It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
Bilbo Baggins is swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever ... Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities ... A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to ...Written by
Gandalf's contacts are visible in close-up shots, particularly scenes around the table at Bilbo's. See more »
My dear Frodo, you asked me once if I had told you everything there was to know about my adventures. And while I can honestly say I've told you the truth, I may not have told you all of it. I am old, Frodo. I am not the same hobbit as I once was. It is time for you to know what really happened.
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The MGM logo starts with an extreme close up of the lion's eye, and then zooms out to the full logo. See more »
The prologue of the theatrical version shows Smaug with front legs. This was done at a time where the design of Smaug was not settled yet. Between the theatrical release if this film and the next one, the decision was made to have his front limbs fused to his wings. For the DVD release, this was changed on the prologue as well. See more »
One of the best movies (of any kind) I've ever seen
The movie is amazing. It is unlike anything I've ever experienced in a cinema. The vividness of the colors and light and movement is something to behold. And then the 3D takes it all to another level. It was a little unnerving at times. Almost as if I was watching a hybrid of a movie and a live action performance.
The scenery is, of course, gorgeous. The acting is light, fun, playful while also managing to stay true to the original story. There is a little too much of the side stores for my liking. And it could well have been cut by a half hour or so and still not lost any of it impact and appeal.
Martin Freeman is a revelation. Knowing him from The Office (I lived in the UK for a while) it hardly seemed plausible that he could carry off such a role, but he is very believable. The merry band of dwarfs are well played and you somehow get to know each of them by the end of the film. The special effects are, well, special. We were ducking as rocks and boulders came flying out at us and I swear there was a bird floating over our heads at one point. The surround sound was rich and evocative of the caves and the music is lush and emotional.
As for the main story, well, apart from doing a prelude that reprises the role of Frodo and older Bilbo Baggins, it pretty much stays true to the text - with some audience members anticipating what the characters were going to say next.
A word of warning - some of the battle scenes are very intense, made more so by the 3D and high definition used along with the sound effects. You may want to think long and hard about taking young kids to it.
But for everyone else, particularly the young at heart, this first installment of The Hobbit is a gem.
(note: I was very fortunate to see The Hobbit in Wellington last week. I was there on business and through a friend of a friend I landed a ticket. I was in in Cinema 1 of the Reading Cinemas - one of the two cinemas that premiered the film last Wednesday.)
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