Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I don't normally review movies here; I don't really see many movies.  I thought it would make sense to review The Hobbit in the middle of posting about reading it, so I copied my thoughts that I posted to the Sword and Laser forum.  This will contain spoilers. 

Things I loved:
-How Smaug was portrayed in the back story at the beginning. A horrific presence too large too fit on the screen. Not a copout since you see the eye at the end and know he's coming, but a great exercise in scale.

-The landscapes. The inside of the Lonely Mountain, the high rock where the eagles left them, Rivendell. Just gorgeous.

-Perfect casting for Bilbo and Thorin. I hadn't paid attention to who had been cast, so it was a perfect surprise.

-The songs. Lighthearted in some instances, mournful in others. I wish they'd included more.

-Riddling scene, yeah, that was great.

Things I feel confused about, wonder if I missed in the novel or if they were changed/added and want to check on:
-Everything at Rivendell. I know Tolkien glosses over scenes by saying people have a conversation but it isn't central, but I don't remember it at all. And oh hey, that's the Cloud Atlas guy!

-The other wizards... I suspected they'd add more Necromancer bits in, and I'm curious about these other story lines.

-Stone giants. Was this in the book? How did I miss it?

-I remember thinking the dwarves in the trees bit was funny in the book, not scary, and to part of a personal revenge story. Maybe I missed it.

Things I wasn't partial to:

- The length of time at Rivendell... Although I suspect this has to do with setting up for the Necromancer/Gandalf storyline that they've clearly decided to tell

-The battle scenes. I never like them, and that is what stops me from rewatch img LotR too. It also is the pacing that is effected, without one overall battle climax it starts to feel tedious. That's the issue with spreading it out over multiple movies.

-You only really know Bilbo misses home from what the dwarves say. I wish we could have seen more of his internal conflict, but this was more of an action movie. He is heroic but not very tortured.


  1. Stone giants: Yes, it was in the book, but it's only like one sentence.

    Rivendell: I daresay this was one of my favorite parts of the movie. The Council scene very interesting and well done, and the scene between Galadriel and Gandalf was just phenomenal. None of that was in the book. The fact that there was a meeting of the Council is only mentioned in the appendices of Return of the King.

    I agree that Bilbo's internal conflict wasn't depicted as well as it perhaps should have been.

    1. To me, the best part of the Rivendell scene (aside from it being stunning) was knowing they are setting up an entire story that isn't included in the book. I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out, and I'm torn between going off and reading everything Tolkien has written to try to figure it out, or to let myself be surprised.

  2. The point where Bilbo's internal conflict shone most brilliantly was the morning after the party, wandering around the empty house, anxious, then pleased, then missing the adventure.


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