By FattyZ (Hull, MA, U.S.A.)
hobbit

 

The Hobbit (and the Lord of the Rings)

I read The Hobbit the first time when I was probably 16, then Lord of the Rings (LOTR). I have since read them for pleasure and to my children more times than I can remember I am now 54 and have as much knowledge of the books as anyone I know. I have also read the Silmarillion several times which is the master work that gave birth to The Hobbit and LOTR.

To summarize, I thought LOTR was about 25% good, great at times, and 75% not so good. I thought the reverse of The Hobbit.

The reasons I thought The Hobbit was ‘better’:

With 2 hours 45 min (roughly) to work on one book, they had plenty of time to deal with the material. They embellished a bit, adding and subtracting from the original as they saw fit. I thought most of it was acceptable. It was LONG however! At my age, sitting still for that length of time even in the most comfortable movie seat is not easy. Thank goodness it was not crowded so I could extend my knee from time to time. So if you’re going to take that long to do one third of one book as opposed to one movie per in the trilogy, I hope you can get some of it right.

The computer animation has improved since LOTR. Gollum has gotten better with age (even though technically he’s younger in The Hobbit) and he seemed very ‘real’ and convincing. The flight of the eagles, the fight with the wolves, all quite good and pretty close to “right out of the book”.

The dwarves and the Hobbit I thought were really good. The actor’s portrayal of Bilbo was wonderful and I liked the character much more in this film than in LOTR. Gandalf was outstanding in all four movies so far IMO. A real success. The Hobbit was as good as Gandalf in this film which provided a lot of bang for the buck (as an aside and by way of comparison I thought the members of the fellowship in LOTR almost laughable).

25% not so good:

The troll sequence I thought silly. It deviated in large part from the book and just didn’t seem to fit. It was disjointed and awkward and left me wondering why they chose to do it that way. The caves of the goblins and the action in that sequence despite some good moments, was equally silly and almost cartoonish, very overblown and not believable. (Hobbits and goblins believable?) I think you know what I mean.

Saruman looked propped up, which I understand he pretty much was since I heard he was unable to travel to shoot his scenes. I hope both wizards live to film the next 2 movies. Gandalf was noticeably longer in the tooth, but carried it off well (he couldn’t show up on location either if my daughter has her gossip correct).

So, that’s not too much bad and quite a lot of good. I won’t go see it again. My daughter came with me, it was her second time, but I’ll wait for the DVD as I prefer to watch something that long on the couch. I usually don’t write this long a review as I think my writing is about 75% bad and 25% pretty good but I felt I wanted to weigh in on this material as I know it so well.

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