Thoughts on…The Hobbit

An unexpected journey.
An unexpected journey.

The past couple of weeks I have heard numerous complaints about 48 frames per second or how this film was too bloated, well as the movie started all I could think about was how great it was to return to Middle-Earth. I don’t like to review or talk about movies the way other writers do. I don’t take that super serious or professional approach. I like to get lost in the movie so when I write about that movie, I want that to be reflected through the words you read.

It may result in me coming off as a fan-boy or unprofessional, but I believe it is what sets me apart from everyone else writing about movies. I am sold on Peter Jackson and love to get lost in his vision of Tolkien’s work. This movie is not perfect by a long shot, but it is so much fun that none of that really matters. Sure there is a lot that could have been deleted or saved for the extended editions, but I welcomed it all.

There is so much to like in this film that the positive heavily outweighs the negative. Yes, there are too many dwarves to keep count of and most of them are also annoying. But some of them are also pretty awesome. With the exception of the dwarf leader Thorin, I know none of their names. I didn’t really feel like I needed to either. Yes, the film is about the dwarves reclaiming a home that was taken from them, but what this film is really about is about a hobbit from a hole in the ground leaving his home and going on an adventure for the first time in his life. That was the story I focused on and that I wanted to see.

Martin Freeman is so perfect for Bilbo Baggins. While initially watching the Lord of the Rings, I considered Bilbo to be an afterthought. The Hobbit challenges everything I know about Bilbo and I’m sure will make me see his scenes in The Lord of the Rings trilogy a bit differently as well. I had to idea no Frodo would be in this first installment of the Hobbit trilogy so seeing him on our screens was such a wonderful surprise and was like welcoming an old friend back into our lives.

The Hobbit is not as dark as the Lord of the Rings and the stakes are nowhere near as high. With that in mind, it makes you appreciate the smaller moments that much more. Frodo is just there, awaiting Gandalf’s appearance, with his book in hand anticipating his uncle’s birthday party. Frodo nor Bilbo know a thing about what is to come and how the wizard known as Gandalf will change both of their lives. I love the parallels and watching it all unfold.

I love how comfortable Bilbo is in the Shire and how he wants everything to stay the same. It’s only until he realizes that the dwarves have no home that he really appreciates what he has and also realizes that it is a cause worth fighting for and an adventure worth going on.

The start of the film and the teases of the magnificent dragon Smaug is spectacular and just leaves you wanting more. We see small glimpses of Smaug and the fire he breathes as he terrorizes the home of the dwarves and conquers Lonely Mountain as well as all the treasure it holds inside. Tolkien created such a huge world filled with hobbits, dwarves, elves, dragons, orcs, goblins, wizards and anything else you can think of. It’s such a wonderful thought that this huge world is now Peter Jackson’s playground.

Gollum has always been the best character in the Tolkien universe so it’s really no surprise that the best scene in the film is the “Riddles in the Dark” sequence which introduces Bilbo to Gollum and more importantly, to the one ring. It’s so beautiful to watch and to get lost in what’s happening on the screen. Gollum has never been solely a CGI character as WETA and Andy Serkis inject him with so many different emotions. There is anger, desperation and looking into those big blue eyes, we feel pity for this tragic character.

The only complaint is that there is not enough of Gollum. The ring has been snatched from him so I wonder if this is the last we’ll see of Gollum in this new trilogy. It might be a dumb question, but I haven’t read any of the books so I have no idea if this is the case or not. Though if I had to take a guess I would say his story is pretty much done, until the Lord of the Rings that is.

Bilbo and Frodo are such great characters, but for some reason my two favorite characters are Gollum and Smaug. It’s such a testament to Peter Jackson and today’s technology that I would love the two CGI characters the most. I know that they are not solely CGI however as stop-motion has sure come a long way with Andy Serkis and Benedict Cumberbatch both adding so much to the characters. I may be getting a bit ahead of myself with Cumberbatch since we haven’t even seen the tip of the iceberg with his Smaug, but so far, I’ve certainly liked what I’ve seen.

I’m neglecting a lot such as the council at Rivendale or the battle of the stone mountains, and while those were great scenes that deserve their own paragraphs, this film is just too big, and I don’t really like making a list and checking off items one by one. My writing has always been unorthodox and more than ever, I’m embracing that. Plus, I’ll leave a little to the imagination, and well, it’s also pretty impossible to describe that stone mountain battle.

The ending of the film couldn’t have been more perfect. We can’t forget that Bilbo and the dwarves have a specific mission which is to take back the mountain from Smaug, so it’s only logical that the film actually ends with the magnificent dragon awakening from his sleep. It’s a moment that leaves you with chills and anticipation, and really, The Desolation of Smaug cannot come soon enough.

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