Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis
Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, this is the first of three films from director Peter Jackson and the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In this installment, the famed wizard Gandalf the Grey hires Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, to accompany the dwarves to Lonely Mountain to reclaim their homeland from the dragon Smaug. Martin Freeman portrays the lovable hobbit and Ian McKellen reprises his role as Galdalf. Both actors are in fine form here.
There’s been a lot of buzz about this film being shot in 48 frames per second, which is supposed to make the images clearer, sort of like 3-D on steroids. The film will also be released in the standard 24 frames per second format. Technology is great, but it pales in comparison to Tolkien’s masterful storytelling and the wonder that his words can conjure in the imagination. –p.d. lee