The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien - and the film

The Hobbit is a tale of high adventure, undertaken by a company of dwarves in search of dragon-guarded gold. A reluctant partner in this perilous quest is Bilbo Baggins; a comfort-loving unambitious hobbit, who surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and skill as a burglar. Encounters with trolls, goblins, dwarves, elves and giant spiders, conversations with the dragon, Smaug, and a rather unwilling presence at the Battle of the Five Armies are just some of the many adventures that befall Bilbo.

I enjoyed rereading the Hobbit in preparation for watching Peter Jackson's film. Make no mistake; this is a children's book (though the appropriate age can be debated). The writing isn't particularly strong and a lot of things are glossed over - including the actual battle at the Battle of the Five Armies. HOWEVER - as Bilbo happily shouts as he runs through Hobbitton to catch up with the dwarves and Gandalf (in the film at least) "I'm going on an adventure!" And that's what this is all about. It's a fun little book that laid the some of the first stones in modern epic fantasy. It's also a fairly quick read - nothing at all like the following trilogy.

The film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which I saw on the 16th of December and again on the 17th of December, this time in 3D and 48 frames-per-second, blew my mind. It was so good.

I loved every second of it and can't wait for the next one. I love how it ties The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and everything that happened in between and behind the scenes in Middle Earth together. It's excellently made, written and executed. Furthermore the film is just so much lighter than the LotR films - there's a definite feel of fun and adventure where it was all just very serious in the other films. In my eyes, it wasn't a minute too long.

(Also, I have a huge crush on both Kili and Thorin).

I'll never be a fan of 3D, it just doesn't do much for me, but I did quite like the 48fps. Sometimes it felt like things were moving too fast and it got a bit weird to look at, but other scenes were just excellent. Particular Bilbo's meeting with Gollum - it looked like the two were on a stage in front of me rather than a screen. Also, Gollum looked amazing. His facial work - that was some of the best damn acting I've ever seen. Andy Serkis deserves so much praise as well as the Weta digital guys. Just wow.

All in all, the book is a good read and the film is awesome and I urge you to read and watch both if you haven't already.

The Hobbit // There and Back Again
Kindle edition, 288 pages / first published in 1937
Reviews by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013


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