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Viva La Cinema. Film Dropps is the place to find reviews on all of your favorite movies some in the theater and some not but if it was recorded on film and meant for your eyes- its here.

go left young man
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    Zero Dark Thirty

    Wed Feb 13

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    Warm Bodies

    Wed Feb 6

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    Django Unchained

    Tue Jan 29

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    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

    Mon Dec 17

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    Holy Motors

    Thu Dec 6

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    Skyfall

    Wed Dec 5

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    Wreck-It-Ralph

    Tue Nov 20

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    Sleepwalk With Me

    Mon Nov 19

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    The Master

    Sun Oct 7

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    Cosmopolis

    Thu Aug 30

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    The Campaign

    Fri Aug 24

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    The Odd Life of Timothy Green

    Wed Aug 22

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    To Rome With Love

    Tue Aug 21

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    The Bourne Legacy

    Mon Aug 20

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    The Watch

    Fri Aug 10

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    Total Recall

    Mon Aug 6

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    Savages

    Tue Jul 31

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    Safety Not Guaranteed

    Thu Jul 26

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    The Dark Knight Rises

    Mon Jul 23

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    The Amazing Spider-Man

    Fri Jul 6

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    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

    Thu Jul 5

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    Shut Up and Play the Hits

    Mon Jul 2

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    July Film Preview

    Fri Jun 29

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    Brave

    Fri Jun 22

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    Moonrise Kingdom

    Mon Jun 18

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    That's My Boy

    Thu Jun 14

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    Prometheus

    Mon Jun 11

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    Snow White and The Huntsman

    Fri Jun 8

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    June Film Preview

    Mon Jun 4

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    Men in Black 3

    Thu May 31

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    The Dictator

    Fri May 18

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    Dark Shadows

    Tue May 15

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    Marvel's The Avengers

    Mon May 7

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    May Film Preview

    Mon Apr 30

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    The Lady

    Wed Apr 25

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    Clown (Klovn)

    Mon Apr 23

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    Not Yet Begun to Fight

    Sun Apr 22

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    Andrew Bird: Fever Year

    Sat Apr 21

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    Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best

    Sat Apr 21

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    Monsieur Lazhar

    Fri Apr 20

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    Magic Valley

    Thu Apr 19

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    An Ordinary Family

    Thu Apr 19

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    Think of Me

    Wed Apr 18

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    God Bless America

    Wed Apr 18

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    Turn Me On, Damnit!

    Mon Apr 16

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    Renee

    Sat Apr 14

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    The Cabin in the Woods

    Fri Apr 13

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    Florida Film Festival 2012 Preview Cont.

    Thu Apr 12

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    Florida Film Festival 2012 preview

    Mon Apr 9

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    The Hunger Games

    Mon Apr 2

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    The Cinema of 2011: A reflection of the Best and Worst

    Tue Jan 31

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    The Film Dropp Preview: A guide to movies in 2012

    Thu Jan 5

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    Drive

    Wed Oct 12

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    Moneyball Review

    Fri Sep 30

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    50/50

    Mon Sep 26

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    The Help

    Fri Aug 19

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    Rise of the Planet of the Apes

    Wed Aug 10

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    Cowboys and Aliens

    Mon Aug 8

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    Captain America review

    Mon Aug 1

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    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt.2

    Sat Jul 23

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    The Tree of Life

    Thu Jul 14

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    Horrible Bosses

    Wed Jul 13

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    Bad Teacher

    Mon Jul 11

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    Green Lantern

    Fri Jul 1

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    Too Big To Fail

    Mon Jun 27

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    The Art of Getting By

    Mon Jun 20

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    Hesher

    Fri May 13

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    Bridesmaids

    Wed May 11

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    Thor

    Fri May 6

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    American: The Bill Hicks Story

    Mon May 2

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    Cinema Verite

    Wed Apr 27

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    13 Assasins

    Mon Apr 25

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    SUPER

    Fri Apr 22

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    Your Highness

    Wed Apr 20

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    Chekov For Children

    Mon Apr 18

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    Kinyarwanda

    Thu Apr 14

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    Norman

    Wed Apr 13

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    The Happy Poet

    Mon Apr 11

  • The Thief

    Fri Apr 8

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    Made In India

    Fri Apr 8

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    Journey From Zanskar

    Mon Apr 4

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    Silver Tongues

    Thu Mar 31

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    Louder Than a Bomb

    Tue Mar 29

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    Win Win

    Sun Mar 27

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    Sucker Punch

    Fri Mar 25

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    Rubber

    Thu Mar 24

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    Battle Los Angeles

    Fri Mar 18

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    Win Win

    Fri Mar 18

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    Florida Film Festival Preview

