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I have just watched The Hobbit, and it is epic, gorgeous and sheer fun.

Yes, there have been some bad reviews, but I really cannot see why. Peter Jackson has directed a stunning piece, and his masterful story-telling is as engaging and beautiful as always.

Maybe he has tried to stretch out the storyline so it can justify three films – like adding in cameos not in the book and underlying everything with a darker feel – but for me it works. The extra undertone linking to the Necromancer does not majorly detract from the main storyline at any time, and I believe it brings another side to The Hobbit that maybe was missing in the book. Just what did Gandalf get up to most of the time?

There was also the added aspect of the white Orc, but I felt that it was an added extra that worked in tying all the events of the film together in a way that made visual sense, and something I thought was quite a clever device.

The main glory was the characters. Each and every character was perfectly acted and the characters were spot on. In particular Martin Freeman as the bumbling Bilbo, who effortlessly captured the nervousness and twitching aspects that bring Bilbo to life. My favourite line being when Thorin asks him about his fighting history and he replies “I won a game of conkers once”. Genius.

Sir Ian McKellen is once again an effortless Gandalf, and although Thorin was not as I pictured him from the book (I always saw a more quiet but guiding presence) Richard Armitage brought him to life without crossing that annoying arrogant line you so often get in those types of leader characters. The rest of the dwarves react off each other wonderfully and bring their own individual touch to each character. The scene in Bilbo’s house to introduce them really reflects this beautifully.

I do have to address (as with all reviewers) the frame rate. The frame rate is double what is normal for a film, and is said to provide more detail and stunning visuals. I think it worked. At first I was unsure, as in the battle of Erebor my eyes just could not keep up with the movement, although I am not sure if that was down to the frame rate or the 3D. Eventually my eyes must have ¬†got used to it because it never bothered me after that. One thing I will say is the 3D didn’t work for me, but I am overall not a fan of 3D anyway. The film felt less ‘real’ to me because of the added sense of layers and the scenery would have blended together better without it in my opinion.

But despite that, Peter Jackson has done it again. His level of story-telling is beyond most other directors and he has effortlessly weaved the jolly tale of a hobbit on an adventure into something that is a sheer pleasure to watch. He doesn’t need bundles of action going on in the storyline to be able to hook you in and keep you there for nearly three hours – his use of characters, dialogue and cinematography does it for him. The music is also gorgeous, especially the ‘Misty Mountain’ song that sent shivers down my spine. The little hints of the original Lord of the Rings theme was also a nice touch.

The stand out scene to me was the Riddles in the Dark scene with Gollum. It was hilarious, scary and riveting all at once and you found yourself truly feeling sorry for Gollum by the end of it. “I wasn’t talking to you”.

I thoroughly loved every second of it, and the guy sat next to me even clapped at the end of it. That says it all, really.

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This momentous week, beginning on the mighty 10th December, has now been dubbed Hobbit Week. On Thursday, December 13th, The Hobbit hits UK cinemas – and my ticket is already booked for 7pm and has been for about a fortnight. I already have plans to arrive there at LEAST half an hour early just to get a good seat… I refuse to watch the ground-breaking 48FPS with children kicking my chair or instead leaving the cinema with a permanent neck jarr.

Alas, I am no big time blogger. Therefore I cannot give you an early review and revel together… you’ll just have to wait for thursday with me.

Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo Baggins

But what I can (and will) do is do a nice review of the book! As, I am ashamed to admit, I finished it last night. Now, my mum did read it to me when I was a wee thing, but because I was a wee thing I don’t remember much (basically any) of it. My memory is truly awful with books as I’ve read far too many of them in my 20 years. I was determined to read it before the film, however, because that is always the best way to enjoy film adaptions, and I adore Lord of the Rings. Plus I never got that chance with LotR, so here is my turn!

The book, as most people have decided before me, is a right charm. It is a shiny gem in Gollum’s cave and as adoringly bumbling as Bilbo. Unlike books for kids such as Harry Potter, you are constantly reminded it is for children, but that is why it works so well.

The simplicity of it is where I believe the genius lies – it is quite literally there and back again. The random events along the way help to flesh it out and give the story some depth, but it is purely for story’s sake. It is a book full of chance encounters that give J.R.R Tolkien a chance to fascinate us with more people of his world.

Which is what gives the book its richness – its characters. Despite the dwarves blending into one entity (apart from Thorin Oakenshield) you love each and every one of them separately. Bilbo is such a good piece of characterisation, who epitomizes Hobbit’s and the less adventurous of us all. There is definitely something decidedly British about him as well. The way he becomes a name unto himself, especially after the chapter with Gollum, makes you root for him more and more. Gandalf is… well, Gandalf, which is all we need to say. Even driven Thorin melts your heart a little as the adventure goes on.

It’s like revisiting your favourite Disney films – clearly for children but that’s why you love it so much.

Although, for this reason I have become a teensy bit apprehensive towards the film. I know it is in perfectly good hands with Peter Jackson, but stretching it across one film (let alone a trilogy) will be interesting to see. Fitting in the extra folklore to tie it with the LotR is another thing I can’t wait to see how they tackle, as The Hobbit is far from a back-story tale. It just doesn’t need the extra information.

Adapting the storyline, the chance encounters and wonderfully random adventures, for the film screen is certainly something I am looking forward to seeing, plus whether they will include the more sinister side to the ring, and whether they pull it off only time will tell.

 

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