Expect to be entertained

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By Tom Hanlon

Years after the popular “Lord of The Rings” movie series was filmed, J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey” was finally released in theaters Dec. 14.  
Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” written as a prequel to “The Lord of the Rings,” is distributed by Warner Bros. and is directed by Peter Jackson, who also directed “The Lord of the Rings.”
The main character, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), is a hobbit — a human-like creature — half the size of a man, with large hairy feet.  He lives a comfortable, uneventful life in the peaceful land of The Shire.  
One evening, Bilbo is interrupted by a company of 11 dwarves and their leader, Prince Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), along with the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen).  
They all convince Bilbo to help them reclaim their old kingdom of Erebor and their treasure, which was captured by the dragon Smaug. The troop travels eastward while being chased by fearsome orcs and then getting captured by goblins.  
It’s in the goblin caves that Bilbo meets the creature Gollum, (voice of Andy Serkis) and comes across a simple gold ring, the ring of power.
After escaping the goblins, the company fends off the attacking orcs in an “edge of your seat” perilous scene. Giant eagles rescue the group and the film ends, leaving the audience to await the second installment of the hobbit’s journey.
“The Hobbit” was extremely entertaining, although after sitting for two hours and 50 minutes, one’s body does start to get sore. The length of the movie allowed the filmmakers to put an enormous amount of detail into the flick — maybe too much.
While most moviemakers need to take out details to shorten the length of their movie, “The Hobbit” includes characters and stories that were not in the book.
 These additions were all mentioned in other books by Tolkien, but were not involved in the book, “The Hobbit.” The added characters do not directly change the overall story, but do contribute to dragging out the hobbits’ journey over three separate movies.
 Bilbo’s journey turns him into a braver, more courageous hobbit.
There was some humorous dialogue between the characters, but the movie is a very action-packed adventure story. There are very violent scenes, including severed limbs, decapitations and some blood. It is rated PG-13.