There is one thing that I will admit to, I don’t see movies as much as I used to anymore. I love going out to see a good movie. I actually like the theater experience (as long as there isn’t the loud conversations like you’re at home or people texting on their phones right next to you). There’s something about seeing a movie on the big screen.
I actually saw a movie that way this weekend. I went to see “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”.
When I was 5-years-old, I had read “The Hobbit”. I remember liking the book then (liking it so much, it made me want to read other Fantasy classics like “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”), Of course, a great many years have passed since I read it. I haven’t picked it up since.
Seeing the movie made me want to find my copy and re-read it.
For those of you who have not read it but are curious about what it is about, I’ll fill you in on the plot a bit.
Bilbo Baggins is tricked into holding a meeting for dwarves by Gandalf. He is asked to join the party, which he decides to do. He then goes off on an adventure that will take him out of Hobbiton and into a mountain to help slay the dragon and help give the dwarves their keep back. That’s the plot, in a nutshell.
Of course, there is much more to this story. Most of the story talks about the journey itself.
The movie does a wonderful job of taking you along on this journey. The writing is like “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy as it uses the same writers as before (Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens). However, the Hobbit also adds in writer and directing powerhouse, Guillermo del Toro. This addition makes me incredibly happy as I have a lot of respect and admiration for Guillermo del Toro both as a writer and a director.
The movie has the same feel as the previous trilogy did. Hobbiton is shot as a happy and innocent place. Once you leave there, things become darker and a bit more sinister. It’s a stylistic choice that I appreciate. If you think about it as the human journey of life, Hobbiton is childhood. Once you leave your childhood behind, you enter the darker years of adolescence.
The acting was wonderful. I think the actors did a wonderful job in their given roles. Ian McKellen was brilliant returning as Gandalf. Ian Holm and Elijah Wood also make a brief appearance in this movie. Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee and Hugo Weaving all reprise their roles from the Lord of the Rings. There are 2 actors that I feel like I need to make particular note of: Richard Armitage and Sylvester McCoy.
Now, I’m not going to lie. I knew who Sylvester McCoy was prior to the Hobbit. I watched him in his turn as the seventh Doctor in Doctor Who. He was my first Doctor (though not my favorite, to this day that honor goes to Christopher Eccleston). I was thrilled to see him get a role in a movie of this caliber. It made me smile when he was on the screen as Radagast.
Richard Armitage, I must say I wasn’t too familiar with him prior to this movie. I have seen an episode or two of “The Vicar of Dibley”, but I haven’t really seen anything else with him in it. He did an amazing job of playing Thorin. I’m not sure if I can put my finger on why exactly, but every time he was on the screen (even with a large crowd of people), he still stood out in the crowd. My eyes would be drawn to him.
The scenery was beautiful and the movie was well shot, as one has come to expect from Jackson’s earlier work. The special effects were good-looking, and managed to keep you in the moment. These are things that we have come to expect of Peter Jackson’s movies (even prior to Lord of the Rings). If you look at his work from Dead Alive to the Frighteners, you can see a general trend to create an impeccable looking movie.
In the end, I must say, I quite enjoyed this movie. It was a tribute to good film making and managed to be a fun ride. I’m anticipating the other two parts of the movie (coming out in 2013 and 2014, respectively). It also managed to bring back bits and pieces of the book that I read 28 years ago. That is no small feat. That being said, this is a movie I highly recommend and did truly enjoy.
The Hobbit movie website: http://www.thehobbit.com/