Review: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4.5 (Out of 5 Reels)

I am a fan of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the books and the films.  I vividly remember seeing the Ralph Bakshi animated version released in 1978.  So, I definitely wanted to see this film. When I heard that Peter Jackson was going to take one book and make it into three films I was worried because I believe he takes too much poetic license with the original stories.  For example, there is no love story in The Lord of the rings trilogy.
Bilbo Baggins is enlisted to help a group of dwarfs reclaim their home, the Lonely Mountain from a dragon called Smaug.  Their journey begins in the Shire and takes them beyond Rivendale, the home of the Elves.
The dwarfs are a boisterous and headstrong lot who are fiercely loyal to each other and their friends.  Casting in the film is masterfully done as they all fit nicely into their roles which is evident not only because of the writing but their acting abilities.  I also think casting Martin Freeman as Bolbo Baggins was an excellent choice. At the beginning of the film I kept asking myself where I had seen him before and then it hit me, he is Dr. Watson in the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes which is fantastic and he is fantastic in it.
I was fortunate enough to see this film in the never before used high frame format called HFR, that displays the film at 48 frames per second which makes everything look crisp and clear. I liked the higher resolution especially viewing it in 3D because it enhanced the look even more than usual.  I did hear that some moviegoers were getting sick watching in this new format but luckily I enjoyed it and it didn’t bother me a bit.
Overall, I did enjoy this two and forty-five minute first installment and look forward to seeing the next two films as well. I have never read the book before and now I will because I want to know just how much Jackson has embellished the story for comparison.  I must admit that I was a little disappointed in his use of some of the same tricks as in the previous trilogy.  I guess I was hoping to see more ingenuity instead of the same old tricks.  Despite that, if the first trilogy was entertaining then this one will as well.
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