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Next up in my list of movies for my Oscar series is the beginning of another trilogy of films from Peter Jackson. This time he has tackled The Hobbit, the prequel story to The Lord of the Rings and was also one of my favourite books as a child. I am not sure about him splitting it into three movies though, it was originally supposed to be just the two, but I guess that once the production team and the film studio had looked at the costs of making these movies, they decided that an extra film’s revenue would be very nice and a third film was introduced.

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Synopsis: A hobbit, named Bilbo Baggins sets out on an “unexpected journey” with a company of dwarves to recapture their lost home under The Lonely Mountain that was taken from them long ago by Smaug the dragon. Once more we are immersed into the world of Middle Earth.

Main Cast: Sir Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis, Sylvester McCoy

The Hype: One of the most anticipated movies of last year and its Christmas release ensured that crowds would flock to the cinema to see it. Set in the same world as The Lord of the Rings that pretty much all of us are aware of, we can expect more of the same quality and attention to detail in this more child friendly story written by JRR Tolkien. The $600M it has already taken makes this a massive hit with two films still to come.

What I Thought: I enjoyed this film very much, although not to the same extent as I did with The Fellowship of the Ring. I think the main reason for this was the fact that we had already seen a lot of the locations before and we know what to expect on-screen. The film’s production is of course of the highest standard and I think that we will see The Hobbit nominated for a few Oscars, but in the technical sections rather than the big acting/film ones. The special effects are excellent and lovers of the book will enjoy this. There are a few nods to locations we recognise from the Lord of the Rings movies like Weathertop and of course we get the story of “Bilbo’s Trolls”. The star of the show is of course the wonderful Andy Serkis who reprises his role of Gollum with aplomb and I just don’t think this guy gets the recognition he thoroughly deserves in the work he does for the movies.

What I didn’t like so much was the fact that characters like Azog the goblin who have no real bearing in the book are embellished in this movie and although I can the artistic license angle here, it wandered form the original text which just didn’t sit right with me for some reason.

Conclusions: A great story which is retold by a great cast, excellent special effects and a setting we already know and love then this is a must watch movie. I don’t think it will get a nod in the big Oscar categories but its sure to win something for technical achievement. Serkis is fantastic and I look forward to the next two movies eagerly.

Smurfin’ The Web Rating: 4stars

Trailer:

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