15 Dec 2012

Movie Magic: IN A HOLE IN THE GROUND...

... there lived a HOBBIT.
"Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."
Although the movie doesn't start with them, the famous first lines of The Hobbit are said by older Bilbo as he writes them down in the Red Book. :o)  And last night it sure was a delight to revisit Bag End with the elder Bilbo and young Frodo (Ian Holm and Elijah Wood) as they prepare for a very special birthday party! I've been giddy as a schoolgirl all week just at the thought of dipping my toes back into the waters of Middle Earth, so it didn't take much to get me to go on opening day or choose to see it in 3D! ;o)




Don't go in expecting The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit is a whole different animal! Of the same genus I'll grant you, but a completely different species! And this difference is engrained in the nature of the two books. The Lord of the Rings is an epic "save the world" tale with reluctant heroes, kings reclaiming their heritage, romance, tragedy, an impossible-to-beat villain and his equally near-unbeatable minions (the wraiths). The Hobbit is a "simple" adventure story (to steal a dragon's treasure!), originally intended for children, a lot less dramatic and a lot funnier! Frodo had the weight of the world (via the "one ring") on his shoulders, Bilbo is just "going on an adventure" not really knowing what that entails or how it will change him. Sure there is tragedy woven in the tale of the dwarves who lost their ancestral home to a dragon, and some tragic moments at the end which I won't spoil for you if you haven't read the book (in which case I say: what are you waiting for?!?!?!). But all in all it's a much lighter story! Oh, and in case you didn't know, The Hobbit came first. ;o)

My opinion in a few words:
Gorgeous!
Magical
FUN!!!
Thrilling
Rich
Joyful
+ some scenes could have been trimmed a bit.

I'm going to have to re-read the book to catch all the little changes (for example in this film the incident with the trolls has been changed in Bilbo's favour, also Gandalf isn't with them when they're captured by the goblins, there's an extra big bad albino Orc which I don't remember from the book and Bilbo's meeting of Gollum happens at a different moment), but the key elements are all there (the surprise tea party, the trolls, the moon runes, the game of riddles, the eagles). There are also quite a few extra elements which have been added in to tie the movie more closely to the Lord of the Rings (cameos by older Bilbo and Frodo, by Galadriel and Saruman in Rivendell discussing the supposed Necromancer with Gandalf and Elrond), most taken from the appendices of The Lord of the Rings which is the material they're using to extend the story to cover three films. These extra bits did take me a little out of the main story, but I recognise their necessity in the greater scheme of things (although personally I don't think he needed to extend the story with the Necromancer stuff, could have just stuck with The Hobbit proper). There's also a prologue Γ  la Lord of the Rings in which (old) Bilbo explains about the dwarf kingdom of Erebor (a.k.a. The Lonely Mountain) ruled by Thorin's grandfather Thrain, its riches and its downfall by dragonfire courtesy of Smaug.

Bilbo discovers Rivendell

Anyhow, I LOVED it! The actors were fantastic (specially Martin Freeman - Bilbo -, Ian McKellen - Gandalf the Grey, more fun than Gandalf the White -, and Richard Armitage as the incredibly handsome dwarf Thorin Oakenshield) and it was great fun to revisit Middle Earth! Also made me want to revisit New Zealand... ;o)

Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain!

So my two cents is: GO SEE IT! And enjoy, I sure did! In fact... if I get a chance to see it again in the cinema in English (damn dubbing, even the famous dwarf songs were dubbed *sniff*) you can bet I WILL! ;o)



PS: all photos are official stills from The Hobbit's Facebook page.

10 comments:

  1. We have plans to see this next Monday. My daughter and I spent 3 nights this past week re-watching the entire "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, so we are ready! Thanks for the review - now I really am looking forward to it.

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    1. Just remember you're going back to Middle Earth in a simpler time! It's not quite the same thing... just sit back and ENJOY! :o)

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  2. Oh, I will go, Cris, don't worry. And now that I have this wonderful review, I will NOT miss it! Thanks tons, since the other reviews I've read are not so glowing. :-)

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    1. From what I've gathered lots of the "negative" reviews are because people went in expecting The Lord of the Rings, which is why I insisted so much that they're two different animals! It does run a tad bit long... but that's Peter Jackson for you! Anyone familiar with his work won't be surprised by that.

      I say go watch it, sit back and just have fun! :o)

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  3. Definitely try to hear the dwarf song in English if you can, it's amazing! (Could have lived without the dishes song though, fun as it is).

    As I type, I have the French-dubbed version of The Muppet's Christmas Carol on in the background!

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    1. Really? I loved the dishes song on the page at least! It was always so much fun to imagine... that got dubbed as well! :p

      Muppets in French?! Well that's one way to practice! ;o)

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  4. We went this past weekend as well. I loved it too, but agree that some scenes could have been cut - my bum was feeling a little sore by the end of it. I think my theatre chair had seen better days. LOL! I also agree that Thorin was dreamy!

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    1. Who knew a dwarf could be dreamy?! ;o)

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  5. Replies
    1. It's definitely one to be seen on the BIG screen! :o)

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I might stop by your place with an answer, but I'm more likely to reply right here so click on "email follow up comments" if you'd like to see what I and others have to say and come continue the conversation! ;o)