Cinematic Releases: The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey

From the onset, I was a naysayer of this return to Middle Earth. The skillful ploy of breaking one story in to three had my mind set that this was nothing more than a way for Peter Jackson and New Line to milk an established franchise. How and why would they take advantage of Tolkien fanboys and cinema freaks like this? Well, there is an answer. And simply put, it's not just a way to cash in on the success of The Lord of the Rings. Nope. It's Peter Jackson's way of delivering another adventurous excursion in to a land filled with orcs, dwarves, wizards and a shy little Hobbit known as Bilbo Baggins. And, it's probably the best of all four movies so far.

Within the first five minutes, the 48 frames per second had my eyes questioning whether or not I would be able to stand three hours of this absolutely stunning visual take. At times, it moves so fast you can barely catch the motion that's happening. By the half hour mark, I was sold. Yes, it looks too real. And yes, it's a bit distracting at times. But cinema is often times about pushing the envelope and furthering the way audiences can see films. Instead of bashing this new technique, I'll gladly accept it as long as the next two in the Hobbit series maintain the same essence of grandiose story telling mixed with non-stop action.

If you thought the CGI work in the Lord of the Rings trilogy was stunning, wait until you see The Hobbit. Jackson's crew has gone to new lengths and heights to create the best computer generated scenery and characters ever put to screen. The work done on Gollum for The Hobbit literally puts the last three entries to shame. For once you will believe that he is a real being not just some silly little delusional creature hand crafted behind a keyboard and mouse. He exists and damn he looks good.

When we left the theater, I was thinking about what was the defining factor that fully engrossed me in The Hobbit. I then came to the realization that there are no big name actors drawing attention away from the story. Yes, we've got some actors like Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett returning in bit roles and Ian McKellen returning as Gandalf. But, there's no Viggo Mortensen or Liv Tyler stealing the spotlight from this relative cast of unknowns. For me, this made it a much more engaging cinematic experience.

As a return to Middle Earth and the Tolkien legacy, The Hobbit is a stunning visual achievement that will certainly effect how films are made from now on. This is a definite must see for any Tolkien follower or fan of adventure movies. Peter Jackson has a gift for film and a respect for the source material that no one else could capture and I applaud his return to this series. Definitely take the time to see it and ignore all they hype you're hearing about motion sickness. My wife gets motion sickness and this didn't bother her at all. People are just looking for an excuse to hate the movie. It's a success. See it.

Now.........who stole my ring? ................precious................