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Movies // Hot Ticket
Nicole Kato

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Tina Aiu
Law student, freelance photographer and conservation documentary filmmaker

Where and with whom did you see the movie?

I saw it at Ward Theaters 16 with Franz Schmutzer.

Overall, what did you think?

Overall, I really enjoyed the parts of the movie that were true to The Hobbit (the book). I loved how the movie incorporated Tolkien’s songs and many of the beloved scenes between Bilbo and the dwarves.

The scene “Riddles in the Dark” was incredibly well done and exactly how I would have imagined it on screen.

However, the movie could have been a lot shorter. It did not have to be told in a trilogy. Maybe two movies would have been appropriate, but even that’s a stretch.

The first two hours of the movie felt like a drag, and then all the action is suddenly packed into the last 45 minutes of the film. There were scenes that weren’t even part of The Hobbit, but were leftovers of LOR (Lord of the Rings).

For example, there was a 10-minute (or at least what felt like 10 minutes) scene with Gandalf, Elron, Lady Galadriel and Saruman talking.

There also is a scene involving the resuscitation of a hedgehog, which was completely unnecessary.

Much of the movie also felt like a remake of the LOR series. I would have enjoyed the movie more had it been distinguished as its own piece apart from LOR.

There were too many scenes and references to LOR, which took focus away from the story of the Hobbit and from Bilbo’s character, which is the heart of the book.

For example, Frodo (Elija Wood) appears in the very first scene of the movie, which was entirely unnecessary. I loved the LOR series, but now I’m ready for something new.

Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes?

“Riddles in the Dark” was by far my favorite scene. Performances were great, it was well-directed, and it was just as I imaged it.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film?

★★★.

What did you think of the cinematography?

Although the 3-D image was so clear it didn’t make me dizzy, watching the film in 48 frames per second felt like I was looking at a video game. About an hour or so into the movie, though, I got used to it.

Also, I could really tell they used a lot of light on the subjects. Some scenes were too bright and the actors looked like they had rings of light around their faces.

Did it remind you of any other work in film?

It reminded me too much of the LOR series. I think I would have been happier with the film if Peter Jackson had left out so many scenes that were leftovers from LOR.

Did any of the actors stand out?

Martin Freeman was perfect as Bilbo. Andy Serkis, as usual, was amazing.

Did you identify with any of the characters?

I definitely identified with Bilbo, as I did when I read the book. The scenes that show changes in the character’s arc were really well-executed.

Did the soundtrack contribute significantly to the film?

Absolutely. The soundtrack was arguably one of the best parts of the film. I loved how they added music to Tolkien’s songs. The music exceeded my expectations.

Would you buy this movie when it comes out on DVD?

I’ll definitely buy it on Blu-ray.

On a different note, what’s new with you?

I just finished my second-to-last semester in law school. I’m off to Los Angeles and New York City for the holidays.

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