Spoil-Free Reviews!: The Hobbit: An Unedxpected Journey

I planned a pretty great day for myself today: go to the gym… by my self, see The Hobbit for the second time, this time in IMAX 3D…. by my self (in fact the first time I’ve been to a movie theater alone), and finally get some Indian Food from my new favorite place Ghar-E-Kabab… and you guessed it, by my damn self.  More people should do shit alone it was transcendent.  But I digress, before even having begun my thought it appears.

I mentioned that I saw the movie in IMAX 3D and people always ask if it’s worth it it all depends on how much it costs in your home theater, it is not a MUST see in 3D or in IMAX like some other movies that have come out recently but I would say if you have to pay any more than $8 over regular ticket price I wouldn’t bother.  The thing that really hits you with the IMAX is less the look of the movie but the amazing sound system some of the scenes hit you in a way that they wouldn’t otherwise (I will not ruin the surprise of which scene I’m referring to).

So over this holiday break Peter Jackson released his fourth installment in the Lord of the Rings series, which will also be the first in a three part adaptation of The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and Tolkien’s incomplete notes.  If you’ve seen the original three trilogy you should be expecting three things from Jackson’s 2012 blockbuster: Beautiful scenic shots, well choreographed action scenes with the appearance of chaos, and tension cutting humor.  And if you come expecting just that you will not be disappointed.

The Hobbit opens in the same place The Fellowship of the Ring did before it cuts back to the famous dinner scene.  As the movie goes on the one thing you notice most is that the light-hearted, care-free treasure hunt nature of The Hobbit is captured beautifully which can be attributed to the stellar performances by Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Ian McKellen (Gandalf the Grey), and literally all of the other dwarves but Thorin who is quite the fucking downer (my favorites are Fili and Kili). While the cast manages to keep the mood light, Thorin Oakenshieled and the terrible back story reminds us of the  much darker feeling that envelopes Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

Jackson manages to take a large cast and make it seem small and personal while not skating over the fan favorite characters.  Like any Lord of the Rings movie the writing is at times over the top and cloying but that is a vestige of Tolkien’s writing style.  Any scene with elves is hard to watch because it feels and is even shot with the glowing effect associated with soap operas.  I had little to no issues with this movie but there were also not many things that blew my mind but the critical response is rather foolish.  I could see if you didn’t like any of the Lord of the Rings movies but the critical acclaim for this installment is much less than that of original three even though they share all the same faults and triumphs.  At times the casting choices can be questionable.  However, the vast majority of the main cast  delivers superbly.

Key Moments:

The dinner scene clean up is really fun and turns the intruding dwarves into loveable ne’er do wells.

The Brown Wizard, another surprise feature from a Tolkien work other than The Hobbit who does not disappoint.

Andy Serkis’s Oscar worthy performance despite the short screen time (running close to about 10 minutes).  Serkis does with Golem what he couldn’t do in the first three make him loveable, loathsome, pitty, and despised simultaneously and was in fact my favorite character in the nearly three hour long movie.

Ratings:

Casting: 7/10

Acting (Main Cast): 8/10

Acting (Supporting Cast): 8/10

Directing: 8/10

Writing: 6/10

Plot: 10/10

Cinematography: 10/10

Soundtrack: +1

Visually Stunning: +4

Genre Specific:

Action Sequences: 8/10

Humor: 7/10

Make-up: +4

Overall Rating: 7.74/10 (great)

Pop Culture Che Suggests: 4/5 (See in theaters)

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