By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4 (Out of 5)

I am a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories and I reveled in watching the 1978 animated version of Lord of the Rings when I was much younger; not to date myself.  I very much looked forward to seeing these stories remade using current technology and I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Now we come to the second installment of three films director Peter Jackson is making from Tolkien’s book called The Hobbit.  The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from the dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbach).

An unsettling trait of any, and I mean any Peter Jackson film is it’s enormously long length.  Although, I do enjoy the ride for the most part, I do wish he would learn to edit and not embellish.  I am beginning to think of Jackson in the way I think of Steven Spielberg movies, over the top, but I accept them as they are because I find them entertaining overall.  At least the first trilogy of movies is based off of three books.  This trilogy is based off of one book and I now find myself wanting to read the book to determine how much poetic license Jackson took with this story like he did with the first ones.  After I saw the first two Lord of the Rings movies, I read all three books and actually ended up preferring the book ending to the movie ending and I am wondering if the same thing will happen with The Hobbit.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a science-fiction, action junkie and love to escape into a good story visually and mentally.  The costumes and acting are par for the course and it is nearly impossible not to care about what happens to these characters.  Once we viewers accept that Jackson embellishes at will and is over the top just as other directors then all is well in my eyes.  I do think this film is too long but I found myself enjoying the ride all the same; even in 3D.

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