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Old December 14 2012, 11:49 AM   #94
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Location: West Haven, UT, USA
Re: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Grading & Discussion (Spoilers

Go see this movie.... NOW!!!!!!

I just got back, and I absolutely loved the movie. The tone is both fresh and unique while simultaneously being vintage LotR/Peter Jackson fare, and it was a treat getting to see so many familiar faces in this earlier time frame. It's been so long since I read The Hobbit that I'd forgotten a lot of the specific beats of the story, even though I remembered many of the broader structural details, but found myself more than able to follow what was happening.

I loved the prologue with the fall of Erebor juxtaposed with the cameos from Ian Holm and Elijah Wood, and it served as a great introduction not only to the film, but also to Thorin and his storyline. One thing I did notice about the prologue and the cameos from Holm and Wood is that they had to so greatly de-age Holm that he looks a lot younger than he does at the beginning of Fellowship, which this film's framing device is meant to lead into. This isn't that big of a deal in the long run, but is noticeable enough that it does warrant mentioning.

The film has a lot more comedy than any of the LotR films, which I think is fitting given that this is meant to be a much different period in the history of Middle-Earth, one that doesn't yet have the clouds of war and darkness hanging over it.

All of the Dwarves get some focus, but the film does clearly belong to Thorin and Bilbo, both of whom drive the narrative along as we really start to feel for the both of them. There's a great buildup of subtle tension between the two characters throughout the film that is paid off perfectly during its final climactic moments.

The Riddles in the Dark sequence is one of the many highlights of the film, with Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis playing off of one another perfectly.

I was expecting the film to end on a cliffhanger with the Company stuck in the trees surrounded by Azhog and his Orcs, and was pleasantly surprised when it didn't.

It's really going to suck having to wait an entire year to see the next entry in the series, but it'll definitely be worth the wait.

BTW, I voted an A+ in the poll and would give the film a star rating of 5 out of 5.
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