The Hobbit: Rewatched!

Some of my friends didn’t feel the same way I did about the Hobbit when I shared my feelings on the movie. You can find my first post here. Now, even when I look back on that post, I can obviously see the nostalgia I was feeling for the movie and the world as a whole, but the question still remains; Is the Hobbit that good of a movie? Well, that very same question was asked not too long ago about about the Dark Knight Rises and the only way I could determine if it was or was not was to go back and re-watch the whole thing. Tonight, I decided to do the same thing with the Hobbit. There will be spoilers, obviously, so please do not read any further if you want to see the movie fresh.

0 minutes into the movie I realized how tall of a task this would be. It has a running time of 2 hours and 48 minutes. Woof!

2:15 minute mark – A vast prologue of the world and story starts. Obviously this was not part of the original book. This movie is supposed to be the first part of the book, which has been split into three parts. A ton of things have to be embellished and even added to the movie in order to do that. I will do my best to point those things out.

The music and the setting has already established the world we are revisiting. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful those cues are, especially to people like my parents who probably wont remember much of anything else, at least consciously…these things will trip the subconscious though. Well done.

6:00 – Smaug shows up, but we never see him. Pretty cool strategy I guess. Don’t show the beast right away as a whole, let us imagine as an audience.

7:12 – That is an amazing amount of gold. Too bad the elves didn’t help out! No wonder the Dwarves hate them.

8:10 – already there has been about 7 helicopter shots of people walking and looking around. Beautiful shots, but this will be a running theme as always with these movies. Perhaps it is a bit too much…

9:12 – “In a hole in the ground…” This is the first line of the book, and a line that Bilbo narrates to us. It is perfectly executed, with a cameo from Elija Wood’s character Frodo to tie in the Lord of the Rings movies. This is perhaps one of the most perfect parts of this movie.

13:30 – Gandalf is introduced. He drops some good thoughts, although corny, about the line “Good Morning”. Bilbo, at least ‘young’ Bilbo, is also introduced. Martin Freeman, although not “fat in the belly” plays a wonderful Bilbo. Very unsure, stubborn, longing and, well, goofy! Martin Freeman stumbles and stutters through his lines perfectly throughout the movie!

17:00 – We meet the first dwarf, Dwalin. The scene between him and Bilbo is quite funny, and more and more dwarves start to show up and add to the comedic scene. Bilbo is just as silly in his unwanting of the dwarves as the dwarves are themselves.

20:05 –  “That is my mothers Glory Box!” Um, Pardon?

22:20 – The meal looks amazing. I am hungry watching it. I think I am going to make some Tacos.

22:50 – The dwarves spill more beer drinking trying to drink it than they do actually drinking it! Wasteful.

23:56 – The dish washing scene is musical and awesome. I liken it to an almost Disney-esque scene. Think “out on the open road” in A Goofy Movie. Some people seem to be down on the musical nature of the movie, but the books were written like that. Many books seem to be these days when set in a fantasy world. I suppose it makes sense, considering it was a form of entertainment. A Song of Ice and Fire uses songs quite often in its story as well.

25:09 – Thorin Oakenshield arrives. In the movie, he shows up after the meal and alone. This is probably to provide a dramatic entrance so we get a taste of his character. In the book, he shows up with 3 other dwarves. Not as dramatic I suppose. He starts taking shots at Bilbo right away.

26:50 – You see the map being shown to everyone that you see Frodo steal a look at in The Fellowship of the Ring. Another tie in.

36:31 – Throin shows how stubborn he is, but Balin shows him how much the dwarves are willing to follow him.

37:00 – Another Dwarf song, this time to the tune of what will, musically, become the theme for the dwarves in this movie. Again, perhaps this scene is a bit much considering we are already watching a super long movie, but I am all for character building.

42:20 – Gandalf throwing down heavy coin on Bilbo returning…way to show faith big man! This betting scene never happened in the book, but I find it to be a welcome addition to the movie.

43:11 – Walking shots, a ton of them, with voice over from Gandolf explaining what lies ahead. It took us 43 minutes, but we are finally out of the Shire. This seems to be a major complaint among people I talk to. I can see where they are coming from, considering this movie is almost 3 hours long. However, when put together with two more movies that will probably also be three hours long, they are really only in the shire for about 1/18th of the story. So, in that context, it doesn’t seem so bad.

