So, like millions of others, I saw The Hobbit today.
Oh. My. God.
I loved the original trilogy dearly. And so this movie starts. I hear that familiar music, I see Bag End on screen again, and goddamn Frodo shows up and I lose it. I'm tearing up. I can't help it. Idolizing Frodo was such a massive part of my childhood. And the whole spectacle launches and for the first... I dunno, fifteen, twenty minutes, I'm just tearing up. So much boyhood nostalgia. Regardless. The actual film review.
Now, full disclosure, I haven't read the book in about a decade, but that doesn't matter. Regardless of how closely it follows the story of the novel, this film rarely disappoints. After a somewhat slow start, this movie picks up and rarely slows down, save for a few small spots here and there (namely the conversation between Gandalf, Elrond, Saruman, and Galadriel). And sure, the acting at the beginning is a little stiff, but eventually everyone falls into character quite nicely, particularly Martin Freeman, who plays Baggins pitch perfectly. For a three hour long film, it certainly doesn't feel like three hours. The riddle scene is hilarious, heartbreaking, and intense all at once. Andy Serkis is back in full force, and as much of an oxymoron as this might be, Gollum is simply gorgeous, and the other visuals hardly disappoint. Few films are so deliciously visually rich. Sure, this one is a bit more CG-reliant, but as always, the effects are cutting edge and brilliant. Some of the best I've ever seen. This is the most eye-poppingly gorgeous film since Avatar. It's so ludicrously gorgeous it hurts. Visually, this film grabs you by the balls and takes you on a whirlwind ride. Simply beautiful. While it is far from the best film of the year, you'll have a hard time finding a more fun one. It's a wonderful blend of action and whimsy and is simply excellent.