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12.19.12 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Film Review, Part 1

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (New Line Cinema, 2012)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (New Line Cinema, 2012)

On Saturday morning, I tottered from the sickbed I’d been on for the last week, grabbed a box of Kleenex, and waited on the chair by the front door.

“What are you doing?” My wife, Sophia, asked. “I thought I was going to try and get a rain check.”

“Tiggeds are for ten o’glock,” I snuffled back.

“We can go tomorrow!  Don’t you want to be healthy to enjoy it?”

“Ged the kids,” I managed to say, leaning against the wall.  “I’ve been waiting almost forty years for this film.  I’ll enjoy it.”

Adriana and Seth burst down the stairs, exclaiming,  “We’re ready!”

The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey (New Line Cinema, MGM)

The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey (New Line Cinema, MGM)

Within the hour we were seated at the local AMC theater, all wearing green 3D glasses inscribed with “The Hobbit” while the kids happily munched on popcorn and sipped at cola slurpees.

Not even a severe case of the flu was going to stop me from seeing this film on opening weekend!

And the film delivered! Thanks to Peter Jackson’s experiment with 3D/48fps we saw a version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that none of us will ever forget.  As the first of three films that will adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 children’s classic to the big screen, there’s good news and bad news.  Good news:  it’s a mind-blowing, fantastic film that will bear repeated viewings, and I heartily recommend it!  Bad news: we now need to wait a year for Part II, The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and another year after that for Part III: There and Back Again (2014)!

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1965 edition)

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1965 edition)

For fellow enthusiasts of the novel, I do recommend that you remember that phrase, film adaptation.  There are many changes and new additions to this film that might ruffle “purist” sensibilities, but if that’s the case then I fear you’ll miss out on a delightful and compelling story that Mr. Jackson has realized on the big screen.

There’s so much to write about this film that I’ve divided my discussion of the movie into a few blogs. You’ll find perhaps not so much a “review” as a series of observations.

As I go through my impressions, I’ll make it clear both where the movie aligned with, and departed from, the original Tolkien novel.

In short, though, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure took my family into a completely different world, and we can’t wait to return next year!

Next time: The Wonderful Departures & Alignments of Jackson’s Film with Tolkien’s Work!

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