Bestsellers to Blockbusters: There and Back Again

Following the success of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy of movies, fans everywhere were hoping for an adaptation of The Hobbit.  After years of waiting, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released in time for Christmas 2012.  The second installment, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug comes out in just a few weeks.  And yes, I have read this one, albeit in high school.

The Hobbit: Book: 1937, Movies: 2012-2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

In the tenth grade, I read The Hobbit as part of the required reading for Honors English.  I remember my dad saying “Finally, they have you reading something decent.”  He is a lifelong fan of Tolkien, having grown up with the books, and it was his copy I read.  This is the the story of a hobbit names Bilbo Baggins whose old friend Gandalf, a wizard, recommends him to be the fourteenth and final member of a party about to set off on an epic adventure.  But hobbits don’t leave the shire or go on adventures.  It takes some convincing, but Bilbo agrees to go on a journey with thirteen dwarves lead by Thorian who are on a quest to reclaim their home.  Adventure, danger, and the chance to be a hero await Bilbo.  Along the way, he finds the famous One Ring putting into motion the events of the epic trilogy.  I remember enjoying the book.  It was exciting.  Quests and journeys were the main character has to do something great are always make great books.  It’s a wonder I never finished the trilogy really.

Last Christmas, I went to see the first installment, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, with one of my good friends from college and and it was awesome!  I’d never seen a movie in 3D before, not unless you count the old school versions.  She convinced me we had to see it in 3D, and boy am I glad we did!  It was one of the coolest movies I’ve seen in a long time and I can’t wait to see the next one in a few weeks, as soon as I see Catching Fire first.  I can’t remember too much of the book, it’s been over ten years, but from what I remember it’s accurate, and they expanded on it using other stories and writings of Tolkien’s to explain things and bring in other characters.  Fan favorite Legolas played by Orlando Bloom is set to appear in the next one.  Martin Freeman, BBC’s Sherlock, is awesome as Bilbo, and I might have trouble watching Sherlock now without seeing him in Middle Earth in my head.  His Sherlock costar, the increasingly famous Benedict Cumberbatch who played Kahn in Into Darkness, will be playing the voice of Smaug.  No matter if you are a fan or not though, you can’t deny the epicness and awesomeness of the story.  Peter Jackson knows how to make an epic movie and tell a compelling story.  It’s hard to say which is better: book or movie.  I don’t think this is one I can decide, you’ll have to do that for yourself.  But which ever one you chose, both are great in their own way.

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2 thoughts on “Bestsellers to Blockbusters: There and Back Again

  1. Ugh, I was pretty disappointed with the movie. I’m sad that he made it three movies and I wish he had stuck to just the book instead of adding filler material. At times he expanded one paragraph from the book to create a 20 minute scene and it was so frustrating.
    I’m also a bit of a Tolkien purist so I was devastated when he added the elves in the battle at the end of TTT.
    I’m going into this next movie with the vision that it’s just a fantasy film and not to get too hung up on how it’s so different from the book. I think I will enjoy it better that way.

    • Like I said, it was about 11 years ago that I read it so my memory is a bit rusty, and I’m not one to re-read things usually. I remember them escaping the goblins, the eagles, the finding of the ring, the giant spiders, and a few other things, but the rest is fuzzy. I think three movies is stretching it and that they could have done it in two like originally planned. I don’t know how my friend feels about the filler material, I’d have to ask her, I remember discussing it at the time, but I don’t remember if we agreed or not. I know she loved the movie since going with me was the second time she went to see it. I think sometimes it can expand the story, not always, but sometimes.
      As for the elves it TTT, I know some that hate that and others that love it. My friend is the love it type, but then again she likes the guy that played the leader of those elves. I didn’t initially know that was added when I first saw the movie, but I can see the reasons why people would get mad about it.
      It is just a fantasy film. And this might be one of those that, like Beautiful Creatures and The Vampire Diaries TV Show and Books, you have to think of as two entities telling the same, but slightly different versions of the same story. And if you can see it that way, you can enjoy both.
      Like I said, both are great in their own way and have their own merits.

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