*Alert, Spoilers Following*

I watched The Hobbit quite a while ago now, and I've only just realized... I didn't review it.  Fatal mistake.  But oh well.

The Hobbit:  And Unexpected Journey could have been a lot better.
And it could have been a lot worse.  It wasn't a perfect movie, it wasn't a bad one though.  Here's how I came up with that surprising (and unexpected, wot?) revelation.

First, Character Development.

For a movie, The Hobbit:  And Unexpected Journey had amazing Characterization.  Maybe a little rough, but still, very good.  Delving into the dwarves' characters was always something I had wanted from the book, and I was pleased to see that it showed through into the movie, at least.  I'm not meaning Thorin, though, he had good character development.  I'm talking about Ori, Bombur, you know, the dwarves you only get the sight of the camera when they're pulling off witty jokes that can often get lost between stage and living room TV.  Those are the characters I was glad to see more about.

It might be to early to say, but I think they were representing Thorin well.  His rash, vengeful behavior was shown it several places with him either insulting Bilbo and going after Azog as the tree that they all hang from burned...

I will have to say, though, that Bilbo wasn't nearly as well done.  His slowly changing was there, and it looked good, but the reasons for him changing weren't.  I couldn't really understand why he ran off after the dwarves in the movie, while in the book I could.

And mainly, I couldn't understand why he leaped out to save Thorin as they battled Azog.  That was my main difficulty with Bilbo.   Still, I liked how he handled some of the things, particularly in Gollum's cave.  It was a lot like how I imagined it.  (Which thus immediately gives it an extra star...)

Second, Plot.

While Peter Jackson embellished on the book some, using quite a few things from the Lord of the Rings appendixes and other Middle-Earth histories, he stuck fairly close to the plot.  A 3 hour movie based on a couple hundred page book obviously needs some fluffing up (heh, let alone a 9 hour trilogy...), and thus the movie (and the plot) seemed a bit drawn out.  Including Radagast the Brown was a great excitement for me - and currently, Radagast is my favorite character from the movie.

So a bit fluffed up-ness and drawn out-ness didn't hurt the movie to bad, and Peter Jackson's editions are still to be seen in full.  There was little from the book that was actually cut, which I think is preferable.  And lastly, the plot moves in a way that you can continue with it, and yet also look back to the years past.  After the intro clip you are followed up with other little snippets of the past.  For instance, I LOVED the part that flashed back to Thorin winning his surname, Oakenshield (but why'd they have him pick up the exact same branch when he was fighting Azog the second time???)
Also, the foreshadowing was a good thing to see.  Makes me want to watch the Lord of the Rings again to see what happens...

Third, From Book To Movie

The Hobbit always had a fairy-tale, child-friendly feel to it.  And that's how it was supposed to be.  Tolkien himself said it was written at first to entertain his children.  But on The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey, that fairy-tale feel is completely thrown away and a new epic fantasy one is replaced in its gap.  I didn't mind that too much, I enjoyed seeing it in a grander scale.

See Bilbo on the cover of the Hobbit?  Quite grim.  Eh... that's not how I imagined Hobbits who are late for dinner (though they might get that way if you make them REALLY late for dinner...).Bilbo's determined-ness to help the dwarves seemed a little out of place near the end, but it can be understood.

There was also quite a bit of fighting, that, while most of it happened in the book, wasn't as major as it was made to be in the movie.
And the dwarves seemed invincible (that was a big downer) (just thought I'd throw that in).

As for the rest of the movie, I think changing it from fairy-tale to epic fantasy was a hard task, but well done in the end.  At first, I was reluctant, but I came around.

Fourth, The Characters (Yes, this is different from Character Development)

The characters were very memorable.  I could ring their names off in a list pretty fast (though that might not be due to the movie...).  Nonetheless, I was speaking of the movie when I said they were memorable.  Ori, Bombur, and the occasional dwarf took the main role of comedians and did it well.  A couple what might you call 'unmannerly' jokes passed about, particularly near the beginning, but they weren't all the bad.

Thorin and Balin, perhaps the two most developed dwarves, were particularly memorable.
I still can tell you the difference between Kili and Fili (though I liked them from the book, so it was definite I would pick out the difference between them in the movie).
Dwalin and Balin's unforgettable meeting had me rolling with laughter for a while.


In the end, I'll give The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey a 7.1 out of 10 (I believe that's what I gave Toy Story 3.  I know, I know, I'm a bad person for rating them the same. :P)

~The WordWeaver
"I am going to seek the only sensible person's council in this group!"
"And who would that be?"
General J.S.
5/13/2013 10:53:07 am

What do you mean by wot? (You placed it in your third paragraph).

If you watch Lord of the Rings again, look for the stone trolls when

Frodo and the others are in the woods after he is stabbed. There

are also a few other things that tie into The Hobbit, which is neat.

What is the intro clip for The Hobbit again? I completely agree with

the facts that the dwarves seem invinsible. Plus, the orcs in both

L.O.R. (Lord of the Rings) and T.H (The Hobbit) seem much too

easy to defeat! In fact, invinsibleness occurs in way too many

movies -- Narnia, for example. I mean, one could hire Peter and his

siblings and the main characters on L.O.R., and they could take

out pretty much all villains ever conceived! Again, as I stated in my

other comment, just don't connect the movie with the book so

much, and you will likely enjoy the movie more. Is there any movie

you would rate a ten?

The WordWeaver
5/15/2013 06:28:30 am

Wot is a british expression... um... it's hard to explain what it means, maybe you could look it up.

Yes, I've noticed those things too.

It's the one with Smaug coming to Erebor, the dwarf kingdom.

Yes. I believe Tolkien always thought of goblins being easily defeated, but overpowering in number. But it wasn't so in the Hobbit. And I concur - heroes are far, far too invincible. One thing I try my best to avoid in my writing.

Hm... probably not. 10 out of 10 would be the best movie in the world, and certainly there is one, I just am not going to attempt to say which one.

General J.S.
5/16/2013 11:04:28 am

Does "wot" generally mean the same thing as "eh"? Where did you
first hear it?

Okay, now I remember the intro.

I don't think I would attempt to name one 10/10, either!

General J.S.
5/13/2013 11:15:21 am

I don't know if it's good for you to have so many websites. You don't seem to be able to keep up with all of them!

The WordWeaver
5/15/2013 06:33:44 am

I have different blogs for different reasons. If I get a reason to post on another, I will. Until then, this is my main blog.

General J.S.
5/16/2013 11:06:08 am

Okay -- understandable.

General J.S.
5/16/2013 11:07:41 am

By the way, I shall post the story wars chapter soon, hopefully!

General J.S.
5/19/2013 11:36:35 am

Before I write the first Story Wars post, I want to remember that name I gave you when we were skyping. It will really help if you can remember it for me!

General J.S.
5/29/2013 08:49:55 am

The name was something like General Gycrene or Glycene or something . . .


Your comment will be posted after it is approved.

Leave a Reply.