Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage
Directed by Peter Jackson
Run Time: 169 mins
Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure/ 3D Film
Opens December 14th
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Tolkien fans should be overjoyed; the long awaited prequel to the Academy Award winning Lord of the Rings Saga is finally here. There have been advances in filmmaking technology since the first Lord of the Rings film was release, so audiences will now be able to experience a more life like viewing of the film, thanks to 48 frames per second projection rate and in 3D. Thank you Peter Jackson & digital projection.
For those not familiar with the J.R.R Tolkien book, The Hobbit is the prequel to the Lord of the Rings series, focusing on Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and how he came to possess the ring. In this first out of the three films, Bilbo is sought out by the wizard Gandalf the Grey(Ian McKellen) to be the 13th member of a group to reclaim a lost dwarf kingdom. Thorin’s (Richard Armitage) grandfather ruled over the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor where the gold was mined in abundance. The fortune of the kingdom was greatly sought after and was eventually overthrown by a dragon named Smaug and Ogre invaders. Gandalf knows that this will not be an easy feat as Bilbo along the way, has lost his childlike adventurous spirit. Thorin does not have much faith in Bilbo, mentioning several times during the journey how much he wishes he didn’t come along to fight their battle. Bilbo will have to prove to himself, Gandalf and others that he is the right hobbit for the job, but at what cost?
For months now, the popular discussion point in cinematic circles was the decision to use a high frame rate for filming the latest trilogy, 48 frames-per-second. This may be the future of filmmaking, but watching it at the high rate along with 3D, can really do a number on the eyes. This is just one opinion, but the veil between the viewer and actor is so transparent that the illusion of fantasy is dimmed, looking more like dailies on the set or a television set. What is amazing to watch is the sweeping landscape scenes. How different is the film from the book? Although there are some changes as “The Hobbit” is only one book instead of 3 like LOTR but also being delivered in 3 films; there are some clever additions on Jackson’s part, the film sticks pretty close to the book. The Hobbit is a much lighter tone than the LOTR books, so expect more lighthearted moments and slightly less dark drama. The Hobbit is a much lighter tone than the LOTR books, so expect more lighthearted moments and slightly less dark drama. Not to put too many spoilers in this review but several characters from the LOTR films do make an appearance, making the scenes very enjoyable to watch. Be sure to catch The Hobbit when it opens in theaters nationwide staring Friday December 14, 2012.