I remember it like it was last week – the day I was finally old enough to borrow a book from the young adult section of the library. On the advice of my mom and the friendliest of the librarians I carefully pulled JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit from the shelf and so began a brand new adventure.
That was many many years ago and I have since read the Lord of the Rings trilogy a couple of times and thoroughly enjoyed the films, although the second one was a bit of a blur, but I find that with most film trilogies.
So when I discovered, a couple of years back, that Peter Jackson was contemplating making The Hobbit I was thrilled to bits. And although I’d seen how he’d handled LoTR I was still a touch nervous. What if he didn’t put the same kind of care into it? What if it turned out the whole three-film thing was just a money spinning lark?
Well, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was marvellous. I left the cinema with a warm happy glow. Not a stitch of disappointment. Well done, Mr Jackson.
I opted for a 2D screening as I wasn’t feeling quite up to almost three hours of wearing 3D glasses over my normal ones. It was obvious which scenes were designed for the 3D experience, but it didn’t feel like I was robbed of anything terribly important.
It’s a long film, yes, but it’s incredibly faithful to the book. One of the parts I was a tad concerned about was all the songs. I’ll admit, at the age of nine I did skim a few of them while reading, but they have been beautifully translated to the screen.
The Hobbit is Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) tale of how he went adventuring with Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a group of dwarves to reclaim their home which was taken from them by a dragon. Along the way you also get to meet some of the elves, learn some more Middle Earth history and see how Bilbo first came by the One Ring. But if you didn’t know all that already then this film probably isn’t high on your list for these holidays.
As in Jackson’s previous Middle Earth films the scenery is breathtaking, from the sweet hills of Hobbiton, to the grassy plains and snow-covered treacherous peaks. But what really makes this film are the characters. It was an absolute delight meeting each of the dwarves and even the villains are fantastically realised. And the brown wizard with all of his critter friends is great fun.
If you had a bit of a thing for Legolas in LoTR prepare to find yourself changing to Team Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). Now that’s one dishy dwarf. Ahem.
This trilogy is set to be epic. There is so much I’m looking forward to seeing on the big screen. Here’s hoping the second installation, The Desolation of Smaug, set to land in 2013 doesn’t go the way of other middle films. Mind you, the glimpses I caught of said dragon were terribly exciting.
Now, I just need to figure a way to get out of work so I can go watch it again.