Here at Behind the Thrills, we love us some Theme Parks. No doubt about it. However, there is a great big world out there, and sometimes we need to take a step out of the parks and look at something else. Join us as we take a look outside of the world of theme parks and into the world of movies, music, television, hotels…pretty much anything else we happen to stumble across.
However whatever we look at will have some relation to the theme park world, granted not directly…but in a round about sort of way.
So join us now as we lift up the harnesses, put down our cup of Butterbeer and take a walk…Offsite.
This week’s Offsite Adventure-The Hobbit:An Unexpected Journey
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet
hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare,
sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole,
and that means comfort.
Let’s address the negativity the film is having, and the down side of the film first. Get it out of the way, because quite frankly, I love the film. Most negative reviews that I’ve read have stemmed from two parts.
- The 48 frame per second 3D
- Stretching the not so large book into three films
I tend not to see films in 3D, I think it’s a tired gimmick and not very many films warrant it. The 48 frames per second is a modern marvel that could be beautiful, but not yet. I cast that crap aside. I saw the film in 2D, and I felt that I missed nothing. The book…well, if you’ve read the book, then you’re going to pick this film apart. Peter Jackson decided to stretch this 300 something page (with illustrations) book into three films, each going on about three hours long. That may seem a bit excessive, but after delving into the first film, it becomes apparent why.
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkein, was written in the 30’s, and was written before the Lord of the Rings. In fact, The Lord of the Rings was written as a direct sequel to The Hobbit, because the story was just so popular. In typical Hollywood fashion, The Lord of the Rings was filmed first, and The Hobbit was filmed as a prequel. Tolkein changed several aspects of the book to fit the sequel, and make it flow together better. He also wrote several different appendices at the end of Return of the King (the third and final chapter in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) to help blend and explain the world of Middle Earth better. Those appendices will be the basis of the third film and will stretch The Hobbit into a trilogy. Whether it’s any good remains to be seen. But to tell all of these tales, it becomes necessary to blend the worlds of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
Now all of that aside.
Was it any good?
The Hobbit itself is a tale of self confidence and asking more from yourself. Our hero, Bilbo-The Hobbit, is thrust into an adventure when he (by his very own nature) doesn’t want one. He joins a band of dwarves in the quest to take back their homeland from the evil dragon, Smaug. What ensues is nonstop deluge of Orcs, Goblins, Elves, trolls, Giants and battles.
The film itself was a delight from start to finish, at least for me. Growing up with The Hobbit it was great to see the world come to life. Loving the Lord of the Rings films, it was amazing to see everyone step into their roles once again, and act as if they never stopped. The cast is what makes the film work, and it works well. My son and daughter has never seen any of the films in a theater (being too little to handle some of the scary scenes in a dark theater) but have seen all of the Lord of the Rings films. It was so much fun making the connections from the other films to this film. It was a blast squealing in delight at the light hearted humor in this film, as opposed to the seriousness of the original trilogy.
The one complaint that I have, and it’s a big one, isn’t about the story or the 3D…it’s about the CGI. In the original films, Peter Jackson used practical sets where he could, and would just supplement them with CGI. Now we have more CGI than in any other Lord of the Rings film. Why? From the orcs, and goblins to even some of the sets, things that would have been make up are now computer…and not looking any better than they did..in fact the film suffers from it.
The film, however, gets right to work setting up plenty of characters, plenty of great scenes and amazingly battles. The dwarves are simply a lot of fun, from the attitude and songs to the way they always stick together. Andy Serkis shines once again as Gollum, and this time we see him the way he was meant to be seen…in the dark, telling riddles and trying to eats the Bagginses. Serkis could have spent the entire film on screen and it would have been fine by me. We know we’re going to see a dragon, we know he’s there…yet we don’t see him. Of course, we’re good with that because we see glimpses, and hints. We even get a really good closing shot…one that sends chills. It’s the right amount.
The film isn’t for little kids, a lot of scary moments and epic battles. Next year we’ll see “The Desolation of Smaug” and hopefully the year after we’ll see a good closing to another fun set of films. That’s the most important part of the film…it was fun. You know, that thing that happens when you enjoy yourself? The feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you don’t care what the world thinks, because this moment is just for you and it feels good…yeah, that’s the Hobbit. It’s fun, and it feels right taking a walk back through Middle Earth again.
We get the next installment next year, and