Everyone has holiday traditions- one of ours is to go see as many movies as we can during our week off. It's a little harder to see a bunch of movies now that we've got the kiddo at home, but I still managed to squeeze 3 in. And every one of them were based on books. The first movie I saw was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and it was great!
In case you are not a total Hobbit/LOTR nerd like I am...
By: JRR Tolkien
Release Date: First published in 1937
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.
I last read the Hobbit a few years ago. I intentionally didn't reread it before seeing the movie because I knew that the movie was going to be different then the book. For one, the story is being broken into three movies. Secondly, in order to accomplish that feat, Peter Jackson mined some of Tolkien's other works. It was great to walk into the theater both knowing exactly what was going to happen and knowing that I would be surprised. How often does that happen?
This movie definitely did not disappoint. It was great to see familiar faces like Frodo and Galadriel make an appearance and exciting to get to see new characters come to life. There were a few absolute standouts for me. Martin Freeman as Bilbo was perfect. It was great to see how the whole story began, to see him start to write it all down for Frodo and to go from being a reluctant hobbit to flying out the door to go on an adventure! The other standout was Richard Armitage as Thorin. He was fabulous as he tried to lead the Dwarves on what might be an impossible journey. He is hesitant about bringing Bilbo along at first, but he trust Gandalf enough to take the chance, and by the end of this first installment he is beginning to see why Gandalf was so confident that Bilbo would be a good addition to the party.
This section ends before they reach Erebor and have to face off against Smaug, but there was still plenty of action as they went up again Orcs and Trolls and Bilbo has a battle of wits with Gollum. I personally can't wait until the next installment comes out, but it will be a wait. The Desolation of Smaug will hit theaters in December of 2013 and There and Back Again won't be out until July of 2014. Until then I'll be rereading the Hobbit and taking a little trip into The Similarion and the Appendices to The Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy to see if I can find some of the new additions that were made for the movie. It will be a grand adventure indeed.