The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (P. Jackson, 2012)
What a silly little movie. Mostly captured is the light tone of the source material which is, of course, actually a book for children. The dwarves are rambunctious, invasive, and brave but cowardly at the same time. Their clan combined with Bilbo Baggins (who already has 10x the personality of Elijah Wood’s Frodo) and his eventual devil-may-care attitude make for a fun, wild ride. What a hoot!
But where Jackson succeeds in tone, he fails in pace and visuals. First, there are entirely too many extended fight scenes. Whether it be epic battle flashbacks or smaller scale fights involving our group of travelers, each time the scenes would always run past their welcome. Asking Peter Jackson to make a 2-hour film is like asking Tom Cruise to stop being crazy; he doesn’t know how. So this is not a surprising flaw. What was surprising, though, was the lack of natural, beautiful photography. Everything is so CG’ed that I assumed they were not able to shoot this film in New Zealand. I looked it up, and it was filmed there, so why so many of the landscapes look so fake, or why so much of a film that is set in the Shire and traveling around the country is filmed in tight quarters is beyond me. Fun, but harder to get swept up in than the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 6.75/10