My brother spent most of his early life in hospitals, which meant I spent most of mine in hospital waiting rooms. This was before iPhones, or cell phones even. There were handheld games but they royally sucked. I also didn’t have one. But I did have books and one of those books was "The Hobbit".
"The Hobbit" was a special book to me because my father gave me his copy from when he was a child. I had already seen the Rankin/Bass cartoon version of the story, and unfortunately the Ralph Bakshi "Lord of the Rings" (where the Nazgul scared the living shit out of me – thanks Dad, way to research) but hadn’t read the book yet.
I was mesmerized with "The Hobbit". Pretty certain I read it in one sitting. I saw Rivendell through Bilbo’s eyes, was scared to death when the Trolls took them, thrilled at the Battle of the Five Armies, and won’t even get into how creeped out I was from Gollum. I was THAT kid, who would stay up all night to finish a book once they got into it. "The Hobbit" was, is, and forever shall be that kind of story for readers ad infinitum.
So, you may ask yourself, am I nervous about it being broken up into three movies? Mmmmm….kinda?
I mean, the films are in good hands. Did I want to see what Guillermo del Toro would have done? Hell to the yes. But Peter Jackson knows what he is doing, has proven it three times over, so everything should be hunky-dwarvy. I was psyched when it was supposed to be just two movies – but do wonder how they are going to stretch it out into three? I mean, it’s broken up pretty evenly in the book – Shire, Trolls, Elves, Gollum, Spiders, Laketown, Smaug, Fire, Battle, Sha-Bam. So there’s the concern we might be watching long shots of forest colored characters marching along beautiful 3-D stretches of New Zealand landscape sans dialogue...OR Peter Jackson is going to delve deep into the Tolkien mythos and make "The Hobbit" the most epic damn prequel ever made. (YOU SCREWED UP LUCAS!!!) I think he's going to do the latter, and I am excited to see it, but man, I don’t want to wait three years again. Also, I get "Unexpected Journey" and "There And Back Again" but the "Desolation of Smaug"? That’s an SAT question if I ever heard one.
This sounds like I’m skeptical, but I’m not really and I am excited. I’ve read and reread all of Tolkien’s works (even the "Silmarillion") so seeing it on the big screen at the hands of Peter Jackson is my jam! Martin Freeman is perfect as young Bilbo. There hasn’t been as perfect actor/character match like that since Ron Perlman’s Hellboy. I like all of the returning characters especially the biguns like Gandalf and Elrond. Galadriel nor Legolas aren’t in the the book but shall be in the film WHICH leads me to believe there’s to be a sneaky shot of Aragorn somewhere. There HAS to be. More than the characters, I adore how Jackson convinced everyone to make the return with him, McKellen, Bloom, Weaving, Blanchett (sounds like an Irish wedding guest list) plus Elijah Wood, Ian Holm, and the incomparable Andy Serkis. From the trailers Richard Armitage is being groomed for the bad ass role and I look forward to Thorin’s character arc throughout the trilogy. Damn, it is a trilogy. This is happening.
Right, gird your loins folks and strap in. If you have a glowing sword I would keep it close as this going to be a long and truly unexpected journey. Here we go again!
Steven Smith really has read and re-read the Hobbit so he’s not just saying that to be nerd cool, his podcast Going Off Track is weekly and he invites you to geek out with him, and firmly believes dark chocolate is fit for breakfast.