In the interest of staying up to date on popular culture, I went to see The Hobbit tonight. That is a tid bit of a lie; I was really looking forward to seeing The Hobbit because I thought Peter Jackson did a great job with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Yes he diverged from the books a little but hey, they were still excellent movies. So I didn’t go to see it just to keep up with the times. I went to see it out of pure selfish indulgence and enjoyment. Writing about it here was more of an afterthought.
Sad as it is to say, it has been several years since I actually read The Hobbit. As soon as I got home, I went to the bookshelf where it has been for years. Pulling the book off the shelf, I admire its timelessness. My copy of the book was published by Ballantine books in 1965. It is old and came to me quite by accident. It was a book nobody wanted and was passed around from house to house in a box full of other books nobody wanted.
When the box came to me as many boxes full of books nobody wants have a tendency to do, I looked through them. And thus began my re-fascination with Middle Earth. I remember the first time I read it being so captivated I couldn’t put it down. The Hobbit was just such a different story of adventure and as a kid it was exciting. Finding the book again as an adult, I reread it and remembered why I had enjoyed it the first time.
Watching the movie tonight, I noticed many differences between the movie and the book once again. I understand the purpose of the additions. I understand the need to add characters or events to add more interest in the story. Indeed, the movie was not short on excitement or danger.
The movie was everything one would expect of Peter Jackson and more. It maintains that epic air found throughout the Lord of the Rings movies. There is the feel of great adventure and great peril. There is also helpful background to the characters and to their views and behaviors. Despite knowing how things would turn out, I found myself entertained and uncertain at times.
There were only a few moments throughout the movie where I laughed to myself and thought, yeah right. Unless Middle Earth does not hold true to the laws of gravity and the laws of physics – in which case then yeah, that might be possible. For the most part, the action sequences were believable and the battles believable. One has to allow for certain extraordinary feats to exist in these types of movies.
So for my rant/rave for today, for a change, I’m going to rave about this movie. It was worth the $8.50 ticket price. It was worth the epic journey on a Saturday night through a movie theater parking lot and through the seemingly endless line to get tickets and then the never-ending line to get popcorn and then winding through the hallways to reach the correct theater room. It was satisfying and compelling enough to make me want to see the next movie, the continuation of the Hobbit’s journey.
For anyone who has missed the trailers for the movie:
(Movie preview and pictures are Property of and Copyright of WarnerBros)