Film Review: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

Martin Freeman in the first of two (long) parts of the Hobbit
Martin Freeman in the first of two (long) parts of the Hobbit

Last night went to watch this first, long part of the two-parts Hobbit film adaptation.

First, if you compare it to the Lord of the Rings Saga, I liked it much better. Maybe because the plot is more straight forward, and it doesn’t feel like they tried to cram a long long tale into a very small space.

Or because the technology had advanced in the 10 years that passed since the last part of the three LOTR films came out. The height difference looks more natural, and the graphic effects mesh much better with their surroundings.

I actually really wanted to watch the film at a ATMOS supporting theatre. ATMOS is a new Dolby technology that supports 64 discrete speakers – providing a very accurate (and loud) 3d sound experience. Unfortunately, I waited too long, and missed the train on that one.

But never the less, the sound was excellent. Sometimes I would look around to make sure the sounds belonged in the film and not a person at the theatre.

The film itself follows the book quite accurately, so if you haven’t read the book yet, run and get it and read it till you finished. It’s that good.

Be warned, this part stretches for 170 minutes. So if you have a small bladder, better take care of it before you go in. Some say it makes the film tedious, I don’t subscribe to that line of thought and I’m happy that they skimped on the editing (virtual) scissors rather than compromise till the film looked like a cliff notes version of the original book.

Also, there are a few songs in the film – same as in the book. But they made it blend pretty nicely with the plot, so it didn’t feel too musical-ish, but contributed to the comical hue of the scenes.

After watching the film, I can understand why Peter Jackson chose to break it into two parts. He learned his lesson from LOTR which was a good exercise in cutting a gigantic saga into 3 films, when it should have been more like 6 or 8. (or maybe just a high production mini series)

This is a change from my opinion before – which was that this is a milking of the cash cow that is J.R.R Tolkien book-to-film adaptations.

The Hobbit left me smiling, and at awe. The tale of the home loving hobbit who dared to venture so far outside of his comfort zone, made friends, fought battles, and had an epic journey is a great story, and is told really well on the gorgeous backgrounds of New Zealand.

My advice: go and watch it! it’s well worth it even if it’s long.


Here are some downloads:

1. From the film’s website

2. A windows 7 theme

3. And here are a few more wallpapers

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