Directed by Peter Jackson
Produced by Carolynne Cunningham
Guillermo del Toro
J. R. R. Tolkien
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Editing by Jabez Olssen
New Line Cinema
Wing Nut Films
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) 12 December 2012 (New Zealand)
Nagpur Today Review :The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the 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. 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 ofguile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” …a simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
The first installment of director Peter Jackson’s trilogy of films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s high-fantasy classic “The Hobbit” proves that more is not always better. The movie unspools in a high-tech cinematic format: 48 frames per second, which is double the number of frames that moviegoers have grown comfortable with since the late 1920s. It’s at least 24 frames per second too many.
Rather than bring Mr. Tolkien’s Middle Earth to life, the screaming crispness of the new format makes everything seem flimsy and fake. The wizard Gandalf’s staff, which once seemed an object of epic power, now looks like a child’s plastic toy. The home of the story’s titular hobbits, Bag End, now looks like a cardboard backdrop borrowed from a community theater production. Even the clothes worn by the movie’s various dwarves, elves and wizards seem cheapened somehow, more like drugstore Halloween costumes than the sturdy garments of an ancient people.
Mr. Jackson reportedly spent a considerable amount of money on the new format, but it does not draw viewers into the world. Instead, it exposes its artifice.
It’s hard to overstate how distracting the format is, and how impossible I found it to enjoy the movie as a result. In fairness, others reported growing somewhat used to it after an hour or so — but I never did.
Viewers will have the choice of watching “The Hobbit” in the new format or the familiar 24 frames per second. Might the movie work better in a more traditional format? Perhaps. The first hour, a listless rehash of the opening of “The Fellowship of the Ring,” is sluggish and overlong. But the pace picks up after the movie’s heroes — Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a troop of dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) begin their quest.
A prequel to the original trilogy, “The Hobbit” is not driven by the same sense of apocalyptic urgency that powered the first three films. But it does offer a handful of marvelous set-piece spectacles: a trio of cave trolls planning a dinner of horses, the majesty of the elf city Rivendell, a rocky slug-out between mountains that have come to life. Most of all, there is Gollum, equal parts sad and terrifying, a digitally created creature once again given voice and body language by actor Andy Serkis.
Yet off he goes, encountering trolls, goblins, savage orcs and a grisly guy named Gollum (Andy Serkis, re-creating the character that pioneered motion-capture performance in The Lord of the Rings). Improved by a decade of visual-effects advances, Gollum solidifies his standing as one of the creepiest movie creatures ever.