Episode 4: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Pre-Screening Sips

  • I know The Hobbit films are considered vastly inferior to the LOTR films, but I adored them when they first came out – let’s see if, nearly a decade later, my appreciation holds
  • The biggest complaint I’ve read/heard about these films is that they are more of a prequel to LOTR rather than an adaptation of The Hobbit novel – Luckily, I don’t care about that

Post-Screening Snippets

  • I appreciate that all Bilbo wants to do is stay home and write his memoirs even when a party approaches because big same
  • Jackson continues his streak of perfectly casting Middle-Earth with Martin Freeman as Bilbo
  • Okay, but let’s talk about how fine Fili is
  • Speaking of dwarves, I appreciate that Gandalf struggles to sort them out because there is no way remember the names of all these little dudes
  • The gravitas built by the epic visuals and sweeping score is sometimes undercut but moments of sheer goofiness, e.g. trolls sneezing into a soup
  • There is a lot to love about Radagast the Brown, but it is a challenge to get past the fact that he has literal bird shit dripping down his face
  • The dwarves are absolutely terrible dinner guests in every setting
  • All I want in this life is to be one of the fabulous, classy Rivendell elves
  • Azog the Defiler is an intimidating villain, but I cannot help but wish he was brought to life via prosthetics rather than CGI
  • Um, the extended edition includes a brief scene with all the dwarves naked in a fountain
  • My favorite thing about Saruman is his dedication to perfectly straightened hair – CHI really missed an opportunity for product placement
  • The majority of the Great Goblin sequence, from the weird rap song to the out of place “Made in Rivendell” joke, should have been left on the cutting room floor (yes, even from the extended edition)
  • An unpopular opinion for sure, but An Unexpected Journey features the best Gollum sequence out of the whole series
  • The eagles do not get enough credit for how often they come in clutch in these movies

The Final Pint

 The Hobbit: A Very Expected Prequel is a lovely, if slight, return to Middle-earth. The casting, score, and art direction all match the power of The Lord of the Rings, but the narrative does not have the same weight or impact. Also, there is a goblin who raps.


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