The Hobbit Movie Is Unexpectedly Good
Long a lover of everything J.R.R. Tolkien, I had read and loved 'The Hobbit' many times. Even reading it aloud to my children and doing a unit study for a homeschool project center on this intriguing fantasy. And as you well know about such people who love a particular book, the making of a movie can often disappoint.
Thankfully, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by Director Peter Jackson was just my cup of tea. It left me wanting to see the next, and the next, chapter of the series.
I am not often that taken with movies about books I love.
Not Perfect, But Close
I found some major faults with "The Lord Of The Rings" films by the same director.
Yet, still the scope and grandeur of those films won me over.
My suggestions for improvement of this movie is along the lines of tweaks:
- The feeling was more true to how I felt while reading the book than with the LOTR movies, keep that factor! Even though the dialog and antics were goofier than needed.
- Yes, the characters were all there, but it was the color and atmosphere combined with the more cartooned-like look that I liked. Some would say that was a backhanded compliment, but not at all. It gave a greater cohesion to the thought that one had entered another world, one far more ancient than this present one. I more fully entered into the fantasy and could let go of modern skepticism, just as I did within the book. I've seen criticism of this - but I felt it was an asset.
- I appreciated the flow and the pace of this movie. The Goblin scenario was a bit more lengthy than I might have thought ideal.
The same great effects were used to make the epic battles and powerful action as employed by 'The Lord Of The Rings' movies which preceded this first in the Hobbit series of films.
And although I liked the intimate feel of this one and the familiar scenes of a hobbit house and The Shire, I'm not sure it could have stood on its own without having watched those previous films. So, perhaps this movie of The Hobbit (and those to follow) stand out more as a sequel (although of course they are officially a prequel of the story), but one that does a satisfying job of portraying the story and telling the viewer more of J.R.R. Tolkien's message of good versus evil and the mighty conflicts and making of heroes in its journey through plots, characters, and dialogs.
One of the genius aspects of these movies has to be the casting. Continuing the excellent choice of Ian Mckellan for Gandalf (Can we ever picture the Wizard otherwise?), Cate Blanchette, Christopher Lee, and others, I have to say that the Bilbo character of Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage as Thorin that score highly in my book. These actors really bring out the personality of the protagonists as I imagined them through Tolkien's writing.
Whether you are simply a fan of fantasy or love great action and fun dialog, this movie entertains and keeps true to the classic tale.
Some reviewers have felt that this movie was not suitable for small children, and a decision you ought to consider is whether your child can handle the gruesome battle scenes. Some children are more sensitive than others and the stories, though having very worthwhile content, and family friendly in other ways, may be more violent than may be recommended.
Background Photo credit: sweetgunner
Hobbit Door Photo credit Ilona1
I think family video libraries ought to contain these movies. The acting, costuming, and amazing computer effects make entertainment that gives thrills, but also touches on some of the great themes that have made the books of Tolkien such classics.