Movie Discussion: The Hobbit

Rather than post a poll today, I think we should discuss The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey!

Over the next few days, many of us will go to the theater to see Peter Jackson’s new adaptation of a J.R.R. Tolkien work. I’m excited for this movie experience. Like many of you, I’ve read Tolkien’s work and love it; like many of you, I loved The Lord of the Rings movies. They truly brought fantasy into popular culture, making fantasy more accessible to people who otherwise might have had misgivings—real or not—about a genre that has been around as long as the written word.

Terry loved The Lord of the Rings movies and is also looking forward to The Hobbit.

For me, I love Tolkien’s work as well. Peter Jackson was able to capture Middle-earth in all of its wonder. Will Jackson be able to capture that magic again with The Hobbit?

I hope so! We need more quality fantasy movies!

So let’s talk about the new movie! SPOILERS FOLLOW! If you don’t want to be spoiled, do not read the comments below! At least not until you’ve seen the movie!

50 responses to “Movie Discussion: The Hobbit”

  1. I believe Peter Jackson will deliver most of his foundation will not change from the LOTR series so the Hobbit will have most of the ground work established (which is a good thing for us nerds!). I do wounder where on earth three movies came out of a short book like the hobbit compared to the LOTR series which is also three movies for….three books. But not complaining three movies is a treat! I am most looking forward to the third movie just to see the scene between Bilbo and the Dragon!

    A side not this movie sparks my interest in the T.V. series for the Elf stones and as well the movie coming out. I really hope notes are taken off of the Hobbit and LOTR movies to ensure maximum potential is reach with regard to MR. Brooks work!!!))))

  2. I have my tickets for NOON TOMORROW!!!! Don’t mind being spoiled…. just finished the audiobook this week, and am excited to see how Peter Jackson has worked the appendices from LOTR into the Hobbit movies!!!!

  3. I have just been to see it and i thought it was fantastic! It dragged a bit in the beginning when the dwarves were in the Shire but after that there was a lot of action! I heard it’s been getting bad reviews because it doesn’t have the dramatic action the LOTRs has, but I actually prefer it in some ways – the plot is very straight forward, and Bilbo Baggins is a very relateable hero. Its also quite witty in some parts. The interplay between Bilbo and Gollum in the cave is much more facinating than any of the conversations Frodo had with Gollum.

    I think if people haven’t read the Hobbit and they go to see the movie they should rein back their expectations – nothing will ever be quite like the Lord of the Rings again.

  4. I went to the midnight showing and it was awesome dragged a little bit of beginning but the scene with the orcs in the Cave was BA! I had forgotten a lot about the story. Very excited for the next one.

  5. Jackson has done a good job of weaving into the traditional story the backstories found in the Lord of the Ring appendicies and Unfinished tales. (Durin’s Folk, Quest for Erebor etc.) Also does a good job of adding in characters and concepts that help set the table for the Lord of the Rings movies as Jackson made them.

    I liked:
    Thorin Oakenshield! great demeanor, in many ways how I imagined Strider (Aragorn) would have seemed. Noble, strong, driven but with a truely dravish quality.
    The Dwarves’ group dynamic.
    Gollum! excellent split personality, Loves and hates himself, the ring, Bilbo etc. Very well done. I also noticed the improved facial expressions from Jackson’s interview from The Colbert Report. Finally, Goblin Town

  6. I went to the 10 PM advanced screening last night. I was dead tired, and I was afraid I would fall asleep, but the movie was awesome and my fatigue was forgotten a few minutes into the movie. I had a real problem with the 48 frames/sec rate. No matter how awesome the sets, effects, costumes and acting were, it made it all look like a TV production for me. At least, for the first hour or so, then the effect went away. The movie did not have as much of an impact on me as any of the three LoTR movies, but like someone said earlier here, nothing will ever be quite like the LoTR again. I thought the acting was outstanding. Not easy to direct an ensemble cast, especially one this big. But the dwarfs were awesome. I was not afraid about McKellen and Freeman, I knew they were going to be great. The elves (ie, Elrond and Galadriel) were so CGI’ed though that I felt it took a bit out of the actors’ performances, especially Blanchett. All in all, I liked it enough to want to see it again (at least twice more).

