THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Review; "See It In 3D And 48fps For The Ultimate Experience"

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Review; "See It In 3D And 48fps For The Ultimate Experience"

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey marks Peter Jackson's long awaited return to Middle-Earth. So, does the film live up to expectations and just how much of a difference does 48fps make? Find out here...

 
It's hard to know what to review first; the movie itself or the 48 frames per second format which has for some reason been causing something of an uproar. Well, one can only assume that those who have criticised it are the same people who moaned about DVD's replacing VHS and Blu-ray's later (mostly) making that format obsolete too. After seeing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, it's clear that 48fps is the FUTURE of cinema and not just a gimmick like 3D (which is however used to great effect throughout). It may be a little jarring at first and there are perhaps a handful of scenes in which it feels as if what you're seeing is moving a little too fast, but it vastly improves the moviegoing experience as a whole. It just looks...better! A good comparison would be the difference between standard and high definition. It particularly pays off in action sequences - they've never looked better and imagining something like Marvel's The Avengers being shot like this is enough to make your mouth water. Middle-Earth (well, New Zealand) also looks stunning as the camera glides effortlessly over the stunning vistas. Ignore the naysayers and see this film as director Peter Jackson intended.

As for the film itself, if you didn't love The Lord of the Rings, it's unlikely that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will do much to change your opinion. Despite a lighter tone, this is still very much the same world and fans of the critically acclaimed trilogy will appreciate the many nods and references to them. The difference between that trilogy and this one is of course the fact that this is an adaptation of one book instead of three, so perhaps that's why it leaves you with the impression that it will make for a much better watch when viewed alongside There And Back Again and The Desolation Of Smaug. Occasionally feeling a little over-long (some scenes have a tendency to really drag), it has to be wondered if that's a result of two films being made into three. Regardless, the story that is told here is enjoyable and never gets boring. The humour sometimes feels out of place, but hits the mark far often than it misses. It's also fair to say that the main characters are all well-developed enough that the end of the film leaves them in a very different place to the start, while the scene that An Unexpected Journey ends on is the perfect way to build anticipation for the next chapter.

In terms of character work, it's mainly 'Bilbo Baggins' and 'Thorin Oakenshield' who get the spotlight. Martin Freeman, perhaps best known for his role as 'Dr. Watson' in the BBC series Sherlock, is perfect as the lead character. Bringing the exact right amount of humour and likeability to 'Bilbo', it's hard to imagine anyone else filling this role so perfectly. A stand out performance. Richard Armitage is also great, making 'Thorin' a complicated and thoroughly compelling presence onscreen. Ian McKelken ('Gandalf') is as reliable as ever in terms of quality, while the other returning cast members also impress. The major new additions are of course the band of dwarves, and it's unfortunate that some of them end up being so...forgettable! However, the likes of Aidan Turner ('Kili') and James Nesbitt ('Bofur') still impress and there is of course still another two films for us to get to know the rest of the gang a little better. Special mention goes to Andy Serkis as 'Gollum'. Despite only appearing for around ten minutes, he still manages to steal the show during a battle of riddles with 'Bilbo' which ultimately sets the stage for his role in the previous trilogy perfectly.

In terms of special effects. WETA has really outdone themselves with this one. Creations such as Barry Humphries' 'Great Goblin' and the three trolls just look unbelievably lifelike, making you wonder whether they truly are in fact digital creations or just incredibly convincing prosthetics. In terms of visual effects, it really is the most impressive release of 2012, while the various locations and battle sequences make this arguably the best looking take on J.R.R Tolkien's work yet. With The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson has for the most part truly excelled himself. Whether it's as good as the previous instalments in the franchise is an argument for another day, but it's certainly a wonderful and well-crafted adaptation of a book which ultimately couldn't be any more different to that trilogy. Middle-Earth without Howard Shore is like Star Wars without John Williams, so his rousing score here is a welcome (and thoroughly epic) addition. The film might not be perfect, but it really isn't that far off. We're back in Jackson's world and the next two instalments just can't get here soon enough.

Despite a few minor flaws, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a superb (and suitably epic) addition to Peter Jackson's past adaptations of Tolkien's work. See it in 3D and 48fps for the ultimate experience.

