Saturday, December 15, 2012

An Expected Journey (some spoilers)

I didn't mess the title up. Nine years ago, after coming out of the midnight showing of The Return of the King, I expected I'd eventually be making the journey to see Bilbo's journey through Middle-earth happening on the big screen. Friday morning at 12:01 am, I did and so here are my thoughts on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

First, going into this movie, I was expecting to watch a hobbit themed fantasy adventure film and honestly this was much more than just it felt very Hobbit! This surprised me and maybe Jackson will wander more from the book in the next two installments (he did in LotR), but for this first one I thought he stayed pretty close to the book and had several direct quotes from it, including the cleaning up song by the dwarves and my favorite direct quote about how the game of golf was invented by Bullroarer!

Second, I was really worried that they were going to make a Gandalf/Galadriel love connection. Thankfully they didn't. They just showed how much Galadriel cared for and comforted Gandalf which is true to form, since she really wanted him to be the leader of the White Council. Either way, though I don't think the hand patting and hair brushing had to be in the movie, I do think it wasn't done romantically, so I'm just fine with that.

Third, the music is awesome! I absolutely love the dwarven theme music. The Misty Mountain song is great, they continue having different sounding music for the different locations that the scene is in, and Howard Shore has once again invoked an epic sound to the world of Middle-earth.

Fourth, I like the dwarves. I like them a lot. The dwarven culture is my favorite from Middle-earth (I know everyone likes elves and hobbits, but I like me some dwarves) and I think Jackson did a very good job with them. There are a 13 of them, so I understand making them a have a different beard and profile, even an old orc axe in the head of Bifur. I'm not extremely impressed with their beards though. Fili's beard is pretty much non-existant. I understand getting rid of their colorful hoods, but dwarves need beards! Out of all the beards to mess with, the biggest and most important one not to "fix" is Thorin's, and as I said a year ago when they released the first trailer, he looks like a salsa dancer. At least his beard does. He is going to be King Under the Mountain. He needs a king's beard. Okay, rant over.

Fifth, the Riddles in the Dark scene is absolutely awesome. It is funny, it is scary, it is disturbing, it is exactly what it should be. Gollum is excited to have someone to talk to and remembers games he played with his grandmother, yet at the same time he is evil. I thought it was great.

Finally, go see this movie! If you are a LotR fan, go see it. If you have yet to get into the great Tolkien universe, go see it. It is a fun, entertaining movie, that sticks relatively close to the story from the book (I'm sure this will change in the next two movies) that shows how Bilbo earns his place as the 14th member on the Quest to Erebor!

P.S. I'm going again, who wants to go?!

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