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Is "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" as good as the book?

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JRR Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” was the first Tolkien novel I’ve ever read. Although it was a few years ago, I remember falling in love with the story and loving absolutely every word of the book. After reading the eternally long “Lord of the Rings” books, it’s been easy to say that my favorite is and probably always will be “The Hobbit.” As one can imagine knowing my background, I set the bar quite high for this movie, knowing how well done the “Lord of the Rings” movies were, and expecting nothing less than exceptional for the prequel. Fortunately for me and all the other Hobbit fans out there, this film goes above and beyond the call of duty and is really a spectacle to behold.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is the story of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman, The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy) as he is called upon by Gandalf (Ian McKellan, X-Men) to go on an unexpected journey (obviously) with a band of dwarves in order to reclaim their kingdom from the wrath of the dragon, Smaug. Along the way, they run into trolls, goblins, orcs, and other nasty things that makes not only Bilbo, but Thorin (Richard Armitage, Captain America: The First Avenger), king of the dwarves, whether or not Bilbo should be there in the first place.

As many of you are probably aware, this book has been divided into three movies, so obviously this movie doesn’t take us to the end. Instead, it goes through about the first six chapters. I know its hard to believe a movie that lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes is only six chapters, but Peter Jackson had so much added from the appendices that six chapters was more than enough. Many characters and events that aren’t in the book are added into the film to give the story and characters more depth, but basically everything that is in the book is in the film some way or another.

The film caters to both fans of the books and newcomers alike, so there’s something in there for everyone to enjoy. With amazing visuals, nail biting action, and a dash of witty comedy thrown in for good measure, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is a must-see.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence (swordplay, battle sequences, dismembering, etc.) and frightening images (trolls, orcs, goblins, and other fantasy creatures).

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