Last night I watched The Hobbit. I’d been meaning to watch this for a while, but since I opted to watch Les Miz over The Hobbit in theatres, I didn’t get to watch it until it came out on DVD. I read the book many years ago, right at the end of my freshman year of high school. While it was a pleasant read, I never quite found the connection as much as I did with the Lord of the Rings (to which I read first after having watched The Fellowship of the Ring at the movies). It seemed too whimsical, falling short of the dark depth and complexities that was The Lord of the Rings. I’m sure many people felt the same way of the epic trilogy when it was first printed; after all, no one was expecting something so intense after reading about a merry little hobbit off to fight dragons and finding treasure.
Nevertheless, I wanted to see the first installment of The Hobbit. The book is still a good book even if I didn’t find it in my arsenal of absolute favorites. I wanted to see if the movie was up to par expectations wise, which I had few qualms about as Peter Jackson had built himself a reputation of paying attention to every minute detail and keeping close to the books as possible.
So with that being said, I watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I found the movie to be a good one; the visual details were impeccable and pleasing to the eye. However, I was still somewhat disappointed. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t like the book *that* well to begin with (thus tainting the movie experience) or because Jackson added extra information from the appendices of The Lord of the Rings (and perhaps from other books as well) that I never bothered to read, thus making it hard to follow.
Personally, I would’ve preferred if Jackson had just made one movie out of The Hobbit and stuck to the storyline. It felt as if he was adding more information to the story just because he wanted to make a trilogy and couldn’t bear the thought of ending a movie based on one of his favorite books so soon. Sometimes, I think that in a person’s quest to get every minor detail correct, you start to lose the sense of what you’re making and if it’s a movie based on a book, you lose it’s sense of magic that the book held and that’s kind of how it felt to me. Yeah, it captured the spirit, but it didn’t capture my emotions.
I also read somewhere (probably a blog entry), that Jackson filmed in a different setting than most films are made in (don’t remember the technical term for it, else I would’ve used it). In this new “setting,” everything is crisper, cleaner and the viewer is able to see every little detail that’s being filmed whereas in the typical setting, there’s this slight, unnoticeable “fuzzy” texture, making it seem more realistic. It’s almost like the difference between regular cable and HD.
I could kind of see that while watching The Hobbit. Everything was so bright and crisp, it was almost to the point of perfection. And I hated it. I hated the feeling of perfected fakeness. If you get something too perfect, it doesn’t seem real and that’s the sense that I got from The Hobbit. Maybe if it was filmed in the old way, I wouldn’t have been so disappointed.
I think it was a good movie. It was a light hearted film in comparison to many movies I typically watch and it took me away from reality for a little while. But because of the overzealous perfection of the director, I couldn’t quite get into the movie quite like the director’s predecessors.