Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Book to Film Review: The Hobbit

About the film
The Hobbit is a 2012 epic fantasy film, and the first in a trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit. The film is rated 12A and has a run time of 169 minutes. The film was released in the UK on 13th December.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit living in The Shire, living a peaceful life and minding his own business. While sitting outside of his house one day, Gandalf the Grey comes to visit offering Bilbo the chance of an adventure. However, Bilbo likes his quiet life and refuses to go. It isn’t long until a large group of dwarves turn up at his door and make themselves at home. The dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, are on a quest to reclaim their home in the Lonely Mountain, which was claimed by a fire breathing dragon many years ago. Although reluctant, Bilbo agrees to go on the journey and change his life forever.

Bilbo Baggins - Martin Freeman
Balin - Ken Stott
Bifur - William Kircher
Bofur - James Nesbitt
Bombur - Stephen Hunter
Dori - Mark Hadlow
Dwalin - Graham McTavish
Fíli - Dean O'Gorman
Gandalf the Grey - Ian McKellen
Glóin  Peter Hambleton
Kíli - Aidan Turner
Thorin Oakenshield - Richard Armitage
Óin - John Callen
Ori - Adam Brown
Nori - Jed Brophy

What I thought
After loving The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I really wanted to go and see The Hobbit. I haven’t read the book or any of The Lord of the Rings though so I didn’t really have many expectations beforehand apart from hoping it was going to be good. The film is also about 3 hours long and I didn’t want to have to sit through a crap film.

Firstly, I have to say that I wasn’t overly impressed with Martin Freeman playing Bilbo. Now, as I haven’t read the book, I’m not sure about how his character is supposed to act but overall, I just found him to be a bit strange and uneasy to listen to. However, there were times that Freeman did good though, especially in parts where he had to stand up for himself or during some of the larger scenes in the film. I think my reason for not liking him so much in the film compared to The Lord of the Rings is because I loved Ian Holm as the older Bilbo Baggins.

I did really like the new cast members though. The dwarves were an interesting bunch and there was a wide variety of looks and personalities between them all. Thorin is the leader of the group, trying to lead them back home to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. I really enjoyed the backstory about the dwarves and where they came from and also why they were on this journey in the first place. Richard Amaritage is extremely good playing Thorin and does come across as a born leader, full of bravery and courage along with keeping his men happy. My fiancé thinks I’m extremely strange to say this but there was also some eye candy within the group of dwarves. Maybe it’s the long hair and the arrows, just like Legolas but Aidan Turner was great as one of the young members of the group, Kili.

Although the new cast and characters were great, it was nice to see some of the other characters from The Lord of the Rings throughout. The elves especially were my favourites to see again although there are some more as well. I know there will be more characters popping up throughout the next two films so it will be good to see them again too.

I didn’t go and see this film in 3D or Imax because I just didn’t want to pay the extra and for my fiancé to have to pay for a stupidly expensive ticket. That being said, the effects were pretty spectacular but I never expect anything less from a Peter Jackson film and knowing what The Lord of the Rings was like. I really loved the changes in scenery throughout this film and as the group never stay in one place too long, there is always something interesting to look at. The fight scenes were as spectacular as always and quite elaborate at times. I was quite surprised at how many there were though because they seemed to happen quite often.

One of the things I loved about this film was the soundtrack. There is some music used here from The Lord of the Rings films but also new music as well. Each song is magical and fits each scene perfectly. When something wonderful and special is happening, the music is light and airy while during the fight scenes, it is exciting and makes the scene tense and more thrilling if that is possible. It really isn’t often that I love a film soundtrack so much but I do for this film.

Overall though, while The Hobbit had good and bad points, I feel it was too drawn out. Even though I haven’t read the book, I know scenes were added that didn’t happen and I assume this will be done in the other films as well. I feel like the whole story could have been done really well in just one, long, 3 hour film (maybe spread over 2 films) but I think 3 films is going a bit overboard. I’m not sure how much is going to happen in another 6 hours worth of films. 

1 comment:

  1. You didn't like Martin Freeman? I thought he was fantastic. There's just something about the way he speaks and some of his facial expressions that just made the movie for me.

    I fancy the pants of Richard Armitage and I loved him in this. I was really skeptical about this story being made into a 3 hour film and only being part 1 of 3, but I actually really loved it. For me it didn't drag or feel long at all. I think I preferred this film to LOTR, probably because of the humour. (And Martin Freeman!)

    I'm really looking forward to the sequels now!