I had looked forward to seeing Peter’s Jackson’s The Hobbit for some time now, as I was/am a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I look back warmly on my movie-going experiences of seeing the first three movies, each one on a Christmas Day after a hearty Chinese dinner with my (Jewish) parents and brother. I own each of the three movies and think they are movie gold, as many do, and were  a must see at the theaters. So I knew I would need to see The Hobbit on the big screen as well, this time with the added excitement of a 3D experience.

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I am currently visiting Craig’s hometown in Nova Scotia and went to see The Hobbit last night. Overall, I had a very good movie experience. The Hobbit is worth the price of admission, especially because of the 3D effects. It is just what you expect: full of gorgeous landscapes, battles of the good guys versus evil orcs, the always solid Ian McKellen as Gandalf, and an excellent and lovable Martin Freeman as the title character, Bilbo Baggins (or “Bagginses,” in Gollum speak). The other new exciting character was dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, played by newcomer (at least in the U.S.), Richard Armitage (photo below).

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Just a bit of information without giving any spoilers: the movie begins the day of Bilbo Baggin’s going-away party, the party that begins the first Lord of the Rings movie. We get a welcome quick cameo by Elijah Woods as Frodo Baggins, Bilbo’s grandson. Bilbo has decided to write down his adventures so that Frodo can read all about them after he is “gone,” which we know from the first movie what that means. The rest of the story is a flashback, complete with some characters you know and lots of new ones. The main summary of the story is that, instead of a group of mixed species on a hunt for a ring, a Hobbit and Gandalf the Wizard join a group of dwarves (photo below) to reclaim their long lost kingdom.

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I really did enjoy this film but there was some kind of movie magic missing for me this time around, as compared with the LOTR movies. Maybe it is less of a new thing, since we’ve already been to this world 3 times before? I think the story is a bit more drawn out, or at least it definitely will be after another two movies, and just less enthralling of a plot overall. Maybe it was that there were 12 too many dwarves on the quest versus a mix of sexy ethereal elves and rugged kings of men? Maybe it was the lack of any real kind of eye candy? I like my movies to have some hotties, whether male or female, to look at it. LOTR gave us Viggo Mortinson, Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler. Dwarves are a pretty foul-looking bunch for the most part and we stared at them for 3 hours. There was the addition of one randomly hot dwarf, which ended up being more funny than anything else, as it looked like the  makeup artists forgot to stick on this guy’s huge prosthetic nose with the rest of them. Even his brother had a big fat nose. (See what I mean in the photo above?)

Maybe the movie was just a bit too long too. I found myself noticing parts where I thought to myself, “hmm, Peter Jackson really felt it was necessary to leave in this scene? or at least he didn’t shorten it up a bit?” I guess to me 9 hours just seems a bit superfluous this time around, as the story did not bewitch me quite the same way as the first of the LOTR did. There’s still a lot of watching  a group of guys running and falling everywhere while miraculously escaping a thousand things trying to kill them. Also, on a quest it seems quite useful having someone like Gandalf around, who can always tell you what you are looking at when you ask “what’s that?” And Gollum is great in this movie, as I read Peter Jackson said they had done a lot with special effects since the last one to make him even more life-like (But the riddle scene could have been a lot shorter we all said).  My advice is to go to this movie expecting good things, not great, as you will not be quite as impressed or excited as you were the first time around. But it is a good movie-going experience nonetheless. The 3D addition definitely makes the movie worth seeing in the theater.

And for fun, try to figure out the guy we referred to as “shit faced” whenever he came on screen. You’ll definitely guess it.

The Hobbit: B+

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