A review of The Hobbit


I just came back from watching The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey.  I saw the film in 2D and was more than satisfied with the graphics.  I reread the Hobbit in anticipation of the movie so I could see how faithful the story was.  However, I had been following Peter Jackson’s blog on the desire to create a trilogy by adding on more of the story of the Necromancer and Dol Godur.  For those that have not read the appendix in the Lord of the Rings, you will learn more about this aspect of the story, just briefly mentioned in the Hobbit.  To learn even more, check out the Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales of Middle Earth.

Where Jackson is taking the story will answer many questions for those who do not know about the full universe of Tolkiens’ creation.  There is one scene where Gandalph is reunited with Saruman, Galadriel and Elrond in Rivendell.  If all you have ever read is the Hobbit, you will immediately recognize this meeting never took place.  There is a scene where Radagast the Brown appears in Dol Godur to witness a surprise.  This too is not in the book, but is referenced in other stories and appendices.  What makes Jackson an innovative filmmaker is that he can take the slightest narrative and expand it into a visual masterpiece.  One scene has our band of adventurers being caught in the middle of a war between rock giants.  The reference to the rock giants is in the Hobbit, but just barely.

For people like me who have read and reread Tolkien’s writings, we discover something new almost every time we read them and then wonder what it would look like on the screen.  There are always going to be disappointments with the film version.  I was slightly disappointed with the meeting with the trolls and the addition to Azog as the chief antagonist to Thorin.  I was very pleased with the riddles in the dark scene, it was funny and moving at the same time.  You once again have a love / hate relationship with Gollum.

In the end, I came away having a fondness for Bilbo and the Dwarves. This is important to me with any film and it is reinforced with Howard Shore’s new music and retro recall from the Lord of the Rings.  You feel as though you never left the series.  Bilbo ends the movie with his statement,  “Well at least the hardest part of the journey is over.”  Oh, the best is yet to come Bilbo and I want to be part of the journey.  I will go see the Hobbit again for sure, some movies are much better with the big screen and super sound system.  The Hobbit is well worth the two  and three quarter hours.  You will soon recall why it has been an enduring and endearing fantasy story since 1937.  Good job Peter Jackson and crew, but why do you make us wait so long?  It is pure agony precious.


6 comments on “A review of The Hobbit

  1. ashkristen says:

    Not sure how it’s possible to squeeze so many hours of film out of a book that has much less content than the Lord of the Rings, but I guess we’ll find out. It just seems opportunistic to make 3 movies out of 1 book when they made 6 books into 3 movies. Looking forward to the movie but I’m angry that they’re milking it so much

    • ewgreenlee says:

      Thanks for replying. I guess we each have our own perspectives. Tolkien left so much undone that sometimes it is hard to connect all that he envisioned. We have two more stories to go and I think if I understand the direction you might be pleasantly surprised how it will all interconnect.
      It is my hope that one day they will adapt a series from the Silmarillion to fully connect Tolkien’s entire mythology.

      As for being milked, I’ll hold my opinion until the conclusion. I feel somewhat the same about all the Batman series.

  2. Jane Isaac says:

    Wonderful review, Edward. Glad you enjoyed. I loved both books and the film version of Lord of the Rings, so can’t wait to catch it myself:)

    • ewgreenlee says:

      Have a great time. My wife and I rarely go to the movies anymore, we made an exception and enjoyed every minute of it. Now we are going back a second time with our son who is eager to see it.

  3. ewgreenlee says:

    If you have the books of the Lord of the Rings read “Durin’s Folks” in appendix A. Reread The Council of Elrond in the Fellowship of the Ring.

    Read the Quest of Erebor in the Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth.

    Read Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, the last chapter of the Silmarillion.

    A lot people don’t realize Tolkien submitted The Silmarillion to the publishers, who were more interested in Hobbits, and so it went unpublished.

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