When Brian and I recorded this weeks podcast on Sunday evening, it was noted that the IMDB was removing any reviews, be they genuine or not, regarding The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Well it would appear that the press embargo has now been lifted and reviews from mainstream, high profile sources are now available. They are quite varied although no one so far has implied that the movie is a failure in any way. It would appear that although Peter Jackson’s commitment to detail and advocacy of Tolkien’s lore is laudable, the movie is somewhat ponderous. The action and adventure is present but so is an excess of plot exposition. Simply put, the need to expand the plot of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings appendices over three movies is questioned.
I will of course reserve final judgement on this for when I see the film myself on 13th of December but I had my suspicions in the first place. The Lord of the Rings is a tough act to follow, although I fully understand that The Hobbit trilogy needs to be judged on its own merits. Yet the world has moved on from 2001, posing the question are audiences still enamoured of big budget, epic fantasy? The market has been somewhat saturated with the likes of Harry Potter, Twilight and a glut of super hero movies. It should also be remembered how the public demanded for years sequels to the Star Wars trilogy and when they finally arrived they were distinctly underwhelming. However, critical acclaim and financial success are two totally different things. Regardless of reviews, opinions, reputations and good standing, these movies are sure to clean up at the box office.
So hear are a few of the reviews currently available:
The Guardian (UK Newspaper)
The One Ring (Fansite)
The Radio Times (UK Magazine)
Personally speaking, I shall be very keen to see what other independent fans sites have to say on THAUJ, as well as the thoughts and opinions of my immediate peers. I fully expect there to be an excess of fan boy white noise and general bandwagon jumping by the mainstream media. Therefore I will look for more robust analysis from specific quarters online. In the meantime I am focusing on the succinct comments made by Devin Faraci of badassdigest.com as a useful default position to my expectations. “It’s not as bad as you feared, not as good as you hoped.”