12.14.2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

It's clear for people who read the books and saw the film adaptation of LOTR trilogy that the atmosphere is different compared to reading the book and seeing the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. If the former is more dark and serious, the latter is a bit more adventurous and playful. But there's nothing to complain about. Originally a children's tale, the magic is still there as this first installment of the 3 prequels is something that you cannot take for granted.

If watching LOTR feels like playing Diablo 1 and 2, watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is like playing Torchlight 2. And I mean it in a good way. The untrained eye can easily spot the CGI effects here since the landscape is more colourful, young, and lively in following the adventures of 13 dwarves, a wizard, and a halfling across the Middle Earth.

The pace is fast, and you will never run out of adrenaline rush. There's the classic shot of bird's eye-view again employed using the scenic landscapes of New Zealand. That scene of the dwarves toiling the day mining for gemstones and gold are simply mesmerizing. I love seeing the vastness of treasure here in the halls of Erebor that cumulates to the beauty of the Arkenstone. The destructive path of the dragon is like viewing a mad volcano spewing lava. The traditional dragon we know only breathes out fire but Smaug the Terrible here (even if you don’t clearly see the face of the dragon for reason of suspense) is not just throwing fire in exhalation but also spewing pure napalm bombs.

When you get to that part when Radagast the Brown played his share in the adventure, when you see how Thorin prove himself as heir to the throne of Erebor (and why his name is suffixed with Oakenshield) , how Gollum lost his magic ring to Bilbo through a game of riddles, how Galadriel treats Gandalf (Mithrandir) like a son, or how Gandalf saves the day for the nth time, you realize that there are lots of things to love here even if you're not a Tolkien fanatic but just a fan of the fantasy genre.

this Japanese poster is the best poster

Genre: Fantasy, Film Adaptation, Trilogy 
Rating: 9.5 out of 10

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