“Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost”

Not All Who Wander Are LostThis thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
-Gollum’s riddle in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Last night, I celebrated the end of the world by getting together with friends for dinner. They came here, and they brought dinner because while I am more settled by the day and finally cooking again, I’m mostly baking and actual meals are as spotty as my posts have been here the last couple weeks. I was at least together enough to have wine on hand (and freshly baked shortbread with whipped cream for dessert–mmmmm, who needs meals with nutritional value anyway?), and the evening was as noisy as this apartment has been, with talking and laughing and more talking.

The talking eventually turned to the first Hobbit movie, which we’d all seen and had some emotional investment in, and it was a conversation full of raised voices and talking over each other and exclaiming.

I offer you the correct opinion about this film.

I really enjoyed Jackson’s original Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’ve seen each of the films at least a couple of times, and I found they captured a lot of things that I love about that story, so I had expectations that Jackson would do well with another of my favorite books. The Hobbit opens with promise. Martin Freeman makes a good Bilbo, and the scenes where he comes to terms with the dwarfs invading his home and begins to internalize their story are engaging and entertaining and have some seriousness to them, too.

Then I was bored for about an hour.

To me, there’s a lot of added backstory that felt like added backstory. There were far, far too many flashbacks. I also started to feel like if another character started in with a ridiculous cliched set of lines while sappy music started soaring in the background, I was maybe going to throw something.

Then there was the riddle scene, which I know so, so well, but found riveting even so–well-acted, well-paced, well-shot.

Then, you know, tired backstory and add-ons started ruining my life again.

My disappointment was not utter, but it was significant. One saving grace is that my godson Maxwell loved the film, and I am very eager to bring another LotR fan into the fold. Of course, he knew nothing of The Hobbit before we went to see the movie, and none of us thought to mention that this was just part one of the story, so when the credits started rolling, he got all, “We’re watching the next movie after the credits, right?” Then when no one answered–we were all trying to figure out how to break the truth to him–he raised his voice and almost shouted, “WE’RE WATCHING THE NEXT MOVIE AFTER THE CREDITS, RIGHT? WHAT HAPPENS WITH THAT MOUNTAIN?”

Which, come to think of it, may have been the real best part of the film.

5 Comments

  1. momster
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Poor Maxwell!Those boys are both cuties:)
    When I first read The Hobbit it seemed spare to me.It seemed like a short tale.I just can’t imagine watching three films to tell that story.You can almost read it in 6 hours.I just feel it is remarkable self indigence or greed motivating three parts.I could be wrong,of course.Anyway,I’m glad you reviewed it.Have you seen “Hitchcock”?I plan on seeing that one soon.

  2. adrienne
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t seen Hitchcock. I may wind up waiting to see it when it comes out on DVD. There are a LOT of movies I want to see in the theater over the next couple weeks, it seems.

  3. Posted December 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell’s reaction was the best part of the film! I, too, was surprised to find myself feeling restless during the film, as I had been fine for most of LOTR.

  4. momster
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The film will probably only be about how nasty Hitchcock was.So,I don’t know.He was a great director.There are lots of good films at this time of year.They are all in search of Oscar:)

  5. tonderdo
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell was the best part of the movie. I felt that it went on a little too long but I also loved Martin Freeman, the feet were odd, I didn’t really expect that.

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