Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | December 17, 2012

The Hobbit

The kids and I went to see The Hobbit yesterday. We were, like most, in desperate need of a distraction, and we wanted to see it. So off we went. I loved it. I can totally see, though, that it isn’t for everyone by any means. Peter Jackson’s vision clings closely to the book itself, a welcome departure from many movies made from books. It is an intensely detailed, vividly imaged world, lovingly attentive to Tolkien’s work. Jackson not only tells the story of The Hobbit, he also includes details not contained in the book but given by Tolkien in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings. In that way there is a depth not found in the book itself, which is primarily a children’s tale.

The movie runs 2 hours and 46 minutes so there is time for every detail to be fully realized. Now I’m one of those people who really likes long novels, full of rich detail and characters and place. This movies feels very like reading a long novel. Yes, there are action sequences, fight scenes, but there are also long expositions of scenery and character. If you need lots of action, quick-moving scenes, this is not a movie for you. But if you love Tolkien’s work, enjoyed the movies The Lord of the Rings, then go.

I do have a few quibbles. The inconsistency of the dwarves’ make-up and hair was disconcerting. There are what girl child was calling “the hot dwarves,” notably Kili and Thorin, who are quite good-looking, but then there are the comically nosed and haired dwarves. A little less of the bizarre hair and bulbous noses would still have allowed individuality without seeming so silly. There are some reviews I’ve read that have issue with the comedy in the movie. The book has comedy, quite a bit of it so I didn’t find that to be off-putting.

The acting was excellent. Martin Freeman is absolutely wonderful, perfect for the part. He captures the everyman aspect of Bilbo, that of an ordinary person who finds himself in extraordinary situations and rises to the occasion. Ian McKellen reprises the role of Gandalf excellently. Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen both do a lovely job of being more approachable than their characters were in LOTR, appropriate for being 60 years younger here. I must say I love and adore Andy Serkis as Gollum. He captures both the extremely creepy and the pitiful natures of Gollum.

I will add a disclaimer that, yes, I am kind of a Tolkien geek, although not so much of one that I made it though all of the Silmarillion.

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Responses

  1. LOL, I couldn’t handle the Simarillion myself. But I love The Hobbit and LOTR. I am looking forward to seeing The Hobbit, I just don’t know when. Probably after xmas.

    Thank you for your review. It makes it even more likely that I’ll see it on the big screen.

    • If you liked the long LOTR movies, you’ll like this too.

      p.s. thanks for the card! Me too, you!

  2. I wanted to see it but wanted to wait until I heard some reviews. I’ll con DH into taking me.

    Thanks for the review.
    = )

    • You’re very welcome! Enjoy! (but hit the bathroom first, it’s really LONG!)

  3. Sounds like my cuppa — I love detail. (but I didn’t finish THE SILMARILLON either…)

    • Yay! You’re back on the internet long enough to make it all the way over here! And it’s a good activity while you’re still only semi-mobile. 🙂

  4. I tried reading one of them in high school (is The Hobbit its own book?) but couldn’t finish. Won’t be seeing this as a movie, but I am SO glad you reviewed it. Excellent job! Also, nice way to practice some enriching and entertaining Distraction. Especially since you could go with the kids.
    Julie

    (Oh, and I’m the same way, love me some long detailed books.)

    • It’s definitely a not-for-everyone movie, but those who will love it, will love it. And yes, The Hobbit is its own book. The LOTR was written as one book, but divided into three by the publisher. The Hobbit is a children’s tale of events 60 years prior to the LOTR.


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