December 15, 2012
Better than Expected
Like many others, I worried about making it in three movies, but enjoyed this first one. Too many long battle scenes, too much falling down, down, down (come on and LAND already!); but the casting was excellent and scenes in Hobbiton and Rivendell felt like old home week. It's been 12 years since LOTR, but Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel all look YOUNGER than they did then. The 12 dwarves each get a chance so there is some good character development, and several iconic moments that played out very well.
Martin Freeman (Bilbo) and Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield) do a great job - Thorin as Hero and Bilbo as Anti-Hero; they come to admire and respect one another as they work thru the adventure. I thought the dwarves' impromptu dinner party was funny, and probably fun for the actors. The bad guys were scary, but not too scary for younger kids. I loved Radagast as the ditzy Nature Boy wizard. The Riddle Game with Gollum was excellent; look forward to meeting Smaug!
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