Digital trickery galore in The Hobbit

(L-r) JAMES NESBITT as Bofur, MARTIN FREEMAN (front) as Bilbo Baggins, STEPHEN HUNTER as Bombur, GRAHAM McTAVISH as Dwalin, WILLIAM KIRCHER as Bifur, and JED BROPHY as Nori in the fantasy adventure THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), released by Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM.

(L-r) JAMES NESBITT as Bofur, MARTIN FREEMAN (front) as Bilbo Baggins, STEPHEN HUNTER as Bombur, GRAHAM McTAVISH as Dwalin, WILLIAM KIRCHER as Bifur, and JED BROPHY as Nori in the fantasy adventure THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), released by Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM.

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There is a moment early in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when Gandalf The Grey (Sir Ian McKellen) turns to diminutive hero Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and counsels: “All good stories deserve embellishment.”

Director Peter Jackson and co-writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro have taken the wise wizard’s words to heart and embellished JRR Tolkien’s novel to the point of creative obesity.

Visually stunning flashbacks, which fail to advance the plot, are roughly hewn into a sprawling narrative that doesn’t kick into second gear for a good 45 minutes.

 

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