‘The Hobbit’ is worth your time and money
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 13:01
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is an epic movie, and I use the word epic sparingly.
It’s a simple tale, but one that is highly entertaining, especially with director Peter Jackson’s talent broadcast again on the silver screen.
“The Hobbit” begins with an elderly Bilbo Baggins, once again played by Ian Holm, writing a book of his adventures from sixty years before. He’s briefly interrupted by his nephew Frodo, played by Elijah Wood, who reminds him about the big party that evening.
This provides a wonderful back story to “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”
The story beautifully transitions back to Bilbo’s younger days, now played by Martin Freeman. Bilbo is visited by Gandalf, again played by Ian McKellen, who’s looking for someone to share in an adventure.
Bilbo sends Gandalf on his way and settles down for the evening. He’s interrupted by a loud knock at the door. He opens the door and a large dwarf walks inside and begins to eat the food Bilbo’s set out.
Within a short time, twelve other dwarves and Gandalf show up and begin to clean out Bilbo’s food supply.
After dinner, the group sits down and discusses their plan to take back their homeland, Erebor, where the dragon Smaug currently resides. The group’s leader is Thorin Oakenshield, played by Richard Armitage, and he remembers the day Smaug burned the dwarves out of their home, so he has a strong desire to go back.
After much deliberation, Bilbo decides to join the company and go on an adventure.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is a beautifully shot film that’s worth the money for a theater viewing.
“The Hobbit” is a great demonstration of the progress of computer animation, especially in the portrayal of one of the primary antagonists. He could have been ninety percent human and it would have been difficult to tell.
Some creative license is taken for “The Hobbit,” but everything from the book is in the movie.
The song, “The Misty Mountains,” is used as a general theme for the party throughout the film. Composer Howard Shore took this song and replayed it using different pieces of the orchestra — brass, strings, drums and the entire ensemble. It’s even played as a ballad during the end credits.
Shore also composed the rest of the score, which included recognizable themes, especially those for hobbits, the ring and Gollum. The score is different than that from “The Lord of the Rings,” but it fits stupendously into the world of Middle Earth.
I am a fan of Peter Jackson’s retelling of Tolkien’s classic stories. Jackson effectively created the world of “The Hobbit,” although he’s had my confidence ever since “The Lord of the Rings.” In addition to his movies from Middle Earth, Jackson directed the 2005 version of “King Kong.”
Freeman nailed the part of Bilbo perfectly. Every mannerism Holm initially brought to the role was captured by Freeman.
Of course, Andy Serkis returned to play Gollum. Since Serkis defined Gollum, everything about him was right on the money. Serkis was also the second unit director for “The Hobbit” trilogy and drew from his vast talented experience to effectively take some responsibilities from Jackson.
A handful of actors from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy reappear in “The Hobbit” trilogy and I was excited to see them back in the saddle. They include Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Christopher Lee as Saruman.
I am overly-anxious for the next film in the trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which will be released Dec. 13, 2013.
If you haven’t seen “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” yet, go catch it in theaters.
— Spencer Palmer is a graduate student working toward an MBA with a recent bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. Email him at email@example.com or visit his website, themovieknight.wordpress.com.