The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — A Review with Spoilers

Some of you have been wondering about my absence. It’s a two-fold issue. There is a lot going on with my family and my business. It’s all good, but it’s time consuming. I also had to step away from The Hobbit full court press machine in order to preserve enjoyment of the movie. That’s not a knock on the PR. I understand they had to do it for the general public who hasn’t been following along. But with over two years of immersing myself in information about it and then going to New York and being bombarded by its presence, I knew the movie would be ruined for me if I didn’t step out of the fray.

Okay, enough of my excuses for not being here, I’m ready to review this puppy. Unfortunately, I suck at analysis of movies and books, so I will be deferring to SO for most of this.

We saw the 48fps 3D version. Honestly, I loved this version. It was very clear but not in a buffoonish way as was suggested about 48fps 2D. Most noticeable to me is I came away without the slight headache and nausea I usually get from 3D. With the negative space severely restricted in the higher frame rate, my eyes were not continually straining to focus, and it made for a very pleasant experience. So I think 48fps as the basis for 3D is a big win and here to stay for those who will take the time to try it.

Our 12 year old and one of her buddies went with us, and thankfully, they sat at the very back so we could perhaps escape being subjected to their muffled giggles and their incessant need to go to the restroom. Such is the life of middle school girls. Oy. Despite my sometimes distraction by the two girls, I enjoyed the movie. Mostly, I wanted to know what SO thought since he’s the writer, he’s the movie connoisseur,and he hadn’t been biased by an avalanche of information about The Hobbit!

We had not even reached the exit door after the movie was over when SO announced with a surprised grin, “I really liked that!”

I cut my eyes at him and wanted an explanation, “Really? What did you like about it?”

“It was fun!”

After all of the time talking on and off about The Hobbit, I was hoping for a bit more from him. He continued, “Yeah, it was fun. I was 12 again, and I loved the adventure.”

“So nothing beyond it being an adventure?” I asked still hoping for an examination from him. C’mon give me something I was thinking.

He said, “Well, it was too long, but then that’s Peter Jackson, and I’m sure he has an eye toward people watching this at one sitting when the series is out on DVD. Something to be savored over and over. Isn’t that what Ringers do?”

Yeah, it is. “But why do you think it was too long?” I persisted.

“The whole Frodo part was extraneous. The time in Bilbo’s house with the dwarves was also too long and too much singing. They should have kept it to one song and then sung the one about the mountains later. But then that may just be me.”

I had felt the song was out of place as well, but I was curious about his thinking. “Why do you think the singing was a problem?”

“It did little to develop the characters or the story. I knew it was supposed to move me, but it did not. When I read the book about a hundred years ago, I didn’t care for the singing then either. It seemed disjointed from the rest of the story. A bit lame. At least that’s how I remember it. As I think of the movie now, part of the problem was that your guy was not developed enough for me to really get the significance of the Misty Mountain song. I did notice the other dwarves were in awe of him when he came to Bilbo’s door, but that wasn’t really enough to show me why they were in awe. Yes, he was the leader, but all I knew of him was he was a deposed prince and angry at the Elves for not helping his people. What in all of that should generate awe? What made the audience really care to know about him? It wasn’t until Balin told more of Thorin’s past and the maiming of the Pale Orc that I understood he was a badass who deserved the reverence from the others. This should have been near the beginning.

The Badass Dwarf

The Badass Dwarf

“And of course none of this is Richard Armitage’s fault. I think he did a good job, but the writing failed there.”

I was stunned. Not by his breaking down the story but at the use of Richard Armitage’s real name. LOL!

He continued, “Then again, Peter Jackson was slow to develop Aragorn, and your guy [yeah, I noticed Richard no longer had a name. :D] is very much like that character in the sense that he is really the Man as it became evident that Aragorn was the Man.”

“But what about Bilbo?” I asked.

“Sure, he’s the physical conscience whereas Gandalf is the spiritual conscience, but the story is about Thorin. He is ultimately the center of this piece. And I did not realize how much Armitage was going to be the central character in this movie. This is Thorin’s story! I guess I kept thinking about the last thing I saw with him — a five minute bit in Captain America and didn’t realize he was essentially going to have the starring role in The Hobbit.”

“Oh, but he’s not the star!” I corrected.

SO laughed, “Yeah, right. Although he didn’t have many lines in this segment, he’s going to be Aragorn at the end. Hide and watch.”

“But the story isn’t the same as the Lord of the Rings,” I said still trying to set him straight.

“No, it’s not, but Thorin is an Aragorn in the sense of the pivotal character.”

I agreed with everything he said and was compelled to keep asking questions, “What did you like best about the movie?”

“Too much to narrow it down, but the ending was fantastic. I’m ready for the next installment.”

“Wow. You really did like it.”

“Yes, I did.”

I have more thoughts about it, but I’ve added it to another post. For now, just know that the movie was worth $12.50 a person, and more important the almost three hours investment of time.

And the biggest plus to me personally is SO now wants to watch other pieces with Richard Armitage. Thank you, Peter Jackson. :D

Cameron’s Stylin’

[note as of September 2014: Cameron’s videos are long gone as is his movie review blog, but oh, I hate you missed it. He was something else, and quite the reviewer. LOL! Not necessarily erudite in the sense of a New Yorker reviewer but definitely someone who had something to say and a sense of style while doing it. I think what happened is Cameron’s parents found out he was doing this and from their bedroom, so the kibosh was put on his filming endeavor. It also might have something to do with his being about 13 or 14 at the time. Would love to know what he’s doing now!]

]If you’ve been following this blog much, you know about Cameron. If not, then here’s an introduction:

Wow. I’m impressed that Cameron likes Woody Allen. Should be interesting to see what happens if Cameron keeps going on these movie reviews. Of course I’m wondering how much time he’s spent on this while he’s still in school, but hey, I’m sure Siskel and Ebert had to start somewhere.

Here’s the first time I wrote about Cameron, and if you’re wondering why I’m still writing about him, well, he’s the mainstream movie goer of generations to come.

Now if I could just get Cameron to read a few books, his reviews would be awesome. I’ll have to work on that. :D


If you read this, I really do love watching your reviews. Hang in there.