About a month ago, I asked my siblings if they’d go with me to a midnight showing at an IMAX for The Hobbit. Before I knew it, my parents, cousin, and Caleb (my brother’s friend) were coming along. So yesterday the seven of us embarked on an epic journey to a midnight showing (the first my siblings and my parents had been to).
I happened to have a nice hobbit costume in my wardrobe, so I donned my red skirt and had my mom lace me up in my stays/bodice, we curled my hair until it was sufficiently wild, I dug out an old cloak and was ready to go. My dad also pulled out an old blouse, vest, and somewhat appropriate pants to wear himself. When my younger brother, Philip, caught on, I managed to convince him to wear a blouse, vest and appropriate hat (he did say he’d wear a cloak, but I couldn’t find our other ones). Thus about half our party was appropriately geeked out.
At 9:00 we ran by the theater to check the line (there was none). Then we went to Denny’s for dessert from their hobbit menu. We earned many a stare and curious comment. After feasting on gold cake, red velvet cake balls and milkshakes, we left for the theater. We were the second or third group in line. They had packets of small posters out, and we grabbed a few. (They are lovely and I can’t wait to find somewhere to hang them in my dorm.) It was only about 10:15, so we settled in for the wait.
I thought it’d be fun to read off some of Gollum and Bilbo’s riddles, so I pulled them up on my phone. They were pretty easy to guess because we’d all read the book. Once we went through those, I googled “riddles and answers.” For about an hour and a half, I read riddles while Tyler, Philip, Laura and Caleb did their best to answer. Tyler has a knack for riddles, it turns out, and won most rounds.
At last, we were allowed in. We got very good seats near the back, where we could see the whole screen easily. It was a long fifteen minutes, but at last the previews started. There were a lot of previews, and the only noteworthy one was an IMAX special extended Star Trek preview/scene, which was awesome.
I got a little teary eyed when The Hobbit‘s title came up, because I’m a nerd. The movie itself was brilliant. My sister and I were poking each other in glee throughout.
Martin Freeman made an absolutely perfect Bilbo, from his expressions down to the way he moved his hands. He was a fantastic, amusing and sometimes poignant protagonist. Richard Armitage makes a wonderful, wonderful Thorin–strong but vulnerable in a way that made him very sympathetic despite his tough shell.
The weaving of appendixes and other information into The Hobbit‘s story was nearly seamless, particularly when it came to Gandalf. I did feel like the first half was very backstory-heavy, and some of the cuts to other storylines hurt the present-action of Bilbo’s story. But I didn’t mind overall. There were a few plotlines introduced by Jackson, but they weren’t terribly distracting. The parts that deviated from the book made sense overall.
The soundtrack was lovely, though I wouldn’t have minded a little more variation–many themes from the old movies were repeated, with the dwarves’ song (and The Hobbit‘s theme) being the main alternative track. However, I feel like a lot of this movie was transitioning the viewers back in time, and the next might move deeper into the story itself without relying so heavily on the connecting motifs/plots/themes. I felt like Jackson did a good job overall of making connections between LOTR and this film in his use of cinematic shots, dialogue, etc. He walked a fine line between being almost too overbearing with it, but in the end I was perfectly satisfied.
I left skipping and will doubtlessly be back in a theater sometime soon. I think I’m too poor to break my ROTK record of five viewings in the theater, but we’ll see.
Now stop lounging on the internet and go see it!