Thursday, December 27, 2012

Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (in Every Way!)

To tell you the truth, I'm a big fan of The Lord of the Rings trilogybut I wasn't nearly as excited about this movie. I tried reading the book and it nearly bored me to tears. Whenever as a story is told with an attempt to make each sentence a work of poetry instead of just spitting it out, my eyes glaze over (and I totally realize that I'm well within the minority on that). With the exception of Samwise Gamgee (it's even a fond nickname I use for my daughter), I'm not a fan of the hobbit characters. In fact, they were my least favorite characters of the series.

So did I like The Hobbit, or not? Before I give my official review, here's a rundown of my comments while watching it (yes I used my phone in the theatre, but I had the glow completely contained inside my purse - my son didn't even know I was using it and he sat right next to me - so chill out already):

I have a feeling this is going to bore me to tears.
Wait, is this a musical?
Why do these movies always have to include giant, creepy spiders?
Seriously, does Cate Blanchett age?
(One from my son: Wait, what is Count Dooku doing in this movie?)
Why are there always super high mountains with super narrow cliffs in these movies?
Storm giants totally remind me of those boxing robots.
Obviously another movie made by "grown" boys.
I'd take on Voldemort any day over the creepy one-handed ogre dude.
For someone who's terrified of heights, I've spent a third of this movie fearing a heart attack.
Why did we have to see this in 3D again?
Smeagol seriously needs to see a psychiatrist.
Ah, so that's how all this ring stuff started. Why didn't they tell us this before?
Okay, so I guess this IS a musical. Starring Smeagol.
Big birds you can ride and now a fire-breathing dragon? Hello, Harry Potter rip-off!

Based on these comments, one would probably guess I hated this movie. But I didn't. In fact, was surprised just how much I loved it! By the last scene, I realized I like it even more than any of the LoTR movies. I even adored Bilbo Baggins - a hobbit! While there were a lot of same elements from the LoTR as well as reoccurring characters and places, the overall feel of the movie was somewhat different. A lot of it had to do with the almost all new cast of dwarfs that led the story. They were a mix of brave, comical and lovable characters. Throw the charismatic Gandalf and a new-and-improved, younger version of Bilbo and you have your heroes of the story. There were certainly more light-hearted scenes compared to the LoTR trilogy, which is probably a given considering we're dealing with the most comical characters of the series. I'll admit the signing made me roll my eyes by the second song. At least they were all relatively short. And the last two melodies, sung by Smeagol (who doesn't love that creepy bastard) and the goblin king with a nasty goiter, actually made me laugh.

It's not my style to review movies and books by picking apart every aspect and scene. Bottom line is that if you're a fan of the fantasy-type movies, I think it's safe to say you will definitely enjoy this one. Even most fans of Harry Potter would probably appreciate this tale, although for children you should be aware that there are some scenes with Smeagol and the goblins that were a little freaky for my 10-year-old. I think "An Unexpected Journey" was a perfect title for this little gem. Definitely not what I was expecting from a Baggins.

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