The Hobbit: A Side Note

The Hobbit

Okay, so I usually don’t do movie reviews, but after going and seeing The Hobbit: Part 1, I had to find somewhere to rant. And, as it is after 12:30 in the morning, all the normal people are asleep, and I’ve already spent the last half hour ranting to my father and brother, who went to see the movie with me, I decided that my blog is the best place to do it.

Might I first say that, generally speaking, The Hobbit was awesome! Now, I might just be saying this because I’m just a little bit biased, and seeing as how I’ve discovered that sensible thoughts rarely come out of my brain this close to 1 o’clock in the morning, one never knows. I loved the Lord of the Rings movies, and I hold a special place in my heart for the actors and sets I’m so familiar with. (I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched the trilogy and I own all three extended editions). Furthermore, I am a Tolkien fan.

Growing up in a conservative, small-town, Christian community, I always thought that The Lord of the Rings was evil. It wasn’t until I became friends with my best friend, (I will call her Rayne, as that is her character name in The Star Series), that I learned otherwise. I saw the movies first.

But the book I read first was, in fact, The Hobbit. Being a fan of the movies, as well as the fact that people often told me that my books reminded them of The Lord of the Rings, I decided that I wanted to read some of Tolkien’s work. It just so happened that around that time, one of my professors invited some of us students to go with him and his wife to the symphony. We left early that morning, went out for breakfast, and stopped at a nearby Barnes & Noble while we waited for the auditorium to open. That’s when I found it: The Hobbit: Collector’s Edition. I was awestruck by the sturdy green hardback with a protective case and gold, runic lettering. Needless to say, I bought it. Yes. I’m a bibliophile.

Even with my severe lack of concentration (I joke around and say I have ADD, though I don’t actually know) and my slight issue with dyslexia, I finished the book within a week’s time. I was addicted to it. I wrote music for the songs. I read and reread funny passages. I yelled at Gandalf…a lot. I had, at one point, even memorized, word for word, all the riddles exchanged between Bilbo and Gollum.

I met the announcement of the making of the movie with a mix of excitement and trepidation. That’s how it usually goes when Hollywood turns one of my favorite books into a movie. They always change things. Sometimes, I can handle that. I could handle the change they made to The Count of Monte Cristo. Other times, the change is horrendous. I spent most of the hour or so of The Lightning Thief yelling at the computer screen. (Granted, the movie grew on me. I did actually buy and keep that one). I thought I was gonna go loony when I saw what they did to The Three Musketeers. Don’t even get me started on that one. And The Hobbit?

Kili

Once again, generally speaking, it was good. I could tell there were changes. No doubt. But most of the changes were subtle enough, (and it’s been long enough since I read the book), that I didn’t mind them. The characters are fantastic. As I expected, I like Bilbo way better than Frodo. (Though Frodo in the books is better than Frodo in the movies). The dwarves are fantastic, I love Kili about ten times more than I already did, and they did quite well with the songs. And honestly, I don’t miss the singing elves. That was a part I wasn’t sad to see go, even if some of the jibes in the book would have been funny to hear on screen.

That being said, there were a few parts that elicited everything from a raised eyebrow to a jaw drop of disbelief. I’ll go with the least bothersome change first: the beginning.

I know what they meant to do with the beginning scene. Bringing back Frodo and the old Bilbo helps to tie in the movies people are familiar with with a new story that they most likely haven’t read. It’s a typical ploy in the film industry. They did that with Narnia: The Dawn Treader. My personal opinion of this? Two things: no and…please, no. The bringing back of characters that don’t belong in a story is just irritating to me. But the worst part of this in The Hobbit was that it went on for too long. They needed back story. I get that. But the deal with Frodo…not so much.

But, like I said, that was the least of my issues with the movie. The whole bringing characters back ploy, however, bothered me even more when they brought in Galadriel and Saruman. Please note, Saruman really wasn’t actually bad at that point, and I don’t recall him ever showing up in the book. And yet here, he not only shows up out of the blue to chide Gandalf, but he already talks as though he’s made a deal with Sauron. Then there’s Galadriel. Another character that I don’t recall being in the books, though the movie made me doubt as to whether I remember much of anything at all. I never was fond of Galadriel. That blank stare that she gives everybody always creeped me out. And the whole mind-reading thing…I know she has the power to talk to others in their minds (which may be one reason why I find her so creepy), but I think this was just a little bit overkill. Elrond is cool. He’s in the book. And I like him. So he can stay.

Speaking of creepy…enter the Witch King of Angmar (I believe that’s who they were talking about when they referred to the necromancer)…who happens to not be in Angmar for some funky reason…and who happens to appear and attack Radagast who then tells Gandalf who magically forgets all about a necromancer and a Morgul blade by the time Bilbo goes loony because of the ring. You must realize that the main part of The Lord of the Rings occurs somewhere around 100 years (maybe less) after The Hobbit. You would think that the appearance of a Morgul blade and the necromancer would have made Gandalf suspicious long before Bilbo ever went loopy. And furthermore, he would have been studying about all of this from that point on and wouldn’t have waited till Frodo turned 50ish. It just doesn’t make sense. Maybe he has Alzheimer’s. I don’t know.

Radagast

But I must say that the one part that made my jaw drop in disbelief because of the ridiculous cheesiness of it all was the part with Radagast. In the books, Radagast is always a little on the special side. I get that. But in this movie, he was downright loopy. Saruman wasn’t kidding. It definitely had to be the mushrooms. Makes me want to agree with my cousin A. Maybe mushrooms really are bad for you. I will forever think of a jittery, bird-poop-running-down-his-face freak show every time I look at a mushroom now. And the whole sled being pulled by giant mutant bunnies? There was only one thing running through my mind during that part. What. The. Hell? I like Peter Jackson. Don’t get me wrong. But…um…what do they put in their beer over there? Kinda scary. Not gonna lie.

Alright, now that I’ve done my ranting, I should probably wrap this up. If anyone is even still reading by this point. For what it was worth, I still liked the movie and I will definitely go see the other ones when they come out. I think there’s two more…I don’t remember…and it’s after 1:30 now so I probably won’t remember. Good night…morning…whatever you want to call it. I’m off to get some sleep and dream about funny hobbits and hot dwarves. (That doesn’t sound too awkward, does it?) Oh yeah, and God forbid I dream about giant mutant rabbits. I may not sleep so well if that happens.

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