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Hobbit: Lion back in its Lair
The Beginning of a Journey
Now when people like Peter Jackson and Christopher Nolan make movies, people expect nothing short of getting their MIND BLOWN. That was primarily the reason why an amazing movie like The Dark Knight Returns never got the applaud that it deserves as it was shadowed by its legendary predecessor Dark Knight, thanks to the brilliant Heath Ledger. The same expectations were placed on the maker of the epic saga "Lord of The Rings", making it the most anticipated movie of the year. And the verdict is?? Peter Jackson is back in the ring and proved once again that no one knows better about "LOTR MOVIE MAKING" than himself. The movie is outstanding on many terms though be warned that no matter how good it is, be clear in your mind not to compare it to Lord of The Rings.
Comparison with the Book
First of all in my life, I saw LOTR, then read it, then saw it again a million times. Then after that I read Hobbit and finally saw it. For a start I must say that no book I have read was so detailed and enigmatic as Lord of The Rings. While the content and quality of LOTR was very rich and mature, Hobbit comparatively was quite kiddish and simple. So in anyways, I had very little expectations from the movie. However, I never really understood on what grounds Peter J. thought of making THREE movies and the first one being of about THREE hours.After the first movie, my doubts are somewhat unsubstantiated as I saw how even the minor most details of the book are pampered and cuddled by the film maker with astounding fondness. Many parts from the appendices or references are included.There is a good section portraying Radagast, the third lesser known wizard other than Gandalf and Saruman. My preference about movies based on book has always been, the longer the better. For that reason, I was never really able to respect the adaptation of Dan Brown books or harry Potter series. If you compare them to the details of LOTR, it is even fair to call them sad. To be honest, the movie is bit slow for a moment or two taking its time to breath and people who have not read the Hobbit or seen LOTR, might experience a dull moment or two. But no complains from me really.
If I may add, the book is short and can be a quick read. Prefer it before watching the movie. Very few movies give the satisfaction of living up to the book.
It is pointless to describe it but you don't need any homework as Peter J. makes sure even a novice gets everything that is happening. The story begins with the attack on the dwarf city of Erebor ruled by Thorin Oakenshield, which gets captured by the dragon Smaug who desires gold more than anything else. It is set 60 years before the onset of The Lord of The Rings and weaves a tale describing the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, the uncle of Frodo Baggins. The story begins when Gandalf comes to visit his friend Bilbo and invites him for an adventure to get back the city of Erebor from the mighty dragon Smaug. Bilbo hardly has a choice and soon gets a host of dwarf visitors who make themselves at home in no time. Eventually after much deliberation, Bilbo leaves his house bearing great discomfort and sets with the thirteen dwarves and Gandalf to get the city back. Their journey then takes them through battles with giants, trolls, orcs, goblins and wolves. And finally Bilbo crosses paths with the very character that epitomizes the Lord of the Rings. Thats right precious, Gollum. The movie has enough action sequences and enough light moments to make smile and be thrilled. Though I will emphasize again but cannot contain myself saying it here, Gollum is the hero of the movie. He steals the show.
As I said before, Gollum is the sole victor in this category with no competitor coming even close to him. He is witty, sweet, evil and vulnerable and has a brilliant screen presence even if he is there for a short span. He is the one we remember the most once we are out of the movie. So now having given Gollum his poetic justice, must say that Ian McKellan is as much a Gandalf as Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. They are in their skin when they play these roles. He is the same and plays it simple. Now in the new entries, Martin Freeman plays the role of Bilbo Baggins Brilliantly and we absolutely love it. He has given a new meaning to the old Bilbo from LOTR and the result is pleasant, The second worthy mention is no doubt the counterpart for Aragorn, Thorin Oakenshield. Richard Armitage has played the role with ferocity and though it is hard not to draw comparison to Viggo Mortensen, Thorin does manage to win hearts. With twelve other dwarfs to follow, it is hard to keep track but per se, Kili, Balin and Bombur manage to make an impression. Judge for yourself. Well most of the other characters are animated or decorated, so that severely restricts our list to bare minimal. It is worth mentioning that the lack of characters does feel a bit edgy when you compare it to the vast genre of LOTR characters, And also hardly any elvish babes in the movie. Which hurts.
Some Movie Geek Talk
The Lord of The Rings series was the result of a very dedicated and hardworking team and the same team has come together and yet again given all they can to the movie. The photography and cinematography reminds us of LOTR, which was astounding and has managed to maintain the standards if not raise them as it was already too high. The new addition is ofcourse the 48 frames per second which seems to be the future of cinema and for a first time viewer gives a feeling of watching a video game. It seems a bit edgy in the first few minutes but we soon get used to it.The only flaw in it is, it brings out remarkable clarity which for a keen eye gives a chance to separate what is a real landscape and a set at times. The soundtrack has always been a soul of all great movies. The same applies. Howard Shore may not win an Oscar, but he has done nothing short of brilliant work on it. He has managed to keep the touch and feel of the LOTR and yet has made a few additions which bring a pleasant effect. Like the two worthy mentions are, "the mountain dwarf songs" portrayed in the trailers and the "Thats what Bilbo Baggins hates" melody which truly lift the mood. All the characters have played their role really well, especially the newcomer, Martin Freeman who has played Bilbo perfectly pleasant.
The 3D to be honest fades from time to time but is better than average. I am not a big fan of it so maybe I am a bit harsh, but I am sure many will agree within it. The visual effects are astounding as ever and may very well go in the nominees. The feel of the movie is fresh and good and like all other movies gives many things to take back home. Again, please don't compare it to Lord of The Rings. The story of Hobbit is short and sweet, and that is what the movie manages to be. Last needless worthy mention is the uncomparable work of two giants, Peter Jackson and Guillemero Del Toro. All I can say is, no one could have done it better.
Which is your favorite Lord of The Rings character
The Touch and Feel
Very little is left to the imagination of the audience and it will well go in the most worthy adaptations ever made. Like the first LOTR movie, The Hobbit takes a good healthy time to build its story and establish its characters. Due to this, some people may find it bit slow. But I am equally sure Peter J. raises the heat with every installment and the same will happen with this movie. The only problem is, other than the old cast, very few characters manage to leave their impression as they are not that "cool" or unique. But just swallow this. There are plenty of other things to cherish about. The movie has plenty of action sequences and light moments. Gandalf for example is shown to take a body count of dwarves after every incident and also has a hard time recalling them. The most laudable thing that I found about the movie is the amount of efforts the director has put to build up the scenario for a situation that leads to the war with Sauron. Little by little hints are thrown throughout the movie as to the time which ideally befits the coming of events in the LoTR tale. The movie is well suited for all kind of audience except the romantics as there are hardly any female characters. Sorry folks, but some movies can be good even without a good female lead.
The movie is no doubt a MUST screen watch. It has gone down clearly in my all time favorite movies. But may be that is coz I am a LoTR and Peter J. fan and have long forgotten that he has also made movies like The Lovely Bones. Three hours seems a long time, but trust me, it will pass quicker than you will realise. Like the LoTR, Hobbit carries its charm and beauty with it and makes us feel like watching LoTR again. For me it was not a standing ovation kind of good movie, but I am sure to have a rerun. Just one last thing to say. Again. Do not compare it to Lord of The Rings. That movie was legendary. And so is this one. Just that LoTR came first and stole all the credit. I am sure you will love it precious.