The Hobbit

the hobbit

Got back a wee while ago from The Hobbit.

Short reaction: oh my gosh, that was AMAZING.

Long reaction:My official review is here, this will be more of a gushy, somewhat spoilery (but not too much) response.

DUDE. This movie rocks. It rocks in a different way from LotR, but it’s still awesome nonetheless. You have no idea how hard it was for me to sit there and not make an idiot of myself. I had to stifle myself from squealing like a Tolkien nutter (which I am) during all the books-and-earlier-films references. I actually found myself, at one point, longing to move to Middle-earth and wishing that place was real, because frankly I’d rather be there than here. It’s kind of mind-blowing to see all the bridgework going on, to know in the back of your mind where all this is headed (the epic battles of Middle-earth) yet delight in the smaller things… like Gandalf discovering Sting, or Bilbo trading riddles in the dark (heh, heh) with Gollum. It’s so perfect, it makes me want to cry.

Yes, PJ and his girls have made some changes — some rather major ones, in fact, when it comes to creating an arch-nemesis orc for Thorin to deal with, and introducing Radagast. But although this might get mud thrown at me from Tolkien fans, I maintain that his changes here, just as in LotR, in many ways improve on and/or further illuminate the original. Tolkien was known for his epic scale ideas, not some of the tinier details like distinguishing characters’ personalities from one another. That’s what PJ does best, and what he’s done here. Throwing in the albino orc was a good idea, particularly since I know where he’s going with it — an epic showdown on the battlefield between the orc and Thorin in the final film. Tolkien often TOLD, PJ always SHOWS — and it’s great.

So, random thoughts:

Bilbo: Martin Freeman… you made the character your own, and you were bloody fantastic. Good show, mate. My favorite moment of yours was hesitating over whether or not to kill Gollum. I LOVE the fact that PJ chose not to do some cheesy voice-over in that moment, reminding us of what Gandalf said about “staying your hand.” Instead, we experience what Bilbo does — deep empathy for this wretched, vile, pathetic creature.

Thorin: you can make Richard Armitage short, but you can’t make him ugly. I admit, my fondness for the actor may have warmed me up toward the character a bit, since in the book I always thought he was kind of a pain. His attitude still irks me now and again on screen (particularly when interacting with Elrond) but… Armitage is terrific. I hope this finally gets him the attention he deserves, so he can cease playing villains on rather stupid television shows. (Sorry, the BBC’s Robin Hood was crap — and you know it.)

Balin: I’m singling out this dwarf because he’s so likable, so sensible, and so all-around awesome. All of them are wonderful characters, but Balin is the one I liked the best out of the dwarves.

Gandalf: it’s wonderful to go back to Gandalf the Gray, slightly uncertain of himself, in awe of Galadriel, and unsure about Saruman’s intentions. Some reviewers say this is Gandalf’s film and in a way, it really is — he always shows up at the nick of time to save everyone with his mad wizard skills.

Elrond: I love you, man. You’re also significantly less cranky here, which is nice. Plus, you rode in on a white horse wearing your battle armor. Please say this is foreshadowing for the elf-and-wizard battle against the Necromancer. (Speaking of which, OH MY GOSH, including the resurrection of the Witch-King was bloody ingenious.)

Galadriel: FINALLY, we can get away from the “creepy elf-witch” stigma she had going on in the LotR movies. I loved her interactions with Gandalf. Please, let us see her in battle at some point. I want to see what she’s capable of.

Radagast: I want an entire movie about this guy, he is that crazy awesome, what with the bird poop on his head and his sled pulled by bunnies. Please say we get more of him in the next film, or I might just cry.

Thranduil: I didn’t even think we’d get to see him in this movie! Yet there he was, in all his HD, haughty gorgeousness. Lee Pace, when did you get so beautiful? And you rode in on a FRICKIN’ STAG?! I might have flailed a bit, I won’t lie.

Gollum: even though I knew how that scene would end, it was still SCARY AND CREEPY AS HELL. ‘Nuf said.

I’d love to gush more but… tell me what you think. 🙂

20 Replies to “The Hobbit”

  1. Okay, I just have to say it. Your comment about Robin Hood about made me want to throw a book at the computer! ;P But I AM glad Richard Armitage may get a larger American audience. I didn’t care about “Captain America” until I found out Richard was going to be in it, and then it ended up being a small role and I decided I like the film for its own merit.