IF
DISCLAIMER: Comic Book Movie is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Related Headlines
THE GREEN KNIGHT: New Mini-Documentary Delves Into The History Of The Legendary Tale

THE GREEN KNIGHT: New Mini-Documentary Delves Into The History Of The Legendary Tale

A new poster & featurette for A24's The Green Knight have been released, & the latter explores the history of the epic poem which inspired not only David Lowery's film, but J.R.R. Tolkien and many others.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Prequel Series Gets Greenlight For Disney+; Briana Middleton Joins Cast

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Prequel Series Gets Greenlight For Disney+; Briana Middleton Joins Cast

The Beauty and the Beast prequel series we've been hearing about starring Luke Evans and Josh Gad is now officially in development for the Disney+ streaming service. Briana Middleton has joined the cast.
THOR Star Jaimie Alexander Seemingly Teases A Role In Millennium's RED SONJA Reboot

THOR Star Jaimie Alexander Seemingly Teases A Role In Millennium's RED SONJA Reboot

Has Jaimie Alexander joined the cast of the upcoming Red Sonja reboot? That seems to be the case if an Instagram Story shared by the Thor and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actress is any indication...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM Anime Movie In The Works With Original Trilogy Writer

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM Anime Movie In The Works With Original Trilogy Writer

It's been confirmed that an anime film set in the world of The Lord of the Rings is in the works. Find out more about The War of the Rohirrim - which has assembled an impressive creative team - right here.
GOD COUNTRY Adaptation In The Works At Legendary From SWEET TOOTH Showrunner Jim Mickle

GOD COUNTRY Adaptation In The Works At Legendary From SWEET TOOTH Showrunner Jim Mickle

Jim Mickle, the co-creator and showrunner of Netflix’s acclaimed Sweet Tooth, has signed on to direct a feature adaptation of Donny Cates' best-selling Image Comics fantasy series, God Country...
Latest Headlines
Lilly Collins To Play POLLY POCKET In Live-Action Movie; Lena Dunham Will Direct

Lilly Collins To Play POLLY POCKET In Live-Action Movie; Lena Dunham Will Direct

Girls star Lena Dunham is set to write and direct a live-action Polly Pocket movie for Mattel and MGM, with Mank and Emily in Paris actress Lily Collins on board to play the pin-sized Polly.
STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH - Crosshairs Comes Gunning For The Team In This Action-Packed Mid-Season Trailer

STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH - Crosshairs Comes Gunning For The Team In This Action-Packed Mid-Season Trailer

Lucasfilm has released a new mid-season trailer for The Bad Batch, and there's lots of exciting footage here as Crosshairs comes gunning for his former teammates after falling under the Empire's control.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN's New Creative Team Revealed And, Yes, Ben Reilly Is Taking Over From Peter Parker!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN's New Creative Team Revealed And, Yes, Ben Reilly Is Taking Over From Peter Parker!

We figured this was coming, but Marvel Comics has confirmed today that Ben Reilly will be suiting up as Spider-Man this September. Where does that leave Peter Parker? Find all the latest details here!
THE SUICIDE SQUAD: 5 Big New Reveals From James Gunn (Including Why He Chose Starro As The Big Bad)

THE SUICIDE SQUAD: 5 Big New Reveals From James Gunn (Including Why He Chose Starro As The Big Bad)

The Suicide Squad writer and director James Gunn has broken down the new trailer for the film, sharing insight into Harley Quinn's new look, Bloodsport's role, and even why Task Force X will battle Starro!
LOKI Star Tara Strong Says There's Much More To Be Revealed When It Comes To Miss Minutes

LOKI Star Tara Strong Says "There's Much More To Be Revealed" When It Comes To Miss Minutes

Tara Strong is one of the most prolific voice actors you'll find, but Loki has to be among her biggest gigs to date. Now, Strong has revealed how she was cast as Miss Minutes while also teasing her future.
THE SUICIDE SQUAD Director James Gunn Reveals Why Harley Quinn's Rotten Tattoo Has Been Removed

THE SUICIDE SQUAD Director James Gunn Reveals Why Harley Quinn's "Rotten" Tattoo Has Been Removed

Eagle-eyed fans have noticed that Harley Quinn's "Rotten" facial tattoo is nowhere to be seen in The Suicide Squad, and James Gunn has now shared the reason and revealed whether it's addressed in any way.
ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE Finally Gets A 4K Ultra HD and Blu-Ray Release Date

ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE Finally Gets A 4K Ultra HD and Blu-Ray Release Date

While Zack Snyder's Justice League is already available on 4K Blu-ray overseas (it topped the charts in the UK earlier this year), the DC movie finally has a confirmed release date in North America...
LOKI Featurette Focuses On Sophia Di Martino's Variant And Reveals Some Spoilery New Footage

LOKI Featurette Focuses On Sophia Di Martino's Variant And Reveals Some Spoilery New Footage

Marvel Studios has released a new featurette for Loki which puts the spotlight squarely on Sophia Di Martino's Variant, and it contains some extremely spoilery footage from upcoming episodes of the series.