Monday, December 12, 2016

An Unexpected Journey

A great start to an unforgettable adventure.

An Unexpected Journey is the first chapter to The Hobbit trillgy, a precursor to The Lord Of The Rings following Bilbo Baggins on his quest with a company of dwarves to reclaim their homeland from a great dragon. It's almost basic fantasy storytelling 101, but Tolkien made it into something so much greater in the book which I am proud to say I have read but have yet to claim The Lord Of The Rings as fellow completed readings. I was quite hesitant to learn it would be a trilogy of movies, because the book itself is a simple children's adventure book, but as first movies go I was impressed. The way Peter Jackson started this and what all he included did justice to the book, but now having greater technological use for the film warrants staggering visual effects, some so massive it would take dozens of viewings to catch everything. Middle Earth has never looked so incredible, both in familiar locations and all new ones that were yet to be discovered in the original movies. Also familiar cast members like Ian McKellen, and Hugo Weaving make returns with a whole new slew of characters, with the hero Bilbo played by Martin Freeman who I already enjoyed as an actor, but grew to love him even more after seeing him in this movie. He really nails my vision of a young Bilbo out on an adventure, he gets that persona down and interjects much humor and enjoyability in this part. All the dwarves headed by Thorin played by Richard Armitage, are great with all of them having identities and individual personas of their own, with not two feeling or even looking similar to another which does nothing but flesh out the already developed world, and you can easily pick which dwarf is your favorite. But one of the main aspects of the movie that makes it much better than what people give it credit for, is how the stories intertwine. This is not just a straight up potrayal of The Hobbit, because well Tolkien wrote The Hobbit first and intended it as a simple story for children and had no connections to his future books beyond setting and select few characters, so this movie does an incredible job laying the seeds of The Lord Of The Rings movies while still telling it's own story. The movie is different in tone as well, whereas Lord Of The Rings was an emotional fantasy epic that dealt with world changing events, The Hobbit is more or a less just a exciting adventure movie set within the world. Either way you cut it, An Unexpected Journey is a great start to a series of films that I can't wait to talk more about. Join me tomorrow as we approach The Lonely Mountain....

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