In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit

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And he looks just like Tim from BBC’s The Office. That’s because they are both played by Martin Freeman. I enjoyed The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and enjoyed it more than I expected too.

The Hobbit, for my tastes, is an okay book. It’s worth reading, but I think it’s a silly tale, a more juvenile tale. The Lord of the Rings book, in contrast, is a more adult tale, though it has it’s share of silly songs and other lite fare. I will say The Hobbit is an easier read, while TLOTR can be tedious at times (the old forest, anyone?).

In celluloid form, The Hobbit doesn’t take itself too seriously and ended up being a lot of fun for me. I saw it in both 2D and 3D. The second time, I took more notice of the scenery, taking myself out of the movie and thinking about how it was New Zealand, and comparing it to what I saw when I was there. I remember being at Rivendell, though there wasn’t much left of it at Kaitoke Park, aside from a sign.

I questioned the viability of splitting the book into 3 parts, but I’m happy with Part 1, and think having 2 more films in Middle Earth will be great. There are tie-ins to TLOTR films not in the Hobbit book. I’m okay with that, and I really liked the scene with Galadriel, Saruman, Elrond, and Gandalf. There is a lighter tone in the movie compared to TLOTR, while still being dark moments. There are moments children could enjoy, but there are also moments that are violent and scary enough to not be good for young children. Overall, it’s also not as heavy an experience, and it’s nice to see some jovial elves.

The Hobbit, like TLOTR, is set in a world of Tolkien’s creation, where there is applicability to our situation, but where it isn’t an allegory of Christian faith, like The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. It is Tolkien’s myth of England, based on his study of language in written historical sources. That is what makes his stories so impressive to me, that they are based on the root meanings of words, that there is a certain plausibility to it based on historical language.

The films are another matter. They affect me deeply because I lived in New Zealand for 8 months, because I attended the TROTK World Premiere, and I saw film locations. And with The Hobbit, what can I say, I’m happy for Tim.