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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
(sound of forehead-smacking)


Apr 11 2013, 10:27am

Post #1 of 10 (1035 views)
(sound of forehead-smacking) Can't Post

As a 40-year fan of LOTR and the subsequent films I was always a bit surprised that I was never that interested in TH. For all the obvious connections, it always seemed to be "a minor essay in the craft".
The trailers I saw for AUJ didn't do much to change my mind - Radagast and the Dwarves seemed to belong in Narnia more than M-e. Still, I'm surprised that I wasn't drawn into AUJ out of curiosity or the need for a M-e fix until last night.

I'm sorry I waited. Sure, my initial impressions of scenes from the trailer were confirmed but, overall, I thought the filmmmakers did a fine job of balancing the essential children's story nature of TH with the larger themes that Tolkien introduced later. I could have done with an hour less of the "Indiana Potter and the Chamber of Doom" sequence in the middle but the writers managed to make the Dwarves' quest seem like more than a treasure hunt/grudge match and the hints of the Big Story were well-integrated.


Apr 11 2013, 11:28am

Post #2 of 10 (444 views)
It's a shame you didn't see the film on the big screen [In reply to] Can't Post

It is really beautiful visually. I agree with what you say about The Hobbit book one of the reasons why I wasn't particularly anticipating the film, but got a very pleasant surprise.

Riven Delve
Tol Eressea

Apr 11 2013, 12:09pm

Post #3 of 10 (438 views)
I had similar expectations [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't really a fan of TH book, although I always loved the LOTR books. Like you, I wasn't super impressed with the trailers, although I don't think I even saw them all before I finally went to see the movie. I pretty much thought Oh, look. More battles. Yippee. Besides, it was Christmas, and as usual I had a ton of stuff to do with my family. Finally, in January I decided I'd give it a try because it was Middle-earth, after all, and I always liked PJ's interpretation of it...

And no sooner had the score started up and the New Line Cinema logo appeared than I was grinning from ear to ear. Initially I disliked the escape from Goblin Town because it seemed ready-made for a video game, and a few other parts. But the movie overall just gave me such a sense of joy that I had to go back and see it again on the big screen. Generally the scenes I didn't like grew on me in subsequent viewings as I got to know the dwarves and was interested in what each one was doing, even in the background. To me, the movie "fixed" some of the things I didn't like about the book while retaining the good stuff...and the things I liked about the movie far outweighed the things I didn't!

I'm glad you finally got to see it! My recommendation is to watch it again! And again, and again... Smile

"I left the night, with its remote and singing stars, and came in, to the glow of the fire, and the chair where he had been sitting, and the unstrung harp." --The Last Enchantment


Apr 11 2013, 12:18pm

Post #4 of 10 (413 views)
I see myself in a lot of this... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I was always very nervous about the Hobbit as a movie since I never really saw the book really offering what would be expected from a movie that is made AFTER LotR in the same universe.

Despite my issues with some minor things (especially lore changes), I am glad they did what they did to TH so far to make it grander.

Although I can see why someone who really "just" wanted a book adaptation might feel let down.

Ziggy Stardust

Apr 12 2013, 12:27am

Post #5 of 10 (208 views)
While [In reply to] Can't Post

I love LOTR, I also love TH, it sound a bit blasphemous that you didn't give the book a try, and weren't really into TH. Perhaps you are more into the drama of LOTR? That is understandable, as I love it. Glad you gave the film a try, and visit the book again sometime. They really are part of the same universe, just with different tones, The Hobbit being lighter, The Lord of the Rings being more dark.


Apr 12 2013, 1:28am

Post #6 of 10 (196 views)
possible wrong impression [In reply to] Can't Post

" ...you didn't give the book a try..."

Read it twice, once after my first reading of LOTR and again years later to see what I might have missed (in contrast, I've read LOTR a number of times and, in between, dipped back in for a chapter or two just to visit). I don't see it as "light and dark" so much as a matter of scope and heft. In terms of both subject matter and, more important, tone, TH doesn't match up. Imagine Elrond, Glorfindel, et al. singing, "Tra-la-la lalley, come into our valley". I need say no more.

That's why I was so relieved to see that the filmmakers had kept the "charm" (in the original sense) of the story while bringing it up to the level of the larger stories in LOTR and the Silmarillion. As noted above, fans of TH may not agree.

In the end, though, it came down to what one of the above writers described as "joy". It's good to be back.


Apr 12 2013, 2:36am

Post #7 of 10 (181 views)
I think there are more of us than you might realize [In reply to] Can't Post

I tried many times to read The Hobbit as an adult (after reading it as a teen in the 60s) and failed. Finally I made myself read it. Yes, made myself. I like parts of it. But I adore LOTR and re-read or listen to it over and over again and love talking about it. And I never feel like that about The Hobbit.

And when I've quietly shared this with others amongst my LOTR friends, many agree with me. If we were all standing in front of you, gently sharing our opinion, I don't think - when you realized who we were or got to know us - that you'd use that slightly chiding tone with us or the word blasphemous (and I'm not sure who we'd be blaspheming. The Hobbit is not LOTR and neither are The Sil and none of those are Leaf by Niggle - surely you don't think that everyone must or can love all the same way. Each will appeal to different tastes).

And just so you know, dijomaja is my mate from imdb who is one of a core group of people well versed and very tuned into LOTR. The man knows his stuff! I almost always agree with him and I do on this matter, as well. :-)

LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Apr 12 2013, 2:40am

Post #8 of 10 (168 views)
I'm glad you liked it [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm still a bit on the fence. But then, the FOTR movie didn't grab me hard till the third or fourth viewing so I'm not abandoning hope.

It should be at my neighborhood second run theater so where I plan to see it a few more times. And I have the dvd in my Netflix queue.

I did like parts quite a lot. But there were parts that either didn't work any magic on me at all or kind of annoyed me. Unfortunately, most of my annoyances were pure Jackson-moments and it's like having a friend you mostly like but has some really annoying habits. You enjoy spending time with them but you find you have to hide a bit of eye rolling and sighing.

And, I am prepared to wait until I've seen all three to fully form my opinion.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Apr 12 2013, 6:28pm

Post #9 of 10 (108 views)
Make that three [In reply to] Can't Post

I avoided this until a month ago. Was utterly delighted with most of it.

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein.


Apr 13 2013, 2:18am

Post #10 of 10 (94 views)
first... [In reply to] Can't Post

...thanks, Magpie, for the good words. I'm always humbled, though, by the information I find here.

But we are talking about more than information. As has been noted above, lots of knowledgeable LOTR fans have reservations about TH as a book. For some of us, anyway, the movie is an improvement, blasphemous as that sounds.

Among other things, I liked the way the movie took its time, letting us meander around the Shire and Rivendell without having to wait for the EEs.


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