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26 Mar 2013

Blu-Ray Review: Despite Some Fine Moments, 'The Hobbit' Is Fatally Flawed

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After watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at home, I determined that director Peter Jackson managed to stretch The Hobbit into three movies by getting all performers to speak slowly … oh, so slowly.

Everybody in this movie speaks and moves as if they were drunk on Hobbit Amber Ale. Most of the dialogue is spoken at a snail’s pace with those not-quite-British, not-quite-American affected accents that make everything they say sound SO DAMN IMPORTANT.

I just can’t stand much of this movie. It has its highpoints for sure, especially the wonderful Gollum scene. Gollum alone almost makes the movie worth watching, and Martin Freeman does have great potential as everybody’s favorite Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. Freeman injects life into the proceedings, often bringing scenes back from the dead.

But on top of the encumbered speech patterns, I despise the scenes of dwarves eating and singing. They are dopey, long, Three Stooges-like, unfunny moments that stop the film in its tracks. And while I loved Ian McKellen in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, I can’t handle his strange mugging this time out.

The movie looked weird in cinemas, but it looks better on the home screen. I prefer it visually in 2-D on the home screen over the hard-on-the-eyes 3-D theatrical presentation.

Part 2 in the trilogy arrives later this year. That one promises massive dragon action. Let’s all hope that the dragon spends most of his time blowing things up rather than delivering massive, elongated, stilted soliloquies. Peter Jackson: Please pick up the pace in the next chapters, and keep the alcohol off the set.

Special Features: They include Peter Jackson’s production diaries, which are sporadically interesting, as well a short on the New Zealand locations and a code allowing you to witness Jackson’s March 24 online tease of the next chapter, The Desolation of Smaug

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