Joining the chorus weighing in on the new The Hobbit trailer…
Despite the lukewarm reception it’s getting by James at Grognardia and Al over on The Blog that Time Forgot, I’m rather encouraged. Is it too nerdy to admit to daydreaming of a day spent watching all five movies consecutively (extended versions, of course)? How many hours would it require? How much food and other supplies would I need to complete such an adventure? Would I return the same?
First, what I like. Thorin is bad ass—as he should be. I’ve heard some claim that The Hobbit should be a whimsical children’s fantasy complete with bumbling dwarves. There is some of that in the book, particularly early on (and we see that in the trailer with dwarves tossing crockery in Bag End—I hope we also get a rousing rendition of “Chip the glasses, crack the plates!”). But remember that this too is the Thorin of Tolkien’s novel:
Thorin wielded his axe with mighty strokes, and nothing seemed to harm him. “To me! To me! Elves and Men! To me! O my kinsfolk!” he cried, and his voice shook like a horn in the valley.
Everything I’ve seen of Martin Freeman makes me happy. Based on the trailer and the previously released “making of” clips, he seems perfectly suited to the part. The casting of Bilbo and his performance is by far and away the most important ingredient in the success of this film, in my opinion, and so far, so good on that front.
Of course, I love the singing. I’m a little bit disappointed in the criticism coming from Pat from Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist who asks, “Why must they sing???” Really? Have you read the books, Pat? You do know that the scene of the dwarves singing at Bag-End is probably the most iconic scene in the entire book, or at least on par with “Riddles in the Dark”, and that there would have been open revolt without it? That the song establishes the mood and the atmosphere and the stage for the “why” behind the entire quest?
Sure, I’ve got a few reservations. I’m not quite sure what’s going on with Galadriel brushing away Gandalf’s hair from his face. I’m more concerned to see so much heavy foreshadowing of the portentous events of The Lord of the Rings. Thorin’s “Nor will I be responsible for his fate” comment in reference to Bilbo implies that he knows that the latter will play a critical part in much larger events to come. I hope the emphasis is on telling a fine story that stands on its own and not in developing a LOTR prequel. We’ll see around this time next year. But overall, I’m pleased.