45:20 – Another flashback that explains the Pale Orc Azog. This adds some flavor to the movie as well as some action and drama to the fight between Thorin and Azog. Azog, in the book, dies. The vengence comes from Azog’s son, Bolg, but Bolg only shows up in the Battle of the 5 armies, which will probably take place in movie number 3.

47:20 – I feel like those blows, despite being blocked by a piece of oak, would shatter Thorin’s forearm.

49:40 – Doubt the Pale Orc is really dead Thorin. Azog is still alive to add some frantic chase scenes to this movie. The movie becomes really reminiscent of Fellowship when the Orcs are chasing the fellowship. It also helps fill up a movie though.

51:30 – Radagast the Brown is introduced. In the books, Radagast is mentioned 2 times, once in The Hobbit and once during the Council of Elrond in Fellowship. His scenes are created for a number of reasons: One, he needs to help fill up 3 movies! Two, his proximity to Dol Guldur will allow him to battle the Necromancer later in one of the next movies. These scenes will surely be dramatic and it will help explain why Gandalf leaves Thorin and his fellowship for so long later…

54:30 – Could you imagine spiders that big?! Sheesh.

54:56 – Is a sled pulled by rabbits cool? I don’t know…but whatever.

55:45 – Gandalf and Thorin argue here. In the book, Gandalf just leaves. This helps serve a number of cinematic things: Gandalf and Thorin argue, Gandalf shows how stubborn Thorin is, and it shows the rift between Dwarves and Elves.

57:50 – I feel like Bilbo stumbles upon the trolls here and gets into hobbity mischief. He tries to pick pocket the trolls and that is how he is discovered. I dont think he was trying to free his ponies.

1:03:00 – Great charge by the dwarves to try and rescue Bilbo! This scene shows us that dwarves are really good warriors, and not the fat, slow, and unagile creatures we tend to think…

1:07:30 – Gandalf saves the day for the first time by breaking the rock. This makes a far greater “hero” moment than what is in the book where Gandalf outsmarts the trolls by mimicking their voices to make them argue until the sun comes out. The trolls turn to stone, but they freeze in a different position than the trolls you see during the Fellowship when the hobbits camp with Aragorn.

1:10:00 – The finding of Oakcrist and Glamdring as well as Sting. This is a difference in the book as Bilbo finds Sting himself and takes it. In the movie, Gandalf gives it to him and Bilbo is reluctant, which provides a nice moment where Gandalf can explain the merits of mercy which ultimately spares Gollum’s life. Gandalf says that because Sting is elvish made, which means that will make it glow blue. Well, Glamdring is also elvish made but never glows in the movies. I just find that interesting.

1:12:00 – Radagast shows up and meets with Gandalf. He explains, or rather forgets, what is wrong in the forest these days.

1:14:00 – The set up of the Necromancer, who is a reincarnation of Sauron. He will be played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the next movies, which I am super stoked for. This is also interesting because this is the first time in the movie that Gandalf hears of the necromancer. However, in the book, Gandalf has already been to the dungeons of the Necromancer, for that is where he finds Thorin’s father, Thain. This is where Gandalf receives the map and key that he gives to Thorin in the beginning of the flick. In the book, no one ever actually ENCOUNTERS the necromancer, although Gandalf mentions him several times.

1:16:49 – “The Ponies Bolted!” I believe the trolls ate them all and that is why they were not available. Finbul is the orc that is chasing the Dwarves on the backs of wargs. However, in the book, there is no such scene. So just sit back and enjoy it.

1:19:20 – I just realized that they Orcs now have their own language and it is subtitled. I find this to be a far superior option to them speaking English like they did in the LOTR trilogy. Good change.

1:20:40 – Gandalf disappears only to reappear and save the day once again. That is 2 times so far this movie.

1:21:21 – And now the Elves save the day.

1:23:00 – Rivendell. Still awesome!

1:25:30 – In Rivendell, the company is surrounded by elves on horseback that seem rather hostile. This helps drive that wedge between dwarves and elves a little deeper. Especially since Gandalf says that there are no enemies to be found in Rivendell. However, in the book, the company is greeted with warm welcomes and songs.

