Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

This weekend, my wife and I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  Neither of us have gone to the movies to see anything in 3D, so we thought we'd try it out.  Honestly, I think I could have watched it in 2D without missing anything significant.  But I'm not a 3D fan, so take that with a grain of salt.

As for the movie itself, I felt like it moved too slowly.  Beyond that, I disliked the added dialogue.  By that, I don't mean that the dialogue needed to match the book verbatim, but the additional verbiage was full of bad jokes.  For example, Bilbo refers to something as being crochet, and one of the dwarves says he loves that game, if you've got the balls for it (or something along those lines).  Gandalf relays a tale of the Took who could ride a horse and how he decapitated an enemy in battle, knocking the head into a rabbit hole (which I think is directly from the book); then he adds, "And the game of golf was invented as well."  Golf - in Middle Earth?  By far, the worst offender was the goblin king, who traps the party and asks what Gandalf will do, and when Gandalf responds physically, the goblin king replies, "That'll do."  Oh, it was horribly cheesy.

Now, I did like some aspects: I liked the scene with Bilbo and Gollum, and I liked seeing Erebor in all of its splendor.  Oh, and the plot with the Necromancer was intriguing; that's one thing I wish had been explored a bit more within the novel.

How would I rate the movie?  Well, it wasn't bad.  But it wasn't good either.  It's not a movie I feel like I need to see again anytime soon.  And it gives me pause on whether or not to see parts two and three in theatres.  Because with a young family, three hours out of the house is a luxury, so we're very cautious in how we use it.


James Enge said...

I haven't seen it yet--am not really looking forward to it. In Jackson's LotR movies, it was always the additions that bothered me, too--either explainy explanations that over-explained everything, or the pseudo-drama of the side-trip to Osgiliath or Frodo rejecting Sam as they climb up Cirith Ungol.

But I feel compelled to point out that the golf thing is right out of the source-text (although it's only mentioned in passing in actual dialogue). The goblin-killing Bullroarer Took is contrasted with his "gentler descendant" by the narrator, and a couple of cheesy jokes (including the golf one) are made in a single paragraph. So maybe they are being true to the source material here (though maybe not to its best part).

Unknown said...

Just so you know, the 'Golf' comment was lifted directly from the book.

Matthew Wuertz said...

James - I agree with your assessment on LotR as well.

James/Alex - Apparently, I had forgotten the golf comment from the novel. Well, that's promising. But I think many of the groaners in the movie were from J.R.R. Jackson. Now, I did like one comment from Gandalf. He was talking to Bilbo about the other wizards, and he mentioned the Blues. He then pauses a moment and says, "I don't recall their names."