He's using a lot of the Appendix material from LOTR.
On the flip side, I demand Silmarillion movies. You could have like a 10-movie chain. Brilliant.
Although I could see several censorship panels getting up in arms about the tale of the children of Hurin...
New York Times review
Washington Post reviewIn “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s first Middle-earth fantasy novel, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) sets out with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a posse of dwarfs to battle a fearsome dragon. [Spoiler alert] they do not kill the dragon, although [spoiler alert] they eventually will, within the next 18 months or so, because [spoiler alert] this “Hobbit,” which is [migraine alert] 170 minutes, is the first installment in [film critic suicide-watch alert] a trilogy.
San Francisco Chronicle reviewIt could turn out that “An Unexpected Journey” is the weakest of this trilogy, the necessary preamble before less-stultifying action and more engaging character development ensue. But, to paraphrase the sweet and stout-hearted Bilbo himself, this ad*ven*ture won’t just make you late for dinner. It might make you miss breakfast and lunch, too. Only the most dedicated Middle-earthers will find that the hunger pangs are worth it.
First came the original trilogy, a popular success and critically acclaimed. Then, some years later, a second trilogy began, a prequel to the original, and the first installment of this second trilogy turned out to be awful. We saw this pattern play out once, with "Star Wars," and now, alas, it begins again, with "The Hobbit," a movie that is exactly one Jar Jar Binks away from being as bad as "The Phantom Menace."
I wonder if there will eventually be a hundred-minute version combining scenes from all three installments. Now that I might want to see.
Haters! I saw An Unexpected Journey on the opening night here in Sweden (12/12), and it was BRILLIANT! I like the Hobbit book a lot better than the LotR books (which I've nevertheless read a few times, both in Swedish and English), and I like the LotR films better than the LotR books, and let me tell you, I already like AUJ better than any of the LotR films! I was a bit apprehensive, thinking that turning one little book into three long films would make it drag on slower than stoned snails, but I can't say I was bored during any part of AUJ. I've seen some complaints about things that were different from the book, but I've liberated myself by not re-reading the book recently, so I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.
The things I liked the most were
SpoilerMartin Freeman (and his glorious FACE) as Bilbo, the dwarves singing Over The Misty Mountains (goosebumps!), the introduction and backstory of Thorin (way to turn a character into a Big Damn Hero in 5 minutes!), the brilliant and annoying fact that we didn't get to see all of Smaug yet, the introduction of the White Council and their concerns about the Necromancer (Cumberbatch!), the MUSIC, the gorgeous landscape shots, the fact that there wasn't an overt amount of slapstick-based humour, the way all the dwarves had different and distinct personalities, and - above all - Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, exiled would-be-King under the Mountain and Olympic Champion in Epic Smouldering. And also the hug between Thorin and Bilbo at the end. That made me quite a happy camper (can't wait for a fic-writing fandom to get started!).
I need to see this film again. And here's a pic of me, at the premiere, dressed as a hobbit (kind of).
Saw it today- thought it was awesome. But then I tried to have no expectations- I was just there for the ride. Loved Martin Freeman's performance. Also Richard Armitage. I thought the "Riddles in the Dark" scene was perfect. The musical score was fantastic. A few of the scenes were a bit overdone and dragged out - very Peter Jacksonish, if you like, but he's earned that. A bit long. perhaps, but I'll savour every moment of Jackson's Middle Earth.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
(Edna St Vincent Millay)
Sofia - I love your feminine take on Hobbit attire, and as far as I'm concerned, awesome boots are always appropriate!
I saw it Friday and really enjoyed it, but I did have some issues.
I think my biggest problem is that I can't shake the feeling that Peter Jackson was trying to turn The Hobbit into The Lord of the Rings. Now, it's been awhile since I've read the book, but for me at least part of the charm of it comes from the fact that it's not LOTR. I love both, but for different reasons, and I guess I just can't see what's wrong with The Hobbit just being a neat little adventure story rather than a grand epic.
The second issue actually reminds me of something I remember from the special features for LOTR: someone (I think it may have been Phillipa Boyens, but I could be wrong about that) said that one of the most important things they realized when they started was that the first movie really needed to be centred around Frodo. If you watch the movie back later, it's really noticeable - virtually everything that happens in the movie is focused on him, even when he's not in the scene. I can't help but wish that they had carried that lesson over to this movie, because when it's focused on Bilbo, it's great. It was when things shifted away from him that I started having problems (I may be in the minority here, but the whole subplot with
SpoilerThorin and the pale orc did nothing for me. I can't remember if that was in the book or not, but either way I think they could have easily done away with it.)
