The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012, 2 hrs 49 mins)
Once upon a time in the village of Bloor West, when I was a wee pixie, I picked up a book called The Hobbit. I read and I read, unable to put the book down, and also because my parents never let me do anything fun. Fast forward to today, and this pixie went to see the movie adaptation, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I’ve got to say that I loved it! It was action packed and really funny.
A young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is recruited by Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to help the heir to the Dwarf throne, Thorin (Richard Armitage), regain his kingdom. Who’s got it? Smaug, a gold loving dragon who got a whiff of the former Dwarf King’s significant horde of gold and took over. It was nice to see new and old characters throw down in Middle Earth. Hugo Weaving and the stunning Cate Blanchett as Elven royalty were amazing as usual, but I am biased. I’ve loved Hugo Weaving ever since his earlier work in Proof and The Matrix.
This pixie likes a monster, and there were plenty. From giant rock monsters to giant Orc wolves and goblins (with herpes), I definitely got my fill. We also get our intro to Gollum (Andy Serkis) and the ring, and we see our Hobbit surprise us with his courage as he endures some epic fights with orcs and goblins.
Martin Freeman is just perfect as Bilbo. I fell for his adorable face when I first encountered him on The Office. His performance will inspire nerds everywhere to do something courageous. Actually, all the Dwarf-portraying actors gave great performances. Richard Armitage as the Dwarf King heir managed to enchant my friend as she whispered to me, “That Dwarf King is so sexy”. See? Short guys do have game!
Quite honestly, old age has affected my pixie brain, and I only remember snippets of the book, but I have faith in director Peter Jackson. He has made a thoroughly entertaining film, and I can’t wait until the next installment in the series. One thing I was not happy with was the reported deaths of some animals during production. There is controversy about the number of animals, and whether or not the source of the information is reliable, but the allegations are disturbing nonetheless. I just hope this will bring safer conditions for animals to film sets in the future.
Most Memorable Line: When the most articulate Goblin King I have ever seen (actually, the only Goblin King I have ever seen) decides to pummel the captured Dwarves, he shouts, “Bring up the mangler! Bring up the bone crusher!” Appropriate in this instance, but maybe not at your next board meeting.
Favourite Scene: A tie between the Dwarves and Bilbo getting caught in the middle of a mountain/rock monster scrap and the gang lighting pine cones and using them as fiery bombs as they fight the Orcs.