Saturday, March 30, 2013

Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a fantasy and sci-fi fan, through and through. I spent a year in high school reading through first, The Hobbit, and then lugging around a humongous paper back copy of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I own all three of the 5 disc extended edition versions of the movies as well. I even loosely based the theme of my wedding on LOTR (Celtic music for the reception, the bridesmaids carried lanterns, the colors, I was going for the feel of Lothlorien, one of the places where the Elves live). Check out my dress and bouquet (and my handsome Dad!):
So, needless to say, when I heard Peter Jackson was making The Hobbit, I was pretty excited. And it was worth the wait! 

For starters, there was so much to love about this movie. The visuals were absolutely stunning and tie-ins from the first movies were rewarding for the fans. The book was quoted often which is something that I really like in book to screen adaptations. The characters were engaging and many of the scenes were just downright epic. I think my favorite scene (and the part my husband thought was stupid) was when the Dwarves started singing in Bilbo's Hobbit hole. You can almost feel their pain as they drum out their somber tune and it helps you to emotionally connect with their story. I also enjoy how Bilbo was allowed to slowly progress in his acts of courage and how the group and its leader ultimately come to respect him. Also, the movie is void of sexual content, language or crudeness.

There are some things about this movie that not everyone would like, however. It is very violent. Heads get chopped off, people get stabbed and there are a lot of nasty creatures. If you have seen any of the original movies, expect more of the same, (not suitable for young children). If you have not seen the original movies and know very little about the story, you may not get everything unless you really pay attention. In my opinion, this one was made for the fans. Also, I'm glad I was for-warned that they are making a trilogy and not just one movie or I would have been really disappointed by the ending. That being said, by breaking it up they are able to keep many of the wonderful details that they otherwise might have had to cut out. Lastly, the movie was a lot more Dwarve-contered that the book. The book was really all about Bilbo, whereas the movie lets the Dwarve's story take center stage. This is not an altogether unwelcome change either, however, as The Hobbit was written for children and the movie was made for adults.

My favorite quote from the movie was spoken by Gandlaf:

"Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. 
I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. 
Small acts of kindness and love." 

This is a story of good vs. evil and in the end, good wins! I can't wait for them to make the rest of it. J. R. R. Tolkien is one of my favorite authors and I love seeing his works come to life. LOTR marathon anyone?

To get a more in-depth review check out Plugged In, a media review site by Focus on the Family.

What did you think the first installment of The Hobbit? Tell me in the comments!

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