Director Peter Jackson is back in Middle-earth, translating Tolkein’s “The Hobbit” into three films. Written before the trilogy, the story follows Frodo’s uncle Bilbo around 60 years prior to the start of “The Fellowship of the Ring.”
With “An Unexpected Journey,” which arrived on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, March 19, Jackson reminds us of why our first trips to Middle-earth were so enjoyable and why he is the perfect tour guide. Unfortunately, “An Unexpected Journey” also reminds us of the lack of closure one gets in seeing the first part of a three-part story knowing that there are still nearly two years remaining before we see the end. While “The Lord of the Rings” was written as a three-part story, “The Hobbit” was meant to be read in one go, so the ending here feels a bit more jarring than it might have otherwise. It is always unfair to judge a “unfinished” film, but an incomplete product is all we have at the moment.
The film is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence and frightening images.