We went and saw “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” last night.  Let’s just say that we saw all three LOTR films, and own them now, however, we won’t see this film again.  It wasn’t good enough to make me want to see it again, let alone dish out the sheckles to see it over and over again at home.  What bothers me is that Peter Jackson has about 9 hours to tell the story of one book, whereas he did the three LOTR books in the same time, and still screws up the story.  CNN has an article that talks about these changes; though it’s not complete, it does point out the tip of the iceberg.

There were some technical questions brought up by the media which effected our movie experience.  For example, the controversy about the cinematic effects Jackson uses wasn’t too bad an issue.  There was some loss of focus across panoramic shots and the color depth seemed darker, I didn’t think it was too bad. Martin Freeman did a good job as Bilbo, given the limits of the screenplay.

The real problem, as is always the case, is that those of us who read and know these stories are often disappointed, to some degree, with the movies.  Just like the Harry Potter series where, as the story goes along, the screenwriters had to modify the story.  What?  Wasn’t J.K. Rowlings a good enough writer for ya’ll?  In The Hobbit, Jackson tries to roll in all the appendix notes from LOTR to round out The Hobbit story.  What he completely misses are the details already in The Hobbit.  For example, when Bilbo is introduced to the dwarves in the book, he acts as the gracious host entertaining his guests as the random dwarves show up at his door.  However, Freeman has to play it as the befuddled home owner as the dwarves take over his house and the as the put upon host as the dwarves go about their business.  Eventually, Freeman is able to own the character once they are past Rivendell.  I can understand taking some commercial/literary license by expounding the party’s involvement in the stone giant’s fight but to bend the established stories is almost intolerable.

Thus, we, too, are disappointed with this movie.  Sure, we’ll watch each as it’s released but we won’t be buying the DVDs or BRs as they’re released.  Which is too bad for their loss of residuals.


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