They're back ... the orcs, goblins, fairies, dwarfs, dragons, wizards, Mr. Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and a cameo by Hobbit Frodo (Elijah Wood). Shot in 48 FPS, instead of the usual 24, as well as 3D, Peter Jackson has once again created a visually stunning, exciting and magical film that takes us on a journey through Middle Earth.
The film opens with an aged Frodo (Ian Holm) telling a story. We are instantly transported to the dwarf's kingdom known as Erebor. It's here the little guys are living happily ever after with their gold and gem stones -- hat is until they get a visit from a fire breathing dragon known as Smaug. This is one nasty monster.
He not only destroys the dwarfs home, but Smaug steals the Arkenstone, a beautiful jewel that holds great power. Okay, so after this visually stunning opener, we are then transported to the home of a young Bilbo (Martin Freeman) The little hobbit is living a peaceful, orderly house in Bag End. But his tranquil existence is about to come to an abrupt end.
Out of the blue, Bilbo gets a visit from Gandalf The Grey (Ian McKellan) followed by 13 dwarfs and their leader, the very sexy and very legendary warrior, Thorin (Richard Armitage). Gandalf uses every trick in his arsenal to convince the super relunctant Bilbo to accompany the dwarfs on a trek to find their stolen treasure and reclaim their homeland.
Little did Bilbo realize that this journey would be an adventure of a lifetime ... One that takes him and the dwarfs into the Dark Mountain where they encounter treacherous lands swarming with goblins, orcs, deadly Wargs, giant spiders, sorcerers ... and of course ... A creature known as Gollum (Andy Serkis) and his Precious.
It's here, inside an underground lake, after finding a ring, Bilbo must discover the depth of his courage, as the fate of Middle Earth hangs in the balance.
For those of you who can't get enough of 'The Hobbit' don't worry, this is the first in a trilogy. Did I love this film as much as I did 'Lord Of The Rings'? ... No ... At times the comedy was a bit too much and bordered on corny.
As for the 48 FPS, I didn't mind it. But I do know many people who absolutely hated it.
Also I would have liked to see more of Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Hugo Weaving (Elrod) and Christopher Lee (Saruman), but I'm sure their parts will be expanded in future films.
'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' opens in theatres Fri., Dec. 14 and I do urge everyone to see it, whether you're a fan or not. It's a sensational piece of filmmaking by Mr. Jackson. Not perfect, but really, really good.
Check out our video to find out our bagel scores. Hint: Mine is considerably higher than John's.
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