    1. You know it’s true. Entertaining, yes, excellent quality — no.

      I was a wee bit bummed he played a Nazi in Captain America. Who casts someone that pretty as a ten second villain?!

        1. Yeah, he was. A very pretty one, too. Also — there are three hot dwarves in this movie. Who knew dwarves could be hot? I didn’t — but you don’t hear me complaining, either. 😉

      1. I know . . . wearing baskets on your head as a costume and hoodies with lace ups for added “swag” – a quality Robin Hood production? A clue, no.

  2. lol, just remembering the details from the movie makes me want to cry too!!!

    I can’t remember if I mentioned it in my entry–might’ve been edited out–but I totally understood why they made the changes where they did (Azog becoming Thorin’s menacing arch-nemesis, moving up Bilbo’s hero moment at the end of this movie).

    I really wished we saw that segment where Galadriel was talking about burying the Witch King and stuff…it was soooooo creepy and would’ve been awesome to see on-screen!

    Thranduil on a stag absolutely slayed me. He is so bad-ass, he doesn’t ride on just some horse…the third movie is going to kill me with all this epicness xP

    They did such a fantastic job with the Riddles in the Dark sequence, it was just as creepy/suspenseful as the book

    1. I really don’t mind any of the changes, but then… I’m forgiving of most of what PJ does. (I’m a wee bit sore he didn’t include more of Faramir’s romance with the Shieldmaiden of Rohan in LotR, but everything else was brilliant.)

      I’m sure we’ll see more of Galadriel in the upcoming films. Maybe even her in battle, which would be awesome.

      Oh, I can’t wait. Too bad I have to. =P

  3. It’s a bit The Message version of The Hobbit, isn’t it? Any molecule of story that could be expanded into a scene and a half was expanded into a scene and a half. And it was done well, in my opinion, with high respect for the whole scope of Tolkien’s mythology.

  4. I grinned like a mad idiot when I saw that you started off this post with Thranduil. I hate Thranduil, but I love Lee Pace, and I was completely taken by his Thranduil.
    Yeaahhh, Thorin. Every word you said: absolute truth.
    We have to get more of Radagast. You can’t create a character like that and then just drop him by the wayside. His exchange with Gandalf about his bunnies outrunning the wargs…I had a bit of a Radagast-is-my-hero moment there.
    I can’t even talk about Bilbo. He was too good.

    1. Thranduil is a total ass in the book, but he’s so super haughty and overall AWESOME on screen that… I had to do it.

      I agree about Radagast. I hope he plays a role in the next two films, because he’s too much fun just to use as a cameo!

  5. YES! Lee Pace! I about jumped out of my seat when I saw him – and none of my friends knew who he was, so they looked at me like I was nuts. lol! Story of my life…

    I just loved the movie. I’ve read a lot of criticism from different sources, but I thought it was all undeserved. It was all that I’d hoped it would be. Everyone was cast perfectly, the dialogue was witty and well-done, it had just the right amount of emotional, scary and hilarious content and the best part – THE RIDDLE SCENE. Ah, loved it!

    Oh, also – MARTIN FREEMAN. Dang, that man can act. It’s not even just when he speaks – but those tiny, almost unnoticed facial expressions and twitches. He’s brilliant.

    1. Part II will be even more awesome with loads of Lee Pace. Yup.

      It seems to me that the critics are parroting one another, since none of them have one single original complaint. In my opinion, it’s too mainstream and popular for their elitist tastes. They really only like movies that no one in the real world gives a rip about. Also? Clearly not Tolkien fans, thus their negative opinions are irrelevant.

      Martin does have some terrific facial expressions! =D

  6. Oh gosh girl, e-mail me all about it. I saw it to and LOVED it. Martin Freeman rocked. To quote a friend, “I might be in love with a dwarf” ;-). Galadriel I actually liked in this one. I appreciated back story…..all I wanted was to hear Benedict Cumberpatch talk (but I got that in the Star Trek preview) So I’m good 😉

    1. Mom spent the entire movie calling Thorin “pretty boy,” which he wouldn’t appreciate but… well, it’s kind of true.

      I have one question, as a Trekkie… WHY IS THERE SO LITTLE SPOCK IN THE TRAILER? They showed Kirk a lot, but I don’t think we got ONE SINGLE CLOSEUP of Spock. *bangs fist on table* I disapprove! I demand a new trailer!

  7. I didn’t read this, but will definitely come back no matter how many months it is until I see this. Then I’ll comment and you can relive seeing this. 🙂

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