27 December 2012

Review: The Hobbit (Movie)

Although we didn't go on opening day, Mr. BFR and I have already seen The Hobbit (directed by Peter Jackson). We opted for the two-dimensional version, and for us that was the correct choice. I'm going to assume that most of you know the story, so instead of talking about the plot, I'll talk about the choices Jackson and the writers made for the first of the three Hobbit films.

My overall first impression is very positive. Most significant, I loved the fact that Bilbo is portrayed as a sane, reasonable, and mature adult. My biggest complaint about The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) movies is that the Hobbits come off as young and stupid, when in fact they were all grown adults, and two of them were men of substantial property. In The Hobbit, Bilbo is a multidimensional character and very much an asset to the dwarfs' party.

I had my doubts about how Jackson was going to manage to create three movies from one short book, but I liked where the first movie left off and was pleased with the additions to the story. Jackson maintained some of Tolkien's humor but didn't sugar-coat the battle scenes, creating a great balance.

In addition, I was pleased to see the returning actors, which preserves the continuity with LOTR. The sets too were consistent with the first movies, and I enjoyed seeing familiar places (Hobbiton and Rivendale) from new perspectives and angles. Finally, the acting, special effects, and scenery, were--as I expected--spectacular. Oh, and Jackson wisely left out the slow-motion scenes that I so hated in LOTR.

Just to clarify: I have seen the LOTR movies multiple times and own the extended BluRay edition. I didn't hate the movies, but I had issues with them. So far, I have very few reservations about The Hobbit, and recommend it to fans of the book.


bermudaonion 12/27/12, 8:36 AM  

Vance and Adam went to see this and they both enjoyed it. Vance did tell me that it's not my kind of movie, so I don't plan to see it.

Amy 12/27/12, 2:38 PM  

I'm glad it was better than you expected! I've never read the book and I'm not really interested in the movie, but it's nice that it wasn't a disappointment for you!

Barbara 12/27/12, 2:45 PM  

I have such a clear picture of Middle Earth and these characters in my head from reading the book years ago that I don't want that vision messed with. I'll be skipping the movies.

Beth Hoffman 12/27/12, 3:21 PM  

Having loved reading The Hobbit, I was a bit concerned that the movie might disappoint, but your review has me thinking otherwise!

Anonymous,  12/27/12, 6:25 PM  

And what about those of us that were not fans of the book? ;-)

Heidenkind 12/27/12, 9:58 PM  

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I think Martin Freeman was a great choice to play Bilbo. He has just the right mix of intelligence and regular bloke to pull it off.

Florinda 12/27/12, 11:11 PM  

I don't actually remember the book very well (and I love Jackson's LOTR movies pretty much without reservations), but my take on THE HOBBIT is very similar to yours. We're seeing it again on Saturday (taking my nephew this time).

Sandy Nawrot 12/28/12, 9:46 AM  

I'll eventually write this up on my blog, once I get back up and running. But we did enjoy the film. Apparently in the movie critic world, there is a drinking game for LOTR on how many times they slap each other on the back. I suspect in The Hobbit, the drinking will revolve around how many times someone or thing goes flying off a cliff, or almost flies off a cliff! He is certainly milking the plot. I thought they were a little heavy on the Orc battles, and felt less "dear" than the book did. But I loved the rock giant battle, and of course Gollum!

Jennifer 12/28/12, 10:36 AM  

It's been a while since I read The Hobbit (or the Lord of the Rings for that matter) but I loved the books and for the most part I loved the movies so it wasn't really a question of whether or not I would go and see the movie. Up to the opening my boyfriend and I were eagerly consuming Peter Jackson's production videos on YouTube which really just built up the excitement for the movies. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and am looking forward to the next one. I especially agree with what you said about Bilbo. Martin Freeman was an excellent choice for him and enabled them to portray Bilbo as a responsible adult more than capable of fulfilling his role on this journey.

Great review! You did a great job capturing all the highlights of the move (for me at least!). I also saw it in 2D but I hear it is definitely worth seeing in 3D (although 3D always freaks me out a bit).

kayerj 12/28/12, 12:38 PM  

I loved it! I was excited when Peter Jackson announced that he was making a trilogy. I knew immediately that he would pull material from the appendices that follows the work of Gandalf and the White Council when they cast the Necromancer out of Mirkwood. I'm pretty sure movie two will take place in Mirkwood alternatly following the adventures of Bilbo and the Dwarves and Gandalf. I'm so excited to see it! It will be the bridge connecting the two stories and will give depth to the Hobbit. I enjoyed your thoughts on the movie (I saw it in 3D and the high frame rate. it was great.

fishgirl182 12/29/12, 2:41 AM  

i just saw the hobbit tonight and really enjoyed it. could it have been shorter? for sure. but did it feel like i was in the theater for 3 hours? not really. i like the world that peter jackson created and enjoyed coming back to it. now to wait for the next two movies.

Julie P. 12/29/12, 9:01 AM  

Glad to hear you enjoyed this one! I'm still not sure it's for me.

Jenners 12/29/12, 12:44 PM  

Good to hear your thoughts on this one.

Tif Sweeney 1/7/13, 1:44 PM  

I actually prefer The Hobbit over the LOTR (books, that is!), so I went in with some pretty high expectations for the movie. When I left the theater, I was pretty pleased. I love Martin Freeman as Bilbo and am excited to see the next movies!!

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