Anyways, that sounds pretty negative, but I really did like it for the most part. The comparisons to The Phantom Menace are absurd - for starters I can't recall anything in that movie remotely as good as the Riddles in the Dark. I can't imagine a more perfect Bilbo than Martin Freeman, and Ian McKellen continues to be the only person I could ever picture as Gandalf. I enjoyed the humour and the fact that they kept the tone fairly lighthearted for a lot of it. Also, Gollum was amazing - both Andy Serkis and the technology. I remember when The Two Towers first came out and everybody was freaking out over how amazing the effects were, and it's crazy to think of how much better it is now. His scenes with Bilbo were the highlight of the movie.
Re your spoiler Ashley. No it's not in the book, but it is Tolkien canon, mentioned in the appendices. I think it's included to flesh out Thorin's character.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
(Edna St Vincent Millay)
I LOVED IT!
For the books I also enjoyed The Hobbit more so than LotR Trilogy. I love the light-hearted fantasy adventure of the Hobbit and like Ashley was afraid they would make this into an over the top epic like the LotR movies. However I thought Peter Jackson did a good job here keeping the tone of the books albeit he had to insert the appendix that delt with more serious stuff like theto tie it to the LotR trilogy.
SpoilerWhite Council and Azog (whom I thought was killed long before the events in the Hobbit?)
The year wait for the 2nd movie will be agonizing .
Although I did enjoy Freeman as Bilbo, I thought he could be more flamboyant and jolly. Again have to agree with Ashley that they need to focus more on Bilbo because sometimes he felt like an afterthought.
I was super happy to return to Middle Earth last night I quite enjoyed the movie, but i just couldn't keep track of the 14 dwarves. Having read The Hobbit over 20 years ago, it was nice to recall the story.
"Life is just one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead." - Homer Simpson
Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
Oh, that is hilarious! Batdwarf indeed!OLD BILBO: And as we all know, people with psychological problems attract dragons.
I found this (mildly spoilery) GIF today. These few frames alone are enough to make me all wibbly.
I'm going to see the Hobbit with some pals on Wednesday, really excited!
The Hobbit doesn't come out til Boxing Day here and I'm DYING to see it.
However, if I have to deal with one more stupid teenage fangirl whining that Legolas isn't in this one, I might just summon some orcs from the Misty Mountains...
As for the "prequel" hate -- I used it as a term that took place in the same universe as "LOTR" but many years prior. Yes, I know it's not a direct prequel.
Anyway, I screened this a week ago and it was way too long. Seeing "Les Mis" this Wednesday, hopefully it'll be better.
MAJOR book spoilers/possible future film spoiler -
SpoilerI know Thorin dies in the book*, and IIRC Fíli and Kíli dies too. Imagine the cries of anguish when/if that happens in the films...
*Although I'd forgotten that when I saw the film, so I was a bit distraught when I saw somebody mention it afterwards. Way to go PJ, creating a totally hot, gruff hero everybody falls in love with even though they may or may not know that he's going to die in the end.
As for the people saying UAJ is too long - I actually like that. How often do books get filmed in ways that lets them expand, rather than get crammed into time frames that are way too short to contain all the nuances of the book? That's why I don't like the Harry Potter films; they don't feel like they make 100% sense if one hasn't read the books, whereas UAJ actually got to reveal the premise at its own pace. If that makes any sense.
Last edited by Sofia Alexandra; 12-18-2012 at 12:51 PM.
I must confess, though, that there is a possibility that I may turn squealing fangirl at some point. I have seen an actor listed as the character "Elros" (on IMDB, I think). If they actually do Elrond's backstory, I think I will die. Elrond has always been my favourite character. Putting in his backstory would probably give a lot of people that "ah-ha!" moment on his character. Although I will be wary if they introduce Celebrian. Considering Tolkien himself only ever wrote about three lines of their story, PJ better treat that with due respect. (Elrond and Celebrian is also my favourite love story in Tolkien's world!)
Overall I enjoyed the movie and appreciate that they covered the appendixes of the ROTK. However, I am uncertain of how they portrayed Radagast the Brown. I am glad they gave him more of a role in the movie than he ever had in the books, but his character was a bit more slap stick than I would have liked. Also, much of what he did in the movie Gandalf was actually responsible for in the appendixes . I am interested in how they will resolve this discontinuity in the rest of the films.