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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 

Part one of three features a way more chill crew

The Hobbit cookie swap is off to a roaring start
  • The Hobbit cookie swap is off to a roaring start

At this time of year, won't you please think of New Zealand's economy and return to Middle Earth for the first in a trilogy of The Hobbit films, starting with An Unexpected Journey. Flagrantly ripping off Star Wars, Peter Jackson forges a prequel to his previous sword and sorcery Lord of the Rings epics, this time following young hobbit Bilbo Baggins (the always charming Martin Freeman) who joins a company of dwarves set to reclaim their ancestral homeland from bloodthirsty goblins and a greedy dragon. Shockingly, considering the amount of council meetings and battle scenes, everyone seems to be having a lot more fun this go around. Part of that may be J. R. R. Tolkien's more child-oriented story. But having sat through nine hours of Elijah Wood being tired in the previous trilogy, it's pretty refreshing to see Gandalf, Gollum and Elrond finally yucking it up.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Rated PG-13 (MPAA) · 170 min. · 2012
Official Site: www.thehobbit.com/index.html
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson and J.R.R. Tolkien
Producer: Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O'Gorman and Aidan Turner

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