  7. Thought the move was done very well love how there setting up the events that will lead to the return of Suron in lord of the rings. Having raddascat the brown being attacked with the blade that will later pierce Frodo’s shoulder was a nice touch

  8. Dont get me wrong ,The film’s are good but i have tried to read the book’s lotr and the pulling power for imagination is just not there for me ……Conn iggulden ,David gemmell and indeed Terry write the best books to date ,The ones where you pick them up and need to finish them in 10 hrs , Well i think i said enough ,What we need are for you terry to get someone who appriciates a damn good read and make into a damn good film.

  9. Three movies, each likely to be three hours long, about a single book and yet no movie or TV show about a far more deserving book, The Elfstones of Shannara. What a shame.

  10. Everyone else has said that the beginning dragged – it did.

    For me, the biggest issue was the music. much of it is reminiscent of LotR. But that story was much bigger, more expansive, and dramatic. This is a simple story with simple people that really is self contained. But the overbearing music and sweeping score made it feel like it HAD to be larger than that. it evoked the wrong mood, creating a false expectation, which couldn’t be met.

    A few slightly smaller nits were how there just seemed to be a lot of explosions, fights, and bumbling that made the middle part drag. Also, there was forced humor, which felt a little modern (read: cheesy and often self deprecating) which came off as slightly cloying and not genuine to the characters.

    But the last hour, particularly the Gollum scenes, were outstanding and gave me hope.

    Wasn’t so thrilled with Radagast.

  11. Jackson has hacked Tolkien and inflated it with gas like a bag of cheap potato chips.

    That other wizard doesn’t belong. It is a contrivance, a hack.

    Hopefully, The Hobbit will be remade faithfully.

  12. Watched the movie….really loved it! i thought afte readng the book the start of the movie for me was just fine! I loved getting to see characters developement. Gollum was even better in this one and the fighting scenes were a delight to watch. I thought Radagast was done well, if you look at the book he really was a wierd character!

  13. The movie was outstanding. I didn’t read the book and don’t plan to but the movie was worth seeing. The only thought was that Terry Brooks would have killed at least 4 dwarves by the end of the 1st movie.

  14. It’s tough to make a movie that is in essence not as grand as the LOTR so I can understand some of the negative reviews. If you take away the LOTR I think it was a fantastic movie but if you are going to force yourself to compare it, the majority who do, you will be a little disappointed. I don’t think it dragged at all, I enjoyed the experience. Didn’t see it in 3D as I don’t support that format so can’t comment on the negative reviews over the 3D FPS issue.

  15. I saw it yesterday and, I have to say, I was underwhelmed.

    I knew I would be. For me, Peter Jackson has went off the rails when it comes to his editing room. He has proved it with King Kong and The Lovely Bones. He simply doesn’t remove enough fluff and it drags the movie down. The beginning of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey took far too long to get going. Many scenes could have been cut or shortened. The scenes I’m talking about didn’t do anything for character growth; they just shouldn’t have been there.

    Once the Dwarves and Bilbo get on the road, things improved a bit for me. But there were still too many additional seconds and minutes there.

    I didn’t much care for the portrayal of the Goblin King. Wrong voice for the character, in my opinion.

    I did love Gollum. That entire part of the movie changed it from a failure to a mediocre film, in my opinion. It was tightly edited. Andy Serkis was great. His voice was great. Bilbo was great in that scene. The CGI has greatly improved and Gollum was as close to a real person in real time as we are likely ever going to see. Just amazing.

    The movie only had one poignant moment — when Bilbo tells Thorin why he is helping him. Damn near brought a tear to my eye.

    Other than that, not too impressed. There was a continuity mistake at the beginning of the movie with Frodo that grated on my nerves. That didn’t help. Maybe I’ll change my mind when the other two movies come out and I can watch the entire story in one sitting.

    I’ll likely see it again if a friend asks me. But if no one does, I can wait until the Blu-ray.

    • My daughter was really irked with a couple Frodo-Bilbo moments at the beginning of the movie, and the connection-continuity issues with LotR.

  16. I was moved to tears. It only took a couple minutes after the prologue. The first notes of music, seeing the Shire again, and I felt home.
    I don’t want to dissect it in order to find flaws, though there most certainly are. I enjoyed it too much to care about what people says about it. And I don’t care if this makes me sappy.
    For me, it was amazing. I loved the differences from LOTR and I loved the similarities. I loved how Peter put there some elements from the original trilogy but was still able to put in there new stuff. I loved Gandalf, Gollum, Bilbo and Azog.
    The only scene I sorely missed was [SPOILER!!] the eagles’ nest but I know that it would have interfered with the ending.
    I used to hate the idea of a Hobbit trilogy but now it doesn’t bother me. In fact, I’m relishing the fact that I have another little piece of this jewel waiting for me just before Christmas.
    Somehow, I feel like I was there and then I’m back again.

