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'The Hobbit' mostly an exercise in nostalgia

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published December 13, 2012 at 10:37 a.m.

The next great inevitable bounces into screens on great hairy feet as Peter Jackson’s long anticipated (and just plain long) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey finally arrives.

And though no critic’s verdict seems likely to prevent the faithful from flocking (or the nonbelievers from staying away), our guy Piers Marchant finds it mostly a exercise in nostalgia for The Lord of the Rings trilogy of the early aughts — which is to say, if you loved LOTR, you will like The Hobbit.

“Much of it has a slightly played-out element, a sense that we’ve already been here and witnessed this,” Marchant writes. “A bit like the second Star Wars trilogy, we’ve already seen the most dramatic and world-altering material of the series, so going backward for something a good deal less all- encompassing can’t help but feel anticlimactic.”

If you’re in search of counter-programming, then you might want to check out French director Lorraine Levy’s The Other Son, which Philip Martin thought redeemed its potentially cheesy switched-at-birth plot line; or the Danish historical drama A Royal Affair, which Karen Martin found moderately interesting; or the chop-socky Dragon (Wu xia), in which Hong Kong martial-arts star and choreographer struts and frets for 90 or so action-y minutes.

Our Dan Lybarger liked that one — perhaps more than he should have.

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