The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey With A Few Detours

December 19, 2012 at 8:18 am

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey With A Few Detours | The Hobbit Review 2012

WELCOME BACK MIDDLE EARTH!

It’s impossible to truly articulate just how much I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Leading up to the release, I created 9 Middle Earth posts including a Top 30 Countdown of the series’ best moments.  It’s safe to say, I didn’t force myself to write those posts.  I love writing about Middle Earth and what it means to me.

XTRA | Check out all my Middle Earth related posts here.

To me, the Lord of the Rings is more than just a groundbreaking trilogy.  It’s a source of inspiration in my own screenwriting journey.  For that, I will always be thankful.  Having said all that, you can imagine how excited I was to finally see The Hobbit after years of development.  At long last, we get to return to Middle Earth.

I loved the first chapter of this new trilogy.  It’s packed with amazing battles, creatures and moments worthy of Middle Earth.  It’s definitely entertaining but allow me to quote Bilbo himself by saying this film feels a bit stretched…

“Like butter scraped over too much bread.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey begins with a mission.  The dwarves lost their home to a ferocious dragon named Smaug.  It is their goal to reclaim their home.  Thanks to Gandalf the Wizard, they are joined by Bilbo and the adventure begins…  At it’s core, the LOTR trilogy was about Frodo and the One Ring.  Here, the mission is to defeat Smaug.  Simple enough except once the story is setup, the film tends to go off on tangents for over an hour.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey review 2012

Some of these episodes are more entertaining than others while some (like giant fighting mountains) seem out of place.  It doesn’t have the same focus but that’s what happens when you stretch one book into three films.

When the Fellowship of the Ring was released, I lot of people were disappointed by what they left out.  For example, the episode featuring Tom Bombadil.  It made me curious about the scene and I wondered what it would be like on the big screen.  The Hobbit feels like Peter Jackson’s attempt to appease those fans by including everything and more.  So while I felt the first half of the film was stalling, I can’t really complain because we do get to see more Middle Earth.

Hobbit Hype: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To | An Unexpected Journey

Normally, an hour of filler would absolutely kill a film but it’s a testament to Jackson’s directing skills that The Hobbit doesn’t die.  Each of the ‘detours’ are packed with the rich history of J.R.R Tolkien’s world as well as delightful references to the LOTR trilogy.  Characters we love return and we truly get a sense that something evil is coming.  Sauron.

Eventually, the film finds it’s focus and that’s when The Hobbit truly shines.  I absolutely adored the second half of An Unexpected Journey.  This is highlighted by Bilbo’s famous encounter with Gollum.  It was great to see one of the greatest characters in all of fiction back on the big screen.  From a technical perspective, Gollum has never looked better.  The technology behind this tortured soul has most certainly improved and watching him on an IMAX screen is spectacular.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review 2012 Gollum

Throughout the game of riddles we also follow the dwarves into the heart of Goblin town.  The whole Goblin escape is truly breathtaking on the big screen and a reminder that we are going to see MORE incredible battles in the next two films.  Indeed, Middle Earth has returned in a big way.

I had my complaints about the lengthy first half but The Hobbit is still a wildly entertaining movie.  It sucks that The Desolation of Smaug is a year away but hopefully we’ll have an extended edition Blu Ray before then.  The Lord of the Rings extended editions boast, in my opinion, the best special features of all time.  I can’t wait for more.

Click here for more reviews.

XTRA | Love Middle Earth?  Here are 9 more fantastic movie worlds.

Hobbit Hype: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To | An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit 2012

The Athletic Nerd on The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit & Middle Earth

December 19, 2012 at 8:18 am

The Athletic Nerd on The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit

Over the last few weeks, I’ve written a lot about The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the world surrounding it.  Everything from top 10 lists to personal tales of the inspiration the series provides.  With The Hobbit enchanting screens around the world, I thought it would be time to collect these posts in one place.

19 posts dealing with the films and the filmmaking journey.  Enjoy.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review

Top 30 Moments: The Lord of the Rings

Top 10 Moments: The Fellowship of the Ring

Top 10 Moments: The Two Towers

Top 10 Moments: The Return of the King

LOTR Extended Editions: The Best Special Features of all time?

