The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

8:30 AM 0 Comments A+ a-

I just got home from the movies.  After waiting for two years, it's finally here! 

Yes, I am aware that the poster says that the release date is on the 14th and it's just the 13th here in the Philippines.  Well, these shores got to see this awesomeness a day early!  And like I hoped, I got to see it with my brother and my mom, my two favorite geeks.  XD

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien is one of my favorite books of all time.  I remember reading this twice in a row back in college.  The first one was a leisure re-read but then I was asked to report about this book for one of my Library Science classes so I read it again immediately after finishing it.  It took me three days for each read-through.  I just love it so much.

When they did the LOTR movies, I knew that The Hobbit movie is right around the corner.  I also knew that it was going to take yeaaaars to accomplish.  Almost ten years since the final LOTR movie, here we are.

(I'm not going to go through the synopsis.  It's pretty late and these next couple of days will be pretty hectic so I have to turn in soon.)

As with the first LOTR film, The Fellowship of the Ring, my favorite things about this first The Hobbit movie are (1) the expositions, (2) the sets/locations, (3) the music.  And I will add a fourth one -- the continuity with the first three films.  If you've seen the LOTR trilogy as much as I have and if you nitpick movies as much as I do, this is definitely one of the most satisfying things ever.  It is beautifully written, crafted, paced... ah it is so full of awesome.

It's been years since I last read the book and some parts are escaping me.  But the parts that I remember were there.  Especially the funnier parts such as "handses".  Hahahaha!  I was full on geeking out on my seat.  I was glad that Figwit (Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords) wasn't Figwit anymore, instead he was given the role of Lindir of Rivendell.  Speaking of Rivendell, talk about a scene with so much star power both in the real world and in Middle-Earth!

The White Council

Man, Elrond looked amazing.  And the Lady Galadriel... Cate Blanchett IS The Lady of Lorien.  She's such a presence and I'm so glad they gave her a part in this movie trilogy.  Wouldn't it be awesome if they had Arwen here also and she'd share a moment with her grandmother?  :)  Also, hats off to Christopher Lee.  No other actor can play Saruman the way he does.  But really, the thing that I loved the most about this scene was Elrond's clothes.  XD

I honestly do not know how many times I've seen the LOTR trilogy.  Trust me, it's A DAMN LOT.  My brother is the same (even my poor mother, having to deal with her children's geekiness) and we had a blast predicting which race was featured based on the background music.  Or which scene was the location used for in the previous movies.  Or which part of the LOTR trilogy parallels the ones in this one.  It's amazing how the technology then and now look almost exactly the same even with ten years between them.

18 January 2012
Remember when Craig Parker, who played Haldir in the LOTR movies, personally told me that he has friends working on that during the Spartacus: Vengeance red carpet?  Yep, that happened.  And I died a little inside.  LOL.  I've been entirely charmed by this man.  (I have blogged about this moment in another place.  I will eventually repost it here.  That was my first time meeting anyone from the LOTR family and since then, I've also seen Dominic Monaghan who played Merry in person.)  And oh, I should mention that fellow Spartacus alum, Manu Bennett, also played a part in this movie.
Me: OMG, I love Spartacus but... LOTR is my life, I can't even explain.
CP: Aw, thank you so much. You know what? They are releasing new Lord of the Rings films this December. The Hobbit, I think.
Me: Yeah, it's so exciting!
CP: I know. And a couple of my friends will be there too.
Speaking of said friends, I was happy with the casting.  Of course, anyone from the LOTR trilogy is most welcome.  The way the dwarves looked was interesting.  I had a different picture in my head but I eventually liked this one even more.  And wow, Thorin's pretty bad ass.  Richard Armitage did an amazing job.  Another geeky moment is when Elrond played by nerd movie king Hugo Weaving welcomes Thorin and company to Rivendell.  Both actors also appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger.  Weaving played Johann Schmidt or Red Skull and Armitage was Heinz Kruger whom I playfully refer to as "the first of many".  XD  So very different as Thorin here, Mr. Armitage.  Special mention to Aidan Turner as Kili.  He's more an Elven material than Dwarvish, I believe.  I know his character's fate in the story and... oh well.

The sequences had a feeling like it was half King Kong-ish and half The Two Towers.  Many of the locations looked similar to the ones in TTT where Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli were in pursuit of Merry and Pippin.  And then the chase/fight/comic relief scenes with the dwarves... I felt like I saw them in King Kong before.  Not that I'm complaining.  There were some pretty ingenious fighting in this movie.

Lee Pace... oh lordy... looked so kingly as Thranduil on a... deer?  Or was that a moose? Whatever.  He looked fcking awesome.  I cannot wait for the Mad King scenes in the next movie.  And can't forget that they managed to rope in my Orlando Bloom to play Legolas again.  Unfortunately, he we won't see him until 2014 but to see him rock the blond wig again.  Ahhh!  (Take note that Thranduil is Legolas' dad; this relationship feeds so many fires of fanfiction.  Pace is younger than Bloom.  Both rock the blond like nobody's business.)

So that is it for the first of three The Hobbit movies.  Yes, three.  The Hobbit is relatively shorter than any of the LOTR books but so much stuff happens in this story.  I still don't see how they can stretch each film into three hours each but they've been successful with this first one so far.  I won't tell you where this one ends but this has enough going on to tide me over to 13 December 2013, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.