The Hobbit-A Review

Hi Everybody!

Hi Mr Scott!

Well, instead of prattling on about my own work this time, I thought I’d give my opinion of someone elses.:) Namely, Peter Jackson, and his film adaptation of that beloved children’s book, The Hobbit. Yes, The Hobbit was written as a children’s book way back in 1937, by Mr J. R. R. Tolkien.  His follow up-, the Lord of the Rings, was written as more mature fare. It’s funny, his publisher had asked Tolkien to write a sequel to the Hobbit, which Lord of the Rings technically is, but they had really wanted another kid’s book of about the same style and length, 80,000 or so words. What they got was the dark and brooding LOTR, about 500,000 words. But they obviously knew a good thing when they saw it, so they published it anyway, lucky for all us fantasy fiction fans. Well, enough of that, what about the movie? Was it any good? Well, yes, it was.

First, what is The Hobbit? The Hobbit was originally a book, a children’s book actually, published way back in 1937, written my a certain college professor named J.R.R. Tolkien. The title character is a small person, from a race of small people, who live in a kind of harmony with nature. His home is called The Shire, his world, Middle Earth. The title character’s name is Bilbo Baggins. One day, a certain old wizard named Gandalf shows up offering to send him on an “adventure”. At first, Bilbo says no, remarking, “Adventures make one late for dinner.” But the call to excitement is too much to resist, so Mr Baggins accompanies Gandalf and thirteen dwarves on their journey to slay a dragon, and retake their homeland from it.

I’ll try not to throw any spoilers in here, but it might be difficult. The movie follows the story and plot from the books fairly closely, while adding quite a bit of material, which is understandable. Peter Jackson has the monumental task of taking a small children’s book and making it into a three-film masterpiece, no small undertaking. As it will no doubt be compared to his Rings adaptation, I think he’d tried to greatly widen the scope of the movies, compared with the book. One can’t  help but wonder, if Jackson had adapted The Hobbit into a movie before LOTR, would it have the grand scope and vision it now has, considering the book is so much smaller in it’s storytelling ambitions. There’s a lot more going on here than the journey of one little hobbit. Alot. The book isn’t as far-reaching, and if Jackson hadn’t already made the LOTR movies, the scope of this new one might have been quite a bit smaller. Lord of the Rings, the movies, and the books, told a tale of war, battles, and wide ranging plans and events. The Hobbit, as a book, is far more personal, and doesn’t really include what’s going on the wider world. Granted that at the end a huge battle is waged, but in the books that fight is more for the dwarves gold than anything else. Having seen this first movie, one can get the impression that the battle at the end may have wider-ranging implications in this film version. We’ll see.

The acting is great, everyone does an extremely good job with their parts. Some of the dwarves don’t get to say much, which is a shame because every one of them who get’s a decent amount of lines does an excellent job of expressing their characters. Ian McKellan is back as Gandalf, as are a few more players from the LOTR movies, most of which don’t appear in the book version. Their inclusion here is part of the effort Jackson is making to widen the scope of the movie in comparison to the book. Now, in his defense, he’s not actually making up his own stuff and putting it into this movie. Jackson and Co. have taken material from other Tolkien works, that would have been happening around the timeline of The Hobbit, and added into his movie. He goes to great lengths to explain what and why the dwarves are doing what they are doing, and why they’ve chosen now, which if I recall the book version only goes into very sparingly. All in all, it flows well.

It’s long, another nearly three-hour epic from Mr. Jackson, but it goes along so nicely that the time flies by. By the time it’s over I didn’t feel like I’d been there as long as I had, and I didn’t really want to get up, as he leaves you at a great cliffhanger.:)

All in all, it was a great movie, and I’m glad I went to see it. Well, that’s it for now, Be sure to tune in next time for Did I just step in that, or Don’t be greedy and let me have everything.

See You in the Future

J.S. Eaton