    Tue Mar 15

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    Red Riding Hood

    Mon Mar 14

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    I Saw The Devil

    Fri Mar 11

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    Happythankyoumoreplease

    Mon Mar 7

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    Unknown

    Fri Mar 4

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    Paul

    Tue Mar 1

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    Kaboom

    Mon Feb 28

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    Just Go With It

    Tue Feb 15

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    The Illusionist

    Tue Feb 15

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    Restrepo

    Sat Feb 12

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    Dogtooth

    Thu Feb 10

don't go left young man

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,




     
          Dropped by Robert Miller
          PG-13, 2 hr. 46 min.
          Action & Adventure, Fantasy
          Directed by: Peter Jackson
          Written by: Philippa Boyens,
          Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh,
          Guillermo del Toro
          Starring: Ian McKellan, Martin
          Freeman, Richard Armitage
          Ken Stott
          Released: December 14, 2012
          Warner Bros.




Before I’m able to write an honest review on Peter Jackson’s prequel return to Middle-Earth with the beloved children’s-book-turned-blockbuster hit, I need to make a few caveats resoundingly clear: First, I am an earnest fan of J.R.R. Tolkien works. Ever since I was seven I’ve been able to pinpoint Tolkien’s dedication to storytelling—via the classic Lord of the Rings trilogy and the surrounding Middle-Earth tales—as my inspiration for wanting to be a writer. It has too much of an impact on my life for me to be truly as unbiased as possible.

The second caveat is more technical than anything, as the film was shot in 48 frames per second—the first film to ever be shot at that speed and the much debated topic of the movie’s merit. Much like how James Cameron filmed 2009′s Avatar with a modified digital 3-D camera he created, it definitely looks different than what most of us are used to in a film—a little crisper, a little faster. To some, this comes off as cheesy or a fake, like a soap opera on the big screen; and while the beginning really did play out like a poor stage play full of lackluster acting (strangely due to Ian Holm’s obligatory cameo as the older Bilbo Baggins) and movements seemed oddly sped up, the film definitely progressed with itself well. Either the filming in 48 fps got better as the movie went along or I just got used to it (probably the latter), but by the end of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I felt like I was watching one of the most surreal fantasy movies I’d ever seen.

Now that those caveats are out the way, I’d rather get into what I was more interested in with this film anyway: the storytelling. How does Peter Jackson transform a trilogy thousands of pages long into three films, but then stretches a 250-page children’s story into three as well? It’s one of the questions that has been burning in book and film fans’ minds alike, and it’s still sort of lingering above us all. The cynical side of me is saying one thing: money. The less cynical side of me is trying to convince the other half of me that Jackson is only making an effort to fit in every little detail as possible, but also taking advantage of the opportunity to fit in more Middle-Earth lore and lit-fan goodies.

Then again, that side is also admitting a lot of it has to do with money. Really, you’d be foolish to think otherwise.

For those who somehow haven’t hopped on the Middle-Earth bandwagon—or at least skitched the bumper—by way of the original trilogy or The Hobbit book, Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who never went on any adventures or did anything unexpected. That is, until the grey wizard Gandalf shows up at his step one good morning; etches a dwarven rune on the green door to his comfortable, cozy hobbit hole and subsequently throws him into a dangerous journey of dwarves, goblins, dragons, treasures, trolls and more. Bilbo finds himself doing the unimaginable by helping Thorin Oakenshield and his 12 fellow dwarves reclaim Erebor, their former kingdom under the Lonely Mountain that was torn from them by the deadly dragon Smaug. Chosen for his stealth—and mostly just potential for spirit and courage—Bilbo fights side-by-side with some of the most colorful characters to grace this franchise: Balin, Dwalin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Nori, Dori and Ori.

