Friday, December 14, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - My Review

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey  -  2012 -  Directed by Peter Jackson 

Rarely has my first impression of a film ever been as wrong as it was for Peter Jackson's Lord of The Rings. When I first saw it I was not a fan but upon a second viewing I recognized its greatness. However, my initial response to The Hobbit is not wrong. This is simply not a good movie. It is an overly long, over blown money grab that leaves a permanent stain on the previous films and I will just pretend that it doesn't exist.

The story follows Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Ian McKellan) as they travel with Dwarves to reclaim their home and treasure in a quest that Jackson apparently believes is as important as anything in the LOTR trilogy. It is not. Lord of The Rings was rife with death at any possible turn and the conflict that existed in those films is not here. LOTR was a journey and adventure for all of mankind. The Hobbit is about a bunch of Dwarves with no distinct character or nuance. When Bilbo is on the screen the film attempts to soar due to the charismatic performance by Freeman but the film's length, which will test anyone's patience, and Jackson's hyperbole are distinct disappointments in a film I was eagerly awaiting.

What is especially disappointing about this film is its visual style. The landscapes and colors are not up to par with the trilogy and many of the sweeping camera moves seem jarring to the eye and left me wondering if it had something to do with how it was filmed and transferred for 3D. I loved the characterizations in LOTR and this film just felt empty. The amount of battle scenes in this film alone seemed more than the other 3 combined.

The novel "The Hobbit" is a 304 page book that Peter Jackson is stretching out to 9 hours of film. One would of thought that he got wealthy enough off of the first trilogy. I guess not.

Rating: 3 out of 10

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