One Big Scene: 'The Hobbit' Amazes Us with Rock Giants Battling in 3D

Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth this weekend with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – part one in a planned trilogy that will entertain J.R.R. Tolkien enthusiasts until 2014. Audiences have six different ways to experience Jackson’s new epic, from 3D to IMAX to the much-debated 48 frames per second (the director’s preferred method). 

But no matter which format you choose, you are bound to marvel at one particular scene that absolutely needs to be seen on the big screen. 
 
The sequence occurs on the way to Lonely Mountain, where Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his dwarf partners inch along a jagged cliff, trying to reach a safe perch. In the distance, through a thick fog, they spot a rock creature the size of a skyscraper … and he’s hurling boulders in their general direction. Before they are given much time to move, the mountain Bilbo and his crew are standing on begins to move– revealing that the Hobbit and his dwarf friends are standing on the legs of an equally massive rock monster, and they are now in the middle of an eye-popping fight! 
 
 
What the critics are saying:
"I was impressed with how much of the story's good humor Jackson and Co. manage to weave into the spectacle. It's there in the close shave with a gang of hungry trolls, and it really lifts off once Andy Serkis' uncanny Gollum enters the picture.”
- Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News
 
"Piles on enough eye candy and action sequences to please fans, plus more humor than the three Rings films - even if it only occasionally achieves the trio's grandeur.”
- Lou Lumenick, The NY Post
 
"The movie itself is a lot of fun. And if you can separate yourself from the visual distraction, you'll find plenty to enjoy.”
- Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
 
The Scene:
Because we’ve been down this road with Peter Jackson before, so much of The Hobbit feels like a welcome return to the familiar. Ian Holm’s older Bilbo opens the movie by documenting his journey for Frodo (Elijah Wood, once again). The Shire’s a recognizable locations, and Jackson populates his first Hobbit with repeat characters such as Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen), Gollum (Andy Serkis) and several more. 
 
The battle of the rock giants is the first moment where I felt actual surprise in The Hobbit. I didn’t see it coming, and I was lifted out of my seat by Jackson’s wondrous creative choices in the sequence. Because Bilbo and the dwarves end up on the moving legs of this towering beast, Jackson’s camera is able to weave and soar as it attached to a Ferris wheel or the first car on a rollicking roller coaster. It’s a floor-to-ceiling thrill, best experienced on the big screen, in immersive 3D.
 
This behind-the-scenes production diary gets into some of the technical aspects of Jackson’s latest film. Go see it in theaters, and come back to tell us what you thought of Jackson’s One Big Scene!
 

 
One Big Scene is a weekly column dedicated to spectacular visual sequences we’re recommending you see in the theater. If you have ones you’d like us to write about, let us know in the comments section below. 
 
Follow along on Twitter @Sean_OConnell and @Fandango
 
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