throughout the movie. Other than singing, this band of Dwarves can fight – so they also have a sense of badassery to them.
I had no idea what the story was about coming into the movie and the only other references I had to Middle-Earth were the other movies and videos games that have come out since the release of Fellowship of the Ring. So, since this is technically a prequel, it was awesome to see the locations, characters, and events from this movie tie into the other locations, characters, and events in the LotR movies. For example, seeing Lord Elrond, the Elves, and Rivendell again made me all giddy inside. Seeing Azog and his fellow Orcs gather around Weathertop, where Frodo got stabbed by the Witch King instilled a fear in me that will haunt my soul for years and years (not really).
Overall, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was an amazing movie. It was enjoyable and entertaining to say the least. The visuals were on par, if not better, than the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the scale was just as epic. Only problems we had with the movie was that there were really cheesy parts at time that they could’ve done away with. The singing didn’t bother me too much but there was one song in the movie (you’ll know what it is) that made me say “Ok, that’s enough.” Broken up into three movies, this first installment really set the bar for the rest of the movies and I can’t wait to see the rest of the journey enfold. Bilbo’s adventure is no small feat – ah thank you. (*ba dum kish*)
Kibitzers rating - 4.5/5
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out in theaters on December 14th