    • Amen to this! The fact that any of this is
      on the big screens, and then into our
      homes for a lifetime of enjoyment is more
      than I could have thought to ever ask for. With
      all the work that goes into these movies, I can
      easily appreciate it and just be happy. It’s just

    • Also, the beggining is not a drag, it’s super fun and a great way to introduce the story and characters for a movie that is going to be in 3 long parts. The part in the beginning with the dwarves at Erabor, doesn’t get much better than that…

  17. I watched it thursday night in 3d. Of course it is not just drawing from material in The Hobbit book and so is a fuller tale. I loved it. The 3d worked well and I thought Radagast was well cast. It is NOT lord of the rings, and i think the mistake people are making is to compare it, rather then judging it in it’s own right.

  18. I too am looking for to watching the movie. I loved Lord of the Rings and is rated as one of my favorite movie of all times. I will say that I am disappointed that Peter is making this a trilogy as well. I will read the book again before to see it though as it has been a while.

  19. I saw the movie in 3D on the 12th of december 2012 at 12 minutes past 12 in the morning and I was overwhelmed.

    Before I knew it the movie was almost 2 hours on a run. It’s been some odd 25 years since I’ve read the hobbit, but in essence he stays with the storyline.
    The 3D is not of the level of Avatar, but it does enhance the movie.

    I really loved it and am looking forward for part 2 and 3. Although I also wonder how he has been able to make 3 movies from the book.

  20. I don’t care what anyone says I thought the movie was brilliant. I didn’t notice how long it was. Not long enough in my opinion. Gollum was was brilliant. They really worked hard on making him very realistic. Peter Jackson is a great director and has brought Tolkien back to life again and I for one cannot wait for the next one

    • I don’t think Peter Jackson is a great director. He hasn’t edited his movies correctly since King Kong and that’s true with The Hobbit. But it was fun returning to Middle-earth for a brief time. Looking forward to the battle at the end of the tale.

      • I have to disagree with you, Shawn. When I first read The Hobbit, I was very thrown off by the way it moved around itself; it was almost as if Tolkien was still unsure as to where to take the story, no offense to him. I loved Jackson’s additions from the appendices and his changing around of the events in the mountains (the Great Goblin, the wargs, and the Eagles). It made more sense in a narrative perspective. One thing I did not understand was the introduction and use of Azog. Apart from utilizing the character to tell Thorin’s back story, I thought he was disingenuous to the atmosphere of The Hobbit, if not a tad unnecessary after the Battle of Moria.

  21. I saw it and loved it.
    A bit slow, but so is the book, I liked all the details. Sometimes the LOTR films skipped over the details and background but the hobbit brought it out. I really liked the scenes with Gollum, really related.

  22. I read that the three movies will cover much more material than was found in the original ‘The Hobbit’. The movies will include material found in the Lord of the Ring appendices, the Silmarillion, and Unfinished tales. Using this material the new Hobbit movies will also cover the 60 years between the end of The Hobbit and the LOTR.

  23. It was a fun movie. As long as one takes it as entertainment, not a life changing event, most people would enjoy it.

    Highlights: – mild spoilers – Martin Freemans portrayal as Bilbo, Riddles in the Dark, the Council at Rivendell, meeting Radagast, the battle in the pine trees.

    Could have been better: About 7 minutes less movie*, while scenic the movie terrain just west of the shire and before the trolls seemed much hillier than described in the book(and they were following a road, much of the way), the 48 fps worked well on outdoor scenes, I don’t think it was a plus for indoor shots, at least not those in the hobbit hole. The 3D was a suprising positive addition.

    I’ll give the movie 4 of 5 stars. The movie is long, so be sure to see it in a comfortable theater, the place I went detracted from the experience.

    * mild spoilers <>

    • hmm the details dropped out. Well I’d not miss 2-3 minutes of the dwarves in Bilbos home, 1-2 minutes of flashback scenes, 30 sec less of Radadasts second scene, a minute less of Thorin grousing about elves, 20-30 sec less of main-story battle scenes. There might be a line or two of travel dialogue that would not be missed, but for the most part it was fun, such as Gandalph winning a wager.

