My son (age nine) and I saw an early screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.) last Monday. The movie is based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s book, The Hobbit: There and Back Again. For the most part, the film follows the book. If you’ve read the book, then you already know the story starts off really slow. But after the first hour, the action picks up and the movie keeps you on the edge of your seat. I loved the film and my son thought it was the best film he’s seen this year. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in theaters today.
The 411 for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
|The story||A Hobbit joins a group of dwarves to reclaim to their home from a dragon|
|Appropriateness for children||It’s OK for kids. There are some intense scenes, but they’re not as intense as The Lord of the Ring.|
|Release date||December 14, 2012|
|Rating||Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images|
|Runtime||A whopping 169 minutes|
It’s a three-part prequel
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first of three prequels to The Lord of the Ring series. The film actually starts off after the Lord of the Ring. That’s when Bilbo Baggins decides to write a book about his adventure, which took place 60 years in the past. The other two parts of The Hobbit will open in 2013 (The Desolation of Smaug) and 2014 (There and Back Again).
The movie is long, but there’s new material
The Hobbit book isn’t that long of a book compared to the Lord of the Ring series. That’s why I was surprised when I heard the Hobbit is a three-part movie series. I was even more surprised when I found out the first film is almost three hours long. At that pace, The Hobbit will be about nine hours long. I think that’s one of the reasons the film started off so slowly (the book is the same way). The scene of the dwarves showing up at Bilbo’s house dragged. It was probably about 30 minutes long. On the other hand, the movie included material that wasn’t in the book. I think the material is from appendices and other stories about Middle Earth.
A CGI character steals the show
Martin Freeman plays the part of Bilbo, the main character in the movie. However, he’s upstaged by Gollum, a CGI character. If Gollum was played by a real person, he would’ve been in the running for best supporting actor. Gollum actually made my son laugh. He thought Gollum looked like a creepy kid in a diaper. The cast of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey includes Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Richard Armitage (Thorin), Ken Stott (Balin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), William Kircher (Bifur / Tom Troll), James Nesbitt (Bofur), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), Aidan Turner (Kili), John Callen (Oin), Peter Hambleton (Gloin / William Troll), Jed Brophy (Nori), Mark Hadlow (Dori / Bert Troll), and Adam Brown (Ori). The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was directed by Peter Jackson.