It’s been nine years since we have seen the last installment of director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy on the big screen. The Lord of the Rings was considered a financial and critical achievement in cinema history and has a huge cult following to this day. However, this was not the end for the successful film franchise because there was one more story to be told, one more book in the trilogy, the catalyst that set everything in motion for the events seen previously in the Fellowship of the Ring and all of the films that came after — The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Enter Bilbo Baggins(Martin Freeman) a young but humble hobbit who is visited by an old and mysterious wizard named Gandalf (Ian McKellen). Unbeknownst to Bilbo, Gandalf invites a band of dwarves to Bilbo’s home. The dwarves’ stoic leader, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), shows up later to the unexpected gathering. Gandalf and the dwarves want to hire Bilbo as a burglar to aid in their quest to regain their once glorious kingdom within the Lonely Mountain from the clutches of a fire-breathing dragon named Smaug. Bilbo refuses, citing that he is not an adventurer nor a warrior. Gandalf reminds Bilbo that he once remembers when Bilbo was a child, he used to be fascinated with hopefully going on adventures beyond Hobbiton. Bilbo joins Gandalf and the band of dwarves on their epic journey to the dwarven kingdom under the Lonely Mountain.
For those who have read and loved the original book, this film is very faithful. Director Peter Jackson takes us on a magnificent journey — a journey of self discovery — that shows how even the smallest and regular person can achieve greatness. I had the privilege of viewing The Hobbit in HFR 3D (High Frame Rate 3D). Jackson decided to film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at a high 48 frames per second rather than the normal cinema frame rate which clocks in at 24 frames per second. This was really startling at first, but after the eyes adjust to it, the high frame rate added something wonderful to the experience. The sharpness and smooth movement makes the events and action happening in the film feel like more realistic. There is a heightened sense of reality coupled with the fact that it is also in 3D, and it is something that I recommend everyone experience at least once. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a fantastic film and a must see, especially if you grew up reading the book.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
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Directed by: Peter Jackson
Written by: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, and Richard Armitage