1:27:50 – The dinner scene has some really funny beats. The stuffing of the table cloth in the ‘hearing aid’, the asking of where the meat is, etc.

1:29:00 – Thorin, once again, is stupidly stubborn.

1:30:30 – Well of COURSE THE SAME MOON SHINES ON US TONIGHT! THAT IS CONVENIENT!

1:32:17 – Azog camps out on Weathertop?! Awesome.

1:34:30 – Galadriel shows up. She was never in The Hobbit. Neither was Sauraman. But, starting here, we see what is later mentioned as “The White Council”. The White Council meets in Rivendell to discuss the recent appearances of orcs, trolls, and spiders, and the growing threat of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur. Saruman believes that Gandalf’s concerns are unfounded. However, in the book, The deliberations and activities of The White Council are not chronicled in The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings appendices do describe The White Council meeting several times, and although Tolkien did not specify that they met to deliberate during the events of The Hobbit, they did gather during that time to launch an assault on Dol Guldur. Members of the White Council included Elrond, Galadriel, Gandalf, Saruman and Cirdan the Shipwright; however, Tolkien suggests that there were additional members as well.

1:36:50 – This scene will be the catalyst for the next two movies…sure, it is long and tedious, but pay attention.

1:40:20 – The dwarves leave using the white council as a distraction. In the book, they are reluctant to leave even after staying for 14 days. They leave to well wishes and song, and Gandalf leaves with them. Gandalf then disappears again only to reappear during the time with the Goblin King (which comes later in this movie). Perhaps this was the time Gandalf took to attend the White Council in the book, although I am not sure if it is ever really mentioned. In the movie format, it seems really strange that Bilbo would ever agree to leave without at first informing Gandalf.

1:41:50 – Gandalf goes on a small tangent talking about Bilbo and the small things that keep the darkness at bay. It is a wonderful moment in the movie, one of those small moments where cinema can far surpass that of the written word on a page. I really enjoy this moment a lot.

1:43:15 – More helicopter walking shots. And they go on for a solid minute.

1:45:00 – So, the company did encounter stone giants in the book. But they witnessed them from afar and the giants were throwing rocks at one another for sport. This scene is pretty cool and part of it reminds me of the God of War games. However, in the context of this movie and this series, it reminds me far too much of the avalanche scenes in Fellowship as well as the stair hopping scenes in Moria. I remember distinctly thinking that in the theaters and now am thinking it even more as I re-watch it.

1:48:05 – No need Thorin, no need.

1:50:27 – Bilbo’s moment of doubt. Too bad Sting is glowing blue!! Battle time!

1:52:00 The Goblin trap. Bilbo at this point was not having his moment of doubt in the book. Instead, it was Bilbo who noticed a crack in the wall and alerted all the dwarves. The dwarves were seized anyway and taken captive.

1:53:30 – Bilbo is a hell of a swordsman for never ever handling a sword before and not even wanting one.

1:54:45 – So the goblins are back to speaking English now. I don’t really like that at all, but I suppose it makes sense so our characters can communicate with them.

1:56:30 – The Great Goblin just gave a look that was awfully similar to that of Fat Bastard in Austin Powers!

1:57:00 – This is where Bilbo first meets Gollum. In the movie, Bilbo watches Gollum murder an Orc for food and while he does that, the ring falls out of his butt flap. Bilbo picks it up and puts it in his pocket. However, in the book, Bilbo stumbles upon the ring and picks it up. Either way, this always bugged me. Gollum’s only reason for living these days is for that ring, and the ring in the short time it was with Frodo made him feel the weight of it. Frodo couldn’t let it go for a second. Gollum has been taken by the ring for ages now, and he drops it and doesn’t realize it? It seems a bit odd to me…anyway, just an issue I have with the story over all.

2:00:40 – What is a Bagginses? Another thing that sort of bugged me…if Gollum was a hobbit at one point in his life named Smeagle, how does he not recognize a hobbit in front of him? He remembers secret paths in the world, he remembers Shelob the spider, he remembers the evil riders of Sauron, but he can’t remember his own species? Seems weird to me.

