THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
NOVEMBER 30, 2013

Visually enthralling, grandiosely captivating, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” proves that fans are safe with Peter Jackson at the helm of the Middle-earth. Martin Freeman is by far the most enjoyable portion of the film, with the look and charisma to deftly carry this latest Tolkien franchise, as lead Bilbo Baggins, while returning faces like Ian McKellen as Gandalf, along with several other familiar faces, help keep the film on par with its predecessors from “The Lord Of The Rings”. The adventure is grand enough, the villains are once again developed, Howard Shore’s score is an unequivocal achievement, and with several key scenes contained in the frames of this particular film, including the return of Gollum, this first film in the trilogy sets the bar fairly high for the forthcoming films. Of course, “The Hobbit” still falters, mainly in its overabundance of CGI, relying too heavily on graphics over practical effects. Also, in its widely publicized high frame rate, the effect leaves much to be desired, with fast motions coming off strange to the eye, and although there are several scenes where the higher frame rate looks impressive, mostly sweeping shots, it is not worth the time spent “adjusting” to its differences. We can only hope this is a fad.

RELEASE DATE
December 14, 2012

DIRECTOR
Peter Jackson

WRITTEN BY
Fran Walsh
Philippa Boyens
Peter Jackson
Guillermo del Toro

BASED ON
“The Hobbit”
by J. R. R. Tolkien

STUDIO
New Line Cinema
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Warner Bros. Pictures

PG-13
(for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, frightening images and fleeting nudity)

ADVENTURE
FAMILY
FANTASY

169 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Andrew Lesnie

COMPOSER
Howard Shore

EDITOR
Jabez Olssen

CAST
Ian McKellen
Martin Freeman
Richard Armitage
James Nesbitt
Ken Stott
Cate Blanchett
Ian Holm
Christopher Lee
Hugo Weaving
Elijah Wood
Andy Serkis

PRODUCED BY
Carolynne Cunningham
Zane Weiner
Fran Walsh
Peter Jackson

BUDGET
$180 million

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