January 25, 2013

the Hobbit

Yesterday I went to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected journey for the third time in theater. (Which is a first. I don't know if I've seen any other movie even just two times in theater before.) I started knitting a hat during the trailers and was about half-way through by the end of the movie (and that's mostly by feel, not by sight). My mom and sister, Emily, were with me --- I think we all agreed that The Hobbit gets better every time. (They were seeing it for only their second time because we all went to the midnight showing, and I went again the next day with a group of friends from church.) But seriously; I've started being able to quote it, memorized the dwarves' names (and faces!), and am determined to read The Hobbit again before the next two parts are released.

Martin Freeman is Bilbo Baggins, an actor whom I was first introduced to watching Wild Target, a comedy starring Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, and Rupert Grint; then one night my sisters and I began watching the BBC television series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch (who actually plays the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer in The Hobbit). It was shortly after that when we learned Martin Freeman was going to play the part of Bilbo, so naturally we were... well, ecstatic, really. He portrays Bilbo perfectly. He's the number one thing I like about The Hobbit, but believe me, not the only thing --- I like every detail. ;)

 

It's fascinating to look at the behind-the-scenes videos (such as the one above) which explain a good chunk of the work that goes into the making of The Hobbit. It really does take so much to make a movie worth watching, and I believe Peter Jackson and his capable crew did a fabulous job! I've heard people complain about The Hobbit 'not being as good as Lord of the Rings' or 'too silly' and suchlike. Well, truth is, The Hobbit is NOT as serious at the Lord of the Rings. I've heard that J.R.R. Tolkien actually wrote it to be a children's book. And The Lord of the Rings trilogy is frankly pretty dark. I appreciated the humor of The Hobbit because the end of the "LotR" (Lord of the Rings) trilogy when Frodo sails away just breaks my heart. I needed a little cheering-up, and An Unexpected Journey did just that for me.

And I know a lot of people thought it was a little stretched out, but seriously: what true fan can complain about having three whole movies made about a favorite novel, especially if they star Martin Freeman? There were actually aspects of the book I didn't fully understand, and other parts I couldn't really picture in my own imagination. An Unexpected Journey answered a lot of questions I had. And how often do we have the chance to see a fantastic book like this from another person's perspective, anyway? I can't help thinking that if J.R.R. Tolkien could see his books from Peter Jackson's perspective, he would be very well-pleased.

For those of you who loved The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey even half as much as I did (which is still saying a lot!), don't worry; The Desolation of Smaug comes out on December 13th of this year, and There and Back Again, on July 18th of 2014 (and that's only about half a year after part two!) We don't have that much of a wait ahead of us. And I plan on watching An Unexpected Journey several mores times when it finally comes out on DVD.

For those of you who didn't really like the movie all that much, think about the reasons for that. We geeks will allow you to be more interested in other movies --- everyone has their own tastes and is entitled to their own opinion --- but if your only excuse for disliking The Hobbit is because they're splitting it into three parts, just know that The Lord of the Rings was originally one book as well, but was separated into three parts because of its length! Length is a problem for you? *Chuckling ensues* Well, my friend, because I'm a true geek at heart, I'm hoping for more extended versions --- love those --- to put up on the shelf, next to The Avengers, Doctor Who, Merlin, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Star Trek, and every other 'geeky' movie or TV series I have on my rather extensive wishlist. Length is good.

Lastly, I want to ask everyone to do one thing concerning movies based on books; to give the movie an honest chance. Allow yourself to not be prejudiced, but see its quality in and of itself, even if you still like the book more. You really are seeing the book from someone else's perspective, seeing their very imagination, which is FASCINATING! Allow yourself to look over any quirks you don't care for and simply enjoy the movie. And please don't make judgments until you've seen a bit of all the work everyone put in to making that movie. (Particularly The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.) Could YOU have done a better job? Let's give Peter Jackson some major kudos for bringing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to life!

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