Thursday, December 13, 2012

What to expect from An Unexpected Journey

I, like many people, was surprised when news broke that The Hobbit was being split into three films. I figured two would be plenty to cover the bases and I got worried when a third was announced. But upon hearing the reason for the change (other than one more movie = one more box office round to grab our cash) I think I am feeling slightly better.

If you have read the book or saw the 1977 The Hobbit animated TV special, you’ll note that Gandalf does not hang around much. He sets the whole adventure in motion and mysteriously pops up to save Bilbo and the dwarves at different points, but for the most part, he is off conducting business that we are not aware of. Well, with three films, we get Bilbo’s adventure as well as find out just what The Grey Wizard was up to that whole time. We also get to see the epic Battle of Five Armies, which should do well to satiate our cravings for fantasy being on fantasy being violence.

Another thing worth noting will be the difference in tone between The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings. The Hobbit is a lighter themed story. It is more of a kid’s book after all. Where The Fellowship Of The Ring was on a mission to essentially stop the end of the world, The Hobbit is about a group of dwarves out to steal back treasure from a dragon. The stakes are still death, but the end goal is monetary. But the world does have a stake in the dwarfs’ mission. You could say that the world of The Hobbit is in the mist of a Cold War between the light and the dark and The Lord Of the Rings was World War III. Gandalf helped the dwarves so that when Sauran called his forces together in LOTR (Lord Of The Rings), he would not have a dragon at his disposal. Gandalf was also dealing with the Sauran situation during The Hobbit, which is why he did not stick around for the whole journey.

Some early reviews have complained about the pacing being too slow and the High Frame Rate (HFR) version making things seem too artificial and even making a few people nauseous. But other appear to really enjoy the film. It’s not like we put the LOTR trilogy on to high of a pedestal to enjoy more, right? We shall see, but I expect to enjoy the ride.

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