Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

"It's out of the frying pan," says Gandalf the Grey. "And into the fire," adds Dwarf King Thorin.

Which brings us to the question: How many Middle-earth dwellers does it take to utter one cliché?
Obviously, it takes two.

But one truth about clichés is that they hit the nail on the head. Oops, there's another one.

And so, the first of three prequels to J.R.R. Tolkiens "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, zips, zooms, careens and hurdles across the screen with hardly a moment of down time. And, it must be noted, a dearth of female characters, too. Cate Blanchett, in a cameo as the luminous Noldorin Princess Galadriel, is it, if you don't count a harp player and a serving girl or two.

What an unevolved place this Middle-earth is! And yet, it is a fun place to visit.

In a nutshell (cliché alert!) the story is this:

Hobbit Bilbo Baggins is recruited by Wizard Gandalf to help Dwarf Thorin reclaim his mountain kingdom from Smaug, the dragon. It's quite an odyssey from the Shire to Lonely Mountain and along the way Baggins and his bunch encounter Goblins, Orcs, Wargs, giant spiders, Trolls, Shapeshifters, Sorcerers and, not to forget, Gollum, the slimy.

Martin Freeman as Baggins is a sensation. Still, The Movie Slut prefers him as Dr. Watson in "Sherlock," the inspired PBS series.

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