  24. There were parts of the movie I really enjoyed, and others that seemed a bit out of place (but were still visually grand). I didn’t see much benefit to 3d in this movie, so hopefully it will be expanded on in the other two. Weird thought #1: Were Galadriel and Gandalf secret lovers (that was quite the look and hand-holding)? Weird thought #2: Is the whole trilogy going to be one big setup for “The Lord of the Rings” (it seemed more concerned at times with making connections to the other movies than with telling the tale of “The Hobbit”)? Biggest Disappointment: WTF… no hoods? Coolest Back story Moment: OMG… Is that how Thorin got his last name?

  25. I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I thought the sets, props, make-up, and costume design were just marvelous, and the cinematography and VFX were second-to-none. It was paced excellently, connected back to LotR several times (especially with the added source material from the appendices), and was quite witty at times; overall, a very enjoyable film to watch. I’ve seen it twice, once in regular/24 FPS and once in IMAX/3D/48 FPS; I honestly enjoyed it the second time more because the action did not adhere to or exploit the 3D technology, but added a great amount of depth and clarity to the production. Plus, how can you not love a little dwarf mischief?

    All I can say is this: Fili and Kili. Favorite characters in the book; favorite characters in the movie. It’s hardly said that favorite characters are done correctly in book-to-movie translations, but those two were perfect.

  26. What we don’t seem to understand is that Tolkein wrote to the imagination. He didn’t describe goblins because he wanted the readers to imagine the scariest goblins for themselves. Jackson, on the other hand, wants to leave nothing to the imagination. He uses visual context to tell his stories and he pulls out all the tricks in his magical hat. The Hobbit movie is wonderful interpretation of Professor Tolkein’s masterpiece. Go see it and be amazed as well as entertained.

  27. I really loved this movie. It recreated the atmospheres of LOTR but i think that this story was more adaptable to an epic movie, being less serious and less dispersive of a monumental saga like LOTR. The Hobbit is a real pleasure for a cinephile.

  28. One of my favorite scenes is when Bilbo spares Gollum’s life. I believe the way it was filmed and the emotional tension seen between the two characters was absolutely stellar. It really gives meaning to Gandalf’s line in LotR, “Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand.” And what Gandalf told Bilbo when he gave him Sting (don’t remember the line exactly, I just remember it was about knowing when to take a life). That was one of the key moments of the movie, for me.

  29. From the comments you can see who has read all of Tolkien’s work and who has not. If you have read The Hobbit, and LOTR including the appendix, as well as Unfinished Tales you would know that with the exception of the line about the whole truth by Bilbo was the only thing that was added, Gandalf actually visits Radagast during the Hobbit, when the Dwarves were in Rivendell.

    Granted Jackson has taken some creative license with some things like the rabbit pulled sled, and embelishment of the Gandalf/Galadriel relationship, as well as Thorin’s attitude towards elves, which does not show up until they are captured in Mirkwood. He has done a great job in blending the actual story with the extra back story that would be necessary to tie The Hobbit in with LOTR, which he admitted was one of his goals in an interview he gave.

    That being said, The story and action felt right, and I am going to go see it a second time.

  30. I have to disagree with Shawn about the opinion of Peter Jackson as a director. To me the movie wasn’t too long or too loose. The beginning set up the personalities of the main characters. That is important because you don’t want cardboard characters. What I really love about Jackson with LOTR is that he put the deleted scenes back into the film. That made a good movie great. I hated that Star Wars and other movies put deleted scenes separate. Star Wars would have been better if their dvds had put deleted scenes back into films. I saw both versions (3D and regular) and enjoyed both. I would not have edited any different. Tightening it would have ruined the movie for me. I would love to see Mr. Jackson do Shannara/ I know that he would really represent the Shannara world very well.

  31. I think sometimes we can get very caught up in the emotion and nostalgia a great book can instill in our hearts and for that reason any film adaptation will never be absolutely perfect because everyone responds to the aspects of a literary work in different ways. The Sword of Shannara was the first fantasy novel I ever read, and it took me nearly 3 years to do so. I had 3 original hardback copies, 2 broke in half and I lost the half I needed and finally on the last attempt managed to duct tape the thing together and finished it. After I finished several of Terry’s books, many friends and relatives told me I needed to read The Hobbit. They told me a little about the story and I was intrigued so I gave it a shot. I didn’t like it. There were aspects of the book that were great, but as a whole I thought it stunk. I know I probably fall in the minority on this but all reading experiences are different.

