Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Tale of Thirteen Dwarves and a Burglar

Well, I lead on to the fact that this was the first movie I was going to talk about, and I'm sure for the two of you who read my last blog figured that out. I'm not sure what to think if you didn't.....

So, as you know, I'm going to be talking about 1977's The Hobbit.

Psshh, as if. I'm actually going to be talking about a good movie today. Here's the actual movie.

Anyways, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a movie that if you have some sort of semblance of a decent taste, you would have seen it by now. And if not, should go do that then. Seriously, the movie is about as good as you would expect. It's not going to be as good as The Lord of the Rings that came out ten years ago, but, then again, can anything be as good as that?(Spoiler: That answer is no)

The biggest worry that's probably on the minds of people is how they're going to stretch this movie into three movies. Well, they start by making sure that the story is going to work for a movie. While the book is actually genuinely pretty awesome, the book had nothing but one event after another that only felt vaguely connected while also having the only people that felt like characters being Bilbo, Gandalf, and maybe Thorin. This is okay for what basically amounts to a book for kids, but it would make for a movie that would never really quite work. So, to fix that, they just started adding in a whole bunch of things actually makes it feel like that everything that happens in the movie feel like it actually matters.

The basic plot is that a Dragon named Smaug took over a Dwarven kingdom, and it's up to Fili, Kili, Dwalin, Balin, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Ori, Dori, Nori, and Thorin Oakenshield(didn't even have to look their names up!) to take back their home while dragging along a protagonist named Bilbo Baggins. Who's bright idea was that? They might as well have brought a dummy along with them. At least they would have something to hit along they way. Anyways, it was Gandalf's bright idea, but even Bilbo thought it was a stupid idea. With this in mind though, it helps make this movie feel complete because of Bilbo's character arch.

That was the basic plot in the book, but it was also the only plot in the book. For those who have read the book, then you know that meeting up with Smaug isn't even the penultimate point in the book. Plus, that part happens in the second movie. You see what I mean about a bunch of barely connected events that keep the story together in the book? What helps is what looks like is going to be the over-arching story involving the events that eventually lead up to The Lord of the Rings. They include a character that helps out, named Radagast, who is having dealings with a Necromancer that appears to be an early version of Sauron. They also create an Antagonist involving the Orcs that the Dwarves had to battle prior to the events in the movie. This makes sure that the actions scenes that are in this movie are there for a reason other than just for the sake of it.

To be honest, I'd actually say this is WAAAYY better than the book. For one thing, not only do the events in this movie feel like they're connected and that they actually matter, the characters are actually characters in this movie. Bilbo is even a more worrisome and inadequate adventurer than he ever was in the book. They even give a back story to Thorin Oakenshield, making him more as a hardened soldier which helps makes sense of him kind of being the leader of the group. Gandalf is the one who always has to help them get them out of trouble though.

It's really nice to see all of the Dwarves distinguishable, as in the book, the only two Dwarves I can remember having any sort of description were Thorin and Bombur(because Bombur was the was the fat one). Whenever the Dwarves needed to say something important, it was mostly worded as "'But what about such and such' the Dwarves said" Here, in the movie, they all have their own parts and they all have personalities. Sure, the movie never really bothers to make sure you that you know which Dwarf is which, but they are all recognizable from each other and they also have their distinct fighting styles.

I guess I'm having a special kind of appreciation, because, the thing is, I'm actually a Dwarf......whenever I'm playing a fantasy game and I get to choose my own character. But, I could probably pass for a dwarf in real life. I have a beard, I get drunk all the time, and I never wash.

I've been comparing the movie to the book a lot, but, taken on the movie's own merits, it's an incredibly fun adventure movie that's also really clever and funny and it also has one of the best battle scenes I've seen a really long time. The movie is paced well and it's never boring. I...freakin'....loved this movie! And, chances are, you already know if you're going to like this movie anyway. Just like Tintin from last year, I doubt this is the only time I'm going to see this movie over the break. The only problem I have with the movie is that a lot of the special effects feel rushed, and I would have preferred it if most of the bad guys in this movie weren't just CGI characters, but the movie is so well directed that this is easily overlooked. I also especially liked the amount of violence in this movie. There was a lot of heads getting cut off in this movie.

So, we've waited a long time and it's finally here! And it's AWESOME!

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