I know rather late as so many people have already seen this, but whilst in Scotland we used our tablet to watch some films. We particularly liked The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Of course, we have already seen all the Lord of the Rings films – but heh why not see the story that started it all? After all, I never read the book, seeing it more as a children’s story than for the more adult amongst us. That said, at uni, when I read the Ring Trilogy, I’m not sure all of us were very grown up!
What did we like?
Well first of all, the actor who played Bilbo. Martin Freeman. We think he is often under-rated as an actor, although clearly some people rate him as he was given this part. And clearly Peter Jackson, who scheduled around his role in Sherlock (see the Trivia page on idmb) rates him.
My favourite film review site – imdb – which is where I go to see whether or not we should see a film (- though truthfully we rarely go out to see films, just download now on our tablet – or use Lovefilm – we only go to the cinema about once a year to see a real blockbuster) gave it a good score: Ratings: 8.1/10 from 331,719 users Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 1,210 user | 564 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com.
The quote on their site raves. Now I am not going to rave but I did think that the computer generated stuff was excellent considering we were viewing on a 7 inch tablet and could see it all very clearly. The problem we had was the sound, but this may have been our tablet rather than the film. No doubt in a cinema it blasts your hearing as so many films seem to these days.
We also love Ian McKellen of course and he can do little wrong in our eyes and any film he is in, is likely to be good.
The dwarves were great fun but somehow we needed a little more storyline for them – their individual characters and why they were in the quest seemed insufficient and it got a little confusing going to and for the big battle scene and whether it was the father or the son who got involved and led the defeat as it were.
It is a very complicated story and thus very difficult to know just how much you can tell in a film without confusing the viewer or giving them insufficient detail for those who had not read the book. I suspect they made some assumptions that most of the viewers would know the story and would have read a synopsis if not the whole book and thus left some others who hadn’t a little confused at times.
Gollum of course is a great character and the meeting between him and Bilbo was well detailed but again the ring and his precious were not clearly linked for those who did not know the link beforehand. And according to the idmb Trivia page, we actually meet some characters from the Ring trilogy who do not appear in The Hobbit. I guess this all artistic license as they say and helps make the links between the stories. But would also fuel the legal battles the film makers had with Tolkein’s Estate.
We are now looking forward to downloading the next part of this – or maybe going to the cinema to see it as it is not yet released.
Strongly recommended to all over the age of 8. But don’t read the book first as it really isn’t true to it.