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posted Dec 21, 2012 - 5:54:03pm
Just for the sake of argument, let's pretend the Lord of the Rings franchise never happened, that their success would somehow have no effect on how millions of fans across the globe would look at The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Even still, on its own merits, The Hobbit is an incredible movie.
Director Peter Jackson has proven time and time again that he's probably the best person in the world to handle sweeping epics. After all, the Lord of the Rings films (and surely The Hobbit now) are some of the most beloved movies of all time. The director has come a long way since Dead Alive, and while The Hobbit offers him a new tale to tell, it still puts Jackson squarely in his comfort zone.
For starters, The Hobbit has a tremendous cast. I don't just mean that every one of the dwarfs, hobbits and wizards is talented, which they are; I also mean the cast is huge. It’s so big, in fact, that the nearly three-hour run time doesn't even give the audience a chance to get to know all of the protagonists.
Popcorn represents how fun a film is to watch—how funny it is, how exciting the special effects are, and how enjoyable the story is on repeated viewings. The perfect popcorn movie would be one that never got stale regardless of how many times you’ve seen it.
That being said, Jackson might have reached too far with this first installment. Despite being nearly three hours long, The Hobbit barely gives you a chance to breathe before throwing you into more action. This is great, but it would also be nice to have a moment to take in everything that's happening, especially if you haven't had a chance to read the books. Still, Jackson gives enough moments of rest between goblin battles and orc ambushes to let the film's pacing right itself.
The Hobbit is not a perfect film, but it could be the best all-around film of the year, and it's definitely one that deserves to be seen in theaters and in 3D. And don’t worry about nausea or motion sickness: The enhanced frame rate makes it smooth to watch. It is a work of art, one I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, and it’s probably the film most worthy of your hard-earned dollars.
Stars & Popcorn grade: 4 stars, 5 popcorn
Stars and Popcorn Rating: 4 stars, 4 1/2 popcorn
— Born and raised in the sunshine state, Patrick grew up loving movies. He’s currently attending the University of Central Florida and is a Cinema Studies major. Along with being the president of Stars and Popcorn, he’s a player in the independent comics scene.
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