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

Why The Lord of the Rings continually inspires the screenwriter in me.

Movies That Changed Everything: The Lord of the Rings

Link, Zelda, Hyrule, Middle Earth & Screenwriting

Why Special Features Inspire Filmmakers

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Trailers & TV Spots

Behind the Scenes of The Hobbit Inspires

All Time Best: Movie Trailer of 2011

10 Flicks: Best Movie Fantasy Worlds

10 Flicks: Awesome Looking Movie Villains

10 Flicks: Box Office Favorites

10 Flicks: If I Could Only Own 10 Movies

10 Flicks: Yearly Favorites

XTRA | Check out The Athletic Nerd on The Dark Knight

The Athletic Nerd Movies, Screenwriting & Independent Film Blog

Hobbit Hype: 10 Things I’m Looking Forward To

December 10, 2012 at 10:09 am

Hobbit Hype: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To | An Unexpected Journey

BRING ON THE UNEXPECTED JOURNEY!

With less than a week to go until The Hobbit’s release, the anticipation has officially reached ridiculous heights.  I absolutely adored The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the idea of 3 new movies makes my brain hurt for all the right reasons.

XTRA | The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Trailers & Clips

But what is it about The Hobbit that has people so excited?  I can’t answer that but I can name 10 things that I’m excited about!

10. GOLLUM’S CAVE

This is going to sound bad…  But I’ve never read The Hobbit.  There…  I said it.  I haven’t read it okay!  Having said that, I’ve heard good things about the events that unfold in Gollum’s cave.

Hobbit Hype: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To | An Unexpected Journey

9. WHAT DOES SMAUG LOOK LIKE?

Giant dragon.  Good.

8. NEW FACES

Is it just me or is that a LOT of Dwarves?

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7. THE MONSTERS

New creatures!

Hobbit Hype: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To | An Unexpected Journey

6. THE BATTLES

I can’t wait to see more epic battles in Middle Earth.

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5. THE SCORE

I’m a massive fan of Howard Shore’s brilliant Lord of the Rings score.

4. IMAX 3D & HIGH FRAME RATE

At some point, I plan on seeing the film in both formats.  I’m actually planning on waiting to write my review until then.  (I think…) The HFR is especially intriguing.

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3. THE TEAM RETURNS

Not only are there returning cast members but nearly all of the talent behind the scenes have returned.  Let’s not forget these people brought us a trilogy that won about 24 thousand Oscars and changed the fantasy genre forever.

2. THE JOURNEY BEGINS

These films have been in development for so long it seems fake.  The Hobbit isn’t getting released in a few days…  And we certainly aren’t being treated to a brand new trilogy…

It’s time to face the sweet reality.  These movies exist! Neat.

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1. THE RETURN TO MIDDLE EARTH

I’ve never been to Disney World.  But if I did go as a kid, I can’t imagine how exciting it would be to go BACK!  This is the best way to describe my feelings towards Middle Earth.

What are you looking forward to the most?

Hobbit Hype: 10 Things I'm Looking Forward To | An Unexpected Journey

The Post: Lord of the Rings Edition

December 10, 2012 at 10:07 am

The Post: Lord of the Rings Edition | LOTR Fan Films

I love that the short films, features, animations, documentaries and trailers featured in The Post are usually unrelated and random.  You never know what type of project will show up in this section.

However, this being Middle Earth Week, I’m dedicating this edition of The Post to The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit fan films and videos.  So here is a collection of wonderful tributes to an incredible film series and of course, the beloved books by J.R.R Tolkien.

Middle Earth Week on The Athletic Nerd

December 9, 2012 at 9:12 am

Middle Earth Week on The Athletic Nerd | The Lord of the Rings | The Hobbit

THE HOBBIT IS ALMOST HERE!

To celebrate this epic release, the coming week is dedicated to Middle Earth.  Starting Monday December 12th, you’ll find several new Lord of the Rings posts daily.  There will be Top 10 lists, features, a special edition of The Post and previews of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Stay tuned for more!

Middle Earth Week on The Athletic Nerd | The Lord of the Rings | The Hobbit