Again, I’ve got The Hobbit on the brain as it’s the morning after seeing the midnight premiere, so I feel the need to record my impressions quick — before they’re gone and fuzzy and all I can remember is, “It was good?”
By the way, I haven’t seen this many movies in theaters in a very, very long time. I can’t remember the last time I saw two movies in two weeks. It’s a good thing I celebrate Christmas because with Les Miserables opening on Christmas Day, it just might be three movies in three weeks.
- First, let me say that I knew I was going to like — no, LOVE — The Hobbit before I even saw it. It is Tolkien after all. After The Lord of the Rings was over, I never imagined audiences would want another movie from Middle Earth so I was super psyched when I learned about the project. I think they could have done it in two movies — and not three, that seems a bit much — but it happens in Middle Earth, there are dwarves, elves and hobbits, and Gandalf, so I’m good to go.
- All that being said, I did LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. this movie (big surprise, right?). It was fun, visually awesome, funny and epic in the way that I wish Middle Earth was real and I could live there (nerdy, I know).
- All THAT being said, I was not one of the ones who dressed up last night. Although I cheered on the few that did. You go girl with dwarf beard!
- I do think The Hobbit is tailor made for die-hard Tolkien fans. Where The Lord of the Rings was an grand, sweeping epic — we’re talking about fate of the free world — this really is only a minor adventure. Yes, it starts into motion everything that happens in Lord of the Rings, but only in a small way — like a butterfly’s wings setting a tidal wave into motion half a world away. However, for Tolkien fans, this movie is a chance to see the rest of Middle Earth, see a bit more of its people and its long, very involved history (I love that upon coming home, I was able to re-check the history of the dwarf wars in Maps of Middle Earth — yes it exists, and yes, I have it).
- I even liked some of the history and events that are shoe-horned into the movie, stuff that did happen but off-screen as well as stuff never really happened at all. I actually liked the portrayal of Radagast the Brown, even if he was a little wonky, him and his rabbits. I really liked seeing the meeting between Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond and Saurumon. And I REALLY liked the look at Dol Guldur and the sneak peak at the Necromancer (aka, Sauron) — super scary. These scenes add context to everything that happens in the third age around the events of The Hobbit, which again, is really such a small adventure. A minor quest, in video game terms.
- I wasn’t a fan, though, of the “white orc” thing they threw in there for dramatic effect. But I guess they need to give Thorin some kind of ultimate bad guy he needs to kill, and who better than the orc who killed his grandfather on the steps of Moria? Still, just for the record, he totally doesn’t happen and because of that, some of the battle scenes with the Wargs are inaccurate. Just sayin.’
- Can I say that the cast was amazing? The dwarves were perfectly depicted: yes, they’re supposed to be funny and characters, but they also looked different (important because non Tolkien fans might imagine they all look like Gimli) and they all had different personalities. Some didn’t even have beards! By the way, when did Fili and Kili get so hot?
- Also, the actor they had playing Bilbo — Perfect. Amazing. Great. A perfect choice, hands down. He’s both a little fussy and silly, funny and smart in his own way, but brave and scrappy when he has to be. In fact, I’m looking forward to the next movie because the dwarves start becoming really ineffective in Mirkwood and Bilbo has to save their ass again and again.
- And one quick film note: I’m assuming in an attempt to capitalize on the success of Lord of the Rings (and stir up audiences’ memories of those films), I noticed that An Unexpected Journey was framed much in the same way as The Fellowship of the Ring. We start in Hobbiton, we have a minor adventure along the Great Road, elves save us and we go to Rivendell, have some troubles getting over the Misty Mountains, have some problems immediately east of the Misty Mountains. And cut. They even had a scene with Gandalf talking to a butterfly and in swoop the eagles, though that doesn’t come til The Two Towers.
- And Joel noted this: if there were giant, sentient, talking eagles on Earth, they would definitely be the dominant species. Just sayin.
Addendum: My dad informs me that the “white orc” character does exist in the books, though he dies so soon after killing Thorin’s grandfather. So, him being in the movie = not real. But at least I know he wasn’t made up.