Thursday night, January 3rd, I saw the Hobbit, and I loved it.
I am far from a movie critic. I do have opinions and thoughts. Those thoughts are what I will share here in bullet point format.
- A 5:10pm matinee show as I cannot fork over the non-matinee money just to view a movie. Besides, I bought 4 tickets (me, my mom and two of my girls - Elizabeth, and Elliana). That would be my biggest movie rant, the cost. Thirty-one dollars was shelled out to see this movie. Thankfully, I loved every minute so the departure of 31 of my dollars does not sting too much. We don't buy from the concession stand. Instead, I bought our 0.99 boxes of candy from a store, and brought in our own drinks. I did compromise with Elizabeth, purchased a regular size popcorn. She paid for half, movie theater popcorn is so very good, and no other store bought popcorn can compare - I do agree with her on that. But gosh, $7.50!?!? Wowza.
- Loved, loved, loved....just absolutely loved the beauty of the movie. Wow! Right from the start, the cinematography - setting, and costumes - took my breath away. The Hobbit was visually stunning; beautiful even with the harsh scenes.
- I have heard people complain about the slow beginning. Pointing to that as for why they did not care for the movie as much as they would have otherwise. For me, the beginning was absolutely brilliant. It fit the story fabulously, and gave insight for the story. I did not think the beginning was slow. The begginning gave a foundation from which The Hobbit could take off, and the movie built that foundation in a pace that was agreeable to me. The beginning engaged me straightaway.
- The length of the movie, about 3 hours,did indeed intimidate me. The length was almost the deal breaker for me, for going to the see the movie in the first place. My attention span, these days,is short. I hardly watch any tv or movies beyond Horseland, and Rescue Bots - which, by the way, both are excellent kid shows and favorites of Isaiah. I must say, I really do love Resuce Bots, great show,amazingly. Anyway,the length of The Hobbit intimidated me. I now can say, the length of the movie was of absolutely no issue for me. It went by quickly as I was engaged with the story the entire time. I am very glad that I did not allow myself to not see the movie just because of the total run time in minutes.
- Humor. There is humor embedded within the story; words, and expressions. I don't recall humor from when I read the story, but I am sure it was there. The humor was subtle and fit the storyline and characters. Hard to describe it except I am glad for it; a nice relief and gave me some room to breath every now and then. That was much appreciated by me, broke up amd gave ease to scenes that were otherwise serious and intense.
- 3D vs 2D viewing? That was the question of my day before choosing our theater. 2D is what we went with and I am very glad of that. First off, I am not a fan of 3D. Does nothing for me, for the most part,and the increased cost is just not worth it. And, it does annoy me as to how many movies are now being released in 3D, as if the movie fans cannot appreciate a 2D movie and need more special effects...NOT, at least not for me. I am VERY glad for viewing The Hobbit in 2D. True, I cannot compare as I did not view the 3D format, but The Hobbit has some intense scenes that I could barely manage to sit through as it was. I cannot fathom adding 3D to those scenes, as I seriously did not need those scenes to be emphasized more. True, I am a squeamish movie watcher to begin with, and I cannot sit through some kid movie scenes. I am a wimp, and prefer READING vs watching intense scenes where harm can come to characters that I like or am invested in; physical, emotional harm or even scenes where they make fools of themselves. READING is up to my imagination, and I can gloss over uncomfortable scenes, if I choose to. While watching The Hobbit, I did find myself plugging my ears and closing my eyes during a scene. And yes, Elliana and Elizabeth did laugh at me. So be it, I got through the scene and did peek a time or two as to not totally be ignorant of the events taking place. So you know, it was not the Gollum scenes that made me squirm even though Gollum is very creepy.
