The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


BOOK TITLE: The Hobbit: There and Back Again

FILM TITLE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

AUTHOR: J.R.R. Tolkien

GENRE: Fantasy

SETTING(S) : Middle Earth

SUBJECT:  Adventure, Hobbits Adventure, Friendship

MAIN CHARACTERS: Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey, Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur and Thorin.

MOVIE ACTORS: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter and Richard Armitage.

BOOK SUMMARY: Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum. ~By Amazon

FILM SUMMARY: A younger and more reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out on “an unexpected journey” to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of Dwarves to reclaim their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug. ~By IMDb

This film will be divided into three parts.  This is part one where you are introduced to the world of Middle Earth and important characters of “The Hobbit”.  Ends with the dwarves and Bilbo being rescued by the eagles which is around chapter six “Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire.

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MY BOOK REVIEW:  I became interested in reading the hobbit after the Lord of the Rings films series came out in 2001.  I had a difficult time at first reading this book and later my sister suggested I try listening to the recording of the book.  Rob Inglis wonderfully narrates Tolkien’s work.  After listening to it twice and several years later when the hobbit finally comes into theaters.  I try to give myself the time to read the work and it was a lot easier for me to read.  When it originally came out in 1937 it was classified as a fantasy and children’s novel.   I agree with the classification with its ink illustrations and poems throughout the pages; I feel it is safe for any child to read.  I also feel that an older crowd like my self can also find the humor and adventure in it as well.  With a simple hobbit that represent a piece of our selves who wish to stay in the comfort of home finds himself in an adventure.  Within this adventure he finds himself among dwarfs battling out with trolls, goblins, a dragon name Smaug and spiders.  In the middle of it a friendship is form and the discovery of oneself.  I truly believe that is why The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings serious will be always beloved and part of the classic works of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy and others.

MY MOVIE REVIEW:  The hobbit before it came out had a lot of expectations from fans who loved Tolkien’s novel the Hobbit as well as Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film series.  So it was not surprising that it had mix reviews.  Being in the Washington Dc area I was shocked that my local newspaper gave it a poor review.  But as a fan of both Tolkien, WETA and Jackson’s work I decided to brave its opening weekend of Dec 16th.  When I came out of the theater after 3 hours; I could not stop talking about it.  Yes some fans are going to walk out being disappointed that it is not word for word based on the book.  But I feel that once again the world of Tolkien was beautifully shown, visually interpreted and entertaining.  It still felt like Tolkien’s words and humor.

Some of the complaints I have read about is about the costuming.  I thought the costuming was well done and I would like to see anyone have an easier time trying to design thirteen different styles of dwarves.  Among the design you have to include the character of that dwarf.  So what if one of the dwarves look more like a rider than dwarf; so be it.  I appreciate that they began the story with the destruction of the dwarf kingdom of the Misty Mountains.  I felt it was helpful for those who only follow the film or who have never read the “Hobbit”.  Now it did surprise me that they included a pack of “Warg Riders” going after the company.  At a certain point I thought now I do not remember reading that in the Hobbit.  Now did it ruin the story?? — no! Was there a need for it to be included? — not really!  Did it put more interest and action? — Yes!  Another problem people might have is the troll scene but I feel it gives Bilbo an early chance to prove himself by causing the argument among the trolls rather than Gandalf.  Another difference with this scene is the ponies disappear at this time instead of being taking away by the goblins.

I was not to crazy with the entrance of Rivendell but I loved that they included the conversation of the leaders of Middle Earth.  It gives the viewer a glimpse of what is going on.  Throughout the novel Gandalf continues to disappears and it is unclear what is going on until you read “The Lord of the Rings” or other novels of Tolkien.  Other signs and characters that the film uses to show the corruption of Middle Earth is the introduction of Radagast the Brown and the gang of orcs & wolves .  Radagast is an outcast wizard who begins to see his world and animals become sick due to dark magic which is connected with the spiders that will be seen later during the next Hobbit film.  He helps the  dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf  escape from the warg riders before they escape into a hill where they enter Rivendell.   At the end of Rivendell they do cross a valley’s to a mountain range to begin their journey to the Misty Mountains which the film shows little.  But includes the hike up the mountain during a thunderstorm and introduces the giants.  Instead from a distance, the film includes the company being among the giants, at a point being crushed by the Giants which explain the rush of finding a cave.

Another scene some fans may dislike is the goblins tunnels.  The entrance to the tunnel is played out differently from the Novel.  The company of dwarves and Bilbo fall into the tunnels of the goblins instead by being taken from the back of the cave.  They also give Bilbo more bravery during this scene instead of staying among the group.  He chooses to separate himself from the group which causes him to fall near Gollum’s layer.  The placement of Bilbo and Gollum during the riddle competition is off; I think that is due to timing more than script reason.  It would take more time to show Gollum searching for his ring in his layer rather than on his person.  This also allowed them to show more relations between the two characters.  I was disappointed that Bilbo did not have a more challenging escape from the goblins tunnel.

I also disliked that the relation between the wolves and the goblins were totally removed.  But understand why they did it because the film viewers were more familiar of the orcs riding the wolves instead of the goblins.  That the entrance of the eagles were different as well but showed the relations they had with Gandalf.  At the end their were some huge differences between the novel and the film but not enough to dislike the film or give it only a two star mark.   At the end it still felt like Tolkien’s work and the journey felt the same.  The company of dwarves, a hobbit and a wizard still had to face the same complications.  Some new but still familiar to the fans of the Hobbit.  The music was beautifully interpreted with the scenes and I loved that they included some of his poems among the film.  Even if they were just sections of his originally poems.  As for this fan I cannot wait until the next Hobbit Film in 2013.

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