Anytime a J.R.R. Tolkien anything gets published, spoken of, or filmed, my husband turns into the male equivalent of a Twi-Hard. No he doesn’t put on hairy rubber feet, or carry a staff to the première, he just becomes intense. Star Wars and LOTR, those are his nostalgic fanboy geek fetishes and I approve because I love them too. In fact I was completely psyched to see The Hobbit when it came out. Believe or not, I still have the read along book to record (someone old loaned it too me…I swear it isn’t a treasure from youth. 😉 ) and the movie didn’t disappoint.
The story had a lighter spirit than the LOTR (Lord of the Rings) series, but frankly so did the book. This is the story of the beloved Bilbo Baggins and his quest to return the dwarfs to their home. There was jaw dropping scenery (New Zealand sure is purty) that seemed to flow and move along with the journey much like a character would. Darkness is not yet cast upon the world as it was in LOTR, so we see a very different landscape. The monsters and fantastical creatures made me believe in magic, because of their beautifully composed faultless and seamless special effects, with Andy Serkis once again giving a grade-A performance as the creepy, slightly slimy CG Gollum.There are a couple of singing scenes that made me a tad bit uncomfortable, but this was completely forgivable since they were also in the original. The first act was drew a couple yawns with its slow-to-go pace, but once the adventure kicked in, the hook was imbedded and The Hobbit gained a new, loyal follower. Unfortunately, I had brief Jar-Jar flashbacks when the head ogre commits acts of utter buffoonery, but it’s a minor flaw in the bigger picture.
Overall, this magical mystical f/x extravaganza that adapts a classic tale told many times before, is simply wonderful. I would hold off on taking your wee ones, because it is violent…not bloody, but violent. Thank you Peter Jackson, you did it again and I will definitely be back for more!
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