‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ is good… but should have stayed true to J.R.R. Tolkien’s book

Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins in 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'
Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’

[rating=3]Starring:  Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O’Gorman, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchette, Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee
Director(s): Peter Jackson
Writer(s): Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyers, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro (screenplay) – J.K. Tolkien (novel)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first of a new trilogy from Peter Jackson, director of the wonderful Lord of the Rings trilogy.  While The Hobbit’s first installment is good, it doesn’t come near the level of any of the LOTR films, perhaps because they set the bar too high.  Also problematic is that Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” is a much shorter novel than his follow-up “The Lord of the Rings” and probably doesn’t need three films to tell the story as Tolkien wrote it.

Read more‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ is good… but should have stayed true to J.R.R. Tolkien’s book

‘King Kong: Special Edition’ is brilliant yet extended version feels bloated

[rating=3]Starring: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Andy Serkis, Jamie Bell, Kyle Chandler, Lobo Chan, Thomas Kretschmann, Evan Parke, Colin Hanks, John Sumner
Director(s): Peter Jackson
Writer(s): Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson; Based upon the story by Merian C. Cooper, Edgar Wallace

The giant gorilla roars in 'King Kong'
The giant gorilla roars in ‘King Kong’

I don’t often like to write reviews for films twice, but for King Kong I was will to make an exception. You see, I actually missed the first five minutes of the film when I saw it in the theater. It wasn’t my fault, but the theater — for some bizarre reason — decided to start the film about twenty minutes early. I, along with dozens of others, were calmly waiting on line for popcorn. Someone came out and said it was starting, but no one believed him. When we all finally learned that it really was starting, none of us were happy.

Regardless, the DVD gave me the opportunity to see the film from start to finish. And generally, when I see a film a second time, it moves faster. I even tend to enjoy it a little more, or things that may have bothered me the first time don’t so much the second. Of course, there are also occasions where the weaknesses seem worse, and I notice more problems along the way.

Read more‘King Kong: Special Edition’ is brilliant yet extended version feels bloated

‘King Kong’

Ever since I was a kid, Kong was my favorite monster movie. I grew up with the 1976 remake, where instead of ascending the Empire State Building the gentle giant climbed the Twin Towers. I soon saw the original 1933 … Read more