THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED
SYNOPSIS: The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before "The Lord of the Rings," which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscarģ-winning "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."
The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome Dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the Wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild, through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins, Orcs and deadly Wargs, as well as a mysterious and sinister figure known only as the Necromancer.
Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the Goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever...Gollum.
Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities...A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
Bilbo: My dear Frodo, you asked me once if I had told you everything there was to know about my adventures. Well, I can honestly say I've told you the truth, I may not have told you all of it...
And we are off on an adventure once again, Tolkien/Jackson style. Probably the first thing that will hit you, besides the excitement of finally watching another portion of the Tolkien saga, is the visual aspect. I had to wipe my eyes to be sure I was looking at this correctly. It is unlike anything I can remember every seeing in a movie theater. Itís 3D in HD. It will blow your mind and you might or might not like it. Regardless, it might take a little getting used to. Itís almost too realistic looking to the point of distraction. But then again, Middle Earth never looked so good; which of course brings us to the wondrous accomplishments in cinematography. As always, the filming locations, backdrops, camera work, etc. were exemplary and are essential to the success of this franchise. It does account for a large portion of its value. Similarly and also as usual, the makeup, costumes, and special effects were flawless. These elements do transport you to this magical fantasy world that is Middle Earth. And at almost 3 hours long, you will be there for a while. So yes, the movie is long, but the movie is also epic, of course. There is no doubt that Peter Jackson is a master of epicness.
Gandalf: You'll have a tale or two to tell when you come back.
Bilbo Baggins: You can promise that I will come back?
Gandalf: ...No. And if you do, you will not be the same.
Heís not lying about that! But before we get there, the movie starts out a little slow, kind of like how Fellowship of the Ring starts out. Hang in there though because the action will pick up some, donít worry. The story itself is good, even though we are only getting the beginning section of the book, so the issue is not necessarily the story. Oops, thereís an issue? For me, yes there is and here is where I will upset many of you either because you will strongly disagree with me or because you will agree with me. This is the first of a three part movie series that will encompass the book. So one way to look at it is to compare it to how Fellowship of the Ring compares to the other two, Two Towers and Return of the King. Ask anyone and they will most probably agree that Fellowship was the weakest of the three films. So, this one, An Unexpected Journey, is the Fellowship of this series, perhaps. Another way to look at it, and this is more accurate as to how I felt after watching the movie, is to compare it to the Star Wars saga. Priscilla does not like it when I compare, but I canít help it. I was fortunate enough, and Iím old enough to have seen the original Star Wars trilogy in the theater when they came out back in the day. Needless to say I was more than excited when Phantom Menace was being released. Well, if youíve seen the Star Wars films in that order, then you might agree with me that Episode I leaves you less satisfied compared to the epicness that is Episodes IV, V, and VI. After watching the epicness that is the LOTR trilogy, this one is just . . . okay. Itís not a bad movie, donít get me wrong, it just has a very tough act to follow. Maybe try to separate it from everything else in your mind . . . make it a standalone movie; that might help. Nonetheless, if youíre a fan of LOTR then you know youíre going to go see the beginning of this new series. Just keep it in perspective.
By Cine Marcos
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