Martin Freeman (Sherlock, Hot Fuzz) plays a very playful and adventurous Bilbo Baggins; much different from the rather gloomy and woe-is-me Frodo that Elijah Wood gave us over a decade ago. Ian McKellan (Lord of the Rings trilogy, X-Men) returns as Gandalf in a worldly, yet humanistic, portrayal of a wizard, while the 13 dwarves tend to play archetypes of personalities rather than whole, fleshed-out characters. Bombur (Stephen Hunter) is rather lazy, lethargic and gluttonous; Fili (Dean O’Gorman) is loyal and understanding, nearly to a fault; and Balin (Ken Stott), Dwalin (Graham McTavish) and Thorin (Richard Armitage) are traditional, conservative and stubborn warriors. All in all, they create a wide and varying palette of characteristics that work well as a whole, rather than as individual beings. I can visualize the entire company as just that—a company—but one by one, they rarely stood out to me.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey sticks very close to its source material. With two films still on the horizon, I would be surprised if it didn’t follow the book to a “T,” but sometimes this attention to detail is almost a hindrance rather than a spectacle to behold. Jackson decided to include content from appendices of the trilogy and other so-called “Lost Tales.” Characters were added and outside scenes included that often felt like jamming the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle into a spot that you just know goes riiight there. From an elongated role of the orc “ringleader” Azog (who really doesn’t have much of a reason to be a ringleader than any other snarling orc), to an awkward dinner party with the great Saruman the White (Christopher Lee), some additions didn’t seem all that cohesive to the grand scheme of this one movie. It makes sense to fit within the plans of a brand new trilogy, but I still feel as though the movies should have stayed to the same format as the book: clear, succinct and short. This book, more than any other Tolkien story, was the perfect opportunity for Jackson and Co. to churn out an engaging story, easy to be digested in a single sitting. The book was originally intended to be a bedtime story for Tolkien’s children, and even the movie carries a similar tone. There’s a lot more humor than in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and it utilizes more computer graphics than before to enhance its overall visual appeal. Truly, this film looks stunning. From the aforementioned 48 fps, to the enhanced cgi, it is a fantastical movie worthy of that adjective.

The one complaint some die-hard fans have been throwing out there is still one that stuck with me after the credits rolled, and it’s a very similar complaint to when George Lucas returned to the Star Wars universe with his divisive prequel trilogy. It sort of feels as though Peter Jackson is just toying with Middle-Earth this time around. In the LOTR trilogy, the amount of respect for the imagined world was tangible and utterly forthcoming. The fandom in Jackson poured out into the films with an equal amount of reverence. But with Hobbit, it sometimes seems like Jackson is just playing puppet master and trying to control his own creation a little too much. Jackson originally claimed he didn’t want to make The Hobbit at all, then he passed off the directing duty to Guillermo Del Toro since he felt he was too close to the material (a pretty good decision, if you asked me), but that obviously just lead right back to him in the director’s seat. I’m not saying Jackson didn’t have any reverence for the source material this time around, and I’m not even saying the only driving factor behind this new trilogy was money, but it certainly feels like a tipping point and the admiration for source material seems a little sub-par this time around than the last. At times, this film feels like an excuse for the crew to flex their cinematography muscles than it is a chance to engage in a heartfelt tale. It’s hard for me to latch onto the characters as much in this film, save perhaps for Bilbo himself, and many of them just feel like another splash of color in a very majestic landscape.

It also doesn’t help that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey doesn’t exactly stand up as a singular, full story. Once you get to the end, you realize the deluge of toil that still lies in front of the company of dwarves and hobbit, which was originally the big issue with the Lord of the Rings when Fellowship of the Ring first hit theaters and unread movie goers were left scratching their heads over the lack of finality. But that only means there is more to come, and I still feel as though most who see the Lonely Mountain ominously erect along the misty horizon will want to see the story to its climactic end.

I’ll admit I was—and still am—a skeptical fan. I can be a purist every once in a while when I feel adamant enough (even to my own downfall), and when you try to adapt the most beloved reading experience of my childhood, then that applies even more so at an exponential rate. Still, Jackson, Weta Workshop and the rest of the cast and crew had an obvious overflowing of enjoyment on this film. Even when it comes out as the manufactured happiness of some of the archetypal characters, it’s still joy nonetheless. Money may have played a role in continuing this saga past its prime, and three films may be stretching this relatively short story well beyond its breaking point, but we’re two films too short to say for sure, and if An Unexpected Journey is any indication of what’s to come, then I’m more than prepared to see it through.

//

Watch the full trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey below:

Mon Dec 17

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