Far to the Wast over ranges and rivers begins the tale of Bilbo Baggins of the Shire. Filled with familiar faces including Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis as Gollum, “The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey” introduces new characters played by Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt and Ken Stott.
Penned by Christian author J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” begins the three-part epic fantasy prequel to “The Lord of the Ring” that introduces viewers to a younger Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman/Ian Holm) before, during and after he discovers the One Ring of power. Led by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo joins a party of dwarfs led by Thorin Oakenshield ( Richard Armitage) on an adventure to The Lonely Mountain to reclaim the dwarfs’ ancestral home which is held by the dragon Smaug.
Shot using 48 fps technology and special 3D cameras for acute realism, the film has received mixed early reviews for getting off to a slow start as well as for the odd effect of watching 48 fps technology at home which reportedly gave some reviewers motion sickness. In reality, the 48 fps technology will only be shown in theaters equipped with the proper technology to screen the film in that platform. As for the extensive length, Jackson decided to spend more time on character development and back stories.
“The Hobbit” was originally written on a dare from C. S. Lewis. According to the stepson of C. S. Lewis, in the late 1940s, J.R.R. Tolkien and fellow Christian writer C.S. Lewis commented upon the lack of honor, chivalry and personal responsibility in modern children’s stories and challenged each other to “do it themselves.” (Gresham) The first result was “The Hobbit,” closely followed by the Narnia series.
Fans of Middle Earth are bound to enjoy the extensive look at Bilbo’s earlier years, his adventures with the dwarfs, his first look at Rivendell, and the elves and other characters who become central figures in “The Lord of the Rings.” “The Hobbit” should become an instant classic on film just like it has as a book.
Read my review of The Hobbit: Part 1 at The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey another great Middle Earth adventure – review, photos + video
Dec. 16 Update: The Hobbit’ has lived up to my predictions of Dec. 4 by topping the box office with a record-breaking $84.7 million. Long live the Shire!
- Douglas Gresham – in the Lion’s Mouth
- ‘The Hobbit’ Movie Release Dates & Titles Announced: ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ & ‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’
- The Fellowship of J.R.R. Tolkien
- Evangeline Lilly to Play Elf Maiden in Peter Jackson’s Two-Part ‘The Hobbit’ Movies