Date Posted: 2012-12-17
Tolkien Fan Level: 9
Film Format Seen? 3D 48 fps
Will view again in a different format? Yes
I left the theater not quite knowing how I felt about the film. I knew that I had enjoyed myself. I knew that I would see it again, almost immediately in fact. But I didn't know how I felt about the film as a whole. Now, four days later, I think I have a better idea of exactly what was racing through my head.
Going into the movie, I came to it like I did to Fellowship, if it's exactly like the book it will be boring and I will walk out. Direct adaptations rarely do true justice to the source material. I was nervous but excited about this movie, just like Fellowship. However, unlike Fellowship I did not leave satisfied with the movie, yet I gave it such high marks. You see, the movie isn't finished. Imagine reading to that point in the book and knowing you won't return for another year. In actuality, this idea that Jackson and Co. went for would have been well suited to the TV miniseries format. But I am so glad that they made it for theaters. This movie was a lot of setup and no resolution. It breaks with the classic storytelling format, exposition, rising action, climax, resolution. We got all of it except the resolution, which we won't get until the third film. To look at The Hobbit, we should look at it in two ways, first as a film and second as a serious fan of Tolkien's work and of Peter Jackson's, for the most part. As film, I have to say that The Hobbit was...eh. Thumb sideways. Enjoyable experience but lacking. There is no better way to say it. I loved every second of it because I was back in Middle-Earth, but the experience didn't end. I'm left wanting more and waiting for another year to see more. And TWO years to see it all through. For The Lord of the Rings, you can take each film on its' own and enjoy the entire thing. They are classic examples of storytelling that works with a grander scale and plot over all. So I left Fellowship satisfied, happy, entertained, and resolved. But there was that overwhelming feeling that you had more to go. However, you could watch it without seeing the next two for a time and be okay. But you always had to go back and watch the last two. The Hobbit, I believe and hope, will be that but exponentially more. I need the next two movies to have seen the entire "movie." It's a movie in three parts. I often say that The Lord of the Rings is one movie much in the way that it was actually one book. It is infinitely more important for the whole of The Hobbit, all three parts, to be good in order for it to be, in it's entirety, a great film in the way The Lord of the Rings is a great movie. The parts are the sum of the whole as it were. As a Tolkien fan through and through, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was back in Middle-Earth and I was glad to be there. I believe that Jackson and Co. bridged the lighthearted Hobbit to the more fully fleshed out world of Middle-Earth as we know it in the films very well. At first you are put off by the differences in the dwarves, but then, if you think about it, why wouldn't they have a fun side that wasn't able to come through in the much more dire circumstances of The Lord of the Rings. As for the more serious tone in comparison to the book, I think what they were going for was the "true" story of The Quest of Erebor, not Bilbo's kid friendly version. I see The Hobbit as being what Bilbo told kids and other Hobbits. What we are seeing is Bilbo's true accounting for Frodo's benefit. All in all, I left having enjoyed my time back. But I need the rest of the story to truly say whether or not it was a great film.
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