This week we are reviewing The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey - the first film in Peter Jackson's new Tolkien trilogy.
After finally seeing The Hobbit MOVIE, however, I am now revising that initial reaction of "meh" to one of "oh my gosh I love it".
The Hobbit movie is completely fab. Engaging, funny and action packed.
I was wondering how on earth Sir Pete could make another flippin Trilogy - I imagined it to be dull and plodding (like the book) and rather drawn out. But now I totally get it, and I can't wait for the next instalment.
We watched this for a family movie night, with our children aged 5, all-but-9 and 10. We did our usual trick of muting the scary music and orc-screeches for the sake of nightmare-avoidance and ended up sending the little guy to bed halfway through.
Poor Scrag - he ends up watching movies that the other kids would never have been allowed to watch, but it's really hard when you have older kids (and as parents you've spent 10 years watching cartoons and you're mostly OVER IT). So we play Sound Editor and add commentary about the special effects and remind him "Uncle John is an Orc; they're just big ugly rugby players with masks on") and thereby get away with a slightly older genre of movies than Cars and Shrek (which I love - but we've seen them all, many times).
In this movie there are Trolls (not that scary), Orcs (standard issue), A Pale Orc (bad and scary), goblins (pretty much like orcs but smaller), giant wolves (scary) and a flash view of a ghostly creature which is not as scary as the other scary things. There are also lots of battles and chase scenes. Only you will know whether your kids will cope with this or not.
This is a movie that can work as family viewing with older kids and some handy remote-work. They story is awesome, the themes (as with LOTR) are great, the language is clean and there's no adult innuendos. It's just that those baddies can be pretty ugly and the fighting can be fierce.
Putting all that to one side and assuming that you have kids you think will handle the action, I want to recommend The Hobbit to the whole wide movie-watching world.
Without giving away too much, I LOVE the way Sir Pete ties The Hobbit in beautifully with the LOTR films. It's genius. And the casting is superb. The very under-statedly cool Martin Freeman ("Tim" from the original British version of The Office) is FAB as young Bilbo.
We see a "younger" Gandalf - Ian McKellan really does well playing a younger and less sure-of-himself version of the wizard.
Surprisingly, the king of the Dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield, is rather lovely. Who ever thought my heart could pound for a Dwarf?
All the LOTR magic was there in spades. If you haven't seen it (for whatever reason), see it. Get it. Watch it. I reckon you'll love it.
Here's what our experts have to say about The Hobbit.
Dash. B. Cool: "This is a cool movie. I loved it and I didn't think it was scary. I kept looking to see my uncle as one of the orcs but I couldn't spot him. I like the action and the battle scenes and also there are lots of funny bits. I can't wait to see the next one when it comes out."
Dash scores this movie's "coolness" as: ♥♥♥♥♥
Foxy Fab: "My favourite part of the movie was when Gollum was arguing with himself; it was funny. Gollum wasn't so weird in this movie. The movie wasn't scary at all for me. I didn't care about the action but I liked the movie."
Foxy rates this movie's "fabness" as: ♥♥♥♥♥
Super Scrag: "I am sad I had to go to bed. My mum said it was too late and my dad said it was too scary. I wish I could watch the Hobbit Movie. I have to wait til I'm bigger."
SuperScrag scores this movie's "super-ness" as: :(
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