The Hobbit is a series of three epic fantasy-adventure films directed, co-written and produced by Peter Jackson and based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel The Hobbit (1937). The films are, by subtitle, An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and There and Back Again (2014).
The series acts as a prequel to Jackson’s highly acclaimed The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Several actors will reprise their roles from The Lord of the Rings, including Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, and Orlando Bloom. Also returning for the production, among others, co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, illustrators John Howe and Alan Lee, art director Dan Hennah, and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie. As with the original trilogy, props will generally be crafted by Weta Workshop and visual effects managed by Weta Digital. Additionally, composer Howard Shore, who scored The Lord of the Rings, will return to score the film series. The most significant new involvement in the series is the participation of Guillermo del Toro, originally chosen to direct the films, as co-writer.
Set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, the three films follow the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), hired by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), to accompany 13 dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch).
The first film in the series premiered at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand on 28 November 2012. Around 100,000 people were expected to line the red carpet on Courtenay Place, and the entire event was to be broadcast live on TV in New Zealand, as well as streaming over the Internet.
We saw this in IMAX 3D and it was worth the extra cost of the ticket. I have only one gripe about this awesome piece of fantasy. I could have read more of the book than I saw on the screen in the same amount of time. Peter Jackson is great, but my imagination is way better. So why make a 300 page book into a trilogy? Why make a 2.5 hour movie from a hundred book pages?
Money… Sad but true.
I loved the characters and the movie stuck to the novel very well. The stopping point is understandable, but the movie is not “There and Back Again” it is “An Unexpected Journey.” The effects are superb, the creatures quite chilling. All in all I give this 4 stars, taking one away for being too long. If you liked the books or the other movies from LOTR, you’ll feel right at home at this one! Another fantasy movie for the ages! Highly Recommended! — M.R.