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Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2013)


  A flashback to a fantasy premise we know all to well, but missed the most!

I would like to start off by wishing you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR and may 2013 bring the best, and possibly the worst of movies! :)

Following and yet trailing behind a trilogy that many claim to be the best movies ever made, Peter Jackson returns with much hesitation. Eagerly anticipated is an understatement, fans global shared mixed reactions before the release following the destiny of the Hobbit; a trilogy. What some might have expected, others were in a state of limbo as the "bookish" clan were quick to judge. It is fair to say the "not as good as the book clan" might have been disgusted with Jackson's desire to extend what is quite a short novel, the movie industry, like many is a business, were very few movies will fail to go-ahead unless a profit is foreseen. In this case, a profit will be seen as well as a beautifully constructed dream-like flashback to an origin that would create Frodo's quest.

The protagonist in this story is Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman). Bilbo is some what a reclusive resident of the Shire who spends his days cooking, cleaning and admiring the green hilltops that surround the land. However the reluctant persona in Bilbo is recognised when the intrusion of  Gandalf (Ian McKellen) is upon him. Gandalf is a mythical wizard, a character in who Bilbo can only believe as false as there are very few people that have crossed the path of Bilbo Baggins.

Gandalf recognises the distressed character within Bilbo. Much to the annoyance of Bilbo, it is when a gathering of Dwarfs disturb him later that night. The course of that unwelcoming meal goes on to change Bilbo's direction in life.

Bewildered to the reasons behind his unwelcoming guests, Bilbo soon learns that he is chosen by Gandalf to accompany the dwarfs on a quest to the east  of the land...far from the Shire. Leading the dwarfs is Thorin (Richard Armitage), an ignorant dwarf with a past he seeks to avenge by claiming back the dwarfs habitat. However the task is easier said than done as it is a journey that is set to test the nerves of the dwarfs and more importantly, the courage of the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

The hobbit begins at slow pace but not as bad as I was originally told. Yes, it moves slow but the dialogue seeks to pave the way for the journey to follow. The meal between the dwarfs, Bilbo and Gandalf will be recognised as quite an iconic scene in what is resembled as a series of characters supporting superb chemistry. From the unknown Dwarfs to the popular, each improvisation doesn't go a miss. I found the overall humour to be more childish than LOTR, however it suits the concept and not forgetting the book is a children's fantasy novel. Peter Jackson pays a fine tribute in that case.

Martin Freeman is no doubt the stand out performance. He gives a presence of character that tricks you into believing he has always been around, but yet we know he hasn't. His acting credentials are represented greatly for the two and a half hours. In typical Lord of the Rings fashion, the movies concept and overall time line thrives on the events surrounding the journey from A to B. Each scene is met with a flash forward of what we know to have seen, and a flashback of the history of the Dwarf. The humorous rivalry is once again shown between the elf's and Dwarfs, and like I said, there is a dark history that reveals the aged rivalry between the pair.

All I heard was the fact Peter Jackson shot this movie at 48fps (frames per second). I was weary going into this because I was warned about adjusting my eyes to it. All I can say to you is ignore that and just enjoy it for what you see. I saw no big deal an I believe no matter what frame was used the overall result is just as fantastic. If anything though, the 48fps (which is normally 24fps) make the action sequences look and feel superb. There are scenes of interventions from trolls and orcs that stand in the way of the clans destination. The final hour and a half sums up the routine climax that Peter Jackson has consistently greeted us with; not to mention the best scene in the entire film, Gollum's introduction, once again played by Andy Serkis.


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