Four Things a Tolkien Fan Appreciates in The Hobbit Film (Besides Everything)

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“I want da gold!”

Written by Bryce Waller

Nine years.

That is how long I was forced to wait for another LOTR movie. And every day I was forced to wait was as long as a life age of the earth. I have to admit when this project was initially starting to gain attention, I was upset that Guillermo Del Toro was attached to direct and not Peter Jackson. I love Del Toro but LOTR fans claim only one man as the heir to the throne of Middle Earth – Sir Peter Jackson. If he has not been knighted, I just did it.

His vision for the first three garnered awards, critic praise, and a cult following few directors ever see. Thankfully all was set right and Jackson was given back the reigns to direct and Del Toro stayed on as a producer – which I could not have been more happy about. As I said before, I love Del Toro for the work he has done in the science fiction genre, and his mind was welcomed to this project with open arms.

But this article is not about who got to direct and who didn’t. This article is meant to relay my jubilation after watching The Hobbit – twice now – and give a couple reasons why it was so good. For an actual review head here and find Mr. Editor’s review.

Why was this adaptation so good? Many reasons, but to write about them all would take me more time than I have. I have thus, narrowed them to these four principle, personal reasons:

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins

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“You can’t blame the dog here, I don’t even have one.”

I have to begin with this because without a proper Bilbo Baggins, the movie never would have gone anywhere. Freeman embraced the timid, witty, humble Bilbo Baggins that Tolkien imagined so long ago. I could not get enough of his humorous mannerisms throughout the film, as it is probably the single largest contributor as to why I loved the character he believed Bilbo to be. There was never a moment in the movie, to me, when Freeman lost a step in his portrayal of Bilbo.

The first scene that Freeman filmed as Bilbo Baggins was the scene in the Misty Mountains with Gollum. If you are simultaneously reading this article with your copy of The Hobbit, please turn to the chapter titled “Riddles in the Dark” and let us continue.

Ironically, this scene is towards the end of the first film in The Hobbit trilogy. Ironic because one would think that if there were to be scene where you could tell he hadn’t fully embraced the character would be at the beginning of his time as Bilbo. That never happens. Freeman took off from day one with Bilbo and never looked back to The Hitchhikers Guide.

Well done Mr. Freeman. I think I speak for us all when I say we look forward to seeing you in the next chapters in this amazing trilogy.

 

Thorin Oakenshield isn’t a complete douche

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First of all, Richard Armitage did a great job. Now that that is out of the way we can focus on Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror. Don’t judge me.

In Tolkien’s Hobbit novel, Thorin was always kind of annoying to me. He was always so haughty and arrogant in the novel, and while he does possess those characteristics in the movie, it is not the same extent as Thorin in the original book. I thought Peter Jackson made him a little bit more vulnerable in the movie, or maybe it was just easier to like his character when you could see him on screen. Either way, this Thorin is someone fans can learn to fall in love with and really care about.

After all, helping create likable characters is what great screenwriters do and Jackson is one of the best. It will be interesting to see how Jackson builds on this character as events become more intense for the company in the coming movies. Will he become the conceited jerk Tolkien envisioned, or the lovable dwarf looking to reclaim his homeland?

 

Gandalf the Grey is back.

He offered me ten bucks to mow all of this. You believe that? Great Wizard, but he's a cheap old man.

He offered me ten bucks to mow all of this. You believe that? Great Wizard, but he’s a cheap old man.

Let me be honest – Gandalf the White was boring…and a little too clean cut.

Gandalf the Grey stole the show for me, if you will, in The Fellowship of the Ring with his dirty fingernails, tangled beard, and utter disregard for personal hygiene. He didn’t have to spend hours a day combing his hair and beard or worry about what he ate and how it would affect his white robe – the McRib was no longer an option, and now you know why it was done away with for a while. Gandalf was always meant to be Grey and awesome and a little stinky.

We all knew that Gandalf would once again wear the Grey robe, but we didn’t know how much of a delight it would be to have him back. I never appreciated this character the way I should have at an earlier age, but I realize now what I had in front of me…and it was glorious. It will be awesome to see Gandalf “Fifty Shades of” Grey for three straight movies.

 

Jackson turned The Hobbit into 3 movies!!!

"Three more movies means Oscars x12."

“Three more movies means Oscars x12.”

Yeah, three exclamation points. Coincidence? No. I did that on purpose because there are three Hobbit movies. You’re welcome.

This is exciting news because Jackson now has the luxury of stretching out the story and developing things that otherwise would not have been had it been limited to two films. The Necromancer and Azog the defiler – A.K.A. the pale orc – are just two story lines I cannot wait to see fleshed out. They add such an interesting dynamic to the already amazing story Tolkien gave us. Now, the Necromancer is in The Hobbit but I do not remember reading anything about Azog in the book. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. It has been a while since I last read it.

Knowing that this one, amazing book will be stretched out the way in should and not forcefully crammed into two hours lets me know that they appreciate the story they’re adapting in the first place, unlike nine out of ten comic book movies out. We can sit back and enjoy the next two in the next two years to come, much like the LOTR trilogy.

I like to think that Jackson was thinking of me specifically when writing the screenplay for these movies. He knows how much I love good storylines and then he gave me this as an early Christmas present! He is a such a sweetie.

"What's a twinkie, precious?"

“What’s a twinkie, precious?”

There are so many other things I could say about this movie, but I just have to hope that I have sparked your curiosity enough to make you want to go see it in theaters if you haven’t already.

Just a small side note here, the movie is also family-friendly and at the same time extremely rich in story. This combination is all but lost in Hollywood today. When I say “family-friendly,” I simply mean that there is absolutely no sex or language in this film. Limbs are chopped off and goblins are stabbed rampantly though. For all you perverts out there, there is a female elf playing a flute in a fairly sexual manner. Just kidding, but some weirdos will take whatever they can get. Chris Hansen will see you soon. I can only hope families will storm the doors of their local theater this Christmas season and partake of this excellent film.

For my least favorite Christmas movies, check this out.

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