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   Movie Reviews: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
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Studio:
     Warner Bros.
Plot:
    A younger and more reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out on a "unexpected journey" to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of Dwarves to reclaim a their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug.
Cast:
     Martion Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis
Rating:
     PG-13
Bottom Line:
     **1/2

Coverage:
by
Laurence Washington

Director Peter Jackson has return to Middle-Earth, which is good and bad news for Hobbit fans. The good news is Jackson has returned with a beautifully designed film to complete his masterpiece “Lord of The Rings: Return of The King.” In addition, “The Hobbit” is the first of three. That’s right, it’s another trilogy.

The bad news, as with “Lord of The Rings,” “The Hobbit” is bloated and the addition of 3-D is a distraction. Running exhausting three hours, “The Hobbit” could have easily been whittled down to two hours. Even less time if Jackson wanted to let moviegoers out of the theater earlier. That being said, hardcore Middle-Earth fans are going to love every minute of this detailed expansion of “Middle Earth.”

A prequel to  “Lord of The Rings,” Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is drafted by wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to help a group of dwarves, who displaced from their home by a rather disagreeable dragon, reclaimed their home and gold.

Bilbo is a fish out of water traveling with the dwarves who are warriors, and is constantly reminded that he shouldn’t have made the perilous journey. However, Gandalf insisted Bilbo’s skills are needed. The film detours into detail of how Bilbo steals the ring from Gollum (Andy Serkis), an event that was painted over in the beginning of “Lord of The Rings.” For the causal fan, “The Hobbit” would be a better film and a smarter film if it were tighter and explored character development rather than special effects.

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