- The language is rich. I LOVED the dialogue between Bilbo and Gandalf in the beginning of the movie when Bilbo said "Good morning" to Gandalf for which Gandalf went on to ask Bilbo what he meant by "good". LOVED that, and honestly, Gandalf had a point, I believe. Beyond that exchange, there are so many other rich dialogue scenes, and words used. I am not a huge fan of the songs that Tolkien throws into his stories, but I must say the songs where fabulous - made sense and fit the scenes. I now have a greater appreciation for them and their place in the story. There are only a few in the movie.
- The characters. THIS is by the far the biggest deal to me. I now have a far greater appreciation for the characters than I did while reading the book. I have always liked Gandalf, and continue to do so. I liked him a lot before, and like him more now. I liked Bilbo Baggins before, but I now have a fond attachment to him for which I never had. He has great character, and it was great to see his character grow...well, I don't think it grew as I believe his positive character was always there....no, it was great to see his character come out and be seen and recognized by others. He is a character of worth. I'd want him in my corner. All the other characters were well defined; meaningful with dimension. I have no complaints about any of the characters. They all helped me gain better insight and appreciation for the story.
- Martin Freeman did an excellent job as Bilbo Baggins. I will admit, I was slightly concerned if I would like him as Bilbo. I have grown to love him as Watson in the Masterpiece Theater production of Sherlock Holmes; I love that series. But wow! Martin Freeman did an excellent job protraying Bilbo. He truly brought out the character,and played up the characteristics in ways that matched how I did view Bilbo. He truly suited the role.
- Here is where I admit, I read The Hobbit - a person must read it at least once in their lifetime, I do believe - I liked the story, but did not love it at all. It was okay, and maybe a bit on the meh side. And dare I say this? - I was bored at points during the reading. That is what I remember from reading the story several years ago. I went to see the movie solely based on Peter Jackson's reputation of doing a superb job with The Lord of the Rings movies. As you should know by now, Jackson's reputation did not let me down. What I did not expect was how much I would love the story. Yes, I loved the story. This movie has left me in awe of the storyline - set aside the setting and beauty of the production - its the storyline itself that gives the movie the richness and depth; it has a lot of great qualities, and things to say about humanity. The setting, costumes and production helped me to see what a great story The Hobbit truly is. I am now in awe of The Hobbit, and actually have an urge to pick the book up and re-read. I kid you not. I want to re-read the book, as I am feeling very greedy and want more of the story. I want to read the words, sentences and pages of story with a better understanding and appreciation than I ever had before for the characters and story.
- My last bullet point above, the end result, my desire to re-read the book and want more of the characters and story is why I LOVED the movie. It fed my imagination and has given me the springboard, focus, foundation, and appreciation for J.R.R. Tolkien's Hobbit. The movie has given me the excitement to read the book again and with a different lens. That has only happened one other time, where a movie spurs on my reading of a book when the book itself could not capture me completely, and then when I read the books I could see the greatness on the pages. That happened with Harry Potter (the first few books where trudgery reading for me, that is until I saw the movies and then their magic came out). I now am thinking that I really ought to pull out our (Benji's) Lord of the Rings movies and view them - I've only seen the first movie and not completely (hard to sit through, remember I am squeamish, and I was also in a sleepy postpartum state of mind at the time). I have tried reading the LOTR series, and completed, just barely. I am now thinking that maybe the movies will give a new light on the books; possibly love them. (????).
- LOVED the movie; no complaints. Well, maybe one, the ending didn't do it for me. But, I am willing to forgive that part as I already knew coming in that this movie was not told in completion; it is a series of three for the one book. I am okay with that, and frankly now cannot see how producing only one movie would have been able to do the book any justice.
I had a great time. It was fabulous to spend this time with my Mom, Elizabeth and Elliana. And even better that we chose a superior movie to view. Next on our movie theater viewing list is Les Miserables. For that one, Evie says she will go with us. It will be a partial hooky day from school for the girls; matinee viewing is what I can afford and weekends I work. I hope we like Les Miserables as much or at least half as much as we liked The Hobbit. If we do, then that too will be a fabulous theater day.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~