The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - review and trailer

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'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' review

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

    Rating: 3/5

    Size isn’t everything, but cinema doesn’t come much bigger in scale than when Peter Jackson is telling tales. It’s a decade since the New Zealand filmmaker unveiled the last of his ‘Lord of the Rings’ films and went on to tackle the ultimate in movie giants, ‘King Kong’. Now he’s back in the head of JRR Tolkien and applying the latest in technology to ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ (3D and an untried, super-speedy frame rate of 48 frames per second – 24 is usual). It’s the first of three films to be fashioned from the professor’s novel of faux-medieval fantasies chronicling how a magic ring (‘the precious’) came to be in the possession of a mere hairy-footed Hobbit in the first place.

    The movie may be grand, but lots of its folk are tiny, which makes for unusual juxtapositions, both odd and amusing. Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman, squished) is a Hobbit living the pipe-and-slippers dream in the Shire. One evening, the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen, towering over the artificially shortened Freeman) and 13 itinerant, hungry dwarves – many of them with a knack for annoying the audience – come knocking. They persuade Bilbo to join them on a quest to win back their lost kingdom from a dragon. So begins a journey across wild terrain and back-to-back run-ins with larger, more vicious creatures. And all the while Bilbo is wondering what the hell he’s got himself into.

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'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' trailer

The Lord of the Rings trilogy