Peter Jackson takes us back to the land of Middle Earth with this prequel to the Lord of the Rings movies. The book of the Hobbit was written by Tolkien prior to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy so the story is not a prequel. But because the Lord of the Rings movies came out prior to the Hobbit trilogy of movies, this is considered to be the prequels.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy of movies is my second favorite trilogy of all time. It is second only the original Star Wars movies. Will the first Hobbit movie live up to the book and to the prior trilogy or will it waste our fandom love and good will similar to the Star Wars prequel. (NOTE* I don’t hate the Star Wars prequels. I actually like them over all. They didn’t live up to my expectations or the awesome geekiness of the original trilogy)
I viewed the film in 3D and the High Frame Rate- 48 frames per second.
What I like about this movie: (Spoiler Alert- Don’t Read if you don’t want to know)
Peter Jackson didn’t skip a beat from the Lord of the Rings movies to the Hobbit: An Expected Journey. The universe felt perfect in line with the prior movies but before Sauron’s Eye appears in Mordor.
This film was visually stunning. It has the numerous epic landscapes of the prior movies. The flyover of the Shire is beautiful. The Kingdom of Erebor in the Lonely Mountain is fantastic and riveting. The Goblin Kingdom has the dingy and nasty feel to the point you can almost smell the rancidness. Of course, Rivendale is as tremendous and beautiful as in the prior trilogy.
I loved Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. He brought Bilbo to life in a perfect way for me. At first, he didn’t look quite the way I thought in my head but quickly I got past that. The acting and the feel of the Bilbo was there in every way I desired. He played the reluctant adventure and hero perfectly.
I loved all the Dwarves. This was a great cast that knows how to play their specific character. They feed off of each other. Thorin was a phenomenal presence. The scene at Bag End was perfect with the feast and the song of the Dwarves.
Ian McKellen returning as Gandalf was perfect. He played Gandalf with some flaws and with less confident than the Gandalf of the Lord of the Rings. This was perfect since it is an earlier adventure in his life. He is insecure when he answered to Saruman, Elrond, and Lady Galadriel yet he knows the right thing to do.
Gollum was excellent. The scene in the cave was great.
Probably my favorite character in this movie is Radagast The Brown. I love his portrayal of this woodland wizard. The sleigh with the Rabbits was geektastic.
The music was perfect for the tone of the movie. I loved it.
What I Didn’t Like:
There is a part of me that is purest. That part of me didn’t like the additional scenes that were added to the movie that were not in the Hobbit book. That part of my personality didn’t like the minor changes. But I dealt with that and got over it quickly. I know the movies are going to have some variations to the books. Honestly they didn’t detract at all from the story but rather enhanced it. So to be honest, there really wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this movie.
I know some people are stating that the movie goes on too long. I didn’t feel that way at all. In fact, when it ended, I wanted more right away. It will be difficult to wait for a year for the next installment.
I loved this movie. It was completely Geektastic! The Journey may have been unexpected for Bilbo but the excellence of this movie was expected and it fully lived up to my mammoth expectations.
Rotten Tomatoes/Critics: 65% Fresh
Rotten Tomatoes/Audience: 81% Fresh