2:09:20 – Gollum goes insane looking for the ring. It took him this long to realize it was gone, although he always talks to his precious. He should have realized it was missing far before this moment!

2:11:08 – Gandalf enters to save the day again. This is the third time this movie he has appeared to save the day.

2:12:15 – Gandalf removes the head of a goblin foe. Perfect.

2:13:10  -Bilbo first puts on the ring basically the same way Frodo does. In this time, the penalty for wearing it isn’t so severe at all, for there is no eye looking at you.  But the way they wear it always bugs me. I bet you that you couldn’t throw a ring up and get it to land on your finger if you tried 10 times…just food for thought.

2:13:41 – This extended run through the goblin world was never included in the book. In the book, Gandalf  shows up and slices the throat of the Great Goblin and then all the other goblins flee. This run though the goblin area seems much to much like the trek through the mines of Moria in Fellowship.

2:14:19 – Wilhelm scream. Really?! Are we not over that yet??

2:17:30 – The Great Goblin falling on the dwarves is a bit childish and stupid…but whatever, the kids I am sure loved it.

2:17:51 – The Goblins fall on the dwarves and Gandalf and they drop the “there is too many of them” and take off. We then cut to Bilbo having to make his choice of whether to slay Gollum or not. He obviously does not. He pities him. It is crazy to think that at that moment, he could have changed the fate of all of Middle Earth, and he doesn’t. That move allows Frodo to have a chance in his quest 60 years later.

2:20:15 – Running through the woods shot. When Gandalf starts counting the dwarves, I cannot help but think of Home Alone when the mom’s count their kids.

2:21:25 – Bilbo’s finally commits to the adventure. The speech he gives, unassuming and understated, is powerful and inspiring. Good work Bilbo! You even made Gandalf tear up at that.

2:24:06 – This scene goes down a little different in the book. The Pale Orc, who was already killed in the book many years ago, was obviously not there to chase them. Instead, a group of wargs chased the company into the trees. When their howling attracted the goblins from the caves they just fled, that is when they needed help.

2:25:09 – Gandalf uses a moth to summon Gwairhir and the rest of the eagles. In the book, the Eagles are just passing by and they start chatting to one another about what they should do. They decide to help out and they rescue the company. I assume they are ‘summoned’ for a number of reasons, one would be to tie the moth and eagles together like the did in Fellowship. Another would be to prevent having to show the eagles just chatting it up.

2:27:20 – Gandalf should have been lighting shit on fire from the beginning!

2:28:50 – The start of Thorin’s redemption for us as viewers. Until now, he has just been a negative, stubborn turd. We finally now get to see him ‘lead’…

2:29:39 – …And he gets smoked.

2:30:40 – So after all this, being inserted into the movie, hunting Thorin for years, finally catching him, etc, Azog doesn’t even want to kill Thorin himself? Instead, he orders some random dude to do it for him!? That doesn’t even make sense!

2:31:50 – Again, Bilbo is a hell of a swordsman for never touching one before…

2:32:20 – Gandalf saves the day again in this movie be summoning the Eagles. Technically, the eagles save the day. But Gandalf will get credit and that means it is four times this movie he saves the company from certain doom…let someone do that for once G-man! This of course is followed by more traveling shots.

2:35:00 – Well, if only they had talked to the Eagles when they started their trip right?! Sheesh.

2:35:45 – Gandalf revives (or restores life into) Thorin. Does that count as saving the day again?

2:36:10 – Thorin’s speech here is awesome. His accepting of Bilbo is, in fact, a wonderful climax to the movie. Bilbo’s response is just as beautiful. Really good couple seconds there.

2:37:30 – So, you made it to the lonely mountain…but has anyone figured out how to get down from the eagle rock you are on?! No? hmmm…

2:39:26 – Smaug!!!

Ok, so I get it. The movie is long and slow in some parts. Sure, Gandlalf might save the day one too many times and things might just work out too perfectly for the company at times. Perhaps they took a childrens book and turned it into an action movie that didn’t quite deliver the action…but that doesn’t mean the heart of this movie fell flat. Rather, I think it more than shined in some places. Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen were beyond brilliant as casting choices. The music and setting takes on a character of its own, and it is something that feels right. The world is there, the story is there, and the characters are there. This is, overall, a really good film. B+

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