    On to the movie! I agree with others that the movie did move a bit slow in parts and that more film should have ended up on the editing room floor (or stuffed in the extended editions that will most likely be available on a Blu-Ray special edition sometime in the years to follow.). However, there were several parts of the movie I enjoyed and felt fit right in the the LOTR trilogy, and let’s face it, they go together! They may be years apart in the telling, but, so are The Sword, The Elfstones, or even The Wishsong, yet they are linked. I will most likely go see the film again due to the fact that I went to a midnight showing and was very tired at the time of viewing and I think I need to see it again in 2D at a time when I can focus better. I saw the film in 3D opening night and although it looked awesome, 3 hours of 3D nearly makes my contacts fuse to my eyeballs, (It’s as unpleasant as it sounds). All in all I liked the film better than the book and I eagerly await the second installment.

  32. good news – almost no frodo. bad news – cgi goblins and orcs, takes you out of the story and diminishes the fear factor – cartoon characters are just not scary

  33. I just saw the movie yesterday. I am much more a fan of the Hobbit than the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I know it’s all ultimately be long storyline but the trilogy just doesn’t touch me like the Hobbit does.
    I was very impressed with the movie and enjoyed it much more than the Lord of the Rings. Special effects and scenery are unbelievable. I recommend seeing it in 3d if you can. I am anxious to see the next one.

    I hope they can do justice to Terry’s fantasy stories on the big screen like Peter Jackson has done for Tolkien’s work. You can tell that Jackson poured his heart and soul into making this movie. His artistic vision really shined through.


    I watched the movie one week ago. I left the theatre presently surprise. I was expecting the worse and was proven wrong. I was surprise no one was killed off (didn’t read the book) and i never expected to be -to be continued-…but I’m glad it. I especially enjoyed watching the movie in D-Box seats…well worth the $20…especially with this movie being 2hrs and 45 minutes long.

  35. Good points: The look to the film was visually stunning. The time went quickly. At least some of the original plot and poetry was used in the movie. The dwarves sang some of the songs as they did in the book, for instance.

    Bad points: The Hobbit is in the range of 280 pages, far shorter than any of the three books of the LOTR, each of which was made into a single movie. Apparently the intent seems to be to rewrite the book, change and add a bunch of stuff, including tedious drawn out battles, to stretch this single book out to a trilogy. The Hobbit as written by Tolkien holds its own in my opinion. The additions and changes made to stretch it so seem more like a way to make money than to tell Tolkien’s story.

    I attended the movie without knowledge that the movie didn’t to cover the entire book, and was dismayed and disappointed when the movie ended suddenly after it included a bunch of unnecessary stuff and failed to complete the tale in nearly 3 hours.

    That said, had I gone and watched the movie without knowledge of the book, I would have a much better opinion of it. I don’t particularly appreciate the movie in terms of it supposing to be Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and apparently being used as a cash cow. I did appreciate the portions of the movie that stayed truer to the book and the other items mentioned as good points.

  36. Terry’s series is perfect for the big screen for many practical reasons.

    1) So many stories are self contained. Scions is the longest with 4 books, and the last 3 are almost self contained.

    2) New characters as the books progress, if the movies get big along with the actors becoming famous, the producers will be able to afford the newer acters. Only a few characters span series, and that is great for continuity and sentimentality.

    3) It spans current time (to attract more realists), Supernatural has been popular and the Running with the Demon books are in that same timeline. You then have post-nuke, then full blown fantasy, then techno-fantasy with airships. In fact, many of these things we have seen in these types of movies seem to have been at least partly inspired by TBs books.

    4) The books are long, but there is a lot of self reflection by main characters. Which is dificult to translate to the screen. But this means that us fans are more likely to see unspoiled story.

    On the other hand, I can hardly believe they are or were considering the Wheel of Time as a set of movies. The books are too long, too many, and too deep. There are too many characters and story lines. It is difficult to read the series because I forget too much of both.

    I really hope that we at least get to see a miniseries to start the interest. I’d be decimated if they didnt.

  37. i would love to see a landover movie as i have read all the books and i loved the story and the characters i personally found them more interesting then lord of the rings

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