The Conversation

'Hobbit' Bluray Review: LOTR Fans Are Sure to Love It

Knowing full well I'm speaking heresy, especially among conservatives who love Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, I'm just not a fan. I don't dislike the movies, I just wish I enjoyed them more. Fantasy has always been my least favorite film genre, and for the most part the storytelling feels episodic, especially in the first and third chapters.

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Jackson kicked off a new Tolkien trilogy late last year with "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," a prequel and worldwide smash that made over a billion dollars. And why wouldn’t it? Like its predecessors, "The Hobbit" is a big budget blockbuster; and this one takes us back 60 years to Middle Earth and to many beloved characters, including Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm and Martin Freeman) -- who carry the story -- and enough nostalgic cameos to satisfy any fan.

The storytelling flaws from the original trilogy carried over; at least for me the narrative was episodic and overlong. "The Hobbit" also lacks a strong male protagonist in the vein of a  Sean Bean or Viggo Mortensen, who added some welcome masculine humanity to the cast of dwarves, Hobbits, and elves.

It's hard to imagine, though, that the multitudes who fell in love with the first trilogy won’t be delighted. Tolkien's limitless imagination is brought to life in every scene, as is Jackson's undying affection for the material.

"The Hobbit" is available on Bluray and DVD everywhere today.


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