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Reviews Comments: An ok start... The Hobbit film/book review by Darkmane

I went to the film having finished re-reading the book just a couple of weeks back, and also having played through the game recently as well. Had a great seat, and in a theatre that specifically screens only 3-D movies (am I the only one who noticed that more and more of those are popping up these days?). So I had a very immersive, fun and familiar (the trolls have the exact same design as the game; it was like watching what I had read and played come to life) experience, and as a fan of the book, I went home satisfied having witnessed a good start to what might hopefully be a better overall trilogy.

I do understand the mediocre critical reception though: the pacing seemed off at times, especially when the movie deviates from the book. Some of the changes are good and necessary (The expanded story, the focus on Thorin's background, Azog's ascension to extra) and some are not so necessary (GIANTS! STONE GIANTS! THE LEGENDS ARE TRUE!) and some just feel like they were thrown in there in a hurry (they probably were). Radagast oscillates between Crazy Awesome and The Scrappy and just feels a bit un-Tolkeinish as a character; it's been a while since I read the Rings books so I don't remember much about him and can't tell if it was an accurate adaptation.

The Good: Obviously good CGI, good visuals, and good acting. The dwarf actors, even the ones with limited screentime, pull off an awesome performance. Good music, good 3-D.

The Bad: The pacing; Radagast; and holy crap the ten minutes of Old-Bilbo-and-Frodo scenes that we are subjected to before getting the actual tale underway. That belongs at the end of the last film, not here. Jackson also struggles a bit with some of the more narrative elements from the book; namely how Gandalf defeats the trolls (magic is used instead of wit) and the riddle game with Gollum, which takes place in complete darkness in the book and is quite creepy in the description, but instead is played chiefly for comedic/dramatic effect in a very well-lit (and remember, underground) cave.

Could've been better, but manages a good kickoff anyway. Hopefully the next two will be even better.

Overall 6/10.


  • fenrisulfur
  • 16th Dec 12
Radagast is very Tolkein-ish, it's just his Tolkein-ish character is Tom Bombadil.
  • maninahat
  • 16th Dec 12
Do they call him "Radaghast the Brown"? The greatest missed opportunity was inserting the line "I don't want to be Mr Brown. It's a little too close to Mr. Shit."
  • Darkmane
  • 17th Dec 12
I thought of Bombadil too, but he is straight-up crazy-awesome; Radagast has a lot of traits that fall under The Klutz; which IMO might be what makes him such a coinflip at any moment he is on the screen.
  • JamesPicard
  • 23rd Dec 12
I agree with some of you points, but when it comes to how Gandalf defeated the trolls and the riddle game, you have to remember, some changes are necessary in the adaptation process, even if we don't like them. It'd be difficult to keep the audiance's attention during the riddle game if it was solely in the dark, and Gandalf's method of defeating the trolls sounds great in a book, but it wouldn't work for most people in a movie. Really, those changes come down to "Is it more important to give the fans everything they want at the expense of the general audiance, or is it better to compromise between the two?" Personally, I prefer the latter, because it convinces people to watch the movies so that they'll keep making more.
  • TomWithNoNumbers
  • 5th Jan 13
The trolls were defeated in the same way (ish). They were delayed by talking about cooking until the sun came up and they turned to stone. In the book and the film. All Gandalf does here is a dramatic reveal that the sun has actually risen (at least I'm pretty sure thats what happened. The trolls mentioned in film that they turn to stone with the sun and then the sun shined on them and they turned to stone)
  • TomWithNoNumbers
  • 5th Jan 13
I guess the riddle scene was fairly serious for the Hobbit and had some pretty creepy lines, but it never strayed that far from the Hobbits general tone I thought" ""What iss he, my preciouss?" whispered Gollum (who always spoke to himself through never having anyone else to speak to)."

"Dark!" he said without even scratching his head or putting on his thinking cap.

"Well, what is it?" he said. "The answer's not a kettle boiling over, as you seem to think from the noise you are making."

But when he put his long webby foot in the water, a fish jumped out in a fright and fell on Bilbo's toes.

"Wrong," said Bilbo, who had luckily just taken his hand out again. "Guess again!"

and even wicked creatures were afraid to cheat when they played at it.

................. Incidentally when rereading it I found this which is pretty cool, a side to side comparison of the original and post-Rings rewrite (the changes are in blue) There's not as much as I'd have thought, but in the original Gollum actually did wage the ring as a present on the game=D

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