I remember reading all the J.R.R. Tolkien books when I was 10 and 11.  I found them entirely captivating because they created such a vivid world and had such a great cast of characters.  So, naturally, I have been interested in seeing the movies that Peter Jackson has been bringing to the screen which are inspired by Mr. Tolkien’s works.

I know I’m late to the theater on this one, but I just recently got to see the first in The Hobbit series.  I’m thrilled.  I really liked it.  Not surprisingly, it has gorgeous visuals, and the CGI is quite good once again.  In fact, the character of Gollum (played so well by Andy Serkis) is treated with such care and expertise that he almost steals the movie at moments.  Not the first time that’s happened in these films. Then there is the nasty white Orc soldier – Azog – whose beady pale blue eyes along with his menacing voicing by Manu Bennett make him a villainous star as well.

Of course, I enjoyed the human actors (not that voice actors and/or CGI movement actors aren’t human, too – lol).  The whole cast does a great job.  All those dwarves on the screen – each one an interesting character! Good acting; very entertaining.  AND there is nuance in this movie.  It isn’t just about action, beautiful pictures, and great CGI.

Clearly, the movie wouldn’t succeed without super performances from Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen as Gandalf. And, indeed, they DO deliver.  But my breakout favorite in this installment was Richard Armitage as Thorin.  Film acting – especially when dealing with closeup shots – requires such a deft hand at times.  And I think Richard handles this role beautifully and skillfully. 

Hats off to everyone involved in making this movie so much fun to see!


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