The Hobbit goes above and beyond expectations

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The Hobbit, released on Friday, went above and beyond all expectations that I had for it.

After hearing that this movie would be a trilogy, I was slightly disappointed. Knowing that the book, “The Hobbit,” is much smaller than each of the “Lord of the Rings” books, I was concerned that they were extending it with the sole purpose to make money. They probably are, but if the next two movies are anything like the first one, it was a great idea.

This movie will keep you mesmerized until the end. Yes, there is a slow time at the beginning to set the scene, and giving some necessary background information. When the movie gets rolling and they start off on the journey, every minute is action-packed.

You do not need to see the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy in order to understand what’s going on. Honestly I do not know the names of all the characters that play minor roles in any of the movies, let alone all the places that they go to. Knowing the events in the  previous movies do help, but is not crucial to enjoying the film as a whole.

In most movies during action and fight scenes, the camera is shaky, and sometimes hard to follow what’s going on. This movie does not follow that mold. The camera is rarely shaky, and utilizes great camera angles. Transitions are smooth and clean. During fight scenes the camera sometimes zooms in, but stays far enough away to see the whole scene without characters coming in and out of the frame.

The scenery throughout the movie is constantly different and astonishing. The movie was filmed in New Zealand, and shows a variety of different landscapes. They range from long open pastures, to waterfalls, followed by snow covered mountains, caves and forests. The film crew did a great job of panning over the scenery and showing exactly where they were and how far they had to go to finish the journey.

The story line is what I was most impressed with. Even the beginning of the movie, while setting the scene, director Peter Jackson uses to comedy to keep the pace of the movie. They use this tactic multiple times to make sure that the movie is enjoyable in between action scenes. This plot is established early on, with every move helping them accomplish their goal.

There are many characters that are introduced. However, you do not need to keep track of all of them and their role in the movie. It’s not as hard to remember them because they are almost always together. By the end of the movie I loved each main character and new character. They all have a specific role and add to the movie in one way or another.

I was afraid that the length of the movie (two hours and 46 minutes) would eventually make me tired and want to leave, but the constant action, new scenery, and characters made me want to see more.

Though this movie is offered in 3-D, I would not recommend seeing it. It costs two or more dollars to see it (depending on what movie theater you go to) and there was nothing that would be improved by seeing the movie in 3-D.

This movie was a success and despite the length of the movie, every minute was worth it.

James Teutschmann
West Wind Editor-in-Chief