Saturday, 7 November 2015

Film Review: An Unexpected Journey, Part 1

Now that we've finished with the Lord of the Rings films, I think it's time to move back in time for Peter Jackson's second venture into Middle-earth. We're watching the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I've broken it up into five parts and then we'll move onto The Desolation of Smaug (hopefully Santa will bring me the final film in the trilogy so I can go onto that afterwards).

In this section Bilbo will take us back in time sixty years to a time where his peaceful existence in the Shire was shattered by the arrival of a familiar old wizard and a gang of Dwarves.

1. Are you sitting comfortably? Time to begin. I remember the thrill of seeing this in the cinema. In 3D. Like I was looking through a window into Middle-earth.

2. I love that it's Ian Holm who opens the film. So perfect. It links it in nicely for the people who fell in love with the Lord of the Rings films.

3. It also sounds as though this is Bilbo coming clean with Frodo, rather than the 'original' story about the Ring being a birthday present.

4. Dale looks like a cool place to live. Kind of like a nicer version of Bree what with the multicultural thing they have going on there.

5. Don't really fancy Erebor, personally. I'm not good with heights and they don't have nearly enough handrails for my liking.

6. I like that the Dwarves mining helmets are basically helmets with a candle stuck on the side. Not the safest thing to wear in a mine.

7. That Dwarf is all 'you can't have the shinies, neh neh neh neh neh'.

8. Moral of this story: Don't be greedy or a dragon will get you.

9. When I first saw this in the cinema I saw that dragon kite and my immediate thought was 'oh no, the dragon doesn't look very good'.

10. It wasn't until I watched the commentary that I realised you never really see the dragon at this bit. You see little glimpses but never the whole thing. It's quite clever.

11. And there's the Peter Jackson cameo. A tricky one because he's barely recognisable in his Dwarf-gear.

12. "And he never forgave. And he never forgot." Love it.

13. And there's Katie Jackson. How she's changed since the last Hobbit party she attended.

14. I love baby Bilbo. It's such a simple scene but it explains Gandalf's comment about Bilbo being an adventurer in his youth.

15. "In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit..." So glad they got that line in.

16. And there's Frodo. Looking a little bit older since the last time we saw him.

17. In fact, a lot older since the last time I saw him, since last week I watch Back To The Future II and he was just an ickle thing in that.

18. I'd love to watch all of these films with the scenes edited into order, because there's some nice Fellowship of the Ring foreshadowing here.

19. I still say that sign looks like it says 'No admittance except on farty business'.

20. And Frodo's off to the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring. We'll stick with Bilbo for an Unexpected Journey.

21. Clever transition into the past, no?

22. Martin Freeman is an awesome Bilbo.

23. And yay for Gandalf quoting lines exactly as they are in the book. Ever since the first Lord of the Rings film, I've imagined Ian McKellen when I've read Gandalf's bits in the book.

24. Which reminds me, I really must squeeze in a Hobbit reread before the end of the year.

25. Was selling buttons door-to-door ever really a thing? Did they have much cause for that in the Shire?

26. I like that Gandalf seems to have picked Bilbo because he used to want adventure, then decides to use him anyway to spite him. Gandalf's so sneaky.

27. Creepy wizard eye! That made me jump in the cinema. I don't know what I was expecting. A black rider perhaps?

28. I love this added scene as well. Anything to see a little more of the Shire. I want to go there so much.

29. I like to think that the Hobbit guy who looks a little like Sam, bouncing the small child on his knee is Hamfast Gamgee, and the small Hobbit-child will grow up to be Sam or one of his brothers.

30. There's the Sackville-Bagginses!

31. Oh I love Dwalin. In fact, I love all of this. It's not the way I imagine it in the book, but I think it's very well done. I mean, they have a lot of characters to introduce in a very short space of time!

32. Balin is one of my favourite characters in this trilogy which makes the Moria scene in The Fellowship of the Ring so much sadder now.

33. "It's riddled with mould." Hehe.

34. "I am sorry." "Apology accepted." I just love all of this bit.

35. I feel I should apologise now. I do have rather a crush on Kili. Also Thorin (when he's not ebil and gold-obsessed). I'll try not to drool too much.

36. Isn't Bilbo's dressing gown gorgeous? I only ever wear a dressing gown for hospital stuff but I feel a strange need for patchwork dressing gown.

37. It's very clever how they made all the Dwarves unique in their own well, with their hair styles, beards and accessories (or should that be axe-cessories in the case of Bifur?) It was something that I worried about considering in the book most of the Dwarves are fairly interchangeable.

38. If you think about it, the Dwarves are really doing Bilbo a favour. He's about to go away for a year on an adventure and they didn't want all his food to go off.

39. Anyone notice how Ori manages to jump from one end of the table to the other between scenes? He's sitting next to Kili one second and then when he burps he's somewhere else.

40. I love that they included this song! I know all the words!

41. I do feel tempted to have a go at doing this whenever I help wash up. Don't think it would end well.

Looks like someone else is about to join the party. Next week we'll get our introduction to Thorin, set out on this unexpected journey and come up against our first stumbling block.

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