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4.6 out of 5 stars
Official Movie Guide (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2012
There aren't many films that come with a behind-the-scenes story rich enough to justify their own biography, but The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is emphatically one of them. Whether or not Peter Jackson's fourth Tolkien adaptation becomes as successful as his Oscar-laden third, the tale of its long, complex, challenging, hugely ambitious production makes for an engrossing read.

The 168 handsome pages of this large format, glossy, full colour, double columned and luxuriously embossed-covered paperback (Bernard Levin would have deducted a star to punish the unavailability of a hardback alternative) are divided into fifty-five bite sized chunks, perfect for a reader with a busy life who has to read in snatches. The illustrations are large, beautifully printed and numerous - I counted only seven pages without one - and would be worth the price of the book by themselves.

Brian Sibley proves an assiduous interviewer, as eager to celebrate the contributions of artists, weapon makers, clothes designers and other backroom craftspeople as to speak to Martin Freeman, Sir Ian McKellen or Barry Humphries. (If you've read Brian's earlier The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy, you'll find the treatment here very similar.) Topics covered include the aborted directorship of Guillermo del Toro, Peter's abandonment of 24 frames per second celluloid for 48 frames per second Ultra High Definition video, the techniques and benefits of stereoscopic cinematography and how thirteen dwarves were put through old time military boot camp! Some interviewees and subjects that one might have expected to find turn out to be conspicuous by their absence; but of course, this book is presented as a companion to the first film of three, and next year will bring a second volume as an aperitif for The Desolation of Smaug.

Brian is, I think, an ideal guide to Peter's and his colleagues' work. The hobbitty world is very much home territory for him - indeed, he wrote The Hobbit's equivalent of an A to Z (There and Back Again: The Map of Tolkien's Hobbit) - and he also wrote Peter's authorised life story (Peter Jackson: A Film-maker's Journey). And like other authors with a background in broadcasting, he writes with an inviting, conversational grace that's always genially accessible. But perhaps most important of all, it's obvious that he wrote this book with enthusiasm. Some entertainment tie-ins are ground out by publicists with all the zest of Frodo and Sam trudging up the slopes of Mount Doom. Not this one. Like Peter, J. J. Abrams, Joss Whedon and indeed Tolkien himself, Brian is patently the kind of genre devotee who would still be immersed in fantasy even if it had never put a penny in his pocket. In short, what we're offered here is a treat for all of us who delight in the marvellous written by one of our own.

Now, let's just hope that the movie is as good as we'd like it to be!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2012
I HAVE LOVED THE HOBBIT SINCE I WAS 12 AND AS PETER JACKSON HAS MADE SUCH AN EXCELLENT JOB OF THE TRILOGY I WANTED TO LOOK AT WHAT HE HAD DONE WITH THE HOBBIT BEFORE I SAW THE FILM.THIS BOOK IS FULL OF GREAT PHOTOS OF THE SETS , INTERVIEWS WITH THE STARS , FACTS ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE SETS AND THE ELABORATE COSTUMES.IT'S WELL PUT TOGETHER AND LOVELY JUST TO BROWSE.I SEE THERE ARE SEVERAL OTHER BOOKS AVAILABLE I NOW SEE HOWEVER THIS IS A VERY GOOD ONE TO HAVE AND I RECOMMEND IT.
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on 13 November 2014
I found this very interesting. Especially the portrayal of Peter Jackson who comes across as someone who knows what he wants whilst being prepared to change things for the good of creativity. The Hobbit is my favourite book and I'm thoroughly enjoying the films. If you are a fan of the tale you will enjoy hearing about the different stories behind the characterizations of the dwarves by the actors and the whole insight into the filmmaker's methods are fascinating.
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on 2 February 2013
I'm so happy that Peter Jackson has returned to Middle Earth because he did such an amazing job on the Rings trilogy. This behind the scenes book is great because it covers different areas of the film making, from costume and make up to sets. The make-up for the dwarves and the hobbits is amazing± The whole production was outstanding and this book demonstrates the amazing work.

Its a must for those interested in the production of the film and film geeks
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on 22 February 2013
The book is full of anecdotes and background of the movie creation process, as well as gorgeous photographs. I enjoyed very much reading and seeing how various pieces were arrived at - for example the input the actors had into their characters, or the sheer scale of the collaborative work involved between everyone from Peter Jackson on down.
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on 9 February 2013
Once again the world of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings is brought to life by the master of all things Tolkien. New Zealand seems perfect with Peter Jackson for the Hobbit. Here you can see the skill of those background peopel that help bring this world to life.
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on 5 April 2015
The formatting for the kindle edition is terrible. The text is overlapped and I can't read what it is supposed to say. Considering this cost money, I found this very disappointing.
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on 16 December 2012
This is a must have for any hobbit fan. It's a really thick book that covers so much interesting detail about the film and the book - go and get it! Much better than I thought
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on 26 March 2013
Many thanks for this book, really well made book and the pictures were outstanding. My daughter really enjoy reading the book and got lots of information from it. Thanks
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on 11 January 2013
This is a great book, does just what it's supposed to, ie tells you a lot about the movie. It's really interesting and I'm glad I bought it.
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