Sleepy Hobbits wandered in a daze through our house and a myriad of activities on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and then after over-sleeping on Monday, rushed out of the house abruptly for expected journeys to an orthondontist, and to the last day of our homeschool co-op before Christmas break.
Despite experiencing sleep deprivation over a packed full weekend, we loved seeing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at 12:01 a.m. Friday morning. The theatre rocked with Hobbit and LOTR enthusiasts, many of whom dressed in full costumes as hobbits, elves, a number of Gandalf impersonators, a few trolls, and a Dad we know dressed as a Nazgul. (Not my hubby but a friend of his) The joy of watching the movie with a dozen or so old friends, and several hundred new friends (made while chatting about all our favorites parts of the book for three hours before the movie started) was eclipsed only by the movie itself.
After several charade and skit renditions of LOTR scenes, and a rousing rendition of The Green Dragon song, the lights went low, voices lulled to mere murmurs, and then cheered as the first glimpse of the Shire came into view.
The history and richness of Middle Earth was played to the full through Jackson's direction. Bilbo's character and conversations came to life with the excellent acting of Martin Freeman. We were "Good Morninged" properly, sung to by Dwarves throwing plates and then more somberly around the fire, left with a sense of emptiness when Bilbo awakes to discover the Dwarves have already left without him . . .and then the adventure kicks into high gear. I don't want to spoil it for you, if you haven't already seen it, but I highly encourage you to go, even if you haven't read the book.
You really, really need to read The Hobbit. I don't care if you can't make it through LOTR's massive pages of description, at least read The Hobbit. I feel (and I'm being completely subjective and biased about this) that it's Tolkien's best book ever. It was the first one I ever read, and I read it for the first time near the end of my third grade year. Then I read it again and again, and again, and again. In fifth grade, I pulled my first all night reading session over a re-read of The Hobbit. It's also the best Tolkien book for reading aloud to your loved ones, or listening to on cd/tape/MP3.
Having said that, you might realize that I am a bit of a Hobbit purist. In other words, I had a tough time with the fact that Jackson brought in all those other parts of Middle Earth history and background to the movie. I want to watch it again, just knowing that it will be there. I should have known going in, but I still found myself muttering under my breath "but that didn't happen in the Hobbit" at different points in the movie. Thankfully, I was sitting next to a few other purists who were doing the same thing so they didn't think I'd gone Gollum on them.
Speaking of Gollum, I loved the riddle scene although I think at least one riddle was left out. I have to check my book on that.
If you want a more unbiased, less Hobbit-centered review, check out Jamie's awesome review at Mithril Wisdom. He has a better take on Jackson's directorial decisions, and I found myself wishing I had read his review first.
I did see it in 3D with all the fancy stuff, but since I'm not fond of 3D and only watched it that way for my kids, and of course the green Hobbit 3D glasses with the quote inside them, I can't give a review on the technical aspects.
One last thing today . . .and definitely not the least,
I want to say thank you to Cherie Reich! I won an autographed copy of The Nightmare Collection, an autographed copy of Gravity: The Complete Trilogy, and a $10 gift card!!! WOW!!! THANKS for the early Christmas present, Cherie!!!