Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition Cover
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Director: Peter Jackson
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: December 13, 2013
169 minutes (Theatrical Edition)
182 minutes (Extended Edition)
Availability: On DVD and Blu-Ray, buy on Amazon or wherever electronics are sold

Returning to Middle-Earth was no easy feat.  The Hobbit was delayed during production due to having to work out the rights with MGH because they had the rights to The Hobbit, but Warner Brothers had the rights to make the movie.  But then there was the issue of getting a new director because Peter Jackson had said he was not going to direct The Hobbit. 

Guillermo del Toro was going to direct The Hobbit, but due to the financial problems at MGM that caused production delays, he had to leave because he wanted to do other projects.  After that, Peter Jackson decided he would direct The Hobbit and they were able to make these movies.  They were originally going to be two movies, but they decided to make it another trilogy.

The movie plot is a lot of fun.  It feels like you never left Middle-Earth if you watch this movie and you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  It’s a less serious fantasy adventure without some of the darker aspects of Lord of the Rings, but it pulls from the appendices of the books and connects The Hobbit to the original trilogy. 

But don’t worry, for a lot of fans, this was a wonderful chance to visit a world we love.  If you are a fan of the book, you will really enjoy it. A lot of the book, but The Desolation of Smaug, the sequel to this movie, did not retain much from the book, but that’s for another review.

The acting in this movie is phenomenal.  Everyone was nervous about the casting.  The new characters and the actors playing them had a lot to live up to, considering how successful the other films were.

Martin Freeman was fantastic as young Bilbo Baggins, with Ian Holm reprising his role as old Bilbo.    He was perfect for this role and you just can’t envision anyone else besides Ian Holm playing Bilbo, but Martin eases his way into the role and now everyone thinks of him as the perfect actor for this role, and he is.

Ian McKellen reprises his role as Gandalf the Grey.  He’s a superb actor and it feels like he never left and it’s a joy to see him again onscreen as Gandalf.   He’s just a fantastic actor and it was thrilling when he reappears on screen, especially since his first appearance is straight from Tolkien’s book, down to the dialogue.

Richard Armitage had a lot to live up to as Thorin Oakenshield.  He gave an unforgettable performance and gained new fans all over the world for his role as Thorin.  It’s a delight to see him onscreen, and fans all over look forward to seeing his character’s story in this new trilogy.

This is a must-see movie. Whether you’re a Tolkien fan or just love fantasy movies in general.  If you loved The Lord of the Rings it’s worth your time and money. 

There are two different versions of the film.  The theatrical, which was seen in theaters, and the extended cut, which has extra footage, audio commentary from Peter Jackson and the other writers, along with two discs of special features not seen on the theatrical DVD release.  The DVD is four discs and the Blu-Ray version has three.  It’s well worth your time and money to buy this movie, rent it.  It belongs in any movie fans collection.